Living Legacy: Rav Shloime Zilberstein of Grosswardein

Living Legacy: Rav Shloime Zilberstein of Grosswardein

Yehuda Alter 

The ninth of Teves marks the yohrtzeit of Rav Shlomo Silverstein of Grosswardein, author of Ohel Shlomo, and a great maggid in the town. He was born in the year 1814 in the Hungarian town of Bonihad to his father, Rav Aaron of Leipnik. 

He was a tremendous ga’on and a great tzaddik who needed very little for himself. He was a mohel who brought hundreds of children into the fold of the bris of Avrohom Avinu, and spent every waking moment learning Torah, day and night. Even when he was in his older years, he had tremendous hasmodoh. 

In addition, Rav Shloime was known as a tremendous ba’al chessed, and gathered large sums of tzedakah for those in need. 

As a bachur, he learned in the yeshiva of the great Rav Koppel Reich, known as Rav Koppel Charif, author of chidushei Yaavetz, in the town of Verbau, near Nitra. Already then, his tremendous hasmodoh and erudition stood out among his peers. 

He received glowing semichos and approbations from the gedolim of his era, including Rav Shlomo Zalman Ullman of Makava, author of Yerios Shlomo, who attested that he spoke with him in learning in all areas of Shulchan aruch.   

He became a rov in the town of Șărcad, Hungary, where he fought against those who sought to bring in new ways of Yiddishkeit. When he saw that it was a lost battle, he left the town, and went to Grosswardein, where he was appointed as a dayan and maggid. He was appreciated in Grosswardein for his greatness and his Torah, and was accorded great honor. 

For 28 years, he was marbitz Torah in Grosswardin, leaning non-stop. He completed shas in depth five times. When he was learning shas for the sixth time, his eyesight began to fail him. This is when he began learning the masechtos which he knew by heart, over and over. 

His divrei Torah were printed after his passing in the sefer Ohel Shlomo, and he left behind two illustrious sons who continued in his ways.    

He asked in his tzava’ah, that following his passing, his family should notify the Kolel Shomrei Hachomos in Eretz Yisroel of his passing, so they should learn mishnayos l’iluy nishmaso. 

Rav Shloime was niftar in Grosswardein in 1909 at the age of 95, and was interred in the town. 

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