Rabbi Moses Isserles and the haMapah

Rabbi Moses Isserles and the haMapah

Rabbi Moshe Israelish (Isserles), known by his nickname the Rama (הרמ"א), was born in Kazimierz, Poland in the year of the Retz (1530 - 1572), he was a student of Rabbi Shalom Shekhna From Lublin, Rabbi Moshe Israelish was Rosh Yeshiva, Kabbalist and philosopher, and one of the greatest Ashkenazi scribes in the 16th century. His name Israelish is derived from his father's name (Iserlish - son of Rabbi Israel). His father, Rabbi Israel, and his grandfather (his mother's father) Rabbi Elazar, were At the age of 13, Rabbi Moshe Iserlish was ordained to the rabbinate and studied under the head of the Lublin yeshiva, Rabbi Shalom Shekhna, one of the founders of the division system. The Rama was the chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Kazimierz. During his time, the Judaism of the Kingdom of Poland prospered greatly, and even gained spiritual, economic, cultural and administrative autonomy. Rabbi Moshe Iserlish married twice, the first time to the daughter of his rabbi, Rabbi Shalom Shekhna. For the second time, after the death of his first wife in her youth, Rabbi Moshe Isserlish married the daughter of Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Meizels. Rabbi Moshe Isserlish served as the chief rabbi of the Kizmiz communities mentioned above and also in the city of Krakow in Poland, and as a judge of the court he presided over. The rabbi founded a yeshiva in the city of Krakow, which he headed.

In his two major halachic works of composition, it became clear to the Harma that the Sephardic Rabbi Yosef Karo was ahead. Initially in a comprehensive composition on a book of four columns, he is "The Ways of Moses", which came to complete what Rabbi Ya'akov ben Harash had left out. During the writing, it was revealed to Rama that Rabbi Yosef Karo had written a similar and even better composition, aka the "Beit Yosef". Following this knowledge, Rama changed the writing style of "The Ways of Moses" and shortened it. In the second stage, the Rama asked to publish a definitive and shorter book of "Moshe's Ways", but even then he learned that Rabbi Yosef Karo had preceded, in writing the "Shulchan Aruch".

From the beginning of the publication of the Shulchan Aruch, even though it received a lot of opposition in Europe, the Rama of Israel published his glosses on Rabbi Caro's great work, known as the "map" and adding where the rulings and customs of Ashkenaz Judaism disagree with the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch. This dispute arises both from the important status of the tradition in Ashkenaz, while Rabbi Yosef Karo ruled according to rules, and due to differences between the ruling which won the most among the three pillars of the "Shulchan Aruch", the Rift, the Rambam and the Rash, and the ruling in Ashkenaz and Poland which was influenced There are other arbitrators, such as the owners of the additions. The commitment of the Ashkenazim throughout the generations to the rulings of the Rama is known in the saying of the Tamm Sofer: "And the children of Israel depart by the hand of the Rama." During his lifetime Rabbi Moshe Isserlish authored 33 books. Of course, my two greatest essays are "Moshe's Ways" and "The Mapah (המפה)".

It must be admitted that during his lifetime the Rama received quite a bit of criticism from Ashkenazi judges for preferring the custom of Poland and Ukraine and neglecting the accepted practice in Central Europe. Rabbi Chaim ben Bezalel protested that "Also, it is a great necessity to announce the exchange of Ashkenazi customs from the customs of the state of Poland, which if the rabbi did not want To cancel his custom because of the custom of the Land of Israel, especially since the Ashkenazi people do not have to cancel their custom because of the custom of the state of Poland and Ukraine, and he also wrote in the response of the Mahril (Rabbi Ya'akov Halevi ben Moshe Molin) in the name of the Rabbi (Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel) that the Ashkenazi tradition should not be canceled for the sake of other countries because the Torah was an inheritance for the Ashkenazim from the days of the destruction... and here the rabbi himself did not write in the introduction to his book only the custom of the people of his country and did not remember the Ashkenazi custom at all."  

The Rama's books also include: "The Torah of the Ascension" - which contains the rabbi's philosophical interpretation of the Laws of the Temple, "Shu'at Rama" - the Rabbi's answers on various Halacha issues, "The Price of Wine" - a symbolic interpretation of the Book of Esther. Rabbi Moshe Isserlish is also known as a philosopher in the book "Torat O'ala" the Rama presented a unique philosophical interpretation of the Laws of the Temple. Along with his inclination to philosophy, the Rama also believed in Kabbalah and saw the possibility of creating a composition between the two fields that seemingly fight each other, that is between the Sefirot in Kabbalah and the Torah The philosophical degrees. This, while mixing the two fields of knowledge in astronomy, in a deep survey of the dimensions of the temple and the sacrifices as maintaining an affinity both with the structure of the upper worlds, and with the structure of the 'climates' and it is 'wheels'.

An amazing fact is that according to the custom of the Jews of the Land of Israel who immigrate to Meron on the day of the 3rd of Ba'Omer, the Jews of Poland also used to go to the grave of Rama on the day of the Rama's death, which is the day of the Rama's death. Jews from all over Poland would travel to Krakow, the place of his death, and have a great feast.
Rabbi Moshe Isserlish zt'l was asked to a yeshiva of Ma'ale on the day of 18th of Iyer - 33 Ba'Omer (ל"ג באומר) in the year 5772 and he was only 13 years old. In his short life the Rama created an amazing Torah work of an unprecedented size and scope in the ruling between Ashkenazi communities.

Rabbi Moshe Israelish was buried in the cemetery in Krakow behind the synagogue he founded and named after him and his grave is visited today by thousands of Jews.

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