R' Yitzchok Chajes AB''D Prague

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R' Yitzchok AB''D Prague Chayes

Hebrew: רב יצחק חיות, אב"ד פראג מחבר ספר אפי רברבי
Also Known As: "הגאון הגדול"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Death: June 28, 1615 (77)
Czech Republic
Immediate Family:

Son of Avraham Chayes
Father of בת ר' יצחק חיות אשת המהר"ל מפראג חיות; ? Thein; R' Menachem Meinish Chayes of Brody&Florence; Shmuel Chajes; Eliezer Chajes and 1 other

Occupation: Afei Ravrevei, אב"ד פראג
Managed by: Shulem Jeremias
Last Updated:

About R' Yitzchok Chajes AB''D Prague

R' Yitzchak Chayes z"l

R' Yitzchak ben Avraham Chayes served successively in the rabbinates of Prossnitz (Prostejov) and Prague, attracting numerous disciples with his erudition and saintliness. The 16th century historian, R' David Ganz, writes of him in his Tzemach David, "The great rabbi whose fame has spread throughout the Diaspora. He cultivated many disciples and furthered the knowledge of Torah."

R' Yitzchak was an adherent to the pilpul method of study that was popular in his time but has been widely rejected since then. He is best known for his work Pnei Yitzchak which was published in 1591. The work has two parts: Apei Ravrevei, which sets the Yoreh Deah section of the Shulchan Aruch to rhyme, and Apei Zuta, a commentary on the first part. R' Yitzchak's son, R' Monish, added two elegies to this work, one on the destruction of the city of Posen by fire in 1590, and the other on the death of his own 18-year-old son. (R' Monish was rabbi of Vilna.)

R' Yitzchak also wrote Siach Yitzchak, which sets the laws of Pesach to rhyme, Pachad Yitzchak, a commentary on the passage in Tractate Gittin which deals with the destruction of the Temple, and other, as yet unpublished, works.

R' Yitzchak died on the 11th of Tammuz in approximately 1616. (Several sources state that he died in 1585. This is clearly wrong, for Tzemach David states: "He came here, to Prague, in the year [5]344 [i.e., 1584], and he was the rabbi and rosh yeshiva here for three-and-a-half years, may Hashem lengthen his days with pleasantness and may his throne become greater and loftier, higher and higher." Tzemach David was written in approximately 1592.)

Among R' Yitzchak's many prominent descendants were: R' Yitzchak Chayes, author of the Mishnah commentary, Zera Yitzchak; the 19th century Talmud commentator R' Zvi Hirsch Chayes (the "Maharitz Chayes"); and R' David Hillel Altshuler, author of the popular Tanach commentary, Metzudat David. Chief Rabbinical Judge of Prague

Great-grandfather of the Mekubal Yitzchok Chayos, AB'D of Skolye

Two possible connections to the Maharal

  1. Reportedly the step-brother of the wife of the Maharal. (per Hebrew wikipedia). Curators of Geni reject this claim, but would be persuaded with more proof posted here.
  2. The Zlotchower's family was descended from the Chayut family, i.e. 
R Yitzchak Chayut, who according to some, married the sister of the wife 
of the Maharal of Prague. In other words, R Yitzchak Chayut and the 
Maharal were brothers in law.

Author

Listed in Toldos Avrohom, p. 464

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Jewish Dynasties


Segal, Yehezkel, Torat Yehezkel, Abraham Singer (ed.), Pecs, 1899: "These Geonim [R. Menahem Manish Hayut & R. Abraham Hayut] were the sons of R. Isaac Hayut, the head of the rabbinical court of Prague, who lived at the time when the MAHARAL was a head of a Yeshiva. Later on he was the head of the rabbinical court in Krakow and then in Lvov, where he passed away" (Introduction. p. 3).

death: Lemberg, Poland/Lviv, Ukraine ??


Note: several decades after the the death of Yitzoch Chayes ABD Prague there is another Yakov Yitzach Chayes who is a Dayan and Morej Zedek in Prague: Yakov Yitzach Chajes, Dayan and Moreh Zedek of Prague

This raises the possibility that the two were related, perhaps as uncle/nephew, which would mean that Avraham Chayes is the grandfather of Yakov Yitzach.

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