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Bringing the Zeideh’s Truth to the Printed Page

Mishpacha Staff

Rav Doniel Neustadt, a grandson of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, ztz”l, talks with Mishpacha about editing and publishing his zeideh’s writings, the famous series known as Emes L’Yaakov.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mishpacha: How did you first get involved with publishing Rav Yaakov’s seforim?

Rav Neustadt: Until he was about ninety-three years old, Rav Yaakov never had any of his manuscripts published in a sefer format. He had authorized a few select pieces of Torah for publication in various Torah journals, but for decades, the vast majority of his writings lay dormant.

The turning point came in 1982, almost by chance. Telshe Yeshiva, where I was studying, undertook to publish a Torah anthology in memory of Rav Boruch Sorotzkin, ztz”l. I was asked to approach the zeideh about submitting a piece on Maseches Chullin to be included in the collection. He readily agreed, but with the proviso that, since he might not be up to reviewing it to see “if it is good,” I should do him the favor of reviewing the piece and preparing it for publication. I did as he asked, and I remember that he was extremely satisfied with the article in its final version. When I saw how pleased he was to see that piece published, I wondered why we were only publishing a piece of Torah here and there, while countless pages of his pearls of wisdom were collecting dust.

“Zeideh,” I said, “how come no sefer of your chiddushim has ever been published?” I never did get a direct answer to that question, but I mentioned it to him again and again over a period of several months, and eventually he agreed that perhaps it was time to publish his chiddushim. For reasons he never divulged to me, he asked that his chiddushim on Chumash be published first, followed by the rest of his manuscripts. I agreed to take on the task, thinking it would be a part-time project that would take me no more than a few months.


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