||Classical ethical work by R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal, 1707–1746), Mesillat Yesharim. It was so highly regarded by the Vilna Gaon, (Gr”a) that, that he wrote that if Luzzatto were alive in his generation, he would go to him, from Vilna to Italy, by foot, in order to sit at his feet and learn from him. Gr”a stated that R. Luzzato had a greater understanding of the tenets of Judaism than could be attained by any other mortal.
R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal, 1707–1746) was a kabbalist, writer of ethical works, and Hebrew poet; leader of a group of religious thinkers, who were mainly interested in the problems of redemption and messianism. R. Luzzatto was born in Padua, Italy, into one of the most important, oldest, and most respectable families in Italian Jewry. Regarded as a genius from childhood, he knew Bible, Talmud, Midrash, halakhic literature, and classical languages and literature thoroughly. While he was immersed in kabbalistic speculations, he suddenly heard a divine voice, which he believed to be that of a maggid (i.e., a divine power inclined to reveal heavenly secrets to human beings). From that moment, the Maggid spoke to Luzzatto frequently and he noted these revelations, which comprised his kabbalistic writings for a few years.
Even Shelomo Tosefa - Ethical work based on the Vilna Gaon by R. Samuel ben Abraham Moltsan. The title page states that it is intended to interpret the way of the Torah and divine service, to remove stumbling blocks, and brings other wondrous matters. All is based on the writings of earlier sages as explained by the Vilna Gaon. This is accompanied by a commentary by remez (allusion) and notes from R. Moltsan. This edition is noteworthy for the inclusion of considerable material from the students of the Gaon and additional notes. It was brought to press by R. Isaac Moltsan, son of the author. The verso of the title page has Cyrillic text, and then the table of contents. Even Shelomo Tosefa is comprised of eleven chapters, beginning with breaking bad character traits, which is the basis of divine service and, in the second chapter, anger, desire, and arrogance. Other subjects are learning Torah; fear, love, and keeping mitzvot; the correct way to educate and reprove children; idleness and conversely zeal in learning Torah as well as the difference between being occupied in Torah and other mitzvot; prayer; the soul leaving the body and reward and punishment in this world and and the world to come. The last chapter deals with the erev rav, the birth pangs of the Messiah and the future redemption. There are four pages with twelve approbations, an introduction and preface, followed by an introduction from the author’s son. The text is in a single column. It is comprised of Even Shelomo on the top of the page in square letters and below extensive annotations and glosses in rabbinic type. At the end is Megillat Esther with the commentary of the Vilna Gaon.