Amos Luzzatto

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Amoz Luzzatto
Born (1928-06-03) 3 June 1928 (age 90)
Rome, Italy
Occupation Essayist, Physician
Nationality Italian
Period 1990, 2000
Genre historical, literary, medical, political, Judaism
Literary movement Bialik and Ahad Ha'am
Spouse married
Children three
Relatives Samuel David Luzzatto-Shadal

Amos Luzzatto (born 3 June 1928, in Rome) is an Italian writer and essayist of Jewish descent, born in a family of ancient tradition. His mother's father, Dante Lattes,[1] was one of the most important representatives of Jewish Italian culture in the 20th century. His father's great-great-grandfather, Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal),[2] was teaching at the Rabbinical College in Padua and was an Italian representative of the "Wissenschaft des Judentums".


During his adolescence, he lived in Jerusalem, until 1946. For more than forty years he worked as a surgeon in several Italian hospitals. He was university lecturer and Chief Physician, he devoted his studies especially to the applications of mathematical systems to the medical-clinical researches.

He likes to be defined "physician – expert in Jewish culture". He insists above all on modern Jewish identity, which, according to him, has increased the value and has brought to the affirmation of the category of national identity, together with the "religious" one. Following thinkers like Bialik and Ahad Ha'am, he believes that this national identity should develop in continuity with Jewish history and tradition and urges those who follow this path to master, through studying, not only Hebrew, but also Bible, Midrashic-Talmudic Literature and all its developments until our time.

He translated and commented the Book of Job (Feltrinelli, 1991) and The Song of Songs (Giuntina, 1997). He wrote How to read Midrash (Morcelliana, 1999), The place of the Jews (Einaudi, 2003) and an interview-book Paths of my life in Judaism, science and politics (Morcelliana, 2003).

He has contributed with personal essays in the books Left Wing and Jewish question (Editori Riuniti, 1989), Modern Jews (Bollati-Boringheri, 1989), Besides the Ghetto (Morcelliana, 1992), Annali Einaudi- Storia degli Ebrei d'Italia, vol. II (Einaudi, 1997).

He took part with personal reports to several and international conferences on Jewish culture subjects. He held a course on Jewish Literature and the Midrash at the University of Venice, Department of Religious History. At the same University, he organized the "Socrates European Master in Archaeology and the Dynamics of Writing", regarding the Jewish aspect of this subject. At Roma Tre University, he holds a course on Midrash within the History of Religions and a Laboratory on the dynamics of prejudice.[3]

He is editor-in-chief of the Rassegna Mensile d'Israel.

From June 1998 to February 2006, he was the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.[4][5]


  1. ^ Dante Lattes (1876–1965) was an Italian writer, journalist, teacher of Hebrew language and literature at the Institute of Oriental Languages in Rome, as well as director of the Italian Rabbinical College. From 1896 he co-directed with Riccardo Curiel the Corriere Israelitico. In 1915, together with Alfonso Pacifici he founded the weekly Israel in Florence, and in 1922 the monthly Israel Review, which he directed until his death. With his writings, Lattes was a guide and a teacher to three generations of Italian Jews.
  2. ^ Samuel David Luzzatto (1800–65) was an Italian historian, theologian, and biblical exegete, known, after the initial letters of his Hebrew name, as Shadal. Shadal was one of the pioneers of the Judische Wissenschaft movement, contributing many studies in Jewish history to learned periodicals and producing a critical edition of the Italian Prayer Book [1][permanent dead link].
  3. ^ Cf. The Future of Science webpage on Luzzatto Archived 19 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine., 25 September 2005
  4. ^ Jason Horowitz (19 January 2005). "130 Jewish leaders thank John Paul II". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Zaia ringrazia e saluta Amos Luzzatto, "Prezioso testimone di cultura antirazzista"" (in Italian). Government of Veneto. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 


  • Ebrei moderni (Modern Jews) (Bollati-Boringheri, 1989).
  • Sinistra e questione ebraica (Left Wing and Jewish question) (Editori Riuniti, 1989).
  • Oltre il Ghetto (Besides the Ghetto) (Morcelliana, 1992).
  • Annali Einaudi – Storia degli ebrei d'Italia, vol. II, Annals/Encyclopaedic work on the Jews in Italy (Einaudi, 1997).
  • Leggere il Midrash (How to read Midrash) (Morcelliana, 1999).
  • Una vita tra ebraismo, scienza e politica (Paths of my life in Judaism, science and politics) (Morcelliana, 2003).
  • Il posto degli ebrei (The place of the Jews) (Einaudi, 2003).
  • La leggenda di Concobello (The Concobello Legend) (Mursia, 2006).

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