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Aryeh Judah Leib ben Ephraim Ha-Kohen


ARYEH JUDAH LEIB BEN EPHRAIM HA-KOHEN (1658–1720), Moravian rabbi. Aryeh was the younger son of Ephraim b. Jacob ha-Kohen, rabbi of Ofen. He studied under his father together with his nephew Ẓevi Hirsch *Ashkenazi (the Ḥakham Ẓevi). His elder brother Hezekiah died in the plague which broke out in Ofen in 1678 and Aryeh was taken ill. According to his own statement (introduction to the responsa Sha'ar Efrayim) his father prayed that he be taken instead of his son. Aryeh Leib recovered; but his father succumbed to the plague. Before he died, he ordered his son to publish his books. After the death of his mother in 1684, Aryeh Judah decided to immigrate to Ereẓ Israel with his family and they were joined by Aaron, son of his deceased brother Hezekiah. They arrived in Jerusalem in 1685. There he began to arrange his father's book for publication although he found the preparatory work difficult; "it involved much trouble because of the confusing handwriting and the loss of many pages." About a year later he returned to Prague and published it under the title Sha'ar Efrayim (Sulzbach, 1688). It comprises 150 responsa on the four parts of the Shulḥan Arukh. The end of the work contains Kunteres Aḥaron ("Last Pamphlet") consisting of Aryeh's explanatory notes on the Talmud and the Tur, Ḥoshen Mishpat. Aryeh later returned to Ereẓ Israel, where he died in Safed. His son Jedidiah, pupil and later son-in-law of Abraham Yiẓḥaki (the Sephardi rabbi of Jerusalem), also wrote responsa, only one of which was published.


Michael, Or, 364, 510, 524, 946; S.J. Fuenn, Kiryah Ne'emanah (1860), 73–74; J. Emden, Megillat Sefer, ed. by D. Kahana (1896), 4 ff.; D. Kaufmann, in: rej, 21 (1890), 135; idem, Die Erstuermung Ofens (1895), 18–19, 22, 24, 26–27; idem, Gesammelte Schriften, 2 (1910), 303–5, 311–2; Frumkin-Rivlin, 2 (1928), 82–85.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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