Rabbi Akiva Eger
Akiba ben Moses Guens
|Born||Cheshvan 5522 Anno Mundi)November 8, 1761 (11 |
|Died||October 12, 1837Tishrei 5598 Anno Mundi) (aged 75) (13 |
|Residence||Markisch Friedland, Posen|
Rabbi Akiva Eger (also spelled as Akiva Eiger), or Akiva Güns, Yiddish: עקיבא אייגער, (1761 – 1837) was an outstanding Talmudic scholar, influential halakhic decisor and foremost leader of European Jewry during the early 19th century. He was also a mohel.
Eger was born in Eisenstadt - the most important town of the Seven Jewish Communities of Burgenland, Hungary, (now Austria). He was a child prodigy and was educated first at the Mattersdorf yeshiva and later by his uncle, Rabbi Wolf Eger, (1756–1795) (b. 5516, d. 6 Tishrei 5556), at the Breslau (Wrocław) yeshiva, who later became rabbi of Biała Prudnicka and Leipnik. Out of respect for his uncle he changed his surname to Eger. He therefore shared the full name Akiva Eger with his maternal grandfather, the first Rabbi Akiva Eger (1722–1758) (b. 5482, d. 15 Elul 5518), the author of Mishnas De'Rebbi Akiva who was rabbi of Zülz, Silesia from 1749 and Pressburg from 1756.
He was the rabbi of Märkisch Friedland, West Prussia, from 1791 until 1815; then for the last twenty two years of his life, he was the rabbi of the city of Posen (Poznań). He was a rigorous casuist of the old school, and his chief works were legal notes and responsa on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch. He believed that religious education was enough, and thus opposed the party which favored secular schools. He was a determined foe of the Reform movement, which had begun to make itself felt in his time.
Among his children were his two sons, Avraham (1781–1853) and Solomon (1785–1852), a rabbi in Kalisz, Poland and chief rabbi of Posen from 1837 to 1852. His daughter Sorel (Sarah) Eiger Sofer (1790–1832) (b. 5550, d. 18 Adar II 5592), was the second wife of the Chasam Sofer (1762–1839) rabbi of Pressburg.
- Gilyon HaShas, his notes on the margin of the Talmud (not intended originally for publication)
- Tosafot Rabbi Akiva Eiger, his supercommentary on the Mishnah's commentators, Bartenura and Tosafot Yom Tov
- Shu"t Rabbi Akiva Eiger, a collection of responsa
- Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger, a supercommentary to the Shulchan Aruch's commentators, Magen Avraham and Turei Zahav
- Drush veChidush
His commentaries on the Talmud have also been published as Chidushei (novellae of) Rabbi Akiva Eger on Shas
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eger, Aqiba". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 12.
- Jacob H. Sinason. Gaon of Posen: A Portrait of Rabbi Akiva Guens-Eger. Feldheim, 1990. ISBN 0-87306-548-4.