Klalei HaPoskim (Rules of the Codifiers) by Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Chaikin, London 1923

5s Clalei_0001This is a descriptive index on the rules and sources of the Poskim, the halachic rabbinical authorities, by Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Chaikin.  After the introduction, which I have scanned in full below, there is a dedication to Rabbi Chaikin’s wife, Tanna Rivka, daughter of Rabbi Solomon Zalman Pinsker.  The book is arranged alphabetically, and after each letter is a section called Mare Makom Dinim which indexes each law to its place in the Shulchan Aruch.  It is a readable and useful book, and if you want your own copy for just $3.00 you can get it here.

Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Chaikin was born in Sklov in 1852 and moved to Petersburg, where his father was Chief Shochet.  He had Semicha from Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor of Kovno.

He emigrated to England in 1890 and was appointed Rabbi of Sheffield, and then, on 15th December 1901 was appointed Chief Minister of the Federation of Synagogues until he became a Dayan of the London Beth Din in 1911.  His first book, Tzion Rashi (which I have written about separately) was printed in London in 1921.

He was a fervent Chasid of Chabad and Chief Rabbi Hertz described him as “…a never-failing fountain of Jewish lore; a river flowing on with ever-sustaining vigour… a born Chasid, a Chasid by nature even more than by upbringing….  his was the joyfulness of the true Chasid, the optimism, the clarity in judgement, the obstinate refusal to despair of his fellow mortals and their destiny, which made him the friend to all, beloved by all, loving God and loving all of God’s children.”

He belonged to the Old Castle Street Shtiebl at 42 Old Castle Street, also known as Agudat Achim Kehal Chabad.

After the death of his wife in 1926, he settled in Jerusalem, where he died in 1928.

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