Search

Your search for 'dc_creator:( "D Gershon Lewental" ) OR dc_contributor:( "D Gershon Lewental" )' returned 69 results. Modify search

Sort Results by Relevance | Newest titles first | Oldest titles first

Ben Yaʿesh (also Ibn Yaʿish or Abenæs), Solomon

(1,243 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Solomon Ben Yaʿesh (also Ibn Yaʿish or Abenæs and Alvaro Mendès) was born in Tavira, Portugal in 1520 and died in Istanbul in 1603. A wealthy and influential Jewish statesman and diplomat, he worked to stymie Spain at the height of its power by engineering an alliance between England and the Ottoman Empire. The man who later received the title of duke of Mytilene was born to a marrano ( anusim) family in Portugal as Alvaro Mendès, a name which most Europeans would continue to use with him throughout his life. In his youth, Mendès worked as an apprentice to a goldsmith before going to India in 1545 …

Bikayam, Meʾir

(370 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Meʾir ben Ḥalifa Bikayam, who died on August 3, 1769 in Izmir (Smyrna), was a rabbinical scholar, teacher, and author, noted both for his knowledge of Kabbala and his inclination toward Sabbateanism. Sometime after 1710, while still a young man, he attended classes conducted by Rabbi Jacob ben Benjamin Wolf Wilna (d. ca. 1732) in Izmir. Wilna, a Sabbatean kabbalist, introduced Bikayam to the mystical ideas taught by Shabbetay Ṣevi (1626–1676), the messianic claimant who a few decades earlier had electrified much of the Jewish world. Bikayam became an important f…

Ibn Yaḥya, Jacob Tam ben David

(760 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Jacob ben David Tam Ibn Yaḥya (ca. 1475–1542) was one of the leading Jewish scholars in Istanbul and indeed the Ottoman Empire during the first half of the sixteenth century. In addition to Judaica and rabbinics, he commanded a broad knowledge of medicine, Islamic law, and other subjects. Jacob was born in Lisbon into a prosperous and distinguished family of rabbis, scholars, and communal leaders. His father, David ben Solomon Ibn Yaḥya (ca. 1440–1524), was rabbi of the community, but was driven from the country under persecution by  King João II(r. 1481–1495) while Jacob was still…

Carasso (Karasu), Emmanuel

(1,179 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Emmanuel Carasso (Karasu) (1862–1934) was a lawyer and statesman who was active in the Young Turk movement and a member of the Ottoman parliament during the last years of the empire. Born in Salonica in 1862, Carasso studied law and gained experience in the legal practice of  Yudajon Yeni, who also mentored several other successful Jewish lawyers, including Carasso’s relative Emmanuel Raphael Salem (1859–1940) and Vitali Farraggi (or Faraji, 1854–1918), who like Carasso was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Carasso became a noted lawyer and taught criminal …

Kalef (Kalev), Yehoshua

(1,018 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Yehoshuʽa Yuda Kalef (Eshua Kalev, Joshua Kalef, Josué Caleb) (1875–1943), a lawyer and journalist, was an early member and leader of the Zionist movement in Ottoman and independent Bulgaria. Descended from the respected Kalef and Romano families, he received a traditional Jewish education before attending the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) school in his native Plovdiv, where he studied French and developed an appreciation for French culture that remained with him throughout his life. His childhood also nurtured in him a strong sense …

Ashkenazi, Bekhor (Behor Efendi)

(308 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Bekhor Ashkenazi (1840–1909), also known as Behor Eşkenazi and Behor Efendi, was an Ottoman official and politician and a leader of the Jewish community in Istanbul during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1869, promoted to the rank of rütbe-i saniye, sinif-i sani (Turk. second grade, second class) in the Ottoman civil service, Ashkenazi was appointed by the sultan as one of two Jewish memebers to the forty-member  Council of State (Turk. Şura-yi Devlet), the empire’s highest legislative body, a post in which he continued to serve until 1899. In August 1873 Ashkena…

Pallache Family (Turkish Branch)

(1,479 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
The Pallache (Palaggi, Palache, Palacci) family originated in the Iberian Peninsula and had branches in many places along the Mediterranean littoral. It produced several leading rabbinical scholars in the Ottoman city of Izmir (Smyrna) during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Two of them, Ḥayyim ben Jacob and his son Abraham, served as chief rabbi ( haham başı) and became the focus of a fierce dispute that engulfed the town’s Jewish community, while a third, Solomon ben Abraham, contributed to its decline. Ḥayyim ben Jacob Pallache(January 28, 1788– February 10, 1…

Salem, Avram

(302 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Avram Salem (Sālim; d. 1907) was a Jewish medical student turned activist in the Young Turk movement. Originally from Salonica, Avram and his brother Asher both studied medicine at the Royal Medical Academy in Istanbul. While there they became involved in political activitiesdirected against the reactionary regime of Sultan Abdülhamit II (r. 1876–1909) and were exiled to Tripoli in 1897 for “having nourished modern ideas.” Simon notes that they, together with the physician Dr. Albert Bakish, were almost the only Jewish activists sent to Libya. Avram and possibly his brother esca…

Benaroya, Albert

(451 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Albert (né Armand) Avram Benaroya, a Turkish journalist, linguist, and educator,  was born in Edirne in 1887 and died in Istanbul on June 20, 1955. He received his primary education at the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) school in Edirne, from which he graduated at a precocious age, and then attended the École Normale Israélite Orientale (ENIO) in Paris (1906). From October 1910 he taught at the École Ṣror ha-Ḥayyim de Hasköy in Istanbul before being appointed teacher of French at a Turkish…

Karmi Shelli (Edirne)

(377 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Karmi Shelli (My Own Vineyard), called Bağım in Turkish, was a Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish monthly published in Edirne (Adrianople) from 1890 to 1891, but printed in Vienna and Belgrade. It was founded by Baruch ben Isaac Miṭrani (di Trani) (1847-1919), an intellectual and writer born in Edirne in 1847, as a literary and national journal to promote the idea of national rebirth and Jewish colonization of Ottoman Palestine. It was a successor to an earlier monthly, Karmi (My Vineyard), which he had published in Edirne (and Pressburg) from 1881 to 1882. Both Karmi and Karmi Shelli were printed …

Nahmias Family

(1,432 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Naḥmias (also Ibn Naḥmias) was a common Sephardi family name in various parts of the Ottoman Empire from the late fifteenth century on. Individuals bearing the name have been found in Istanbul, Salonica, the Holy Land, Morocco, and elsewhere. While it is possible that the Naḥmias families, particularly the ones in Istanbul and Salonica, were related, scholarly research has so far failed to demonstrate any familial ties. Various Naḥmias families have attributed their origins to different cities in the Iberian Peninsula, including Toledo, Lisbon, and Majorca. The name Naḥmias first…

Ibn Yaḥya, David ben Solomon

(541 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
David ben Solomon Ibn Yaḥya (ca. 1440–1524) was a rabbi, grammarian, and scholar who fled Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century. After enduring many hardships, he eventually reached Istanbul and settled there. In his native Lisbon, as a member of a prosperous and distinguished family of rabbis, scholars, and communal leaders, Ibn Yaḥya had been the rabbi of the Jewish community and had taught numerous pupils. Noted for his wealth and generosity, he welcomed and helped many of the Spanish Jews who arrived in Portugal followin…

La Boz de Izmir

(355 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
La Boz de Izmir (The Voice of Izmir) was a Judeo-Spanish political and literary weekly published in Izmir (Smyrna) from 1910 to 1922. Printed in Rashi script, it began under the editorship of Bekhor Ḥannah, who also edited the journal Bayram (The Feast), but from 1916/1917 until 1918/1919, he was replaced by B. Luria. Ḥannah had worked for many years as a clerk for the Austrian Post in Izmir, and later for the Ottoman Post after the Capitulations were abolished. Ḥannah produced La Boz de Izmir with the assistance of Jacques (Ya‘aqov) Ben-Senior, who also wrote for several other Judeo…

Fonseca, Daniel de

(721 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Daniel ben Abraham de Fonseca (ca. 1668–ca. 1740) was a Jewish physician of Iberian origin who achieved prominence for his involvement in Ottoman diplomacy. Born into a marrano family in the Portuguese city of Porto, Fonseca grew up as a Christian after  his grandfather and uncle were burned at the stake and his father fled the country. Although he was baptized and joined the priesthood, he practiced the Jewish faith secretly and eventually went to France, where he studied medicine in Bordeaux and Paris. Sometime between 1680 and 1702, he arrived Istanbul, where he reverted to Judais…

Recanati Family

(2,199 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Since the late nineteenth century, the Recanati family has consisted of journalists, Zionist activists, and financiers who flourished in the Ottoman Empire, Greece, and Israel. The family traces its origins to central Italy—Tuscany, the city of Livorno on the western coast, and the eastern Marche—and counts among its ancestors the late-thirteenth-century rabbinical scholar and kabbalist Menahem ben Benjamin Recanati. Members of the family in Salonica entered various fields of business and made the Recanatis one of the leading families of the Jewish elite. …

Miṭrani, Barukh ben Isaac

(976 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Barukh ben Isaac Miṭrani (1847–1919) was a rabbi, educator, writer, Hebrew reformer, and noted precursor of Zionism in Edirne during the second half of the nineteenth century. A precocious child, he received a specialized education from both his father, a Hebrew teacher, and another noted Sephardi intellectual figure, Joseph Halévy (1827–1917). The latter recognized his ability and mentored him; Miṭrani would become his spiritual successor, carrying on, expanding, and building upon his ideas throughout his life. After traditionalist opponents…

El Progresso (Yosef ha-Daʿat)

(307 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
El Progresso, also known as  Yosef Daʿat (Increase of Knowledge) was a Hebrew and  Judeo-Spanish bimonthly, published in Edirne (Adrianople) from March to December 1888 by Rabbi Abraham Danon, an exponent of the Haskala. The first Jewish periodical to appear in Edirne, it reflected Danon’s lifelong effort to synthesize traditional learning with modern ideas. The paper was sponsored by the Ḥevrat Shoḥare Tushiyya (Society of the Proponents of Wisdom), also called Doreshe ha-Haskala (Seekers of Enlightenment), which he founded in 1879. It was printed both in Judeo-Sp…

La Luz de Israel (Istanbul)

(214 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
La Luz de Israel (The Light of Israel; Istanbul, 1853–?) was a Judeo-Spanish weekly gazette in Istanbul, printed in Rashi script and edited by Léon de Ḥayyim Castro, a member of the Italian Castro family. Founded in 1853, and also known as Or Yisraʾel (The Light of Israel), the paper followed the first major Jewish newspaper to appear in Istanbul, the Journal Israélite (1841–1860). It was devoted primarily to news and reportage on the Crimean War. According to Moïse Franco, Castro owned a printing press and began issuing the paper in 1853 to capitalize on Jewish readers’ …

La Nation (Salonica)

(665 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
La Nation was a bi-weekly, then weekly, and later daily newspaper published in Salonica from 1900 to 1913. Edited by Judah Salomon Asseo, and printed in Judeo-Spanish (using Rashi script) and French, it served as an organ of the Cercle (later Club) des Intimes, a Jewish philanthropic and cultural organization in Salonica, as stated in its subtitle, “Revista Nasional Judea Independiente, organo del Club des Intimes.” The Cercle des Intimes was founded in 1873, and was restructured in 1907 as the Club des Intimes. For a brief period, La Nation flirted with Zionism and printed articles by Vlad…

Qimḥi (Kamḥi), Solomon Ben Nissim

(326 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Solomon ben Nissim Joseph David Qimḥi was a rabbi who sparked an anti-Karaite dispute within the Jewish community of Istanbul during the mid-nineteenth century. Qimḥi was born into a noted family of scholars, dating back to the Iberian Peninsula and Provence, but little is known about his personal life. He was a follower of  Rabbi Isaac ben Abraham Akrish(d. 1888?), the leader of an anti-modernist movement in Istanbul. Akrish’s influence undoubtedly prompted Qimḥi’s publication of Melekhet Shelomo (The Work of Solomon; Salonica, 1862), a  pamphlet declaring that the Karaites we…
▲   Back to top   ▲