Koraḥ, Shalom ben Yiḥye

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KORAḤ, SHALOM BEN YIḤYE (1873–1953), author and educator, from *Sanʿa, *Yemen. By profession Koraḥ was a copyist of books and a talented teacher who taught many pupils. An active participant in the communal life of Sanʿa and respected by the community, he acted as the community secretary and drafted the texts of many letters in its name, many of them kept in public archives in Israel, such as the Central Zionist Archives, as well as in private collections and which are a very helpful source for the 20th century history of the Jews of Yemen. He was considered the spokesman and writer of the Dor Deʿah movement, with two of which most distinguished leaders he studied: R. Yiḥye Qāfiḥ and R. Yiḥye Abyaḍ. In latter years he himself became a prominent leader of this movement. One of his works, Iggeret Bokhim (1963), is a monograph on R. Yiḥye Qāfiḥ and the eulogies which were delivered upon his death. Another book reflecting his tendency to historical documentation of his Jewish Yemenite community is Rogez Teman, separate chapters on the modern history of the Jews of Yemen, most of them published after his death. One of his most important works is Tiklāl Qadmonim (The Prayer Book of the First Generation), in which he documented the ancient version of the Yemenite rite in liturgy and everything connected to it in an annual and life cycles. He wrote the book in 1938, when still in Yemen, responding to a request of Yosef Ḥubārah, a Yemenite activist who had already immigrated to the Holy Land. This Tiklāl, published in a facsimile edition with introductory articles by some scholars (1964), is based on ancient copies of the Yemenite Tiklāls and constitutes trustworthy evidence for the old liturgical and halakhic Yemenite traditions. The remainder of his works, including many poems, is extant in manuscript and part of it has been recently published by his grandson R. Pinḥas Qorah. Near the end of his life he went to Israel in the mass immigration from Yemen. His son R. Yosef (1913–1990), who was counted with the leaders of the Jewish Sanʿani community in the 1940s, was a teacher in the modern girls' school in Sanʿa and took part in the organization of the mass aliyah to the State of Israel. R. Yosef continued his activity in Israel in education, especially to transmit the original Yemenite traditions to the young Yemenite generation, as well as his literary work.


Y. Qāfih, Ketavim, 2 (1989), 1007–14; Moshe Gavra, Encyclopedia of the Scholars of Yemenite Jewry (Heb., 2001), 566–67; J.L. Naḥum, Mi-Sefunot Yehudei Teman (1962), 251.

[Yosef Tobi (2nd ed.) ]