Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman of Volozhin and Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, as book editors

There was a time when it was not beneath even the greatest of Jewry's leader's to edit and publish important Rabbinic works from manuscripts. One example is Shevil Hayashar by R. Saul Siskus (d. 1797) a commentary on the Alfasi, which was edited, with correction and notes by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman of Volozhin, known as Rabbi Zalmele, brother of Rav Chaim of Volozhin. R. Zalmele was just 21 years old at the time. Here is what the author, R. Srikus writes of R. Zalmele in the introduction to the work:
הקרה ה' לפני מקרה טהור גברא קטן בשנים א"ך גדול בענקים ינוקא קדישא חסידא ופרישא מילא אותו רוח אלוהים בחכמה ובתבונה ובדעת בכל הש"ס עם כל השיטות הפוסקים קדמאי ובתראי ערוכים ומחודדים בפיו לאמר בלי גמגום הוא ניהו קדושת שמו מפארים מור"ר שלמה זלמן........

The Haskamah for Shevil Hayshar by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Broide. Note how we praises the editor, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman more than the actual author

From the Introduction to the book by the author, praising the encyclopedic knowledge of R. Shlomo Zalman

Endless praise for Rabbi Shlomo Zalman in the sefer סערת אליהו Warsaw 1887 Edition. 

In 1927, Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, published and edited from various manuscripts, the Ramban's commentary to Tractate Yevamot, with a page-long scholarly introduction and notes throughout. Here are the photos of the original edition as published by Rabbi Meltzer

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