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18 Sivan 5766 - June 14, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Sefer Gevuras Ari on Maseches Yuma
Mahaduras Weinreb — Hotza'as Lakewood

Reviewed by Yated Ne'eman Staff

If we were to ask ourselves, "What are some of the most famous seforim that were printed in the last few hundred years?" the name Sha'agas Aryeh would definitely be among those on top of the list.

The saintly gaon Olom HaRav Aryeh Leib Ginsburg zt"l, does not need an introduction. Any Torah scholar has certainly learned some of his many seforim, whether the Sha'agas Aryeh, Turei Evven on maseches Rosh Hashonoh, Megilloh or Chagigah; or perhaps one of his other seforim: Gevuras Ari on maseches Yuma, Taanis or Makkos.

Interestingly, it is the minhag for some bar mitzvah bochurim to say some Torah from sefer Sha'agas Aryeh (as heard from Rabbi Moshe Berman, principal of Stolin Yeshiva Boro Park).

The Sha'agas Aryeh was a prolific writer, writing on all sections of Shas and halochoh. As he himself testifies in his introduction to the Sha'agas Aryeh, "I am printing here only a small sampling of my Torah. I have much, much more, and much more was lost."

In the year 5516 (1756), he printed the sefer Sha'agas Aryeh. At the age of seventy, in the year 5546 (1786), he became the rav of Metz, Germany.

Legend has it that the townspeople of Metz were nervous to accept him as their rov, due to his advanced age. However, he assured them that he would hold his position for at least twenty years. Indeed, he remained the rov in Metz for over 20 years.

Towards the end of his life, while in Metz, he wrote chiddushim on all of Shas and started printing them, calling them Turei Evven. However, he was only able to print on maseches Megilloh, Chagigah and Rosh Hashonoh. The rest was never published.

A while after he was niftar, his son HaRav Asher zt"l printed his father's chiddushim on maseches Taanis. However since his father did not print it, he appended the name Gevuras Ari. Due to monetary problems, Rebbi Asher was unable to print more of his father's chiddushim. Unfortunately over the course of time all the other writings were lost.

Almost one hundred years ago, in 1907 while on a trip to Vilna, the Chofetz Chaim found out about a copy of the chiddushim of the Sha'agas Aryeh on maseches Yuma and Makkos. The Chofetz Chaim bought the rights to the sefer and printed it.

He writes that he heard from Rebbi Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt"l, that his father-in-law, Rabbi Elya Eliezer zt"l, and his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchok zt"l, used to learn from this manuscript together.

The manuscript that was found was not at all easy to print, since it was not in the original handwriting of the Sha'agas Aryeh, but a copy of the original manuscript. Due to the fact that there were no copy machines or computers in those times, the copier (a big talmid chochom, whose name is unknown) was compelled to rewrite the whole sefer by hand. In order to cut down on this very tedious work, he wrote the whole sefer in roshei teivos, many of them not easily understood. Moreover, the manuscript was torn and ruined in different places.

In the introduction to the sefer, the Chofetz Chaim writes that he worked hard to make the manuscript readable and fixed many roshei teivos with the help of Rabbi Moshe Londinsky zt"l, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim of Radin, and his son-in-law, Reb Hirsch Levinson zt"l.

The Chofetz Chaim commented that the job was incomplete and he hoped to improve it and add on he'oros in the next printing. The Chofetz Chaim was never able to carry this through, and all printings of the sefer since then are a copy of the Chofetz Chaim's original one.

Approximately five years ago, Reb Chaim Yisroel Weissman, a yungerman from Lakewood, undertook the task of redoing the entire sefer with the permission of the Zaks family, grandchildren and yorshim of the Chofetz Chaim. In addition to correcting many printing mistakes, adding marei mekomos, fixing roshei teivos, inserting commas and periods, he also supplemented a few paragraphs based on a ksav yad and from sefer Turei Evven, retypesetting the entire text and supplementing it with over one thousand he'oros. Added in the back are three previously unknown inyanim from Rebbi Osher, son of the Sha'agas Aryeh, on maseches Yuma, letters he wrote to the Noda Biyehuda, and vice versa. There is also an addendum of twenty-five new inyonim from the Sha'agas Aryeh al HaShas, many of them previously unknown to the olom Hatorah, including the first drosho he gave when he became the rov of Metz!

This new edition, the Gevuras Ari "Weinreb edition — Hotza'as Lakewood," will surely enhance the learning of this major sefer on maseches Yuma. As befits such an important sefer, it boasts a beautiful cover and is printed in large format.

This publication is available now, at major seforim stores. Or buy direct by calling 732-886-2308.


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