From the age of six, Rabbi Shlomo's whole being was
only Torah. It was at that tender age that he wrote his
first chidushim and from there his life was one
long ascent in Torah learning.
At fourteen he entered yeshiva gedoloh, studying
with talmidim twenty years old and above. At
first, his peers took no notice of the young newcomer
due to his youthful appearance, but it was only a
matter of days before they realized his superiority to
them both in wisdom and his approach to learning.
His intense hasmodoh continued unabated after he
married and it was only when his wealthy father-in-law
passed away that Rabbi Shlomo had to consider how to
provide for his family.
Various communities clamored for Rabbi Shlomo to serve
as their rov, but he was afraid that his duties would
reduce his time for Torah learning and, therefore,
decided to open a shop with the help of his Rebbetzin.
At times Rabbi Shlomo himself would take over in the
shop, but when this happened, not much business was
carried out. Though Rabbi Shlomo was there physically,
his mind was totally preoccupied with his Torah
thoughts and far away from any money matters.
One day the Rebbetzin asked R' Shlomo if he would serve
for a few hours in the shop. Her husband, who was then
absorbed in a difficult sugya in Bovo Kammo,
"Takonos Ushah," agreed to help her out.
A well-to-do client entered the shop, intending to buy
a large amount of textiles. Absentmindedly, Rabbi
Shlomo showed him where the merchandise lay and what
the prices were and then immediately sank back into his
thoughts on the sugya.
It didn't take long for the businessman to realize with
whom he was dealing and, after selecting his needs, he
left without paying the unsuspecting R' Shlomo.
With a joyful heart, Rabbi Shlomo arrived home that
evening and reported to his Rebbetzin that today a
customer bought a large amount and parnossoh was
looking good. Delighted to hear the news, his Rebbetzin
asked for the payment.
The cash box was empty. The desk in the shop had no
money placed on it. Eventually they both realized that
their loyal customer had walked off without paying.
All Rabbi Shlomo's efforts in placating the Rebbetzin
were to no avail. "One mustn't get despondent;
everything that transpires is from Above and is for the
All his assurances would not calm her down and the
Rebbetzin insisted that R' Shlomo go after the customer
and demand the payment.
Reluctant to leave his learning even for a short while,
R' Shlomo nonetheless set off to the client's house, a
distance of about a mile out of town.
As Rabbi Shlomo walked, the light drizzle that had been
falling turned into snowflakes, slowly covering the
landscape with a cold, fleecy blanket.
A wagon appeared in the distance, slowly coming towards
Rabbi Shlomo. Immersed in his thoughts, the Rabbi
plodded on, his mind ever deeper in his lofty studies.
He failed to notice the oncoming carriage with its
The distinguished occupants of the carriage however,
already saw Rabbi Shlomo from afar, his black-coated
figure silhouetted in stark contrast to the snowy
"Rabbi Shlomo," called out a young man from the Rabbi's
hometown, as the carriage neared. "What are you doing
here, walking this road on such a cold, frosty night?
Turn back home for my companions here are four
delegates from the city of Kolkov who are on the way to
your home with a request that you take on the rabbinate
Shrugging, Rabbi Shlomo humbly replied, "I do not know
these people. Please allow me to continue on my way for
I have an urgent matter to attend to."
Jumping down from the carriage, the avreich
stopped Rabbi Shlomo and explained to him the story of
the delegation from Kolkov.
"About half a year ago the rov of Kolkov was
niftar, and the notable kehilla, made up of
many learned people, sofrim, well-to-do families
and distinguished Jews, turned to the gaon, HaRav
Yaakov Orenstein, rov of Lemberg, asking him to direct
them to their next rov.
"After a quarter of an hour's thought, HaRav Yaakov
told them, `In the last fifteen minutes, the names of
many rabbonim crossed my mind. Of them all I see none
as fitting to lead the Jews of Kolkov as Rabbi Shlomo
Kluger of the city Ravo.'"
Hearing such specific instructions directly from the
mouth of the generation's leader, all the roshei
hakohol signed a petition to Rabbi Shlomo Kluger
requesting that he accept the position.
The document was in the hands of those four gentlemen,
the messengers of the Kohol Hakodesh.
Retracing his steps, R' Shlomo returned home and
related to the Rebbetzin the amazing turn of events. As
he finished talking, the four strangers walked in,
calling out, "Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov," and
presented R' Shlomo with the ksav rabbonus.
"The truth is," said R' Shlomo, "that I did not intend
to lead a community at all. However, since I had to go
and seek out the money due to me out of destitution, I
see it as a sign from Heaven that I met you on the way
and will accept your petition."
R' Shlomo continued, "Wait one or two days until I
receive my money from this customer and arrange all my
affairs and then I'll return with you to Kolkov."
To everyone's astonishment, the next morning the
aforementioned client walked in and, without a word of
explanation as to his previous or present behavior,
paid the sum that he owed in full and left the house.
This was only another signal, concluded R' Shlomo that
Hashgocho had arranged that he should have to go
the night before so he would accept his post as rov and
spread Torah to the wider public.
Perhaps Rabbi Shlomo had been correct in his assumption
that leading a kehilla would rob him his peace.
Not long after he become rov, R' Shlomo heard that the
local shochet was not conducting himself al
derech haTorah. R' Shlomo immediately announced that
his shechitah was forbidden.
The fact that the shochet had influential powers
with the gentile governors did not deter the rov and he
retained his firm stance against the shochet.
The latter began to cause the rov trouble until even
some rabbonim agreed that Rabbi Shlomo shouldn't have
opposed him so strongly.
Rabbeinu, however, remained undaunted, knowing that he
was standing up for Torah's ideals and halochos.
Over the course of time, the truth about the
shochet's actions became known, proving that R'
Shlomo had been correct all along.
Somehow, despite his overloaded schedule, Rabbi Shlomo
managed to find time every single day to write his
By the time he passed away, over one hundred and twenty
volumes of novellae were found among his personal
possessions. Some of them have been printed over the
years to illuminate the Torah world, but most remained
in handwritten manuscripts that found their way all
over the world and are today either in libraries, in
the hands of private collectors or simply lost.
About fifteen years ago, Rabbi Shabsai Lipshitz set up
the Machon Chochmas Shlomo whose aim it is to
gather the written works of Rabbi Shlomo Kluger
zt"l, and to print them.
To date, thirty volumes have already been published.
May they merit to glorify his Torah and peirushim
further and thereby maintain the legacy of R' Shlomo