Samegah, Joseph ben Benjamin

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SAMEGAH, JOSEPH BEN BENJAMIN (d. 1629), Italian rabbi and author. Samegah was born in Salonika where he later became rabbi. Compelled to leave, seemingly because of persecution by his community, he went to Venice, where he served as rabbi and head of a yeshivah. According to Isaac Ḥayyim *Cantarini in his Paḥad Yiẓḥak, Samegah headed a yeshivah in Padua. Among his pupils were Ḥayyim *Benveniste and Joseph Solomon *Delmedigo.

Joseph was the author of Mikra'ei Kodesh (2 pts., Venice 1586), on the meaning of the precepts of the Torah; PoratYosef (Pt. 1, Venice, 1590), novellae on the works of Isaac *Alfasi and *Nissim b. Reuben Gerondi to Ketubbot, Ḥullin, and Beẓah, and a few novellae on other tractates of the Talmud; Perush Derekh Yemin (ibid., 1606), a criticism of the Yemin Adonai Romemah of Menahem Azariah Da *Fano. Joseph's responsum, permitting the use of the mikveh of *Rovigo, about the ritual fitness of which arose a great controversy involving many scholars, was published in the Mashbit Milḥamot (ibid., 1606). In the introduction to Mikra'ei Kodesh he refers to two other works he wrote: Binyan Olam, homilies, and Kevod Elohim.


Conforte, Kore, 43b, 44a, 50a; Ghirondi-Neppi, 136; Fuehn, Keneset, 488–9; S. Simonsohn (ed.), in: Yehudah Aryeh of Modena, Ziknei Yehudah (1956), 50 (introd.).

[Abraham David]