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Bidding Information
Lot #    9270
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 11:29:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer ha-Yashar with Or la-Yesharim
Title (Hebrew)    ספר הישר
Author    R. Jacob ben Meir Tam (Rabbenu Tam); Jehiel Michal
City    Zhitomir
Publisher    Abraham Shalom Shadav
Publication Date    1869
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition of commentary. [4], 82 pp., 317:200 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary half leather boards, rubbed.
   Novellae on tractates in Seder Nashim and on Niddah by R. Jacob ben Meir Tam (Rabbenu Tam) with the commentary Or la-Yesharim by R. Jehiel Michal ben Aaron Isaac Halevi Epstein. Sefer ha-Yashar is the primary work of the Tosafot The title pages is dated from the verse, “and Jacob was a quiet man (ish tam)” (Genesis 25:27). The verso of the title page has, in Cyrillic, the censor’s permission to publish, followed by approbations from R. Aharon ben Mordecai Twersky, R. Menahem Nahum ben Ahron Twersky, R. Naphtali Zevi Judah Berlin, R. Isaac Elkanan ben Israel Issur, R. Meir Berlin, and R. Joshua Judah Leib ben Benjamin Diskin. There are introductions from Rabbenu Tam and R. Jehiel Meichal. The text is comprised of Sefer ha-Yashar in the center in square letters with the commentary Or la-Yesharim on the sides in rabbinic letters. In Or la-Yesharim R. epstein defends Rabbenu Tam against the criticisms leveled against him by later authorities.

Rabbenu Tam (R. Jacob ben Meir Tam, c. 1100–1171) was the son of R. Meir ben Samuel and the grandson of Rashi. He is the foremost of the Tosafists and was the leading Talmudist of the twelve century. R. Tam lived in Ramerupt, France where he engaged in moneylending and viticulture, typical occupations of the Jews there at that time. During the Second Crusade he was attacked by Crusaders who were passing through, and was miraculously saved from death (1146). After this experience R. Tam left Ramerupt. He was recognized by all contemporary scholars, even by those in remote places, as the greatest scholar of the generation. R. Abraham ibn Daud of Spain, and Abraham b. Isaac and Zerahiah ha-Levi of Provence refer to him with great esteem, while the scholars of southern Italy, some his senior in years, submitted their halakhic problems to him. Pupils came to his bet midrash from as far away as Bohemia and Russia, and took R. Tam's teachings back with them on their return to these lands. He won this great renown although he never moved or traveled far from his place of residence in northern France.

R. Jehiel Michal ben Aaron Isaac Halevi Epstein, (1829–1908) was born in Bobruisk, Belorussia. He studied in Volozhin under R. Isaac of Volozhin from 1842. At first unwilling to enter the rabbinate, he was persuaded to do so by the rabbi of his native town, R. Elijah Goldberg, who formally ordained him, and c. 1862 he was appointed to his first rabbinate in Novosybkov where there were many Habad Hasidim. During that period he visited R. Menahem Mendel of Lyubavich, author of Zemah Zedek from whom he also received semikhah. In 1874 he was appointed rabbi of Novogrudok, Belorussia, where he remained until his death. R. Epstein’s fame rests upon his Arukh ha-Shulhan, consisting of novellae and halakhic rulings on all four parts of the Shulhan Arukh. The Arukh ha-Shulhan has become an authoritative work. Like the Shulhan Arukh on which it is based, it deals only with the laws which have a practical importance. After R. Epstein completed it, however, he undertook the writing of additional works dealing with such laws as are not applicable at the present time, to which he gave the suggestive title Arukh ha-Shulhan le-A tid (Arukh ha-Shulhan for the Future) which were published posthumously. They deal with agricultural laws (Zera'im, 3 pts., 1938–46): Sanhedrin, Mamrim, Melakhim, Shekalim, and Kiddush ha-Hodesh (1962); and Kodashim (1969). In them he takes especial care to indicate his sources, tracing the development of each law from its first source to its latest form. His son R. Baruch Epstein gives an attractive picture of the manner in which his father would encourage candidates to the rabbinate. He would exhort them always to consider the pros and cons before giving a halakhic decision, and to show every consideration to the person putting the problem, so as not to confuse him.

Paragraph 2    ... עם ביאור אור לישרים ממני יחיאל מיכל בא"א מוהר"ר אהרן הלוי עפשטיין מבאברויסק החונה בק"ק זיבקאי והגליל ...

על סדר נשים ומסכת נדה בלבד בהשמטת השאלות והתשובות. הסכמות: ר' אהרן ב"ר מרדכי [טווערסקי], טשארנאביל; ר' מנחם נחום ב"ר אהרן [טווערסקי]; ר' נפתלי צבי יהודא ברלין, וואלזין, ערב ראש-חודש תמוז תרכ"ט; ר' יצחק אלחנן ב"ר ישראל איסר [ספעקטאר], קאוונא, טו סיון תרכ"ט; ר' מאיר ברלין, מאהילעוו; ר' יהושע יהודה ליב ב"ר בנימין [דיסקין], שקלאב.

   BE yod 1118; EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Hasidic:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica