ALGAZI, ISRAEL JACOB BEN YOM TOV


ALGAZI, ISRAEL JACOB BEN YOM TOV
ALGAZI, ISRAEL JACOB BEN YOM TOV (1680–1756), halakhic scholar and kabbalist, grandson of both (Nissim) solomon algazi and Joseph Ḥazzan . Probably born in Smyrna, Algazi lived in Safed, and for a few years, prior to 1730, in Smyrna. He was a member of a closed circle of kabbalists headed by Jacob Vilna. Algazi copied and published Ḥemdat Yamim (Smyrna, 1731–32), with many of his own glosses. By 1737 he was in Jerusalem and, a year later, dedicated "Neveh Shalom Berit Avraham," a yeshivah founded there for him. Algazi became head of Bet El, a bet midrash for pietists, and was consequently known as "the pietist rabbi." His was the first signature on the constitution of the kabbalistic group Ahavat Shalom. Algazi was appointed chief rabbi upon the death of his colleague, Isaac ha-Kohen (1755), but he died the following year. One of the most productive scholars of his time, he wrote many halakhic and homiletic works including Emet le-Ya'akov (Constantinople, 1764) on the laws of Torah scrolls; Ara de-Rabbanan (ibid., 1745), reprinted with Judah Ayyash's commentary; Afra de-Ara (Leghorn, 1783), a methodology for Talmud and codes; Ḥug ha-Areẓ (Jerusalem, 1910; with addenda, 1927), on the laws of Purim; Ne'ot Ya'akov (Smyrna, 1767); Kehillat Ya'akov (Salonika, 1786), a methodology; Shalmei Ẓibbur and Shalmei Ḥagigah (Salonika, 1790), on the laws of prayer and blessings; sermons Part 1, Shema Ya'akov (Constantinople, 1745); and Part 2; She'erit Ya'akov (ibid., 1751). Some of his works still survive in manuscript form. Ḥ.J.D. Azulai , an acquaintance, condensed and completed Algazi's work, Emet le-Ya'akov, which he published under the title Le-David Emet (1786). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Benayahu, Rabbi Ḥ.Y.D. Azulai (Heb., 1959), 351 ff.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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