Eliezer ben Meir Ha-Levi of Pinsk

views updated


ELIEZER BEN MEIR HA-LEVI OF PINSK (second half 18th century), rabbi and darshan. A descendant of Samuel *Edels (Maharsha), Eliezer was rosh yeshivah in Pinsk in the 1760s and 1770s, and, in the early 1780s, rabbi and av bet din in Chomsk (Khomsk). Returning to Pinsk in the late 1780s, he served as the rabbi of that city and of its kloyz (a type of bet ha-midrash). In this latter period, he became involved in a dispute in connection with a ḥasidic leader, Aaron ha-Gadol. The Maggid*Dov Ber of *Mezhirech sent a letter to Eliezer in which he requested that they unite in one group together with Aaron. The exact nature of this dispute is not known; some think that Eliezer was sympathetic to the Ḥasidim.

Eliezer wrote two homiletic works, Si'aḥ ha-Sadeh (Shklov, 1787) and Re'aḥ ha-Sadeh (ibid., 1795), the first containing one sermon for each weekly Torah portion, and the second, two for each weekly Torah portion. The sermons, primarily ethical and moralistic in tone, are concerned with repentance in the realm of the mitzvot between man and God. Eliezer often uses kabbalistic symbols.


Nadav, in: Zion, 34 (1969), 101–4; W.Z. Rabinowitsch, Lithuanian Ḥasidism (1970), index.