TALKER, EZEKIEL SAMUEL (1836–1929), Indian Jewish scholar. Talker, who belonged to the *Bene Israel community, was born in Bombay, and in 1867 published in Hebrew and Marathi (the vernacular of the Bene Israel) a book of prayers to be recited on all occasions, from birth to death, and a listing of the dietary laws. The title of the book, translated from Marathi, is The Book of Ceremonies, and was the first Hebrew book printed in India from type imported from England. The book became indispensable to all Indian Jews. Talker moved to Karachi where there was a small Bene Israel community and was instrumental in enlarging and rebuilding the Karachi synagogue, built in 1893. He gave it the name Magen Shalom. He served as ḥazzan and trained several assistants in order that "the eternal light should be kept burning continuously and eternally." Talker was buried in Karachi.
S.B. Isenberg, India's Bene Israel: A Comprehensive Inquiry and Sourcebook (1988).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.