AARON BEN DAVID COHEN OF RAGUSA


AARON BEN DAVID COHEN OF RAGUSA
AARON BEN DAVID COHEN OF RAGUSA (d. 1656), rabbi and merchant in Ragusa (Dubrovnik). After studying in Venice, Aaron returned to his native city. There he engaged in commerce, his import and export business becoming the most important Jewish commercial house in the city. At the time of the blood accusation against Isaac Jesurun in 1622, Aaron and his father were arrested. In his will, Aaron gave his children guidance for moral behavior and regular study. He also provided for the publication of the Zekan Aharon (Venice, 1657), which included his own discourses on the Bible and those of his grandfather (and predecessor in the Ragusa rabbinate), Solomon Ohev (Oef), which were entitled Shemen ha-Tov. He appended an account of the blood accusation and a poem of thanksgiving for recital on the annual commemoration of the occurrence. This appendix was reprinted separately under the title Ma'aseh Nissim (Venice, 1798). The will, of unique interest for the history of Hebrew publishing, provided for the printing of 800 copies of the work of which 600 were to be exported. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Tadić, Jevreji u Dubrovniku (1937), 329–45; 453–4 (French abstract); 431–4 (text of will).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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