From Enslavement to Salvation, from Darkness to Great Light1
Pesachim3 from the
With all the commentators as printed in ancient times and with new additions as explained on the second page
Published by the Committee of the Rabbis Association in the American zone in Ashkenaz4
With the assistance of the United States Army and Joint in Germany, Munich-Heidelberg5
Year Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Nine to the Creation of the World
They Almost Wiped Me from the Earth, but I Have Not Forsaken Your Precepts6
A Labor Camp in Ashkenaz in the Days of the Nazis7
This edition of the Talmud is dedicated to the United States Army. The army played a major role in the rescue of the Jewish people from total annihilation and after the defeat of Hitler bore the major burden of sustaining the DPs of the Jewish faith. This special edition of the Talmud published in the very land where, but a short time ago, everything Jewish and of Jewish inspiration was anathema, will remain a symbol of the indestructibility of the Torah. The Jewish DPs will never forget the generous impulses and the unprecedented humanitarianism of the American forces, to whom they owe so much.
In the name of the Rabbinical Organization
Rabbi Samuel A. Snieg
Chairman and Chief Rabbi of the U.S. Zone
With God's help8
Blessed is He who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this time—the printing of the Talmud!
With His great grace, blessed be His name, we managed to publish the Big Talmud9 with Rabbi Alfasi10, a perfection of beauty and elegance.
After the horrible destruction and the days of devastation and annihilation that we have gone through, an hour of distress like no other since Israel became a people, one fate was shared by the people of Israel and their Torah, as the evil ones that exterminated and burned the Jews of Europe, did their best also not to leave behind any Hebrew book, as if they willed it, that the burned Jew be wrapped in a Torah book.
We still remember that bitter day, in which an order issued by the evil rule - the Nazis, may their name be obliterated,11 appeared in the ghetto, to collect all the books to one place in order to destroy them, and the one who tried to hide but one book was facing mortal danger. Our enemies dealt with us wisely, [attempting] not only to exterminate us but also to upset us as long as we are still alive. Seizing the book from the people of the book is a deep wound in the soul of Israel that cannot be cured. All the books of Israel were taken to be processed into paper, or for other foul uses or burned altogether. The aspiration of this exterminator-enemy was to erase the name of Israel, not only from life itself, but also from all books. In the many mercies of God, blessed be, He left a surviving remnant,12 survivors of destruction saved from the hands of these cursed evil ones, but with no book left in their possession.
In the year of 570613 we managed, with a lot of effort, to print masechet and Kidushin and Nedarim14 and to distribute them among the remains of Israel, in Yeshivas, Batei Midrash,15 and to individuals who study. However, the entire Talmud is rare and is rarely found among us, only single masechet can be found here and there.
For a time, we have aspired to publish the Mishnah in its entirety, but it requires a significant expenditure that was not within our means. Therefore, we have approached the authorities of the American Army in Ashkenaz to enable us to publish the Talmud. and as God wished it, we succeeded thanks to the help of the Army's advisor for Jewish affairs in Germany, Dr. Rabbi P. Bernstein16 may his light shine, and our request was fulfilled with the help of God, may he be blessed, and therefore this day is a day of good tidings for Israel.
It is worth noting that during Israel's days of diaspora, not once have the books of Israel were burned by the authorities, but not one authority helped us restore our books. This is the first time in history of Israel that a foreign government helps publish the Talmud books, which are "the source of our being and the length of our days." The U.S. armies saved us from death and they are now our protectors in this land. With their help, the Talmud come out once again in Ashkenaz.
Aside from the U.S. Army, the Joint participated in this publication. The same enormous society of aid whose relief work encompasses all the fields of our life, besides its support of [our] material life, it also supports our spiritual life, book publishing, and more. Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Rabbi Shmuel L. Zar the director of Tzent art cam17 and Rabbi Shlomo Shapira, may his light shine, the director of the office for religious affairs adjacent to the Joint, the Joint agreed to participate in this expenditure and to increase the number of copies to satisfy the need for Talmud books of those who study.
In the name of the Haredi Jewish community, we express our deep gratitude to the U.S. Army and the Joint. May the right of "establishing the Torah" protect them.
Despite the effort and great labor of the commentary and others we experienced here, we did not cease from doing this holy labor, as we were aware of the Yeshiva boys' sorrow and pain, instigated by not having Talmud books, in addition to it causing "wasting time that could be spent on Torah-study." May God wills that we succeed, and may God, blessed him, have us "rejoice at the completion," and increase and extol the Torah. May we soon witness Yeshiva graduation ceremonies, and a complete redemption with the coming of the Messiah, Amen.
Thus, the words of the publishers who anticipate the redemption of God.
The Committee of the Rabbinical Organization in the American Zone
Shmuel Abba Snieg
Chief of the Rabbinical Organization's Committee
Who dwells here in the holy congregation of Munich, may God protect it
Shmuel Yaakov Raz
Member of the Rabbinical Organization's Committee
Printed: Manul-Offset by Druckerei Carl Winter, Heidelberg (Germany)
under supervision of Procurement Division, European Quartermaster Depot, United States Army