Dawidsohn, Ḥayyim

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DAWIDSOHN, ḤAYYIM (1760–1854), merchant, community leader, and rabbi. Born in Pinczow, he was elected head of the ḥevra kaddisha in 1801. When the authorities dissolved the Warsaw kehillah in 1831 he was one of the three directors (dozory) appointed in its place. Himself a Mitnagged and Orthodox, Dawidsohn cooperated with the Ḥasidim and the assimilationists. With the incumbent rabbi of Warsaw, Solomon Zalman *Lipshitz, he opposed Jews joining the city guards during the insurrection of 1831, giving as a reason that they would have to shave. After the death of Lipshitz in 1839, Dawidsohn was elected rabbi of Warsaw despite his advanced years. He burned all his writings, mainly on halakhah, shortly before his death, considering that none of them was worthy of publication. His eldest son, Abraham Abele, was rabbi in Biala, and his second son, Naphtali, was a wealthy merchant.


J. Shatzky, Yidishe Bildungs Politik in Poyln fun 1806 bis 1860 (1943), index; D. Flinker, in: Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 3 (1948), 106–8; EG, 1 (1953), 297–8; A.B. Bromberg, Mi Gedolei ha-Ḥasidut, 15 (1959), 80–127; H. Seidman, in: Velt Federatsye fun Poylishe Yidu, Yorbuch (1964), 247–51.