Elias, Levita

, a rabbi of the sixteenth century, by birth a German, passed the greater part of his life at Rome and at Venice, where he taught the Hebrew tongue to many of the learned of these two cities, and even to some cardinals. Of all the critics that have arisen among the modern Jews, he has the reputation of being the most enlightened, and had the candour to reject as ridiculous fables, the greater part of their traditions. To him the learned are obliged for, 1. “Lexicon Chaldaicum,” Isnae, 1541, fol. 2. “Traditio DoctrinsB,” in Hebrew, Venice, 1538, 4to, with the version of Munster; Bale, 1539, 8vo. 3. “Collectio locorum in quibus Chaldseus paraphrastes interjecit nomen Messiae Christi; Lat. versa a Genebrardo,' Paris, 1572, 8vo. 4. Several Hebrew Grammars, 8 vo, necessary for such as would penetrate into the difficulties of that language. 5.” Nomenclatura Hebra’ica,“Isnae, 1542, 4to. The same in Hebrew and Latin, by Drusius; Franeker, 1681, 8vo. He rejected, among other ancient prejudices, the very high origin of the Hebrew points, which have been carried as far back as the time of Ezra, and referred them with more probability to the sixth century. Father Simon says of him,” Solus Elias Levita inter Judaeos desiit nugari;" and adds, that he was so much hated by the other Jews for teaching the Christians the Hebrew tongue, as to be obliged to prove formally that a Jew might do this with a good conscience. 2