Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen

Between War and Peace

By Yechiel Frish, Yedidya HaCohen

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 334

ISBN: 978-965-524-253-9


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Although mainly known as the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen (1927–2016) has lived an intriguing life, playing an important role in the establishment of the State of Israel.
As the son of Rabbi David Cohen (1887-1972), the legendary Nazirite of Jerusalem, Rabbi Cohen grew up among some of Israel's greatest rabbis. Destined to become a Nazirite until the age of sixteen, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen studied under the influence of Rav Kook.
During the 1948 War of Independence, Rabbi Cohen fought to defend the Old City of Jerusalem, until he was severely wounded and taken to Jordan as a prisoner of war.
After his return he became Chief Rabbi of the Israel Air Force, and then governed as the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem with Teddy Kollek. Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen took special pride in founding and developing the Ariel branch of the Harry Fischel Institute, where he introduced a structured program for the preparation of Community Rabbis and Rabbinical Judges. This was a revolutionary concept in Israel at the time. He accepted the mantle of Chief Rabbi of Haifa (1975–2011) in order to provide an example to his students. At the same time, he also served as President of the Haifa rabbinical courts.
The details of his achievements and captivating life are further encapsulated in excerpts of his diary, which include vivid details of the battles in which he fought, culminating in his imprisonment in Jordan.
Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen was also a leading rabbinic representative for inter-religious dialogue, first with the Roman Catholic Church and, more latterly, with the Church of England.


Prof. Yechiel Frish is the President of Michlelet Shaanan (Shaanan College), a religious teachers’ training college established in 1951 that is situated on the outskirts of Haifa. He has held this position since 2008.

Rabbi Yedidya HaCohen is a disciple of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, having received Semicha ordination from him. He teaches Talmud and Jewish philosophy, and is engaged in preparing the writings of Rabbi Cohen’s revered father, the Rav haNazir of blessed memory, as well as Rabbi Cohen’s own works for publication.

Dr. Irene Lancaster was formerly a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and the Centre for Jewish Studies, Manchester University, and is the author of a book on Abraham ibn Ezra. She lectures, translates and edits for a wide variety of institutions.