Treves, Johanan ben Joseph
TREVES, JOHANAN BEN JOSEPH
TREVES, JOHANAN BEN JOSEPH (1490?–1557?), Italian rabbi and scholar. His place of birth is unknown. In his youth he studied together with Joseph of Arles in the yeshivah of Moses *Navarro in Ferrara, where he later became a member of the bet din. For about 20 years he wandered in different towns of northern and central Italy, serving as religious instructor and rabbi, and as a result he was termed one of "the peripatetic rabbis." For a number of years during this period, he lived in the house of Ishmael Rieti in Siena as his private tutor, a practice common in Italy. He then lived in Sabbioneta and Bologna (1540). It was assumed that he worked in the Hebrew press in Bologna from 1537 to 1541; and it is possible that in the years 1545–46 he worked as a proofreader in the printing press of Daniel *Bomberg in Venice.
Johanan was an author, publisher, and writer of responsa. Widely known is his commentary, Kimḥa de-Avishuna (Bologna, 1540), on the festival prayer book according to the Roman rite, published anonymously. He endeavored to establish the correct readings "and did not invent anything; well nigh everything was gathered from existing authors … as the gleaner follows the harvester." The work was designed for the untutored, and its title is explained in the statement that "he was not concerned to produce fine flour but flour made from roasted ears [Kimḥa de-Avishuna; see Pes. 39b] … that had already been ground and roasted." His commentary is based almost entirely upon Midrashim, some of which are otherwise unknown, and upon commentaries on early piyyutim, his purpose being simply to explain the words and subject matter. He was extremely active as a proofreader of midrashic works and in the establishment of accurate readings of the tractates he studied with his pupils. His glosses to the Halakhot of Isaac *Alfasi, his approbations to the works of his contemporaries, and his responsa (one of which, no. 58, was included in the responsa of Moses *Isserles), are extant. He also compiled a commentary on the laws of *shehitah u-vedikah and the halakhot of *issur ve-hetter of the Mordekhai of *Mordecai b. Hillel (Venice, 1550). His piyyutim and poems are also known. Of his three sons the best known is Raphael Joseph who was a posek, as well as a book publisher. In 1559 he was working in the Sabbioneta press.
Ghirondi-Neppi, 167, 178–80; Bruell, Jahrbuecher, 1 (1874), 108; D.W. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), 205; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 398; A. Marx, in: Tarbiz, 8 (1936/37), 173, 176; idem, Koveẓ Madda'i le-Zekher M. Schorr (1944), 189–219; I. Sonne, in: huca, 16 (1941), Heb. pt. 42, no. 11; H.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Italyah… (19562), 30, 65, 79.
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