Valle, Moses David ben Samuel

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VALLE, MOSES DAVID BEN SAMUEL

VALLE, MOSES DAVID BEN SAMUEL (1696–1777), Italian physician and kabbalist. Valle was born in Padua. In his youth he wrote in Italian a book against Christianity entitled I Sette Giorni della Verita, but his major field was Kabbalah. He was considered to possess spiritual powers and receive mystical revelations. He is mentioned many times in documents relating to the circle of Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto, of which he was one of the most important members. In this group, Valle seems to have been considered the Messiah. After Luzzatto left for Amsterdam, Valle became the leader of the Padua circle, which was not maintained for a long time. Most of his life he spent in seclusion, studying; he never occupied a rabbinic post, although he served as the cantor in the Sephardi synagogue. He wrote many disquisitions on kabbalistic subjects and other matters. From extant works found in his handwriting, it is possible to fix his date of birth and many details about his career. From all his works, only 70 kabbalistic interpretations on the last verse of the Torah were published (at the end of Luzzatto's *Megillat Setarim, Warsaw, 1889). His rich legacy of nearly 20,000 pages is as yet unexplored.

bibliography:

Ghirondi-Neppi, 247; J. Almanzi, in: Kerem Ḥemed, 3 (1838), 130; S.D. Luzzatto, in: hb, 6 (1863), 49–51; I. Tishby, in: Sefer Yovel le-Y. Baer (1960), 384; idem, Netivei Emunah u-Minut (1964), 193–6; M. Benayahu, in: Sefunot, 5 (1961), 300–16.

[Gershom Scholem]