Israel ben Meir di Curiel was a sage of Safed. Neither the place nor the date of his birth is known. Similarly, there is no precise idea as to the date of his arrival in Safed. Di Curiel studied under R. Joseph Fasi in Adrianople, and presumably, he held a rabbinic office in one of the congregations there. He evidently spent some time in Istanbul as well.
In Safed, Di Curiel studied under Jacob Berab and was one of the latter's ordainees. Together with Joseph Caro and Moses Trani, Di Curiel sat in the Safed bet din. Among his disciples was R. Bezalel Ashkenazi. He was one of the outstanding preachers of his time. A corpus of Di Curiel’s homilies was published by S. Regev in addition to his Or Ẓaddikim (Salonica 1799), which was mistakenly attributed to R. Joseph Caro. The poet R. Israel Najara was his grandson.
M. Pachter, Kiryat Sefer, 55 (1980), 802–10; S. Regev, Rabbi Israel di Curiel, Sermons and Homilies (Heb., 1992), with biographical notes by M. Benayahu); A. David, To Come To the Land: Immigration and Settlement in 16th Century Eretz-Israel (1999), 151, 234.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.