(1748 - 1820)
Rabbi Avraham Danzig was born in Danzig, Poland (which today is known as Gdansk). He studied in Prague.
It appears that he lived in Vilna for most of his life where he
served as a dayan - judge. However, until very late in his
life he never accepted money for his religious activities but earned
his livelihood as a merchant.
He was the author of several works. The most
famous of his works are the Chayei Adam and the Chochmas
Adam. Chayei Adam deals with the laws of daily conduct,
prayer, Sabbath, and holidays,
the laws discussed in the Orech Chaim section of the Shulchan
Aruch. Together with the Chayei Adam he published Nishmas
Adam, in which he discusses the halachic issues in greater depth. Chochmas Adam discusses the laws of kashrus and other issues discussed in the Yoreh Deah section of the Shulchan
Aruch. Together with Chochmas Adam he published Binas
Adam, which parallels the Nishmas Adam published with the Chayei
Both of these works gained very widespread
popularity and have become standard sources for halachic study. In fact, throughout Europe groups began to form called Chevros
Chayei Adam which were devoted to the study of Chayei Adam.
(There were many such chevros - associations. For example,
practically every town had a Chevra Shas - devoted to the
study of the Talmud.)
While today the Chayei Adam has been
somewhat superceded as a general standard by later works, like Kitzur
Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Berurah, the Chayei Adam and Chochmas Adam remain important works which are widely
In addition to these two works for which he is
best known, Rabbi Danzig also wrote other books. Among these:
Zichru Toras Moshe - an introduction to the laws of Shabbos.
Kitzur Sefer Chareidim - an abridgement of the classic Sefer
Chareidim by Rabbi Elazar Ezkari.
Toldos Adam - a commentary on the Passover Hagadah.
He also mentions a work titled Shaarei Tzedek in his introduction to Zichru Toras Moshe, but I have not yet
been able to determine what this book is about
Torah Center for Basic Jewish Education