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Joseph Pardo

PARDO, JOSEPH (d. 1619), Italian rabbi and merchant. Pardo was born in Salonika, but went to Venice before 1589, and there he served as rabbi to the Levantine community and also engaged in business. He and Judah Leib *Saraval made themselves responsible for the collection of money from the Jews of Italy for the poor of Ereẓ Israel. He also financed the publication of several books: Genesis Rabbah (Venice, 1597–1606) with the commentary Yefeh To'ar of Samuel Jaffe Ashkenazi. He was unsuccessful in his plan to publish a number of intended publications, one an edition of the Talmud which was to have been published in Salonika, and another the Ma'amar Yayin ha-Meshummar which was later published by Nathan Shapira with his own additions (Venice, 1660). In 1601 Pardo wanted to publish a new commentary on the Pentateuch consisting of literal interpretations culled from the works of the classical commentators. The work of preparing the commentary was given to Leone de *Modena, who, as he states in his introduction to the commentary (which is still in manuscript) succeeded in preparing the sections only on the weekly portions of Bereshit, Pinḥas, Mattot, and Masei. He also relates there that Pardo became bankrupt and moved to Amsterdam (probably toward the end of 1608 or the beginning of 1609). From 1609 until his death Pardo served as rabbi of the Beit Ya'akov congregation of Amsterdam. One of the regulations he introduced was that every member was obliged to pay a fixed sum yearly for the communities of Jerusalem and Safed. Two *bakkashot he composed were published in the Imrei No'am (Amsterdam, 1628, pp. 158–9).

His grandson JOSEPH PARDO (d. 1677) was the reader of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation in London; he died in Amsterdam. He was the author of Shulḥan Tahor, on Oraḥ Ḥayyim and Yoreh De'ah, which is written with the maximum of brevity. It was published a number of times, first by his son David Pardo in 1686 in London; in 1689 it was published with a Spanish translation. Apparently it lost its popularity with scholars in the course of time because of its excessive brevity.


A. Neubauer, in: REJ, 22 (1891), 82–84; J. Blau, Kitvei ha-Rav Yehudah Aryeh mi-Modena (1905), 79–81, 127, 139, 190; S. Seeligman, Bibliographie en Historie… Sepharadim in Amsterdam (1927), 26–30; I. Solomons, in: JHST, 12 (1928–1931), 88–90; Ch. Tchernowitz, Toledoth ha-Poskim 3 (1947), 297–99; I.S. Emmanuel, in: Sefunot, 6 (1962), 401–402; I. Sonne, Kobez al-Jad, 5 (1950), 215–216.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.