What did Dayan Hillman Read? Kereisi Upleisi and Tiferes Yisroel by Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz, Warsaw, 1878.

HillmanKereisi01These are two important Rabbinical works by Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz (1690-1764), bound in one volume, and printed in Warsaw in 1878.  Rabbi Eibeschutz was an important talmudist, kabbalist and author who was the Dayan (rabbinical judge) of the city of Prague and later Rabbi of the Three Communities of Altona, Hamburg and Wansbeck.  Kereisi Upleisi his the only halachic book published in his lifetime.  It is a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, dealing with issues of kashrus, meat and milk etc.  The book was published in 1763, a year before his death.  It has no Haskomos (approbations) because of the controversies that surrounded the Rabbi over his writing of kamiyos (kabbalistic amulets).

This copy was owned by Rabbi Samuel Isaac Hillman, and would have been consulted by him in decisions relating to Kashrus (kosher food).

Rabbi Hillman was born in 1868 in Kovno, Lithuania and died in 1953. In his youth he studied under his uncles, Rabbi Mordechai Hillman, head of the Rabbinical Court of Pasvatim and Rabbi Noach Yaakov Hillman of Pasval.  He received Semicha (his rabbinical diploma) from very famous Rabbis: Rabbi Eliahu Dovid Teomim (then Chief Rabbi in Ponivezh), Rabbi Rafael Shapiro of Volozhin, Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen of Dvinsk (known as the Ohr Sameach), and the Ridbaz of Slitsk.

HillmanKereisi03In 1897 Rabbi Hillman became Rabbi and head of the Rabbinical Court of Berazino, in the Minsk region of Russia.  My copy has Rabbi Hillman’s personal stamps from when he was in Berazino.

In 1908 Rabbi Hillman emigrated and was appointed Rabbi in Glasgow, Scotland, and in 1914 Chief Rabbi Hertz appointed him as a Dayan (Rabbinical Judge) of the London Beth Din. 

Dayan Hillman’s great work was a series of books called Ohr HaYashar, with his commentaries and novella on various tractates of the Talmud. His son-in-law was Rabbi Dr. Isaac Halevy Herzog.  Rabbi Herzog was the Chief Rabbi of Dublin, Ireland who was later appointed Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Palestine, and then the first Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel.

Rabbi Isaac Herzog was the son of Rabbi Joel Leib Herzog, of Leeds and Paris, whose book Imre Yoel, published in London in 1922, was covered in a previous post.  Dayan Hillman’s grandson and Rabbi Herzog’s son was Chaim Herzog, the sixth President of the State of Israel, whose son, Isaac Herzog is the current President of the State of Israel.


My copy has this annotation in handwriting, which may be that of Rabbi Hillman:



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