GENTILI (Ḥefeẓ), family in northern Italy, particularly in Gorizia, Trieste, Verona, and Venice. The name Gentili was rendered in Hebrew as Ḥefeẓ, and it is the latter name which appears in the Hebrew writings of the members of this family. -MOSES BEN GERSHOM (1663–1711), rabbinical scholar. Born in Trieste, Moses was active in Venice. He was a pupil of Solomon b. Isaac Nizza, who was active in Venice around 1700, and supported himself by being a private tutor. He dealt with philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences. He composed poems, one of which, written when he was 13, can be found in the Venice edition of the Bible (1675–78). His main work was a homiletical-philosophical commentary on the Pentateuch (Melekhet Maḥashevet, Venice, 1710, with tables and a portrait of the author; second edition, Koenigsberg, 1819, with super-commentary, Maḥashevet Ḥoshev, by Judah Leib Jaffe). Moses also wrote Ḥanukkat ha-Bayit, dealing with the construction of the Second Temple (Venice, 1696, with plan). On the occasion of his wedding, the poet Yomtov Valvasson composed a poem (Venice, 1682), and a dirge on his death was published (Ghirondi-Neppi, 241). The beginning of an address by Moses is found in an Oxford manuscript (Neubauer, Cat. 1123). (Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto)   -GERSHOM BEN MOSES (1683–1700), son of Moses b. Gershom. Gershom wrote Yad Ḥaruzim, a Hebrew rhyme-lexicon containing an introduction, 12 rules for Hebrew usage in poetry and rhyme scheme, and an appendix devoted to a poetical version of the 613 commandments (azharot), according to Maimonides' enumeration. After Gershom's untimely death at the age of 17, the work was published by his father who added an introduction containing his son's biography. A eulogy by Solomon b. Isaac Nizza, Gershom's teacher, appears as an appendix to the work (Venice, 1700; second edition, without the azharot and the eulogy, but with additional notes by Simḥah Calimani , Venice, 1738–45). Moses Gentili quotes some of his son's interpretations in his Melekhet Maḥashevet. (Samuel Abba Horodezky) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ghirondi Neppi, 70, 239; Steinschneider, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 27 (1879), 204 n.2; Soave, ibid., 28 (1880), 46; Fuenn, Keneset, 219; Cowley, Cat, 212, 469.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Gentili, Gershom ben Moses — (1683 1700)    Italian rabbinic scholar, son of Moses ben Gershom Gentili. He was the author of Yad Haruzim, a Hebrew rhyme lexicon; it contains an introduction, 12 rules for Hebrew usage in poetry, and an appendix containing a poetical… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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