Monday, December 24, 2007

R' Chaim Kreisworth - A Walking Shas

R' Chaim ben R' Avrohom Yosef Kreisworth ZY"A (2001) was one of the great Torah giants of recent times. 16 Teves is his yartzeit. Here is a small story to illustrate how our Torah Sages are so intamately familiar with the words of the Talmud.


Chacham Benzion Abba Shaul ZY"A and yblch't Chacham Ovadia Yosef Shlita once went to Belgium together. R' Kreisworth accompanied them back to the airport, for their return trip, and inquired as to the source of the name "Abba Shaul". Chacham Bentzion said that the name came from the Talmudic Sage by that name. Chacham Ovadia mentioned to R' Kresisworth that the first time Abba Shaul is mentioned in Shas is in Brochos at this and this place. R' Kreisworth responded with the second place where Abba Shaul is mentioned. Chacham Ovadia countered with the third place. This went on for some time. How did it come to an end? They were in the middle of Tractate Shabbos when Chacham Ovadia said that in a certain place Abba Shaul is mentioned next. R' Kreisworth responded that one of the meforshim (I think it was Tosafos but I don't remember) say that the Abba Shaul mentioned there is not the same one mentioned elsewhere in Shas. They had a good laugh and bid their farewells.


Think about the amout of time spent learning, and with what passion it must have been. Our great Torah leaders literally have Shas, Poskim, etc. on their fingertips. They literally know it the way most people know the names of their family members. So, the next time some mechutzif with a website wants to show how bright he is by "proving" that Gadol Ploni is incorrect in a ruling, think twice. If I may use the analogy, not just anybody can step into the ring with a heavyweight champ. May we be worthy of having great Torah leaders to guide us.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said!
Yasher Koach!

I had the z'chus to see R. Kreisworth in passing about 12 years ago... Just seeing him left an impression on me. Truly an Adam Gadol.