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Voltaggio, 1563: R’ Yossef haCohen haRofeh completed his sefer Emek HaBacha.

R’ Yossef’s “paternal family originally lived at Cuenca, Castile. His mother, Dolca, originated from Aragon. When the Jews were expelled from Spain the family settled at Avignon. At the age of five Joseph left Avignon with his parents and went to Genoa, where they remained until 1516. Driven from that city, they went to Novi, but returned to Genoa in 1538, where Joseph practiced medicine for twelve years. On June 3, 1550, he and all his coreligionists were driven from Genoa as a consequence of the rivalry of the non-Jewish physicians. Joseph then settled at Voltaggio, at the request of the citizens of that small town, practicing there until 1567. When the Jews were driven out of the territory of Genoa, he went to Costeletto (Montferrat), where he was very well received. In 1571 he was again established at Genoa, where he diedin 1577 or 1578.”

R’ Yossef authored two sefarim on Jewish history: 1) Divre haYamim leMalke Zarfat weOtoman, and 2) Emek haBacha.


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