The book Eglei Tal was written by Rabbi Avrohom Bornsztain and deals with the 39 melachos of Shabbos.

I was wondering what about this particular book is unique? Why would a person learn this as opposed to the Mishna Berurah, Aruch HaShulchan or other such works that also deal with the 39 melachos? (I suppose another way to ask this question could be- what did the author contribute to the body of halachic work [other than his particular psak on any given subject?])

(I am assuming that there is something unique to this book other than the authors particular psak.)

  • 3
    Mishna Berura and Aruch HaShulchan weren't around when this was written.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 15:57
  • 3
    Have you opened it? It's in a completely different style and is meant for a different audience. But I don't understand the question anyway... what's the "need" for so many shu"t seforim? What's unique about the Pnei Yehoshua, Keren Orah, Tzlach, Nachalas Dovid, Aruch Laner, etc...? Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 15:59
  • @Matt I was aksing because it seems like a particularly popular book and, in my experience, a popular halacha book is usually popular due to it's format (or something like format) and not because of the content. I wasn't really asking about the "need" rather the "attraction to".
    – Gavriel
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 11:56
  • this seems largely opinion based.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 21:16
  • Who uses this seffer lihalacha?
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 1:50

3 Answers 3


My subjective opinion is that this book is more focused on the theoretical foundations of the melachot.

While aruch hashulchan and mishna brurah is very focused on giving you the psak, eglei tal is more focused on explaining the definitions of the melachot.

My assumption is that if a posek knows the eglei tal well it will help him to come to a conclusion for a new case where a psak does not exist.

For us it will help us to understand the aruch hashulchan and mishna brurah better


Eglei Tal discussed the halachic parameters of each of the first 12 melachos. He explains the theories involved as well as developing the proper halachic guidelines (according to his rulings). He has a shorter section where he gives his conclusions about the parameters and rulings, as well as a longer commentary where he traces his conclusions from the gemaras and early commentators.

In addition, in his longer commentary, he compares and contrasts the melachos in light of other mitzvos. So in regards to planting and harvesting, for example, he also discusses the difference between the melacha on Shabbos and during Shmitta. I believe he also discusses the difference between squeezing fruits on Shabbos, and doing so with teruma fruits. Etc.

Thus his work is extremely comprehensive, full of fundamental principles, in addition to being a classic work of halachic guidelines.

It's worth noting that he only wrote on the first 12 melachos. A contemporary edition of his work contains responsa from his work Avnei Nezer dealing other melachos, to make the work more comprehensive.

And Rav Yirmiyahu Kaganoff, a contemporary rav in Jerusalem, has published 3 volumes of his sefer Nimla Tal on the rest of the melachos, in the the style of the Eglei Tal.


It is also special about it in a "cultural" sense that it is unusual for a Hasidic rebbe to write a classical "learning" type of sefer, which is studied in Yeshivishe circles as well.

(Disclaimer: I personally don't know the book, I just heard this remark from my rabbi - I hope I haven't distorted it.)

  • 2
    Other Yehivah Chassidic classics include Minchat Chinnuch, Sefat Emmet, Totzaot Chaim of R. M. Ziemba, and Avnei Nezer.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 21:16
  • I honestly don't think that is true.
    – N.T.
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 18:58

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