Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg

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Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg (Hebrew: אריה ליב גינסבורג) (c. 1695–June 23, 1785), also known as the Shaagas Aryeh, was a Lithuanian rabbi and author.

Life[edit]

Born in Lithuania, c. 1695, he was a Rabbinical casuist. At one time Gunzberg was rabbi in Pinsk, and then later founded a yeshivah in Minsk. Here however he engaged in hostile dispute with the Gaon Yechiel Halpern, whose supporters eventually drove Gunzberg from the city. His most famous book Shaagas Aryeh (Hebrew, שאגת אריה, for 'Roar of the Lion') was first published in Frankfurt am Main in 1755 and is still frequently quoted in rabbinical debate, as are many of his responsa. After its publication he became known as "the Shaagas Aryeh" after his book. He became rabbi in Metz in France in 1765, but an early argument with his congregation led to him refusing to enter the synagogue except to give four sermons a year. Despite this he retained his post until his demise, and died at in Metz on June 23, 1785.[1]

A legend exists of his death. During his studies a book-case fell on him, covering him with books. His students were able to rescue him after an hour or so and he related to them that he had been covered by the books of the authors with whom he had quarreled. He had asked forgiveness from all of them and they all complied save for one, Mordecai Yoffe (known as the Levush) who refused. He knew therefore that he was not long for this world, and pronounced the verse in Hebrew "Aryeh shoag mi loi yiroh"; i.e. that Aryeh (the lion, meaning himself) shoag (roars), but mi (an acronym of Mordecai Yoffeh, but can also mean 'who') loi yiroh (is not afraid).[2]

It is speculated that this legend is the source of the urban myth surrounding the death of the French-Jewish composer Charles-Valentin Alkan, whose family originated from Metz.[3]

Works[edit]

  • Shaagas Aryeh
  • Gevuras Ari
  • Turei Even

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Aryeh Loeb ben Asher" in Jewish Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Eleff (2012)
  3. ^ Conway (2012) 230.

Sources[edit]

Other sources[edit]

  • Shagas Aryeh Research Project - With a focus on Genealogy
  • Feuerwerker, David (1976), L’Émancipation des Juifs en France. De l’Ancien Régime à la fin du Second Empire. Albin Michel: Paris, ISBN 2-226-00316-9
  • Finkelman, Shimon (1986), Shaagas Aryeh. Illustrated by Yosef Dershowitz. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications. 1986. ISBN 089906793X, ISBN 9780899067933.
  • Gelbein. Moshe (2004). Jewish parables: a mashal for every occasion. ArtScroll series. ArtScroll (Mesorah). Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications. ISBN 9781578193172. See p. 158.
  • Himelstein, Shmuel (2003) Wisdom & wit: a sparkling treasury of Jewish anecdotes and advice.Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications. ISBN 1578193869, ISBN 9781578193868. See p. 295.
  • Horowitz, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok (foreword) (2002), A Chassidic journey: the Polish Chassidic dynasties of Lublin, Lelov, Nikolsburg and Boston. Feldheim Publishers. 2002. 1583305688, ISBN 9781583305683. See p. 227.
  • Kolel 'Iyun ha-daf (Jerusalem). Insight to the daf. Jerusalem; Tashen. 2007. ISBN 9781583309094. See p. 18.
  • Yerushalmi, Shmuel. The Life and teachings of Rav Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzburg (1695-1785) [The Shaagas Aryeh]. In Hebrew. Vagshal.