- ANGEL, MEIR BEN ABRAHAM
- ANGEL, MEIR BEN ABRAHAM (c. 1564–c. 1647), rabbi and preacher. Angel was born in Sofia, where his father was a communal leader. His family immigrated to Safed in his youth and there he studied under samuel uceda , Eleazar Ascari, and Ḥayyim Vital ; he also mentions israel saruk as his teacher. Angel returned to his native town where he was appointed rabbi and preacher. He later served in other communities, including Belgrade. He visited Constantinople before 1620. His sermons were unique in form, as they were based on a homiletical explanation of the Masorah Magna of the Bible. He followed and developed the homiletic system of Jacob b. Asher and of Moses Alshekh, with his own kabbalistic comments. Angel published Masoret ha-Berit (Cracow, 1619), a commentary on more than 600 masoretic readings in alphabetical order, which was immediately in very great demand and was rapidly sold. He thereupon published Masoret ha-Berit ha-Gadol (Mantua, 1622) on 1,650 readings. His Keshet Neḥushah, an ethical work in rhymed prose, was published at Belvedere near Constantinople in 1593 by the press of Donna Reyna, the widow of Don Joseph Nasi. According to Conforte, Angel returned to Safed after 1622 and died there. The high esteem in which Angel was held by his contemporaries can be seen in the eulogy of Solomon Algazi (printed in Ahavat Olam (1643), sermon 20). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Conforte, Kore (18462), 51b; Ghirondi-Neppi, 252–3.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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