Aryeh Leib Sarahs

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ARYEH LEIB SARAHS (i.e., son of Sarah; 1730–1791), semi-legendary ḥasidic *ẓaddik. He was born in Rovno, Poland. Although his father's name was Joseph, Aryeh Leib was known as Leib Sarahs after his mother. This unusual form of identification may derive from a prayer in the mystical Book of *Raziel, which mentions a Leib b. Sarah. Aryeh Leib was the disciple of the Maggid *Dov Baer of Mezhirech. His saying: "I did not go to the Maggid of Mezhirech to learn Torah from him but to watch him tie his boot laces" emphasized that the ẓaddik's personality and conduct are of prime importance for *Ḥasidism. Aryeh Leib had the personality and popular status typical of the itinerant ẓaddikim who preceded *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov, the founder of Ḥasidism. He wandered from place to place helping the needy, especially by securing the release of imprisoned debtors. His deeds are embellished by popular legend which relates that he came, while invisible, to the court of Emperor *Joseph ii in Vienna, to obtain the abrogation of measures included in the *Toleranzpatent (1782). Legends about Aryeh Leib Sarahs penetrated into Ukrainian folk literature. He died in Yaltushkov (Podolia).


Dubnow, Ḥasidut, 176, 191–3; M. Bodek, Sefer ha-Dorot he-Ḥadash, 2 (1965), 43–49; Horodezky, Ḥasidut, 2 (19534), 7–12; R. Margalioth, Gevurat Ari (1911).

[Avraham Rubinstein]