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Rabbeinu Asher, the Rosh, is one of the classic codifiers and commentators on the Talmud, one of the select few whose writings have become indispensable to a proper understanding of the Talmud and Halachah. Greatness in Torah goes together with greatness in piety and in love of fellow Jews. The Rosh set down in simple terms how to live as a Jew day by day, in the little matters that are not little at all.
He wrote a "diary" - of Jewish life - a calendar of principles - a list of guidelines to be read, studied, and lived every day of the week. Over many centuries of cherished use, this list of maxims, Orchos Chaim L'HaRosh, or "The Rosh's Paths of Life," has become a small but invaluable treasure. In these few pages, the Rosh left a veritible gem, a road map to Judaism.
How important is Orchos Chaim? The Tosafos Yom Tov wrote a commentary. The great baalei Mussar made it a textbook of personal behavior. Rabbi Simchah Zissel of Kelm, molder of leading baalei Mussar, said that it was worthwhile to have founded his yeshivah in Kelm merely for the sake of the regular study of Orchos Chaim. Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky worked on the order of the maxims. If Orchos Chaim was so precious to such giants, how much more should it mean to the rest of us?
This volume presents Orchos Chaim as it was understood by and as it influenced people great and small. With a new translation and comments culled from exceptional men of the spirit, primarily Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, the immortal mashgiach of Mir and Ponevezh, it will be a road map and a treasure for new English-speaking generations.
The stories, teachings, and insights of this magnificent collection will become the daily companion of thousands.