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PORTO:

Italian family of which the following members are noteworthy:

Abraham b. Jehiel ha-Kohen Porto:

Italian scholar; flourished about 1600. After living in Cremona and Mantua, he resided in Verona, where in 1594 he edited and printed the "Minḥah Belulah" of his kinsman Abraham Menahem Porto. He himself wrote: "Ḥawwot Ya'ir" (Venice, 1628), an alphabetical collection of Hebrew words, with their cabalistic explanations; "Gat Rimmon," a collection of poems; and commentaries on the Pentateuch ("Shimmush Abraham") and on the Psalms ("Ḥasde Dawid"), none of which has been published.

Bibliography:
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 115 et seq.;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 35.
Abraham Menahem Porto.

See Rapa (Porto), Menahem Abraham ben Jacob ha-Kohen.

Emanuel Porto or Menahem Zion Porto Cohen:

Italian rabbi; born at Triest toward the end of the sixteenth century; died at Padua about 1660. He was an excellent mathematician and astronomer, and his works were highly praised by Andrea Argoli and extolled in Italian sonnets by Tomaso Ercaloni and Benedetto Luzzatto. In 1641 Gaspard Scüppius, editor of the "Mercurius Quadralinguis," recommended Porto, in terms which were very complimentary to the rabbi, to Johannes Buxtorf, with whom Porto later carried on an active correspondence.

Porto was the author of the following works: (1) "Breve Istituzione della Geographia." Padua, 1640. (2) "Diplomologia, Qua Duo Scripturæ Miracula de Regressu Solis Tempore Hiskiæ et Ejus Immobilitate Tempore Josuæ Declarantur," ib. 1643. This work, dedicated to the emperor Ferdinand III. and written originally in Italian, was translated by the author himself into Hebrew, and by Lorenzo Dalnaki of Transylvania into Latin. (3) "Porto Astronomico" (ib. 1636), divided into four parts, dedicated to Count Benvenuto Petazzo, Padua. (4) "'Obar le-Soḥer" (Venice, 1627), a treatise on arithmetic in twelve chapters, published by Porto's disciple Gershon Hefez.

Bibliography:
  • De Rossi, Dizionario, ii. 93;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 116;
  • Steinschnieder, Cat. Bodl. col. 723;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 258;
  • Oẓar Neḥmad, iii. 132;
  • Kayserling, in R. E. J. xiii 268 et seq.
G. I. Br.Moses b. Abraham Porto:

Rabbi in Venice; died in 1624.

Moses b. Jehiel Porto:

Rabbi in Rovigo about 1600; born in Venice; brother of the Veronese printer Abraham Porto. He was the protagonist in the controversy regarding the miḳweh in Rovigo, in which no less than seventy rabbis participated. On this subject he wrote a work entitled "Palge Mayim," in which he first states the case and then quotes twenty-eight opinions in favor of his decision. This portion is followed by another entitled "Mish'an Mayim," which is a criticism of the rejoinder of the opposition, the "Mashbit Milḥamot," and by an examination of the responsa contained in it. Porto's work was published in Venice in 1608, and is very rare.

Bibliography:
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 116;
  • Mortara, Indice, p. 51.
Zechariah ben Ephraim Porto:

Italian scholar of the seventeenth century, noted for his learning and still more for his virtues. He was a native of Urbino, and lived at Florence and Rome, where he officiated as rabbi, although he modestly refused to assume that title. He wrote a work entitled "Asaf ha-Mazkir," containing a list of all the explanations and comments found in the "'En Ya'aḳob " and treating of the haggadic passages of the Talmud. He himself would not publish this book; it was printed after his death by the Roman community (Venice, 1688; according to Zedner, 1675). In his will Porto made many communal bequests for Talmud Torahs and for dowries.

Bibliography:
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 99;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 117;
  • Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. p. 788.
G. I. E.
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