Farhi Letters from Istanbul Community Archives

Translated to English by Gilad Aviv, August 2018

Each paragraph is a letter

1. The writer wants to make the following claim: One Jewish soldier in the Bulgarian army, Moshe Ya'akov Farhi, who is still in the battle near Burgas, and to this day there is no information about him. Rumor has it that he is a prisoner in Turkey. He was reportedly not on the patient list. Asking them to try to find information about him. 21/03/1912

2. Express their disappointment with the rabbi (Danon). He is very authoritative and can not cooperate with him. Proud of them. He lowered the locks of the Jewish cemetery, and other stories of anger and disorder in his actions. It destroys the foundations of the community. And ask him to act urgently and reach a speedy solution to the problem. The letter is sent with the signature of the community members, among the signatories: Sasson Farhi, Anzrot, M. Greenberg, H. Selim Kalfon, R. Matalon, Yehuda Navon, Aharon Moshe Yedid Halevy, Yeshua and his army. Most signatures are in foreign or Arabic.  24/12/1909 

3. telling  of exploits of R. Nissim Danon. Who put his hand on the rabbis, the mohalim, the mohels, and the friends. And instructs them not to do any ritual until they receive the reward of that ceremony. He wrote a letter to Mr. Delbargo to talk to Sasson Farhi to find a lawyer to handle his claim. At least he would have nothing to do, but he makes sticks in the wheels that will not work. And asks him to expedite his removal, otherwise the community will disintegrate. Those who suffer from it are the poor. Which we can not deal with as long as we deal with the rabbi's exploits. 29/08/1910

4. Farhi is a representative of the Jews of Gallipoli in America and serves as one of the leaders of Turkish Jews in America. He arrives in Constantinople and Rabbi Nachum is asked to help him.03/12/1919 

5. From the letter of Abraham Farhi, the Majles president, Ghismani. The writer learns that the General Assembly later delayed the decision on the changes in the "Hakam Chani Nozamalmisi" requested by the community of Saloniki. In the Majlis-General, and elected by majority vote the recipient of the Chief Rabbi of Turkey. In the name of the community council, the writer gives him the community's first knowledge that the elected person will be able to advance the spiritual and material situation of the Jews in the empire. They have no doubt that the rabbi will properly take care of the interests and make the necessary changes in the wisdom of Hanan based on the number of voters from the capital and the provinces. According to the rabbi and the communities, that this is the right thing to do.

6. Leon Farahia is going to study at a school for edemars in Istanbul. His father is an important rabbi and a mohel. Please be of help to him. 1912 

7. In reply to Rabbi Nachum's letter, he sends a copy of the court's response in Philippopoli regarding the claims of the woman Rachel Bat Asher Moscona, wife of Robert Farhi of Constantinople. Wishes to inform the husband of the contents of the matter and try to send her a divorce to the court in Sofia. The verdict is presented in the following document. Signature of Rabbi Pipano as Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria. 1912

8. About the conflict between Rachel Moscona and her husband. Copy a certificate mentioned in a previous document. We will learn that she returned twice to her husband, but he continued to treat her improperly and now she wants a get. The husband Roberto Farhi had wasted money and a great fortune that had brought him and sold all her expensive clothes and household possessions until he was destitute. He asked Rabbi Nachum to marry another wife. She wants a divorce and is forgiven of the ketubah and dowry. He wants to get rid of the food he has been owed for a long time since 1910. The Bulgarian consul in Istanbul stands beside her. 1912 

10. The existence of a legal divorce. A blessing known as Jilibun ben Reuben Russo expelled his wife, Sarah, daughter of David Farhi. The two were residents of Constantinople and divorced in Craiova. 1908 

11. About the get of a blessing known as Jilibun Rousseau and his wife Sarah, daughter of David Farhi. 1908 

12. Mentions the Pirman in which Rabbi Nachum was appointed as the sage Bashi. A secretary who came to Jerusalem two years ago. He is from the Farhi family in Damascus. The Rabbinate in Jerusalem is in pain, and he is sorry for the situation of the Torah scholars, orphans and widows in the city. Rabbi Nachum is expected to send two representatives to Jerusalem to mediate in this dispute. 1909 

13. Ketubah note: indicating the amounts of the dowry in Ketubah and Ketubah. The groom is Yitzhak Haim Farhi and the bride Reina, daughter of the late Raphael Farhi. The groom is the son of "The Complete Wise Rabbi" Meir Shlomo Farhi. The groom is also called Gvir. The dowry included 83,350 grush. The increment included 41,605 grush. Total of 125,000 grush. 1837 

14. For the past two years, he has been living in the community mentioned above and will soon be married to a daughter of a merchant named Sasson Farhi, in the city of Baidam. According to the practice in the community, he must present a document about his residence a year earlier and be free to marry. Dr. Friedman presented the documents to the community, but apparently opposes payment of community taxes, etc. 26.04.1911 

15. The seal says the Majlis Gismani of the community. And was composed of a committee composed of ten members: Yosef David Farhi [the president], Moshe Lardo [the secretary], Yosef Bila, Sasson Farhi, Shlomo Barzel, Moshe, Mordechai Mendelson, Abdullah Abuav, Salim Habi and Daoud Darwish. The Majles, which became a legal seller, began to examine the affairs of the year and especially the budget. In view of the current situation, expenditures have increased, and they have great difficulties in determining the budget. At the end of the budget setting was not large. They decided to turn to important people from the city and succeeded in part. 08.06.1917 
  • The subsidy that the Baroness de Rothschild gave them is insufficient today.
  • Pesach - The price of the matza that was distributed to the poor will rise.
  • Talmud Torah - Despite the existence of a school of sputum, many children are walking around in the street, and the Talmud Torah must be preserved in order to save it.

16. A number of defamatory stories about Rabbi Nissim Danon are brought, and the signer's demand to remove him from his rabbinate in Beirut. He shed his hand on the slaughterers, the mohelim and the friends. Instructed them not to perform any ritual until he received the same ritual fee. He wrote a letter to Mr. Delbergo to talk to Sasson Farhi to find a lawyer to handle his claim. It interferes with work. Asks Rabbi Nahum to hasten his removal, otherwise the community will crumble. Especially the poor suffer from it, which can not be dealt with until they deal with the deeds of Rabbi Danon. 29.08.1910 

17. The Signer and the whole population of Damascus join him to inquire about the hahamBashi. This is the short visit of Rabbi Haim Nahum to Damascus. The signer is very sorry that the visit was short and expresses his hope that the shahamBashi was not impressed by the Jewish community and sends him a picture of his visit to Damascus. The signer is Nissim Farhi, the principal of the KIAH school. 21.7.1910 

18. Telegram - this is Avraham Shlomo Farahia the jeweler of Salonika. Lived in the Serkiege neighborhood of Salonika seven years ago. Request for approval of single women for marriage. 30.5.1912 

19. The signatories announce that the Ottoman community has chosen Rabbi Nissim Danon as Chief Rabbi of Beirut. The signatories are certain that Rabbi Nissim Danon will be able to manage the community with justice and progress. The signatories are willing to cooperate with him. The signuture of Sasson farhi  of Beirut is presented. 23/06/1909 

List compiled by Gilad Aviv