Spanish family, members of which settled in Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and America.

Aaron Cohen de Lara:

Ḥazzan of the Spanish-Portuguese community of Amsterdam from 1729 to 1744; a relative of Abraham Cohen de Lara; Haham Samuel Mendes de Sola delivered a memorial address on his death.

Abraham Cohen de Lara:

Ḥazzan of the Spanish-Portuguese community of Amsterdam from 1682 to 1694; wrote a sermon in Spanish.

David Cohen de Lara:

Haham, lexicographer, and writer on ethics; born about 1602 (according to some writers, at Lisbon; according to others, at Hamburg); died at Hamburg Oct. 10 (20), 1674; son of Isaac Cohen de Lara of Amsterdam; pupil of Rabbi Isaac Uzziel of Amsterdam; lived at Hamburg, where he was appointed haham of the Spanish-Portuguese congregation at a salary of 300 marks. In the fall of 1656 he went to Amsterdam, remained there for several years, and then returned to Hamburg. He translated several sections of Elijah de Vidas' ethical work "Reshit Ḥokmah" under the title "Tratado del Temor Divino" (Amsterdam, 1633), and Maimonides' dogmatic treatises, under the title "Tratado de los Articulos de la Ley Divina" (ib. 1652), and wrote "Tratado de Moralidad, y Regimiento de la Vida" (Hamburg, 1662).

David Cohen de Lara's "Dibre Dawid" is an exposition of Abraham ibn Ezra's puzzle on the letters , with a Latin translation (Leyden, 1658). He was prominent as a rabbinical lexicographer. His "'Ir Dawid sive de Convenientia Vocabulorum Rabbinicorum cum Græcis et Quibusdam Aliis Linguis Europæis," which he dedicated to Joh. Silvius de Tulingen, the Swedish ambassador to Germany, is a lexicon of the foreign words found in the rabbinical writings (Amsterdam, 1638); it is really a prodromus to his greater "Keter Kehunnah: Lexikon Thalmudico-Rabbinicum," the leading work in this field, next to the 'Aruk and Buxtorf's "Lexicon Rabbinicum." This work, on which he was engaged for forty years, and which shows his familiarity with the Greek and Roman classics as well as with the Church Fathers and the Christian philologists, was completed down to the letter ר, according to Esdras Edzard, but only a portion, down to the letter י, was printed (Hamburg, 1668). He corresponded with Johann Buxtorf the younger, who thought highly of him and his work, and with other Christian scholars. His intimacy with Esdras Edzard, the Hamburg missionary, occasioned much suspicion. Of his works the following have never been printed: a dictionary to the Talmud entitled "Bet Dawid," or "Nomenclator," on which he worked for twelve years, and of which he sent a specimen to Buxtorf in 1660; "Pirḥe Kehunnah," or "Florilegium," a collection of ethical maxims; "Ohel Dawid," a book of rabbinical synonyms; "Oẓar Rab," a glossary of Arabic and other technical terms used by the rabbinical writers; and some other works, all of which have doubtless perished. He was probably also the author of a work on the "seventy weeks" of Daniel, preserved in manuscript in the city library of Hamburg.

  • J. Perles, David Cohen de Lara's Rabb. Lexikon Keter Kehunnah, Breslau, 1868;
  • De Rossi-Hamberger, Hist. Wörterb. pp. 174 et seq.;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. No. 4823;
  • idem, Cat. Hamburg, No. 338;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 56;
  • idem, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 42, p. 119;
  • R. E. J. xiii. 269 et seq., xl. 95 et seq., xli. 160;
  • M. Grunwald, Portugiesengräber auf Deutscher Erde, pp. 101 et seq.
Diego de Lara:

Canonist and ecclesiastic; publicly burned for professing Judaism May 2, 1563, at Murcia, Spain, his home.

Ḥiyya Cohen de Lara:

Pupil of Solomon Amar (rabbi of all the African communities; died at Morocco in 1738); taught at the school 'Eẓ Ḥayyim of Amsterdam; died after 1753. In 1685 he edited the work "Mishmerot Kehunnah" (Amsterdam, 1753). In this rare work, each copy of which he signed, he arranged Talmudic quotations in alphabetical order, and corrected the misprints found in the Talmud; he also added various critical remarks, but retracted them on the back of the title-page, probably at the instance of the rabbinical college of Amsterdam. He criticizes pilpulism and betrays a leaning toward religious reform. Some of his responsa are included in the collection "'Eẓ Ḥayyim." He left in manuscript a cabalistic work entitled "Kanfe Yonah" (now in the Bodleian Library) and "Merkebet ha-Mishnah," from which he occasionally quotes.

  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 4735;
  • Roest, Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl. Appendix, No. 1288;
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 56;
  • idem, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 42, pp. 119 et seq.
Isaac Cohen de Lara:

Father of David Cohen de Lara of Amsterdam; delivered religious discourses at the Academia de los Pintos, together with Isaac Velosinos; is said to have written poetry.

Isaac Cohen de Lara:

Son of Abraham Cohen de Lara of Amsterdam; bookseller; editor of the "Comedia Famosa de Aman y Mordochay," dedicated to his friend David de Souza Brito, with an appendix containing many Spanish and Dutch riddles (Leyden, 1699); he edited also "Guia de Passageros," containing a Judæo-Spanish calendar, several prayers, etc. (Amsterdam, 1704). Another Isaac Cohen de Lara was ḥazzan of the Spanish-Portuguese congregation of Amsterdam from 1729 to 1743.

Isaac Cohen de Lara:

Lived in America; goods sent by him from Rhode Island to New York in 1699 were seized by pirates.

  • D. H. de Castro, De Synagoge, p. vii.;
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, pp. 152, 312;
  • idem, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 57;
  • Publ. Am. Jew. Hist. Soc. vi. 67.
D. M. K.
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