Wednesday, September 20, 2006

R. Akiva Yosef Schlesinger, Tikkat Shofar on Shabbat & plagiarism (of course)

Menachem Mendel has a very good post discussing the issues and the history regarding the propriety of blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShana when it falls on Shabbat. A central figure in this discussion is R. Akiva Yosef Schlesinger. R. Schlesinger is perhaps best known for his book Lev haIvri a commentary on the last will and testament of the Hatam Sofer. In this book, which perhaps can be used to trace much of Haredi ideology today, the bulk is devoted to putting down the "reformers." He discusses Mendelssohn's Biur, speaking in the vernacular and a host of other issues. There is no doubt he held what many would consider extremists views. R. Schlesinger has a less well known side - his love of Israel and dislike or almost vehement hatred of inertia.

R. Schlesinger who was born and raised in Hungry emigrated to Israel. When he got to Israel, at the time, most people were supported by the various kollelim. These kollelim would be set up by country, Hungarian Kollel etc. (the American Kollel was controversial). These kollelim in turn wielded tremendous power - they had the money. R. Schlesinger took a very dim view of these kollelim. First, he felt the money was not given out based upon need and merit, rather it was given based upon status and connections. Additionally, this system only ensured that people would never actually try and make money themselves. To be clear, these kollelim did not only support people learning full time, rather, almost everyone was supported by them.

R. Schlesinger came out strongly against the kollelim and decided to set up his own system. This system he outlined his book Kollel HaIvirim. First, he explains his system would be democratic. He explains that the Torah requires one to follow the majority. This is so, even when a Godol or the like holds different views. He proves this by pointing to the system of the Sanhedrin. There, they did not just go with greatest Rabbi on the Sanhedrin, rather, they started polling the views of the lowest one. (p. 7).

According to R. Schlesinger's system the Kollel or Board would be in charge of almost everything. They would oversee the education of the children. He advocated for marriage at 18 and then a 3 year period to devote to study. However, R. Schlesinger notes, not too many people are successful at just studying Torah full time, therefore, the Kollel should see who is not or who does not have an interest and they should learn a proper profession. This study should not be half hazard. Instead, they should study from a expert and devote a significant amount of time to this endeavor. He includes agriculture among these professions. (p. 9-10)

R. Schlesinger did not shy away from accountability. Even today many religious organizations do not have open books. R. Schlesinger, however, advocated for a yearly accounting which would be sent to all where they could view all the expenses and the accounting of the Kollel. (p.11).

He also seems to have taken what today would be considered a religious Zionist view of the then current status of Israel. Although at the time, Israel was under the rule of the Turkish government, due to the fact, they were fairly benevolent he understood that it was already then - long before the founding of the State of Israel - the messianic era. Specifically, he points to the Talmudic passage which explains the only change during the messianic era will be the removal of government oppression (אין בין עולם הזה לימות המשיח אלא שעבוד מלכיות בלבד). (p. 19) Additionally, he chides his former countrymen on their aversion to move to Israel. He says R. Isaiah Horowitz in the 16th century moved to Israel although it took a year to do. Today, he says, it is easy. The government gives anyone who wants a pass and it on the fast ships and rail it takes a mere 10 days. (p. 16).

Although it was fairly safe, R. Schlesinger was aware there still should be a security force. Thus, he advocated for a month long rotation for everyone. These watchers would serve for a month and then others would take their place. He says they should do so even on Shabbat. (p. 26b).

He wanted everyone to have a flag. There would be a general Kollel haIvrim flag with white, green, purple and turquoise. Then each shevet would have their own as well. (p. 27).

All of these plans met with serious resentment from the established Kollelim. They viewed him as undermining their system and way of life. So, as anyone who wants to get someone in trouble does - they searched his books to find something they could ban. Sure enough, they were successful. In his book Bet Yosef Hadash, which is on the Bet Yosef, he discusses a terrible problem and attempts to find a satisfactory answer. In Russia at the time there was forced conscription for a 25 year period. This was a Jewish death sentence - some people, were taken as young as 8. So, some would flee Russia and move to Israel to avoid this. At times, their wives refused to come. R. Schlesinger, therefore, discusses the possibility of getting around the Herem of Rabbenu Gershon on two wives. R. Schlesinger's enemies, however, accused him of doing away with and not respecting the Herem.

They consigned his books to the fire and put a ban on them.

In the end, however, his students (and he had many) were successful in setting up the city of Petach Tikvah (see here for more). They wanted R. Schlesinger to join them, and he did. He purchased land, but to honor his father in law, purchased it in his father in laws name.

Unfortunately, this had terrible ramifications. When R. Schlesinger returned to Hungary to gain support for his movement, his enemies went to his father in law. His father in law was old and could not take this. His father in law signed over the land he owned in Petach Tikvah, the land which was the culmination of R. Schlesinger's dream to his enemies, the Hungarian Kollel. R. Schlesinger then attempted to get it back. He did win some court victories. His opponents, however, used his own means against him. They ignored the pronouncements of the Bet Din, knowing that R. Schlesinger would never go to a non-Jewish court.

It seems that not only was R. Schlesinger a tragic figure, but other things he touched as well. Shmuel Weingarten was an avid Zionist. He published, among other things, a book demonstrating the collection of anti-Zionist letters in Dovev Siftei Yeshanim were forgeries. At the end of his life he obtained letters sent to R. Schlesinger's group (although they don't mention it, Weingarten shows they in fact were)and published them in a volume titled B'Shevach Yishuv Ha'aretz. These letters were from many Rabbis, some who were not that well known. Weingarten, as he notes, had to spend considerable effort tracking down and providing biographical information about these persons. He also transcribed the letters. He, unfortunately, did not live to see this book published.

In 1999/2000 some in Beni Brak B. Margolius (most likely a woman due to the lack of first name), published a book, Ragli Mevasar. This book is divided into three parts. The first two are biographies of R. Schlesinger and his father in law. The last part are the very same letters originally published by Weingarten. Additionally, they include the very same biographies that Weingarten did. There is absolutely no attribution at all! I have included a page from each were the reader can see how they are the same. The top page is from Weingarten and the bottom from Ragli Mevasar. None of the library catalogs I have seen note that this is plagiarized.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Custom, Confusion, and Remembrances

There is an excellent book in which a women describes growing up in Lithuana in the early and mid 1800's. This book, Rememberings, originally written in German, has recently been translated into English. The author, Pauline Wengeroff, grew up in a traditional Orthodox home. She records a terrific amout of customs and how life was then. Eventually, due in part to the influence of the haskalah she, her husband and her family did not remain Orthodox. The book was fully translated and the complete unedited version is available online for free here (although there seems to be issues with the first part) or you can purchase a more readable version here.

There is a terrific story relating to Yom Kippur and how, perhaps, some customs get started.

In Europe, it was somewhat common to have what was known as a zoger (a man) or zogerkes (a woman). This, literaly translated, means a sayer or repeater. This person served to allow women who otherwise could not read to be able to recite the proper prayers. The zoger would say the prayer and this was then repeated. When it was a man doing this, he had to crawl into a barrel which was put in the women's section.

With this background we can now move to the story as recorded by Pauline Wengeroff.
"On Yom Kippur the zogerke was supposed to recite the paryer in a tearful voice." The butcher's wife was hard of hearing so "she begged the zogerke to pray a little louder: she'd give her an extra large liver from the shop if she [the zogerke] would do it for her. The zogerke answered in her weepeing prayer voice, weaving her reply into the recitiation: 'The same with the liver, the same without the liver.' A moment later the men were startled to hear the entire women's gallery sob aloud in a full voice: 'The same with the liver, the same without the liver.'"
The story continues when one of the women were leaving Shul and another was entering. The one coming in asked what they were up to, to which she got the reply
"Nu, the prayer about the liver." "Liver? Last year we didn't say anything like that!" "Today, efsher (maybe), because it's a leap year . . ."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Machnisei Rachamim and Plagerism

This Saturday night many begin to say the Selichot prayers. There is one prayer in particular that has raised question throughout the centuries, Machnisei Rachmim. This prayer, which asks the angels to take our prayers is controversial. The reason for the controversy is that we generally avoid praying to angels, instead, we pray to God. Now, in truth there are many, many prayers that are either directly or indirectly addressed at angels, but Machnesi Rachmim is perhaps the most overt although one should keep this point in mind should one decide to Machnisei Rachmim.

Already from the times of the Geonim, they have dealt with angels in prayers (they said it was ok). As the generation progressed there were those who questioned this and claimed these prayers ran afoul of the prohibition of praying to someone other than God. This debate was brought to head in the 18th century in Italy, where both camps were represented by long letters for and against. In the end, it was decided that it was ok for people to continue saying these prayers. Of course, this decision did not appease those who thought it was blasphemous to do so, and the debate continued on (as almost all Jewish debates).

In the case of the 18th century debate, the various positions were recorded in one of the earliest Jewish encyclopedias, Pachad Yitzhak. Those who said it was ok based this upon two authorities (although there are others, some of which they were aware of and some of which they were not). These two were the Etz Shetul commentary on R. Joseph Albo’s Sefer HaIkkrim (first printed Venice, 1618) and the commentary on the Machzor, Hadrat Kodesh (this commentary was first printed in 1567 in Lubin, however, this commentary was then "updated" in the Prague by the editor R. Moshe Shedel. This Prague edition was reprinted numerous time, however, in all these early editions there was no specific title to the commentary and instead was called "haMifaresh." The title Hadrat Kodesh was first used in the 1600 Venice edition and then in subsequent reprints.) [What is of passing interest, and one wonders whether it precipitated this controversy, is that this commentary was just republished right before the debate broke out in Venice 1711 - this editions title page is reproduced below. As one can see it is very elaborate with rather interesting illustrations. Additionally, the Hadrat Kodesh commentary relating to the above discussion from this edition is also reproduced below.] On the other hand, the opponents discounted the justifications offered by these two (at times in rather irreverent terms) and claimed based upon a simple reading these types of prayers were prohibited. Two leading Rabbis were called to adjudicate the matter, and as I mentioned above, they ruled the practice could continue. One, R. Shmuel Abaob, actually had to respond again as the opponents refused to accept his initial decision.

One of the other more common places this comes up is in the prayers Shalom Alechim said on Friday nights. Again, this is more or less the same debate regarding the stanza asking the angels for a blessing. R. Jacob Emden in his Siddur as well as his commentary on the Tur/Shulchan Orakh actually offers the same justification as that of the Hadrat Kodesh and then realizes that it is the same and they would be equally applicable. R. Emden ultimately decided to remove all the passages from Shalom Alechim with the exception of the first stanza (although in most purported editions of R. Emden’s Siddur including the most recent one, the entire Shalom Alechim appears.)

All of the above and more was collected in an article which appeared in the journal Yeshurun. This article was so good and so comprehensive it was then plagiarized in the book Mo’adim l’Simcha. In fact, R. Fruend the “author” of Mo’adim l’Simcha even took the errors which appear in the Yeshurun article. For instance, they cite to the work Sheboli haLeket no. 252 when the correct citation is to 282; and Fruend repeats this. Fruend, seems to have a very different view of plagiarizing than is currently accepted. He does cite to the Yeshurun article a few times, but this does not absolve his copying verbatim of the article. This is not the only time Fruend does this. Instead, he does this over and over again with many of the articles which appear in his books. Sometimes he gives passing credit to the original authors and sometimes he doesn’t. While it is somewhat troubling that Fruend does this, it is worthwhile pointing out that Fruend's books, Mo'adim l'Simcha are very good (in part because he uses excellent sources) and at the very least compiling and condensing the many articles on the many topics he covers is worthwhile. Finally, not everything in his books is plagiarized, instead, there are whole articles which are Fruend's and they are also very good.

Sources: R. Dr. Shlomo Sprecher, “The Controversy About Machnesi Rachmim” in Yeshurun no. 3 p. 706-729; R. Fruend, Mo’adim l’Simcha, vol. Elul – Tishrei p. 37-62; also for more Machnisei Rachmim including manuscript evidence see S. Emmanuel's article available here. Of course, the above does not discuss the more general question of whether one should say any piyuttim which is for another post.

Title page from the Venice 1711 Machzor Sha'ar Bat Rabim which includes the Hadras Kodesh commentary
Commentary of the Hadrat Kodesh discussing the Machnisei Rachamim prayer

The Hatam Sofer's Humor

For Nachi and Matt and their love of noses.

I heard the following from Dr. Leiman. In the Hatam Sofer's yeshiva in Pressburg, it was the custom for all to wear hats while learning. This included fairly young boys. One day a ba'al ha'bus (a community member not part of the Yeshiva) came in and saw a young boy learning. As he was a youngster, his hat was a bit oversized. The ba'al ha'bus went over to him and said "Shalom aleichem Hat, where is the bucher [boy]." The boy turned around and was rather disturbed by this insult, noticed the man's rather prominent nose. The boy replied, "Shalom aleichem Nose where is the ba'al ha'bus." This reply incensed the ba'al ha'bus and he immediately went to the Hatam Sofer to complain.

The Hatam Sofer called the boy over to hear his side of the story. The boy explained he was minding his own business when this person made a comment about his hats size to which he just replied in kind. Upon hearing this, the Hatam Sofer responded, using a verse from this week's Torah portion (Det. 29:23), if this is so, "מה חרי האף הגדול הזה." (A play on words to mean "what anger [spite] this great nose displays.")

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tikkun Soferim - Later Amendations to the Torah?

For the full recovery of HaRav R. J. Wasserstein

I heard a very interesting speech this weekend [which S. had previously discussed here as well], and I have decided to expand some on it.

In this weeks Torah reading we were treated to a rather strange occurrence. Although, throughout the Torah, there are words read different than they are written, at least in the Torah (Nakh provides plentiful examples of significantly altered words), these are minor corrections. Most of these corrections are merely the maleh or hasar (plene and defective) spellings. Yet, in last week’s reading two words appeared which instead of reading the actual words we substitute two totally different words (chapter 28, 27 & 30). The substituted words are not different in the sense of their meaning – their meanings are very similar just they express the same in a different manner – just in their pronunciation. These alterations are based upon the TB, Meggilah 25b. The Talmud explains these words were altered as the way they written was considered too crass and thus required substitution.[1]

Rashi, in his commentary on the Torah, states that these words are the product of the Tikkun Soferim, corrections of the Scribes.[2] What are the Tikkun Soferim? There are two basic ways to understand what these soferim did. If one looks at Rashi’s first mention of the Tikkun Soferim, both of these are represented. That is, in the first mention, there are three different versions of Rashi. Depending upon which version one has, will in turn inform the debate about what the Tikkun Soferim did.

Rashi’s first mention of the this concept is found in Genesis, when God visited Abraham. God came to visit after Abraham circumcised himself. However, this visit was interrupted by the appearance of the three angels (who appeared like men to Abraham). After they left God came back as it was, however, it was viewed inappropriate to say that God came and stood or waited before Abraham. Therefore, the verse was altered to say that Abraham still stood before God. Rashi explains this change is one of the Tikkun Soferim. The simple way to understand this concept is just the Rabbis came and explained that although there should have been a different reading, this one was chosen so not appear offensive to God. But, importantly, the Rabbis did not actually make the change, rather they came to explain it.

In some editions[3] of Rashi, there are a few additional words which offer a very different insight into the Tikkun Soferim process. These are “שהפכוהו רבותינו לכתוב זה” or “The Rabbis altered it to state thus.”[4] This means that after the Torah was written, some later Rabbis came and altered to the text.

This understanding presents a problem in light of the creed offered by Maimonides, among others, that the Torah never changed.[5] But, before we get to that we need to first locate Rashi’s source for this understanding.

It seems, the source for the additional words is based upon a Midrash Tanhuma (Beshalach 16). In this Midrash it states that the men of the Great Assembly (אנשי כנסת הגדולה) were the ones who did the Tikkun Soferim. Thus, this Midrash is stating that these changes were actually done – done by the men of the Great Assembly. This Midrash is in conflict with other statements, most notably by the Bereishit Rabbah (36,7). There, there is no mention of the men of the Great Assembly and thus no human alterations.

Now, some have claimed based in part upon this conflict and the problem mentioned above that the Tanchuma has been corrupted. This position was espoused by R. Azariah de Rossi, in his Me’or Einayim. He says that the words regarding the men of the Great Assembly were later emendation based upon an error. Specifically, de Rossi states “that some impetuous person, as I think, wanting to honor the Men of the Great Synagogue, wrote those words in the margin of his copy of the Yelammedenu [Tanhuma]. His colleage, the printer, than instead his words into the body of the text for the sake of clarity.”[6] De Rossi, then argues that not only was that Tanhuma altered in this fashion, but the previously cited Rashi was as well. He says that the additional words are “unquestionably an error.” (For other examples of this phenomenon see R. Zilber, Ohr Yisrael 41, p. 201-223.) De Rossi’s position was quoted favorably by some traditional commentaries[7] attempting to deal with the problematic Rashi as well as the Tanhuma. This is of course ironic in that de Rossi’s work was banned for taking liberties with various statements of the Rabbis.

Yet, for all these justifications, as Lieberman has shown, even if one discounts the Tanhuma, there are still other examples of similar statements regarding Tikkun Soferim. Thus, we are forced to conclude that there are in fact two traditions regarding how to understand Tikkun Soferim. One holds the Rabbis did not alter the text while the other is inapposite. In truth, the latter position is not nearly as problematic as it is at first glance. Already R. Hai Goan[8] deals with a similar issue regarding the accuracy of Torah’s text. Specifically, the TB, Kiddushin is in conflict with the way we have our Torahs. R. Hai explains, that we for our purposes, we only have our Torahs and that we need not worry about perceived conflicts. According to R. Hai, so long as we follow the halakhic process we need not worry about historic inaccuracies. One could argue, the Tanhuma and perhaps Rashi took a similar position, so long as the Tikkun Soferim was based upon established Talmudic principles, there was room to even amend the Torah.

Sources and further reading: see Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 64-67 (and the sources cited therein); Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine, 28-37; Kasher, Torah Shelemah, vol. 19, 374; C.D. Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible, 347-363; Marc B. Shapiro, Limits of Orthodox Theology, p. 98-100.

[1] The written words are coarser versions of the ones which are actually read.

[2] Rashi’s assertion that this change is from the Tikkun Soferim is problematic. None of the various Massorah lists include this example in their lists. See, e.g., Okhlah we-Okhlah, list 168 (p. 113 of the Frensdorff ed.); C.D. Ginsburg, The Massorah, vol. 2 (vol. 4 at seforimonline.org) p. 710 list 206. Instead, as Liberman has noted, generally the Tikkun Soferim were inappropriate references to God and not generally problematic words, as is the case here.

[3] This includes the first edition, Reggio, [1475]. Other early editions, however, do not include these words, for a discussion of these see Rashi HaShalem, vol. 1 202-203 n. 75, 357.

[4] The third version contains these words in parenthesis.

[5] On this topic see generally B. Barry Levy, Fixing God’s Torah, and Marc B. Shapiro, The Limits of Orthodox Theology, p. 91-121.

[6] Translation from Weinberg ed. of Me’or Einayim, p. 327.

[7] See Etz Yosef commentary to the Tanhuma; R. Menachem Kasher, Torah Shelemah, vol. 19, 374.

[8] Harkavey, Teshuvot HaGeonim, no. 3.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Custom of Reciting l'Dovid HaShem Ori

A fairly universal custom is to recite the passage from Psalms l'Dovid Hashem Ori twice a day during the month of Elul. A question which has received renewed scrutiny recently is where this custom came from. The most obvious answer is the work Hemdat Yamim. This work, however, is rather controversial. Many claim this book (which has many other well-accepted customs) was written by Nathan of Gaza, the prophet of the infamous false-Messiah Shabbetai Zevi. Thus, if the Hemdat Yamim is in fact the source, that would not be a good thing.

So, some have claimed that in fact there is another source for the recitation of l'Dovid HaShem during Elul. They point to the book Shem Tov Kotton. In this book, which is a collection of additionally kabbalistic prayers, there is a mention to say l'Dovid HaShem during Elul. The problem, however, is that a) Shem Tov Kotton only says to do so on Monday and Thursday and the 10 days of repentance but not everyday in Elul; (b) he also says that not only one should say l'Dovid but also additionally prayers some of his own compilation and others such as the 13 middot haRachmim and the Psalm Rananu Tzadikim; (c) finally, he says to say l'dovid HaShem immediately after Shmonei Esreh. So it would seem that in all likelyhood the Shem Tov Katton is not the source of our custom to say l'Dovid daily, at the end of prayers, without any additional prayers.[1]

So we are back to square one. Lest one despair some have come to fill this gap. They say anyways the Shem Tov Koton would not have been the best source as they would rather this custom ultimately come from the Ari'zal (which the Shem Tov Koton would not). Now, some just claim the Hemdat Yamim is really a student of the Ari and is perfectly kosher. This solves everything, but that is not the general consensus. Instead, they have located that R. Hayyim haKohen who was known as student of the R. Hayyim Vital and himself an important conduit for the Ari'zal's writtings, says to say l'Dovid HaShem during Elul. Now, as it was we have a Ari'zal source so the custom has been saved.

Not so fast. First, a rather interesting work was recently redone and republished on the Shir Shel Yom. This book, Shirei haLevim, is everything and anything having to do with the Shir Shel Yom. The book, discusses all the Ari"zal's customs as connected to the Shir Shel Yom, the book was originally published in 1677. However, no where in this book is there any discussion of l'Dovid, which tends to show that although the author was well versed in all the other Ari'zal's Shir Shel Yom customs, it seems not this one. Thus, it seems doubtful this custom actually emerged from the Ari'zal.

But, even more questionable is that in the manuscript from which R. Hayyim Kohen's comments were published that manuscript contains nothing about l'Dovid haShem instead, it appears the publisher inserted into the R. Hayyim's work. And as already has noted by some (see Yudolov's comments for the entry of Sha'arei Rachmim [No. 0182652] on the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960) many insertations to the work in question, the Sha'arei Rotzon, are found in the Hemdat Yamim.

2007 Update: Also, it is worth pointing out the lengths persons will go to obscure the Hemdat Yamim source. For instance, in the Siddur Alyiyat Eliyahu and the Machzor by the same editor, Mikrai Kodesh, in both these siddurim the editor offers the following as the source for l'Dovid: "Sha'arei Tefilah which attributes this custom to R. Hayyim Kohen, a student of the AriZa"L, Shem Tov Koton." So, the earliest source is this work Sha'arei Tefilah which attributes it tho R. Hayyim Kohen - this apparently is a new source, which, although we have seen other sources which attribute it to R. Hayyim we saw that source was questionable at best. While the editor did not explain which of the many Sha'arei Tefilah he is referring to[2], in fact he is referring to R. Ya'akov Raccah's work published in 1870. Now, as this work is published in 1870 and supposedly is the source for what R. Hayyim Kohen who died in 1655 and authored many of his own works which discuss similar topics should immediately be a red flag . When one actually looks at the Sha'arei Teffilah the quote (p. 48) one sees that he is not the source, instead, all the Sha'arei Teffilah does is quote the Sha'arei Rotzon, which, as noted above, we now know is not actually a quote from R. Hayyim, and instead merely the later insertation of the editors of that work. Now, why would the editor go so far out of his way to reference a rather obscure work from the late 19th century as the first source for this custom but never make any mention of the earlier source Hemdat Yamim at all? It would seem that he wanted to avoid as much as possible any connection to this source.

Notes:
[1] R. Katz, in Divrei Yosef (p. 175) uses the differences between the custom advocated for the Hemdat Yamim - l'dovid should be recited prior to selichot, as a "proof" that our custom can not be based upon Hemdat Yamim. Katz, however, is silent about the numerous differences between our custom and what the Shem Tov Koton advocates for.

[2] It is especially ironic that the editor did not explain which Sha'arei Tefilah he is referencing as the editor spends a considerable portion of his introduction castigating R. Shlomo Zalman Hanau's Sha'arei Tefilah (the most well-known work with the title Sha'arei Teffilah) for numerous precieved sins. Such a bland citation my lead an innocent reader to make the grave error that the editor is now citing to this "horrible" work.

Sources: Shirei HaLevim was reprinted and retypeset in the book Shirat Shmuel; on l'Dovid see Ohr Yisrael no. 1 by R. Katz (reprinted in his Divrei Yosef); Shem Tov Koton, Chernowitz, 1855 12a-13a (available online at Hebrewbooks.org; R. Goldhaber, Minhagei Kehillot vol. 2 p. 8 (he is the source for the manuscript evidence) Goldhaber's work is generally excellent; on Hemdat Yamim (the recent controversy) see R. M. Tzuriel's recent reprint and his introduction; R. N. Greenwald "The Attitudes of the Leaders of Hassidim towards the book 'Hemdat Yamim'," Hechal HaBesht no. 6; 34-64; R. Mondshien's response in the next issue of Hechal HaBesht and Greenwald's response to R. Mondshein in that issue; for even more on Hemdat Yamim as well as where you can get your own copy for free see my prior post here ; for more on R. Hayyim Kohen, see here about half way down the page.

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