Chochmas Shlomo by the Maharshal, Rabbi Solomon Luria, Brinn (Brno), 1796 – once in the Library of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin.

Lublin01This book is from my antique book collection.

Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin means the Rabbinical School of the Sages of Lublin, which is in Poland.  This large and legendary school was opened in 1930 and included a significant and growing library of tens of thousands of important rabbinical texts.  The library was supposed to have been destroyed by the Nazis in the Second World War, and the books burned.  I was reminded of this story when I read an article in Mishpacha Magazine by Dovi Safier and Yehuda Geberer about the lost Library of the Lublin Yeshiva, and this led me to the website of Piotr Nazaruk, who has initiated a project of identifying and cataloging books from the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin Library.  It seems that not all the books were burned after all, and some volumes (a small percentage of the books that were in the library) have been identified in bookshops, synagogue libraries, and private collections around the world.

Lublin06On searching through my shelves I was surprised to find that I have this book that is stamped that it was in the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin Library.  I bought it so long ago that I cannot remember where it came from.

There are two inscriptions which state (in Hebrew) that the book was donated by Levi, the son of Moshe Are Swislowsky of Tiktin to the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin Library.

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Solomon Luria (1510 – 1573) was one of the greatest Ashkenazi poskim (decisors of Jewish law) and teachers of his time. He is know for his book Yam Shel Shlomo and for this book, a commentary on the Talmud called Chochmas Shlomo (The Wisdom of Solomon.).  Luria is often referred to by the name Maharshal (A Hebrew acronym for Our Teacher, Rabbi Solomon Luria) or as Rashal (Rabbi Solomon Luria).

I have previously written about his book of Shalos and Tshuvos (Questions and Answers) of which my copy came from the Jews College Library in London. 

The Maharshal was descended from a distinguished family, tracing his lineage to Rashi. His teachers were his father Rabbi Jehiel and his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Isaac Klober of Posen. Luria served as rabbi and head of the yeshiva in Ostrog, leaving after twenty years for Brisk and subsequently becoming a Rosh Yeshivah (Head of a Rabbinical Academy) in the yeshivah of Rabbi Shalom Shachna. In 1567, Maharshal founded his own yeshivah. His students include Rabbi Mordecai Jaffe (known as the Levush), Rabbi Joshua Falk (Author of Derishah uPerishah), and Rabbi Hayyim ben Bezalel. The Maharshal was known for his intellectual independence.

The book was printed at the printing press owned by The Neumann family in Brno (known as Brinn), now in the southern Moravian region of the Czech Republic.

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This is the Russian censor’s stamp:
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