||Popular handbook on Hilkhot shehitah u-bedikah, originally published in Mantua (1624) by R. Moses ben Joseph Ventura, now reissued with the glosses of R. Hayyim Moses ben Abraham Caregal (Karregal). Appended to the work is Shohatei ha-Yeladim on the laws of ritual slaughtering in an easy language comprehensible even to children by R. Israel Najara. Each part of the volume has its own title page and on them several other pages are the spread hands of the Kohen. The last parts of the volume are printed on a bluish-green paper.
R. Hayyim Moses ben Abraham Caregal (Karregal), (18th century), Sephardi hazzan of Jerusalem. Because of the heavy taxes imposed by the Jerusalem authorities, Caregal undertook a mission to Europe in the years 1712–14, both for the community and on his own behalf. This enabled him to arrange for the publication in Amsterdam of Sefer Yemin Moshe which appeared in 1718. This is a reprint with his own additions of the Yemin Moshe (Mantua, 1624) of R. Moses b. Joseph Ventura, a work on shehitah, very popular among the shohatim of Jerusalem. In the preface, he gives his biography as well as the novellae of his father, who, he said, was the only person to escape the Inquisition in Reggio. The work also includes the Shohatei ha-Yeladim of Israel b. Moses Najara, and the Zikkaron li-Venei Yisrael of Abraham b. Baruch Mizrahi, a shohet of Jerusalem.
R. Moses ben Joseph Ventura was born and raised in Jerusalem. He found it necessary to leave, going to Turkey, serving as rabbi in Silistria, Bulgaria. In his introduction R. Ventura writes he left the land Erez Israel for Turkey, to a place called Silistria, where he married and studied Torah with his son Judah in a yeshivah. He observed that there were many customs concerning shehitah and bedikah, and what was done in one place was not done in another place, “the utensils being different one the other” (Esther 1:7), as those who departed from Egypt, “one said thus and another said thus” (cf. I Kings 21:20). Ventura therefore took it upon himself to enter on the path, the way of the vineyard, to write the reasons for these customs.
R. Israel Ben Moses Najara, (1555?–1625?), Hebrew poet. Born apparently in Damascus, Israel served as secretary of that community in which his father, Moses Najara, was rabbi. While acknowledging Israel's poetic ability, some of the rabbis of Damascus, e.g., Menahem Lonzano and Hayyim Vital, spoke disparagingly of his unconventional conduct and of his imitation of foreign poetic styles and melodies, acquired it seems, in Arab taverns. His conduct may also account for his many wanderings. In 1587 Israel published his books Zemirot Yisrael and Mesaheket ba-Tevel in Safed. One of his responsa is preserved in manuscript (Oxford, Mich. Add. 66). Subsequently, he served as rabbi in Gaza, where, upon his death, his son Moses succeeded him as rabbi. Though during his youth Israel also wrote secular and love poems, his chief compositions are sacred. These are distinguished by their deep religiosity, by their references to Jewish suffering, and by his yearning for redemption. He learned much from the great Jewish poets of the Spanish-Arabic period, but nevertheless frequently employed original forms and contents. His poems, numbering hundreds—the greater part still in manuscript—are outstanding in both their wealth of language and in their polished style. His poems and piyyutim achieved wide circulation among the various oriental communities and countries and are sung in those synagogues. The Ashkenazi communities also adopted his Sabbath song, written in Aramaic, Yah Ribbon Olam ve-Alemayya ("God of the world, eternity's sole Lord"). Well known, too, is his Ketubbah le-Hag ha-Shavu'ot ("Marriage Contract for Shavuot"), a poetic parody describing the wedding conditions made between Israel and God, read in many oriental communities on Shavuot. The Shabbateans and Frankists highly respected him, mistakenly regarding him as a kabbalist. They were so fond of one of his poems that they made it a hymn.
R. Israel's works are: Zemirot Yisrael (Safed, 1587), 109 poems; second edition (Salonika, 1594); third edition enlarged (Venice, 1599–1600), 346 poems and a scientific edition pointed by A. Avrunin and edited by I. Pris-Horev (1946); Mesaheket ba-Tevel (Safed, 1587), moral instruction in a rhetorical style similar to that of the Behinat Olam of Jedaiah ha-Penini Bedersi; Meimei Yisrael, rhetorical letters with secular and love poems, composed during his youth and appended to the third edition of his Zemirot Yisrael; Keli Mahazik Berakhah (Venice, 1620), laws of grace after meals; Shohatei ha-Yeladim (Amsterdam, 1718), laws of slaughtering in an easy language comprehensible even to children; Pizmonim (1858), 120 poems; She'erit Yisrael (in Mss.), a large collection of poems, many of which have been published by various scholars; Pizei Ohev (Constantinople? 1597?) a commentary on the Book of Job. Some other of his works are known but not extant: Ma'arekhot Yisrael, a commentary to the Torah; Mikveh Yisrael, homilies.