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Isaak Kahane

KAHANE, ISAAK (Yitẓḥhak Ze'ev; 1904–1963), rabbinic scholar. Kahane was born in Munkacs, Hungary, and studied at talmudic schools in his hometown, where he was ordained. He continued his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau and the University of Prague. Subsequently he became rabbi of Pohorelice (Pohrlitz), Moravia, serving until his emigration to Palestine in 1939. In Jerusalem he was associated with several religious research institutions, chiefly Mosad ha-Rav Kook. During the last years of his life, he taught rabbinic literature at Bar-Ilan University. Kahane's major field of research was rabbinic responsa literature. In numerous studies he organized and analyzed a variety of topics and problems discussed in rabbinic responsa and also abstracted material of historical or linguistic interest from them. Among his works are Shemittat Kesafim (1945), on the cancellation of debts in the sabbatical year; Le-Takkanat Agunot (1946), on the agunah ("deserted wife") problem; Sefer ha-Agunot (1954), a voluminous collection of source material on the agunah question; and Teshuvot, Pesakim u-Minhagim (3 vols., 1957–62), responsa, rulings, and customs of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, systematically arranged and annotated. His contributions to Hebrew scholarly periodicals and publications include: "Military Service in Rabbinic Responsa" (Sinai, 1948); "Changes in the Value of Currency in Jewish Law" (ibid., 1949); "Medicine in Post-Talmudic Halakhic Literature" (ibid., 1950) and "Synagogue Art in Halakhic Literature" (Beit ha-Keneset, 1955). He also wrote on the history of the Jews of Moravia, including a monograph on the Jewish community of Nikolsburg (in J.L. Maimon (ed.), Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 4 (1950), 210–313).


T. Preschel, in: Aresheth, 4 (1966), 511–7.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.