Shlomo Heiman, (1892–1945) commonly known by the informal "Reb Shlomo", was a Rabbi, Talmudist, and Rosh Yeshiva of some of the most prominent yeshivas in Europe and the United States.
In 1892, Reb Shlomo was born in Paritsh, Minsk in Belarus. His father was Rabbi Michel Heiman. When he was 12 years old, he went to the yeshiva of Kaminetz to study under R' Baruch Ber Lebowitz, with whom he was very close. In 1918, he married the daughter of Rabbi Yochanon Rudensky of Volozhin (the brother-in-law of R' Simcha Zelig Riger of Brisk, who served as the dayan for the Brisker Rav).
After his marriage, Reb Baruch Ber asked Reb Shlomo to be a lecturer in the Kaminetz yeshiva, Beis Yitzchok, which was wandering from Slobodka to Krementchug. It was at this time that Reb Shlomo developed a reputation of being one of Lithuania's most outstanding Talmudists. During World War I, Reb Shlomo was briefly drafted into the Russian army for a some time. He served on the front lines of the war, yet still managed to review the entire tractate of Ketubot (Talmud) in the trenches.
After the First World War, Reb Shlomo began to deliver his Talmudic lectures in Ohel Torah of Baranowitz, under the leadership of Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman. In 1927, at the request of Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzensky of Vilna, Reb Shlomo became the Rosh Yeshiva of Ramailles, a position he held until 1935.
In 1935, Reb Shlomo was invited by Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz to lead Mesivta Torah Vodaath in the United States of America. With the approval of Reb Chaim Ozer, Reb Shlomo accepted this position, and therefore was spared the horrors of the Holocaust. Reb Shlomo died at the relatively young age of 52 in 1945.
In America Reb Shlomo faced ardent secularism, which threatened to smother any vestige of the haredi way of life. He once remarked that one whose own children do not pursue the path of Torah can compensate by teaching Torah to the children of others. Despite the prevailing irreligious atmosphere, during the years of Reb Shlomo's tenure at Torah Vodaath, "the yeshivah entered a period of significant growth and expansion".
A two-volume compendium of Reb Shlomo's Talmudic novellae, Chiddushei Rabbi Shlomo, was printed after his death (in 1966), based on Heiman's writings as well as notes of his students. It was released by Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, one of Rav Shlomo's greatest students. It is widely used in many yeshivos, and is considered a basic text among late acharonim. A later book, Shiurei Rabbi Shlomo ('The Lectures of Rabbi Shlomo), printed from the notes of Heiman's students, contains many lectures and novellae not published in Chidushei Rabbi Shlomo. A collection of some of Heiman's original thoughts on the Bible, as well as a few of his ethical discourses has also been published.