BELLA, wife of Joshua FALK:

A woman of Talmudic learning; born at Lemberg about the middle of the sixteenth century; died at a very advanced age at Jerusalem. She was a daughter of the philanthropist and head of the community at Lemberg, Israel Edels, and wife of the well-known Talmudist Joshua Falk ha-Kohen, anthor of the "Sefer Me'irat 'Enayim." Supported by his father-in-law, Falk carried on his studies privately, and conducted a Talmudic high school at Lemberg. When he died, in 1614, his wife, Bella, removed to Jerusalem.

Bella had a strong inclination toward Talmudic studies, and gave some decisions on certain difficult halakic cases. One of these was that on festivals the festive blessing over the lights should be said before and not after the lights are kindled (see Ezekiel Landau, "Dagul me-Rebabah" to Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, ch. 12).

  • Kayserling, Die Jüdischen Frauen, pp. 177, 358;
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, s.v. Vaw, No. 7;
  • Buber, Anshe Shem, pp. 80-82;
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, x. 58 (from which the year of her birth may be approximately determined; the date of her death is unattainable);
  • J. London, in Ha-Modia' la-Ḥodashim, i. 115.
L. G. I. Ber.
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