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OLMO, JACOB DANIEL BEN ABRAHAM:

Italian rabbi and poet; born at Ferrara about 1690; died there the first day of Pentecost, 1757. He studied Talmud under his father and, later, under Isaac Lampronti, and received the rabbinical diploma in 1715. He became one of the heads of the flourishing rabbinical academy of Ferrara and was appointed preacher to that community. Some of his decisions are included in the "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ" of Lampronti and the "Gib'at Pineḥas"; of Phinehas Vita di Piatelli. His first "pesaḳ," entitled "Reshit Bikkure Ḳaẓir," was written in 1714 and was published at Venice in the following year. His unpublished collection of "pesaḳim" bears the title of "Pi Ẓaddiḳ." A "pesaḳ" directed against the writings of Nehemiah Ḥayyun appeared in the polemical work "Milḥamah la-Adonai" (Amsterdam, 1714). He wrote also, in addition to an elegy on the death of his teacher Abraham Isaac Marini of Padua, the "Sefer Minhagim le-Bet ha-Keneset Ashkenazim" (Venice, n.d.), and was the author of several piyyuṭim printed in various Italian prayer-books, the most noteworthy of these poems being those beginning "Malka rama" and "Ak ẓaddiḳim yodu li-shimeka." Olmo furthermore composed, in imitation of the "Tofteh 'Aruk" of Moses Zacuto, a poem of 277 hendecasyllabic sextains entitled "'Eden 'Aruk," following his model not only in the conception of the subject but even in the form. The poem is a dialogue between a just man, an angel, and God, and describes the last moments of the life of the righteous, the separation of the soul from the body, and its reception into paradise, of which Olmo gives a long description resembling that in the Midrashim and in portions of the Cabala. The "'Eden 'Aruk" is not a work of great poetic merit, being prolix and uninteresting. It was published with the "Tofteh 'Aruk" and a double commentary by Abiab Sar Shalom Basilea at Venice in 1744 and, with the addition of a German translation by Moses ben Mattithiah Levi, at Metz in 1777. It has recently been translated into Italian by Cesare Foà under the title "Eden Gnaruch, Ossia il Paradiso" (Finale-Emilia, 1904).

Bibliography:
  • Coen, Saggio di Eloquenza Sacra, Florence, 1828;
  • Delitzsch, Zur Gesch. der Jüdischen Poesie, pp. 73-160, Leipsic, 1836;
  • Levi Benedetto, in Ha-Maggid, 1872-73;
  • idem, in Annuario delle Famiglia Israelitica, Corfu, 1872;
  • Luzzatto, Luaḥ ha-Payṭanim, in Berliner's Magazin (Oẓar Ṭob), 1880, p. 36;
  • idem, in Ha-Maggid, 1836, No. 36;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 137;
  • Pesaro, in Mose, 1882, pp. 271 et seq.
S. U. C.
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