Hacham Ephraim Navon


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A Short Tribute

Hacham Ephraim Navon, son of Hacham Aaron, was born in 1677 in Kushtandina, today's Istanbul, Turkey.

In 1700 he immigrated to the Land of Israel with his father-in-law, Lord Yehuda Irgaz, and settled in Jerusalem, where he was greeted with great joy and recognition, as his eruditeness in Torah merited. During his stay in the Holy City, he isolated himself for over ten years, poring over the Talmud, Maimonides, and the Beit Yoseph in the Neve Shalom yeshiva founded by Hacham Isaac Di Mayo.

Jerusalem's population waned as the Ottoman Pascha's harassment increased. Numerous taxes and fines were imposed on the Jews, and the level of harassment kept rising until Hacham Ephraim Navon was practically the last member of the community's leadership left. After a period, the situation having become unbearable, he left on a saintly mission and returned to Kushta to raise support for Jerusalem's kollel study houses.

The sages of Kushta convinced him to remain in the city and he was appointed Dayan and halakhic adjudicator by Hacham Yehuda Rosanes, author of HaMishna LaMelech. While in Kushta, he wrote his famous work, Machaneh Ephraim, which includes Responsa, and original commentary and interpretations.

Hacham Ephraim Navon passed away on 26 Iyar, 5495 (1735) and was buried in Kushta. On his deathbed, he asked his son, Hacham Yehuda Navon, author of Kiryat Melech Rav, to edit and prepare his book for publication. His book as published three years after his death.

 

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