Dov Baer of Mezhirech

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Dov Baer of Mezhirech (d. 1772). An early ḥasidic leader. A Talmudic and kabbalistic scholar, Dov Baer was generally recognized as the successor of the Baal Shem Tov (Israel ben Eliezer). He lived an ascetic life and, by his saintliness, set a pattern for future Zaddikim (Ḥasidic leaders). His doctrines have been preserved through collections of his sayings and through the works of his disciples. His activities were strongly condemned by the Orthodox in Vilna, who pronounced a ban of ex-communication (ḥerem) on the movement, and this is said to have hastened Dov Baer's death.

He is also known as ‘the Great Maggid’ because of his powerful preaching and aphorisms. His teachings were collected after his death in Maggid Devarav le-Yaʿaqov (1781).