Zevi Elimelech of Dynow

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Hasidic Zaddik, Rabbi, and author (1785–1841). Extremely learned in the Talmud, Codes, Kabbalah, and the literature of early Hasidism, Zevi Elimelech objected to Jews studying secular subjects and was a fiery opponent of the Haskalah. Once, it is reported, carried away by his zeal, he begged God that even if Moses Mendelssohn was in heaven, since he was a pious Jew in practice, he should be brought down to the nethermost part of Gehinnom for the part he played in causing Israel to sin. Zevi Elimelech, a very prolific author, is best known for his Beney Yissakhar (Sons of Issaachar), a classic of Hasidic literature abounding in original ideas, though based firmly in the tradition. The tile of the book is taken from the verse: ‘And the sons of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times’ (1 Chronicles 12: 33). This refers to the nature of the work as a detailed commentary to the ‘sacred times’ in the Jewish calendar, the Sabbath and the festivals.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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