Thursday, May 17, 2007

29th Iyar - Tefillat HaShlah

There is a special and beautiful prayer the the Shlah wrote to be recited today (Thursday, 29th Iyar - Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan). It is a prayer for children, who will grow up to be G-d fearing and righteous.
I highly recommend that everyone recite this prayer right now. Either English or Hebrew will do. As a service artscroll have put the prayer on the front page of their website.
You can see the prayer (which is on 3 pages, though it isn't actually all that long, here: page 1; page 2; page 3
I can't send you to the Artscroll website without also mentioning this fantastic blog, by someone who does exactly what I wished I had the time and ability to do. (Even the title is perfect - 'What's bothering Artscroll', or the web address 'elucidation-not-translation'. Check it out here: He gets is perfect!

Have a wonderful day, may your preparations for kabbalat hatorah be succesful and meaningful.

(BTW this is the biography of the Shlah (which is an abbreviation of the name of his book - Shnei Luchot HaBrit - the two tablets of the covenant).


The holy gaon, Reb Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz was born in Lemberg in approximately the year 5230 (1470). His father R' Avrohom Halevi was dayan in Prague, Cracow and lastly in Lemberg. R' Yeshaya learnt with his father and with the gaon R' Shlomo Ben Reb Yehudah Leib zt"l, better known as the Maharshal Hasheini, the second Maharshal. He also learnt with the Maharam of Lublin, zt"l.

He married Chaya, daughter of one of the prominent members of the community in Vienna, Rabbi Avrohom Moyal. In an awesome statement, R' Sheftel zt"l later wrote about his mother, the Rebbetzin Chaya, "It was said in her generation that she lacked nothing in deeds and traits of the holy Imahos, Soroh, Rivka, Rochel and Leah."

Over the years, R' Yeshaya Halevi practiced as rov in various communities: in 5260 (1500) in Dubno, Russia, in 5262 in Ostroa and from 5266 he took over the reins in Frankfurt, leading the prestigious kehilla until their expulsion from the city on 27 Elul 5274 (1514).

The rabbi was exiled together with his flock and he returned to Prague, where he was appointed Rov in 5275 (1515). When his Rebbetzin passed away on 4th Adar 5280 (1520), Reb Yeshaya Halevi decided to make his dream of going to live in Eretz Yisroel a reality. On 8th Elul 5281 the Shloh boarded the ship and after a turbulent, difficult journey he arrived in the holy land on 2nd Kislev, 5282.

Upon reaching Yerushalayim, he was immediately accepted as Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisroel. Seeing the immense poverty of the settlers in the holy land, the Shloh sent messengers to the Diaspora and their Rabbonim, particularly to the communities where he had served as rov, initiating a tzedokoh campaign which he called "Yachatz" -- an acronym in Hebrew for the three cities Yerushalayim, Chevron and Tzfas. On 11th Elul, 5285 (1525), the Shloh was imprisoned due to a libel trumped up by the wicked Machmed Ibn Paroueh.

On Rosh Hashonoh, start of the year 5286 he was freed and he fled to Tzfas and Teverioh. There he established his center of learning and prayer in the ancient Beis Haknesses on the shores of the Kinneret in Teverioh. He was niftar on 11th Nisan and is buried in the old cemetery in Teverioh close to the grave of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai.

His holy seforim were accepted and beloved by Jews the world over, a fact which is proven by the amount of times his great sefer Shnei Luchos Habris had to be printed over and over. His famous siddur Shaar Hashomayim is also world renowned and in reference to it the Shach wrote in his approbation, "I guarantee that whoever davens with this siddur, his tefilloh will be accepted."

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