Spanish-Portuguese family having branches in Italy, Holland, Germany, England, southern France, the Orient, the West Indies, especially Jamaica, and Surinam.

1. Abraham Judah Leon:

Assistant rabbi of the Spanish-Portuguese congregation in London from 1685 until his death in 1707.

  • Gaster, Hist. of Bevis Marks, p. 40.
2. David de Isaac de Leon:

Lived in Amsterdam in the eighteenth century. He published "Sermão da Boa Fama" (Amsterdam, 1767), an address in Portuguese delivered June, 1767; also some Hebrew verses in honor of his father's "Avizos Espirituaés," printed with that book.

3. Elijah de Leon:

Son of Michael Judah de Leon (d. March 3, 1658) and nephew of Jacob Judah Leon. He was ḥakam of the benevolent society Gemilut Ḥasadim in Amsterdam and corrector for the press 1656-66. The Hebrew Bible printed by Joseph Athias in 1661 was corrected and provided with a preface by Elijah de Leon and Samuel de Caceres. Some Hebrew verses of Elijah's are given in the Spanish translation of the Psalms by his uncle Jacob Judah Leon.

  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. p. 2879 and cxxx.;
  • Roest, Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl. Supplement, No. 2366;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 37.
4. Isaac de Leon:

Son of Eliezer ben Solomon ibn Zur; born probably in Spain; lived in Ancona; died there most likely. He was the author of "Megillat Esther"—a commentary on Moses b. Maimon's "Sefer ha-Miẓwot," written in the latter's defense against the attacks of Moses ben Naḥman (Venice, 1592; Amsterdam, 1660). He wrote also a rabbinical decision in the dispute between Solomon de Lolli and Jacob Catalano (Rome, 1546).

  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i. 105;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 134;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 231 (who wrongly ascribes the decision to another Isaac de Leon);
  • Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. p. 383.
5. Isaac de Leon:

Talmudist, and director of a Talmud school in Salonica about 1630 (Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 46a).

6. Isaac de Leon:

In conjunction with Samuel Athar, he published a collection of stories from the Midrashim and Haggadot (Venice, n.d.).

  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 232.
7. Isaac de Leon:

Grammarian and teacher in Amsterdam. Together with Jacob de Solomon Hezekiah Saruco, he wrote "Avizos Espirituaés e Instrucçoéns Sagradas, para Cultivar o Engenho da Juventude no Amor e Temor Divino" (Amsterdam, 1766), containing twenty-four dialogues on Biblical history, the articles of faith, the ritual, the feast- and fast-days, and the special Sabbaths.

  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 57.
8. Isaac (de) Leon Templo:

Son of Solomon Raphael Judah Leon Templo; printer and publisher in Amsterdam 1727-38. He edited his father's "Masseket Halakah le-Mosheh mi-Sinai" (Amsterdam, 1734). See No. 20.

  • Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 28, p. 73;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 59.
9. Jacob de Leon, and (9a) Jacob Rodriguez de Leon:

Both probably of Amsterdam; lived in Jamaica, W. I., in 1698.

  • Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc. v. 88.
10. Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo:

Ḥakam, translator of the Psalms, and heraldic expert; of Marano descent; son of Abraham de Leon; born in 1603 at Hamburg, where he taught Talmud for several years; died after 1675. He became ḥakam in Middelburg and, after 1643, in Amsterdam, where he was engaged also as teacher in the Talmud Torah. He vocalized the entire Mishnah which was printed in 1646 at the establishment of Manasseh ben Israel.

Jacob Judah caused a great stir by a plan, drawn by him, of Solomon's Temple, which was exhibited before Charles II. of England and of which the author published a short, comprehensive description in Spanish entitled "Retrato del Templo de Selomoh" (Middelburg, 1642). This was translated into Dutch in the same year; into French in 1643; and by himself into Hebrew in 1650, with the title "Tabnit Hekal." Duke August of Brunswick, and more particularly his wife Elizabeth, wished a German translation of this description and entrusted the task to Prof. Johann Saubert of Helmstädt. Some one else published such a translation in 1665, and Saubert therefore wrote a Latin translation in that year. An English version appeared in 1778, done by M. P. Decastro, a relative of Templo's, and in whose possession the plan was then held.

In 1647 Jacob Judah wrote "Tratado de la Arca del Testamento" (Amsterdam, 1653). His treatise on the cherubim, their form and nature, written in Latin in 1647, appeared in Spanish under thetitle "Tratado de los Cherubim" (Amsterdam, 1654); and his description of Moses' tabernacle, written in 1647 in Dutch, was published under the title "Retrato del Tabernaculo de Moseh" (Amsterdam, 1654), and in English (1675). His last work was a Spanish paraphrase of the Psalms, which was printed with the text, under the title "Las Alabanças de Santitad" (Amsterdam, 1671), and, as is stated in the introduction, was written in seven months. The work was dedicated to Isaac Senior Teixéyra, financial agent, in Hamburg, of Queen Christina of Sweden, and was extolled by many ḥakamim, scholars, and poets in Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish verses.

Jacob Judah wrote also a dialogue ("Colloquium Middelburgense") between a rabbi and a Christian scholar on the value of the Christian dogmas; and he left in manuscript "Disputaciones con Diferentes Theologos de la Cristiandad." He was a skilful draftsman. The coat of arms of the English Grand Lodge of Masons with the motto , now "Holiness to the Lord," is the work of the "famous and learned Hebrewist, architect, and brother, Rabi Jacob Jehudah Leon." He drew also more than 200 figures and vignettes to illustrate Talmudical subjects, which his son Solomon gave to Surenhusius for his Latin translation of the Mishnah.

  • De Rossi-Hamberger, Hist. Wörterb. pp. 176 et seq.;
  • Koenen, Geschiedenis der Joden in Nederland, p. 337;
  • Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten, iii. 233;
  • Grätz, Gesch. x. 24, 200 et seq.;
  • Transaction Jew. Hist. Soc. Eng. ii. 156 et seq.;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 232 et seq.;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. pp. 58 et seq.
11. Joseph de Leon:

Rabbi in Jerusalem about 1587.

12. Joseph de Leon:

Rabbi in Venice in 1694.

  • Frumkin, Eben Shemuel, p. 73;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, l.c. p. 170.
13. Judah do Leon:

Rabbi; died about 1830. He went to Rome about 1792 as emissary from Hebron, and at the desire of the community remained as rabbi. In 1811 he was chief rabbi of the Jewish consistory in Rome. Judah's is the first signature to a document protesting against the charge that religious reforms had been introduced into Italy. This document appeared in the "Letters of the Chief Rabbis in Italy" (Leghorn; German transl., Altona and Hamburg, 1796).

  • Nepi-Ghirondi, l.c. p. 166;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, ii. 400 et seq.;
  • Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. p. 394.
14. Judah Ḥayyim Leão (Leon):

Ḥakam and leader in prayer in the synagogue of the Portuguese community in Hamburg. After forty years of active service he was pensioned in 1656, and his son-in-law, Isaac Namias, was appointed his successor.

  • Grunwald, Portugiesengräber auf Deutscher Erde, p. 106.
15. M. (P.) de Leon:

Lived in Surinam. In collaboration with others, he wrote in 1791 "Geschiedenis der Kolonie van Suriname" (Amsterdam, 1791; 2d ed. ib. 1802).

  • Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc. iv. 6.
16. Manuel de Leon (Leão):

Marano; writer of Spanish and Portuguese poems; born in Leiria; died in Amsterdam after 1712. His published works are: "Triumpho Lusitano Aplausos Festivos . . . Nos Augustos Desposorios do Incly to D. Pedro Segundo com a Ser Maria Sofia Isabel de Baviera, Monarcas de Portugal" (Brussels, 1688), a poem consisting of ninety-three verses, with a description of festivities held at Lisbon Oct. 11-25, 1687, and dedicated to D. Geronimo Nuñez da Costa, Portuguese agent in Amsterdam; "El Duelo de los Aplausos, y Triumpho de los Triumphos, Retrato de Guilielmo III., Monarcha Britanico" (The Hague, 1691); "Examen de Obrigaçoens. Testifica hum Filho, que os Pays Engendrão, Amão, Doutrinão os Filhos por Dependencia. Discursos Morales Deduzidos da Sagrada Escritura" (Amsterdam, 1712); "Gryfo Emblematico, Enigma Moral. Dedicado a Diego de Chaves" (ib. 1712). His "Certamen de las Musas en los Desposorios de Francisco Lopes Suasso, Barão de Auverne" is extant in manuscript in Amsterdam.

Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo.
  • Barbosa Machado, Bibl. Luist. iii. 293;
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, pp. 315 et seq.;
  • idem, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 57.
17. Meïr de Leon:

Lived in Amsterdam; translated Verga's "Shebeṭ Yehudah" into Spanish under the title "La Vara de Juda" (Amsterdam, 1640; 2d ed. ib. 1744).

18. Samuel de Leon (Lião):

Member of the college Keter Torah in Amsterdam. He was the author of the "Questoins [Questoẽs] com Suas Repostas, que Propor na Academia de Queter Tora," Hamburg, 1679, and of a writing preserved in manuscript, under the title "Libro de Diversas Questoins e Suas Repostas, Comp. por my . . . y Respond. em Yesiba."

  • Steinschneider, Catalog der Hebräischen Handschriften in der Stadtbibliothek zu Hamburg, p. 167;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 59.
19. Samuel Judah Leon Templo:

Brother of Solomon Raphael Judah (No. 20), mentioned byDaniel Levi de Barrios. In 1682 he was teacher at the school, founded by Abraham da Fonseca, of the society Maskil el Dal in Amsterdam.

20. Solomon Raphael Judah Leon Templo:

Ḥakam, preacher, and press-corrector in Amsterdam; died c. 1733. He was a son of Jacob Judah Leon (No. 10); and a pupil of Isaac Aboab da Fonseca. Together with David Nuñes Torres, he corrected the enlarged edition of Maimonides' "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah" which appeared in Amsterdam in 1703. His published works include, besides several sermons in Portuguese: "Resit Hohmá, Principio da Sciencia, ou Grammatica Hebrayca por hum Methodo Breve, Facil e Distincto para Uzo das Escolas" (ib. 1703); "Orden de las Oraciones y Rogativas Compuestas para Pedir Piedades Sobre las Enfermedades. Traduzido por Selomoh R. J. Leon Templo" (ib. 1727).

After his death his son Isaac published a little book by him entitled "Masseket Halakah le-Mosheh mi-Sinai" (Amsterdam, 1734), on the hermeneutical rules of the Talmud, at the end of which the regulations for the Passover feast are given in rimes of four lines.

  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 58.
D. M. K.
Images of pages