Rabbi Ovadia Of Bartenura

Name and place:

The holy sage and the best commentor on the Mishnah- Obadiah ben Abraham (Hebrew: עובדיה מברטנורא) of Bertinoro is also commonly known as "The Bartenura" or Obadiah of Bertinoro.

Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura was born in1445. His path commenced in Italy and ended in Jerusalem in 1488. There he died sometime between1500 and1510 and was buried on the Mount of Olives, at the bottom of the Silwan village opposit the Silwan tunnel.

Insights:

The importance of the Bartenura’s commentary is illustrated by the fact that since its appearance (Venice, 1549) hardly an edition of the Mishnah has been printed without it. Bertinoro is also the author of a supercommentary upon Rashi's Torah commentary called Amar Naka.

Directions:

Opposite the upper opening of the Silwan tunnel, next to Absolom’s Tomb in the Kidron Valley, at the base of the Old City wall.
Memorial date:

Tale of a Tzaddik:

Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura explains (ibid.) that in a machlokes for Heaven's sake "the objective, and our end goal in that machlokes, is to arrive at the truth . . . but in a machlokes that is not for Heaven's sake, the goal is control over others and winning the fight."

In the decade during which Bertinoro thus controlled the best interests of the Jewish community at Jerusalem, a radical change for the better developed. Shortly after his arrival he had actually been compelled upon one occasion to dig a grave because the community had provided no one to perform that labor; a few years later there had come into existence such benevolent institutions as hospitals, charitable relief societies, and similar associations, all under excellent management. His fame spread to all parts of the Orient, and he came to be looked upon as a rabbinical authority of highest eminence; even the Muslim population frequently called upon him to decide judicial cases. He harshly reproved rabbis for exacting fees for services at weddings and divorces, a custom then general in Germany. He believed it their duty to perform religious ceremonies without monetary remuneration.

Maps:

 

Kidron Valley, Israel

 

 


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