Monday, June 27, 2011

Machon Yerushalayim’s Book Week 2011

Machon Yerushalayim’s Book week 2011

by Eliezer Brodt

As previously mentioned there are many book sales this time of year all over Eretz Yisroel, and many publishers release new titles for the occasion. One of the publishing houses that makes a special sale every year is Machon Yerushalayim (MY). This year for the sale MY released many new titles.

Over twenty years ago MY released a beautiful new edition of the classic work Minchas Chinuch. Over time this edition has become a bestseller, selling thousands of copies worldwide. In the introduction of the work they wrote of plans for a fourth volume which would include indices and a collection of all the notes and discussions of the various gedolim on the Minchas Chinuch. For various reasons that project never got off the ground. Bu there was another work that does collect all the notes and discussions of the various gedolim on the Minchas Chinuch and comment on them, from Rabbi Schlessinger. This work, although beautiful and full of great stuff, looked like it would shape up to be over twenty volume,s but no more volumes were released in the past fifteen years. Recently, for Pesach and Shavuos MY released samples of this original project. Last week they released the first volume of this edition which goes up to the forty-first Mitzvah. The work is excellent. It is more concise than Rabbi Schlessinger edition and similar to the style they have used in the Otzar Miforshei Hatalmud. I just have one small complaint - at this rate it will be around twelve volumes (although they estimate only six). Although it is nice to have the notes on the same page of the Minchas Chinuch, but most people have already bought the Minchas Chinuch in three volumes, so it would be much easier for them to put all the notes in two separate volumes like originally planned. Hopefully MY will offer this option in the future. Volume two of this work is due in a month or two.

Another very valuable work just printed is the sefer Shulchan Melachim. This work is based on manuscripts from Rabbi Yitzchak Bueno who was a Rav in Yerushlayim over three hundred and fifty years ago. It is on Orach Chaim and is full of pesakim of his and other giants of his time. The Prei Chadash and Chida used it in manuscript. This volume contains many useful footnotes and is printed with the Shulchan Orach on the page.

Another work just printed is the extremely important work Tashbetz Koton based on many manuscripts. There are over one hundred manuscripts of this work. A few years ago an edition of Tashbetz Koton was printed by Rabbi Schneerson with many excellent notes (he promised a second volume which has still not been printed). Rabbi Schneerson's edition is based on the version of the sefer that was in front of the Beis Yosef, who quoted from it extensively. However one weakness of this edition of Rabbi Schneerson's is that it’s in a complete different order than many of the other editions, making it very hard to use. The new edition of MY is based on the order that most quote the sefer, making it easier to use than Rabbi Schneerson’s. Besides for this it is based on many manuscripts and contains many useful notes to help one understand the text. One small problem I had with the MY edition is they did not reprint the notes of R. Yeruchem Fischel Perlow but it could be they could not get permission.

Another very valuable work just printed is called Pinkaso Shel Shmuel from the Rashash. This work is a collection of indexes of thousands of topics found in the Rashash's writings organized according to topics, including topics related to Kelalim, Toldos Tanaim V'amoraim and more. It is mindboggling to see how many topics the Rashash touched upon in his works! One weakness in my personal opinion of this work is they should have already brought down exactly what he says instead of in an index form as he writes very concisely, so the sefer would only be a little bigger and even better. The editor of this work seemed be unaware of the great work on the Rashash from Shua Englman, "Rabbi Samuel Strashun (HaRaShaSh) and his Hagahot on the Babylonian Talmud," (PhD dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, 2008; Hebrew). All in all it’s a beautiful job.

Another work worth mentioning is a volume called Iggros Rabbenu Chaim Me-volozhiner. This small work (117 pp.) is mostly a commentary to a one-page letter of R. Chaim Volzhiner.

Another volume which is due out any day is the fourth volume to the Shut Ha-Tashbetz.

Some other volumes printed are two more volumes to their edition of the Shulchan Orach- Yoreh Deah, another volume of Yad Dovid, another volume of Sharei Torah and a shu"t from R. Chaim Kafusi.

A very special title of theirs printed last year is the Shiltei Giborim. See here for a nice article about this work. Hopefully I will return to this work in a future post.

In addition to all this all their seforim are available at reduced prices.

Email me at if you are interested in a complete catalog.

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