Jacob Joseph of Polonnoye

views updated

Jacob Joseph of Polonnoye (c.1710–84), Ḥasidic teacher and author, known as Toledot (from his book Toledot Yaʿakov Yosef, ‘The Generations of Jacob Joseph’, 1780). Already a rabbi, he met and became a disciple of Baʿal Shem Tov (Israel ben Eliezer) when he was about 35. He became a zaddik, understanding the zaddik as ‘the soul of the world’. His other major works (alluding to Joseph in the title) were Ben Porat Yosef (‘Joseph is a Fruitful Vine’, 1781), Tzafenat Paneʾah (the name given to Joseph by Pharaoh in Genesis 41. 45, 1782), and Ketonat Passim (‘Coat of Many Colours’, pub. 1866).