Kokhavi (Estella), David ben Samuel

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KOKHAVI (Estella ), DAVID BEN SAMUEL (c. 1300), Provençal talmudist, active in Avignon. No biographical details are known of him. His signature occurs on two responsa included in the responsa of Isaac di Lattes (Vienna, 1860) in connection with an incident which occurred in 1305. He wrote many works, of which, however, only fragments have been published. His main work, Sefer ha-Battim, also called Kiryat Sefer, consists of halakhic rulings. It is based upon, and follows, Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, with regard to arrangement and style, but gives additional rulings, clarification of halakhic problems, and decides between conflicting views. A fragment of the introduction was published by Neubauer and additional fragments by M. Herschler (Moriah 1 and 2 (1969), Sinai, 62, 1968, 199–228). The whole work is extant in various libraries in manuscript (Oxford, Escorial (Spain), and elsewhere). There is also extant a manuscript of his, Migdal David, which deals with philosophical topics. It is likewise based on Maimonides (Mss. Moscow, Guenzburg Collection, no. 234).


Neubauer, in: rej, 9 (1884), 214–28; Neubauer, Chronicles, 2 (1895), 239f.; Gross, Gal Jud, 54; Renan, Ecrivains, 471–7; Shatzmiller, in: Sefunot, 10 (1966), 20f., 36; Isaac de Lattes, Sha'arei Zion (ed. S. Buber; 1881); Albeck (ed.), in: Abraham b. Isaac of Narbonne, Sefer ha-Eshkol (1935), 25.

[Shlomoh Zalman Havlin]