Eger, Judah Leib of Lublin

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EGER, JUDAH LEIB OF LUBLIN (1816–1888), ḥasidic ẓaddik, son of Solomon *Eger, grandson of Akiva *Eger the Younger. Born in Warsaw, Judah studied in Posen under his grandfather, whom he regarded as an example of moral virtues. He also studied at the yeshivah of Isaac Meir Alter (later the founder of the ḥasidic Gur dynasty) in Warsaw, through whose influence Judah became a Ḥasid. After his marriage Judah settled in Lublin, and visited Menahem Mendel of *Kotsk (Kock), continuing as his disciple despite opposition from his family. When Menahem Mendel secluded himself from society, Judah became a disciple of Mordecai Joseph Leiner of Izbica. After his father's death in 1852 Judah declined the position of rabbi of Posen. Following the death of the Izbica ẓaddik in 1854 Judah led his own ḥasidic congregation in Lublin. It was not until after the death of Menahem Mendel of Kotsk in 1859, however, that Judah assumed the role of ẓaddik and propounded his own teachings. Judah Leib's moral integrity and conduct won him esteem even from people who opposed Ḥasidism. He spent a long time over prayer, devoting himself to it with concentration and fervor, accompanied by weeping and loud cries. His manner of prayer, which was contrary to the tradition of his preceptors, aroused severe criticism. Judah's teachings on the portions of the law and the festivals were arranged by his son Abraham in Torat Emet (3 vols., 1889–90) and Imrei Emet (2 vols., 1902–3). Judah corresponded on halakhic questions with his relatives Abraham Samuel Benjamin *Sofer in Pressburg and Simeon x*Sofer in Cracow. Abraham succeeded Judah as leader of his disciples from 1882 to 1914. He was the author of a work on Ḥasidism, Shevet mi-Yehudah (1922–38). Judah Leib's grandsons Solomon and Ezriel Meir continued to lead their congregation until they perished in the Holocaust.


A.I. Bromberg, Mi-Gedolei ha-Ḥasidut, 13 (1958), 91–158.