The Maginei Shlomo!
Handwritten Teshuvah by Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow, Author of Shu”t Pnei Yehoshua and Maginei Shlomo.
Long teshuva regarding an agunah, with the signature, amendments and additions in the holy hand of the great sage Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow, author of Maginei Shlomo.
This teshuvah originates from a ledger of teshuvos belonging to the author and marked as “Sheilah 125”. The teshuvah was written by a scribe in an attractive script, along with amendments, insertions, and one particularly long section written by the holy hands of Rabbi Yehoshua along with his signature. Published in Shu”t Pnei Yehoshua Vol. 1 (Amsterdam, 1715) Ch. 62 based on this manuscript.
Rabbi Yehoshua signs his name at the end of the teshuvah: “
Says the signer Yushe son of my honorable father Yosef Z”l signing here in the holy congregation of Cracow on Sunday of the week of Parshas Bo el Pharoah [1 Shvat] , 5403 .
Examining his autograph, we see that Rabbi Yehoshua signed his name “Yushe” (יושע) as opposed to “Yehoshu” (יהושע) deliberately omitting the letter hey from his name.
Rabbi Efraim Zalman Margalios explains, “The Gaon, author of Maginei Shlomo would sign his name ‘Yushe’ and so also his grandson, the Pnei Yehoshua’ signed his name similarly. it is out of respect for the Name of Hashem, as not to inscribe three letters from hashem’s name together, and therefore he omitted the letter hey.
Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow
Author of Maginei Shlomo
Vilna, Circa 1580 – Cracow, 1648
Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow, author of the Pnei Yehoshua and Maginei Shlomo, was one of the greatest sages during the illustrious era of the Achronim. He was a disciple of the Sm”a and Maharam of Lublin and a Rebbe of the Shach. He engaged in frequent correspondence with the Bach and Taz and studied kabbalah with the mekubal Rabbi Shimon of Ostropoli (see Sefer Karnayim Lot 58 in this Catalog!)
Rabbi Yehoshua was appointed Rav and Av Beis Din of Cracow, succeeding the Megaleh Amukos . During this period, he served as one of the greatest halachic masters of his generation, Spreading Torah and halachah around the world.
Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow passed away on 27 Av, (5408) 1648, and was laid to rest in the old Jewish cemetery in Cracow. His prime disciple, the Shach, eulogized him in his kinah upon the Chmielnicki Massacre, describing that he perished due to his grief and sorrow upon the dire plight of his fellow Jews.
Rabbi Yehoshua of Cracow (Vilna, Circa 1580-Cracow, 1648)
Author of Maginei Shlomo
“Listen, dear friend, and know, Rabbosai, that my illustrious grandfather z”l told his disciples that Rashi z”l came to him and revealed his image, and he came before him in great joy and told him with these words: ‘Lucky are you in this world, and it is good for you in the next world, for you defend me from the great giants….the Balei Tosfos. I am destined to greet you in olam haba together with all my talmidim.”
And so it was prior to his passing about a half hour when the candle of Yisrael was dimming, and all Gedolei Yisrael came to meet him. He told them, ‘Clear the way for Rabbeinu, the light of our eyes, Rashi, Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki Z”l, came to me and all his holy ones were with him, in order to receive me with joy and show me a new way of life. Because I stood at his side, and always resolved the Tosfos’ questions on Rashi, and this is why the [sefer] is called Maginei Shlomo.” (Grandson’s preface to Maginei Shlomo. Amsterdam, 1715)
The Maginei Shlomo’s great-grandson and namesake followed his path of greatness to become the Pnei Yehoshua. The younger Pnei Yehoshua follows his grandfather’s legacy in defending Rashi from the questions posed by the Baalei Tosfos. He writes in his preface,
“I aspire to follow in the footsteps of my ancestor, the illustrious great luminary, Moreinu Yushe zt”l…Av Beis Din and Rosh Mesivta in Cracow, who authored sefer Maginei Shlomo to resolve Tosfos’ questions on Rashi.”
Numbering among his famous offspring are the author of Maaseh Rokeach and the Belzer dynasty; author of Baruch Taam and the Sanzer dynasty; Rabbi Meshulam Igra; Rabbi Dovid Deitsch, author of Ohel Dovid; Rabbi Shlomo Kluger; and the Admor Rabbi Moshe Dovid Ashkenazy of Tolczva, father-in-law of the Yitav Lev of Satmar and all his offspring.
Cracow, 1643.  leaves; 5 written sides. Page size: 28×18 cm. Attractive script with amendments and additions. Water and time stains. Lightly restored at corners. Preserved in ornate red leather box with gilded engravings.
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