Israel Ḥarif of Satanov

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ISRAEL ḤARIF OF SATANOV (d. 1781), homilist and kabbalist. A famous rabbi of his time, known for his deep knowledge of both halakhah and Kabbalah, Israel was a member of the first group of Ḥasidim to follow *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of the movement. Israel wrote many works, some of which were lost and others accidentally burned. Only one major work, Tiferet Yisrael, a collection of kabbalistic homilies delivered during the years 1747–80, appeared in print. The book was published in Lemberg in 1865 by his grandson, Rabbi Abraham Isaiah Yaffe, who added an introductory note. Another of Israel's writings found in Abraham Yaffe's possession was an interpretation of the Holy Name, a work often quoted in Tiferet Yisrael.

Israel was a traditional Lurianic kabbalist, whose concepts of the world, redemption, and ethics were derived from the teachings of that school. His work lays great emphasis on the expectation of the redemption and gives several calculations when the Messiah will come and the process of redemption will begin; the latest date given is 1788. However, this messianic interest did not bring Israel into alliance with the followers of Shabbetai Ẓevi and Jacob Frank, his book rather containing clear polemical expressions opposing the Shabbatean movement. It is probable that Israel was closely connected with Ba'al Shem Tov, but there is no proof that his theology was influenced by the teachings of the new Ḥasidism.


I. Tishby, in: Zion, 32 (1967), 10–15; G. Scholem, in: Tarbiz, 25 (1955/56), 432; B. Minz, in: Shivḥei ha-Besht (1961), 39–45.

[Joseph Dan]

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Israel Ḥarif of Satanov

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Israel Ḥarif of Satanov