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Bidding Information
Lot #    13724
Auction End Date    3/7/2006 12:25:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Ve-Shav ha-Kohen - She'elat ha-Kohanim Torah
Title (Hebrew)    ושב הכהן - שאלת הכהנים תורה
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Raphael Kohen
City    Altona
Publisher    Eckstorff
Publication Date    1792
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   Only edition. [2], 154, [13]; [2], 40, [6] ff., 304:190 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining, old hand and stamp on title. A very good copy bound in contemporary half leather boards, rubbed.
          
Detailed
Description
   101 responsa in the first work, novellae and expositions on seven tractates of the order Kodashim in the latter.

R. Raphael b. Jekuthiel Suesskind Kohen (1722–1803), was born in Livonia and in his youth studied in Minsk at the yeshivah of his relative, R. Aryeh b. Asher Gunzberg, author of the Sha'agat Aryeh. In 1742 he was appointed head of the yeshivah, and between 1745 and 1776 he served successively as rabbi of the communities of Minsk, Rakov, Wilkomir, and Pinsk. In 1771, while he was in Berlin in connection with the printing of his Torat Yekuti'el, he was received by the scholars of the city with enthusiasm and was offered the rabbinate, but he refused and returned to Pinsk. From 1773 he served as rabbi of Posen and in 1776 was appointed to the combined communities of Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck. In 1799 he planned to settle in Erez Israel but did not succeed in fulfilling that desire because of the war in Europe, where he remained until his death. He did, however, resign from the rabbinate in 1799 and became a private citizen. The king of Denmark, in whose territory the communities were, sent him a letter of appreciation for the services he had rendered to the community. R. Kohen strongly opposed the Haskalah and Mendelssohn's German translation of the Pentateuch. When R. Kohen published his Torat Yekutiel (Berlin, 1772), glosses on the first three chapters of the Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, Saul Berlin criticized it mercilessly in his Mizpeh Yokte'el (ibid., 1789), charging that the work contained mistakes and errors, forgeries and plagiarisms. A stormy controversy ensued. R. Kohen's colleagues on the bet din of Altona decided to excommunicate Berlin. Various rabbis - among them R. Mordecai Banet - intervened in the quarrel and protested against Berlin's accusations. His other works include: Marpe Lashon (ibid., 1790), divided into six "pillars," containing expositions of rabbinic aggadot and ethics; and Da'at Kedoshim (ibid., 1797), 12 sermons in halakhah and aggadah. The last two sermons he delivered in 1799 were published in the Zekher Zaddik (ibid., 1805) of his son-in-law R. Eliezer Leiser Katzenellenbogen-Reiser, which also includes a biography of R. Kohen entitled Ma'alelei Ish and the eulogies delivered on him. According to his son-in-law, R. Kohen sought to determine the plain sense of the Talmud and the language of the early halakhic authorities in order to trace every halakhah back to its source. He was opposed to those who relied almost entirely on the Codes for halakhic decisions without examining the early authorities, and he insisted on the need to delve into the origin and source of each law. He rejected the "casuistic method which does not accord with the halakhah"; he frequently emphasized his trepidation and hesitation in laying down the law, referring to himself as mi-yirei hora'ah ("one who fears to state the halakhah"), a pun on moreh halakhah ("a teacher of halakhah"). In a problem concerning the permission of an agunah to remarry, he states that if "two more renowned halakhic authorities will agree with me, then I too will join them, but if not, then my words are null and void and I do not wish my decision to be relied upon" (responsa 3 in the appendix to Torat Yekutiel). R. Kohen cites Torah novellae of his son, R. Zevi Hirsch, the av bet din of Krotoschin (Krotoszyn), and of his father-in-law, R. Zevi Hirsch b. Abraham, the av bet din of Posen and Fuerth.

          
Paragraph 2    ... וחידושי הלכות... נאם רפאל בלאאמ"ו... ר' יקותיאל זיסקינד כ"ץ זללה"ה חונה בשלש ק"ק אה"ו [אלטונא, האמבורג, וואנדסבעק]...

[9] דף: קונטרס אחד מה ששלח לי ה"ה חתני... ר' צבי הירש (ב"ר אברהם) זלה"ה שהי' אב"ד בק"ק פוזנן ובק"ק פיורדא... בהא דשהה עשר שנים ולא ילדה.

על סדר קדשים, חידושים וביאורים... נאם רפאל בלאאמ"ו... ר' יקותיאל זיסקינד כ"ץ זללה"ה חונה בשלש ק"ק אה"ו [אלטונא, האמבורג, וואנדסבעק]...

דף [5-3,א]: [חידושים] בשם בני... ר' צבי הירש כ"ץ נ"י אב"ד... קראטשין. דף [5]: [חידושים] בשם חתני... ר' יחיאל מיכל נרו שפייאר אב"ד... גלהויזין.

          
Reference
Description
   Friedberg 295; EJ; CD-EPI 0141568; 0141573
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
  
18th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Germany:    Checked
  
Subject
Responsa:    Checked
  
Characteristic
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica