April 9, 2024
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Final Volumes of Haas Family Edition Sefer Zera Shimshon Now Available

(Courtesy of Artscroll) In the past few years, tens of thousands of readers have discovered the beauty of the Zera Shimshon commentary—and, of course, the segula connected to it, which burst upon the Jewish world after being almost forgotten for more than two centuries.

Several months ago, ArtScroll’s 10-volume “Haas Family Edition of Sefer Zera Shimshon on the Torah” celebrated its siyum, and now, with the publication of the Zera Shimshon commentary on Koheles and Shir HaShirim, the entire project is complete.

We spoke to Rabbi Shmuel Kirzner—general editor of the project—about the translation and elucidation of the Zera Shimshon. “It wasn’t an easy project,” he explains.

“The style of the commentary is not contemporary, and none of us were accustomed to it. Additionally, the commentary often includes complicated reasoning and esoteric ideas. Bringing those out in the English language was often challenging.”

But if there were considerable challenges in making Zera Shimshon accessible to the general public, the rewards were many.

“One who learns Zera Shimshon is immediately catapulted to the realms of derush and remez, usually in the framework of an elaborate tapestry of interwoven ideas. The combination of breadth and depth makes the sefer truly unique.”

And what can readers expect to find when they delve into the commentary?

“The scope of the sefer is phenomenal. A derush about Shabbos could suddenly be discussing the Jews’ departure from Egypt after 210 years rather than after 400, and a derush about Moshe’s prayers for the Jews after they made the Golden Calf could suddenly veer into the intricacies of the laws of marriage. To make the commentary more accessible to readers, there are introductions and summaries, and, for those who want to find a topic, the final volume—Shir HaShirim—includes a detailed topical index, which will enable a reader to easily locate the discussions that he is looking for.”

The Zera Shimshon promised great blessings to those who learned his commentary. To those blessings, this monumental project adds one more: the infinite zechus of learning this unique and beautiful commentary.

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