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Lawat, Abraham David ben Judah Leib


LAWAT, ABRAHAM DAVID BEN JUDAH LEIB (1835–1890), ḥasidic rabbi and author in the Ukraine. From his youth Abraham David was attracted to *Chabad Ḥasidism, being among the closest followers of Menahem Mendel *Schneersohn, author of Ẓemah Ẓedek. On the initiative of his teacher, he founded a ḥasidic yeshivah in Nikolayev; he also became rabbi of the ḥasidic community of the town (in about 1870). After the death of Menahem Mendel, Abraham David became one of the chief supporters of his son, Samuel of *Lubavich. Abraham David wrote important manuals and reference books in various fields, both on halakhah and in clarification of the Chabad system in Kabbalah and halakhah. His work Kav Naki (Warsaw, 1868) on the laws of divorce and the writing of the names in divorce bills is one of the basic works on this subject. He wrote Beit Aharon ve-Tosafot (Vilna, 1881), an enlargement on the Beit Aharon of *Aaron of Pesaro, giving additional references to biblical verses in talmudic and midrashic literature, and adding references from the *Zohar and Chabad literature. In 1887 he published a new edition of the Torah Or Siddur according to the prayer book of *Shneur Zalman of Lyady which is used by the Chabad Hasidim. In this edition, he made an effort to present an accurate and corrected text, to which he appended two works: Netiv ha-Ḥayyim, which accompanies the Derekh ha-Ḥayyim of Jacob b. Jacob Moses *Lorbeerbaum of Lissa where he cites the decisions of Shneur Zalman of Lyady whenever they differ from those of the Derekh ha-Ḥayyim; and Sha'arei Tefillah (in subsequent editions, from 1896, in its enlarged and amended form entitled Sha'ar ha-Kolel) in 49 chapters. These deal with the sources of and reasons for the version of the above siddur, especially where it differs from the Ashkenazi and Sephardi versions.


L. Ovchinski, Nahalat Avot (1894), 18 para. 69; D.Z. Heilman, Beit Rabbi, 3 (1902; repr. 1965), 257; A.D. Lawat, Kav Naki (19514; 19665), introd.

[Adin Steinsaltz,

Meir Medan]

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