BAVLI, MENAHEM BEN MOSES

BAVLI, MENAHEM BEN MOSES (fl. 16th century), rabbi and kabbalist of the Safed school. There is little information about his descent. The title "Bavli" (Babylonian) probably stands for "Roman," and it is possible that he came from Italy. In 1522 and in 1525 he signed himself as dayyan in Trikkala, Greece. Later he immigrated to Ereẓ Israel and in 1531 he was in Safed together with his father and brother Reuben (responsa R. Moses b. Joseph di Trani, 1 (1641), no. 43). They made their living in the wool-dyeing trade. Menahem was considered one of the great scholars of the town. One of his responsa was published in the responsa collection Maran le-Even ha-Ezer (no. 14) and in it he quotes a ruling of R. Jacob Berab\>\> , whom he calls "our teacher the Great Rabbi," which suggests that Bavli may have been a student at Berab's yeshivah in Safed. After 1553 he traveled to Egypt. From Safed Bavli went to Hebron probably in connection with the expansion of the Jewish settlement there, in which the scholars of Safed took part. In the introduction to his Peri Ḥevron (Ta'amei ha-Mitzvot) (Lublin, 1571), he wrote that he dedicated the income of this book to "Hebron, as a contribution for its reconstruction." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Benayahu, in: KS, 29 (1954), 173f.; A.N.Z. Roth, ibid., 31 (1956), 399; Benayahu, ibid., 399–400; Dmitrovsky, in: Sefunot, 7 (1963), 67.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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