This Day in Jewish History A Pre-modern Celebrity: Rabbi, Scholar and Gambling Man

Leon of Modena possessed a fascinating combination of social distinction, erudition, intellectual nimbleness and striking weakness of character.

On March 24, 1648, the Jewish writer and scholar Yehuda Aryeh Mi’modena, better known as Leon of Modena, died in Venice at the age of 76. Leon  possessed a fascinating combination of social distinction, erudition and intellectual nimbleness, and weakness of character that made him something of a pre-modern celebrity, known as much for his moral failings as for his accomplishments.