Sefer Nidchei Yisroel, by Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, the “Chofetz Chaim”, First edition, Warsaw 1893.

Nidchei01This book is from my antique book collection.  It is the first edition of Nidchei Yisroel, printed in 1893 on poor quality paper, originally in paper wrappers, perhaps to keep the cost as low as possible.  The pages have browned and I have scanned them in black and white to make them clearer.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir ha-Kohen Kagan was born in Dyatlava, near Grodno, on January 26, 1838, and died on September 15, 1933 (24th Elul) in Radin, near Vilna, Lithuanian Poland.  he is known popularly as the Chofetz Chaim, after the title of his first book.  he was one of the most influential Rabbis of modern times, and the author of many books.

Nidchei02At the end of the 19th century there was a massive emigration of Jews from the Russian Empire to South Africa, England and especially America.  This book was written as a survival guide for Jews dispersed to the far corners of the earth.  The Chofetz Chaim writes in the long introduction reproduced below that this book is addressed to those Jews who have had to leave their homes and travel to distant countries that challenge the observance of the Torah.

It is a book of the laws that are frequently met in everyday Jewish religious life, such as preparation for Shabbos (The Sabbath Day). The 39th chapter goes through the 39 types of work that are forbidden on Shabbos.


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