Eliezer Fischel ben Isaac of Strzyzow

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ELIEZER FISCHEL BEN ISAAC OF STRZYZOW

ELIEZER FISCHEL BEN ISAAC OF STRZYZOW (end of 18th century), Galician kabbalist. Eliezer, who was born and lived in Strzyzow near Tarnopol, was close to the circle of the kabbalists of the Klaus of Brody, and devoted four books to the exposition of kabbalistic teaching in which the principles of Lurianic doctrine were presented in a more lucid way than in earlier works. His works include:

(1) Sefer Olam ha-Gadol, also called Midrash la-Perushim (Zolkiew, 1800); (2) Sefer Olam Eḥad, on the unity of God according to kabbalistic teaching (ibid., 1802); (3) Sefer Olam Barur, on the doctrine of the elevation of sparks (niẓoẓot) and purification of souls (ibid., 1800?); and (4) Sefer Olam Hafukh, homilies on morality in Kabbalah (ibid., 1800?).

In addition to his works on Kabbalah, he also published Olam Va'ed (1849), on the calculation of the seasons and new moons (first days of months). Eliezer was nevertheless considered one of the leading opponents of Ḥasidism and several of his books contain both explicit and implicit criticism of the practices of the Ḥasidim.

[Gershom Scholem]