Mortera, Saul Ha-lewi

Mortera, Saul Ha-Lewi a Jewish divine of note, was born about 1596 in Germany; studied at Venice and France; and settled at Amsterdam as rabbi of the Sephardim, or Spanish Jews, where he founded in 1643 the academy Keter Tora. When Elias Montalto died, Mortera was sent to Paris to convey the corpse of Montalto for interment in Amsterdam. He died in 1660. Mortera is noted, moreover, as having been the teacher of the famous Baruch Spinoza. Of his works the following are worthy of notice: his Gibeath Shaul (גַבעִת שָׁאוּל), a collection of Sermons (Amst. 1645), and a polemical work, entitled תּוֹרִת משֶׁה, The Divine Providence of God towards Israel, impugning Romanism so severely that it could never be printed. See Furst, Bibl. Jud. 2:391; De Rossi, Dizionario (Ger. transl.), page 234 sq.; Bibl. Jud. Antichr. page 72 sq.; Rodriguez de Castro, Bibl. Rabb. Span. 1:573; Lindo, Hist. of the Jews in Spain, p. 368; Kayserling, Sephardim, page 201, 206, 254; Gesch. d. Juden in Portugal, p. 275-310; Jost, Gesch. d. Juden. u.s. Seklten, 3:232 sq.; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 9:525; 10:9, 10, 11, 141, 169, 176; Zunz, Monatstage (Berlin, 1872), page 7. (B.P.)

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