Margolioth, Rabbi Ephraim Zalman

June 15, 2006

Rabbi Ephraim was one of the greatest Talmudic scholars of his time, In his youth he served briefly in the rabbinate but then settled in Brody and went into business. Though highly successful his main interest remained Torah learning and scholarship and his many published works established him in the first rank of scholars. He corresponded with scholars such as Rabbi Ezekiel Landau.

Rabbi Ephraim established a yeshiva in his house and served as its head. One of his disciples was Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chayot. Rabbi Ephraim became the rare prototype of one who successfully combined great wealth with great learning. He was well-versed in Kabbalah. He was involved in a controversy with Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev over Joshua Heschel Zoref’s book HaZoref. Rabbi Ephraim demonstrated its Shabbatean character and was thus able to prevent its publication.

Rabbi Ephraim’s most popular work is the Mateh Ephraim containing the laws of the months of Elul and Tishrei.