Yom Tov Tzahalon

Yom Tov ben Moshe Tzahalon, (Hebrew: יום טוב בן משה צהלון‎), also known as the Maharitatz, (ca. 1559, Safed, Palestine - 1638), was a student of Moses di Trani and Moshe Alshich, and published a collection of responsa.

At the early age of twenty-five Tzahalon was requested by Samuel Yafeh, a rabbi of Constantinople, to decide a difficult and complicated problem which had been referred to himself [1] and he corresponded with most of the authorities of his time, one of his chief antagonists being Moses Galante (the Elder). Although a Sephardi, Tzahalon rendered a decision in favor of an Ashkenazic congregation in a controversy which arose between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim at Jerusalem, and in his love of truth he did not spare even his teacher, Joseph Caro,[2] declaring that the Shulchan Aruch was written for children and laymen.[3] Tzahalon was the author of a commentary on the Book of Esther, entitled Lekach Tov (Safed, 1577). He was the author of responsa and novellæ which were published with a preface by his grandson Yom-Tov (Venice, 1694), and he mentions also a second part,[4] of which nothing more is known (Machon Yerushalayim has published more of his responsa in 1979).. He likewise wrote a commentary on the Abot de-Rabbi Natan, entitled Magen Avot, which is still extant in manuscript. In his preface to this latter work Tzahalon terms himself Yom-Tov ben Moses ha-Sefardi, whence it is clear that the family came originally from Spain, although it is not known when it emigrated or where Tzahalon was born.


  1. ^ Tzahalon, Responsa No. 40
  2. ^ ib. No. 238
  3. ^ ib. No. 76
  4. ^ ib. No. 102

This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain. Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography: Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi, Dizionario, s.v.; Graziadio Nepi-Mordecai Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 206; Dukes, in Orient, Lit. ix. 346; Moritz Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1414.

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