About Rabbi Dr. M. E. Artom
Rabbi Dr. Menachem Emanuele Artom z”l, was born in Torino, Italy, in 1916, to Yael Cassuto and Rabbi Prof. Eliya Shmuel Artom.
He finished his primary rabbinical studies in the city of Florence in the year 1933. After four years he received his rabbinical authorization from the Rabbinical Jewish college of Rome and during the same year received his PHD in Italian literature and philosophy, where he specialized in Semitic languages, from the University of Rome. He studied under renowned teachers in Italy, among them Rabbi, Prof., Moshe David Cassuto z”l, and his father, Eliah Shmuel Artom z”l. During the years 1937-1938 he assumed the office of Chief Rabbi of the city of Perugia.
Rabbi Artom z”l, made Aliyah in the year 1939 and commenced working for his country as a farmer in Magdiel, later he devoted himself to teaching literature and for over twenty years was in charge of the publications of the Civil Service Commission of the state of Israel. He married in the year 1942 Leah Elena Rossi and they had four children and seventeen grandchildren.
He had always been captivated by the Jewish culture in Italy and was sent on behalf of the State of Israel to instruct the Jewish schoolteachers in Italy between the years 1956-1958. He served as Chief Rabbi of the community of Venice between the years 1973-1977 and also taught Modern Hebrew at the University of Venice and at the Jewish Rabbinical College in Rome. Between the years 1985-1987 he served as Chief Rabbi of the community of Torino.
The primary occupation of Rabbi Artom z”l, which accompanied him throughout his life, was in the field of writing, editing and translation. Among his famous works are counted his composition of the Hebrew-Italian - Italian-Hebrew dictionary, that was published in two editions, editing chapters of the doctrine and writings of Shmuel David Luzzatto, translations of classical and scientific writings, translation of an abridged Shulchan Aruch, translation and interpretation of the Book of Mitzvot by Rambam, founding and editing the periodical “Torat Chaijm” in Hebrew and in Italian, as well as writing articles, reportage, and many other publications. Rabbi Dr. Artom z”l, finished work on his last great masterpiece, "The Complete Italian Machazor", very near to his death. His works that were completed, but had not yet been published include: Accounts of four circumcisers from the Vivantie family of Venice, and also a translation from Hebrew of “Studies of the book of Genesis” by Nechama Leibowitz.
Rabbi Dr. Menachem Emanuel Artom z”l, died in Jerusalem in 1992.
May his memory be blessed.