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Zevach Hashlamim: Yitro

The 21st of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe Galante (Galanti) II of Yerushalayim (1620-1689), son of Rav Yehonasan, who was the son of Rav Moshe Galante the elder (1540-1614) who studied with Rav Yosef Karo.


He wrote two halachic works, Elef HaMagen, which includes 1,000 responsa on various topics, Zevach Shelamim on the Talmud and Korban Chagigah on Tractate Chagigah. He strongly argued against the popularity of Shabsai Tzvi.

His grandson was Rav Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter of Ger, the Sfas Emes. Among his students were Rav Chizkiyah De Silva, author of Pri Chadash (which is printed in the standard edition of the Shulchan Aruch), and Rav Yaakov Chagiz and his son Rav Moshe Chagiz. Refusing to accept the title of “Chief Rabbi” that was offered to him, he coined a new title-“Rishon Le’tzion.”

There is an opinion in the Yerushalmi (Shekalim) that the Ten Statements were written four times on the Tablets. These four times correspond to our obligation to: Learn, teach, guard and to fulfill: “Lilmod, ulilameid, lishmor, v’la’asot.”

We must study the text first to learn, then in order to teach, then to learn how to use the teachings to guard our souls, and finally to understand the highest form of action of each Mitzvah.

God knew that the Tablets would be smashed into pieces. The study of the Oral Law is the collection of the broken pieces. When we study all four levels we can restore the Tablets to their original state.

The 21st of Shevat is also the Yahrtzeit of:

Rav Yitzchak of Nezchizh (1868)

Rav Yehoshua Heshel Brim, Rosh Yeshivas Tiferes Yisrael of Ruzhin-Yerushalayim (1986)

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