Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim – Amsterdam, 1754 – Thousands of Glosses Handwritten by R. Baruch Fränkel-Teomim Rabbi of Leipnik, Author of Baruch Taam – Unpublished Glosses on Pri Chadash
Meginei Eretz – Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, with many commentaries. Amsterdam, . Large-format volume.
Copy of R. Baruch Fränkel-Teomim Rabbi of Leipnik, author of Baruch Taam, containing a composition comprised of thousands of his handwritten glosses. This copy is the source for the composition of glosses authored by the Baruch Taam, printed in all editions of the Shulchan Aruch. However, comparison with the printed version discloses that this book contains dozens of unpublished glosses, and many glosses which were incorrectly or partially printed, appear here in their complete version.
On the second title page, remnants of a torn signature: "…Fränkel-Teomim" (presumably the signature of the Baruch Taam).
At the foot of that same leaf, on the left, ownership inscription in tiny letters (faded, and difficult to decipher): "This book belongs to the renowned outstanding Torah scholar… sharp and erudite… R. Fränkel".
The leaves of this volume of Shulchan Aruch contain thousands of glosses, novellae, comments and commentaries to the words of the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators, handwritten by R. Baruch Fränkel-Teomim Rabbi of Leipnik, author of Baruch Taam. Most of the glosses pertain to the Magen Avraham commentary, though some glosses relate to the Shulchan Aruch or other commentators, such as the Pri Chadash and more. The volume is replete with glosses from beginning to end, and they appear on almost every leaf. In effect, this volume contains a complete, notably lengthy composition of glosses handwritten by the Baruch Taam. Most of his glosses on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim were printed at the end of volumes of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, starting from the Lviv 1836 edition onwards, but upon comparison of the printed glosses with this original, it appears that many of them were printed incorrectly or partially, and some were completely omitted. It must be noted that the dozens of glosses featured in this volume which pertain to the Pri Chadash commentary, were never published. These omissions and errors are present in all the editions, starting from the first one (Lviv 1836), until recent, revised editions (see article).
The title page of the book authored by the Baruch Taam, Baruch SheAmar (Piotrkow 1905) states that many of the author's writings were lost already in his lifetime, "and he always prayed that they should be found". It also quotes the words of the Divrei Chaim, his son-in-law – "
May G-d allow my father-in-law's novellae to be found, since he lost them causing him great anguish"; and indeed, the glosses of the Baruch Taam to Shulchan Aruch have emerged here in their entirety, with dozens of unpublished glosses, including, as mentioned, all his glosses to Pri Chadash.
In one of his glosses here (p. 215a), the author refers to his glosses on the Pleiti by R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz: "And see in the Pleiti beginning of section 94…
and I wrote about this in the margin of the Pleiti"; and indeed, the contents of that gloss were printed in the glosses of the Baruch Taam to the Pleiti (see: Kreiti UPleiti, Zichron Aharon edition, Jerusalem 2006, II, p. 499, note 3).
Study of these glosses reveals that from time to time, the Baruch Taam reviewed and revised his glosses, correcting and adding to them. Thus, for instance, in the case where he found a new book which concurred with the opinion stated in one of his glosses, or if he found an additional proof to corroborate his words, he added these details as a continuation to his original gloss. One can detect lengthy glosses which were written in stages, sometimes with long breaks in between. This fact is discernable through the deletions and corrections, the differences in the color of the ink and the shape of the letters. This may explain why some of the glosses were not printed, or why some where printed only partially in Shulchan Aruch editions, assuming that the glosses were copied from this volume at a certain point in the life of the Baruch Taam, before he finished correcting and adding to his notes (see article).
The author refers often to Biurei HaGra on Shulchan Aruch (first published in 1803), with terms of reverence, and he many times refers to the Gaon of Vilna as "The Chassid" (see: pp. 41b; 45b; 52b and others). On p. 111b, he wrote at the top of the page: "… and so I found in the Biurim of R. Eliyahu Vilna… the one studying it will understand his intention from his concise words…".
Apart from numerous glosses in the distinctive hand of the Baruch Taam, the book contains lengthy glosses in a different handwriting. We were not able to identify the writer, and he may have been one of the sons, sons-in-law or disciples of the Baruch Taam (in one of his glosses, the Baruch Taam mentions: "My disciple, R. Yaakov Grätz" [?] – p. 312a). It is interesting to note that most of these glosses were printed in the name of the Baruch Taam (one can assume that these are novellae of the Baruch Taam which he dictated to one of his family members or disciples, as he sometimes did). Although most of the glosses in the other handwriting were published in his name, some are hitherto unpublished (for instance: the glosses on section 588 in small handwriting; likewise on pp. 93b; 278b; 281b; 284b; 292b and others).
The Baruch Taam
R. Baruch Fränkel-Teomim (1760-1828), author of Baruch Taam. A prominent leader of his generation, he was renowned for his brilliance, sharpness and scholarly glosses to many books. He was the disciple of R. Yehuda Lieber Charif Krongold, head of the Kraków Beit Din, R. David Tevele of Lissa and R. Meshulam Igra. At the age of 19, he was appointed rabbi of Vishnitsa (Nowy Wiśnicz), and following the passing of R. Binyamin Wolf Eger, he was summoned to succeed him as rabbi of Leipnik (Lipník nad Bečvou), a position he held for thirty years. After the demise of R. Meshulam Igra, he was one of the candidates to succeed him as rabbi of Pressburg, though ultimately, the lot fell on the Chatam Sofer.
His depth of understanding and brilliance were widely acclaimed, to the extent that the Avnei Nezer attested of striving his entire life to reach the Baruch Taam's level of sharpness. The Chatam Sofer testified that had Torah been forgotten, the Baruch Taam would have been capable of retrieving it through his pilpul, and he eulogized him saying: "An outstanding Torah scholar… he disseminated Torah with brilliance and erudition, and his disciples did not fully grasp the depth of his brilliance…". In his approbation to the book Baruch Taam, the Chatam Sofer writes to the author's son, regarding his father and his novellae: "Teacher of the Jewish people… does he need my approbation and advice to illuminate the sun and glorious light of his father… do I not recognize his strength, splendor and glorious brilliance…". Reputedly, when the Kol Aryeh finished studying one of the sections of Ateret Chachamim authored by the Baruch Taam, he exclaimed: "Whoever does not benefit from Divine Inspiration would not be capable of composing such a work" (Toldot Kol Aryeh, Kleinwarden 1940, p. 120).
His renowned son-in-law was Rebbe Chaim Halberstam, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, his close disciple and editor of his book Baruch Taam. In his foreword to Baruch Taam, the Divrei Chaim writes: "And during the one year I spent with him, he taught me most of the Talmud with Rishonim, and the whole time he revealed to me great and wondrous things with his pilpul… and he gave over to me some of his pilpulim and methods of learning, he dictated it to me, and I recorded it…". His son-in-law the Divrei Chaim would often say that his father-in-law attained elevated levels which words cannot describe, nor can the brain fathom (Yosef David Weisberg, Rabbenu HaKadosh MiSanz, I, p. 34). The Divrei Chaim also testified that he witnessed himself how the Baruch Taam's study of Torah for the sake of Heaven allowed him to attain the truth in Halacha through Divine Inspiration (Baruch SheAmar, Jerusalem 1966, foreword, p. 21). Although the Baruch Taam was an opponent of Chassidism, the Chozeh of Lublin told Chassidim who spoke against him: "What can I do, his Torah is very dear to me". Some of his other descendants also became prominent Chassidic leaders, including his son, R. Yehoshua Heshel of Komarno, who was a foremost disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin (see: Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, II, p. 76). His book Baruch Taam, edited by his son-in-law the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, was first published in Lviv, 1841. The degree to which the book was accepted and cherished by Torah scholars is demonstrated by the fact that the book was reprinted in five more editions in a relatively short time (1878-1902). His other works include: Ateret Chachamim, Margenita DeRav, Baruch SheAmar, and more. He is especially renowned for his many glosses, which he would record in his books while studying (see article). Some of these glosses were eventually published in later editions of these books. Particularly renowned are his glosses to the Talmud (printed in the Vilna edition), to Shulchan Aruch, and to the following books: Kreiti UPleiti, Shev Shemateta, Turei Even, Chavot Ya'ir, Responsa of the Ran, Beit Meir, Ketzot HaChoshen, Netivot HaMishpat, and others.
(Ohel Baruch section 14 relates that when the book Baruch Taam was published "the Chatam Sofer cherished this book greatly, and for three days and three nights not other book apart from Baruch Taam was found in his hands". This account does not appear to be accurate, since Baruch Taam was only published in 1841, after the passing of the Chatam Sofer. It would be more likely that this episode took place with this composition – the glosses of the Baruch Taam to Shulchan Aruch, which were printed in 1836 - the only work of the Baruch Taam printed in the lifetime of the Chatam Sofer. It must be noted that the book Baruch Taam boasts an approbation by the Chatam Sofer, in which he wrote to the son of the Baruch Taam that he does not need to see a sample of the composition: "Do I need a sample of the work? Do I not recognize his strength, splendor and glorious brilliance? Behold, all his teachings shine like the glow of the heaven…").
The leaves of this book bear many stamps of the "New Kloiz of Ziditchov in Lviv" – a Kloiz established in 1880-1890, which housed many outstanding Torah scholars (Lviv – Encyclopedia shel Galuyot, Jerusalem 1956, pp. 470-471). On p. 84a and on other leaves, stamps: "Menachem Grünfeld – Nanas".
, 36, , 37-334 leaves. Lacking 4 final leaves: 335-338. Two title pages. Approx. 37 cm. Fair condition. Stains and dampstains. Extensive wear. Large tears to title pages, affecting text, repaired with paper. Glosses on dozens initial leaves and several other leaves cropped due to marginal tears or wear. White tape on several glosses, hiding part of the gloss. Tears to leaves 51-53 and 280, affecting text. New leather binding. Placed in leather slipcase.
This volume of Shulchan Aruch, with thousands of glosses handwritten by the Baruch Taam, was part of the collection of R. Shimon Shmelke Erblich of Antwerp, a seventh-generation descendant of the Baruch Taam. His father was R. Moshe Yehuda Leib Erblich, son-in-law of R. Yoel Ashkenazi (1884-1970, elder and prominent Slonim Chassid in Tiberias, see Kedem Auction 66, item 61), son of R. Baruch Ashkenazi (uncle of Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar), son of R. Efraim Yosef Ashkenazi, dayan in Zlotchov (son of R. Yoel Ashkenazi Rabbi of Zlotchov, author of Responsa Mahari Ashkenazi), son-in-law of R. Yehoshua Heshel Fränkel-Teomim Rabbi of Komarno (prominent disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin), son of the author R. Baruch Fränkel-Teomim Rabbi of Leipnik, author of Baruch Taam.
The Glosses of the Baruch Taam
The glosses of the Baruch Taam, which he recorded in the margins of his books, have been studied by Torah scholars in all subsequent generations for the numerous novellae contained in his brief and profound words. His glosses are quoted extensively in books of the Acharonim, halachic authorities and yeshiva deans until this day. Due to their significance to Torah learners, many of his glosses were published, based on his handwritten notes in his books, including his glosses to books of the Rishonim and to those of leading Acharonim. Particularly renowned are his glosses to Ketzot HaChoshen and Shev Shemateta, to Shulchan Aruch and the Talmud, and other works. The Baruch Taam was accustomed to recording his novellae in the margins of his many books. He would annotate all types of books in his large library, whether basic books such as Chumashim, Mishnayot and Babylonean Talmud, up to books of contemporary Acharonim. As his grandson, R. Pinchas Aryeh Leibush Teomim testified: "My grandfather the Baruch Taam... would annotate all his books with his glosses… allegedly, he even wrote glosses to the book Tzene Rene…" (Ohel Baruch, section 35). His son-in-law, R. Menachem Manish Mordechai Teomim discussed this in a letter to his uncle R. Efraim Zalman Margolies (see below): "This was my father-in-law's practice… to record all his thoughts in the margins of the book he was studying" (Agudat Ezov, p. 56). A partial list of dozens of his books which he annotated with his glosses was published in Sinai, 44, pp. 117-118.
An entire composition named Agudat Ezov was recently published (Brooklyn 2002), containing the glosses of the Baruch Taam on Beit Efraim – authored by his contemporary R. Efraim Zalman Margolies. These glosses were copied in his lifetime by his son-in-law R. Menachem Manish, who sent them to his uncle, author of Beit Efraim. R. Efraim Zalman responded to the Baruch Taam with his objections and questions on the glosses. The Baruch Taam, in defense of his glosses which were very dear to him, replied to R. Efraim Zalman, resolving the difficulties he raised, and countering his objections. This exchange of letters surrounding the glosses of the Baruch Taam, formed an independent composition which was printed in its entirety in Agudat Ezov.
His Glosses on the Shulchan Aruch
Of particular significance are the glosses to the Shulchan Aruch, which fill this volume, and cover the entire Orach Chaim section. These glosses do not only contain short notes, novellae and brilliant thoughts, but form a systematic commentary, explaining the words of the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators, with a special focus on the Magen Avraham. These glosses are valued as a composition and a book in their own right, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The glosses were first published (in an incorrect and incomplete manner), in the Shulchan Aruch printed in Lviv 1836. The glosses of the Baruch Taam preceded all his works printed in subsequent years, and they earnt him worldwide renown, as R. Nachum Trebitsch Rabbi of Nikolsburg attests in his approbation to Baruch Taam (Lviv 1841): "And he has already acquired a worldwide reputation, and has become famous for honor and glory, through his glosses to Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, from there every reader can see and enjoy as his soul desires".
Comparison of the Printed Glosses with the Handwritten Source – Omissions, Errors and Unpublished Glosses
Comparison of the glosses printed in the Shulchan Aruch editions with the original handwritten glosses disclose that many of them were printed with errors to the text, omissions and mistakes, which are of significant importance to understanding the intention of the Baruch Taam. Additionally, the glosses to Pri Chadash were not published at all, as well as some glosses to the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators (for example, two glosses on p. 47b, and another gloss on p. 58b). These omissions and errors feature in all the editions, starting from the first edition (Lviv 1836), up until recent, revised editions.
An interesting example of an error, which occurred presumably due to inaccurate copying from this volume: In the laws of Torah reading, section 135, there is a gloss on the Magen Avraham, sub-section 7. The printed gloss ends abruptly, with the printer's note in parentheses: "Lacking end". The following gloss contains a sentence which doesn't seem to be connected. Study of the handwritten glosses (p. 55b) reveals that the incoherent sentence in the second gloss, is actually the continuation of the previous gloss, which ran into the next gloss for lack of space. The copyist did not realize how the two glosses are divided, and mixed them together, which resulted in the words of the Baruch Taam appearing in an erroneous and incoherent order. This error was printed in all the editions until this day.
In several places (such as pp. 244a, 297b), the author's lengthy glosses are interrupted, and only the first part is printed. It is not sufficiently clear why the glosses were not printed fully, and why some of the glosses were totally omitted (apart from the glosses on Pri Chadash which were not printed at all). It is possible that the glosses were copied in the lifetime of the Baruch Taam, who later continued revising and adding to his glosses, and these additions remained in manuscript.