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Author of Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah Passed Away

Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth z”l, the author of the well-known book on the laws of Shabbat, Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilkhatah, has passed away in Jerusalem. His book has been one of the most influential halakhic works published in the past few decades and I am lucky enough to have all three editions, enabling me to see what changes have been made over the years. One of the most well known changes between the first and second editions was the more restrictive ruling in the second edition about using a solar water heater (דוד שמש) on Shabbat. Here, here, and here are discussions (in Hebrew) of some of the differences between the second and third editions. יהי זכרו ברוך.

5 Responses to “Author of Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah Passed Away”

  1. 1
    Abul Bannat:

    The legend of Rav Neuwirth z”l was that when he joined the Mir students to flee the Nazis to Shanghai, he only had room for Volume 3 of Mishna Brura (hilkhot shabbat), which he proceeded to learn by heart and gained the expertise that formed the basis for his book. I don’t know if that legend is true.
    What is true and I personally witnessed as waiter at nursing home in Mattesdorf in the late 1970′s, is that on erev chag and erev shabbat (at the times I was there), he davened at the home with his young son, made kiddush for his aged mother (I assume she was his mother), and then walked home with his son to Bayit v’Gan – a good hour’s trek. I remember being so impressed at the modesty and dedication of a man who, at the time, was a renown scholar.
    Yehi zichro baruch.

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel (Michael P.):

    Thanks for the story about him and his mother. As for the story about him in Shanghai, according to the Hebrew Wiki entry about him, his brothers went to China but he was in Holland in hiding. (here)

  3. 3
    Abul Bannat:

    Thanks Michael. Had I thought to check out wikipedia I wouldn’t have repeated the legend. Still, as he was cramped in one room, maybe the essence of the story was true and he had the volume of משנה ברורה with him in Holland. Do you know if he was Yakke or an Ostjude?

  4. 4
    Menachem Mendel (Michael P.):

    Abul Bannat,

    According to this blog post, he had the third volume of the Mishnah Berurah with him in Holland.

  5. 5
    Abul Bannat:

    Thanks. Very nice.

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