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Margoliouth, Meir of Ostraha

MARGOLIOUTH, MEIR OF OSTRAHA

MARGOLIOUTH, MEIR OF OSTRAHA (Ostrog ; d. 1790), ḥasidic rabbi in Poland; a disciple of *Israel b. Eliezer the Ba'al Shem Tov. He was descended from a celebrated rabbinical family. From a very early age he and his elder brother became devoted and loved disciples of the Ba'al Shem Tov. R. Meir, who gained a reputation as one of the greatest scholars of his age, served as rabbi in Jaslo and later in Horodenka (Gorodenka); in 1755 he was appointed rabbi in the Lvov region and in 1777 was appointed rabbi Ostraha, a title officially confirmed by the King of Poland, Stanislas ii Augustus, which established his authority over all the rabbis of the district. He wrote works on halakhah and Kabbalah, and also long didactic poems. His great prestige helped to promote Ḥasidism, which at that time gave it important support. He had five sons, all of whom became noted rabbis and scholars. His works are Meir Netivim (Polonnoye, 1791–92); Sod Yakhin u-Vo'az (Ostrog, 1794); Derekh ha-Tov ve-ha-Yashar (Polonnoye, 1795); and Kotnot Or (Berdichev, 1816).

bibliography:

M. Biber, Mazkeret li-Gedolei Ostraha (1907), 198–209, 270–3; S. Buber, Anshei Shem (1895), 137–49, 202.

[Adin Steinsaltz]

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