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Or Same'ah, R. Meir Simhah ha-Kohen of Dvinsk, Riga 1926

אור שמח ח"א - First Edition

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  • Lot Number 53562
  • Title (English) Or Same'ah, Part I
  • Title (Hebrew) אור שמח ח"א
  • Note First Edition
  • Author R. Meir Simhah ha-Kohen of Dvinsk
  • City Riga
  • Publisher דפוס אלי לעווין ז"ל
  • Publication Date 1926;
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2418544
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

First edition, 183 pp., folio, 340:240mm., light age and use staining, wide margins. A good copy loose in contemporary boards.


Detail Description

R. Meir Simhah ha-Kohen of Dvinsk (1843–1926), talmudic scholar. His brilliance was such that he is said to have annotated the halakhic work of a distinguished rabbi when only 13 years old. At the age of 17 he went to Eishishok where he studied under R. Moses Danishevsky. R. Meir Simḥah married the daughter of R. Ẓevi Paltiel, a wealthy man from Bialystok who supported him while he continued his studies under the local rabbi, R. Yom Tov Lipman Halpern, the author of Oneg Yom Tov (1880). With the publication of his work, Or Same'ah on Maimonides (1902–26), R. Meir Simḥah became widely renowned as an outstanding talmudic scholar and commentator. His novellae Or Same'ah to Bava Kamma and Bava Mezia were published in Jerusalem (1948), and his novellae to most of the tractates of the orders Nashim and Nezikin, together with some responsa and occasional notes, were printed in 1967 from a manuscript identified as his in the Jewish National and University Library. In these fundamental and classic works of rabbinic literature, he shed new light on the Talmud and codifiers, displaying vast erudition, great depth, and profound logic. On the advice of R. Jacob Harif of Zagare and R. Joseph B. Soloveichik of Brest-Litovsk, he was invited to become rabbi of Dvinsk, a position he occupied for 40 years. R. Meir Simḥah earned the high esteem of all communal circles, not only in Dvinsk, but far beyond its borders. In 1906 he declined the offer of a rabbinical position in Jerusalem, as a result of the entreaties of the community of Dvinsk who wrote to the leaders in Jerusalem that were he to leave, "not only would we, God forfend, be destroyed, but also the entire Diaspora. For he is the authority able to answer anyone who enquires concerning the word of the Lord. It is not for you, people of Jerusalem, to do such a thing." In 1911 he presided jointly with R. Isaac Jacob Rabinovitz, the rabbi of Ponevezh, over the Central Committee of Rabbis, the representative body of Russian Jewry in its relations with the government. During World War I most of the Dvinsk community fled, and only a few of the poorest inhabitants remained. R. Meir Simhah stayed with them, declaring that as long as there were nine Jews in the city, he would be the tenth.

In his work on the Pentateuch, Meshekh Hokhmah (1927), he drew freely on his vast knowledge of the two Talmuds and of the halakhic and aggadic Midrashim, giving new and profound interpretations. The book, which contains original reflections, attained wide popularity. Zera Avraham (1929) by R. Abraham Luftvir consists of an exchange of correspondence between R. Luftvir and R. Menahem Zemba , and also includes some fine specimens of R. Meir Simhah's responsa to him.

Hebrew Description

 ... על כל ספר משנה תורה לרבינו שמה ב"ר מיימון ז"ל... מאתי מאיר שמחה הכהן מדווינסק... בהרב... שמשון קלונימוס זללה"ה בהגאון... חנניה כהן זצללה"ה... [א-ד].

[א]: על ספר המדע, אהבה, זמנים. ריגא, דפוס אלי לעווין ז"ל, תרפ"ו. 183 עמ’..

[ב]: ראשונה על ספר נשים וספר קדושה. ווארשא, דפוס מאיר יחיאל האלטער ושותפו. תרס"ב. 247 עמ’.

[ג]: על ספר הפלאה, זרעים, עבודה, קרבנות, טהרה. ווארשא, דפוס F. Baumritter, ע’ת’"ר’ [תר"ע]. 252 עמ’.

[ד]: על ספר נזיקין קנין משפטים שופטים. ווארשא, דפוס ישראל ברוך הכהן הכהן אלאפין, תרס"ד. 245 עמ’.




Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000140688: Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 65f.; S.Y. Zevin, Ishim ve-Shitot (1966), 155–87, EJ