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Shlomo Zalman Auerbach

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
Position Rosh Yeshiva
Yeshiva Kol Torah
Personal details
Born (1910-07-20)July 20, 1910
Shaarei Chesed, Ottoman Empire
Died February 20, 1995(1995-02-20) (aged 84)
Denomination Orthodox
Spouse Chaya Rivka Ruchamkin[1]
Children Shmuel
Avraham Dov
Meir Simcha
Yaakov Auerbach

Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Hebrew: שלמה זלמן אוירבך‎; July 20, 1910 - February 20, 1995) was a renowned Orthodox Jewish rabbi, posek, and rosh yeshiva of the Kol Torah yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. The Jerusalem neighborhood Ramat Shlomo is named after Rabbi Auerbach.[2]


Auerbach was the first child to be born in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Jerusalem founded by his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Porush, after whom he was named.[1] His father, Rabbi Chaim Yehuda Leib Auerbach, was rosh yeshiva of Shaar Hashamayim Yeshiva, and his mother was Rebbetzin Tzivia.

By the age of eleven he was proficient in the entire talmudic tractate of Kiddushin. As a teenager he attended the Etz Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He was known for his diligence which is illustrated by an event which occurred while he was in yeshiva. On the day the first automobile rolled into Jerusalem along the Jaffa Road, all the students left their studies to marvel at the horse-less wagon. Only young Shlomo Zalman remained in his chair immersed in his studies.[3] Following his marriage he studied under Rabbi Zvi Pesach Frank at Kollel Kerem Tzion which focused on the laws of the Land of Israel. He was known as one of the Charedi Ashkenazi supporters for Heter Mechira during the Shmita year.

His first major published work, Meorei Esh, was the first ever written on the subject of using electricity on Shabbat. The work was endorsed by Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski who read it and declared: "Or chadash al Tziyon ta'ir" — "A new light will shine upon Zion" — a quote from the daily morning prayers.

He had a close association with Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, as well as the Chazon Ish and Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach, the two iconic and preeminent leaders of Haredi Judaism of the first and middle segments of the 20th century. He became the pre-eminent halachic decisor of his time in Israel, respected by all streams of Orthodox Judaism. He was unique in his approach to halacha through thought experiments.

Renowned for his lucid classes as Rosh Yeshiva, his thousands of students continue to influence the Torah world today. An estimated 300,000 - 500,000 people attended his funeral in 1995. He was interred on Har HaMenuchot.


Rabbi Auerbach had seven sons and three daughters. Among his children are:

He was the brother-in-law of Rabbi Sholom Schwadron, who married his sister Leah. The two shared a long and close relationship as learning partners and personal friends. R. Avraham Dov is older than R. Mordechai.

rav Shlomo Zalman's daughters: Rachel married to HaRav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Miriam married to Rav Treger living in Antwerp Malka married to Rav Bordiansky

Prominent students


File:Grave of Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.jpg
Tombstone of Rabbi Auerbach

Sefarim authored by Rabbi Auerbach include:

  • Meorei Eish, a pioneering work concerning electricity in halacha, (1935)
  • Ma'adanei Eretz, a two-volume book regarding agricultural halacha, (1946)
  • Minchas Shlomo (responsa), first volume (1986), second volume (2003)
  • Minchas Shlomo, a commentary on the Talmud

He also authored a commentary on Shev Shema'tata, which itself is a work of novellae on the Talmud by Rabbi Aryeh Leib HaCohen Heller.

Most of Rabbi Auerbach's halachic rulings were delivered orally and not published formally. However, his rulings on medical halacha were summarized and publicized by Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth in his book Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah, Rabbi Dr. Abraham S. Abraham in his Nishmat Avraham, and Rabbi Dr. Avraham Steinberg in his Encyclopedia Hilchatit Refuit.[4] Rabbi Neuwirth also made many of Rabbi Auerbach's rulings on Hilkhot Shabbat (Shabbat laws) widely known in his bestselling book, which was first published in Hebrew in 1965[5][6] and subsequently rendered into English.[7]


  1. ^ a b Sofer, D. "Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l". Yated Ne'eman (United States). Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jerusalem Neighborhoods: Ramat Shlomo". Jerusalem Municipality. 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  3. ^ Teller, Hanoch (1995). And From Jerusalem, His Word: Stories and insights of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l. New York: N.Y.C. Publishing Co. ISBN 1-881939-05-7. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Steinberg, Avraham (2008). "Medical-Halachic Decisions of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach". The Foundation Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Halperin, Mordechai (2004). "Milestones in Jewish Medical Ethics: Medical-Halachic literature in Israel, 1948-1998" (PDF). ASSIA – Jewish Medical Ethics (Jewish Virtual Library) VI (2): 4–19. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Saltiel, Manny (2011). "Gedolim Yahrtzeits: 20 Adar". Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Shemirath Shabbath: A guide to the practical observance of Shabbath". Feldheim Publishers. 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 

Rabbi Yakov Auerbach is older than his brother, Rabbi Meir and therefore should be listed before him.

External links

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