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20 Marcheshvan 5772 - November 17, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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The Levushei Srod, HaRav Dovid Shlome Eibeshitz, ztvk"l

In honor of his yahrtzeit: 22nd Cheshvan

HaRav Avrohom zt"l was born in 5562 (1802) in Pressburg. His father, R' Yehudah zt"l, was a descendant of the Chavos Yoir.

Reb Dovid Shlome was born in 5515 (1755) in the city of Ozhiran where his father, Reb Yerachmiel, was a prominent talmid chochom.

By the year 5540 (1780) he already taught Torah in Nodvorna. In his sefer Arvei Nachal, there is a drosho that he gave in Vizhnov in 5550. He was later rov in Soroka and is generally known as the rov of that city.

The Levushei Srod learned under R' Meshulam Feivish of Zhoboritz and under R' Wolf of Tcharne in Ostroa, whom he often mentions in his writings.

In 5568 (or perhaps 5569) he left Soroka and traveled to Eretz Yisroel. There Reb Dovid Shlome settled unobtrusively in Tzfas, learning in a quiet corner of the beis knesses and teaching children of Tzfas' poor, like a simple melamed.

Nonetheless his reputation spread through Tzfas and the rest of Eretz Yisroel and many sought to learn Torah with him.

He was the author of many seforim, such as Levushei Srod on Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim and Yoreh Deah, Arvei Nachal Al Hatorah and Droshos, Sheilos Uteshuvos Neos Desheh and others, all of which were widely acclaimed throughout the Torah world.

Reb Dovid Shlome began writing his seforim while still in chutz la'aretz and completed them in Eretz Yisroel. Many of his chiddushim remained in manuscript and have been lost to us over the years.

On 22nd Cheshvan 5574 (1814) the Levushei Srod was niftar. He was buried in a cave in the old cemetery of Tzfas together with Reb Aryeh Leib, zt"l of Voltzchisk. After a few years the tzaddik, Reb Avrohom Dovid of Voritch was also buried in the same me'arah.


His hasmodoh in Torah is impossible to describe, but an example may give us an insight to its greatness.

On his long journey to the holy land, Reb Dovid Shlome traveled together with HaRav Binyomin Diskin, father of R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin, zt"l. Naturally, the two of them were mefalpel and osek beTorah all the time. However, since they only had between them one masechteh of Talmud Bavli on the ship they divided the gemora into two halves. Each learned half the masechteh and then they swapped, continuing in this way throughout the long and arduous journey until they reached the shores of Eretz Yisroel.

After his first sefer, Levushei Srod, came out, a certain rov had a number of queries and annotations which he wrote to him. He went to the Apta Rov for a haskomoh to his heoros, but the Apta refused to sign, saying, "The Levushei Srod wrote his sefer in accordance with his revelations from Eliyahu Hanovi. Go and check over all your queries and you will see they are not questions at all."

Despite his intense humility and soft approach to everyone, when it came to matters pertaining to mitzvos, Reb Dovid Shlome remained firm and adamant in his opinion. He was very strict, particularly concerning the issur of talking during Chazoras Hashatz and Kaddish, in accordance with the Shulchan Oruch which says one should scold a person who speaks during prayer as his "sin is too great to bear."

One of the respected roshei hakehilloh in Tzfas was a wealthy Jew who came from Europe and very much wanted to live out his last years in the holy land, living a life of Torah and chesed, and shaking off completely the business world. He had therefore left his family behind in his hometown to continue managing his business while he himself moved to Tzfas. Every month a messenger came, bringing him regards from his family and plenty of money for him to live on comfortably.

Once, the messenger was unavoidably detained. One month passed and then another, the money in his possession dwindled, and still there was no sign of the man. The Jew was duly concerned, not only for his money but even more for the welfare of his family back home.

A number of weeks passed in growing anxiety, when one day in the middle of the tefillah the messenger arrived, coming straight to the shul.

The man's joy knew no bounds. As the shaliach approached him and delivered a thick wad of notes, he could not contain himself. Although it was in the middle of chazoras hashatz he urgently asked the newcomer, "Tell me how is my family?"

Seeing this, Reb Dovid Shlome immediately motioned for the prominent yid to leave the shul.

Insulted and embarrassed, the man left the shul as his shame turned to anger. How dare the rov insult such a reputable and respected member as he? He then and there decided that he would no longer support the rabbi and his talmidim as he had until now, in revenge for his hurt pride.

However, after a few moments he began to have second thoughts. "If the Rabbi, who knows that I regularly support him and his students, risked losing my money without a moment's hesitation and only had kvod Shomayim in mind, then surely he deserves my tzedokoh even more." As soon as davening was over, he presented the Rov with a large sum of money.

Reb Dovid Shlome at first refused to accept the gift, but after the man insisted, he told him, "Go and distribute the money to my pupils who have finished praying so that they can eat, be sated and have strength to learn Torah."


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