R. Papo was born in Constantinople and emigrated to Jerusalem at the young age of seven. In 1844 he was sent as Shedar to Egypt and Turkey where he was drafted to be Haham Bashi in Smyrna. He served in Turkey for several years, established Yeshivot before returning to Jerusalem in 1910. In Jerusalem he was appointed head of the Sephardim, he however refused to accept the Haham Bashi title in Jerusalem. He wrote Pnei David (Jerusalem 1924) responsa, and Beni Meir (Jerusalem 1914) homilies.