With an important addition handwritten by his son, the Kav Hayashar
Hagahos, chiddushim and commentary on Seder Kodshim by Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Kaidenover, famously called ‘The Birkas Hazevach’ after this monumental sefer.
This copy includes a special supplement that was omitted from the original printing, handwritten into the sefer by the author’s son Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Kaidenover, author of Kav Hayashar.
Aside from the important chiddushim it contains, Birkas Hazevach is a fundamental source for the precise text of Seder Kodshim which is known to have had many printing errors and inaccuracies. This sefer presents hundreds of annotations and corrections that were collectively accepted by scholars. This Chofetz Chaim found this sefer to be so significant that he himself printed a renewed edition.
The Missing Text – Supplemented by Hand by the Author’s Son, the Kav Hayashar
Leaf 2b includes 5 handwritten lines that begin with the words “In Erchin Folio 26b in my composition…” With these words, Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Kaidenover supplemented the missing content of his sefer which was omitted from the printed version. In this paragraph, the author expounds upon the words of the Rambam in Hilchos Shemitah, clarifying a point that some of the greatest Achronim, most notably the Pnei Yeshoshua and author of Merkavas Hamishnah, struggled to comprehend and ultimately concluded with “tzarich iyun”. The supplement in the present sefer demonstrates the author’s clarity on the point – which was not available to his esteemed colleagues who struggled to understand – and he presents a beautiful explanation.
The Birkas Hazevach’s mechutan, author of Panim Meiros, writes in his sefer at the end of Maseches Zevachim
“I found when his sefer came to my hands, and behold it has writings with his handwriting.” The Panim Meiros then proceeded to copy every word inscribed in the copy in his hand and indeed the inscription in our copy is word for word identical to the inscription of the Panim Meiros. However the Panim Meiros concludes with the statement: “Afterward, I heard from scholars in Cracow that the Gaon himself commanded to edit the sefarim according to the one I found with his handwriting.”
Following this, it is clear that the present copy was corrected at the author’s behest. Yet it was not only corrected by the hand of a scribe, but by the holy hand of his illustrious son, the
author of Kav Hayashar! Indeed, the handwriting on leaf 2b is identical to samples of handwriting of the Kav Hayshar who engaged in printing and disseminating his father’s seforim.
Rabbi Aharon Shmuel Kaidenover (1614-1676) was one of the leading Achronim and father of the author of Kav Hayashar. He wrote several fundamental sifrei kodesh, among them Birkas Hazevach on Seder Kodshim; and the popular Tiferes Shmuel on the Rosh; and more. He served as the Rav of some of the most illustrious Jewish communities in Europe, among them Brisk, Fürth and Cracow.
During the Chmielnicki Massacres of 1648, he fled to Vilna where he was appointed a dayan in the Beis Din of the Chelkas Mechokek together with the Shach. The Yaabetz writes that Rabbi Aharon Shmuel Kaidenover was said to know both the Tur and Beis Yosef by heart. “And aside from his wisdom in Shas and Poskim, and his great breadth as evident from his works, he was also very knowledgeable in Kabbalah (Shem Hagedolim by the Chida).
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Kaidenover (d. 1712) was a saintly Kabbalist, scholar and genius who gained renown among the Jewish world by his sefer Kav Hayashar, one of the fundamental works of mussar. Venerable Achronim extolled the sanctity of both the sefer and its author, and the Noam Elimelech was said to have learned and reviewed it 102 times, which is the numerical equivalent of part of the title “Kav” (preface to Toras Chessed, Munkacs, 1897).
Amsterdam, 1669. First Edition. Page Count: , 64, 64-131, 131-180: 35,  leaf.
Page Size: 18 cm.
Condition: Several leaves with holes and lightly stained, primarily in margins. All professionally restored. Title page bears attractive miniature copperplate engravings. New leather binding.
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