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Title page from Isaac Pinto's translation of the Prayer-Book, printed at New York, 1766.(From the Sulzberger collection in the Jewish Theological Seminary, via the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia.)

Josiah ben Joseph Pinto (c. 1565 - c. 1648) (Hebrew: יאשיהו בן יוסף פינטו) was a Syrian rabbi and preacher born at Damascus. His father, Joseph Pinto, was one of the rich and charitable men of that city. Josiah was a pupil of various rabbis in Talmud and Kabala, and later, after his father's death, he studied Talmud under Jacob Abulafia, who ordained him as rabbi. Pinto's permanent residence was at Damascus, where later he officiated as rabbi until his death in Feb. or March of 1648. He went twice to Aleppo, and in 1625 he removed to Safed with the intention of settling there, but the death of his young son, Joseph, which occurred a year later, induced him to return to Damascus.


Pinto was the author of the following works:

  • Kesef Nibḥar (Damascus, 1616), a collection of homilies and comments on Genesis and Exodus
  • Kesef Mezuḳḳaḳ (finished 1625, and published at Venice, 1628), a homiletic commentary on the Pentateuch, followed by a pamphlet entitled Kesef To'afot, glosses on the Pentateuch
  • Me'or 'Enayim, commentary on Jacob ibn Ḥabib's En Ya'aḳob, which is a collection of the haggadot of the Babylonian Talmud (part i, with the text, Venice, 1643; part ii, with other commentaries and the text, Amsterdam, 1754)
  • Kesef Ẓaruf (ib. 1714), commentary on Proverbs
  • Nibḥar mi-Kesef (Aleppo, 1869).

Some of his responsa are to be found in the collection of Yom-Ṭob Ẓahalon and in Aaron Alfandari's Yad Aharon. His unpublished works are: Kesef Nim'as, a commentary on Lamentations, Ḳebuẓẓat Kesef, a collection of civil laws and of laws concerning women, and a collection of responsa.

Jewish Encyclopedia Bibliography

  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 382;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii.104;
  • Elijah Vita Sassoon, in Ha-Lebanon, vii.15, 23;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1546-1547.


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