SARAVAL, JUDAH LEIB (d. 1617), Venetian rabbi. Saraval was a pupil of Samuel Judah *Katzenellenbogen and a member of the bet din of Ben Zion Sarfati, and after the latter's death was appointed chief rabbi of Venice. Taking part in the well-known dispute about the Rovigo mikveh (see Moses *Porto-Rafa), he was one of those to permit its use. His decision on the subject is published in the Mashbit Milḥamot (Venice, 1606), as well as one prohibiting the playing of tennis on the Sabbath. He was in charge of, and the treasurer for, the monies collected in Italy for Ereẓ Israel. Some of his responsa were published in Naḥalat Ya'akov (Padua, 1623), a collection of responsa by his pupil, Jacob b. Elhanan Heilperin, and also in the works of his contemporaries. He was on friendly terms with Leone *Modena. He translated *Saadiah Gaon's commentary to the Song of Songs (Nowydwor, 1777) from the original Arabic, the thorough knowledge of Arabic necessary for such a task being a rare accomplishment for a 17th century Italian rabbi. Saraval died in Padua.
Steinschneider, Arab Lit, 58f.; Judah Aryeh of Modena, Ziknei Yehudah, ed. by S. Simonsohn (1956), 51f. (introd.); 38–39 (second pagination); L. Blau, in: Jahresbericht der Landes-Rabbinerschule in Budapest, 28 (1905), 105; 29 (1906), 114–6; Sonne, in: Koveẓ al Yad, 5 (1950), 215–7.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.