R' Asher was born in 1754, in the old age of his father, the
Sha'agat Aryeh (one of the greatest Torah scholars of the 18th
century). R' Asher was a student of his father and of R' Meir
Zayeh of Metz, and later served as rabbi of Karlsruhe.|
R' Gedaliah Rothenburg of Bodingheim, a student of the Sha'agat
Aryeh and of R' Asher, writes of the latter (in his approbation
to the former's Talmud commentary, Gevurat Ari):
The son is a limb of his father . . . and is a famous rabbi
known throughout the diaspora. . . As a youngster, seven or
eight years old, he already had a sharp and well-honed mind.
At that age, if he was shown a difficult passage by Rambam
and was told in what part of the gemara the answer lay, he
could work out the answer in a short time. When he became
bar mitzvah, his father said to him, "Because I know that
you have a clear mind and that you are a vessel which is fit
to receive the Torah of Hashem, therefore be strong and
become a person who is great in Torah - "A wise son pleases
his father" [in the words of Mishlei 10:1] - then I will be
honored because of you in the world of Truth." When he was
15 years old, he studied with his father an entire tractate
every day . . . When he was 17 or 18, the rabbinical court
and the Torah scholars of Metz and all the travelers who
passed through Metz were amazed by his sharpness and vast
knowledge, and his father publicly declared that his son was
sharper than he.
The best known student of R' Asher was R' Yaakov Ettlinger,
author of the popular Talmud commentary, Aruch La'Ner, and
teacher of R' Samson Raphael Hirsch. R' Ettlinger attributed to
R' Asher the most powerful influence on his way of learning.
Some of R' Asher's Talmudic interpretations are printed in
She'eilot U'teshuvot Sha'agat Aryeh Ha'chaddashot and in R'
Ettlinger's Binyan Zion. R' Asher died in 1837. (Sources:
Gedolei Hadorot 532-533; Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch [Artscroll],