Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recent Aquisition: The library of Rabbi Shlomo Wahrman A"H

I had the good fortune of being able to purchase the library of Rabbi Shlomo Wahrman this week. Rav Wahrman was a well-respected talmid chacham and maggid shiur, a veteran mechanech, and the author of many well-received sefarim. He was 86 years old.

You can usually acquire a good description of a person from his library and after going through Rav Wahrman's library, I felt like I had known him for ages. His first floor of the house, was lined with bookshelves, all packed to the brim. No shelves were double booked, indicating that the books were always in constant use. The Rav had the habit of writing his name neatly on every book, all 1500 of them. What struck me with the library was the lack of political or regional boundaries, you could find a Likute Sichos of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, A Yabia Omer of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the Teshuvot of R. Moshe Shternbuch of the Edah Charedit all on the same shelf. The bedrooms were not spared from books as well, each bedroom had floor to ceiling bookshelves. I was slightly amused at seeing a portrait of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, facing a row of books containing Vayoel Moshe of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, I suspect this was not by chance.

Rav Shlomo Wahrman was born and grew up in Leipzig, Germany. In 1939, at the age of twelve, he and his Polish-born parents and his siblings received American visas and found peace and a life of relative safety away from the clutches of the Nazi regime.

In Lest We Forget: Growing up in Nazi Leipzig 1933-1939, published in 1991 by ArtScroll Mesorah Publications, Rav Wahrman shares an account of life in Leipzig in the 1930s, portraying the impact of Nazi policies on a thriving Jewish community that peaked at 18,000 in 1935 before declining to around 6,000 in1939, when Rav Wahrman left the city for New York.

On these shores, Rav Wahrman lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, until 1955 where he grew close to the legendary Rabbi Eliezer Silver zt”l, who he considered his Rav Muvhak. Due to Rabbi Silver’s insistence and encouragement, Rabbi Wahrman honed his writing skills and recorded his copious Chiddushe Torah. He later moved east and became a well recognized mechanech, educator, advisor, talmid chacham and mechaber sefarim. He served as Rosh Yeshiva of Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) and authored She'erit Yosef a multiple volume responsa, a Haggadah and much else. His Articles appeared over the decades in many Torah Journals such as Hamaor.

Yet, Rabbi Wahrman acted always with great humility, simplicity, and, with his signature smile and wit, made everyone feel comfortable in his presence. תהי נשמתה צרורה בצרור החיים


1 comment:

  1. I used to keep the Vayoel Moshe next to a book of drashot by R' Reines, the famous Zionist rav (and ordainer of R' Mordechai Kaplan pbuh).