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GENTILI ():

Italian family of Gorizia, several members of which were eminent rabbis and Talmudic authorities. Of these the most important were:

Azriel Gentili:

Cabalist; lived at Gorizia in the seventeenth century. He is quoted by Issachar Bär in "Be'er Sheba'" on the Pentateuch, in connection with the explanation of Ex. xxxiv. 23.

Gershon ben Kalonymus Gentili:

Talmudist; lived, probably at Venice, in the seventeenth century. He was a pupil of Menahem Porto, to whose work on mathematics entitled "'Ober la-Soḥer" he wrote a preface.

Gershon ben Moses Gentili:

Italian scholar; born at Gorizia 1683; died there 1700. Although but seventeen years old at his death, he had become a recognized scholar; and his riming dictionary entitled "Yad Ḥaruzim" obtained the approbation of his elder contemporaries. The book was published after his death by his father (Venice, 1700), who wrote a preface containing a biography of the author. Appended to the work are a funeral sermon by Gershon, and a poem by Isaiah Nizza containing the 613 commandments. A second edition with some additions was published by Simon Calimani, Venice, 1740 (?).

I. Br.Jacob Hai Gentili:

Talmudist; lived at Gorizia in the seventeenth century. He is cited by Samuel Aboab in his responsa "Debar Shemuel" (p. 299).

Jacob Hai b. Manasseh Gentili:

Grandson of Jacob Hai Gentili. Rabbi at Gorizia; died in 1749. He was prominent as preacher, poet, and Talmudist. He wrote several responsa, some of which, on the levying of taxes in the communities, were reprinted in the now very rare "Hilkot Missim," published at Venice in 1709. His funeral oration was delivered by Isaac Lampronti, who spoke of Gentili's great scholarship. Menahem Novara, author of the "Pene Yiẓḥaḳ," was his pupil.

Bibliography:
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 167;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 535;
  • Mortara, Indice, p. 27.
I. E.Manasseh ben Jacob Gentili:

Head of the rabbinical school of Verona in the eighteenth century. An approbation of his on a halakic decision by the rabbis of Ancona is given by Samson Morpurgo in his "Shemesh Ẓedaḳah" (iii. 25). Manasseh was one of the four rabbis who were active in the abolition of the tax imposed by the inhabitants of Reggio on those of Mantua who visited the fair at the former town.

I. Br.Moses b. Gershon Gentili:

Italian writer; born at Triest in 1663; died in 1711 at Venice, where he had lived for many years as teacher of the Talmud and Midrash. He was noted for his scholarship, and devoted much time to the study of philosophic, mathematical, and scientific subjects. He wrote: "Meleket Maḥshabot," a commentary on the Pentateuch, printed at Venice in 1710 with a portrait of the author at the age of forty-six, and reprinted with notes under the title "Maḥashebet Ḥosheb," by Judah Löb b. Eliezer Lipman Jafe, Königsberg, 1860; "Ḥanukkat ha-Bayit," a treatise on the Second Temple, with a map, Venice, 1696. His works were praised by the foremost of his contemporaries, as Solomon Nizza, Jacob Aboab, and David Altaras.

Bibliography:
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 239;
  • Mortara, Indice, p. 27.
Seligman (Isaac) b. Gershon Gentili:

Italian Talmudist; director of the Talmudic academy at Cremona after the death of Joseph Oetling in 1583. Some of his halakic decisions are included in the responsa collection "Naḥalat Ya'aḳob," Padua, 1623.

Bibliography:
  • Ha-Asif, iii. 220;
  • Mortara, Indice, p. 27.
G. I. E.
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