This text was prepared by William Gross:
one of the principal sources of Jewish law of his age.
The best known work of the great halkhic authority R' Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (8 October 1713 – 29 April 1793), and one of the principal sources of Jewish law of his age. Famous decisions within this collection of responsa include those limiting autopsy to prevent a clear and present danger in known others. This collection was esteemed by rabbis and scholars, both for its logic and for its independence with regard to the rulings of other Acharonim as well as its simultaneous adherence to the writings of the Rishonim.
R' Landau was born in Opatów, Poland, to a family that traced its lineage back to Rashi, and attended yeshiva at Ludmir and Brody. In Brody, he was appointed dayan (rabbinical judge) in 1734, and in 1745 he became rabbi of Yampol. While in Yampol, he attempted to mediate between R' Jacob Emden and R' Jonathan Eybeschütz. His role in this famous controversy is described as "tactful" and brought him to the attention of the community of Prague—where, in 1755, he was appointed rabbi. He also established a Yeshiva there; Avraham Danzig, author of Chayei Adam, is amongst his best known students.
R' Landau was highly esteemed by his own community and many others, and stood high in favor in government circles. In addition to his rabbinical tasks, he was able to intercede with the government on various occasions when anti-Semitic measures had been introduced. Though not opposed to secular knowledge, he objected to "that culture which came from Berlin", in particular Moses Mendelssohn's translation of the Pentateuch.
Sudilkov is a town located in the Ukraine in Kamenets-Podolski region. While it was considered a lesser brother to the great printing center of Slavuta, the Sudilkov press was strong on the reissue of classics and essential works. The town was also known for its production of Talitot (prayer shawls).
Finely designed and printed title page with architectural frame. Foliate columns flank the text; above, a ornate crowned tops a cartouche, enclosed in foliage and flanked by two lions. The same frame is used on B.1381, printed in the same year by the same printer.