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Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Shapiro (1917-2006)
Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Shapiro (1917-2006) was a Rosh Yeshiva and important rabbinic figure in Israel. His father, Rabbi Aryeh Shapiro, was the son of Rabbi Refoel Shapiro of Volozhin and grandson of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (the Netziv.) His mother was a descendant of Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heilpern of Bialystock (1816-1879), a descendant of Rabbi Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller. Even though his father was the Dayan of Bialystok, Poland, Rav Moshe Shmuel was born in the city of Minsk, Belarus while his family was escaping the horrors of World War I.

After the war, the Shapiro family returned to Bialystok where Moshe Shmuel studied in the local Yeshiva. Rabbi Chaim Brisker, Moshe Shmuel's uncle, frequented the Shapiro residence. In 1933, Moshe Shmuel left home to study in the Yeshiva in Baranovich under the tutelage of Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman. Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir attests to the special relationship which existed between Moshe Shmuel and Rabbi Wasserman. Even after Moshe Shmuel left Baranovichi , he continued corresponding with Rabbi Wasserman.

In the summer of 1936 Moshe Shmuel moved to Yeshivas Mir were he immediately gained a reputation as having potential for leading the Torah world and was recognized by Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz. Moshe Shmuel joined students older than himself in sleeping arrrangements, despite his young age compared to them. He developed a friendship with such Torah scholars as Rabbbi Yonah Karpilov of Minsk (who was murdered in the Holocaust) and Rabbi Aryeh Leib Malin. In 1937, after reaching the age of army conscription, Moshe Shmuel had to flee Poland and moved to Palestine.

In Palestine, Moshe Shmuel attended Yeshivas Lomzha in Petah Tikva, where Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein recognized his potential. During this time in Lomzha, Rabbi Elazar Shach was the main Talmudic lecturer, while Rabbi Moshe Shmuel and Rabbi Shmuel Rozovsky delivered other specialized lectures in the Talmud studies. During this time, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel was the teacher of many Rabbis including Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.

When Rabbi Moshe Shmuel's first cousin, the Brisker Rov moved to Jerusalem , Rabbi Moshe Shmuel developed a strong relationship with him and helped publicize the Brisker methods. He was given special access to writings from his cousin and his uncle, Reb Chaim Brisker, which he incorporated into his own understandings of various Gemara sugyas. Rabbi Moshe Shmuel was the main editor of the works of the Brisker Rov on Kodoshim.

Reb Moshe Shmuel was granted semicha by Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer .

During this period he also became very close to the Chazon Ish. After his marriage in 1946, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel spent one year learning the Chazon Ish's Kollel and then was hired to deliver Talmudic lectures in Yeshivas Kol Torah for three years. At the behest of the Chazon Ish, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel joined Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe in establishing Yeshivas Be'er Yaakov. He was also the Chief Rabbi of Ramle, the town where his Yeshiva was located, for a short time before resigning because it took away too much time from running his Yeshiva.

Rabbi Moshe Shmuel consulted with the Chazon Ish and Brisker Rov on all the Yeshiva's matters. In 1954, on the day of the death of the Chazon Ish, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel held a two hour conversation in Torah with the aging sage.

In 1968, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel was repeatedly asked to join the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah by Rabbi Yisrael Alter, the Gerrer Rebbe and Rabbi Yechezkel Sarna. Eventually he acceded to their request when the latter paid him a personal visit.


From the year 1963 until the year of his death, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel published many Talmudic works on the Orders of Nashim, Nezikin, and Moed. They are broken up into two sets of books: Kuntres HaBiurim are in-depth analysis of various Talmudic topics, oftentimes based on exclusive manuscripts and ideas which Rabbi Moshe Shmuel heard from the Brisker Rov. Sha'arei Shemoous is a compilation of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel's novellea arranged per folio in the Talmud on the tractates which he published his works. The sons of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel also published posthumously his work on Tanach entitled Zahav MiShvah. He also worked extensively with manuscripts of various Rishonim and published a special edition of the Ri Migash with his own footnotes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia