Joshua ben Mordecai Falk Ha-Kohen

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JOSHUA BEN MORDECAI FALK HA-KOHEN (1799–1864), rabbi. Joshua was born in Breść Kujawski in the district of Warsaw. In his youth he settled in Kurnik (Kornik), Poznania, and was therefore called Joshua of Kurnik. In c. 1854 he emigrated to the United States, was appointed rabbi in Newburg, New York, and also acted as an itinerant preacher. His career in the U.S. is obscure. He subsequently left the rabbinate and died in Keokuk, Iowa. His Avnei Yehoshuʾa (New York, 1860), a commentary on Avot, is of special importance in that it was the first work of rabbinic learning published in the United States. In the commentary he utilizes talmudic sources and the works of Maimonides, Judah Halevi, Isaac Arama, and Joseph Albo. In the introduction he mentions his unpublished works, Binyan Yehoshuʾa, on religious philosophy, and Ḥomat Yehoshuʾa, on halakhah.


Lebrecht, in: hb, 4 (1861), 27f.; Fuenn, Keneset, 431; E. Deinard, Sifrut Yisrael ba-Amerikah, 2 (1913), 1 no. 2; idem, Kohelet Amerikah, 2 (1926), 5, no. 4; M. Davis, Yahadut Amerikah be-Hitpatteḥutah (1951), 197.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]