Hacham Eliyahu Cohen

A Short Tribute

Hacham Eliyahu Cohen, son of Hacham Kamus Cohen, was born in Djerba, Tunisia.

He began his Torah studies with Hacham Moshe Zaqen Mazouz and Hacham Haim Cohen. Hacham Eliyahu Cohen was an expert in the Halakha of ritual slaughtering and kashrut, serving as a shochet and bodeq in Djerba. He exchanged letters and Responsa with the sages of Tunis, including Hacham Kalfon Hacohen, Hacham Moshe Zaqen Mazouz and Hacham Shimon Cohen, among others.

Hacham Eliyahu Cohen officiated in the Tripoli rabbinate for a short period.

He passed away on 20 Tevet, 5684 (1923) in Djerba.

Hacham Eliyahu Cohen left us with original commentary on the Bible, Orakh Mishordrash [homiletic] and Derech Yasharpshat [literal], and original commentary on Talmud, Tractate Avot, and Responsa on Treifa halakha. His writings were kept by Hacham Eliyahu Moshe Cohen Driham, whose children had them published after immigrating to Israel in a book entitled Orchot Haim.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Customs of Israel' in which he gives the reason for reciting "Kol Israel" before engaging in Torah study, for the portion [of the World-to-Come] is rewarded not only to the one who studies
"All of Israel has a share in the World-to-Come". It is the Jewish custom to recite this Mishna before reading a Mishna or Halakha. The reason may be found in what our sages, of blessed memory, said: "Whoever supports Torah scholars is considered as though he studies, 'for to be in the shelter of wisdom is to be also in the shelter of money'. We learn from this that those who support Torah scholars are considered as though they, themselves, study because they enable Torah scholars to study and are rewarded as though they have fulfilled [the mitzvah].
This is what is meant by "All of Israel". 'All' – includes the supporters, which is why we always recite this Mishna before we study, indicating that the supporters are rewarded as though they themselves study, as the verse that follows shows, "And Your people are all righteous". Question: Are there not, however, some people who do not deal in Torah? But by supporting them and providing them with a livelihood, they share the reward and all are, therefore, righteous.
Orchot Haim, p. 334, Ahavat Shalom Publishing, Jerusalem 1990