R. Abraham Menahem b. Jacob ha-Kohen Rapa who lived in Porto, Italy, at the beginning of the 16th century. The name Rapa originated in the German Rabe (Rappe in Middle High German), i.e., a raven. In order to distinguish themselves from other members of the Rapa family, the members of this family added the name of the town of Porto, and thus the name Rapoport was formed. (According to another version, this came about by a marriage between the Rapa and Porto families.) The family escutcheon of R. Abraham Rapa of Porto shows a raven surmounted by two hands raised in blessing (indicating the family's priestly descent). In the course of time other families, including some who were not kohanim, took the name of Rapoport. Whilst a young man, the author was apprenticed as a proof-reader at the House of Bragadin in Venice. There he witnessed the violent Burning of the Talmud pursuant to the Papal Bull of 1553. On f. 203r of the present work, Rapaport records the tragic event and notes his decision to commemorate the anniversary of the Auto-da-Fe as a personal fast-day for the rest of his life.