Shlomo Ganzfried


Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried 1802 (1886).

Halachic Ruler and Av Beit Din in Ungvar, author of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.

Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried was born in the town of Ungvar, Hungary (now Uzhhorod, Ukraine). For most of his life he served as a rabbinical court judge in his city and wrote important halachic books. His first book is Keshet HaShofer, a basic book in the laws of scribe writing, which was recommended by Rabbi Moshe Sofer (Chatam Sofer) as an obligatory textbook for scribes.

He was most famous for his book Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, which includes most of the practical laws, most of which are part of the “Orach Chaim”, and a few from the rest of the Shulchan Aruch.

14 editions were printed in his lifetime, and some of them added comments and corrections. Since then the book has been printed in dozens of editions. Sefer Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is considered the most common halakhic book in the Ashkenazi community (until the publication of Sefer Mishneh Berurah), especially among the commoners. However, scholars also considered it, wrote commentary on it, or added their words to it. It has been translated into many languages, and in Eretz Yisrael it has been supplemented by various editions of the laws of the commandments that are dependent on presence in the land.

His books on Halacha are:

  1. Kesset Sofer – rules of scribing, and the Esther scroll with corrections by the Chatam Sofer.
  2. Torat Zevach – on the laws of ritual slaughter.
  3. Bread and dress – laws of niddah, baptism and ritual baths.
  4. Ohalei Shem – names of men and women, with comments and investigations “Shem Yosef”.
  5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
  6. Commentary on the prayers – additional commentaries and Halachot on the prayer book Derech Hayyim.

Novelty Books:

  1. Pnei Shlomo – Novelties in the Bava Batra Tractate.
  2. Shem Shlomo – on Talmudic issues
  3. Epirion – interpretations of the Torah and studies of the Aggadah.

Books still in manuscripts:

Pnei Adam – comments and reservations about the book “Chayei Adam”.

“The Golden Tongue” – General grammar in Hebrew.

“Rules in the wisdom of truth” – commentary on the Zohar.

And a special book in which the sources of his commentary on the Shulchan Aruch are explained, together with many additional answers and novelties.

After his death he was buried in his town, and his grave serves as a pilgrimage site for followers visiting the area.