||Dialogue between a Rav and his student concerning the principles of the oral law and its purpose by R. Isaiah Meïr Kahana Shapira, av bet din of Czortkow. There is a forward from the author, in which he states that one goes into the world he encounters mockers, people who disparage the Torah way of life, and the pursuit of rabbinics. He has written this book so that they may have a proper response. There are a small number of marginal notes in pencil and an owner’s stamp on several of the last pages. The text is bound in its original green wrappers; the back cover has its text in German.
R. Isaiah Meïr Kahana Shapira was a Polish-German rabbi and author; born at Memel, Prussia, July 28, 1828; died at Czortkow, Galicia, Jan. 9, 1887. He is said to have been familiar at the age of thirteen with all the sedarim of both Talmudim and with a part of the poskim. About 1845 he studied philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy, and as early as 1848 he wrote on ethics for different journals. R. Shapira engaged in business as a merchant; but a fire destroyed all his belongings, and he was compelled to accept the rabbinate of Czortkow. Before assuming office, however, he went to Lemberg to train himself in the necessary secular studies. He studied philosophy, ethics, and theology in the academy there for nine months, and was installed as rabbi in 1860. After two years a quarrel broke out between the two Hasidic sects in the town. R. Shapira interposing to make peace, the brunt of the dissension was turned against him and his inclination to secular education; and he was for a time even deprived of his livelihood. Peace was, however, soon restored. The last ten years of his life R. Shapira spent in retirement.
Besides numerous contributions to different Hebrew periodicals, he wrote: Hakirat Reshit le-Yamim (Lyck, 1872), on chronology and the calendar, in opposition to H. S. Slonimski.