CAPSALI, ELIJAH

CAPSALI, ELIJAH
CAPSALI, ELIJAH (c. 1483–1555), rabbi and historian of Candia, Crete. His father, Elkanah Capsali, also rabbi in Candia, in his capacity as "constable" (civil head of Cretan Jewry), directed the relief work for Spanish exiles in 1492–93. In 1508 Elijah Capsali went to Padua, then a great center of talmudic scholarship, to study in the yeshivah of judah minz . Minz died soon after his arrival, and Capsali continued his studies under Israel Iserlein Ashkenazi. His studies were interrupted by the occupation of Padua by German troops in 1509, after which he moved to Venice. In 1510 Capsali returned to Crete, studied there under Isaac Angelheiman, and c. 1528 became rabbi in Candia. Capsali served as constable of the Jewish community several times, in the years 1515–19, 1526–32, and also during the war with the Turks in 1538–41, without compensation. In 1523 during the plague he was put in charge of treating the infected Jews. In 1538 when the Jews were threatened with massacre by the Greek populace, he took the lead in intervening with the Venetian authorities; when they were saved, he instituted a special local Purim on Tammuz 18th. Capsali was in communication with some eminent contemporaries, among them jacob berab and joseph caro . He was responsible for the collection and redaction of the takkanot of the Candia community. In general, he showed himself learned and vigorous but somewhat quarrelsome and intolerant of opponents. His most memorable literary work was in the field of history. Seder Eliyahu Zuta (wrongly referred to as de-Vei Eliyahu), written as a distraction during the plague of 1523, is a survey of the history of the Ottoman Empire up to his lifetime, with special reference to the Jews. It also includes an account of Spanish history and of the sufferings of the Jews of Spain and Portugal at the time of the expulsion, for which this book is a primary source. An appendix discusses and demonstrates by historical instances the triumph of righteousness. In this work Capsali shows wide knowledge, a keen historical sense, and a power of description almost unique among Jewish historians of his age. Capsali's earlier and less-known work Divrei ha-Yamim le-Malkhut Venezia was written in 1517, and gives an account not only of Venice but also of the condition of the Jews in the Venetian dominions. Particular attention is devoted to the intense intellectual life of the yeshivot established by the Ashkenazi immigrants and the hardships   they suffered during the war of the League of Cambrai in 1509; personal reminiscences of the period are also included. Capsali's account, written in a lively and fascinating style, is a primary source for the social, cultural, and political history of the north Italian Jewry in the early 16th century. Capsali also wrote various responsa and a book about honoring parents, Mea Shearim, still surviving in manuscript form. Capsali was also a notable book collector; many manuscripts formerly owned by him are now in the de'Rossi Collection in the Vatican Library. Among them is an Italian glossary to the Prophets and Hagiographa bearing his signature (Rossiana Ms. 72); the composition of the glossary was at one time wrongly ascribed to him. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Marx, Studies in Jewish History and Book-lore (1944), index; Porgès, in: REJ, 77 (1923), 20–40; 78 (1924), 15–34; 79 (1924), 15–34, 28–60; Studia et Acta Orientalia, 1 (1957), 189–98; E.S. Artom and M.D. Cassuto (eds.), Takkanot Kandyah, 1 (1943), index; Margoliouth, Cat, 3 (1909–15), 429–34; D.S. Sassoon, Ohel Dawid, 1 (1932), 349–57. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Benayahu, S. Simonsohn, and A. Smuelevitz (eds.), Seder Eliyahu Zuta (1975); M. Benayahu, Rabbi Eiyahu Capsali (1983). H.H. Ben-Sasson, in: "Memorial Volume for Gedalya Allon" (Heb., 1970), 276–89. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Capsali, Elijah — (1483 1555)    Cretan rabbi and historian. He was head of the Jewish community in Crete. His Seder Eliyahu Zuta contains a survey of the history of the Jewry in the Ottoman empire down to his day, as well as an account of Spanish Jewish history.… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Elijah Capsali — Elijah Capsali, auch Elijah ben Elkanah Capsali (* um 1483 in Candia auf Kreta; † nach 1555 ebenda) war ein kretischer Rabbiner und Historiker. Er ist Verfasser einer osmanischen und einer venezianischen Chronik. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CAPSALI, MOSES BEN ELIJAH — (1420?–1500?), Turkish rabbi and communal leader. Capsali was born in Crete; he studied with his father and later in Italy and Germany. He served as a rabbi in Constantinople under Byzantine rule, from 1445? and after the conquest of the city by… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Capsali — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Elijah Capsali (um 1483–nach 1555), kretischer Rabbiner und Historiker Mose Capsali (1420–1495), kretischer Großrabbiner in Konstantinopel Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur U …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ELIJAH BEN BENJAMIN HA-LEVI — (d. after 1540), rabbi and paytan of Constantinople. He belonged to an indigenous Turkish Jewish family. He studied under moses capsali , to whose aid he came in his dispute with joseph colon , and afterward under Elijah Mizraḥi , whom he… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Elijah Mizrachi — (Hebrew: אליהו מזרחי) (c. 1455 ndash; 1525 or 1526) was a Talmudist and posek, an authority on Halakha. He is best known for his Sefer ha Mizrachi , a supercommentary on Rashi s commentary on the Torah. He is also known as Re em (רא״ם), the… …   Wikipedia

  • MIZRAḤI, ELIJAH — (c. 1450–1526), rabbinical authority, the greatest of the rabbis of the ottoman Empire of his time. Mizraḥi was of Romaniot origin (the original Turkish Jews as distinct from the Spanish exiles) and was born and educated in Constantinople. Among… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Moses Capsali — Moses b. Elijah Capsali (1420–1495) was Hakham Bashi (Chief rabbi) of the Ottoman Empire. He was born in Greece in 1420. When a young man he left his native country in order to study at the German yeshivot. He is next mentioned as rabbi of… …   Wikipedia

  • Mose Capsali — (* 1420; † 1495), aus kretischer Familie stammend (vielleicht identisch mit Eli Capsali), war der erste Großrabbiner (Chacham Baschi) der Türkei in Konstantinopel von 1454 bis zu seinem Tod. Literatur (Auswahl) Graetz VIII, Leipzig 1864 Jüdisches …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • THE MIDDLE AGES — …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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