Gaon and Tzaddik

The holy 'Masei L'Melech' zt"l

Rabbi Yeshaye Silberstein zt"l (1884 -1930), known as the holy Masei LMelech for his famed sefer on Maimonides, a monumental pillar of European Jewry, had an unimaginably broad and deep knowledge of all Torah. His inspiring leadership and his connection to Hashem helped countless people during some of the darkest and most challenging times in recent history.

The Rav's learning has had tremendous influence on the way that Halacha is decided, even until today. The Rav was a master of finding and sharing sources relevant to rulings on Halacha that were previously not obvious to others. Such findings are 'gold dust' to those seeking sources from which to pasken (to rule on) halachah lema'aseh (practical Jewish law).

To view an example of how the important teachings of the Rav affect us today, as well as future generations, please visit Halachic leadership.

Although a modest man, seeking no publicity or fame, [ just to make the name of hashem greater ], thousands from all backgrounds journeyed to Veitzen (Vac), Hungary, to seek the Rav's blessings and words of encouragement. The Masei LMelech was also famous as a Poel Yeshuos (miracle worker), revered and loved by everyone from the simple Jew to the greatest Gedolim of his time.

Equivalent to the sages of the Medieval era

Hagaon Rav Moishe Shternbuch shlita of Jerusalem (Rosh Beis Din, Eida Hacharadeith) stated that The Holy Masei LMelech's Torah was "like the Torah of a Rishon (Earliest Torah commentators who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries i.e. Nachmanides, the Rashba etc. (as told to Rabbi Yehoshua Klein of London).

See the endorsements tab, to read the glowing and exalted language use by Hagaon Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, shlita , Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, shlita, and Hagaon R' Shmuel Wosner, shlita among others in their praise and recognition of his greatness and the power of his Torah.

Miracle Worker

A famous incident testifying to the Rav's spiritual powers were illustrated, One of the many famous stories, when the men of his orthodox community in Veitzen (vac) went to the Masei LMelech zt"l for a blessing following the scary news that they were drafted into the army at the start of WWI, to serve in the front line in the war. The Masei L'Melech said “I guarantee that no person of my kehilla (Orthodox Community) will be missing from the war zone.” After the completion of the war it was reported that the Masei L'Melech's blessing had indeed come true as every single man from his community had quite miraculously returned to Veitzen (vac) safely from the war. (as published in the Torah Journal "Sharei Orah", Mihalovitz 1930)

The tzion (gravesite) of he Masie LMelech was always known as a place where people's prayers to hashem are answered and they experienced many yeshuos in the merit of this Tzadik.

His Disciples

Some of his known disciples also included famous Torah personalities such as the Tzadik R' Aharon Roth zt"l, author of Sefer "Shomer Emunim" and "Taharas Hakodesh" whose descendants are the Rabbi's of Shomer Emunim, Toldos Aharon and Toldos Avraham Yitzchak. Also among his outstanding students were. Rabbi Avraham Guttenplan, Rav of Tinya and author of Kesser Torah, Rabbi Yitchok Zev Mayer, Rosh Yeshiva of Nitra, author of the famed Maharsha HAruch, Rabbi Chaim Yehuda Eherenriech, Rav of Humene and Deva, author of many books, and editor of the Torah journal Otsar Hachaim, Rabbi Naftali Honig of Sharmash , author of Tiferes Naftali, These are but some of the many who travelled to Veitzen to hear the Pure and authentic Torah discourses directly from the Rav and to learn at his prestigious yeshiva.

Gadol Hador [Light of His Generation]

Almost every rabbinical student aspired to be ordained by the Masei LMelech, knowing very well that a s'micha of the foremost Gaon of the time will open them all possibilities to rabbinic positions all over.

The Masie LMelech kindly made his precious time available to test those prodigious musmachim and gave them shimush [rabbinic internship], training them in the intricate ways of the rabbinate. One very famous posek who has received smicha from the Masei LMelech was Rabbi Yonasson Steif zt'l Rav of Budapest and Rav of the Viener Kehila in Brooklyn.

A quick examination of the seforim published during his lifetime shows us that almost every author of note made sure to get a letter of haskamah [approbation] from the Masei LMelech. The Gaon being the kind Tzadik that he was, devoted time to going over those manuscripts in their entirety, and in most instances added his beautiful and extensive comments, enhancing the relevance of the sefer. We have compiled a list of over 100 haskamos penned by the Masei LMelech.

During the Masei LMelech's time as Rav of Veitzen, a Talmid Chochom by the name of Rabbi Duvid Tzvi Katzburg, also resided there. Rabbi Katzburg initiated the publication of a Torah journal under the name Teil Talpiyos. Rabbi Katzburg needed something to distinguish his publication from the many Torah journals circulating at the time. Having the Masie LMelech serve as Rav in the community turned out to be a great advantage, Rabbi Katzburg knowing that the Rav would never turn down any request to help a fellow Jew, and to spread Torah, Rabbi Katzburg asked the Gaon to serve as the 'Mevaker' [overseer] for the budding journal.

Having the Gaon on board was a great benefit, therefore Rabbi Katzburg made sure that on the front page of his torah journal Teil Talpiyos was written, “this journal is under bekores [overseen] by Rabbi Yeshaye Silberstein shlita [zt"l] of veitzeen.” Torah scholars worldwide knowing that their chidushim will automatically be braught to the attention of the Gadol Hador, hurried to send in their Torah thoughts and queries, turning the new bi-weekly journal into the most important Torah periodical of its time.

The Gaon indeed added this new responsibility to his schedule and went over each and every issue adding his comments and annotations to each one. Being that the contributors dealt with the widest range of issues covering the entire scope and breadth of Torah literature, it is amazing how the Masei LMelech accepted and carried out this task in such fashion, on a total voluntary basis, just for the sake of spreading torah and helping a fellow Talmid Chochom.

A Legacy of Greatness

Throughout his lifetime, the Masei LMelech published his magnum opus, a two-volume masterpiece on Maimonides. Besides its sheer brilliance, people keep this Sefer in their homes as a segula (an auspicious source of blessings).

However, he authored over one hundred volumes of Halachic responsa and Talmudic novellae, many of which were misplaced during the holocaust era. Unfortunately, his devotion to leading his community of Veitzen, his yeshiva, and the greater Jewish Hungarian Orthodox community organized under a government mandated umbrella organization known as the "Kanzelei", did not allow him the time to compile these manuscripts into printed seforim.

[New Sefer - Teshuvos Vechidushei Masei Lmelech - available now in better seforim/books stores, You can buy your sefer/book. If your store does not have it in stock, please ask him to order it from the distributer: In U.S.A., Shirah (Mishor) Tel.: 1.718.871.8652 - Fax 1.718.871.8412 - E-mail: shirah@thejnet.com; In E. Israel Sifriati / A. Gitler Tel.: 011.972(3)579.8187 - E-mail: sif1@bezeqint.net; In EUROPE, Lehmanns Tel.: 44.191.430.0333 - E-mail: info@lehmanns.co.uk.]

Please help and support this holy project so that the Torah of this great Gaon and Tzadik can be researched studied and published and that this precious Torah will not be lost to Am Yisrael.