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Papo, Samuel Shemaiah


PAPO, SAMUEL SHEMAIAH (1708–after 1774), Italian rabbi. Papo was apparently born in Ragusa where his father, Abraham David Papo, the teacher of David *Pardo, was rabbi. Many of his father's responsa are preserved in the Shemesh Ẓedakah of Samson *Morpurgo. In his early youth Papo moved to Ancona and studied in the bet midrash of Joseph Lehava (Fiammetta) and, after the latter's death, in that of his son-in-law, Samson Morpurgo. He also studied under Moses Ḥayyim Morpurgo, son of Samson; Jehiel ha-Kohen; and Isaac Costantini. In July 1758, on the recommendation of Costantini, he was granted the title ḥakham by the communal council. From 1756 to 1761 he served as *dayyan of the town and signed all the documents of the bet din. From 1761 to 1774 his name no longer appears in the records of the sessions of the bet din. He may have left Ancona for business reasons or waived his right to participate in the local bet din because of disagreements that broke out between him and Isaac Shabbetai Fiano, rabbi and av bet din. In 1753 during Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai's first mission to Italy, Papo exerted himself to extend every honor and esteem to Azulai during his stay in Ancona (from Ḥeshvan 24 to Kislev 12). In his diary, the Ma'gal Tov (ed. by A. Freimann (1921), 6), Azulai refers to Papo in terms of respect and admiration: "Master of the Talmud," "the luminary," etc. The close ties of friendship thus formed grew stronger with the passage of time, as is testified by a correspondence still in manuscript. Papo endured much suffering and many troubles during his life because of his unswerving integrity. Many halakhic responsa by him are preserved in manuscript, all testifying to his erudition and acumen.


Roth, in: Sinai, 21 (1947), 326; Wilensky, ibid., 25 (1949), 80–81.

[Guiseppe Laras]

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