Panigel, Raphael Meir ben Judah

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PANIGEL, RAPHAEL MEIR BEN JUDAH (1804–1893), chief rabbi of Jerusalem. Panigel was born in Bulgaria, but when he was three years old his parents, who were well-to-do, emigrated to Ereẓ Israel. In 1828 and in 1863 he went as an emissary of Jerusalem to the countries of North Africa, remaining there on both occasions for several years. In 1845 he went to Italy as an emissary of Hebron. While in Rome he succeeded in making peace between two rival factions in the community. He was also received with great respect at the Vatican by Pope Gregory xvi. In 1866 he supported Ludwig August *Frankl in his endeavor to establish a modern school in Jerusalem. In 1880 he was appointed *rishon le-Zion, and in 1890 the Turkish authorities appointed him ḥakham bashi (head of the Jewish community of Ereẓ Israel). He was acceptable to all the communities and esteemed by the authorities. He was the author of Lev Marpe (the initials of his name; 1887), talmudic novellae, responsa, and homilies. Some of his novellae were published in the Jerusalem Me'assef and in Torah mi-Ẓiyyon. His other works have remained in manuscript.


A.M. Luncz, in: Yerushalayim, 4 (1892), 214–5 (Heb. pt.); Frumkin-Rivlin, 3 (1929), 312; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1937), 533–4; Yaari, Sheluḥei, index, s.v.

[Abraham David]