Hacham Shalom Daniel Yehuda Cohen

A Short Tribute

Hacham Shalom Daniel Yehuda Cohen, son of Hacham Moshe Cohen, was born during the month of Iyar in 5595 (1835) on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. He studied Torah with the illustrious Hacham Khalifa 'Idan and, as an adult, became a successful entrepreneur. Hacham Shalom Daniel Yehuda Cohen was one of his city's leading townsmen, providing charity for many needy people, and was reknowned for his support of Torah scholars. He undertook the regular and complete sustenance of two of the Jewish people's great scholars, Hacham David Hacohen and Hacham Yaakov Hacohen. With time, however, his luck turned; he abandoned his commerce, choosing a life of Torah study in poverty.

In 1891 Hacham Shalom Daniel Cohen moved to the city of Zarzis, Tunisia, where he officiated as the city's rabbi, ruling Halakha and preaching Torah. He was respected by Tunisia's Muslim population as well, who would visit him to receive his blessings.

In 1921, Hacham Shalom Daniel Yehuda Cohen immigrated to the Land of Israel, settling in Tiberias. He passed away on Hol HaMo'ed Sukkoth, on the 18th of Tishrei 5686 (1925). Word of his passing reached the island of Djerba after the festival's end, where he was mourned by a large assembly.

Hacham Shalom Daniel Yehuda Cohen authored the following books: Nehar Shalom – on the Torah, Divrei Shaul – on the Torah, which he wrote jointly with his grandfather, Hafetz Yakar – on the mitzvoth, Haim VeShalom – on personal attributes, and Sha'arei Shalom – on the senses.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Redemption of Israel' in which he expresses gratitude to those whose efforts helped him obtain a permit of entry into the Land of Israel

Never, for all eternity, will I forget the great favor and goodness provided to me by this great person, great in Torah and fluent in the sciences, the most pleasant of sons, a son of holy people, precious angels; pure of mind and spirit, sharp and profound of thought, President of the Beth Din, the most saintly Teacher and Master Rabbi Shlomo Tangier, may God save and preserve him, Chief Rabbi of the great city of Beirut, may God protect it, who came to my rescue upon my 'climbing the mountain' – God's adored mountain, Tiberias, may it be speedily rebuilt and established in our day – at the time that I had all but given up hope to reach my goal and seemed doomed to return. Like an angel, he stood to my right, sending his pure missive and his guarantees to the exalted government of Israel, and obtained permission for me to join the immigrants entering our land, our forefathers' legacy. Here I am today, with those who immigrated with me, in the holy city of Tiberias, may it speedily be rebuilt and established in our day, Amen, thanks to the great good and salvation of God.

Haim VeShalom, Author's Introduction, p. 240, published by HaRav Nissim Triblesi, Moshav Telamim, Orly Printing, Tel Aviv, 1985