Ohalei Shem by Rabbi Joseph Kohn-Zedek, London 1883.

OhaleiShem01Joseph Kohen-Zedek, was born in Lemberg (then in Austria, today Lviv in the Ukraine) in 1827.  He was a pupil of Rabbi Solomon Kluger in Brody and Rabbi Saul Joseph Nathanson in Lemberg.  He published a number of collections of patriotic poetry in honor of the Austro-Hungarian emperor – from whom he received a gold medal for art and science in 1851 – and an anthology of contemporary poetry dedicated to Moses Montefiore, Neveh Kehilla in 1864.

This book, Ohalei Shem (Tents of Shem) on blood libels, is an account of the trial of Jacob ben Isaac of the city of Madrid, Spain, in the year 5202 (1442).

He edited a number of Hebrew periodicals: Meged Yeraḥim, Oẓar Ḥokhmah, Ohr Chochma (which I have written about previously), Ha-Yehudi ha-Niẓḥi  and Or Torah. His weekly Ha-Mevasser (The Herald), which included a literary supplement, Ha-Nesher (The Eagle), was the first Hebrew paper in Galicia (1861–66); and some of the best Hebrew writers and scholars contributed to it.

Kohen-Zedek left Austria in 1868. He went first to Frankfurt on the Main, and in 1875 to London, where he served as preacher to various East London congregations and ran annual services at the Jews Free School.

In London he wrote a number of mainly homiletic works, including:
Elef Alfin, a thousand-word eulogy on Chief Rabbi Nathan Adler, each word beginning with alef.

Musar Haskel (The moral lesson) – (1878), a book of sermons in Hebrew and Yiddish, which I have also written about previously.

Sefas Emes (1879), a polemic against Michael Rodkinson who had translated the Talmud into English,

Ohole Shem: Tents of Shem – this book.

His Biographical Sketches of Eminent Jewish Families (1897) is in English.

He died in London in 1903.

The book was sold for half-a-crown (2/6) and was available around the world from the following:


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