Perna, widow of the late Beniamino Cohen: Rome, 1577

Dublin Core


Perna, widow of the late Beniamino Cohen: Rome, 1577


Perna, widow of the late Beniamino Cohen


Perna, identified as elderly ("zeqena"), bequeaths her dowry funds mostly to relatives. She leaves 3 scudi to one David di Hannania di Sabatello, for him to say the mourner's prayer (kaddish) for her, noting quite cheekily that he should only receive the money if he actually says kaddish for her. She also leaves small amounts to a synagogue (Scola Tempio), and two confraternities, one that cares for the needy and ill (Ghemilut Hasadim) and a women's confraternity (Betulot, literally virgins, a society that dowered brides). The will was recorded by Isach Piattelli, a Jewish notary, in Hebrew. 


In the house of Menachem q.m Beniamino Cohen, his mother, the zechenah Perna, widow q.m Beniamino, writes her will, disposing of the 40 sc. which her husband gave her as dowry, since she did not bring any money of her own. She leaves 7 sc. to the bachurah Rinuzza, daughter of her brother Sabato, to be given to her when she marries; 5 sc. to Salomone, Moise and Giuseppe the mute, sons of her brother Elia; 5 sc. to Perna, daughter of her sister Preziosa; to her grandson Beniamino, son of Menachem 15 sc. as a matanah ghemurah to be used to study the Torah regularly; 3 sc. to David di Hannania di Sabatello to say the kaddish, but only if he actually says it; 3 sc. to her granddaughter Rosa, wife of Gabriele di Palestrina, daughter of Menachem; and 1 sc. each to the Scola Tempio, Ghemilut Hasadim and the "Betulot, that is the company of the women".

Witnesses for the act are: Giacobbe di Benedetto Ha Rofeh del Piglio; Benedetto q.m Isach Levi Tedeschi; Haim q.m Saadia Moresco; Natan q.m Yehudah Tripolese; Angelo q.m Sabato Negri; Giacobbe q.m Gabriele di Nepi; and Benedetto q.m Isach Perugia.

NOTE FROM K.S.: The mattanah gemurah is the Hebrew equivalent of an “irrevocable gift,” a donatio inter vivos, in ius commune, although the term is Talmudic in origin.


Rome, Italy


15 August 1577


Archivio Storico Capitolino, Rome
ASC, F.9, l.1, f.36v. 1577-08-15






Kenneth Stow