Rabbi Yaakov ben Yaakov Moshe Lorberbaum of Lissa

Rabbi Yaakov ben Yaakov Moshe Lorberbaum of Lissa  was a Rabbi and Posek

Born: 1770
Died: Stryj (then in Galicia), 1832

Rabbi Yaakov ben Yaakov Moshe Lorberbaum of Lissa (1760-1832) (known in English as Jacob ben Jacob Moses of LissaJacob Lorberbaum or Jacob Lisser, Hebrew: יעקב בן יעקב משה מליסא) was a Rabbi and Posek. He is most commonly known as the "Ba'al HaChavas Da'as" or "Ba'al HaNesivos" for his most well-known works, or as the "Lissa Rav" for the city in which he was Chief Rabbi.



Rabbi Lorberbaum was the great-grandson of the Chacham Tzvi, Rabbi Zvi Ashkenazi; he was therefore related to Rabbi Jacob Emden. According to one tradition, his father, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe, died before he was born, and his relative, Rabbi Yosef Teomim, the rabbi of Bursztyn, brought him up. This accounts for the common name that both father and son share. Another tradition states that before he was born, his father fell ill, and dreamed that he would recover in the merit of the son that would be born to him. In the merit of his future son, the father took his name-to-be. He studied under Rabbi Meshulam Igra.

He was head of the Beis Din in Kalush, Ukraine. In 1809, he agreed to become the Rav in Lissa (today known as Leszno, Poland), where he enlarged his Yeshiva's enrollment. Hundreds of scholars came to study there in the years of his leadership. Among his students were Rabbi Elijah Gutmacher, Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, and Rabbi Shraga Feivel Danziger.

Along with Rabbi Akiva Eiger and Rabbi Eiger's son-in-law, the Chasam Sofer, Rabbi Lorberbaum vehemently fought against the maskilim, the reformers of the Jewish Enlightenment. In 1822, he left Lissa and returned to Kalish, where he wrote many of his works. He lived there for ten years.

He was widely respected as a posek, and is one of three authorities on whom Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried based his rulings in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, the well known precis of Jewish law. Similarly, the Chochmat Adam, by Rabbi Avraham Danzig, was written in consultation with Rabbi Lorberbaum (as well as Rabbi Chaim Volozhin).

His status was such that it is reported that Rabbi Eiger once fainted when he was honored with an Aliyah in the lieu of Rav Yaakov. (See Shimusha Shel Torah, Rabbi Meir Tzvi Bergman).

Rabbi Lorberbaum died in Stryj (then in Galicia) on 25 May 1832.


Reb Yaakov wrote many works of Torah on Talmud and on Halacha (Jewish law).

  • Works on Talmud include:
    • Toras Gittin, commentary on Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, 119-155, and chiddushim on the Talmudic treatise Gittin (Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1813; Warsaw, 1815)
    • Beis Yaakov, commentary on Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, 66-118, and on the Talmudic tractate Ketubot (Grubeschow, 1823)
    • Emes L'Yaakov (on Talmudic lore)
    • He also published his late father's works on the Talmud, including his famous novellae to Tractate Keritot
  • Works of Halacha include:
    • Chavas Daas, commentary on Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 69-201; the earlier sections of Yoreh Deah (1-68) are very briefly dealt with in the form of an introduction to the work (Lemberg, 1799; Dyhernfurth, 1810, and often since in editions of the Yoreh Deah, as the Vilna 1894 ed.). In it the works of earlier commentators are discussed and somewhat pilpulistically developed.
    • Mekor chayim, commentary on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, 429 and following, with notes on the commentaries Turei Zahav and Magen Avraham; the second part contains chiddushim on Keritot(Zolkiev, 1807; Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1813; Warsaw, 1825; Dyhernfurth, 1827)
    • Nesivos HaMishpat on Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, in two parts (Dyhernfurth, Lemberg; Zolkiev, 1809, 1816; Sudilkov, 1830; and often since in Lemberg editions of Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpaṭ). It is said that Nesivos HaMishpat was made famous by the strong attacks in it against the Ketzos HaChoshen of Rabbi Aryeh Leib Heller.
    • Kehillas Yaakov, a collection of discussions and notes on several legal points in the Even HaEzer and Orach Chayim
    • Derech Chaim on Orach Chayim (Zolkiev, 1828; Altona, 1831). This compendium is very popular and was frequently reprinted in the larger Hebrew prayer-books. These dinim are taken either from later exponents of the Law as contained in the works Turei Zahav, Magen Abraham, Pri Megadim, etc., or from his own decisions. The sources from which he borrowed are usually indicated.

Other works by Rabbi Lorberbaum include:

Imrei Yosher, includes Tzror HaMor and Palgei Mayim, commentaries on Canticles and Lamentations, under the general title Imrei Yosher (ib. 1815 and 1819). Rabbi Lorberbaum had intended to write commentaries on the Five Megillot also under this title.

Talumos Chochmah, commentary on Ecclesiastes (Lemberg, 1804; Dyhernfurth, 1819)

Megillas S'tarim, commentary on the Book of Esther

Masei Nissim, a commentary on the Pesach Haggadah, with the text and a short compendium of the Passover ritual (Kitzur Dinim; Zolkiev, 1807, 1835; Minsk, 1816; Dyhernfurth, 1817, and later)

Nachalas Yaakov (Breslau, 1849), published by his cousin Naphtali Z. Chachamowicz after his death, comprising sermons on the Torah Portion, halachic decisions, responsa, and his last will. In this famous ethical will he asked that his sons devote time every day to learn at least one page of Gemara.

  • May the merit of the tzadik Rabbi Yaakov ben Yaakov Moshe Lorberbaum of Lissa protect us all. Amen
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