Friday, June 6, 2008

On Naftali Hertz Wessely and the Biur to Vayikra

Aaron Schreiber - The Hatam Sofer’s Nuanced Attitude Towards Secular Learning, Maskilim, and Reformers in TUMJ 11 (online):

"In fn. #105:"R. Hayim Kanievsky, a noted contemporary talmudic scholar in Israel with a reputation for zealotry, advised me in a recent note that he had it on good authority that many prominent talmudic scholars had examined the Biur on Va-Yikra and could find no fault whatsoever with it.""

R' Kanievsky's father, the Steipler Gaon is reported to have said that "Der Seforim zennen Gutt Oif Em iz geven Taanos" (See Milchmatom (cited below) 4th installment last footnote)

The Biur on Vayikra was authored by Naftali Hertz Wessely (Wiesel in Hebrew). On Wessely see "Milchamtam Shel HaRabbonim Neged HaMaskil Naftali Hertz Wiesel" in Beis Ahron V' Yisroel (Issue 43 on) by one Yehosua Heschel Schorr containing some unpublished documents relating to the controversy.

In general see Meir Hildesheimers articles in PAAJR, specifically the article on "Moses Mendelssohn in Nineteenth-Century Rabbinical Literature."

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