Amsterdam: A New Era of Jewish Printing

The resumption of printing of the Talmud after it was burnt and banned, a new print house in Amsterdam, and how the Chief Rabbi of Vilna ended up in the Netherlands. ‘Treasures from the Rebbe’s Library’ Episode 7.

By reporter

Thousands of priceless treasures lie on the shelves and safes of the Central Chabad Library, right next door to 770. The average chossid, however, won’t have the chance to see the most precious of them. Until now, that is.

A new series, launched by in partnership with the Rebbe’s library, will showcase some of the most unique and historic books and items in the Rebbe’s library.

Each episode, delivered by Chief Librarian Rabbi Berel Levin, is accompanied by photos of the seforim being discussed, making the subject and the history come alive.


Printing the Shas in Amsterdam: A New Era

After the setbacks in the printing of the Talmud due to the various decrees, the printing finally resumed 25 years later.

But even as the printing of the Talmud resumed, there was one print that took a place of prominence: The Talmud printed in Amsterdam.The printer, Emanuel Banbanisti, invested much time and effort to ensure the highest standard of editing. He also incorporated the edits of the Maharshal, as printed in his Chochmas Shlomo.

How the Chief Rabbi of Vilna Ended up in Amsterdam

Following the printing of the Talmud in Amsterdam, a second print house, headed by

Joseph Athiasbegan printing the Shulchan Aruch.

The head editor of this edition was Harav Moses Rivkes, the Chief Rabbi of Vilna, who had fled to Amsterdam due to the cossacks. 

While editing the Shulchan Aruch, he authored the Be’er Hagolah, which cites the sources for each halacha. Since then, it has been printed in the vast majority of editions of the Shulchan Aruch.

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