Eliashov, Solomon ben Ḥayyim

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ELIASHOV, SOLOMON BEN ḤAYYIM

ELIASHOV, SOLOMON BEN ḤAYYIM (1841–1926), kabbalist. Eliashov, who was born in Zagara, Lithuania, studied in the yeshivah in Telz, but spent most of his life as a private citizen in Shavli in Samogitia, Lithuania and never took a rabbinic position. In 1915 he was expelled with the rest of his community to Russia and in 1922 (or 1924) he settled in Jerusalem. Eliashov was considered one of the greatest kabbalists in Russia at the end of the 19th century. His method was influenced by the tradition of *Elijah b. Solomon, the Gaon of Vilna, and his disciples, and he generally opposed those who interpreted Kabbalah in an idealistic manner, particularly the kabbalistic commentaries of Moses Ḥayyim *Luzzatto and the Chabad Ḥasidim. All his works on Kabbalah, which he rewrote in several versions, were compiled at the end of the 19th century under the general title Sefer Leshem Shevo ve-Aḥlamah (Ex. 28:19). They include the following published works: Sefer Hakdamot u-She'arim (Piotrkow, 1908); Sefer ha-De'ah (an abbreviation for Derushei Olam ha-Tohu) in two volumes (Piotrkow, 1911); Sefer ha-Kelalim, on the principles of egressus and digressus in the process of emanation, two volumes (Jerusalem, 1924–26, but actually completed only in 1930); Sefer Ḥelkei ha-Be'urim, a commentary on Hayyim *Vital's Eẓ Ḥayyim in two volumes (Jerusalem, 1935–49). His glosses and additions to Eẓ Ḥayyim were also published in the Warsaw 1890 edition of that work. The works of Eliashov contain a highly detailed systematic description of the Lurianic Kabbalah concerning the doctrine of aẓilut ("emanation"). It was said that Eliashov accomplished for the works of Isaac *Luria what Moses *Cordovero had done for the *Zohar.

bibliography:

A. Levin, Toledot ha-Ga'on ha-Kadosh, Meḥabber Sifrei Leshem Shevo ve-Aḥlamah (1935).

[Gershom Scholem]