About Gaon Rav Shlomo Kluger, Maharshak-Maggid of Brody
Rav Shlomo Kluger, also called the ‘Maharask’ or the ‘Maggid of Brody’, was born in the year 5546 (1785ce) in Kamerov, a small town in Poland which was then under Russian control. His father, Rav Yehudah Aharon Kluger, was the town’s Rav. From his youth, it was apparent that Rav Shlomo was destined for greatness; at the age of six, he was already creating chiddushim in Torah and halachah. Until he turned thirteen, he learned with his father, as no melamed dared to test his mettle in attempting to teach this wonder child.
Rav Shlomo was known as one of the greatest poskim of his generation. Halochic queries reached him even from far-flung kehillos.
Rav Shlomo Kluger wrote thousands of halachic teshuvos and more than a hundred seforim on all areas of Torah. There are those who say that he in fact authored 375 seforim, corresponding to the gematria of his name ‘Shlomo’. In addition to his writings, he was active in communal affairs, having no choice in the matter as he was pursued by members of the community from morning till night. He also dedicated many hours to the assistance of the poor and destitute of the city.
The great mind and acuity of Rav Shlomo Kluger was renowned throughout the world, also among the gentiles who would turn to him in order to receive his advice and his mediation on various matters on which their own judges had been uncertain. Even the great Rav Ephraim Zalman Margulies ztz”l would send queries to Rav Shlomo, and said of him; “He has great abilities, comparable to the Noda b’Yehudah ztz”l.” Rav Yaakov of Lissa, author of the ‘Nesivos haMishpat’, described Rav Shlomo thus; “The exceptional gaon, the wonder of the generation.” On the thirtieth day of Sivan, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz in the year 5689 (1869ce) Rav Shlomo was niftar in the town of Brody, having filled his long years with Torah and kedushah. His position as rav of Brody was filled by his son Rav Shmuel Binyomin Kluger ztz”l.
Solomon ben Judah Aaron Kluger (1783–June 9, 1869) (Hebrew: שלמה קלוגר), born at Komarow, Congress Poland, was chief dayyan and preacher of Brody, Galicia. He was successively Rabbi at Rava-Ruska (Galicia), Kulikow (Galicia), and Józefów (Lublin), preacher at Brody, and Rabbi at Brezany (Galicia) and, again, at Brody (where he held the offices of Dayan and preacher for more than fifty years). He died at Brody on June 9, 1869.
During his long life Rabbi Kluger wrote a great number of works—one hundred and sixty volumes. He wrote on all the branches of rabbinical literature as well as on Biblical and Talmudic exegesis, but only the following of his writings have been published (as of 1906):
- • Sefer Ha-Chayim (Zolkiev, 1825), novellæ on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim (some of his novellæ on the section "Even Ha-Ezer" were published later under the title "Chochmas Shlomo"; novellae on the other parts of the Shulchan Aruch have not been published)
- • Mei Niddah (ib. 1834), halachic and haggadic novellæ on Gemara Niddah
- • Eyn Dim'ah (part 1; ib. 1834), funeral sermon on the death of Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Margalios
- • Evel Yachid (Warsaw, 1836), funeral oration on Rabbi Menachem Manis Mordechai Teomim
- • Nidrei Zerizin (Zolkiev, 1839), novellæ on Gemara Nedarim
- • Evel Mosheh (with Eyn Dim'ah, part 2; Warsaw, 1843), funeral orations on Rabbi Moshe Schreiber (Sofer) and Rabbi Yaakov Orenstein (author of the Yeshuos Yaakov) (available as a free download from HebrewBooks.org)
- • Shenos Chayim (Lemberg, 1855; the first part contains responsa on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim; the second, responsa and novellæ for scribes)
- • Sefer Stam (ib. 1856), laws for scribes
- • Modo'ah Le-Beis Yisrael (Breslau, 1859), responsa, chiefly of other Rabbis, concerning matzot made by machine
- • Tuv Ta'am Ve-Da'as (Lemberg, 1860; the first part contains the laws of tereifah; the second, entitled Kin'as Soferim, contains laws for scribes and various laws of the Yoreh De'ah)
- • Chiddushei Anshei Shem (Leipzig, 1860), novellæ on Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha-Ezer
- • Ma'aseh Yedei Yozer (Lemberg, 1863), commentary on the Pesach Haggadah
- • Sefer Avodas Avodah (Zolkiev, 1865), novellæ on Avodah Zarah
- • Rabbi Kluger's takkanos concerning slaughtering are printed in Rabbi Ganzfried's Toras Zevach (Lemberg, 1848), and two of his responsa in Rabbi David Solomon Eybeschütz's Ne'os Deshe (ib. 1861).
- • Yosef Dov Soloveitchik (Beis Halevi)
- • David Meir Frisch
Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
- • Ha-Maggid, xiii., No. 25;
- • E. Kohn, Ḳin'at Soferim, pp. 108a-109b, Lemberg, 1892;
- • Strelisker, in Ha-Maggid, xiii., No. 29;
- • Samuel van Straalen, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. p. 125;
- • Joseph Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. pp. 414–415;
- • Judah Aaron Kluger, Toledot Shelomoh, Lemberg, 1898.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.