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NEPI (NEPPI), GRAZIADIO (HANANEEL):

Italian rabbi and physician; born in 1759 at Ferrara; died Jan. 18, 1836, at Cento. He studied at Ferrara for twelve years under Rabbi Jacob Moses and subsequently was himself the teacher of many disciples in his native city. On account of his great Talmudic learning he was sent as deputy to the Assembly of Jewish Notables convened by Napoleon I. at Paris in 1806. Upon his return he was called to the congregation at Cento, where he held the position of rabbi till his death, his pupil Isaac Reggio becoming his successor at Ferrara.

Nepi, who lived an ascetic life, was one of the highest religious authorities of his time; and all the Italian rabbis applied to him for advice on difficult problems. He left the following works: (1) "Liwyat Ḥen," a collection of the responses which he sent to different rabbis; (2) "Derushim," a collection of his sermons; (3) "Zeker Ẓaddiḳim li-Berakah," biographical and bibliographical sketches of rabbis and Jewish scholars. The last-named work was intended to complete Azulai's "Shem ha-Gedolim"; but owing to lack of time the author did not finish it. It was completed by M. S. Ghirondi under the title "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," and published by the latter's son (Triest, 1853). The material is rich, but of little scientific value, except the biographies of contemporaneous Italian scholars.

Bibliography:
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, Warsaw, 1886;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 115;
  • A. Geiger, Blüthen, iv. 100;
  • Adolf Jellinek, in Monatsschrift, iii. 116;
  • Steinschneider, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 46, p. 334.
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