Isaac ben Eliakim of Posen

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ISAAC BEN ELIAKIM OF POSEN (17th century), Yiddish moralist and author. Isaac wrote Lev Tov (Prague, 1620), an ethical-religious work in 20 chapters, providing rules for prayer and correct observance of mitzvot, and proper behavior for home and synagogue. It was reprinted with additions by Ḥayyim b. Jacob Orbach (Cracow, 1641). Unlike other Yiddish ethical works, Lev Tov was addressed to both men and women. It counseled the men to honor their wives – since they educate the children to keep a Jewish home – and, despite a traditional view of gender relations, stressed that men and women have equal rights. This work became very popular but was criticized in the anonymous Yiddish book, Hasoges (Hassagot; Amsterdam, c. 1710). Isaac was apparently attracted to Kabbalah. From Venice, Moses *Zacuto sent him his treatise on the laws of writing Torah scrolls, Tikkun Soferim, for approval (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Opp. 554, which also contains Isaac's reply).


Fuerst, Bibliotheca, 2 (1863), 140f; Zinberg, Sifrut, 4 (1958), 82f.; M. Erik, Geshikhte fun der Yidisher Literatur (1923), 294–301. add. bibliography: J. Winter and S. Wünsche, Juedische Literatur, 3 (1896), 541–2; J.C. Frakes, Early Yiddish Texts: 11001750 (2004), 536–40.

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Isaac ben Eliakim of Posen

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