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ḤAYYIM HA-LEVI:

Physician, and chief rabbi of the united congregations in the archbishopric of Toledo. As the chief rabbi, Zulaimah Alfahan, did not personally administer his office, but resided permanently at Seville, Archbishop D. Pedro Tenorio, Primate of Spain, in 1388 called Ḥayyim ha-Levi, his body physician, to the office of chief rabbi. The archbishop ordered the congregations (perhaps against their will) and all their individual members to acknowledge Ḥayyim ha-Levi thenceforth as their rabbi and dayyan, and to bring all cases before him, and not before any other rabbi or dayyan. Those disobeying this decree were to be punished by a fine of one thousand maravedis, for the benefit of the archiepiscopal treasury. This decree (May 17, 1388) was sanctioned by the king Dec. 14, 1388, with the provision that Ḥayyim hold office for one year from Jan. 1, 1389, and that the congregations receive him on the same terms as the previous rabbi.

Bibliography:
  • Rios, Hist. ii. 577-590 et seq.;
  • Jacobs, Sources, pp. 143 et seq.
G. M. K.
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