Menahem ben Moses Ha-Bavli

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MENAHEM BEN MOSES HA-BAVLI (d. 1571), rabbi and author in Ereẓ Israel. Despite his surname ("the Babylonian"), Menahem appears to have come from Italy; his ancestors probably lived in Babylon. Until 1525 Menahem served as dayyan in Trikkola, Greece. In 1527 he was living with his family in Safed, among whose scholars his name is included. There, with his brother Reuben, he engaged in business connected with the wool-dyeing industry. After 1546 he moved to Hebron, apparently being among the Safed rabbis who renewed the Jewish settlement in that city in the middle of the 16th century. Menahem achieved renown through his Ta'ameiha-Mitzvot (Lublin, 1571), in which he briefly sets forth the reasons for the precepts. In the introduction Menahem refers to a lengthy work he had written called Ta'amei Mitzvot ha-Arukot. One of his responsa on divorce was published among those of Joseph *Caro to Even ha-Ezer (Salonika, 1598, 80a, Dinei Gittin ve-Gerushin, no. 10).


Ben-Yaakov, in: Ḥemdat Yisrael, Koveẓ le-Zikhro shel … Ḥ.Ḥ. Medini (1946), 89–97; M. Benayahu, in: ks, 29 (1953/54), 173f.; 31 (1955/56), 399f.; Roth, ibid., 399; Dimitrovsky, in: Sefunot, 7 (1963), 67.