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Apta, Meir

APTA, MEIR

APTA, MEIR (1760?–1831), ḥasidic rabbi and kabbalist. He was born in Apta (now Opatow), Poland. Meir, a pupil of Isaac of Pinczow, served as rabbi in Stobnitsa at an early age, and later in Apta. He was a disciple of *Jacob Isaac ha-Ḥozeh ("the seer") of Lublin, and became his chief successor after his death. His views appear in Or la-Shamayim (1850). Meir's doctrine was conservative and contains few innovations. Its main importance was his rejection of the teachings introduced by Jacob Isaac ha-Yehudi ha-Kadosh of *Przysucha and his school. In some respects Meir may be considered the prototype of the ḥasidic traditionalist. He emphasized the central role of the *ẓaddik, and stressed the principles of piety, reverence, unostentatious performance of religious precepts, and comradely cohesion within the movement, which he regarded as the most important aspects of Ḥasidism. Meir was succeeded by his son Phinehas (died 1837). Phinehas' son, Isaac Menahem of Wolbrom, headed a large ḥasidic congregation; he was succeeded by his son, Alter Meir David (died 1911).

bibliography:

R. Mahler, Ha-Ḥasidut ve-ha-Haskalah (1961), index.

[Adin Steinsaltz]

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