Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Menachem Chalfan, of Venice

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Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Menachem Chalfan, of Venice

Hebrew: הרופא רבי אליה (מנחם) חלפן, דומ"ץ וינה
Birthplace: Italy
Death: before 1551
Venezia, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Rabbi Abba Mari Chalfan, the astronomer and wife, Abba Mari Chalfan
Husband of Fioretta Chalfan
Father of Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi, ABD Posen, "Maasei Hashem"; Rabbi Dr. Abba Mari Salvator Chalfan; Kalman Chalfan, in Jerusalem and Safed and Yechiel Chalfan, Hakadosh of Vienna
Brother of Nissim Chalfan

Occupation: Rabbi And Physician
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Menachem Chalfan, of Venice


Italian Talmudist and physician; son of the astronomer Abba Mari and son-in-law of Kalonymus ben David (Maestro Calo); flourished at Venice in the middle of the sixteenth century. In a collection of responsa compiled by Joseph Graziano of Modena, Ḥalfon gives his opinion on the question whether a Jew may instruct Christians in Hebrew. Citing numerous passages from the Talmud, which he elucidates with logical acumen, Ḥalfon shows that elementary instruction may certainly be given, if only for the purpose of enabling non-Jews to comply with the seven laws given to Noah. Ḥalfon was one of the rabbinical authorities from whom Francesco Georgio obtained for Richard Croke a rabbinical opinion regarding the divorce of Henry VIII. This circumstance, and his friendship for Solomon Molcho, brought about a quarrel between Ḥalfon and the physician Jacob Mantino.

Ḥalfon's authority as a Talmudist was widely recognized, and a responsum of his, in which he calls himself the grandson of Joseph Colon, is found in Moses Isserles' collection of responsa (No. 56, ed. Cracow). Ḥalfon was also a versatile poet, and several of his productions are still extant in manuscript (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 948, 6).

Bibliography: Carmoly, in Revue Orientale, ii. 133; Kaufmann, in J. Q. R. ix. 501; idem, in R. E. J. xxvii. 51.K. I. Br.

Rema Responsa 56.1



Bodleian, See https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0adsp8w742u1zfg/AACGQ27ETx9TCZVdQ2fQXO6a...

Jacobi, Vol. I, p. 175-6

Issued Rabbinical opinion, for Richard Croke via Francesco Giorgi, in the matter of the divorce of King Henry VIII - in favor of it.

Article on him is source 44. David Kaufman, “Elia Menachem Chalfan on Jews Teaching Hebrew to Non-Jews,” Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol 9, 1896-97, referring to a Rabbinical opinion in Venice, 1544.

אלף מרגליות(סעיף:874)
הרב מנחם אליה חלפן מונציה בנו של הרב אבא מרי חלפן הרופא יש ונקרא גם מנחם מרבני ונציה גדול בתורה מקובל ועוסק ברפואה הביא שם לדפוס ספרי קודש רבים לרבות פירוש הריקנאטי והוסיף להם הקדמות מאוחר יותר הוא האלוף ודומ"ץ בוינא המובא בשו"ת הרמ"א נו ואין הכוונה לנכדו הרב אליה חלפן מויען בן בנו הרב אבא מאיר הרופא בנו היה כנראה גם רבי אליעזר אשכנזי בעל מעשה השם נפטר בשנת של"ז לערך אשתו היתה מרת פיוריט בתו של הרב קלונימוס שחיבר ספרים בדקדוק לשון הקודש בנו של הרב דוד

מתוך אלף מרגליות(סעיף 876)

רבי אליהו מנחם ב"ר אבא מרי חלפן הרופא מחכמי איטליה מרבני ויניציאה מקובל עסק ברפואה והיה מנכדי המהרי"ק הר' יוסף קולון בשנת ה'ר'יצ ניטש פולמוס באיטליה בדבר היתר הדפסת ספרי קבלה והוא ביחד עם חברו מהר"ם הר מאיח מפאדווא היו מהמתנגדים היה גדול בתורה ומקובל נודע לשם התגורר בוינציאה ושימש שם כרופא אחת מתשובותיו נדפסה בשו"ת הרמ"א סימן דו הוא כותב תעיין בתשובת אבי זקני מהר"י קולון זצ"ל מתוך הספר:אנציקלופדיה לחכמי איטליה{ואנונו, שמעון}עמוד:119



http://www.fabriziolelli.it/index.php?lang=en&Itemid=138 In the past few years I have been working on Elijah Menahem Halfan, a 16th-century Venetian Kabbalist, on whose biography and literary production I have published the following three essays, the last of which recently released:

- L'albero sefirotico di Eliyyà Menahem ben Abba Mari Halfan (Ms. Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 44, 18), «Rinascimento», n.s., 43 (2008), pp. 271-290.

- L'interpretazione teosofica della storia d'Israele nell'Epistola sulla storia della Cabbalà di Eliyyà Menahem ben Abba Mari Halfan, in P. Arfé, I. Caiazzo e A. Sannino (a cura di), Adorare caelestia, gubernare terrena. Atti del colloquio internazionale in onore di Paolo Lucentini (Napoli, 6-7 Novembre 2010) («Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia» 58), Turnhout, Brepols, 2011, pp. 475-505.

- Ricezione e interpretazione della Cabbalà nel pensiero di Eliyyà Menahem Halfan, «Rivista di Storia e Letteratura Religiosa», 47/3 (2011), pp. 547-572.

I gave a talk on Halfan's sephirotic tree at the Internation Conference organized by the University of Haifa on Text and Image in Religious Cosmography: Reading Ilanot and Parallel Artifacts (July 25-27, 2011).

Last year, during a research semester spent at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia, I studied Halfan's library, on which I gave a talk in Venice at a conference organized by the Dipartimento di Studi sull'Asia e sull'Africa Mediterranea at the Università "Ca' Foscari" (Intellettuali ebrei a Venezia nell'età del ghetto, Venezia, Ca' Cappello, May 23, 2011).

Autore/i articolo: FABRIZIO LELLI Titolo articolo: L’Albero sefirotico di Eliyyà Menahem Ben Abba Mari Halfan (MS. Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 44, 18) L’oggetto dell’articolo è un documento manoscritto inedito conservato presso la Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana di Firenze, su cui è rappresentato l’albero sefirotico di Eliyyà Menahem Halfan, il cui studio consente di valutare alcune delle infinite implicazioni dell’ermeneutica e dell’epistemologia cabalistica sullo sfondo delle dinamiche speculative della società ebraica e cristiana dell’Italia rinascimentale. L’articolo è corredato dalla pubblicazione e traduzione del manoscritto, di cui in conclusione si riporta una foto.


Biblioteca Medicea Laurenzianadigital repository DETAIL Arbor Cabbalistica IDENTIFIER IT:FI0100_Plutei_44.18 TYPE testo manoscritto AUTHOR s.a. s.a. DATE 1301-1400 COLLECTION Plutei FORMAT membr. ; 260 x 410 mm SHELFMARK Plut.44.18

Lingua: Italiano Pag. 271-290 Etichette: Cabala, Cinquecento,



Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria Cod. hebr. 53


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Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Menachem Chalfan, of Venice's Timeline

Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy
Venezia, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy
Age 61
Venezia, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy