Rappaport, Isaac ben Judah Ha-Kohen

views updated


RAPPAPORT, ISAAC BEN JUDAH HA-KOHEN (d. 1755), rabbi in *Jerusalem and Smyrna, and rabbinic emissary of Safed. His father emigrated from Lublin to Jerusalem, where Isaac studied at the yeshivah Beit Ya'akov Pereira, headed by *Hezekiah da Silva. Because of the difficult circumstances then prevailing in Jerusalem, Isaac accepted the assignment of rabbinic emissary of Safed to Turkey and the Balkans (1702–12). Arriving in Constantinople in 1709, he joined Abraham *Yiẓḥaki, who was there as the emissary of Jerusalem, in issuing a proclamation against the Shabbatean, Nehemiah Ḥiyya *Ḥayon, and engaged there in halakhic discussions with Aaron *Alfandari. He arrived in Salonika in 1712. At the conclusion of his mission, because of the straitened circumstances in Jerusalem, he accepted the position of rabbi at Smyrna, a position he held for 36 years, though he originally intended to stay only a short time. In this capacity, he greatly assisted Ereẓ Israel emissaries who visited Smyrna, and in 1732–33 saw through the press in Constantinople and Smyrna Zera Abraham, responsa by Abraham Yiẓḥaki, then the chief rabbi in Jerusalem. In 1749 he returned to Jerusalem, where he became the chief rabbi. Unable to trace the old record book of the local takkanot, he published many of them from memory, but was unwilling to issue new ones of his own accord. A collection of his responsa, novellae, and homilies, entitled Battei Kehunnah, was published in two volumes, the first in Constantinople, 1736, and the second at Salonika, 1754.


Rivkind, in: Reshummot, 4 (1925), 341–2; Frumkin-Rivlin, 3 (1929), 61–4; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 423–5.

[Avraham Yaari]