Moses Ḥayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow
MOSES ḤAYYIM EPHRAIM OF SUDYLKOW
MOSES ḤAYYIM EPHRAIM OF SUDYLKOW (c. 1740–1800?), ḥasidic preacher and ẓaddik, son of *Adel, the daughter of *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov. He was the eldest brother of *Baruch b. Jehiel of Medzibezh. He is praised in the well-known letter of Israel Ba'al Shem Tov to his brother-in-law, *Abraham Gershon of Kutow. Although he knew that a ẓaddik was a highly influential figure, he did not gather many Ḥasidim round him, but lived in humility and poverty. He served as a preacher in Sudylkow and popularized Ḥasidism through his work, Degel Maḥaneh Efrayim (date and place of publication are unknown), a classic of Ḥasidism. The book is made up of sermons on the weekly portions from the Pentateuch. At the end of the book there is a collection of "dreams" (ḥalomot) from 1780 to 1785, describing mystical visions. The work, with the addition of stories and parables, is written in a pleasant and lucid manner. It contains important teachings and traditions of the Ba'al Shem Tov and his disciples, and shows also the influence of *Dov Baer of Mezhirech. It expresses social criticism of those scholars who boast of their Torah learning, in contrast with the Ḥasidim who are distinguished by their humility. He notes that in study for its own sake the letters of the Torah serve as a focus for meditation and concentration, and that the light of the *En Sof (Infinite) shines through these letters to the student of the Torah. Because every generation interprets the Torah according to its needs, the ẓaddik, as the representative of the Torah, may be permitted to break a particular law when necessary. Moses Ḥayyim, however, warned Ḥasidim against superficial imitation of the ẓaddikim. The obligation, according to Lurianic Kabbalah, to "elevate the sparks" (ha'ala'at ha-niẓozot), is expanded by Moses Ḥayyim to everything including slaves and animals. Thus, he also advocates the elevation of undesirable thoughts (ha'ala'at maḥashavot zarot). Moses Ḥayyim held that man would enter the palace of truth and redemption of the soul only by constantly thinking of God. He emphasizes his admiration for his grandfather and states that redemption and the end of the Exile would occur when the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov were accepted. However, he states that, whereas in previous generations (i.e., during the time of Israel Ba'al Shem Tov) one might have hoped for the imminent advent of the messianic age, as a result of the spiritual decline in his time, this possibility had diminished.
M. Gutman, Geza Kodesh (1951); Dubnow, Ḥasidut, 204–8; Y. Tishby, in: Zion… (1967), 33–34; J. Weiss, in: I. Brodie Jubilee Volume (1967), 167–8; R. Schatz-Uffenheimer, Ha-Ḥasidut ke-Mistikah (1968), 185, index.
"Moses Ḥayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/moses-hayyim-ephraim-sudylkow
"Moses Ḥayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 21, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/moses-hayyim-ephraim-sudylkow
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.