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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works

 

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Baruch Epstein
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Hebrew Name(s): ברוך הלוי עפשטיין
Other Names: Baruch ha-Levi Epstein
Period: Acharonim — 19th–20th Century
Location: Lithuania
Dates: 1860–1941

Biography:
Baruch Epstein was a Lithuanian rabbi, the son of Yechiel Michel Epstein (Arukh haShulchan) the Rabbi of Novorodak. Baruch Epstein studied at the Volozhin Yeshivah under his uncle Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin.
 
Baruch is best known for his work, Torah Teminah, a commentary on the Torah which was published in his father's lifetime. Yechiel Michel Epstein commenting on the aptness of the title "Torah Temimah" noted that when the Oral and Written Law are shown to be an organic entity then, as such, it is meshivat nefesh i.e., it restores the soul.

Works:
Torah Temimah (The Perfect Torah); Baruch she-Amar (Praised be the One who Spoke); Mekor Baruch (Source of Blessing); Tosefet Beracha (Added Blessing)

Comments:
Torah Temimah is a commentary on the Pentateuch and the Five Scrolls (Ḥamesh Megillot) which cites all quotes of a particular verse found in the Mishnah and Talmud and supplies textual explanations and analyses. The object was to show the interrelationship between Oral and Written Torah. An English translation has been published by R. Shraga Silverstein.
Baruch she-Amar (Praised be the One who Spoke) named in reference to the opening paragraph of the Shakarit (morning) daily prayers, "Blessed is the One who spoke and the world came to be…," is a commentary on the Siddur (Prayer Book.)
Mekor Baruch is an autobiographical work of four volumes in which Epstein speaks, among other things, of his family, leading personalities of the previous generation, Mendelsshohn's "fatal flaws," his work, and that of his uncle in the Volozhin yeshivah.
Tosefet Beracha is a collection of novellae on the Torah.

 

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