Thursday, 20 September 2012
Yahrtzeit Today: 4 Tishrei - The Chayei Adam - Rabbi Avraham Danzig
The 4th Tishrei is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Avraham Danzig (1748-1820). He is also called simply "The Chayei Adam" after the name of the book he wrote. It is a complete Halachic work teaching the laws of daily life - covering the Orach Chayim section of the Shulchan Aruch. It's language is a flowing and easily understandable Hebrew and the Halachos are arranged beautifully for anyone entering the world of Jewish law. It is "a must" in terms of necessary works to learn when it comes to understanding Halacha properly and is quoted frequently in the Chofetz Chaim's Mishna Berura. It is also one of the three pillar works used by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried when it came to his authoring the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
In addition to the Chayei Adam, Rabbi Danzig also wrote the Chochmat Adam, a Halachic work clarifying the laws from the Yoreh Deah section of Halacha, including the laws of Niddah and the Laws of Interest. It is reported that the Chatam Sofer told his son that when unable to access the regular Shulchan Aruch, he could rule from the Chochmat Adam! It is also quoted by the Chofetz Chaim as being a book to consult for the Laws of Interest when a regular Shulchan Aruch is not available. (In those days, not every Jewish home had access to the plethora of books available to us day - all so readily accessible!)
He is well known from his Tefilla Zaka prayer recited on Erev Yom Kippur and his lengthy detailed explanation for the different sins which are recited during Viduy (confession.)
A daily learning schedule can be obtained from Reb Eliyahu for those wishing to complete the entire Chayei Adam within one year! With just a few pages of learning each day, the goal is easily attainable!
For more about Rabbi Avraham Danzig see the Wikipedia.