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Isaac Leonini Azulay

R. D. Barnett

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Isaac Leonini Azulay1 By R. D. Barnett, M.A., Litt.D., F.S.A. in collaboration with Gertrude Azulay, A. Schischa and Jacob Jacobson nnxa *&gt;xbm i&amp;b pnr vn'z Dsn mnp armi imp arm p rmnn *'hkh p "In Memory of Signor Yitzhak Leonini Azulay, M.A. 22 years Professor Regius to the Institute of Noble Cadets in Berlin, Tutor to H.R.H. Princess Royal of Prussia Member of several Learned Societies, etc., etc. Born at Leghorn, 2nd day of Succoth Died 16th day of Tamus, 17th July, 1840 and his last words were Also Bella, Relict of the above Died 9th day of Ab 5628, 28th July, 1868." [The substance of this paper was read to the Society on 13th March 1957, in a preliminary form. It originated entirely in the reminiscences which the distinguished music teacher, Miss Gertrude Azulay, now in her eighties, had gathered together concerning her great-grandfather, the subject of the paper. These reminiscences reposed almost wholly on family oral tradition, and it seemed most regrettable that they might be lost. But it was obvious that, before they were published, more research should be undertaken along the lines to which they pointed. Miss Azulay suggested getting into touch with Mr. A. Schischa, a learned Hebraist, of Letchworth, who had acquired certain letters of Hacham Hida which were formerly in her possession. Dr. J. Jacobson, former archivist of the Gesamtarchiv der Deutschen Juden, also kindly assisted our researches in German records. From this arose the present happy collaboration. (R.D.B.) ] 1 Brief accounts of Isaac Leonini Azulay appeared in The Jewish World for the 5th November 1880 and 19th May 1907, p. 9, the latter by Lucien Wolf, with a reproduction of the pastel portrait of him {see Catalogue of Anglo-Jewish Art and History, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1956, item 322, and our plate I). Further information on the family in the Jewish Encyclo? paedia, requires modification ; a forthcoming work in Hebrew on Hacham Hida Azulay and his descendants, by Dr. Meir Benayahu of Jerusalem is also announced. Bibliography : H. Hayim Joseph David Azulay : (a) Ma(gal Tob Ha-Shalem edited from the Author's Autograph MS. by Prof. Aron Freimann, Mekitze Nirdamim Society, Berlin?Jerusalem 1921-34, referred to as Diary. (b) Igroth Harab Hayyim Joseph David Azulay edited by Dr. H. Rosenberg, Hatzofe (Budapest) Vol. xi, part iv, pp. 241-318, referred to as Rosenberg No. (c) Autograph letters formerly in the possession of Isaac Leonini Azulay and his descendants. Now in Mr. A. Schischa's collection. The collection contains 18 letters of which 12 are addressed to Rabbi Raphael Isaiah Azulay, Isaac Leonini's father, and 5 to Isaac Leonini; referred to as Col. A. S. 2 The inscription is also partially copied without the Hebrew in Lucien Wolf, Essays in Jewish History, London 1934, pp. 227-228. The Hebrew reads in translation : 'Monument of the wise of heart, Isaac Leon (sic) Azulay, son of the "Lion of the Law" ' (ARI?Heb. 'lion', is used as an anagram of the initials of Raphael Isaiah Azulay)?'son of HIDA, the holy and submissive, who died on 16th Tamuz 5600 (1840).' 8 'To declare that God is just. He is my Rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.' 4 'A valiant woman who shall find ? Her price is far above pearls.' G 81</page><page sequence="2">82 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY FRITZ HEYMANN, author of Der Chevalier von Geldern? a series of historical narratives written around the history of the Marranos, allows himself to speculate about the too-little known adventures of many picturesque Jewish characters. Amongst them he refers to this intriguing epitaph in the Old Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese community of London. What a story, he asks, would perhaps emerge, if it all could be told ? We can now tell it, and by the marriage of little known facts with family tradition we may restore at least the outlines of a remarkable and curious career, that of an emancipated Jew in Napoleonic Europe. The Azulay Family Isaac 'Leonini' Azulay, or Azulai, born about 1764, linguist, teacher and author, came from a long line of distinguished forbears going back to the time of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, at which period they lived in Castille. Many of the Azulays were men of literary prominence ; some were mystics and Cabbalists. Of the latter, the best known was Rabbi Abraham Azulay (1570-1643) author of Hhesed le*Abraham (a classic of Cabbala), who moved from Morocco to Hebron in Palestine. He was the great-grandfather of Hacham Hayyim Joseph David Azulay of Jerusalem and later of Hebron, a famous Cabbalist, traveller and prolific author of works on the Halacha, Responsa and Commentaries. Hacham 'Hida', as he was known from the Hebrew initials of his own name2 X^TTl &gt; was born in 1724 in Jerusalem and was sent on a fund-raising mission or shelihhuth to the West on behalf of Hebron in 1753 at the very early age of 29. In the words of The Jewish Encyclopaedia, Azulai's scholar? ship had made him so famous that he was chosen as meshullahh (emissary), an honour bestowed on such men only as were by their learning well fitted to represent the Holy Land in Europe, where people looked upon a Palestinian rabbi as a model of piety and learning. By then he was married and had a family which he left behind in Jerusalem. His eldest son was Raphael Isaiah Azulai, born about 1744, perhaps a little earlier. Hacham Hida, during his first journey to the West, included a visit to London in 1755. Extracts from his diary,3 translated and published by the late Elkan Adler,4 describe amusingly his difficulties in getting access to the Mahamad of Bevis Marks and the aid which he received from the powerful figure of Mr. Joseph Salvador in attaining the object of his mission. With that mentality which takes a large survey of life, and can yet be interested in smaller things, his writings show that he was greatly intrigued by the menagerie he found in the dungeons of the Tower of London, which included a lion, a great snake from India, and other wild beasts in chains of iron, and a noble eagle said to be a hundred years old. This menagerie, by the way, was the nucleus of the present Zoological Society's collection in Regent's Park. On the completion of his mission in Europe, during which he saw his first book, Sha'arYosef, through the press at Livorno on 1758, Hacham Hida returned to Jerusalem, settled there, and became a member of the Beth Din of that city. He left Jerusalem in 1764 for Cairo, where he was appointed Hacham, and remained there till the month 1 Querido Verlag. Amsterdam, 1937. 2 He usually signed his letters himself in this way. 8 See Bibliography (in first note above, p.81). 4 Jewish Travellers (George Routledge and Sons), London 1930.</page><page sequence="3">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 83 of Ab, five years later, in 1769. The reason for his departure from Jerusalem was a communal rift, the details of which are not quite clear.1 By this time, Hacham Hida's eldest son, Hacham Raphael Isaiah, was already old enough to be trained and qualified as a rabbi. He married Simcha, the daughter of R. Abraham Asco.2 We know from Hacham Hida's diary3 that in 1764 his son, Raphael Isaiah, was living in Jerusalem. It seems that the marriage took place in Jerusalem. There the young couple lived till they moved to Egypt, following Raphael Isaiah's father, Hacham Hida. Early Years of Isaac Azulay Where was Isaac Azulay, later Leonini, born and when ? The tombstone seems to give a firm answer to the first part of the question, by stating that he was born in Livorno. We shall soon see reason to doubt the fact. There is no hope, unfortunately, of obtaining any assistance from Livornese synagogue records, as these have perished at the hands of the Nazis.4 As to Isaac's date of birth, on his epitaph it is given as the second day of Succoth, but the year of birth is omitted. It is obvious that the family was not aware of his exact age, though they knew and doubtless celebrated his birthday. It is well to remember with Dr. Johnson that 'a man in lapidary inscriptions, is not upon oath'. According to Oettinger5, Isaac was born in Tuscany on the 16th October, 1767. Isaac himself in a statement to the authorities in Hamburg in the year 1813 gave his age as 44, which would suggest that he was born in 1769. But the information was not correct. All this confusion was caused no doubt by Isaac himself, and indicates that he was rather self-conscious about his age. Fortunately Hacham Hida's movements and those of some members of his family may be reconstructed over many years, largely from Hida's published Diary and from some of his published and still unpublished letters.6 There we may find the true answer to our question. Indeed these sources furnish many other facts and dates in Isaac Azulay's life. In a letter which bears no date and no place of despatch, but was undoubtedly written from Egypt, Hacham Hida to Raphael Isaiah writes as follows : . . my son . . . my soul is so much bound up with yours; and I am anxious to know of the well-being of all your home. Their well-being should flow like the stream, and also the well-being of our old father and that of your first-born. It is you three that are picked out for my greetings . . .,7 1 Diary, p. 47. 2 See below, and note 5 3 Diary pp. 47-8. Cf. also Hacham Isaac Badhav, Hayerushalmi, part 2. (Jerusalem, 1931) pp. 54-55. 4 Information by kindness of Dr. Guido Bedarrida of Livorno. 5 Oettinger, Moniteur des dates (Dresden 1866-73) in the supplementary volume. There Giuseppe Leonini (one of Isaac Azulay's aliases) is described as an Italian philologist and Italian teacher in Berlin, born in Tuscany (Livorno is in Tuscany) on 16.10.1767. Oettinger must have had access to some source of information now probably lost. I am obliged to Dr. A. Bahrfeldt, of the Berlin Stadtsynodal-Verband, for drawing my attention to this reference. (R.D.B.) 8 See bibliography, note 1 above, p. 81. 7 Igroth Harab Hida, Livorno 1867, p. 22 r. no. 46. "inas'm ."ibna nito &gt;a njnb mwp n^nm njpr ktwi mip nip in to &gt;nn ..." .. ? D^inb was ]m nb'i nvr nbn ?'an ?otoa "rnbDa nan 'a iTon nan ]p?n i a ?&gt; a k Dibttn</page><page sequence="4">84 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY Thus we have the first mention of Isaac, even though not referred to by name, but we do know from other quotations1 that he was Rabbi Raphael Isaiah's first-born (=Bechor). This letter is more significant in that it alludes not only to the grandson of Hacham Hida but also to Hacham Hida's father, Hacham Hashalem Yitzhak Zerahia Azulay. Now we know that Hacham Hida's father died on the 23rd of Tebeth 5525 - 1764.2 We have thus absolute proof that Isaac was born not later than 1764. It may well be that he was still in his first year, and if so, the exact date of his birth would be the second day of Succoth, i.e. 16th Tishri 5525=12 October, 1764.3 We may also plausibly deduce from the presence of the family in Jerusalem (the place of residence of Hacham Hida's father) that the Holy City was the place of birth of Isaac. We meet Isaac again, though merely alluded to as the 'dear boy' in a letter from Hacham Hida written in the following circumstances. When Hacham Hida left Egypt in 1769 to return to the Holy Land, intending to settle in Hebron, the former residence of his ancestors, he was accompanied by his wife and one daughter. On the journey, Hacham Hida writes to Rabbi Raphael Isaiah, who remained with his family behind in Mitzraim (the name of Cairo, in the Hebrew vernacul lar of the time), how deeply they all miss the dear little child, and how the child's aunt, Hacham Hida's daughter, repeats the clever sayirgs ?f the boy. He was by then about five years old.4 Rab Hida stayed only three years &lt; nd four months in Hebron,5 then he was sent out for a second time on shelihhuth on behalf of that city in Heshvan 5533, that is, autumn 1772. He never returned to the Holy Land. In 1774, while he was in Tunis, he received the sad news that his wife Rachel had died.6 In 1776 his son, Rabbi Raphael Isaiah was himself asked to accept the arduous task of a meshullahh, but in this case to raise funds for the city of Tiberias, one of the two great Jewish centres in Galilee, the other being Safed. Rabbi Raphael Isaiah accepted the task and travelled for some time in Turkey. He reached Italy in the summer of 1776, his father Rab Hida noting in his Diary on the 23 d of Ab that while at Mantua he had received a letter from his son Raphael Isaiah from Livorno, informing him of his arrival there. An unpublished letter from Hida to his son dated the 19th Ellul, is addressed from Verona,7 From the same letter, it is quite clear that R. Raphael Isaiah's wife and children were still living in Jerusa? lem at the time when he arrived on his shelihhuth in Livorno, 1776. The following year, the family in Italy already consisted of Rab Hida, his son Raphael Isaiah and one daughter 1 See below, p. 85 note no. 2, quotation from R. Raphael Isaiah's letter. 2 See Rabbi A. L. Frumkin, Toldoth Hachmey Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, 1929, pt. 3, p. 25. 3 We need not take too seriously the discrepancy between the date given by Oettinger, 16th October, and Isaac's assumed birth on 12th October. In fact, the 16th of October and the 2nd day of Succoth do not fall on the same day in any of the ten preceding and following years ; thus the dates cannot be reconciled. Isaac perhaps used the date 16th Tishri, which perhaps Oettinger translated as October. Alternatively perhaps, Isaac himself confused the two dates?knowingly or unknowingly. 4 Col. A.S. The letter bears only the date 21st Adar, but no year or place is mentioned. The year can, however, be identified with certainty as 5529=1769, the year in which Rab Hida returned to the Holy Land. And we know from Hacham Hida's other writings that he was on the 21 st Adar Sheni in Damietta. (See Dr. Haim Rosenberg, Kiryath Sepher, vol. v. [Jerusalem 1928/29] p. 143, footnote 3, based on Hacham Hida's MSS.) 5 Diary, p. 59. 6 Diary, p. 61. 7 Col. A.S. In the letter Rab Hida mentions that he had heard rumours to the effect that Rabbi Raphael Isaiah received from his mother-in-law 600 dinars. (The rumours probably came through other Shelihhim.)</page><page sequence="5">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 85 who had been married meanwhile?according to family tradition?to a banker, and had settled in Livorno. Their family circle now was reinforced by the arrival of the grandson Isaac, now about 12, who had remained in the Holy Land. Under the date of 22nd Sivan 5537 (summer 1777) Hacham Hida records in his Diary while at Genoa i1 *I received letters from Livorno, among them a letter from my daughter containing the news that my grandson Isaac arrived at the Lazzaretto (i.e. the quarantine station in the harbour of Livorno). I offered my thanks to God, as I am particularly pleased with this information. There have been rumours that his mother had sent him many months ago, in charge of a ship's captain, and that he was taken by the sailors (pirates ?) to Zante. All this had caused me very much worry and pain.' Meanwhile, Hacham Hida continued on his peregrinations through France and Holland (1778), and in October of that year returned to Italy, while Rabbi Raphael Isaiah continued journeying through Germany and Holland. According to an unpublished letter, recently discovered. Rabbi Raphael Isaiah writes to Hida?on Rosh Hhodesh Adar 5541 = 1781?from Harburg (near Hamburg) on his way to Hamburg, that he is instructing Hacham Shemuel Am'ar to hand over to Rab Hida 300 grush (= guilders ?), 150 grush from this amount to be forwarded to his wife (evidently then in Palestine), the rest to remain in Hida's hands to spend on necessities for his son (Isaac) as Rab Hida will see fit. Raphael asks him to keep an eye on Isaac. He sends regards and love to his brother-in-law and sister, and love to his eldest (Isaac).2 By 1782 both missions were successfully accomplished and the three generations were again reunited in Livorno.3 There Hacham Hida, after entering on a second marriage,4 made his permanent home and occupied himself with the editing and publishing of his prolific yet profound literary output. On the 10th of EUul (autumn) that year Hacham Hida enters in his Diary that his son Raphael Isaiah was in ill health :5 . . the same day (i.e. 10th EUul 5542 = 1782) my elder son left to go to Pisa on his way to the mountains of Lucca to take the waters (banyos). He had pains in his loins. May God send him complete restoration.' to 'laa prw'tf 'na anai mivb ^anai biwn "o a*&gt;ann ana Tibap "i.22.ri&gt;0" 98 is ,n*?m aip bay^i D'nton imnpto cnaix ivn ct&amp;nn naa nr po T&gt;a into ^nyat? -nyw&gt; ^a mann vinai itruKb "... .bna nyx b"vn Baa?b ima^im rrxa 'a 'am Tb noa'tf na "way vmnaa amb Tiana nasty *]ban witf? ran&gt; Tma nan nnjn ...'2 warn naa 'nttrab mtob 'ans vibxff nnx xaba pa ra ?-ioa&gt; p/yab uoa *prw ^anoaia d^na ?iban ^anx ^"?ya ivy -wxa ^ Tp* pn 'tt rioaiD^ *&gt;anx t&gt;a o^naia -p,t ixtpam pxa "&gt;"y a^na ma Dipaa yana naia naiai yiaa naiai an nar Oranna mbn ~wya na^nnn bip bsipa *&gt;nxa nxTa in ntpjp v&gt;am lyabi laaa vaa rno' bxi ^ pnr *&gt;aa rrn^ rnban pya nwn&gt; *&gt;m?pa nx rwyb yaia ?nawx 'Ka^T 'aixn -pm mpwaxi mpanx 'man npbn maa ^aa wnb . nrr wx axa ".maiax* .rra? n&gt;a nui im t&gt;mo "?a? ininpb uabm srsb "&gt;yur&gt; yti bnan 'aa xa :29 ivo [a"?pn]3 29 Sivan 1782 : 'My elder son H. Raphael Isaiah arrived in Pisa, and we went to meet him. I went, his brother (i.e. H. Abraham Azulay, younger son of H. Hida,) his son (i.e. our Isaac) and my wife.' We may note thus that his shelihhuth, his mission, lasted from 1775/6 to 1872. A. Yaari in Sheluhey Erez Yisrael (Jerusalem 1951) p. 630 dates Rabbi Raphael Isaiah's mission between 1780-1785. Both dates of beginning and end are to be corrected according to the sources quoted. 4 Diary p. 177 : It took place on the 7th day of Heshvan 5339=1778, in Pisa. 5 Diary p. 178 ;</page><page sequence="6">86 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY This brief information can be supplemented by some further details from a letter addressed to Raphael Isaiah which, although it lacks the year, is, nevertheless, undoubtedly con? temporary with this Diary entry. In it Hacham Hida mentions the same details and adds that he hopes Raphael Isaiah will have arrived in Lucca before Sabbath. He further adds evidence that the youthful Isaac accompanied his father on his journey, in the following words : '. . . and also my wife pines for you, and more so for the dear boy . . . Isaac... With God's help, we hope, you will return in good health . . . with the clever boy Isaac . . . and Isaac should write, even if it is in Italian.'1 Isaac Azulay's Studies By 1783 Rabbi Raphael Isaiah was once more on the road, this time for Holland, where he settled for at least three years, dealing in Hebrew books at Amsterdam and The Hague,2 when by this time it would seem Isaac was 16 or 17 years old. In another unpublished letter3 Rabbi Raphael Isaiah writes to Hida from Neukirchen (outside Amsterdam) on 5543 (1783), Rosh Hhodesh Ellul, telling him that he is now settled there, and is dealing in books; he mentions that his son Isaac is at Pressburg, where he is in great honour, and says, 'Many people wrote to me with good and fitting shidduchin? (offers of marriage) 'but I am asked to provide 1,000 florins. The Ashkenazim every? where assume I am a rich man'. In Holland, Isaac's father was married for a second time on 19th June 1785, to Rachel, daughter of Jechiel Salem.4 What had become of Isaac's mother is not clear but it is likely she died shortly before this, probably in Palestine. Miss Azulay records : 'At all events, Isaac was the only surviving child by Raphael Azulay's first marriage; and Moses and a daughter Sara, were his children by the second. The Jewish Encyclopaedia gives Moses as the eldest son of Rabbi Raphael but this is a mistake. 'At about the same time that Isaac's father left Italy for the North, it was decided that the young scholar should leave Livorno also, and should complete his studies abroad. He -syxa mpm tf? nWn nv 'rr inyoa nv? ^ naan . dw roixm i? atr? jyab wn nv vana1 Tnx vvn by pi lany pm dtidp pn? main myoxa ny ba naaa rraa wa ma nan npwnn anbi oy natin *py x'"na nana xa^ anpa 'a lanwa ^nya . it pnr p vvn byi it miwaxaa ^nnn dm aion laitoa rwm nv lab ainab ia?rp . it p n x&gt; narr p vvn naio na*nn ^nixia ^ *n rryaa Dinnbi rmnix &gt;nt? Tyba ainab b?ia? ix pnr vvn bia* naxai .*&gt;W21 tto 2 Rosenberg in Introduction jinni aio ti w tjd ^aipa o^ayD naa ^ lana naai ^na naaa anw-isa -Kin '-a pnr "&gt;o ^aa ..."3 ".., wa*nx lab rap rarna'm owibs 1.000 jnb 'ax main bax 4 Information by courtesy of the City Archivist, Amsterdam, this record being also the source for the name of his first wife, v. sup. The record reads (in translation) as follows : '2nd June 1785. Celebration of the banns of Raphael Jesaija Azulaij (from Jerusalem, Jew, widower of Simha de Abraham Asco, living on the Keizersgracht, assisted by Benjamin Cohen and Juda Rachamim, who declare, that the bridgeroom's first wife is dead) and Rachel van Iechiel Salem (from Amsterdam, Jew, 19 years old, living on the Keizersgracht, assisted by her father Iechiel Salem). The marriage was celebrated 19 June 1785 in the Town-Hall,'</page><page sequence="7">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 87 took with him letters of credit and introductions from his father and the blessings of his revered grandfather, and, accompanied by a servant, set forth. All was fair sailing until his ship arrived at a port where he and the other passengers were put ashore to attend a ball given in the town. He returned to the ship to find that in his absence his man had absconded with all his belongings. He was determined to catch the thief and to pursue him from city to city "scouring half Europe," as the story goes, but never succeeded in catching the man up.' Where this eventful voyage can have been is not at all clear; perhaps it was in the Adriatic on the way to Hungary. But it is clear that, at least then, Isaac did not carry out his determination. For by the month of Tammuz (June) in the same year (1783) Isaac was enrolled as a pupil in the Yeshiba or Rabbinical school of Rabbi Meir Barby, Chief Rabbi of Pressburg (in Hungary on the Danube). He has been described as one of the greatest dialecticians of his time.1 Isaac's notebook of this period still exists.2 (Plate 40). It contains numerous scholia (Hhiddushim) which, while in Pressburg, he had noted from Rabbi Meir Barby and from other rabbis. He remained there at least till the 8th Ellul, 5544 (autumn, 1784) on which day he presented to his eminent teacher a copy, which he had himself inscribed, of his grandfather Rab Hida's work Birke Yosef, published in Livorno in 1774-6.3 This respectful act of courtesy of the pupil to his master suggests at least that he was making good progress, and about this time or before the end of 1784 he graduated from the Yeshibah with the title or degree of Hhaber, as can be seen from one of the letters.4 Isaac's father and grandfather now expected him to join his father at Amsterdam, and, indeed, Rab Hida, writing to his son Raphael Isaiah at Amsterdam at the beginning of 1785, actually sends his regards to Isaac, whom he affectionately calls 'my child.'5 But by the spring Isaac had got no further than Vienna. In a letter dated 7th Nisan (24 March), Rab Hida writes to him there saying amongst other things : 'I did not write to you in reply to your letter from Vienna, as you wrote to me that you were leaving for Amsterdam the same week. I have however heard that you are staying in Vienna for some time, so I have decided to reply to you there. I wish you a happy holiday (Pesack) and beg you to inform me of any letters from your father at Amsterdam. I and my 1 Born circa 1725 : d. 1789. See his biography in Jewish Encyclopaedia. 2 Col. A.S. 8 Rabbi I. Weis, Ahne Beth Hayotzer, Paks 1900 pt. ii, p. 42. bans nbub -rax jmnaoatp abs&amp;an ain bancr* -|ba nxipb nmbp km nma n"aan 'atapa it mmaaa bxai mmaaa pnr 'aym Drinn 'aaai Tixa b*nip 'aan na Tsa mnaa a"d p"paw "^KW *?3p ffffi nat? bibx 'n ai? n&gt; ia bDaatp dt&gt; my &gt;d lym a"n "na 'nan 4 Rab Hida expresses his satisfaction in one of the letters (Col. A.S.) at this achievement, cf. p. 88., note 2. It should be noted that Letters of Rosenberg always refer to Isaac as Hacham, but he seems to have mistaken the Hebrew word Hhaber for the more usual Hacham. The title of Hacham which Hida uses in certain letters to him (see above) is surely meant in playful exaggeration. This title of Hhaber is probably the explanation of the M.A. with which Isaac's tombstone credits him, as it is highly unlikely that in his day a professing Jew would have been admitted to any continental university (except to the medical faculty of Padua). 5 Rosenberg op. cit. letter 8. Rosenberg is completely confused regarding the identity of the Isaac who is mentioned in the letters he published. In this instance he erroneously identifies him as the son of Abraham Azulay, the younger son of Hacham Hida. In the Introduction to his collection, however, he is of the opinion that we have in Isaac a third unknown son of Hacham Hida himself. The affectionate 'my child' and 'our son' led Rosenberg astray. In all instances the identity is beyond doubt that of our Isaac (Leonini).</page><page sequence="8">88 isaac leonini azulay wife are happy that you have obtained the title of Hhaber from your great master Rabbi Meir Barby.'1 In a number of letters written between then and July Hacham Hida asks his son in Amsterdam whether Isaac is coming.2 'Please let me know your movements . . . and let me know of the well-being of dear Hacham Isaac and convey our regards to him.' Hida's younger son, Abraham, adds postscripts and sends regards to 'our dear son, Hacham and the clever (Charif) Isaac';3 but in July, Isaac was still tarrying in Vienna. In a letter dated the 22nd Ab (about July) addressed to Isaac in Vienna, Rab Hida sends cordial greetings to Haham Ephraim Nabon, another native of Jerusalem and a Meshulahh of that city, who was about to arrive in Vienna.4 In the same letter, Rab Hida asks the truant why he is not moving on to Amsterdam, where he is expected by his father. When he actually left Vienna, and where he went from there, we do not know. From this point he was lost from sight, and it is clear from the care with which he avoided contact with his family for the next thirteen years his reason was that he had resolved to give up the rabbinical career for which they had trained and destined him, in favour of a more worldly career. On the 15th Sivan (May 1788), Rab Hida again enquires from his son in Amsterdam whether he has any news from Isaac. The family in fact were to remain in ignorance of his whereabouts for several years. What became of him is known from other sources, as we shall shortly see. But meanwhile, what had become of Isaac's family ? In the beginning of 1788 Isaac's father, Rabbi Raphael Isaiah Azulai was appointed Rabbi in Ancona but, owing to the disturbed conditions in Europe, he was unable to take up this post until 5th July of that year.5 Miss Azulay's [ ?rrapn = ] v"&gt;?y n^onb paw 't? )o&gt;a 't .vana1 j?n2P vnaa nann 'ya rrn .rrrm np mn y'a "ia mr&amp;n \npbn .rprp mvi ^rnna 'wsa rnnm&gt; m mrwnea imna *a -ft jn nrmi nayap ."pipa nbx 'mms 'ays inns yna nsn% p dk "paba -wan &gt;ai wpp -\T))x mivvm1? you ivn yiatrn imx 'a nana m^ib nnxatpai n?^x pi nrx 'nyr* Kb nana nxp asyna nruw yw pan bxTO "o ywan wrr naa hpn dim &gt;m DTiotpaxa _Tas int^b ntpyx nx? pb na nap naxai matins pxaa rrran "naia moyna y#x n&gt; vmn ^ nnatzn nbnx ivaa *ma ma .nnm "iso nawa ainax naxa 2 Rosenberg, op. cit. Letter 8. 3 Rosenberg, op. cit. Letter 8. 4 Col. A.S.: .rmyb rm ma xai xabtp via ]iaa xnnaa xab vm1? . . .. I am indebted to Dr. Meir Benayahu for correcting a misreading in this passage and for identifying the Haham referred to. 5 The Jewish Encyclopaedia (see 'Ancona') gives his Rabbinate as from 1787-1826. See Rosenberg footnote No. 2 to letter No. 9. His data are based on the archives of Ancona. Rabbi Raphael Isaiah's epitaph was copied in 1953 by A.S. (in the cemetery shelled and desecrated by the Germans) It reads : rasa tonp* va iT'd n"? map man 'n nbyan tpwn p"wa Y'-inaa kdh xaia rw bxsi .. .pm b"piST 'XVlTX ?nrr&gt; 'o men a ^b ybatp ivasan rspn m tot oav</page><page sequence="9">^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ **t*!^^^^^H .^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^1 Josef Leonini, alias Isaac Azulay, about 1790 Pastel portrait, in the possession of Miss Gertrude Azulay. 11 in. x 9 in. Artist unknown</page><page sequence="10"></page><page sequence="11"></page><page sequence="12">jfiy?fr^t?lw jfc&gt;^ ^ uii?Uttum p?$&gt;7i? tfvvf/to* w&gt; . ' &amp;fyp?mtiti ?mwj&gt;mD f*Ji)*Mk? iwJ Hebrew Letter from Hacham Hida Azulay to his Grandson, Isaac Leonini Azulay From original in possession of Mr. A. Schischa</page><page sequence="13">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 89 family tradition says he maintained himself by the profession of a banker. Rab Hida, still seeking news of the truant Isaac, his grandson, writes to his son : 'Please let me know of your safe arrival and whether you had a letter from our son Hacham Isaac . . . (He is a Mount Sinai [of knowledge]), and whether he is in Berlin.'1 In Tammuz (June) there is still no information.2 On the 15th of Shebat 5549 (January 1789) he again enquires for news.3 The anxious family then commissioned Isaac's uncle, Rabbi Abraham Azulay, who was now employed as Shaliahh on behalf of the city of Tiberias, to search for the missing Isaac in the course of a tour to north-west Europe. Rab Hida writes in 1793 to Isaac's father in Ancona as follows : c. . . Believe me, on my honour, that many a time did I write to our beloved, your brother, regarding our dear one, the Hhaber R. Isaac. His answer was as follows : he did not meet him in Berlin, as he had left before he (i.e. Rabbi Abraham) arrived there. In the other towns of Germany where he travelled he found no trace of him.' Professor in Berlin Isaac was still avoiding meeting his family. His uncle, Rabbi Abraham Azulay, had as his travelling companion another Shaliahh named Rabbi Asher, who represented the Ashkenazi section of the community of Tiberias, while Rabbi Abraham represented the Sephardim. In Germany they parted, Rabbi Abraham continuing his journey to Holland while Rabbi Asher went on his way through Germany to Central Europe. Hida continues his letter with the following words : 'Rabbi Abraham [Azulay?i.e. his son] asked his companion, Rabbi Asher that he should try to trace him (i.e. Isaac) while journeying in Germany. When he [i.e. Rabbi Abraham Azulay J reached Amsterdam he was told that Isaac is most probably in Copenhagen. You should write there and tell us . . .'4 Miss Azulay's family tradition tells us : 'Meanwhile Isaac had reached Berlin and found himself stranded practically penniless there. He first of all went to a Bank to try to raise a loan and there he found that the banker had been a close friend of his father's. The banker, saying that "the grandson of Hayyim and the son of Raphael (Azulay) should never go short of money", gave him the money as an outright gift. In gratitude, Isaac gave Italian lessons to his benefactor's daughters, with such success that requests soon following for similar lessons from other families in the banker's social circle'. 'Isaac determined to set up as a teacher of Italian as a means of livelihood. But instead 1 Rosenberg, Letter 11. 2 Rosenberg, Letter 13. 3 Rosenberg, Letter 18. 4 Rosenberg, Letter 40.</page><page sequence="14">90 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY of his own name he called himself Joseph Leonini.1 This choice of name caused no surprise to his Berlin friends. For in those times it was considered decidedly infra dig. for this young Sephardi to go from house to house teaching. Very soon afterwards he became Professor of Italian to Augusta, the youthful Princess of Prussia.' 'Leoriini used to teach his royal pupil Italian through the medium of French, and the lessons went on until her marriage [on 13th February 1797, to William, Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel, later Prince Palatine]. People at court, not realising that Leonini spoke German, said many things in his presence that they would have scarcely otherwise have done. At the wedding, at which he was a guest, and on his farewell visit to the Court, the ladies, gossiping among themselves, commented on the ungainly bridegroom, comparing his looks with those of the handsome Professor standing by. As he left, he bade them all farewell in fluent German with many gallant speeches, to their utmost embarrassment?a joke he hugely enjoyed. A pastel portrait in the possession of the writer shows him at this period, aged about thirty-one, wearing court dress, with powdered hair.2 (Plate 39) This tradition of Leonini's Berlin career is confirmed in general outline from an unexpected source?the Prussian Secret State Archives. According to what he told them or they found out, Josef Leonini, also known as Isaac Joseph, or Isaac Azulay?claiming to have been born in Livorno in about 1769?came to Berlin in 1788 with the intention of studying medicine, but was compelled by lack of means, or perhaps from lack of help from the wealthier members of the Jewish community, to abandon the idea, took up teaching languages, and obtained a special permission for the purpose on 12th April 1792. He was very successful, and was patronised by high society. As a teacher of French, Italian and Spanish, like the Jewish doctors and Jewish employees of the Royal Mint, Leonini was exempted from the special taxes usually levied on the Jews.3 In 1793, he obtained an appointment as ' Streitischer Lehrer'4 in Italian at the Graues Kloster (Greyfriars), otherwise the BerHn-C?llnisches Gymnasium, and retained it till 1809. He first resided in the house of a pastrycook, Seiffart, in Burgstrasse, until he moved in 1800 to no. 64 Neue Friedrichstrasse. This Gymnasium was not the same as the Cadets' School. If the statement on his tombstone, that he held 1 It seems likely that this name, 'the little lion', was adopted in playful allusion to his father's initials of ARI-torah3 'Lion of the Law', (see above p.81, n.2). Another alias of his was Isaac Joseph (see text above). Isaac is also said, according to Miss Azulay, to have made a further sacrifice by renouncing the greater part of the moderate fortune he had inherited from his mother, for the benefit of his father's second family. By all accounts this was not as much of a sacrifice as the natural outcome of a generous happy-go-lucky disposition. [This tradition, however, is in part clearly apocryphal, for when Isaac left Livorno in 1783, the second marriage had not yet even taken place. The story probably arose retrospectively from certain other more authentic events. By 1799 Isaac's family were long established in Ancona and his step-brother would now have been of military age. Ancona having now fallen into the hands of the revolutionary French armies, crippling taxes were laid on the Jewish community (see Raoul Elia, 'Contri buzioni di guerra imposte agli Ebrei di Ancona dal 1797 al 1799', in Scritti in Memoria di Sally Mayer3 Jerusalem, 1957). The Chief Rabbi's family is not likely to have been exempted, and Isaac may well have lost thereby what hopes he had of a legacy from his mother. He doubtless changed his name for several reasons ; it was of no advantage to let it be known that his family were in the opposite camp to the Kingdom of Prussia.] 2 See p. 81. note 1. 8 We owe this invaluable information to the kindness of Dr. J. Jacobson, quoting from the now lost Prussian Secret State Archives, Berlin, 2 Stadteregistratur, Berlin 102/157. 4 Information from Dr. Kettig, Landesarchiv, Berlin : Sigismund Streit (1687-1775), a Berlin merchant, founded an endowment which maintained at the 'Graues Kloster' professorships in French, English and Italian. For Leonini's professorship : J. Heidemann, Geschichte des Grauen Klosters zu Berlin, Berlin, 1874, S. 258.</page><page sequence="15">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 91 a post there also for twenty-two years, is correct, that appointment must have taken place as early as 1787. But any confirmation for this is unfortunately lacking, and it is most improbable that it was ever made, as there is no mention of it in the standard history of the Cadets5 School. Leonini laid no claim to this title in the title page of 'his' play, to be mentioned below, and this claim appears only on Leonini's tombstone, which was set up ten years after his death by his son, who seems to have misunderstood the same title page.1 In Berlin he certainly worked hard. In 1792 he produced, under the name of Josef Leoriini, an anthology of Italian poetry?Le tnigliore Rime de'miglior Poeti Italiani? and a reading book for his pupils, Italienisches Lese-und W?rterbuch zum Gebrauch des Berliner Gymnasiums, in 1797 simultaneously with a Handbook of Italian Language and Literature, Prosaisches, Handbuch f?r die Italienische Sprache und Literatur?{Berlin: Unzer) and in 1801 an Italian Grammar, which eventually ran into a second edition.2 A literary contribution of another sort was the publication in 1794 with a German translation of a so-called comedy in Spanish, El Delinquente Honrado ('The Noble Wrongdoer') 'published' by Josef Leonini/Maestro de su alteza real la senora Princessa Augusta de Prussia, y en el Gimnasio de Berlin. This book is now extremely rare, though it ran through thirteen editions in the 18th and 19th centuries.3 Investigation shows that this play was not written by Leonini, but by a well-known Spanish writer, Jovellanos y Ramirez, twenty years before. To be just, Leonini does not claim to be the author, though he certainly seems to suggest it. We can only seek in vain the object of this literary annexation. Perhaps the book was intended for teaching Spanish to pupils; perhaps there was some political explanation for the omission of reference to the author, for Jovellanos was a Liberal?with whose ideas Leonini and his friends may well have had some marked sympathies, but which they may not have cared too openly to air. Perhaps, too, the subject of the play?the re-uniting of a lost son to his father?was felt to suggest an allusion to Leonini's own life. (Plate 41). Miss Azulay records : Marriage 1 His tombstone claims as his pupil not the Princess Augusta but the Princess Royal. She was the Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, afterwards Queen Luise, but the claim was probably based on his family's misunderstanding of the wording 'Alteza real' of the title page of 'his' play. 2 Handgrammatik der italienischen Sprache. Berlin : Reimer 1801. Leipzig : Hinrichs 1811. The particulars of these three works are from C. G. Kayser, Index Librorum (Vollst?ndiges Bucherlexikon) 1834, and information from Dr. Kettig. 8 It is a small leather-bound volume 6" x 3f,/ 2ff. and 108 pp. There is a copperplate frontispiece drawn by Antonio Carnicero and engraved by Francisco Marti, illustrating the words in Act IV. 'Padre mio ! Despues de haber pronunciado tan dulce nombre, ya no temo la muerte.' The title page is as follows : 'El Delinquente/Honrado/ Comedia en cinco actos /publicola/ Josef Leonini/Maestro de su alteza real La Senora Princessa/ Augusta de Prussia, y en el gimnasio/de Berlin. /En/Berlin por Francisco de Lagarde/MDCCIVC.' The dedication reads : 'Al muy/querido senor/ Don/Francisco Wolney/Cavallerico de su Magestad/El Rey/Dedica esse Librillo en serial de/afecto y estimacion/su mas rendido y fiel servidor/Leonini.' The title page and dedication are on watermarked paper, quite different from that used for the rest of the book, with which they are bound, having been apparently substituted for the original title page and dedication. A copy in the Boston Public Library with the German translation has 2 ff, and 217 pp. (Information by kindness of Dr, M, L. Ettinghausen).</page><page sequence="16">92 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 'Leonini married twice, and tradition says that his first wife died within a year of the marriage.1 She was Miss M?hr of Berlin.' Apparently in the winter of 1797 Leonini, perhaps disillusioned with his life at Court, was at last reconciled to his family. On the 15th Tebeth (January 1798) ten years after we first heard that he was supposed to be in Berlin, Rab Hida writes from Livorno to Leonini at Berlin a letter (Plate 42) enclosed in one from Isaac's father. The letter was forwarded from Vienna and contains 'regards to our great teacher the Gaon Rabbi Hirsch the Chief Rabbi' (i.e. Hirsch L?bel or Hart Lyon, for a time the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, who died in Berlin two years later, father of the English Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel) 'and regards to Isaac's father-in-law and my future granddaughter in-law, your bride.' It is apparently of her that a tradition recorded by Miss Azulay speaks, describing his wife as Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel's cousin. It is interesting to note that this and a subsequent letter to Leonini are, in view of his change of name, addressed via Vienna as follows : 'Al Signor Isack Azulay, Da ricapitur, Al Signor Leonini Berlin.' Leonini was married on the 24th May 1798 to Jitel M?hr. Yet3 on the 11th Ellul 5558 (August 1798) Rab Hida writes to Leonini asking whether the time of the betrothal has arrived. He enquires very warmly after the great Gaon (Hart Lyon) and wishes to be remembered to Leonini's father-in-law (Simon M?hr) who is mentioned as being a scion of a great house but without his name being given.3 According to Miss Azulay : 'A romantic tale is preserved about Leonini's meeting with his second wife. While walking in the street he passed a girl in her early 'teens with her nurse. He was instantly attracted to the girl, who was only 13, and followed her ; but she, becoming conscious of the stranger behind her, took refuge in the house of some cousins. As it happened, Leonini was well acquainted with the home and was a frequent visitor there. He promptly made a call, saying to his hostess : "The most beautiful girl I have ever seen has just entered your house. I beg you to introduce me." The girl was Bella Friedl?nder. It happened that her family were also related to Leonini's first wife and were anxious that he should marry again and did all they could to promote the marriage. The marriage took place soon after? wards (on 13th December 1801) in Berlin [not in London, as stated in the Jewish Encyclopaedia] and was a truly happy union, despite troubled times which later the couple were obliged to endure.' 1 Dr. J. Jacobson very kindly informs us that Isaac Joseph, alias Isaac Azulay alias Joseph Leonini was married in Berlin on 24.5.1798 to his first wife Jitel, daughter of Simon M?hr of Berlin. This lady died on Sunday 7th Iyar 5559 (April 1799)?her husband's name on her tombstone being given as Yitzhak Azulay?His second marriage, under the name of Isaac Joseph, took place in Berlin on 31.12.1801 to Bela, daughter of Moses Cammin, whose family assumed also the name of Friedl?nder, probably in connexion with the town of M?rkisch-Friedland. His real name was Moses Itzig. (General-V erzeichnis Saemtlicher in dem Departement der KgL Regierung von Westpreussen vorhandenen Juden, welchen das Staatsburger-Recht ertheilet worden? Marienwerder (1814) No. 535. Moses Cammin= Itzig). a Col. A.S. 8 Col. A.S. See note 1 above.</page><page sequence="17">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 93 The last letter is from Leonini's father, Raphael. It is dated New Moon, Iyyar 5563 (April 1803) and is written while Rabbi Raphael was on a visit to Rab Hida at Livorno. Leonini's father describes his pleasure at the personal news which Leonini has sent to them at Livorno through a visitor, Signor Abraham Herrera. He tells him news of Rab Hida's health and how pleased he has been to have seen the patriarch. Rab Hida himself adds a few lines, but apologises for their brevity on account of weakness, but begs Leonini to give him the pleasure of receiving regular letters. He adds that Isaac's brother, Moses, and his sister, Sara, wish to be remembered to him.1 It is pleasant to notice throughout all these years of correspondence the unaltered tone of simple and unconstrained affection running through the kindly old man's letters. Service under Napoleon Miss Azulay records : 'Leonini also produced a book on military etiquette.2 It came into the hands of the Tsar Alexander I and so impressed him that he invited the author to take up a similar post at the Imperial Gymnasium at St. Petersburg. (The letter of invitation was long preserved in the family, but was lost in a fire at the end of the last century.) Leonini refused. He hated Russia and the Russians and would never learn their language.' Miss Azulay concludes : 'The success of Napoleon in 1807 brought a great change in Leonini's affairs. For many years he had considered himself shabbily treated by the Court because his services were not rewarded by a pension, and his reaction was to try his fortunes in the opposite camp. Leaving his wife and children settled and provided for in Hamburg, he made his way to Paris where he found intense excitement prevailing over the expected return of Napoleon from Russia. 'Leonini's friends in Paris were greatly struck by his facial resemblance to Napoleon, and thought it would serve him in good stead. On the contrary. Napoleon was greatly disturbed by the resemblance when Leonini was presented to him. He dismissed him, saying after Leonini had left his presence, "Take that man away?he is dangerous to me." But Leonini's friends pointed out that here was the very person needed in the Post as Censor of Letters?a man who could speak several European languages and dialects. Napoleon gave way, and sanctioned the appointment. 'Leonini's duties were to examine the letters, and if they contained treasonable matter, to report it; otherwise to seal them again and despatch them to their destination. He carried out his task, except in the case of letters written by Jews. For if he found anything in their letters which might possibly be construed as mischievous, he burnt them. For the position of the Jews was none too secure. 'When he returned to his family, he found that not one of the remittances he had sent had reached them. His resourceful wife supported herself and the children meanwhile by opening a small factory for the manufacture of umbrellas. 1 Col. A.S. The last letter is addressed to him merely : 'Al. Sig. Isache Azulay, Berlino.' 2 Leonini, Joseph : Champs de Mars ou varietes am?santes et instructives ? Vus?ge desjeunes militaires. Berlin 1806. 8?. (Contains : 1. Le bon fils, drame. 2. Precis des faits militaires remarquables dans l'histoire moderne. 3. Relation de quelques batailles gagnees par Frederick II). (Informa? tion from Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, through Dr. J. Jacobson.)</page><page sequence="18">94 ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 'It was in Hamburg in 1813 that the youngest child, Bondy Yomtob Azulay, the grand? father of the present writer, was born. He was nicknamed "petit Napoleon," having inherited from his father the resemblance to Bonaparte. Bondy was very much devoted to his father, and it is from Bondy that much of the family traditions and reminiscences are derived.1 This description of Leonini's career under the French cannot be completely sub? stantiated, though it is again confirmed in part. Leonini's career under Napoleon began at least in Hamburg, for which city he had left Berlin before the end of 1809. Napoleon, whose pro-Jewish policy had already secured much Jewish support, was in occupation of Hamburg by 1810, when, on the 27th Tebet 5570 (3rd January 1810) the Portuguese Jewish community of that city admitted Isaac Azulay as a Yahid.2 The Birth-register of the same community recorded on the 5th August the birth there of Moses, son of Isaac Azulay and Bila Moses,3 and in 5571 (1811) the Sephardim again noted in their Register of Yehidim that Isaac, here called Isaac Leon (!) Azulay, had two sons and three daughters. On the 4th January 1813, the French authorities of the city recorded the birth of Bondy,4 'son of Leonini Azulay and Bela (nee Friedl?nder)' and noted Leonini's age as 44 (!) and his occupation as 'Inspector der Polizei*. This is confirmed by a Hamburg Adressbuch (Directory) for 1813, which records Leonini Azulay as 'employe ? Vinspection generale de la haute police, 2, Marienstrasse, No. 76.' Unfortunately, it is not possible to ascertain more details concerning his appointment from the archives of the French administration in Hamburg?as these (with the exception of the register of the etat civil) are lost, probably destroyed during a great fire in 1842. The same year, however (1813) Leonini disappeared from Hamburg, his name being no longer found in the Adressb?cher, and it is reasonable to accept the tradition, later reported by his son, that he had followed his retreating masters to Paris. For in 1813 there was a brief rising against the French in Hamburg, and Prussia declared war on Napoleon. But unfortunately no information can be traced about Leonini's residence in Paris, save negatively, that his name is not to be found in the Paris Directory of Bottin for 1816, or in other available French sources of information. All trace of him is in fact lost for seven years. He may have preferred not to meet General Bl?cher and his former German acquaintances in Paris, and perhaps adopted another unrecorded alias. This would account for his untraceability in the directories. He certainly did not return to Hamburg for seven years, during which time his synagogal dues were explicitly paid by his wife during his absence, though with some difficulty.5 1 See p. 95 note 1, below. 3 The remainder of this paper is entirely based on researches of Dr. Jacob Jacobson at Hamburg, who also wishes to thank Dr. Bolland of the Hamburg Staatsarchiv and his staff for their help in finding details of the Azulay family. 3 The Protokollbuch (Minute Book) covering the period 8.1.1794 to 1.10.1826, now in the Staatsarchiv in Hamburg records : 'Junta de 27 Tebet, Compareceu o Sr. Is. Azulay, nativo de Italia, fo de H^Hm Azulay de Ancona &amp; netto do Velho Hm Azulay, presentandose pr ser, Jachid da Nossa Kehila visto se establecer nesta com sua Mr &amp; depois de dado p. cartas &amp; attestou provas da sua decendencia &amp; Casamto legal se concluso que ficava admitter por Jachid comr 10 fl. de finta qa Ao &amp; 15 pr BathaHaim, os quais 15 fl. paga pa hua vez pa BethaHaim. En abaixo firmado prometto manter as Ascamoth da Kehila como Jachid im fe da verdade o firmo de mao propria. Thebat 27 de 5570 : Isaac hijo de Raphael Jesaja Azulay.' 4 Birth Register of the French Administration. 4.1.1813, Bondy, son of Leonini Azulay, and Bella, nee Friedl?nder. 5 Protokollbuch 1794-1826, p. 385 under 27 Tisri 5577 (1817) records that 'apareceu Madame Azulay por auzencia de seu marido &amp; propos para pagar .c (...) Horas a mitade de sua conta</page><page sequence="19">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY 95 Hamburg and London His youngest son, Bondy, claimed to have first seen his father when he was seven, viz. in 1820.1 In that year T. Azulay' modestly reappears in the Hamburg Directory, this time as Schirmmacher?umbrella-maker' and continues until 1826. From 1827 he withdraws from what was a nominal responsibility for the business (for which no doubt he had little aptitude or enthusiasm), and his place as owner, according to the Directory, is taken until 1829 by 'V. Azulay', obviously Vital (Hayyim), Leonini's eldest son. From then on the owner of the factory is given in the directories as B. Azulay, which might be either Isaac's wife or, less probably, the youthful Bondy. Isaac meanwhile had returned to his original and proper profession of a teacher, being described in the Directory of 1827 as I. Azulay, 'Sprachlehrer' (Teacher of Languages) and from 1828 to 1832, more specifically as Lehrer der Franz?sischen, Italienischen oder Spanischen Sprache durch das Deutsche und Englische (teacher of French, Italian and Spanish through the medium of German or English). This remarkable allusion to his competence in English, the first which we receive, might suggest that the mysterious years of his life 1813-1820 had been spent in the safety of some English-speaking country, perhaps America, from which he returned when political storms had blown over, but no proof has yet been found to substantiate this. The Hamburg Sephardi congregation clearly held Leonini in very high esteem, electing him in 1825 to the honour of Hhatan Bereshith and in 1828 to that of Hhatan Torah.2 There can have been littie doubt as to his character, his piety and his adherence to the orthodoxy in which he had been brought up. Finally, Miss Azulay adds : leonini's thoughts turned to England as his final home. There had been Azulays in England before this,3 and he had friends there, who included Raphael Meldola, of Livorno, Haham of the Sephardic congregation of London from 1804 until his death in 1828. Leonini, now calling himself by his full name, Isaac Leonini Azulay, settled in London about 1832 with his family, and found in Bevis Marks Synagogue one of his greatest interests. But soon his mind became clouded and he died in London ten years later.4 &amp; o restante em dous termins athe Purim. O qual foy admitido por os Senhores do Mahamad tambem pagara aodiante em seu Tempo.' 'Mme Azulay appeared in her husband's absence and proposed to pay half his account now and the rest in two instalments till Purim which the gentlemen of the Mahamad approved ; also she will pay henceforth in her own time.' A similar entry was again made in 16 Hesvan (20th November 1818) when after being summoned before a 'judge', she promised to pay half next December and the rest in January 1819 (Protokollbuch p. 419). 1 'Bondy' (Yomtob) Azulay was the youngest of Leonini's seven children?Allegrea, Henrietta, Judith, Rosa, Vital, Morris and Bondy. Bondy had a versatile career, being first an artist and designer of Victorian peep-shows, including a panorama of the Thames, the drawing for which he caused to be engraved for sale on a stall in the recently opened Thames tunnel. An article in which his work is described appeared by Percy Muir in John o* London's Weekly for March 31st, 1950, entitled Taper Fancies.' Bondy was also an inventor and patents taken out by him are recorded in the Patent Office. In the 1851 Exhibition he won a medal for a steamship screw. Later he removed to North London, where he established a factory for trimmings. He married Catherine, daughter of Emmanuel Moses and niece of Godfrey Moses (afterwards Levy) of Bedford, and died on April 25th 1898. His son Isaac Leon Azulay married Sarah Toft, a convert to Judaism, great-granddaughter of Sir Simon Toft. Miss G. Azulay is their daughter. 2 Protokollbuch 1794-1826, 1826-1864. (Information from Dr. J. Jacobson.) 3 The family of one Selomoh Azulay is recorded at Bevis Marks in the middle 18th century (see Bevis Marks Records II) but there is no evidence that they were closely, if at all, connected with that of I. L. Azulay. 4 Burial Certificates, Bevis Marks MS. 341a, 1841, give the place of his death as Hoxton New Town.</page><page sequence="20">ISAAC LEONINI AZULAY The reasons for his coming are obscure. In the summer of 1830, however, there were anti-Jewish disturbances in Hamburg. But Leonini's grandfather, Hida, was a personal friend and correspondent of Hacham Raphael Meldola, of Livorno and London. JMeldola claims to have received from him his rabbinical diploma in Livorno, and it is very possible that Meldola's name was suggested for the Hacham of Bevis Marks syna? gogue by Hida himself. Leonini was on terms of personal friendship with Meldola's son on whose advice he may have settled in London. Such, then, is the very human story which lies behind this epitaph.</page></plain_text>

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