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ERGAS, JOSEPH BEN IMMANUEL:

Italian rabbi and cabalist; born in Leghorn 1685; died May 19, 1730. He is frequently mentioned by Meldola in his responsa "Mayim Rabbim," by Morpurgo in his "Shemesh Ẓedaḳah," and in the "Milḥamah la-Adonai" (p. 48).

Ergas wrote: "Tokaḥat Megullah," a polemical work against Nehemiah Ḥayyun's "'Ozle-Elohim," accusing the author of Shabbethaian heresy, London, 1715; "Ha-Ẓad Naḥash," another polemic, against Ḥayyun's "Shalhebet Yah," ib. 1715; "Shomer Emunim," a dialogue between a philosopher and a cabalist, Amsterdam, 1736; "Mebo Petaḥim," an introduction to the "true Cabala" and a warning against "heretical Cabala," with some responsa at the end, Amsterdam, 1736; "Dibre Yosef," a collection of sixty-eight responsa, Leghorn, 1742; "Minḥat Yosef," containing ethical precepts and sayings of ancient authors, ib. 1827. Ergas' letters about the Cabala to his contemporaries Abraham Segré and Aryeh Löb Finzi were in the possession of Ghirondi.

Bibliography:
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i. 76;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 146;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1457;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 455.
K. M. Sel.
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