Kimḥi, Solomon ben Nissim Joseph David

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KIMḤI, SOLOMON BEN NISSIM JOSEPH DAVID (mid-19th century), talmudist of Constantinople. Solomon's father, who died in 1836, was rabbi in Constantinople; Solomon himself was at the height of his activity in 1861 and was still alive in 1870. He wrote Melekhet Shelomo (1862) consisting of responsa, novellae to various tractates, and sermons; Yakhil Shelomo (1865), novellae to the four parts of Jacob b. Asher's Tur; Yemei Shelomo (1874), novellae to Maimonides' Mishneh Torah. The Melekhet Shelomo (yd no. 4, p. 8b) includes his interesting reply to the question whether a Jew may teach the Oral Law to Karaites. He takes up a consistent and extreme attitude, insisting that Karaites of his day are to be regarded as non-Jews and that, as their intention is undoubtedly merely to embarrass Jewish scholars, such teaching is forbidden. This ruling gave rise to considerable controversy and the Karaites reacted strongly in an article in the Journal Israélite (no. 513/14, December 1866) demanding that Yakir Gheron, the chief rabbi of Constantinople, intervene in the matter. The latter in fact ordered the burning of all copies of the book that could be found and severely censured the author. In accordance with his view of the status of the Karaites, Kimḥi laid down that one may use milk drawn by a Karaite on a day which is a Jewish festival but not according to the Karaite calendar (Yakhil Shelomo, 35:b).


Frankl, in: mgwj, 33 (1884), 553f., 557f.; A. Galante, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul, 1 (1941), 133.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]