MALKHI, MOSES (b. Ezra?; mid-18th century), emissary of Safed, Malkhi had the distinction of being the first emissary of Ereẓ Israel to visit the New World. He was in New York in the summer of 1759 for four and a half months, and it is assumed that he remained there at the request of the members of the Sephardi community "Shearith Israel" who had no rabbi, in order to arrange their religious affairs. In the account book of that community it states that they gave the emissary 18 pounds sterling for 18 week's accommodation and for provisions and traveling expenses to Newport, Rhode Island, which was then the wealthiest Jewish community in America. There he met the Christian theologian Ezra *Stiles who was greatly interested in the emissary from Ereẓ Israel. Stiles relates that Malkhi was born and brought up in Safed, and he sent a letter in Latin through him to one of the heads of the Greek Church in Ereẓ Israel requesting exact information on the geography of the country and its inhabitants which he needed for his research on the *Ten Tribes. This Malkhi must be distinguished from his namesake, Moses (b. Raphael Mordecai *Malkhi). He may have been the son of Ezra *Malkhi.
Yaari, Sheluḥei, 446; D. de Sola Pool, in: Brandeis Avukah Annual (1932), 356–7; G.A. Kohut, Ezra Stiles and the Jews (1902).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.