Skip to main content

David of Makow


DAVID OF MAKOW (d. 1814), maggid and dayyan in Makow, born in Rovno. In his youth he was an adherent of the ḥasidic leader *Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk, but after the Ḥasidim were excommunicated by *Elijah b. Solomon Zalman, the Gaon of Vilna, in 1772, David of Makow became one of his followers and joined the Mitnaggedim (opponents of Ḥasidism). He warned against the danger which he saw in the teachings of Ḥasidism, considering the way of life of the Ḥasidim as a threat to normative Judaism, and was harshly critical of Ḥasidism, blaming the courts of ẓaddikim for the spread of religious and moral anarchy. He took to task important Ḥasidim, including *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov. Two anti-ḥasidic works attributed to him (though some consider that they were written by his son, Ezekiel of Radzymin) are Zemir Ariẓim (Warsaw, 1798) and a well-known treatise which exists in three versions: Shever Poshe'im (Jerusalem, National Library, Ms. 8° 2405), Zot Torat ha-Kena'ot (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Mich. 45, fols. 106–79), and Zimrat ha-Areẓ (Ms. Leningrad, Asiatic Museum). David of Makow also wrote commentaries on the Bible and the Mishnah which were never published; the manuscripts were destroyed in a fire in Serock in 1893. Two letters and his will, which are still extant, are anti-ḥasidic in content. David of Makow is the most noted polemicist against Ḥasidism in the years 1772 to 1798. His style and tone express the bitterness existing between the two camps. Echoes of this criticism of Ḥasidism are to be found in *Haskalah literature, as in the writings of Joseph *Perl and Peter *Beer. David's sons were Ezekiel of Radzymin (d. 1814) and Raphael, the father of Shabbetai, who copied Zot Torat ha-Kena'ot. His daughter Rachel married Joshua of Makow, who also took part in the struggle against Ḥasidism.


Dubnow, Ḥasidut, index; E.R. Malachi, in: Sefer ha-Yovel shel Hadoar (1952), 286–300; M. Wilensky, in: paajr, 25 (1956), 137–56; idem, in: Tarbiz, 27 (1957/58), 550–5; idem, in: Divrei ha-Congress ha-Olami ha-Revi'i le-Madda'ei ha-Yahadut, 2 (1968), 237–51; idem, Ḥasidim u-Mitnaggedim (1970), index; A. Rubinstein, in: ks, 35 (1959/60), 240–9; idem, in: Koveẓ Bar-Ilan, 8 (1970), 225–43.

[Esther (Zweig) Liebes]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"David of Makow." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 24 Mar. 2019 <>.

"David of Makow." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 24, 2019).

"David of Makow." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.