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Sierra, Sergio Joseph


SIERRA, SERGIO JOSEPH (1923– ), Italian rabbi and publicist. Sierra was born in Rome, where he received a rabbinical and university education. As chief rabbi of Bologna (1948–59), he brought new life to the Jewish community after the disasters of World War ii. From 1960 he was chief rabbi of Turin, and director of the Istituto Superiore di Studi Ebraici-Scuola Rabbinica "S.H. Margulies-Disegni." He was a member of the Consulta Rabbinica Italiana and professor of Hebrew literature at Turin University (1969).

Sierra published several essays on Jewish history and literature, particularly from the period of the Middle Ages (rmi, jqr) and a review of Gli Studi Italiani di Ebraico Post-biblico (1971). Among his books is Il Valore etico delle Mizvoth (1957), and a scientific edition of Bonafoux Bonfil Astruc's Hebrew translation (1423) of Boethius De Consolatione Philosophiae (1967).

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello]

In 1979–80 he was one of the founders of the Associazione Italiana per lo Studio del Giudaismo (aisg); he was professor of Hebrew and Comparative Semitic Languages, University of Genoa (1984–93), president of the Assemblea dei Rabbini d'Italia (1987–92), and member of the scientific committee and the editing committee of the Rassegna Mensile di Israel. In 1979 the second edition of his Il Valore etico delle Mizvoth was published. Among his publications are Italian translations of classical Hebrew works: in 1983 he published his translation I doveri dei cuori of Ḥovot ha-Levavot by Baḥya ibn Paquda; in 1988 there appeared his translation of Rashi's Commentary to Shemot, Esodo; in 1990 La corona regale, Keter Malkhut by Solomon ibn *Gabirol. In 1996 he was co-translator of the Tehilim Yerushalayim and in 1998 co-translator of the maḥzor: Seder Tefillot le-Ḥol, le-Shabbat u-li-Yamim Tovim). He edited La lettura ebraica delle Scritture and Scritti sull'Ebraismo in memoria di M.E. Artom. In 1998 there appeared in his honor Hebraica. Miscellanea di Studi in onore di S.J.S. per il suo 75 compleanno, edited by F. Israel, A.M. Rabello, and A.M Somekh, with a bibliography and a list of publications. In 1992 he made aliyah to Jerusalem.

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello (2nd ed.)]

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