- Lot Number 52909
- Title (English) Marpe Lashon
- Title (Hebrew) מרפא לשון
- Note First Edition
- Author R. Raphael b. Jekuthiel Suesskind Kohn
- City Altona
- Publisher משה בן מענדיל סג"ל
- Publication Date 1790
- Estimated Price - Low 300
- Estimated Price - High 600
- Item # 2271038
- End Date
- Start Date
First edition. , 125,  ff., quarto, 189:148 mm., nice margins, light age staining, small paper repair to title upper inner margin. A very good copy bound in later boards, rubbed.
R. Kohen strongly opposed the Haskalah and Mendelssohn's German translation of the Pentateuch. When R. Kohen published his Torat Yekutiel (Berlin, 1772), glosses on the first three chapters of the Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, Saul Berlin criticized it mercilessly in his Mizpeh Yokte'el (ibid., 1789), charging that the work contained mistakes and errors, forgeries and plagiarisms. A stormy controversy ensued. Kohen's colleagues on the bet din of Altona decided to excommunicate Berlin. Various rabbis - among them R. Mordecai Banet - intervened in the quarrel and protested against Berlin's accusations.
His other works include: Ve-Shav ha-Kohen (Altona, 1792), 101 responsa; She'elat ha-Kohanim Torah (ibid., 1792), novellae and expositions on seven tractates of the order Kodashim; and Da'at Kedoshim (ibid., 1797), 12 sermons in halakhah and aggadah. The last two sermons he delivered in 1799 were published in the Zekher Zaddik (ibid., 1805) of his son-in-law R. Eliezer Leiser Katzenellenbogen-Reiser, which also includes a biography of R. Kohen entitled Ma'alelei Ish and the eulogies delivered on him. According to his son-in-law, R. Kohen sought to determine the plain sense of the Talmud and the language of the early halakhic authorities in order to trace every halakhah back to its source. He was opposed to those who relied almost entirely on the Codes for halakhic decisions without examining the early authorities, and he insisted on the need to delve into the origin and source of each law. He rejected the "casuistic method which does not accord with the halakhah"; he frequently emphasized his trepidation and hesitation in laying down the law, referring to himself as mi-yirei hora'ah ("one who fears to state the halakhah"), a pun on moreh halakhah ("a teacher of halakhah"). In a problem concerning the permission of an agunah to remarry, he states that if "two more renowned halakhic authorities will agree with me, then I too will join them, but if not, then my words are null and void and I do not wish my decision to be relied upon" (responsa 3 in the appendix to Torat Yekutiel).
... שמעו לי למוסרי ולתוכחתי... חברתי... רפאל בלאאמ"ו... ר' יקותיאל זיסקינד כ"ץ זלה"ה חונה בשלש ק"ק אה"ו [אלטונא, האמבורג, וואנדסבעק]...
בשנת להבין משל ומליצה דברי חכ'מ'י'ם' וחידות'ם' דף קיט-קכא: מן בני הרב... צבי הירש כ"ץ נ"י אב"ד... קראטשין... מחידושי הגדות. דף קכב-קכג: בשם חתני הרב... יחיאל מיכל נר"ו שפאייר אב"ד... גל הויזין. ומדינת מערהאלץ ואגפי'.
ReferencesBibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000141571; Zinberg, Sifrut, 5 (1959), 124–7; EJ; JE; M. Samet, in: KS, 43 (1968), 430f.; idem, in: Mehkarim... le-Zekher Z. Avneri (1970), 246–8.