||The Author, Italian lay scholar and bibliophile, was a wealthy businessman of Novellara in northern Italy (not Nicolara, as in some works of reference), he later extended his interests to Gonzaga in the duchy of Mantua, where he was authorized to open a loan-bank in 1557. From a manuscript in his rich library the Mirkevet ha-Mishneh of Isaac Abrabanel was published in Sahbionetta in 1551, the first Hebrew book printed there. His only known work is Toledot Aharon, a concordance of biblical passages cited in the Babylonian Talmud, arranged in the order of the Bible. After his death, his three sons who succeeded him in his business, sent the manuscript of the work to the wandering Hebrew printer, Israel Zifroni, who published it at Freiburg in 1583–84, and Venice in 1591–92. R. Jacob Sasportas appended to the work references from the Jerusalem Talmud (Toledot Ya'akov, Amsterdam, 1652) while Aaron b. Samuel added references from other rabbinic and kabbalistic works (Beit Aharon, Frankfort on the Oder, 1690–91). Toledot Aharon is printed in abbreviated form in most editions of the rabbinic Bible.
R. Jacob Sasportas (c. 1610–1698), rabbi, a fierce opponent of the Shabbatean movement. He was born and educated in Oran (North Africa) and became widely known for his talmudic erudition. After his appointment as rabbi of the TlemLen community the neighboring communities also recognized his authority. However, when he was 37 years old he was dismissed by the government; he then proceeded to wander throughout Europe, visiting many communities in Germany, Italy, and England (he was offered the position of haham of the Sephardi community in London in 1664 but left the next year because of the plague). His main ambition was the rabbinate of Amsterdam, but he did not achieve it until 1693, when he was 83 years old. Personal bitterness deriving from his lack of a congregation which could serve as a base for his activities colored his attitude in many disputes. He was a staunch defender of the rabbinate and the traditional halakhah and throughout his life was involved in polemical disputes. Many of his responsa were collected in the book Ohel Ya'akov (Amsterdam, 1737), published by his son, Abraham.