94 . Book of sermons in the hand of a Torah genius. Shavlan, [1852-1883]
Handwritten book of sermons for siyumim on tractates and the six orders of the Mishnah, delivered in Shavlan near Kovno, between [1852-1883].
Specifications: 280 pages, of which 160 bear written text. 15x21 cm.
Background: Apparently written by Rabbi Shmuel, Av Beit Din of Shavlan, childhood friend of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, a close disciple of the author of Keren Orah. One of his questions was printed in Chemdat Shaul, siman 19. The author's grandson commented, "This is HaRav HaGaon Shmuel ztz"l who was later Av Beit Din in Shavlan, and then studied in Karlin and then spent time in the shadow of the Gaon...Yitzchak ztz"l, the Rav Av Beit Din of Karlin, author of Keren Orah, and was very honored in his home, as a grandson of the Keren Orah told me, and from there his questions and hesitations were rushed to the...hagaon Shaul ztzll"l".
Rabbi Yisrael of Salant wrote a letter to Hard"m Meisles, Av Beit Din of Krakow, in 1865 (printed in Moriah, Nissan 1999) that said, "on behalf of my childhood friend... the gaon..Maharas"h Rabbi of Shalvan..., perhaps you have the ability to share in the pain of this outstanding Torah scholar and to be a support for him."
The Maharal Diskin also wrote a recommendation letter (also printed in the Moriah), "to complete the words of our friend, Harav HaGaon ...[Yisrael Salanter], because we have aroused together for HaRav..the Av Beit Din of Shavlan, who has seen poverty for six years because of libelous lies, and his judgment has not yet been published (that even this soon should come clean, with the compassion of Hashem)." The libels mentioned by the Maharil Diskin refer to the notorious blood libels that began in 1861 and only ended about six years later. Refer to Zichron Yaakov Lipshitz (section two p. 12). This may be the reason why there are no sermons from those years in this manuscript!!!
Unique features: Each sermon is headed with the event and date on which it was delivered. Lengthy sermons for finishing solitary tractates, orders, and for a siyum for the six orders of the Mishna. The sermons are dated 1852-1859, 1865, 1871, 1877, 1878, 1883. A quick look is enough to verify that the author was a prominent person who had fantastic expertise in halacha and drush, the works of the Achronim, language and writing. His words of mussar were delivered with charm and modesty. His mussar is covered with pleasantness while integrating them with ideas appropriate for the time and words fortifying mussar and G-dly service and promoting Torah study amongst his congregation.
Condition: Very fine. Aging stains. Magnificent, new leather binding.