Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Introducing the Bach: Rabbi Joel Sirkes

Now available from Yashar Books, Bach, Rabbi Joel Sirkes: His Life, Works and Times (expanded edition) by R. Elijah J. Schochet. Rabbi Joel Sirkes (1561-1640), better known by the acronym Bach, was one of the foremost Talmudic scholars and halakhists of Poland. He authored over 250 responsa as well as one of the premier commentaries upon the Arba'ah Turim of Rabbi Jacob ben Asher. Based on a careful analysis of Rabbi Sirkes' responsa and commentaries, Rabbi Schochet provides a vivid portrayal of the issues surrounding Polish Jewry at that time and Rabbi Sirkes' approach to Jewish law and thought.

Originally published in 1971, this unique biography is supplemented with a translation and analysis of an important lost responsum by Rabbi Sirkes which was published by Rabbi Schochet in 1973 under the title A Responsum of Surrender. This responsum explores the relationship between the Jewish and Christian communities in seventeenth century Poland.

This book is not yet available for purchase online but can already be found in Jewish bookstores throughout the US and Canada. Ask for it in your local store.

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