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Mussafia, Ḥayyim Isaac

MUSSAFIA, ḤAYYIM ISAAC

MUSSAFIA, ḤAYYIM ISAAC (1754–1831), rabbi. Mussafia was born in Jerusalem. In 1796, while serving as an emissary of Jerusalem to the Balkan states, he was appointed av bet din of Spalato in Dalmatia. His only published work is Ḥayyimva-Ḥesed (pt. 1, Leghorn, 1844), responsa, appended to which are the laws of blessings by Yom Tov b. Abraham *Ishbili and talmudic novellae by early Jerusalem rabbis. Isaac Badhab affirmed that part two was in his possession. Mussafia also wrote Derekh ha-Ḥayyim ve-Tokhaḥat Musar, and Maskil le-Eitan, a supercommentary on the Pentateuch commentary of Rashi and Elijah Mizraḥi (see introd. to the responsa). He was succeeded at Spalato by his son, abraham Ḥai, who was also born in Jerusalem and served as a rabbi there. Abraham founded a yeshivah in Jerusalem called Shevet Aḥim (acronym of A vraham H ai I saac M ussafia), which was in existence until shortly before World War i. He composed poems and was a contributor to Ha-Maggid.

bibliography:

Frumkin-Rivlin, 3 (1929), 214; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 1 (1928), 145; 2 (1938), 387f.; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 691.

[Simon Marcus]

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