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MELO, DAVID ABENATAR:

Rabbi and poet; born in Spain about 1550. His translation of some of the Psalms into Spanish verse brought him under the suspicion of the Inquisition, and he was imprisoned. When, after several years of torture, he was acquitted (1611), he left Spain and emigrated to Amsterdam. He soon gained a reputation as a stylist and scholar; became a member of the academy "De los Pintos"; and was finally appointed rabbi of the Portuguese synagogue Bet Yisrael in Amsterdam. There are many allusions in his verses to the tortures he underwent while imprisoned by the Inquisition.

Bibliography:
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, pp. 169 et seq.;
  • De Barrios, Insigne Jesiba de los Pintos;
  • idem, Relacion de los Poetas, p. 53;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. iii. 177, 205, 1068.
G. W. M.
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