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BAKI, SIMSON:

1. Born either in Germany or Italy, and very probably related to the Bachi family, members of which flourished successively at Vercelli and Casale. He lived about 1582-84, and wrote at these dates from Safed and Jerusalem three letters, which were recently published by David Kaufmann in A. M. Luncz's "Jerusalem," vol. ii., Jerusalem, 1887, Hebrew section, pp. 141-147; compare also Steinschneider in the same periodical, vol. iii., Jerusalem, 1889, pp. 56, 57, No. 33b, who calls him "Back."

L. G. G. A. K.

2. Rabbi at Casale; flourished about the middle of the eighteenth century. He was a contemporary of Moses Zacuto, and was, it is assumed by some, the descendant of Simson Baki, 1, or in some way related to him. According to Rabbi Benjamin Cohen of Reggio, who was Baki's pupil, he died on the 11th of Sivan, 5451 (= 1691; compare "Gebul Binyamin," ii., No. 44). Baki seems to have been a mystic. From one of the epistles of the cabalist Moses Zacuto, bearing the date 1672 (, No. 2), it appears that he was very superstitious, for he complains of his ill success at exorcising the evil spirit with which a woman was possessed, whereupon Moses Zacuto recommended the burning of sulfur along with the use of the Ineffable Name to obtain the desired effect. In common with all his countrymen, Baki was a fervent champion of Shabbethai Ẓebi, and transmitted to him from Italy a letter avowing allegiance to his cause. As a writer he does not appear to have been active beyond the composition of a commentary on Lamentations and the Song of Songs mentioned in the "Epistles of Moses Zacuto," entitled , which latter is still extant in manuscript. Bibliographers do not allude to it at all, except Benjacob, "Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 549, note; 217.

Bibliography:
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, 1856;
  • p. 321, Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 2d ed., x. 323;
  • Brüll, in Hakarmel, new series, iv. 168;
  • Brüll's Jahrb. ix. 175, note 1;
  • D. Kaufmann, in Luncz's Jerusalem, ii., Jerusalem, 1887, Hebrew section, p. 142;
  • A. Jellinek, in the Zunz-Jubelschrift, Berlin, 1884, Hebrew section, p. 86;
  • Mortara, Indice Alfabetico, Padua, 1886, p. 5, s.v. Bachi, who mentions two Simsons, who are, without doubt, identical. Another died in 1885.
K. G. A. K.
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