Reb Avraham Tzvi

Reb Avraham Tzvi, son of the Rabbi Reb Yakov EIZENSZTAT

Reb Avraham Tzvi was born in Bialystok in 5572 (1812) to his father, Reb Yakov who was a great Bialystoker merchant and scholar

Born: Bialystok in 5572 (1812)
Died: Koenigsberg, 3 Elul 5625 [25 August 1865], 1865

Reb Avraham Tzvi, son of the Rabbi Reb Yakov EIZENSZTAT

He is the author of Pithei Teshuvah [Open Doors to Repentance] and Nakhalat Tzvi [Tzvi's Inheritance] on the second part of the Shulkhan Arukh [codification of Jewish law], Khoyshen Mishpet [fourth part of the Shulkhan Arukh], and Even Ha'ezer [Stone of Help] and the order of religious divorce and Halitzah [ceremony by which a brother-in-law can be released from the obligation to marry his brother's widow]. These were the most prevalent books among scholars and rabbis. Today they are published as additions to the Arbe Shu”e [four parts of the Shulkhan Arukh]. His great grandfather on his father's side was the Ba'al Ponim Me'iros [Shining Countenance], Reb Meir EISENSTADT, who was a grandson of the Gaon [genius or brilliant man] Meir Avi Hashen; he was also a grandson of the Gaon, the sharp-witted one, our teacher HERC, president of the rabbinical court in Zolkovi.

Reb Avraham Tzvi was born in Bialystok in 5572 (1812) to his father, Reb Yakov who was a great Bialystoker merchant and scholar. He married in Grodno and after the wedding had

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a large paper business in Bialystok that placed writing materials in every office. His wife, Jenta Rayzl, a great woman of valor, ran this business and he studied in Nekhe's son Yehiel's beis-medrash with Bigdei Yesha [Shmuel ben [son of] Josef haLevi of Bialystok – he is being referred to by the name of his book - Garments of Salvation] and with Reb Gershon KHEN-TOV. Reb Chaim Zelig SLOMINSKI, a grandson of Reb Yehiel Nekha's also studied there (the latter truly became a great mathematician, but he was not a great scholar). The author of the Pithei Teshuvah said of him that it could be seen that the wisdom of the Torah stands higher and is deeper for him than the worldly wisdom: one then sees that the same Chaim-Zelig, who is a lesser scholar, was a great mathematician. Reb Avraham-Tzvi intervened for Chaim-Zelig that approval be given by Reb Abele PASWELLER for his first mathematics book.)

When the Bialystoker administrative offices moved to Grodno in 5592 (1842), Bialystok [lost its status] as a gubernia city, Reb Avraham Tzvi EIZENSZTAT's paper business failed; he became dayan [religious judge] in Grodno. In 5590 [1840], in Vilna, he published his Pithei Teshuvah on Yoreh Deah [part of the Shulkhan Arukh dealing with Kashrus]. After this, when he had been the dayan in Grodno for several years, he became the rabbi in Brestowic, a small shtetl near Bialytsok and in 5616 [1855] the rabbi in Utiyan [Utena, Lithuania], where he took a salary of 3 rubles a week. When he became a great celebrity, Ponevezh [Panevezys, Lithuania] suggested a salary of 25 rubles a week. However, he refused because he did not want to disturb his study with employment in a large city. He was well known as a sage and a righteous man. He died on the 3 Elul 5625 [25 August 1865] in Koenigsberg, where he had come to be healed from an illness. He was only 53 years old.

His tombstone in Königsberg:

Here is buried

At a time of great mourning and bitter weeping,
The spirit of Torah knowledge and awe
Was taken away from us.
He loved charity and justice,
His understanding of “The Sea of the Talmud” was great.
Our master and teacher the great Rabbi, famous, sharp and erudite,
He delved into the storming waters and wrote his books,
Honored be the name of his Torah knowledge, our teacher Reb Avraham Tzvi, may the memory of the righteous be blessed, head of the Holy Community of Utena, author of the book Pithei Teshuvah.
Was taken to his ancestors with a good name, Friday the Eve of the Holy Shabbat 3 Elul [25 August] and was buried Sunday 5 Elul 5625 [27 August 1865].
May his soul be bound in the bond of the living.

Sheyna-Mashais, his oldest daughter, born in Bialystok, the wife of the Aszmener Rabbi, the Rabbi Meir-Mikhal, was a great scholar, knew the entire Tanakh, MidrashimEin Yakov and languages, German, Russian, Polish and French, in addition to Hebrew. Her son from her first husband was Leon Rabinowicz (Aish Yehuda [Man of Judah]) the former editor of HaMelitz.

His book Bigdei Yesha :



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