Hacham Abraham Pontremoli

< Tammuz 5784 July 2024 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Abraham Pontremoli was born to Leah and Hacham Haim Benjamin Pontremoli in Izmir, Turkey.

He learned Torah from his father, Hacham Haim Benjamin Pontremoli, author of entitled Petach Dvir. His maternal grandfather, Hacham Joshua Abraham Crispin, was Hacham Bashi of Izmir and the author of Abraham BaMahazeh. Hacham Abraham Pontremoli flourished and with time became a great and erudite rabbi, deeply involved in all aspects of Torah and Halakha, as testified by Hacham Abraham Palagi, Izmir's rabbi, in his writings.

Hanoch LaNa'ar, Hacham Pontremoli's first book, was written in Ladino using Hebrew letters and published in 1867. Its collection of morals and stories relates to human life in its entirety, from birth to death, and includes a seder for the Channukat HaBayit new home dedication ceremony.

In 1881 a great fire broke out in Izmir, destroying entire sections of the city and adding disaster to the frequent local outbreaks of cholera of that time. Hacham Abraham Pontremoli's son, Nissim Aaron, who was about to be married, died in the fire. Hacham Pontremoli dedicated 'Eved Avraham, his book of commentary on the Selichot published that year, in his name. He added a sermon eulogizing his son at the book's end. In 1887, Asher L'Avraham, his book of commentary on the Passover Haggadah and the Song of Songs, was published.

Hacham Abraham passed away on 29 Tishrei, 5651 (1891).

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