Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Adar I 5763 - February 5, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Chiddushei HoRitvo Hachadoshim al Maseches Bovo Metzia
A new edition of the original work, edited and arranged by HaRav S. Alter Halpern, zt'l

A sefer as well known as this one -- it was first published in 5722 (1962) -- hardly needs any introduction. The reappearance of the highly acclaimed Chidushei HoRitvo Hachadoshim to Bovo Metzia is bound to be very welcome news in botei medrash and yeshivos the world over, where many have been eagerly awaiting a further opportunity to obtain it.

Over forty years have passed since the first edition of the work was prepared and published by HaRav Alter Halpern zt'l, rosh yeshivas Toras Emes in London. The work greatly enriched the Torah library by providing an accurate rendition of the writings of one of the most basic Rishonim, on this masechta. The manuscripts containing these chiddushim had been stored for centuries in libraries in different parts of the world. After much hard work and painstaking toil, HaRav Halpern succeeded in presenting the Torah world with a complete and accurate version of the work.

It was previously known that the Ritvo's chiddushim on Bovo Metzia that were published together with his chiddushim on other masechtos, were not attributable to him. They were not reconcilable with the excerpts from the Ritvo quoted in the Shitoh Mekubetzes. On the other hand, passages in the manuscripts used for this edition match them word for word. In his introductory paragraphs, HaRav Halpern demonstrates the authenticity of these chiddushim, which subsequently gained wide acceptance, benefiting several generations with the genuine chiddushei HoRitvo on this masechta. Many attest to the work's fundamental importance in studying it.

Among the gedolim of yesteryear whose letters adorn the work are HaRav Zalman Sorotzkin zt'l, HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt'l and the Steipler Gaon zt'l. In their haskomos to the Tosafos Yeshonim on Nedorim, which HaRav Halpern published several years after the Ritvo, they mention the earlier work, which had already gained wide circulation. Referring to HaRav Halpern's work the Steipler wrote, "[We benefit even from] the [lesser aspects] of the Rishonim -- who are akin to mal'ochim - - whose words we imbibe and whose teachings sustain us, through whom we glimpse the light of Torah . . . From his [i.e. the compiler's] introduction and notes, the power of his sharp and straight intellect and the tremendous breadth of his knowledge are evident . . . " HaRav Moshe Feinstein wrote, "Every ben Torah ought to obtain this sefer of our teachers, the compilers of Tosafos, who illuminate all of Shas for us, upon whom we rely in every respect."

It should be noted that forty years ago, working on the copying and verification of old manuscripts was not as popular and widespread as it is today, when many are involved in it. HaRav Halpern was one of the pioneers in this field. At the beginning of his introduction, he explains what moved him to undertake this tremendous task: "With darkness covering the world, during the fearsome churban that befell our nation, which also removed our mantle of glory with the loss of many sages and their written works, who could have foreseen that there would yet remain Torah centers in the Holy Land and throughout the Diaspora, in and around which thousands of pure-hearted individuals occupy themselves with Hashem's Torah and with the fear of Heaven? They are our sole hope, that in Hashem's mercy, they will produce mighty, wholehearted servants of Hashem, who will retrieve our former glory. For their sake, I felt this work was a labor of love."

HaRav Halpern, who invested much toil and labor and great self-sacrifice into his edition, indeed had the fortune to merit the Torah public with a new understanding of this masechta.

The work has now been out of print for a number of years. Despite the appearance in recent years of other editions that were based on the same manuscripts, it has long been unavailable in its original form and clear layout. Many have wondered when it would once again be possible to obtain the sefer in its original format, into which the first publisher invested so much. This new, beautifully arranged edition is intended to meet this demand.

It is fitting that the work should continue to be known by the title which HaRav Halpern gave it, Chiddushei HoRitvo Hachadoshim al Maseches Bovo Metzia. May this new edition indeed bring further elevation to his neshomoh and may his lips move as the Ritvo's chiddushim are studied from it in botei medrash everywhere.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.