David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida

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DAVID BEN ARYEH LEIB OF LIDA

DAVID BEN ARYEH LEIB OF LIDA (c. 1650–1696), rabbi and author; nephew of Moses b. Ẓevi Naphtali *Rivkes. He studied under *Joshua Hoeschel b. Jacob of Cracow, and in 1671 was called to the rabbinate in Lida. Subsequently he officiated as rabbi of Ostrog, Mainz (1677), and of the Ashkenazi community of Amsterdam (1681). There he was accused of Shabbatean leanings as well as of literary plagiarism in connection with his Migdal David, a commentary on the Book of Ruth (1680) which some ascribed to *Ḥayyim b. Abraham ha-Kohen. After being dismissed from his position, David returned to Poland, where he presented his case to the Council of the Four Lands and aired it in a pamphlet entitled Be'er Esek ("Well of Contention," 1684). The Polish rabbinate vindicated him and demanded his reinstatement. On his return to Amsterdam, however, his case was raised again, this time by the Sephardi rabbis, who subsequently likewise vindicated him. He returned to Poland shortly thereafter and died in Lvov. He was the author of numerous homiletic and kabbalistic works, including Sod Adonai (1680), on circumcision; Shomer Shabbat (1687), on the Shabbat; and Ir Miklat (1690), on the 613 commandments. A collection of 14 of his compositions was published under the title Yad Kol Bo in 1727. Another work on the Shulḥan Arukh Oraḥ Ḥayyim remains in manuscript. It is now clear that his first work, an ethical treatise, Divrei David (1671), was drawn from other sources, while the Asarah Hillulim, a commentary on Psalms (included in Yad Kol Bo), was incorrectly attributed to David by the publishers, having been taken from the commentary on Psalms by the Christian scholar, H.J. *Bashuysen. Much of the controversy which centered around David stemmed from his militancy and aggressiveness. Among his severest critics was Jacob *Emden.

bibliography:

Michael, Or, no. 700; Freimann, in: Sefer ha-Yovel … N. Sokolow (1904), 459–80.

[Jacob S. Levinger]