HACOHEN, RAPHAEL ḤAYYIM


HACOHEN, RAPHAEL ḤAYYIM
HACOHEN, RAPHAEL ḤAYYIM (1883–1954), rabbi and communal leader. Born in Shiraz, Persia, he was taken by his parents to Jerusalem in 1890. After a thorough rabbinical education, he began to take an active part in all communal affairs of the yishuv and the then small settlement of Persian Jews. He founded an organization, Agudat Ohavei Zion, which aimed to improve the economic and cultural situation of the Persian Jews in Jerusalem. A devoted Zionist, he was a delegate to the Convention (Kenesiyyah) in Zikhron Ya'akov, organized by M. Ussishkin in 1903. In 1922 he signed a memorandum to the Zionist Congress, outlining the conditions and requirements of the Persian Jewish colony in Jerusalem. In 1912 he established a Hebrew printing press in Jerusalem, which published many works of judeo-persian literature. He himself was the author of Shir u-Shevaḥah (1905; 19212), a collection of songs and pizmonim of his family and of the Jews of Shiraz, and of an Autobiography. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Miẓrah be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 303–4. (Walter Joseph Fischel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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