Gottlieb, Jedidiah ben Israel

views updated


GOTTLIEB, JEDIDIAH BEN ISRAEL (d. 1645), talmudic scholar and itinerant preacher in Poland. He visited the major Jewish communities, especially Lvov (Lemberg), Cracow, and Lublin. His biblical and talmudic homilies (Ahavat ha-Shem) were published in Cracow in 1641, and again in Lublin in 1645. This work includes 50 different explanations of Deuteronomy 10:12. His biblical commentaries, printed in Cracow in 1644 in three volumes under the title Shir Yedidut, reflect Jewish social, religious, and economic life in Poland in the first half of the 17th century, prior to the catastrophe of the *Chmielnicki uprising. As a prominent preacher, Gottlieb had the courage to castigate the rich members of the Jewish communities for being overzealous in their pursuit of worldly riches. He enjoined them to bequeath part of their fortunes for community needs and scholars, rather than leave everything to their children. From Gottlieb's homilies it also transpires that Jews with drive and initiative easily found economic opportunities in trade and tax farming, and acquired considerable wealth. He expressed his preference for "self-made" men over those who acquired wealth by inheritance, and supported their claim to social status. Gottlieb is representative of the itinerant preachers of that period who sensed the spirit of the times and often aroused delight by clever, humorous, or anecdotal explanations of the texts.


Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Krakov (1900), 27; H.H. Ben-Sasson, Hagut ve-Hanhagah (1959), index.

About this article

Gottlieb, Jedidiah ben Israel

Updated About content Print Article