HaRav Dov Cohen zt"l, was laid to rest in Jerusalem on
motzei Shabbos Parshas Shofetim at the age of 93. The
author of the Seder Hashulchon series, HaRav Cohen was
among the last remnants of the previous generation of Torah
scholars and a prodigy of Yeshivas Chevron in Chevron from
the era of the Alter of Slobodka.
Born in Seattle in 5672 (1912), Dov Cohen was sent to Eretz
Yisroel by his mother, Bashe Rosa, at a young age to study in
yeshiva following her disappointment with American education.
She searched for a holy yeshiva until she came to Knesses
Yisroel, then located in Chevron, the city of our holy
Since the boy was all alone, the Alter of Slobodka took the
young American under his wing, saying that in light of his
mother's mesirus nefesh he was sure to succeed in his
studies and was destined for greatness. Even during his last
days as he was lying on his deathbed the Rosh Yeshiva
inquired about the progress of "the American
To encourage his development, the Alter of Slobodka
immediately placed him among the top students, including
HaRav Ephraim Garbuz, HaRav Aharon Cohen and HaRav Shmuel
Abramovitz zt"l, who were all older than he. When the
Chevron Riots of 5689 (1929) erupted a few years later, Dov
Cohen, then 17, emerged unscathed bechasdei Hashem.
He married the daughter of HaRav Chaim Rakover, a prominent
Jerusalem figure from the Rakover, Mandelbaum and Epstein
families. Over the years he served as rov of a number of
botei knesses and institutions, working extensively to
strengthen kashrus and religion and proper bris
He also started numerous shiurim throughout Eretz
Yisroel throughout his lifetime. Over 60 years ago, before
the founding of the State, he set up Agudas HaTorah years
before the Pe'ilim began to bring youth closer to our Father
in Heaven. During this period he formed a bond with HaRav
Sholom Schwadron, who encouraged him to present his message
to the public.
Before the founding of the State, HaRav Cohen was active in
buttressing the walls of Shabbos. He participated in protests
against Shabbos desecration in Jerusalem and was even
arrested on one occasion.
He served as Israeli Air Force Chief Rabbi for five years,
working with another group of chareidi rabbonim to promote
Torah-based spiritual activities in military camps.
In 5711 (1951) the first group of Yemenite immigrants arrived
in Israel. It was a very harsh winter with snowfall even in
Tel Aviv. Seeing that the State was not providing proper
education for their children, he arranged to house hundreds
of the immigrants at an empty Air Force base at Tel Nof,
recruited well-known rabbonim and set up a talmud
Torah for the boys and a Bais Yaakov school for the
Even after he finished his work there, HaRav Cohen continued
to help the students and many of them went on to study in
yeshivas. While walking in Tel Aviv years later a Yemenite
Jew came up to him and began to kiss him, saying that only in
the merit of Rebbe Dov did he remain an observant Jew.
Later HaRav Cohen directed the department for public services
at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. His department was
responsible for arranging to perform bris miloh on the
Rumanian immigrants arriving in Eretz Yisroel during that
period and for government kashrus. Since part of his
job was to ensure that the doctors performing the
miloh were really Jewish, he began to organize the
secret lists of psulei chitun which were then passed
on to dayonim.
During the period of the Six-Day War in 5727 (1967) together
with other government ministries he organized courses for
religious cooks and kashrus supervisors in order to
maintain kashrus standards at government and military
He never ceased studying mussar and constantly worked
on himself to apply what he learned. Students at Yeshivas Kol
Torah and Yeshivas Chevron saw him during recent periods
poring over Shaarei Teshuvoh and Mesillas
Yeshorim during the mussar seder.
He never spoke badly about another person and never
complained about anything. He was constantly heard saying,
Hodu leHashem ki tov and that loving one's fellow man
is the path to true ahavas Hashem.
The Seder Hashulchon series he published lays out the
Shulchan Oruch and the Ramo along with
conclusions of the nosei keilim and poskim.
Although well into his nineties, HaRav Cohen continued his
avodas hakodesh with a clear mind and a sound body.
In recent months he suffered two strokes and his condition
deteriorated. Shortly before Shabbos parshas Shofetim
he unexpectedly returned his soul to his Maker. The
levaya, which began outside Beis Knesses HaGra in
Bayit Vegan, drew many neighborhood residents,
talmidim, friends, acquaintances and family members.
Eulogies were delivered by the deceased's sons and sons-in-
law and he was buried at Har Hamenuchos before midnight.
HaRav Dov Cohen was survived by his sons, HaRav Simchoh, one
of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Netivot Olam in Bnei Brak
and an important figure in the Teshuvoh Movement, HaRav Tzvi,
the rov of Bnei Brak's Avrohom neighborhood and the western
portion of the city as well as the author of Tevillas
Keilim, Hag'olas Keilim and other important books,
HaRav Yekusiel, an av beis din in Ashdod, HaRav
Avrohom, one of the members of Otzar Haposkim, HaRav
Nachum, rosh kollel of Kollel Beis Hamedrash and author of
Zahav Tahor, HaRav Uziel of Yeshivas Mishneh Torah;
his sons-in-law HaRav Yehuda Addes, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Kol Yaakov, and HaRav Moshe Olshtein; grandchildren and great-
grandchildren following in his path of Torah, yir'oh