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Meisels, Uzziel ben Ẓevi Hirsch


MEISELS, UZZIEL BEN ẒEVI HIRSCH (1743–1785 or 1786), ḥasidic rabbi in Poland. Meisels was a member of an old rabbinic family in Poland, and a descendant of Moses *Isserles whom he calls "my grandfather" in his works. He served as av bet din in Rychwal (Bogatynia), Ostrowiec, and Nowy Dwor. Attracted to Ḥasidism he became a disciple of *Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezhirech, and with his brother Isaac became one of the propagators of Ḥasidism in Poland. A considerable portion of his teachings in the yeshivah has been lost. His works include Eẓ ha-Da'at Tov, novellae on tractates Ketubbot (1863) and Shabbat (1866); Menorah ha-Tehorah (1883/84), on Tur, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, Hilkhot Shabbat; and Tiferet Ẓevi (1803), on tractate Beẓah. The rest were published post-humously by his grandchildren in Tiferet Uzzi'el. This work includes selections on the Bible and moralistic ḥasidic sermons, combined with kabbalistic themes, though even these reflect the style of the halakhist, and contains many sayings of the founders of Ḥasidism. Meisels was called עבד ה׳ ("Servant of the Lord"), eved being the initial letters of Uzziel ben Dreizel (his mother's name).

[Pnina Meislish]

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