Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yarzheit - Reuven Margolios

Today (7th Elul) is the Yarzheit of one of the most brilliant and prolific (and interesting) scholars of the 20th century. R' Reuven Margolios wrote on such a wide variety of topics, often those that were not normally dealt with by the yeshivish community. However, his Maroglios Hayam is one of the standard Yeshiva books on Sanhedrin. In addition he wrote books explaining the evolution of the Oral Law, defending the Zohar and Kabbala, biographies of Rishonim and many more books.

His breadth and depth of knowelge is truly amazing, and even though he may be controversial in some of his ideas, he is essential reading on every topic.

Reuvein Margolies
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reuvein Margolies ראובן מרגליות (b. 1889- d. 1971) author of 55+ books on Jewish topics. He established the Rambam library. Possessed of an almost photographic memory, he was well versed in all aspects of both the written (Bible) and Oral Torah (Talmud and its commentaries).


R' Margolies wrote on a wide range of subjects; His works were meant for both scholars and the general public. All of his writings are in Hebrew.

He wrote on the formation of the Mishna and the Talmud displaying a tremendous originality and wide range of knowledge.

He further wrote on the Kabbalah. Such works include "The Rambam and the Zohar" demonstrating correlations between Maimonides Mishna Torah and the Zohar; Nitzotzei Zohar demonstrating correlations between the Tannatic and Amoraic works (such as the Talmud and Medrashim) and the Zohar.

Additionally, he was involved in a controversy with Gershon Scholem over the R. Jacob Emden/R. Jonathan Eybeshuetz controversy. R. Margulies produced a pamphlet defending R. Eybeshuetz and in response Scholem produced his own disagreeing with R. Marguleis's conclusions.

He wrote a number of scholarly biographies of major Jewish personalities such as the Maharsha, the Ohr Ha-Chaim, the Noam Elimelech, the Ramban, and R' Yechiel of Paris including valuable annotation clarifying ideas in their works. The biographies focus primarily on their methods of scholarship and not on their personalities. First printed in Poland, they were never reprinted.

He wrote several works concerning the development of a legal system in the newly formed Jewish State (Kavei Ohr, Tal Tichye).

According to Dr. Yitzchok Raphael, his writing is in a terse style designed to concentrate a maximum amount of information in a minimum of space.


* Toldot Adam (Lemberg 1912) on R. Shmuel Edels
* Yesod HaMishna V'Arikachto (Lemberg, 1933) on the creation of the Mishna
* Sefer Hassidim with his notes (multiple printings)
* Tolodot Rabenu Hayyim ben Atar (Lemberg, 1925), biography on the Ohr Hayyim includes the notes of R. Meir Dan Plotzki (Kli Hemdah)
* Ohr Meir (Lemberg, 1926), biography of R. Meir from Perlmishiya
* Margenuta d'Reb Meir (Lemberg, 1926), sayings of the above R. Meir
* Shealot u'Teshuvot min HaShamyim, R. Margulies's extensive notes on the teshuvot as well as a comprehensive introduction discussing Torah lo' Bashmyim and other related topics (multiple printings)
* Vikuach Rabbanu Yehiel m'Paris (Lemberg, 1928), with biography of R. Yehiel
* Toldot Rabbenu Avrohom Mimoni, biography of Rambam's son, (multiple printings)
* Shem Olam, to reveal the anonymous people in hazal (multiple printings)
* Nefesh Hayyia,notes on Shulchan Orakh multiple printings
* Hagadah shel Pesach (Tel Aviv, 1937)
* Shichot Chakhamim
* Zohar with his extensive notes (multiple printings)
* Sibah hisnaguto discussing R. Emden/R. Eybeschitz controversy, Tel Aviv 1941
* Malechi Elyon on angels in Hazel (multiple printings)
* Ollalot various articles (multiple printings)
* Margolios HaYam on Sanhedrin (multiple printings)
* HaMikrah v'Hamesorah multiple printings
* Mekharim b'Darkei haTalmud v'Hidosov multiple printings

There is also a memorial volume edited by Dr. Yitchak Raphael and published by Mossad R' Kook

May His Soul Be Bound in the Bonds of Eternal Life

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