Malachi ben Jacob Ha-Kohen

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MALACHI BEN JACOB HA-KOHEN (d. 1785–1790), Italian scholar. Little is known of his life. He was the pupil of Abraham Ḥayyim Raphael Rodrigues and of the kabbalist R. Joseph *Ergas, whom he succeeded as rabbi of Leghorn after the latter's death in 1730. He arranged Ergas' work Divrei Yosef for publication (Leghorn, 1742). He also drew up an order of service Shivḥei Todah ("Praises of Thanksgiving"; Leghorn, 1744), for the 22nd day of Shevat, an annual fast day proclaimed to commemorate the rescue of the Leghorn community from the earthquake of 1742. He lived to an old age, dying in Tripoli, where he had apparently served as an emissary for Ereẓ Israel. Malachi is best known through his work Yad Malakhi (ibid., 1767), which deals with the methodology of the Talmud and the codifiers. Part 1 contains principles of the Talmud in alphabetical order; Part 2, principles of the codifiers in chronological order; and Part 3, principles of various laws in alphabetical order. His novellae and responsa are found in the works of contemporary scholars. A manuscript of his responsa, Teshuvot Yad Malakhi, was published by E. *Gruenhut in Ha-Me'assef, 5 (1900). Malachi was also a liturgical poet. He composed Sefer Shirei Zimrah, which includes poems and dirges, part of which was published by S. Bernstein (Mizraḥ u-Ma'arav, 3 (1929), 245–61). His poem written on the occasion of the inauguration of the synagogue in Leghorn in 1742 was also published in Piperno's Kol Ugav (Leghorn, 1846).


Landshuth, Ammudei, 173–6; S. Bernstein, Mi-Shirei Yisrael be-Italyah (1939), 81–86; N. Slouschz, Massa'i be-Ereẓ Luv (1937), 246; J. Schirmann, Mivḥar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit be-Italyah (1934), 399–400; A. Toaff and A. Lattes, Gli Studi ebraici a Livorno (1909), 25ff.

[Abraham David]