Chief Rabbi of Krakow On His Book

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi of Krakow (“Maor V’Shemesh“) (d 1827) is commemorated on the 1st of Tammuz. The following praise of his works appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

From the Words of the Gaon Rabbi Dov Berisz Meisels On Reb Kalonymus’ Book

There are many authors with keen insights whose works have inspired me.

But here’s a set of criteria I have come up with to exert discretion in selecting which ones to endorse:

1) When through faith an author’s thought has given rise to sweet fruits, instilling wisdom and when his words can be used to raise up those who have stumbled along the way.

2) When I can see, at least, that the words have been arisen in the mind of a man who belongs to a community of those who fear Hashem and who ponder His name, who have found refuge in our town, may his Rock preserve and sustain him: For Hashem is close to him to redeem.

And behold in the case of this author, these two criteria come together.

For, a righteous luminary is the Rav, distinguished in Torah and in awe and kindness, with saintly insights into divine ways.

He has earned an esteemed name in Israel, our teacher the Rav Kalonymus Kalman HaLevi (may his memory be for the life of the world to come). His light has shined in the gates of our town.

His distinguished, well-educated son, the lover of God, Hasid, and fearing God, his father’s pride and joy, our teacher the Rav Aaron Halevi, a luminary in Israel, published the book Maor V’Shemesh in order to provide light also to those counted as Hasidim in our town.

And about the essence of what the book says, behold I have set my eyes upon it and found in it pure, refined sayings. From his mouth, flames come forth that light up the reader’s heart with fear of Hashem and love for Him.

And although I am not of the Hasidic community and I am not usually occupied with mystery teachings, nonetheless, I will not hesitate to say what’s true. For I have thought deeply about what I have read in this book, and behold, his words have intensified in me a love of Hashem and I have been touched by his precious and pleasant ideas.

(From the beginning of the book “Maor vShemesh“)


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