Tombs of the Rabbis

There are 18 tombstones in the rabbis section of the Jewish cemetery in Rhodes. The translations (shown below) have been provided by Sara Mages, who undertook this project courtesy of Robert Rubin Mayo, M.D., M.A.


Haim Shalma Tarsa, 1799

Translation: His acquaintances and his friends cried for his departure and the scholars bitterly mourned him when his order arrived and they cried out Alas and Woe for the day that he traveled and all who knew him before remember his love a lofty, humble, meek man of great modesty a man honest in his belief a wise intelligent man who knew his direction, and in his researched commentary Shalma said with his wisdom get closer and study the Talmud and her Mishnah he asked with interest and answered properly sharp in his questions and versed in the subjects of his studies, like a war hero, like a deceitful bow sought that everything will be done properly and in time, was a writer and a good interpreter with his pen, we don’t have a replacement for him our holy master the perfect outstanding judge immense and great, graceful to his God the honorable teacher and rabbi Rabbi Haim Shalma Tarsa.  May the memory of the holy righteous be of a blessing was summoned before the divine justice [died] before his time and at the height of his strength on the day of anxiety 4 to the  month of Iyar 5559 [9 May 1799] to the creation of the world. I pray sighing, the angels of mercy came towards him the angels serving God sat before him and studied his teachings his resting place will be there under the Thorn of God and his soul will be bound in the bond of life.


Moshe Israel, 1781

Translation: Cry and weep with a sorrowful heart for a man who died short of days the years of his life were days of illness with sickness and pain his illness was great and bad it was kept in secret it moved and shifted, he suffered, a judgment was made his days ended taught religion to all the poor was an honest teacher and an expert in his prayers his resting place is in the heavens and his soul in a fertile garden in the shelter of (?) a tombstone for the perfect and wise rabbi the excellent oppressed with days of sufferings, the honorable Rabbi Moshe Israel may his memory live in the world to come, his sunlight darkened on Wednesday 25 of the month of Kislev in the year – Moses the servant of the God, 25 Kislev 5542 – Wednesday 12 December 1781 since the creation of the world. May his soul be bound in the bond of life and he kept [or guarded] Moshe before him.


Raffael Saul Almané, 1776

Translation: Carry in lamentation in a bitter voice and in numbers, for the light that turned and also taken from Saul. I will arouse my voice in weeping and I will raise the sound of lamentation because Saul rested. With bitter lamentation they will carry in bitterness and a distressed heart, and the name of the departed is Saul. For that the source of tears will rise, because a great wisdom ceased – I cry for Saul. Lament in the great world, mourn with great power, that Saul l died. For the beloved son and the daughters, a flowing wall of crying and lamentation for their father Saul. Died humble and righteous, and the image of God on his face, God besides Saul. For he was God-fearing and God took him to paradise, and he was also good to Saul. The leader of the family was exiled with trembling [horror] in the month of Av, for Saul was captured. May his soul and his spirit, his resting place will be holy, and the divine spirit will hover over his head, and Saul camped there.(?) the excellent judge our teacher and rabbi who judged well, Raffael Saul Almane…(?)  and was summoned before the divine justice on the fifth day of Av in the year 5536 [Sunday 21 July 1776] May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


David Bari, 1771

Translation: When Zion [the Jews] camped in the desert all of their tents burnt in the attack all the Holy Scripter for those who were burnt all the passer-by drank a river of tears weeping and crying, mourning and mourners, lamentation for David: everything disappear, I will express my thoughts about him (? ?) tremble for the beauty when he passed in the vicinity of the community of Tiberias. May it be rebuilt for his tent was there, his shelter from sufferings and he felt her scenery in his throat and was short for words you scarified (?) in you services, your judgment was supreme and sharp, until the arrival of house of David, all (? ? ? ?) they said there is no (? ? ?) all valued the days of David and tell of his praise and his great deeds, where is the righteous man, where is the humble man,  the perfect and wise, the holy, our teacher and rabbi David Bari May his soul be bound with the souls of our rabbis Amen the righteous rose to sing and praise A Psalm of David disappeared from us on the fifth day of the month of Adar in the year 5531 [Tuesday 19 February 1771] since the creation.


Ezra Malki, 1772

Translation: Great is the land the devours there is no benefit for this death the Rabbi of our community, a father to all of us, the whole community is ready at the site where judgment will be given to the whole land, we are greatly satiated with bitter weeping and live with his death. Woe to the beauty, his splendor is buried in the earth, great is his camp, on the Torah and worship the older people must be warn and educate their young [a quote from Parashat Emor-the weekly torah portion that was read at the time of his death] a righteous man in the land, from a great ancient holy ancestry [roots] established from an (?) stock the son of an important man will shine, a fire in the land…(? ?) to the righteous of the land…(???) the distinguished rabbi the head of our city, in the honor of our honorable teacher and rabbi Rabbi Ezra Malki May the memory of the righteous be of a blessing his soul will rest in peace in the site where the righteous reside? like the mighty of the land, was summoned before the divine justice on the seventh day of the month of Iyar [Sunday 24 April 1768] in the year 5528 since the creation. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Moshe de Vushal

Translation: I will lament with a bitter voice I will not fail for a righteous who was like a palm tree the man Moshe praise and cry bitterly, mourn for Moshe the poor will also cry after the death of Moshe and the Torah that Moshe placed will shout bitterly did not stop from studying,  Moshe’s memory is his Torah Moshe will be happy with a tranquil rest the important rabbi, the community’s rabbi, the head of the city the humble righteous, our honorable teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Moshe de Vushal May the memory of the holy righteous be of a blessing, died with a good name on Tuesday the first day of the month of …. [the remainder is missing]


Rahamim Haim Yehuda Israel, 1892

Translation: Our crown has fallen, Woe what happened to us. Look passer-by because beneath me will rest a man, an offspring of holy rabbis and great sages in Israel. The holy rabbi the author of the book “Masat Moshe”, and his son the author of the book “Kol Eliyahu”, and his son the author of the book “Moshe Yidaber”, and his son the author of the book “Kol Yehudah” and his son the author of the book  “Shenot Yemin”.  May his merit protect us Amen  and after him his son who is concealed here, the crown of our heads, our teacher and rabbi, the air that we breath, the community’s rabbi, his holy and glorious name is Rahamim Haim Yehuda Yisrael the author of the book “Ben-Yamin”. I became mute and I will not tell of his praise because he ordered so before his death. Oh!! We cannot replace him. And it came to pass when the coffin set forward [a quote from Numbers 10:35 – and it came to pass when the ark set forward]. They have made a noise in the house of God as in the day of a solemn meeting [Book of Lamentations 2:7] and bitter lamentation. And the night of observance [the first night of Passover – Exodus 12:42] turned into a night of crying, and all of the nation of Israel cried for him because he was a messenger from the heavens for the magnificent land of Israel. Born on 25 to the month of Tamuz 5575 [2 August 1815] and died on Tuesday the first night of Passover 5652 [15 Nisan – 12 April 1892] to the order – we became orphans and we do not have a father by the full era 5652 [the sum of the Hebrew letters is 52, by the full era – we add 5600 for the year 5652] You will sleep well and wake up mercifully during the days of the Messiah. [On the right side:] And my master’s soul will be bound in the bond of life. [On the left side:] Lord, hear the voice of Yehuda and bring him to his people [Deuteronomy 33:7]


Samuel Yakov Israel, 1920

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. We will carry with lamentation and mourning for eternity our crown has fallen full of Torah and wisdom studied the Torah with great belief his soul will rest properly the crown of our heads [or the head of our family] has fallen, our teacher our father, the true scholar the honorable teacher and rabbi Rabbi Samuel Yakov Israel of blessed memory son of the rabbi the author of the book Ben-Yamin. May his memory live in the world to come on Saturday 5 Sivan 5680 [22 May 1920]. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Reuven Eliahu Israel, 1933

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. Here lies buried Reuven Eliahu Israel in the city of Craiova  Romania who served for twenty four and a half years as a rabbi and cantor for the Sephardic community and here in Rhodes from 14 Iyar 5681 [22 May 1921] until 20 Tishrei 5693 [20 October 1932] was born on the 27th of Sivan 5616 [30 June 1856] gone to his everlasting rest on 20 Tishrei 5693 [20 October 1932]. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Yedidiah Yosef Israel, 1919

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. A burial place of a respected old man, his light shined in the holy community for more than fifty years feared God and turned from evil, died in agony [pain] loved by the heavens and by people did not walk erect (?) an offspring of an important lineage, son of the same righteous author of the book “Shenot Yemin”.  May his memory live in the world to come the important wise rabbi, our honorable teacher and rabbi Yedidia Yosef Israel gone to his everlasting place [died] on Sunday, Tishrei in the year 5679 [15 September 1918]. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Avraham Vital Ben, 1922

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. A marker [or Zion]. Woe beloved father why did you leave us here we loved you with all of our hearts and you also loved us you suffered from a lot of pangs you were led to your grave your days ended with sickness and the crisis grew here you are Avraham Vital Ben Stamo you will calm down in the earth and fall asleep your name is known in the land and will shine in the heavens 22 Adar in the year 5682 [Wednesday, 22 March 1922]


Menahem Mizrahi, 1878

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. I will raise the sound of crying and express a bitter lamentation for the death of my father my teacher, my parent, and my glory, the exalted scholar oppressed with pain, our honorable teacher and rabbi Menahem Mizrahi of blessed memory died on the 18th day of the month of First Adar 5638 [21 February 1878]


Hezkia Shumuel Tarika, 1859

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge the sound of lamentation is being heard with wailing. The earth is trembling from anguish for this primary teacher. Taught the Torah to students. Woe to the one who departed, and Shumuel left. The sons’ voice, the sound of Shumuel’s sons crying bitterly. And Mordechai tore his cloths. We became orphans and we don’t have a father and a mother, we are grieving bitterly. We will unite with our sins. The crown of our heads [or the head of our family] fell at half of his life and was cut off from his people. And Shumuel died. The sound of a woman crying bitterly because her glory was taken from her – the holy righteous. Call me bitter – I’m like a black raven. His Master called him, and Shumuel died. The sound of his praise. Bless be his mother.  Grew up with a good name and died with a good name, the true scholar our honorable teacher and rabbi Hezkia Shumuel Tarika of blessed memory. And Shumuel a great writer in Israel died on the first day of Purim in the year 5619 [14 Second Adar – Sunday, 20 March 1859] and Shumuel will be summoned to God’s Garden of Eden. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Meir Baruch Capeluto, 1874

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. The sound of the son and the daughter crying for the fire, grief and sorrow. We became orphans and we don’t have a father, where did he go, for a fire has gone forth out of Heshbon [a quote from Jeremiah 48, verse 45]. He did not benefit from being skilled and wise. He was not able to find rest in the four corners. The sound of crying, his wife his widow, is dressed in black and her tear on her cheek shouting my misfortune is great and bitter. He became ill and suffered from his illness. Blessed be the true judge. He is righteous his decree is righteous and perfectly true. Woe to the beauty that is buried in the earth, the wise, the excellent, oppressed with sufferings who died during the recitation the, the honorable rabbi Meir Baruch Capeluto. May his soul rest in paradise and Baruch died on the fourth intermediate day of Passover in the year 5634 [20 Nisan – Tuesday, 7 April 1874]. May he reach the state of rest and security. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.


Eliahu Menashe, 1906

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. A tombstone for a man of God, he is holy and his deeds are great, collected money a handful by handful for the poor in Jerusalem, preached to many for he has been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts, [a quote from the First Book of Kings, chapter 19,verse 10] and turned many away from evil-doing. [A quote from the Book of Malachi, chapter 2, verse 6]. This stone will be a memorial for him so the last generation will know the power of his name and the name of his father. And on the day of his order his name will be greater than the names of other rabbis because before his death he ordered that he did not aspire to great things and miracles. Our honorable teacher and rabbi Eliyahu Menashe of blessed memory, son to the righteous the glorious treasurer whose name is known and praised the important honorable teacher and rabbi Moshe Menashe of blessed memory. And Eliyahu ascended on the 20th day of the month of mercy [Elul] at the age of 76 years in the year 5666 [Monday, 10 September 1906]. May his soul be bound in the bond of life Amen.


Gedalia Capeluto, 1897

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge. A tombstone for this eminent Torah scholar. The deceased was good to his Creator and fulfilled his words. An honored great writer, went early mornings and evenings to the synagogue and was a jewel in his many deeds, there was not impurity in it. A man upright and honest and God fearing, a man who was very kind, a true scholar who comprehended all the confirmations, was loved by the heavens and by people, where is the righteous man where is the humble man, Gedalia Capeluto May his memory live in the world to come and his soul be bound in the bond of life. On the twentieth day of the month of Second Adar in the year 5657 [Wednesday, 24 March 1897].


Moshe Codron, 1935

Translation: And Moshe the servant of God died there and was buried on the 16th day of Second Adar 5695 [21 March 1935] was seventy five years old at the time of his death. Blessed be the righteous judge who is sending fire from the heavens and flames from the skies Moshe Codron, one in a thousand, died passed away, went to his resting place his name will be remembered and here before our eyes he is placed in a coffin blessed be he that he left a graceful [beautiful] home in the land and he ascended to the heavens to a place that he created for himself his spirit will rest under the shelter of God and his soul will be bound in the bond of life Moise Codron, 1860 – 21 March 1935.


Yakov Capuya, 1944

Translation: Blessed be the righteous judge here will sleep in eternal rest a man wise and respected, old and full of days, worshiped God and turned from evil during the course of his long life, fulfilled and served in two holy positions, the position of a cantor and the position of a teacher to small children raised and uplifted many students in Judaism spirit, his death was a great loss to the whole community left behind him sons, daughters, grandchildren, and an old wife, and this is the true scholar [or sage] Yisrael Yakov Capuya, son of Eliyahu of blessed memory died on the seventh day of Shevat 5703 [13 January 1943] at the age of 96 years. May his soul be bound in the bond of life.

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10 Responses to “Tombs of the Rabbis”

  1. July 15th, 2015

    Jorge Capuya:

    El haham Yakov Capuya fue mi bisabuelo. Mi abuelo Isaac uno de sus hijos falleció en Argentina en 1978. Tuve la oportunidad de visitar su tumba en Junio de 2015, en el cementerio con mi hija Luciana. Toda mi familia es de de Rodas, mi madre fallecida hace poco era Regina Notrica. Sentí una gran emoción de estar en Rodas.

  2. July 8th, 2015

    Marco Gateño:

    I am the great-grandson of Chacham Yaakov Capouya. Just finished visiting his grave and had a very emotional visit to the Synagogue. I am the grandson of his youngest daughter Guilson, who lived until 102, and learned many times of Rhodes and her father from her. I am very proud and very happy to see our heritage being maintained and cared for so that the younger generations should know our wonderful history.

  3. January 5th, 2015

    maria Aguirre Franco:

    Hello, my grandfather Jose Franco family moved from Rhodes to Colombia, South America.

  4. June 2nd, 2014

    Keith Codron:

    Hello, I am the grandson of Solomon (Shlomo) Codron and Victoria ben-Veniste, who migrated from Rhodes to New York City in 1909. Also, I am the son of Isaac Codron and great-great-grandson of Rabbi Chilebi Nissim Codron, of whom I have a cherished photograph in my home (California). I plan to be in Rhodes next month, on July 19, 2014, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nazi evacuation of the Jews from Rhodes, and to pay my respects at the Square of the Martyrs.

  5. March 18th, 2014

    ORA exacta:

    Cel mai bun articol despre Tombs of the Rabbis pe care l-am citit ORA exacta pana acum!

  6. February 19th, 2013

    Matilda Gini Alalouf Codron de Barnatan:

    Yo soy Matilda Gini Barnatan ke lavoro 26 anyos en la Emision “SEFARAD” de Radio Eksterior de Espanya.
    En mi famiya, vinien de Rodes, munchas alkunyas de muestra famiya se topan, por dolor, en la laja de la
    Kilá Chalom de Rodes: ALKUNYAS : ALALOUFF, CODRÓN, RUSSO i unotras mas leshanas.Mizmo savemos de
    dos rabis afamados CODRON DE muestra famiya.Mi avuelo (grand papa) Salamon Alalouff i mi avuela (Grand-maman) Meryam Codrón de Alalouff, de Rodes, Mi avuelo,favrikante de tapetes tomo la dezision de aresentarse en America, en Uruguay i despues en Buenos Aires,Arjentina antes de la segunda guerra mondiala,i esto salvo su vida i la de su famiya :Mi madre Becky, aedada de sesh anyos, i Rafael mas chikitiko, salvaron i ansi salvimos deSspues kuandopor dolor los maldichos nasis destruyeron la ermoza “Isla de las Rozas” i a sus djudios, komo a los poveretos sesh miyones! Ke en Ganeden estén…!De muestra famiya semos de los Codrones ke soltanto kedo una prima de mi madre, Laure Codrón salvada del Olokosto onde pedrió a sus padres i ermanikos i mora en Stokolm; kon esta kerida pariente mos avlamos al telefon i konosi, mezmo a su ijo a la okazion de la inaugurasion de la Foresta de Rodes en Israel…
    Mi vida es arrekoger lingua i kultura sefardi, me ambezi el dzudezmo de mi Avuela Meryam, i mi vida es lavorar por esta lingua i kultura.
    En mi lavoro en la Emisión “Sefarad” en la Radio Nasionala de Espanya son 26 anyos! i endjuntos kon mi ija Viviana Rajel, lavora kon mi mas de 20 anyos i se ambezo la lingua ke agora eya es una eksperta en el mundo por entero!, Me plaze la investigasion a sujeto del Legado Sefardi i la Inkizision en América i tengo munchas puvlikasiones i siempre me topo serkana a muestra erensia.Sé ke munchas presonas me konoser i me plazeria tomar konosensia de eyos.
    Del arkeologo Sinyor Russo de Rodes, konosi ke (entre untrunas deskuvertas)topo la tomba por el deskuverta , de muestro antepazado yamado IAACOB CODRON, del siekolo dieziocho…
    Me plaze invitarvos a sentir las emisiones en sefardi de Radio Nasional de Espanya, para esto avrir RTVE, despues RNE, i REE i ansi entrar en Lenguas Extranjeras, Emision Sefarad kon muestros munchos programas en muestra lingua. Devemos agora lavorar por muestra lingua, ke ansimezmo es lavorar por las memorias de muestros keridos… Un abraso i Chalom aIsrael i al Mundo. Matilda Gini Barnatán i de soltera Alalouff Codrón.
    Mi adresso elektroniko :

  7. November 12th, 2012

    Walter (Yehuda) Franco:

    Endyamantados. Sara Mages translations are a great Historical tool to those interested in our ancestors. The elegance of the page makes it a delight. Todah Rabah l’kulam.

  8. July 9th, 2012

    Artur Frajnd:

    Hello, I am the great-grandson of Moshe Codron who is buried in the Rabbis’ section, the grandson of Leon Codron who perished in Auschwitz, and the son of Laura Codron who survived the concentration camps and settled in Stockholm, Sweden, where I was born. Since 1973 I live in Jerusalem, Israel. Thank you for your wonderful work!

  9. December 28th, 2011

    Robert Carlson (Tarica and Touriel Family):

    Yedidiah Yosef Israel was my great great great grandfather. His wife was Reina. I am blessed to have seen this.
    thank you aron! chag sameach

  10. August 28th, 2010

    Elena Franco:

    Yakov Capuya was my great-great grandfather. I actually visited his grave in Rhodes. His wife,my
    great-great grandmother Miriam,was tragically murdered by the Nazis. A small monument memorializing
    her was added to his tombstone. My grandmother, Marie Franco, who was named for Miriam, shared many wonderful stories wtih me about her grandparents. This sight brings back so many special memories
    of my trip to Rhodes.