Page 89 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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GREENSTONE ---- THE BOOKS OF ELIJAH GAON
79
changes therein, even though some of the notes are not very
clear,” wrote the editor.
An allegoric commentary on the Book of Jonah appeared in
Wilno in 1800, and was reprinted several times. Comments on
the first six chapters of Job, under the title of
Debar Eliyahu
,
supposed to have been compiled by the Gaon’s son, Abraham, on
the basis of notes recorded by him while studying the book with
his father, were published in Warsaw in 1854. I t was later re-
published with notes by Ber Flahm in 1858. I t also appeared
with additional notes and comments on other chapters of the
book, edited by Naftali Maskileison, in Wilno in 1875.
Two commentaries on the Song of Songs, one dealing with the
plain meaning of the text and the other with a metaphoric inter-
pretation, appeared in Warsaw, 1842, from a manuscript in the
possession of the Gaon’s grandsons in Serei. I t was in this town,
where his daughter lived, that the Gaon had completed this com-
mentary, although the published text was probably taken from
notes preserved by his disciples. A nephew of the Gaon, Gershon,
issued another edition in Lemberg in 1866, with additional com-
ments heard from his uncle. A commentary on the Book of
Esther was preserved in manuscript in the possession of David
Lurya of Bychow. A commentary on Esther attributed to the
Gaon was published in Berlin (1856) under the title
Meil Zedakah.
A commentary on Chronicles was published in Wilno, 1820, by
his grandson Jacob Moses of Slonim, with additions by the editor
as well as a list of the Judges and Kings, according to the Gaon’s
interpretations.
The Gaon’s commentaries on some sections of the Mishnah
are admittedly based on oral traditions assembled by his disciples,
based on what they actually heard him say.
Shenot Eliyahu
,
a commentary, in two versions, on
Zeraim
, was compiled during
the Gaon’s life by his disciples, revised by Hayyim of Wolozin,
and published by his son-in-law, Moses of Pinsk in Lemberg in
1799. I t was reprinted in the Wilno edition of the
Mishnayot
of 1832-52, and was also included in the large 1909 Wilno edition
of the
Mishnayot.
Several separate editions of this work also
appeared. A commentary on the treatise
Shabbat
, was published
by Naphtali Herz Halevi, in the same 1909 Wilno edition of the
Mishnayot.
A commentary on
Tohorot
, edited by Meir of Wilno
under the title
Eliyahu Rabba
, was first published in Bruenn,
in 1802. I t was also included in the large 1897 Wilno edition of
the Talmud. A manuscript commentary on the Mishnah as de-
rived from scriptural texts in the Gaon’s own handwriting which
had been in the possession of Israel of Szklow was thought lost.
I t was, however, published in Wilno in 1886 by Samuel Levin and