In Orchos Yosher by Rav Chaim Kanievsky (chapter:"How Precious Are Sefarim", p. 156), it is said that the Chazon Ish believed that the one who benefited most from publishing Torah thoughts into Chiddushei Torah seforim, was the author himself, since he would study in great detail and thoroughly the chapter he was writing about.

Besides the fact that Rav Kanievsky was family of the Chazon Ish, and thus Rav Kanievsky could have heard this on his own. Is there a written source directly by the Chazon Ish related to this statement?

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    Considering that Rav Chaim Kanievsky z"l was a nephew of the Chazon Ish and spent a ton of time with him, that is about as good a source as you can get.
    – N.T.
    Aug 8, 2022 at 4:28
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    I don't know about the author getting the best out of such an endeavour but there is a sefer chassidim in siman 530 which writes:"וכל מי שגילה לו הקדוש ברוך הוא דבר ואינו כותבה ויכול לכתוב הרי גוזל מי שגילה לו כי לא גלה לו אלא לכתוב דכתיב (תהלים כ"ה י"ד) סוד ה' ליראיו ובריתו להודיעם וכתיב (משלי ה' ט"ז) יפוצו מעינותיך חוצה, וזה שכתוב (קהלת י"ב י"ד) יביא במשפט על כל נעלם שגורם שנעלם אם טוב שגילה לו אם רע שאינה כותבה"
    – Dov
    Aug 8, 2022 at 16:52
  • I remember reading somewhere that the Chazon Ish said he published his sefarim because he had bad handwriting and it made it easier for him to read his chiddushim.
    – N.T.
    Aug 8, 2022 at 18:26
  • @NT interesting approach
    – Shmuel
    Aug 8, 2022 at 18:29
  • @Dov thank you, very interesting. Does that implies that we are "robbing" G-d so to speak, when not writing down the novelties we got?
    – Shmuel
    Aug 8, 2022 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


The following might be his source (translations are my own). The gemara in Bava Basra (1ob) says:

ושמעתי שהיו אומרים אשרי מי שבא לכאן ותלמודו בידו

And I heard that they said, "praiseworthy is one who comes here with his studies in his hand."

And the Maharsha comments:

שהיו אומרים אשרי שבא לכאן ותלמודו בידו כו'. יש לפרש כי עיקר הלימוד ושנעשה בו רושם הוא הלימוד הבא מכתיבת יד אשר על כן נקראו החכמים סופרים:

One could explain that the essential form of Torah study and that which make the greatest impression is the study that comes from writing, as for this reason the Chachomim are refered to as scribes.

That was the main answer, the following is related but probably not what you're looking for. I heard R' Michel Shurkin use this Maharsha to answer up a question that the poskim deal with in the beginning of O"C. In siman 47 sif 3 the Shulchan Aruch says that one must recite birchas hatorah before writing divrei torah. The Taz over there (s"k 2) is very bothered by this and he says that in order to make the bracha and have it not be a bracha levatala the person should be careful to speak a little bit in Torah before he writes (he actually does say that because we say יברכך ה' וישמרך וכו that there might not be an issue, ע"ש). This is in rejection of the suggestion that because when someone writes they usually speak a little bit, that justifies making the bracha (like the Talmid R' Yonah and the Chayei Adam want to say). All of this the Mishna Berura sums up neatly, ע"ש ס"ק ד.

Rabbi Shurkin said in the name of R' Akiva Eiger (teshuvos, mahadura kama siman 29) that "ksiva k'dibur dami" (That's how Rabbi Shurkin said it). He then explained that according to the aforementioned Maharsha R' Akiva Eiger should really have said that "dibur k'ksia dami".

The lashon of R' Akiva Eiger (translation is my own) over there is:

משום דמצות עשה של ת"ת נפקא מקרא דושננתם לבניך...ולמדתם את בניכם מש"ה ממעטים הרהור, דבהרהור לא שייך ללמד את בניו, משא"כ בכתיבה עדיף בזה מהרהור, דע"י כתיבה יכול ללמד לאחרים והוא בכלל ושננתם לבניך

...because the positive commandment of Torah study is derived from the verse, "teach them thoroughly to your children...teach them to your children." For this reason we eliminate thought, because through thought it is not possible to teach you children. But this is not so with writing which is better than though in this regard, because though writing one is able to teach others, and this constitutes "teach them thoroughly to your children."

Rabbi Shurkin then said that R' Moshe Feinstein (of whom R' Shurkin was a close talmid for close to 30 years) would always encourage him and others to write as much as possible.

(P.S. It seems that only from the Maharsha do we see clearly that the main beneficiary of writing down what you learn is the one learning/writing. R' Akiva Eiger doesn't necessarily disagree with this, but he does say that in order to constitute talmud Torah, it must be teachable, meaning there must be the possibility of another beneficiary other than one's self, which writing always will accomplish even if while learning you were only thinking in you own head without speaking.)

  • @Shmuel Thank you! I''m not quite sure what you mean, though, by "elaborate more on the halachic perspective". Aug 9, 2022 at 9:05
  • Thank you, interesting approach! That Maharsha also fits very well with this question.
    – Shmuel
    Aug 9, 2022 at 11:45
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    I just found this shout online from Rabbi Shurkin in which he says everything I wrote. At around 10 minutes he talks about the Chazon Ish. media.nermichoel.org.s3.amazonaws.com/… Aug 22, 2022 at 21:18
  • Wonderful, thank you!
    – Shmuel
    Aug 22, 2022 at 21:22
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    @Shmuel It would seem that according to the Maharsha that would be true, but not for the reason you suggeted, rather because it's easier for the person learning to remember what he learned. By the way, I found the R' Akiva Eiger, it's in teshuvos mahadura kama siman 29 and this is how he says it: משום דמ"ע של ת"ת נפקא מקרא דושננתם לבניך ולמדתם את בניכם מש"ה ממעטים הרהור, דבהרהור לא שייך ללמד את בניו, משא"כ בכתיבה עדיף בזה מהרהור, דע"י כתיבה יכול ללמד לאחרים והוא בכלל ושננתם לבניך עיין שם and according to this it would seem like the reasoning you suggested would be true. Oct 10, 2022 at 20:35

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