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Zanz


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Town in Galicia of which Hayyim Halberstam (1793–1876) was the Rabbi; he was also the founder of the Zanzer dynasty in Hasidism. Halberstam, a profound Talmudist, was won over to Hasidism by Shalom Rokeah of Belz. All eight of his sons became Hasidic masters, the most famous of them being Ezekiel Shraga of Sieniwa (1811–90). A grandson founded the dynasty of Bobov, and Bobover Hasidism still flourishes in the USA. Like Hayyim himself, his descendants were noted both for their learning and their zealotry. Hayyim Halberstam, unusually for a Hasidic master, was familiar with the works of the medieval Jewish philosophers. It is said that on Kol Nidre night he would study Maimonides’ Guide of the perplexed, evidently believing that many of its ideas can be accommodated within Hasidic doctrine. His Divrey Hayyim on the Torah was published in Munkacs in 1877 and his Responsa, with the same title, in Lvov in 1875. A mystical note is sounded even in Halberstam's Responsa, as when he defends (no. 105) the idea that the Holy Spirit was still at work in the writing of such later authors as Hayyim Ibn Atar and that anyone who denies this is a heretic.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.


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