Shiva Call to Rabbi and Rebbitzen Moscowitz
Nina and Sam Beer – Cousins
Rabbi Yitzchok Knoffler – Santiago, Chile
Aperion – אפּריון
Rabbi Shomo Ganzfried – 1800s
Tanna Dvie Eliyahu – Second Century – Rabbi Levi Cooper’s Article
Alshich Hakadosh- 1500s
Sunday, February 19, 2023
We started out the week in Boynton Beach.
Went for Daf Yomi in Boca, however, Rabbi Sugerman’s Rosh Yeshiva passed away and he went into New York for the funeral. I went to pay a Shiva call to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Philip Mocowitz who lost their 9 year old daughter. Afterwards I met Amy Gross-Tarlow at the BRS field. Amy is Zlat and David Gross’s daughter from Teaneck, NJ. The Shul has a soccer league for kids and her son Henry is in the league. Amy moved to Boca two years ago when her company relocated to Fort Lauderdale during the pandemic. She loves living in Florida and loves the Shul. She said that the center of her life is the Shul. Later in the afternoon we went with the entire family to Orchid Gardens for the Shloshim of my mother in law, Blanche Janowski.
Amy Gross-Tarlow and myself.
Monday – February 20, 2023
Drove to Miami Beach, FL and settled into Tower 41.
Tuesday – February 21, 2023
At Shacharis, I found the Sefer אפּריון in the bookshelf of the Shul in Tower 41. My Zedi, Rabbi Sholom Sklar, had an earlier edition of the Sefer in his house. I am going back to the 1960s. I remember opening the Sefer as a bochur and could not figure out his Torah. It simply made no sense to me. I could not let this opportunity pass; and during davening I studied his first piece of Torah on Sefer Terumah. Boruch Hashem, I succeeded in understanding his words. I turned to the person sitting at the same table with me and showed him the Sefer. We worked on it together. It came out that this person is Moshe Hirth who is an uncle (father’s brother) to my nephew and niece in Lakewood, Heshie and Chavie Hirth.
Moshe Hirth and myself.
In the afternoon we went to lunch with Michelle and Avi Beer’s kids. Nina and Sam Beer and their beautiful baby Charlotte. We went to 41 Pizza and Bakery. Food was great.
Shabbos Parshas Terumah – February 24 and 25, 2023
Friday night Naftali ate over and it was a treat.
Serka and I sponsored the Kiddush at Chabad of East Lakeview.
Face Page of the Sefer:
I was excited to discover that the person who reprinted the Sefer is Yitzchok Knofler who lived in Santiago, Chile. There was a sizable Sephardi community in Chile after WWII with a number of Sefardi Chacomin.
This is the Torah we worked on and I spoke over at the Shiur in Chabad.
I gave the class at the Dr. Leonard Kranzler memorial Shiur at Chabad and read through and explained this אפּריון and discussed who author was. In the piece of Torah we met Reb Shlomo Ganzfried, the Tanna Dvei Eliyahu and the Alshich. The author of the Aperion, Reb Shlomo Ganzfried lived in the 1800’s, the Tanan Devei Eliyahu goes back to the third century and was first printed in the 10th century, while the Alshich lived in Sefes in the 1500s. Torah spans generations and that is what we have here.
Herb, Peggy, Marcel, Ray, Jeff Flicker, and a young Jeff who had quite the beard going. along with one other person attended. I told them that we are the only people in the world learning the Torah of Reb Shlomo Ganzfried.
אפּריון – Canopy, sedan-chair
Synopsis of the Torah of the Aperion:
Verse 25:2 – First Verse in the Parsha
דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה מֵאֵ֤ת כׇּל־אִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ לִבּ֔וֹ תִּקְח֖וּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִֽי׃
Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart is so moved.
The Sefer starts and bring down a Tanna Dvei Eliyahu that says that when the Jewish people said we will do and we will listen, immediately Hashem said וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה. What is the connection?
By explaining the connection in the Tanna Dvei Eliyahu we can answer the Alshich’s question of why didn’t the Torah say, give me a gift.
Chana and Eli, the High Priest. Eli misunderstood Chana.
The following verses in Shmuel 1:13-15 are explained.
וְחַנָּ֗ה הִ֚יא מְדַבֶּ֣רֶת עַל־לִבָּ֔הּ רַ֚ק שְׂפָתֶ֣יהָ נָּע֔וֹת וְקוֹלָ֖הּ לֹ֣א יִשָּׁמֵ֑עַ וַיַּחְשְׁבֶ֥הָ עֵלִ֖י לְשִׁכֹּרָֽה׃
Now Hannah was praying in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk.
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ עֵלִ֔י עַד־מָתַ֖י תִּשְׁתַּכָּרִ֑ין הָסִ֥ירִי אֶת־יֵינֵ֖ךְ מֵֽעָלָֽיִךְ׃
Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Sober up!”-e
וַתַּ֨עַן חַנָּ֤ה וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אֲדֹנִ֔י אִשָּׁ֤ה קְשַׁת־ר֙וּחַ֙ אָנֹ֔כִי וְיַ֥יִן וְשֵׁכָ֖ר לֹ֣א שָׁתִ֑יתִי וָאֶשְׁפֹּ֥ךְ אֶת־נַפְשִׁ֖י לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה׃
And Hannah replied, “Oh no, my lord! I am a very unhappy woman. I have drunk no wine or other strong drink, but I have been pouring out my heart to the LORD.
Describing people through their actions and why the purpose and result of their actions is the true definition of that person, not the action itself in a vacuum.
Step 3 – Just like Chazal says that if the Omer is brought on the second day of Pesach Hashem will bless the crops, so too the Mishkan and its vessels bring down “Shefah” – goodness
Step 4: The Gemara in Shabbos:
The Gemara relates that a heretic saw that Rava was immersed in studying halakha, and his fingers were beneath his leg and he was squeezing them, and his fingers were spurting blood. Rava did not notice that he was bleeding because he was engrossed in study. The heretic said to Rava: You impulsive nation, who accorded precedence to your mouths over your ears. You still bear your impulsiveness, as you act without thinking. You should listen first. Then, if you are capable of fulfilling the commands, accept them. And if not, do not accept them. He said to him: About us,
who proceed wholeheartedly and with integrity, it is written: “The integrity of the upright will guide them” (Proverbs 11:3), whereas about those people who walk in deceit, it is written at the end of the same verse: “And the perverseness of the faithless will destroy them.”
Step 5 – As it says in the Gemara in Shabbos, when the jews said we will do and we will listen, we understood that everything God does for us is good and we do not hesitate to say, we will do before we will listen.
Step 6 – so too the idea of giving the donations to the Miskan was to receive goods blessing, so it was appropriate for the Torah to use the language of taking. Although we were giving the ultimate Tachlis – the goal was to take.
Introducing the Players:
Shlomo Ganzfried (or Salomon ben Joseph Ganzfried; 1804 in Ungvár – 30 July 1886 in Ungvár) was an Orthodox rabbi and posek best known as the author of the work of Halakha (Jewish law), the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Hebrew: קיצור שולחן ערוך, “The Abbreviated Shulchan Aruch“), by which title he is also known.
Ganzfried was born in 1804 in Ungvár, in the Ung County of the Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Ukraine). His father Joseph died when he was eight. Ganzfried was considered to be a child prodigy and Ungvár’s chief rabbi and Rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Heller assumed legal guardianship; Heller was known as “Hershele the Sharp-witted” for his piercing insights into the Talmud. Heller later moved to the city of Bonyhád, and Ganzfried, then fifteen, followed him. He remained in Heller’s yeshiva for almost a decade until his ordination and marriage. After his marriage he worked briefly as a wine merchant.
In 1830, he abandoned commerce and accepted the position of Rabbi of Brezovica (Brezevitz). In 1849, he returned to Ungvár as a dayan, a judge in the religious court. At that time Ungvár’s spiritual head, Rabbi Meir Ash, was active in the Orthodox camp, in opposition to the Neologs. Through serving with Ash, Ganzfried realized that in order to remain committed to Orthodoxy, “the average Jew required an underpinning of a knowledge of practical halacha (Jewish law)”. It was to this end that Ganzfried composed the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. This work became very popular, and was frequently reprinted in Hebrew and in Yiddish. This work often records more stringent positions.
Rabbi Ganzfried remained in the office of Dayan until his death on July 30, 1886.
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
Main article: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (book)
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, first published in 1864, is a summary of the Shulchan Aruch of Joseph Karo with reference to later commentaries. This work was explicitly written as a popular text, in simple Hebrew, and does not have the same level of detail as the Shulchan Aruch itself.
- Kesset HaSofer (קסת הסופר), a halachic primer for scribes published in 1835. Ganzfried composed this while he was still engaged in business.
- Pnei Shlomo (פני שלמה), an elucidation of portions of the Talmud.
- Torat Zevach (תורת זבח), a halakhic handbook for practitioners of shechita, ritual slaughter.
- Sefer Apiryon (ספר אפריון), a commentary on the Bible. It contains a piece on every weekly Torah portion except for Parshat Massei, which is also the week in which his yahrzeit falls.
- Lechem V’simlah (לחם ושמלה) on the laws of Niddah.
- Ohalei Sheim (אהלי שם) on the official spellings of Hebrew names, as pertaining to gittin.
- Sheim Shlomo (שם שלמה) on various sugyos in Shas.
- Sefer Galuy A letter written at the time of the Congress of 1869.
Tanna Dvei Eliyahu
Tanna Devei Eliyahu: The divine, legal determination
What was the initial trigger for an unprecedented hasidic commentary on an aggadic work?
By LEVI COOPER Published: APRIL 22, 2021 02:16
THE PROPHET Elijah, as depicted in this 17th-century icon in the Hermitage’s Winter Palace, St. Petersburg
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Tanna Devei Eliyahu is unlike other nonlegal rabbinic works: As its name suggests, it is attributed to the biblical prophet Elijah.
The work is an eclectic collection of midrashim that does not follow the order of any particular book in the Bible.
The narrative of the source of this work can be found in the Babylonian Talmud: Elijah would regularly visit Rav Anan and study with him. On one occasion, Elijah objected to a ruling of Rav Anan that led to an inadvertent miscarriage of justice. Elijah, therefore, ceased these mystical rendezvous. Rav Anan fasted and prayed until Elijah returned. Alas, the relationship was not as before: Rav Anan was awestruck and frightened by his study partner. Rav Anan’s solution was to construct a box where he would sit while they studied.
Rav Anan’s notes from these study sessions with Elijah were divided into two sections: teachings inside the box and teachings outside the box. The resulting work was comprised, therefore, of two distinct parts. The Talmud identifies this work as Tanna Devei Eliyahu, made up of the longer Seder Eliyahu Raba and the shorter Seder Eliyahu Zuta (Ketubot 106a).
This foundational narrative linking the work to Rav Anan would suggest that Tanna Devei Eliyahu dates to third-century Babylonia. At the very least, the work predates the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud in the second half of the fifth century. Yet the text before us includes passages that are dated to the 10th century. Thus – like many other works of Aggada that have reached us – Tanna Devei Eliyahu has numerous historical layers.
Tanna Devei Eliyahu was first published in Venice in 1597-1598, yet a further distinct aspect of this work is the manner in which the 1676 Prague edition was produced by Rabbi Shmuel Haida (d. 1685). Since the text was corrupt, Rabbi Shmuel Haida fasted and prayed until Elijah appeared to him in a dream and directed him as to how to produce an accurate Tanna Devei Eliyahu text. Thus the production of the 1676 edition reenacted an aspect of the work’s foundational story.
BESIDES ITS mystical origins and inimitable reproduction, Tanna Devei Eliyahu stands out for a third reason: It is the only work of rabbinic Aggada to be published with a commentary from the hasidic school.
The hasidic commentary does not necessarily set out to explain the passages of Tanna Devei Eliyahu; rather, it associatively offers hassidic teachings and ideas that are linked – often tenuously – to the base text.
Tanna Devei Eliyahu with its hasidic companion was first published in Warsaw in 1881 and titled Ramatayim Tzofim – the biblical hometown of the prophet Samuel (I Samuel 1:1) and an allusion to the name of the author, Rabbi Shmuel of Sieniawa (1785-1873).
After serving in Sieniawa, Rabbi Shmuel continued to serve in the rabbinate in other places in Poland: Włodowa, Brok, Siedlce, Łowicz, and Nasielsk.
In addition to hasidic teachings, Ramatayim Tzofim includes invaluable personal recollections of the author. The work contains many teachings from Rabbi Shmuel’s teacher, Rabbi Simha Bunim of Przysucha (d. 1827), whom he first visited in 1803-1804. Even after Rabbi Shmuel took up rabbinic positions, he continued to visit his master in Przysucha.
What was the initial trigger for an unprecedented hasidic commentary on an aggadic work? For Rabbi Simha Bunim, Tanna Devei Eliyahu was key to the curriculum of study (Ramatayim Tzofim on Eliyahu Raba, ch. 1, sec. 34). When Rabbi Simha Bunim lost his eyesight in his old age, Rabbi Shmuel of Sieniawa would read Tanna Devei Eliyahu before his blind master. These study sessions led to a unique hasidic work fashioned around a work of aggada.
THE WORK includes a fascinating passage that relates to the interface between Jewish law and mysticism (Ramatayim Tzofim on Eliyahu Zuta, ch. 16, sec. 17). Rabbi Shmuel of Sieniawa recounted a halakhic ruling of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzhak Halevi Horowitz (1745-1815) – popularly known as the Seer of Lublin.
A married woman had spent private time together with a man other than her husband, raising suspicion of infidelity. The case came before the Seer of Lublin for a determination as to whether Jewish law permitted the husband and suspect wife to continue living together.
The Seer ruled that the husband and wife need not separate. Despite the wife having been in an inappropriate situation, we do not assume she had been unfaithful; hence, there was no divorce requirement.
This determination followed the ruling of Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575) in his code of Jewish law: Without formal advance notification of suspicion by the husband, spending time alone with another man does not automatically lead us to assume that a married woman had an adulterous affair (Shulhan Aruch, EH 178:6).
The permissive ruling of the Seer was questioned. Rabbeinu Nissim – a 14th-century Spanish authority – had suggested that person who cares about his soul should be extra careful and not rely on such a license. Rather, the soul-sensitive husband should assume the worst-case scenario and separate from his wife (Ran, Nedarim 91b). Raising this medieval source as a challenge to the Seer’s ruling assumed that a person from the hasidic milieu who asked the Seer such a question was the type of person who cares deeply about his spiritual well-being. Alternatively, the Seer’s own spiritual insight should have influenced his ruling. Thus the Seer should have advised the couple to separate.
The Seer stood his ground and reiterated: According to the letter of the law, the husband and wife are allowed to continue living together. Only those who are scrupulous about the well-being of the soul need to separate. In such soul matters, I am allowed to rely on my own ru’ah hakodesh, communication by divine holy spirit, and I see – explained the Seer of Lublin – that the married woman was not adulterous.
The Seer added an important postscript: Had the prohibition been rooted in the letter of the law, employing ru’ah hakodesh when determining the law would not have been permitted.
The writer is on the faculty of Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and is a rabbi in Tzur Hadassah.
|Alshich’s grave in Safed|
|Died||1593Safed, Ottoman Empire|
Moshe Alshich Hebrew: משה אלשיך, also spelled Alshech, (1508–1593), known as the Alshich Hakadosh (the Holy), was a prominent rabbi, preacher, and biblical commentator in the latter part of the sixteenth century.
The Alshich was born in 1508 in the Ottoman Empire, and was the son of Hayyim Alshich. He later moved to Safed (now in Israel) where he became a student of Rabbi Joseph Caro. His students included Rabbi Hayim Vital and Rabbi Yom Tov Tzahalon. He died in Safed in 1593.
Only a few rabbis were granted the title “Hakadosh” throughout Jewish history. Alongside the Alshich were the Shelah HaKadosh, the Ari HaKadosh and the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh, all of them distinctive personalities in their times. Various reasons have been suggested as to why the Alshich received the “HaKadosh” (“Holy”) title.
His homiletical commentaries on the Torah and the Prophets enjoy much popularity and are still studied today, largely because of their powerful influence as practical exhortations to virtuous life.
He was a disciple of R. Joseph Caro, author of the “Shulchan Aruch“; and his own disciples included the Kabbalist R. Hayim Vital. Although the Alshich belonged to the circle of the Kabbalists who lived at Safed, his works rarely betray any traces of the Kabbalah. He is celebrated as a teacher, preacher, and casuist.
Little is known of his life. In his works he avoids mention of himself, telling only of his course of study; thus in the preface to his commentary on the Pentateuch he says:
I never aimed at things too high or beyond me. From my earliest days the study of the Talmud was my chief occupation, and I assiduously attended the yeshivah where I made myself familiar with the discussions of Abaye and Raba. The night I devoted to research and the day to Halakha. In the morning I read the Talmud and in the afternoon the Posekim (Rabbinic legal decisions). Only on Fridays could I find time for the reading of Scripture and Midrash in preparation for my lectures on the Sidra of the week and similar topics, which I delivered every Sabbath before large audiences, eager to listen to my instruction.
Legend has it that his son was taken as a child and became a Moslem, and the Arizal authored a special prayer for the son’s return.
These lectures were afterward published as “Commentaries” (perushim) on the books of the Holy Scriptures, and Alshich gives a remarkable reason for their publication: “Many of those who had listened to my lectures repeated them partly or wholly in their own names. These offenses will be prevented by the publication of my own work”. These lectures, though somewhat lengthy, were not tedious to his audience. The author repeatedly declares that in their printed form (as “Commentaries”) he greatly curtailed them by omitting everything which was not absolutely necessary, or which he had already mentioned in another place.
Like Abravanel and some other commentators, Alshich headed each section of his comments with a number of questions which he anticipated on the part of the reader; he then proceeded to give a summary of his view, and concluded with answering all the questions seriatim. His Commentaries abound in references to Talmud, Midrash and Zohar, but contain scant references to other commentaries, such as the works of Abravanel, Gersonides or Maimonides. His explanations are all of a homiletical character; his sole object being to find in each sentence or in each word of the Scriptures a moral lesson, a support for trust in God, encouragement to patient endurance, and a proof of the vanity of all earthly goods as compared with the everlasting bliss to be acquired in the future life. He frequently and earnestly appeals to his brethren, exhorting them to repent, and to abandon, or at least restrict, the pursuit of all worldly pleasures, and thus accelerate the approach of the Messianic era. Alshich possessed an easy and fluent style; his expositions are mostly of an allegorical character, but very rarely approach mysticism. In his commentary on the Song of Solomon, he calls peshaִt (literal explanation) and sod (mystical interpretation) the two opposite extremes, while he declares his own method of introducing allegorical exposition to be the safe mean between these extremes. Alshich wrote the following commentaries, most of which have appeared in several editions:
- “Torat Mosheh” (Commentary on the Pentateuch), first ed. Belvedere near Constantinople, about 1593. Complete, with Indexes, Venice, 1601.
- An abstract of this commentary was prepared by Jos. b. Aryeh Loeb, and has appeared in various forms (entitled: “Qitsur Alshich ‘al ha-Torah”), Amsterdam, 1748.
- “Marot ha-Tsobeot” (Collected Visions), on the prophets and their prophecies, Venice, 1803–7.
- Extracts from this commentary are included in “Minhah Qe’tannah,” a commentary on the earlier prophets; published in the Biblia Rabbinica (Qohelet Mosheh), Amsterdam, 1724.
- “Romemot El” (Praises of God), on the book of Psalms, Venice, 1605.
- “Rab Peninim” (Multitude of Pearls), on Proverbs, Venice, 1601.
- “Helqat Mehoqeq” (The Lawgiver’s Portion), on Job, Venice, 1603.
- “Shoshanat ha-‘Amaqim” (Lily of the Valleys), on the Song of Solomon. This commentary was the first to appear in print, and was edited by Alshich himself in 1591. According to this commentary, the Song is an allegory, and represents a dialogue between God and exiled Israel on the latter’s mission.
- “‘Ene Mosheh” (Eyes of Moses), on Ruth. Alshich says of the book of Ruth, “Surely from it we might take a lesson how to serve God”; and illustrates this statement throughout his commentary, Venice, 1601.
- “Devarim Nihumim” (Comforting Words), on the “Lamentations of Jeremiah“. The title is not merely a euphemism for Lamentations; the author repeatedly attempts to show that there is no cause for despair, God being with Israel, and though the Temple is destroyed the Shekinah has not departed from the Western Wall, Venice, 1601.
- “Devarim Tovim” (Good Words), on Ecclesiastes. Alshich calls Ecclesiastes, on account of its deep thoughts, “Waters without end” (oceans). He endeavors in the commentary to illustrate, as the central idea of the book, the dictum, “All is vain, except the fear of the Lord, which is the essential condition of man’s real existence,” Venice, 1601.
- “Massat Mosheh” (Moses’ Gift), on the book of Esther, presented by the author to his brethren as a Purim gift, Venice, 1601.
- The commentaries of Alshich on these last-named five books (“megillot“, “scrolls”) appeared in an abridged form, edited by Eleazer b. Hananiah Tarnigrad, Amsterdam, 1697.
- “Habatselet ha-Sharon” (The Rose of Sharon), on the book of Daniel, Safed, 1563, and Venice, 1592.
- A commentary on the “Hafִtarot” called “Liqqute Man” (Gatherings of Manna), was compiled chiefly from “Marot ha-Tsobeot,” by E. M. Markbreit, Amsterdam, 1704.
- “Yarim Mosheh” is the title of a commentary on Abot, gathered from the works of Alshich by Joseph B. M. Schlenker, Fürth, 1764.
- A commentary of Alshich on the Haggadah appears in the edition of the Haggadah called “Beit Horim” (House of Free Men). The commentary is full of interesting remarks and earnest exhortations (Metz, 1767). Even in the introduction the laws for Passover and the order for the evening are treated allegorically, and made the vehicle for religious meditation. It is, however, not likely that Alshich wrote these notes for the Haggadah. They were probably gathered from his works long after his death, as otherwise the Haggadah would have been published with his commentary much earlier.
- “Responsa“; as a casuist he was frequently consulted by other rabbis, and his decisions were collected in a volume of responsa (Venice, 1605; Berlin, 1766). His contemporaries frequently quote his opinions. During his lifetime Azariah dei Rossi produced his “Meor Einayim” (Light for the Eyes), in which the author rejected some beliefs generally received as traditional; Alshich, at the request of his teacher, R. Joseph Caro, wrote a declaration against the “Meor Einayim” as being contrary and dangerous to the Jewish religion (Kerem Chemed, v. 141).
- Alshich wrote also a poem, “Dirge on the Exile of Israel,” in a very simple style in ten rhyming verses. It has been introduced into various earlier morning rituals, such as “Ayelet ha-Shachar” (The Morning Dawn). It is also contained in the collection of prayers and hymns called “Sha’are Zion” (The Gates of Zion).