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DELMEDIGO ( = "Del Medico"):

A family of German descent. About the end of the fourteenth century its founder, Judah Delmedigo, emigrated to the island of Crete, whose inhabitants were mostly of German origin (compare Joseph Solomon Delmedigo, "Elim," p. 30, Amsterdam, 1629). Judah had three sons: (1) Abba ha-Zaḳen (I.), who, at his own expense, erected a German synagogue (ib. ); (2) Mejuhas, who died childless; and (3) Shemariah, with the surname Cretensis (). The last wrote a philosophical work, "Heber Ish we-Ishto" (compare Geiger, "Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol." iii. 447), and many grammatical treatises (compare Wolf, "Bibl. Hebr." ii. 597, No. 33; Zunz, in "Catalogus Lib. Manuscript. Bibl. Senat. Lips." 324). His son Moses was the father of Elijah Cretensis ben Moses Abba Delmedigo (see next column). Elijah left two sons: Moses, a philosopher, and Judah, a rabbi (see Jew. Encyc. iv. 509). One of Judah's daughters, Rachel, married Joseph of Constantinople, a descendant of Mordecai b. Eleazar Comtino (compare Grätz, "Gesch." viii. 274, 438, note), in whose library his (Comtino's) commentary on Ibn Ezra was studied by a later descendant of the family, Joseph Solomon Delmedigo.

Casta (: idem, "Elim," p. 29), the only daughter of Joseph of Constantinople and Rachel, married her relative Elijah, whose genealogy, on his father's side, is as follows: The above-mentioned Abba ha-Zaḳen (I.) had three sons: Elijah, Moses, and Elkanah—all Talmudists—who, together with other rabbis, defended—"with flaming swords"—their countryman Moses Capsali against the charges of Joseph Colon (Grätz, "Gesch." viii. 253). Elkanah's son Samuel, also a rabbi, had a son Samuel Menahem, who was born after his father's death. This Samuel Menahem, physician and teacher of philosophy, the head of a yeshibah in Padua, was made a prisoner of war, was ransomed by his countrymen, and was recalled as rabbi to Candia. His son Abba (II.) had a son Eliezer, who presided over a Talmudic school for many years, and was a zealous opponent, of the Cabala. His son Elijah, also a Talmudist, his father's successor as rabbi in Candia, and husband of the above-mentioned Casta, was the father of Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (See Jew. Encyc. iv. 508) the most illustrious member of the family (compare Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." 1510). It is not reported that children were born to him on the island of Candia (see his lament in his "Ta'alumot Ḥokmah," ii. 3b, Preface). His remarks ("Elim,"p. 32), "that he had a little daughter at home," and "that he needed much money for his daughter's dowry," are explained by Moses Metz as humorous references to his work "Bosmat bat Shelomoh" (Geiger, "Melo Chofnajim," p. xlv.) and to the expenses of its printing. He was married in Frankfort-on-the-Main, where he held the position of communal physician, and where his two daughters were born. One died young (Carmoly, in "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1856, Jahrg. 20, No. 20, with inexact statement of sources). The other, Sarah, married the physician Solomon Bing, and after his death (1680) Isai Oppenheim, who died, according to her tombstone (No. 3009 in the old cemetery of the Israelitic community in Frankfort), Feb. 9, 1691 (M. Horwitz, in Berliner's "Magazin," x. 113).

Bibliography:
  • Geiger, Melo Chofnajim, pp. xii. et seq.:
  • Nachgel. Schriften, iii, 1 et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. viii. 244, 252, 254, 281, 282; ix. 8, 36, 147;
  • Carmoly, Histoire des Médccins Juifs, pp. 137, 192.
D. M. Sc.
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