MALKHI, EZRA BEN RAPHAEL MORDECAI (d. 1768), Safed talmudist and emissary. Ezra was the son of a well-known physician and scholar in Jerusalem, who had emigrated from Italy. His brother, Moses, became head of the Safed community and he was a brother-in-law of *Hezekiah da Silva and Moses *Ḥagiz. In 1749–50 Ezra went to Turkey and the Balkans as an emissary of Safed. While in Salonika he published his Malkhi ba-Kodesh (Salonika, 1749), laws for the night of Passover, and a commentary on the Haggadah, together with some halakhic novellae. He appended a note apologizing for the many errors in the work because he could not stay in the town during the printing, but was again in Salonika in 1750 when he had halakhic discussions with Joseph Samuel Modigliano. Owing to the bad economic situation in Safed, Ezra did not return there on the completion of his mission, and was appointed rabbi of Rhodes, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1752 his signature appears on the takkanot of the community. His other books are Shemen ha-Ma'or (Salonika, 1755), on the novellae of *Zerahiah ha-Levi and *Naḥmanides on Bava Meẓia; Ein Mishpat (Constantinople, 1770), responsa, many of which were written during his mission, published by his disciple Raphael Jacob de Mayo; and Einat Mayim (Salonika, 1811), exposition and novellae on various tractates of the Talmud.
Yaari, Sheluhei, 438–40, 884.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.