Read about some of the Rabbanim whose seforim were used to prepare the Halacha Yomit-
| Rabbi Yaakov Sofer author of Kaf Hachaim
Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Soffer, popularly known by the name of his famous work "Kaf Hachaim", was born in 5530 (1870) in Bagdad. He made aliya (moved to Eretz Yisrael) where he learned in the "Bet El" Yeshiva in the old city of Jerusalem. This yeshiva is well known for the study of kabbalah. Rabbi Soffer wrote books of homiletics and halacha. His books are known for bringing the original traditions of Iraqi Jews, and are studied to this day.
| Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Bagdad
author of Ben Ish Chai
Rabbi Yosef Chaim, was one of the greatest Rabbis in Iraq (Bagdad), although he never held a formal position. He authored many works, some of them are studied regularly among Jews from Iraq and the region. Many of his books were named after Bnayahu ben Yehoyada, including Ben Ish Chai (which was another name of ben Yehoyada).
The Ben Ish Chai, is a book on halacha (Jewish Law), still studied and followed by many Jews who follow the customs of Iraq and Syria. It is set up according to the weekly Torah reading, for a two year period.
| Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt"l or Reb Moshe, as he was popularly known was born in Russia, on the seventh day of Adar, 5655 (1895). This day is also the birthday of Moshe Rabbeinu.
Reb Moshe arrived in America in 1936, and was one of the greatest leaders of American Orthodox Jewry until his death in 1986. Funeral processions of unprecented proportions were held in New York and Jerusalem.
He was the Rosh Yeshiva (dean) of Mesivta Tifereth Yerushalayim in New York, and a prolific writer of responsa (answers to halachic questions people sent him) and novelae (chidushei torah). His works include 8 volumes of responsa, and many volumes of his shiurim (classes) on various tractates of the Talmud.
While growing up in American in the 70's and 80's I recall hearing the expressions: "Reb Moshe said....", "Reb Moshes' opinion is..." and similar statements, countless times.
A popular joke in those days was that all newly ordained rabbis received a secret tool with their ordination certificate. This secret tool gave them the ability to pasken (decide) any possible halachic question brought to them. As each new rabbi received his semicha (rabbinical ordination), it was turned over, and Rabbi Feinsteins' telephone number was written on the back.
It is interesting to note the voluminous quantity of responsa that Reb Moshe wrote. Letters and phone calls were constantly bringing queries to him from all over the world.
Although Reb Moshe was such an important posek (halachic decider) and Rosh Yeshiva, he is also remembered for his modesty. Like Moshe Rabbeinu, who he is named after, Reb Moshe responded to questions from young and old, and constantly expressed his concern for Jews all over.
Esther and Irving Harris z"l
Esther and Tzvi Lerner z"l
Tzvi Harris © (1999) 5759- (2000) 5760
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