Rabbi Yosef Shaul Nathanson of Lvov – The Author of Shoel U’Meishiv

The gaon Rabbi Yosef Shaul Nathanson Zatzal was among the great figures of his generation and one of the outstanding Poskim of the last centuries. He could fully explain the Halachah with his great insight, and people from every corner of the globe came to see him for G-d’s word, meaning the Halachah. In his youth he studied with his father the gaon Rabbi Aryeh Leibush (the author of Sefer Beit E-L), and following his marriage to the daughter of the gaon Rabbi Aharon Halevi Ettinger, he went to study with his brother-in-law Rabbi Mordechai Ettinger Zatzal. The two brothers-in-law studied together for a long time, and they both wrote a number of well-known books, works such as Magen Giborim (on the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim), Me’irat Enayim (on the Halachot of Treifot), Ma’ase Alfas (on the Rif), Ner Ma’aravi (on the Jerusalem Talmud), and many others. However Rabbi Yosef Shaul is best known for his great work Shoel U’Meishiv, a book of responsa covering all areas of Torah. It also became the name by which he was known. After the death of his uncle Rabbi Yaakov Meshulam Orenstein (the author of Yeshuot Yaakov), Rabbi Yosef Shaul was appointed as the Av Beit Din of Lvov. Although he accepted the position, he refused to take a salary because he was very wealthy. He gave his approbation for the book Sidrei Taharot by Rabbi Gershon Chanoch, the Rebbe of Rozhin, saying that not in 300 years had the likes of such a book been published. Rabbi Yosef Shaul Nathanson left this world on Adar 17, 5635, having had no children. May the memory of the tzaddik be blessed.




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