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TORRE, LELIO (HILLEL) DELLA:

Italian rabbi and educator; born in Cuneo, Piedmont, Jan. 11, 1805; died in Padua July 9, 1871. His father, Solomon Jehiel Raphael ha-Kohen, died in 1807; and Lelio was brought up by his uncle Sabbatai Elhanan Treves, a rabbi in Piedmont. From 1823 to 1829 he acted as tutor in Hebrew and in Biblical exegesis in the Collegio Colonna e Finzi founded in Turin by the Jewish community; and in 1827 he was appointed assistant rabbi. When the rabbinical college was founded in Padua in 1829, Della Torre was appointed professor of Talmud, homiletics; and pastoral theology, which position he held until his death; in 1869 he occupied for several months, during a vacancy, the rabbinical chair of Padua. Cuneo, his native town, honored him by engraving his name on a bronze tablet among those of the most illustrious citizens of Italy.

Besides his thorough familiarity with all branches of Hebrew literature and Jewish history, Della Torre was master of several ancient and modern languages, writing Hebrew, Italian, and French with equal facility. He wrote numerous Hebrew poems, most of which were included in his collection "Ṭal Yaldut," which, together with a supplement of later compositions entitled "Egle Ṭal," appeared in Padua in 1868. He was the author also of various articles in Hebrew periodicals, treating mostly of subjects relating to the science of Judaism and written in pure classical Hebrew. They may be found in "Kerem Ḥemed" (iv. 9), in the new "Bikkure ha-'Ittim," in "Oẓar Neḥmad" (i.), and in various volumes of "Kokebe Yiẓḥaḳ." Of his published works the following may be mentioned: "Cinque Discorsi," Padua, 1834; "Della Condizione Degli Ebrei Sotto l'Impero Germanico nel Medio Evo," ib. 1842; "I Salmi Volgarizzati sul Testo Massoretico ed Illustrati con Argomenti e Note. Parte Prima, Testo, Traduzione ed Argomenti," Vienna, 1845; "Preghiere degl' Israeliti. Traduzione dall' Ebraico," ib. 1846; "Orazioni per Ordinazioni Rabbiniche," Venice, 1852; "Poésies Hébraïques," Padua, 1869; "Iscrizioni Sepolcrali," ib. 1870; and "Pensieri sulle Lezioni Sabbatiche del Pentateucho," ib. 1872. His "Orazioni Postume" (Padua, 1879, pp. 189-202) contains an autobiographical sketch and a complete list of his works.

Bibliography:
  • Oẓar ha-Sifrut, iii. 91-92;
  • S. Jona, in Corriere Israelitico, 1872.
S. P. Wi.
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