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Kimḥi, Jacob ben Samuel

KIMḤI, JACOB BEN SAMUEL

KIMḤI, JACOB BEN SAMUEL (c. 1720–1800), talmudist and author in London. Jacob Kimḥi was born in Constantinople where his father Samuel, whose responsa are mentioned in the Masat Moshe of Moses *Israel (Ḥm nos. 50–51; Constantinople, 1734), was rabbi. At an early age Kimḥi undertook journeys through Europe, finally arriving in London, where he remained until his death. There he engaged in business but became well known through his extensive knowledge of Talmud. Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai made his acquaintance in London and describes him as "an acute and erudite" scholar. He was the author of Shoshannat Ya'akov (Sulzbach, 1748), novellae to tractates Beẓah and Ta'anit. He states that his aim was "to avoid casuistry and hairsplitting and establish the plain meaning of the Talmud in order to arrive at the law"; he sought to answer difficulties raised against the statements of Rashi and the tosafists. His She'elah u-Teshuvah be-Inyan Bedikat ha-Re'ah ve-ha-Sheḥitah u-Vedikah be-London ("A Responsum on the Subject of the Slaughtering of Cattle and the Examination of their Lungs in London"; Altona, 1760) was occasioned by a dispute that broke out in London between 1755 and 1766 in connection with *sheḥitah, which led to a schism between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities, in consequence of the accusations of the Sephardi shoḥet Ḥayyim Albahali (1755) that the slaughterers did not sufficiently supervise the examination of the meat after sheḥitah. Kimḥi published his work, in which he supported the view of Albahali, when the dispute was at its height.

bibliography:

Azulai, 1 (1852), 177 no. 149; idem, Ma'gal Tov ha-Shalem, ed. by A. Freimann (1934), 31f.; C. Duschinsky, in: jhset, 7 (1915), 272–90; idem, The Rabbinate of the Great Synagogue (1921), 7 n. 1, 279, 282.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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