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Rabbi Yaakov of Lisa: Taking Leave

The 25th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yaakov Loeberbaum (Lorberbaum)of Lisa, author of Chavas Daas, Nesivos Hamishpat, and many other sefarim (1760-1832). A great-grandson of the Chacham Tzvi, Reb Yaakov lost his father before his birth. His relative, Rav Yosef Teumim, raised him. In 1809, he agreed to become the Rav in Lisa (today known as Leszno, Poland), where he enlarged his yeshiva’s enrollment. In 1822, he left Lisa and moved to Kalish, where he wrote many of his sefarim.

From The Introduction to Derech Chaim, his sefer on the laws of Tefillah:

Our sages taught that, “A person should only take leave of his friend by sharing a word of Halacha, for it will be through it that he will remember him.” Many people read this to mean, that the friend will remember the departing friend through the Halacha that they shared, “remember him.” However, if someone is ready to leave, and quickly shares a Halacha, will the other friend remember him through the rushed words of Halacha?

I believe that “Zachreihu,” should not be read as “Remember him,” the friend, but, “Remember it,” the one who leaves will remember to think of words of Halacha as he begins a journey, which can often be dangerous. The word of Halacha will protect him on his travels.

I am now old and preparing for my final journey. I must evaluate my life and all my writings through the eyes of Halacha, so that I can ensure that my journey until this point has been according to the Torah’s teachings. I therefore wrote this book on he Halachot of Tefillah so that I will remember the Halacha, what God wants of me, as I evaluate my life in preparation for my final journey.

I hope that people will use these Halachot of prayer in order to take Halacha with them to protect them as they take leave of their “Friend,” to begin the journey of their day.

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