Kahana (Kogan), David

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KAHANA (Kogan ), DAVID (1838–1915), scholar. Kahana, who was born in Odessa, published his first article in Ha-Meliẓ in 1866. He became known through his monographs on kabbalists, Shabbateans, and Hasidim which were first published in Ha-Shaḥar (1874–75; later in Keneset Yisrael 1886, and Ha-Shilo'aḥ, 1897, 1899, 1909), and then in book form. His main work in this field is concentrated in his two-volume Toledot ha-Mekubbalim, ha-Shabbeta'im ve-ha-Ḥasidim (1913; 19262). In the field of Bible studies he published (1) Or Ḥadash (1880) on Psalm 68; (2) Meḥkerei Kohelet ben David (1881), an introduction to the Book of Ecclesiastes, with a commentary to Psalm 119 as an appendix; (3) Devar Ester (1881), introduction and commentary to the Book of Esther; (4) Masoret Seyag la-Mikra (1882), a defense of the masorah; (5) Mavo le-Parshat Bilam u-Devar Atono (1883); and (6) Toledot Shelomo (1883), on Solomon and Solomonic literature.

Kahana also wrote numerous studies on other periods of Jewish history, in particular a number of articles on medieval grammarians and poets published in Ha-Shilo'aḥ. Noteworthy among his other works are (1) Le-Toledot R. Sa'adyah Ga'on (1892); (2) Rosh Petanim (1883), on *Eisenmenger; (3) Ma'asei Even Reshef (1884), on the forgeries of *Firkovich; (4) Ḥokhmat Yehudah (1892), Jewish-Christian polemics on religion; (5) "On Lilienthal and the Russian Haskalah Movement" (Ha-Shilo'aḥ, 1912). Kahana also edited the Hebrew original of Ben Sira, Ḥokhmat ben Sira (1912; first published in Ha-Shilo'aḥ), together with the only Hebrew commentary on the book existing at that time; the collected poems, with introductions and notes, of Dunash b. Labrat (1894), Solomon Sharvit ha-Zahav (1894), and Abraham ibn Ezra (1894); and Megillat Sefer (1897), an autobiography of Jacob *Emden, based on manuscripts in Oxford. He died in Odessa.


N. Sokolow (ed.), Sefer Zikkaron le-Soferei Ereẓ Yisrael ha-Ḥayyim Ittanu ka-Yom… (1889), 199; Lu'aḥ Aḥi'asaf, 2 (1895), 269–71; J. Klausner, Yoẓerim u-Vonim, 1 (19442), 46–56; G. Scholem, Bibliographia Kabbalistica (1933), 80–82.

[Encyclopaedia Judaica (Germany)]