Misrachi, Elia, Ben-abraham

Misrachi, Elia, Ben-Abraham (called also Elia Parnas), a noted rabbi, flourished at Constantinople towards the close of the 15th century. Misrachi was versed not only in rabbinic lore, but also in astronomy and mathematics. He maintained a lively controversy with his contemporary, Mose Kapsoli, a teacher and judge in the old Romanesque congregation of Jews at Constantinople about 1500, on the question whether the children of Karaites ought to be admitted into the rabbinical schools. Kapsoli denounced the practice as illegal. Misrachi argued not only that it was lawful, but highly expedient, as a means of bringing them to conform to rabbinism. Misrachi labored much in the cause of Jewish education. He died about 1525. Besides his Chidtshin (חַדּוּשַׁים), a collection of novellas on the Sepher Mizvoth Gadol of Moses de Coucy, and a super-commentary on Rashi's Pentateuch (סֵ8 אֶלַיָה מַזרָחַי על הִתּוֹרָה סֵ8 הִמַּזרָחַי); he wrote also a treatise on arithmetic, מלֶאכֶת הִמַּספָּר; not; also סֵ8 הִמַּספָּר, which was translated into Latin by O. Schreckfuchs and S. Minster (Basle, 1546). See First, Bibl. Jude 1:2:381; id. Gesch. d. Karlerthums, 2:304; De Rossi, Dizionario (Germ. transl. by Humberger), page 201; Etheridge, Introd. to Hebr. Literat. page 461 sq.; Cassel, Leitfaden fuir jud. Gesch u. Literat. (Berlin, 1872), page 91; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 8:292, 297; Jost,-Gesch. d. Juden. u.s. Sekten, 3:127; Lindo's Conciliator of R. Manasseh ben-Israel (Lond. 1842), page 28. (B.P.)

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