Lev Aryeh by Dayan Ari’ Leib (Leopold) Grossnass, London, 1958.

Grossnass01Lev Aryeh is a book of Shaalos and Teshivos (Questions and Answers) by Dayan (Rabbinical Judge) Arje Leb (Leopold) Grossnass. 

He was educated at Kamenetz and other European yeshivos (Rabbinical seminaries) and later headed the Antwerp Talmudical college, before being appointed to the London Beth Din in 1949, at the age of 37.

Dayan Grossnass was a renowned Talmudic scholar and halachic authority.  This book is his first volume of responsa, notable for his clear practical answers to halachic dilemmas. Apart from various decisions on conversion adoption etc., there is an interesting case of a Sefer Torah that has had the taamim (musical notes for reading) added in pencil for easy reading. Has the Sefer Torah been rendered posul (unfit for use)?

Grossnass02(If you are looking for Dayan Grossnass’s decision on whether a Cohen can attend University College London where the body of the philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, is on display, it is in the second volume, not this one.)

One of his later responsa, published for the Beth Din, agreed with a 1966 ruling by Rabbi Kopul Kahana, of Jews’ College, that gelatine processed from the outer skins of ritually unclean animals was kosher, since the treifer (non-kosher) elements were completely eliminated by the chemicals used.  I have a copy of Rabbi Kahana’s book in my collection.

Grossnass03In 1956, Dayan Grossnass and his colleague, Dayan Abraham Rapoport, boycotted the service of dedication and thanksgiving which was held at the Bevis Marks Synagogue to commemorate the tercentenary of Jewish resettlement in Britain due to the presence of Reform Rabbonim.

He retired frcom the Beth Din in 1977 and settled in Israel the following year, becoming head of a rabbinical college on the campus of the Hebron yeshivah at Givat Mordechai and, later, of the Kollel rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem.

Grossnass04My copy has a very interesting inscription, signed by Dayan Grossnass, stating that it was given as a wedding present to Yaakov Moshe, the son of Rabbi Mordecai Savitsky of Boston and his bride.  Rabbi Mordecai Savitsky was honorary president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States.


The book starts with a brief foreword by the author:


This is a letter from the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Israel Brodie:


Then, Haskamos (approbations) from Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank, the head of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, and Rabbi Isaac Halevy Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Israel:



Here is the interesting question about the Sefer Torah that has been written on in pencil:


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