Project Genesis

Jewish History

The Great Rabbis

Rabbi Avraham Gombiner, the “Magen Avraham”

I am interested in learning biographical information about the Magen Avraham as well as which works he commented on as my father was from the town in Poland that he lived in.

Rav Avraham Gombiner, born in 1634, left his home-town Gombin in 1655 after his father was murdered by the Cossacks. He traveled to Lissa where he furthered his studies and then moved to the city of Kalish, becoming a teacher of young children. He eventually became one of the major Halachic authorities of the town and filled the post of ‘Dayan’ (judge). His most famous legal work was his commentary on the entire ‘Orach Chaim’ section of the Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish Law written by Rav Yosef Caro) called ‘Magen Avraham’. He also wrote a series of discourses on certain parts of the Torah called ‘Shemen Sasson’ and a short commentary on the Midrash Yalkut Shimoni, called ‘Zayis Raanan’. Rav Avraham died in Kalish, Poland in 1682.

Yours sincerely,
Ari Lobel

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