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Raphael of Bershad

RAPHAEL OF BERSHAD

RAPHAEL OF BERSHAD (d. between 1816 and 1826), ḥasidic ẓaddik. Raphael was a close disciple and successor of Phinehas of *Korets, who thought highly of him. After Phinehas' death many of his followers became Raphael's disciples. He introduced several customs and liturgical elements ("the Bershad liturgy") that differed from the accepted ḥasidic style and came closer to the Ashkenazi rite. His followers remained a distinct group after his death, although he had no successor. There are many legends about him and some of his sayings were published in Midrash Pinḥas (1872), most of which is still in manuscript.

bibliography:

Horodezky, Ḥasidut, 1 (19513), 150, 155f.; N. Huberman, Bershad (Heb., 1956), 8, 21, 23–39.

[Adin Steinsalz]

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