Eliezer ben Manasseh ben Baruch

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ELIEZER BEN MANASSEH BEN BARUCH

ELIEZER BEN MANASSEH BEN BARUCH (mid-18th century), preacher in western Russia and author of an ethical work. In his youth, Eliezer spent some time studying in Berlin. It is not known who his teachers were or what he studied there. After some years of traveling, he was appointed av bet din in Rozwadow, where he probably spent most of his life. Later, at the time of the printing of his book, he was a preacher in the town of Tarnigrad. His Ir Dammesek Eliezer (Zolkiew, 1764) is, for the most part, a detailed homiletic and halakhic analysis of the weekly Torah portions. Each homily is divided into two parts: "Ḥuẓot Dammesek" and "Penei Dammesek." Very often Eliezer brings lengthy sayings and rules by contemporary East European rabbis; his work is thus an important source for their teachings. The second part of this book, a short ethical work entitled "Sha'arei Dammesek," contains four sections called she'arim ("gates"). The first deals with the Torah, the second with prayer, and the third, with repentance; the fourth, "the gate of Jerusalem," deals mainly with reverence toward and fear of God. To this last section the author added, at the conclusion of the work, a collection of homilies on various ethical themes, called "Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer." Well versed in Kabbalah, Eliezer often quotes both the Zohar and ethical kabbalistic literature, in addition to the usual rabbinic sources.

bibliography:

Benjacob, Oẓar, 440.

[Joseph Dan]