In the Ba'eir Heiteiv (באר היטב) commentary to the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 1, at the end of s'if katan 13, we find the words:

וכן העתיק הבאר היטב אשר לפני ע״ש ולא ידעתי למה.

And likewise, the Ba'eir Heiteiv that is in front of me brought/wrote [this idea], see there; and I do not know why.

Is this indeed a self-citation, and if so, why are his own words incomprehensible to him?

  • 5
    there was a previous sefer called be'er heitev, and that is what he is quoting--אשר לפני means "that preceded me," not "that is in front of me"
    – wfb
    Oct 15, 2015 at 18:27
  • @wfb Can you point me to this sefer? If true, please post as an answer.
    – magicker72
    Oct 15, 2015 at 18:28
  • see the first paragraph of wikipedia here he.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – wfb
    Oct 15, 2015 at 18:29
  • @wfb Is this original באר היטב from רבי ישעיה בן רבי אברהם extant?
    – magicker72
    Oct 15, 2015 at 18:32
  • 2
    @wfb Please post your comments as an answer.
    – LN6595
    Oct 16, 2015 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


There was a previous sefer called Be'er Heitev, by R. Yeshayah b. R. Avraham, and that is what he is quoting--אשר לפני means "that preceded me," not "that is in front of me." See here.

  • This seems very likely. It would very nice to confirm this by finding a copy of this original באר היטב that contains the referenced comments. But as mentioned above, perhaps it is no longer extant.
    – magicker72
    Oct 18, 2015 at 1:57
  • The Machon Yerushalyim edition of Shulchan Aruch has both Ba'er Heitevs printed together (the older one in square letters). I couldn't find this particular reference though. Look here, maybe you'll find it.
    – robev
    Feb 7, 2021 at 19:32

See beginning of the siman you quoted:

כמבואר בשלחן ערוך יורה דעה סי' ה'

He's talking about Yoreh De'ah which was written by a different person under the same commentary name. From Wikipedia:

On the sections of Choshen Mishpat and Yoreh De'ah, the commentary was written by Zechariah Mendel ben Aryeh Leib, a Polish rabbi who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to me that the reference to Yoreh De'ah does not carry forward to the discussion in the rest of the Ba'eir Heiteiv's comment. I also looked at the Ba'eir Heiteiv on that siman in Yoreh De'ah, and could not find a relevant comment.
    – magicker72
    Oct 15, 2015 at 19:46

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