LEVI, DAVID

LEVI, DAVID (1742–1801), English Hebraist and polemicist. Born in London and intended by his parents to be a rabbi, Levi instead was apprenticed to a cobbler, and later worked as a hatter. However, he continued to pursue Jewish studies and interests. He published new translations of the Pentateuch for synagogal use (1787), of the Sephardi liturgy (6 vols., 1789–93), and the Ashkenazi (1794–96); and Lingua Sacra (1785–87), a Hebrew grammar and dictionary. He also wrote Rites and Ceremonies of the Jews (1783). Levi was the first Jew to write, in English, polemics in defense of Jews and Judaism. In his Letters to Dr. Priestley (1787) he rejected the attempts of the noted scholar Joseph Priestley to convert Jews to Christianity. In the same vein, he answered Thomas Paine's attacks on the Bible and the authenticity of prophecy (Letters to Thomas Paine in Answer to his "Age of Reason," 1797). He also opposed millennarian theories in Letters to Nathaniel Brassey Halhed in Answer to His Testimony of the Authenticity of the Prophecies of Richard Brothers and His Pretended Mission to Recall the Jews (1795). Levi's whole life was a struggle to devote himself to scholarship in spite of poverty, and he was ultimately given a small pension by a group of supporters headed by the goldsmids . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Singer, in: JHSET, 3 (1896), 55–71; J. Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (19562), 219–20, 243, 270; C. Roth, Great Synagogue (1950), 148–9; Roth, Mag Bibl, index; DNB, S.V.; S. Daiches, in: JHSEM, 4 (1942), 28–32. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online; R.H. Popkin, "David Levi, Anglo-Jewish Theologian," in: Jewish Quarterly Review, 87 (1996), 79–101; Katz, England, 296–300, index. (Jacob Rothschild)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Levi, David — (1742 1801)    English Hebraist and polemicist. He was born in London, and worked as a hatter. He published translations of the Pentateuch for use in the synagogue, a Hebrew grammar and dictionary, and polemics in defence of Jews and Judaism …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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  • David Levi (scholar) — David Levi (1742, London – 1801) was an English Jewish writer, Hebraist, Jewish apologist, translator, and poet. Levi was born to poor immigrant parents who could not afford to educate him. He worked as a shoemaker, then as a hatter, then as a… …   Wikipedia

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  • Levi Eshkol — 1947 Levi Eschkol (hebräisch ‏לוי אשכול‎, ursprünglich Levi Schkolnik; * 25. Oktober 1895 in Oratowo bei Kiew (Ukraine); † 26. Februar 1969 in Jerusalem) war von 1963 an der dritte Ministerpräsident Israels …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • LEVI — (Heb. לֵוִי), third son of Jacob and Leah, born in Paddan Aram (Gen. 29:34); father of the tribe named after him. The name Levi is explained in the Pentateuch by Leah s words at his birth: Now this time my husband will become attached to me (Heb …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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