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SARFATI (Ẓarefati, Sarfatti ), name frequently given to Jews originating from *France, e.g., abraham sarfati, who emigrated to Catalonia, author of Tamid ha-Shaḥar; Joseph ben moses sarfati, mathematician; and isaac ha-shaḤar who emigrated to the East. The most important family often bearing the additional surname of Sarfati was the *Trabot or Trabotti family, who probably originated from Trévoux (France) and came to Italy in the second half of the 15th century. A *Sarfaty family were rabbis of Fez (Morocco) for several generations (16th–18th centuries).

samuel sarfati, called Gallo (d. c. 1519), a physician originating from Provence, settled in Rome in 1498. He represented the Jewish community at the coronation of Pope Julius ii (1503) and a year later became the personal physician to the pope, who confirmed the privileges granted him by Pope Alexander vi, including permission to attend Christian patients, exemption from wearing the Jewish *badge, and papal protection for him and his family. In 1515 he became physician of Giuliano de' Medici. Samuel's son joseph, called Josiphon, Giosifante, or Giuseppe Gallo (d. 1527), was a physician, philosopher, poet, and mathematician. An accomplished linguist, he had a good knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Greek, and Latin. The pope extended to him the privileges that had been accorded to his father; these were confirmed by Pope Leo x and Pope Clement vii in 1524. Joseph translated into Hebrew the Spanish comedy Celestina. He survived remarkable adventures, assisted David *Reubeni, and died as the result of his sufferings during the sack of Rome. isaac sarfati was physician to Pope Clement vii (1523–34), who recon-firmed his right to the family's privileges. samuel sarfati (16th century) was a printer in Rome. joseph sarfati (16th century), a rabbi of Fez, converted to Christianity. Adopting the name of his godfather Pope Julius iii (1550–55), Andrea del Monte, he became a violent anti-Jewish preacher. One of his sermons was heard by Michel de *Montaigne. Sarfati was one of the instigators of the condemnation of the Talmud and its burning in Rome in 1553. jacob ben solomon sarfati (14th century), a physician, was born in northern France. On the expulsion of the Jews, he moved to Avignon in the second half of the 14th century.

He was the author of Mishkenot Ya'akov (extant in Ms.), a work divided into three books: Beit Ya'akov, allegorical interpretations of some passages of the Pentateuch; Yeshu'ot Ya'akov, a discourse on the plagues of Egypt; and Kehillat Ya'akov, a theological exposition of the laws given on Mount Sinai. In a supplement, Evel Rabbati, he describes the deaths of his three sons who perished in the course of three months during the plague of 1395. He also wrote a medical treatise on migraine.


U. Cassuto, Gli Ebrei a Firenze nell' Età del Rinascimento (1918); Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 156–8, 246–9.

[Renato Spiegel]

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