Me’ir Einei Hakhamim, R. Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin, Sudilkov 1834 (50812)

מאיר עיני חכמים

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50812
Title (English): Me’ir Einei Hakhamim
Title (Hebrew): מאיר עיני חכמים
Author: R. Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin (Maharam of Lublin)
City: Sudilkov
Publisher: דפוס יצחק מדפיס
Publication Date: 1834
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20190804/411b8964-57ff-4174-b9ec-512e67ed84e4_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20190804/14d9ecce-1b9b-4937-8880-84342b2dc85a_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description:

[2], 58 ff., folio, 365:228 mm., wide margins, usual light age staining, old hands. A good copy not bound.


Detailed Description:   

Classic novellae on the Talmud by R. Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin (Maharam of Lublin) which primarily addresses the statements of Rashi and the tosafists. In this work Maharam displays profound acumen, and, although he treats the remarks of the tosafists with every respect as embodying the truth and not to be controverted, he does not refrain at time from expressing criticism. Moreover, Maharam emends passages which he maintains have been wrongly inserted by copyists. In Me’ir Einei Hakhamim Maharam writes with brevity on most of the tractates of the Talmud, in contrast to the lengthy lectures he gave to his pupils.

R. Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin (Maharam of Lublin, 1558–1616) was apparently born in Lublin. His principal teacher was his father-in-law, R. Isaac b. David ha-Kohen Shapiro, head of the yeshivah and dayyan of Cracow. Maharam’s eminence in learning was such that he became the head of the yeshivah at Lublin (1582–87) at the age of 24, and before he was 30, he was appointed dayyan and head of the yeshivah at Cracow (1587–95). He was rabbi in Lemberg from about 1595 until 1613, when he was appointed rabbi as well as head of the yeshivah at Lublin, where he died. Maharam of Lublin was one of the greatest teachers of his generation. Wherever he settled, he established a yeshivah to which numerous pupils flocked from all parts of Poland and beyond. From all over Europe rabbis turned to him with halakhic questions, problems of communal concern, or for advice. He encouraged them by stressing his readiness "to reply to anyone putting a problem to me, for in this I find pleasure" (Responsa No. 18). In the introduction to his responsa, his son R. Gedaliah states that Maharam wrote seven works, which he enumerates (see below). Only two, however, have been published. Me’ir Einei Hakhamim. The other published work, Manhir Einei Hakhamim, containing 140 responsa, throws light on the religious, economic, and political life of the Jews of Poland and of other countries (cf. Responsa 13, 15, 40, 56, 81, 86, 118, 128, 137, et al.). These responsa reflect his method, temperament, and qualities. Although he was influenced in his halakhic decisions by French, German, and Polish scholars, he displayed independence and was critical of his predecessors. Despite the importance of the Shulhan Arukh as a supreme halakhic authority, R. Meir refrained from "building the basis of any ruling upon the implications of its words, since they were not derived from a single source, but were... compiled from unconnected collections of sayings" (Responsa No. 11). On several questions, particularly in cases involving loss of money or livelihood, he adopted a lenient view (ibid. 50), and he showed concern for the status of women (ibid. 81) and for protecting the rights of widows and orphans (ibid. 109). Insistent that his decisions be accepted, he more than once declared that his opinion was "the clear truth" (ibid. 92, 111, et al.).

Although R. Meir, like his contemporaries, was given to casuistry in his responsa, a thread of clear thought and logic runs through all his statements. His responsa are one of the earliest sources for knowledge of the Council of the Lands (ibid. 40, 125) to which he ascribed great importance and in whose meetings he participated on several occasions (ibid. 84, 88). R. Meir had hundreds of pupils, the most distinguished of them being R. Isaiah Horowitz and R. Joshua Heschel of Cracow. The five unpublished works mentioned in R. Gedaliah's introduction are: Ma'or ha-Gadol, a commentary on the Arba'ah Turim of R. Jacob b. Asher; Ma'or ha-Katan, a commentary on Sha'arei Dura; Ner Mitzvah, on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol (Semag) of R. Moses of Coucy; Torah Or - a commentary on the Pentateuch; and Or Shivat ha-Yamim.


Hebrew Description:   

"מאיר עיני חכמים" ומקום הדפוס בצבע אדום.



Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000145227; EJ; JE