Cohen, Morris Raphael
- David A. Hollinger
Cohen, Morris Raphael (25 July 1880?–28 January 1947), philosopher and educator, was born in Minsk, Russia, the son of Abraham Mordecai Cohen, a handyman and tailor, and Bessie Farfel, a seamstress. He lived his first twelve years in the traditional society and culture of a Jewish shtetl in imperial Russia. His father and elder brothers resided in the United States during most of these years, while Cohen was reared in impoverished circumstances by his mother and maternal grandfather. Mother and son joined the rest of the family in New York City in 1892. When obliged to indicate his date of birth, Cohen chose 25 July because it was the approximate date of his arrival in his new country. His parents were unable to specify even the year of his birth, but agreed upon 1880 in order to justify Cohen’s bar mitzvah in 1893, which was to take place at the end of his thirteenth year....