Food For Healing the Soul

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The Yahrzeit of the Rav Tzvi Hersh of Liska (1798-1874) is commemorated on the 14th of Menachem Av. The following praise of his works appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

His Writings

This is the background: I am very excited to share that I have now taken his innovations of the Torah and had them set down for posterity. In addition, I also have a bundle containing his Torah innovations which were never before available covering all the Holidays and Festivals, and also his writings regarding several issues in the Mishnah. All the writings stem from later in his life and the topics that inspired him at that same time.

We don’t have his work from earlier times because all the brilliant teachings and writings which he had set down when he was younger in a book were burned in a fire of this world when he was in the provinces of Poland. None of it remained for him except for that knowledge that was in his head, which has always been the basis of his teaching.

As he put it:

“As I teach from what’s in my head, I don’t need anything more.

“On a certain level, the fire was God’s will. I accept it.”

The day of the fire, he was able to sense that the books in his house were burning and he dashed home, and they asked him why he was leaving them in a hurry and he said:

“In my minds eye, I’m seeing that my books were burned in a fire!”

And so it was.

In these words of Torah are found all food for healing the soul and all drink for getting to the essence of reverence for Hashem and meditating on His name.

For, as the waters cover the sea, so does fear of heaven and love of God fill a person, and so we wait for the world to be filled with God’s presence.

For there are many who go out in search of acquiring wisdom and understanding, seeking to hear words said in truth from the mouth of a true preacher. And we, too, should merit to bring an overflow of books in a basket of books that will fill us within and give our souls their coins. People should seek out these treasures.

And now please take this book, a blessing from me that I have brought before you.

(From the Introduction by his grandson, Rabbi Zev Wolf, on the book “True Sustenance”)


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