Rav Yaakov Kahane born in 1858 in Kitav, and grew up in Kolomyja. He had
one or two brothers and eleven sisters. His parents, R. Avraham Yosef
and Hannah Gittel Kahane-Kobaker, left their home and came to Jerusalem
to be buried. R. Avraham Yosef died in 1894 and Hannah Gittel in 1897.
Both are buried on the Mount of Olives.
Rav Yaakov Kahane, an ilui, was ordained as a Rabbi at the age of
eighteen. But, he decided to work as a wood merchant. His father, before
leaving for the Holy Land, blessed him that he will lose all his money
and return to the Torah. Several years later, after doing extremely well
in the wood business, because of an accidental death of a non-Jewish
worker (or the killing of a man during a pogrom – we do not know which
is true) he had to escape and gave his business to his brother.
Yaakov decided to return to the rabbinate, and studied with the Rav
Yisrael of Vijnitz. He served as a rabbi in Pystin and Vijnitz, and in
1915 became a Dayan and Rav in Czernowitz, where he served until his
death in 1934.
Rav Yaakov Kahane married Chaja Reischer, who bore him seven children
before her death in Vishnitz in 1894. He then married Rachel Singer
(1873-1940), who was his niece, who bore him nine more children. Rachel
and many of Yaakov Kahane's children of both marriages were murdered in
the Holocaust. The survivors are mostly in Israel today.
Rav Kahane wrote "Edut BeYaakov," a
commentary on Sefer Beraysheet, republished in his memory by his
children, Chana and Eliyahu in 1977.