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Roth, Aaron

ROTH, AARON

ROTH, AARON (1894–1944), founder of a ḥasidic dynasty. Born in Ungvar, in his youth Roth attended yeshivot in Galicia and Hungary. He was attracted to Ḥasidism at an early age, and studied under several Ẓaddikim, including Issachar Dov of Belz. His main teacher was Ẓevi Elimelech of Blazowa, who instructed him to establish a ḥasidic community, although Roth was not descended from Ẓaddikim. The ḥasidic community which gathered around him in *Satu Mare and Beregszász (*Beregovo) bore many of the characteristics of early Ḥasidism. The major points of his system were complete adherence to simple faith, and rejection of any compromise with modern views and ways of life. He demanded of his Ḥasidim that they support themselves by their own labor, and employ the ecstatic mode of praying.

At the end of his life Roth settled in Ereẓ Israel and, although ill, he succeeded in establishing there an enthusiastic and active, though small, ḥasidic community. He regarded the recent sufferings of the Jews, and especially the Holocaust, as a punishment for abandoning simple faith and the traditions of the ancients, and constantly called for repentance. Roth was succeeded by his son-in-law abraham isaac kahan, and by his son abraham Ḥayyim roth.

His writings include Shulḥan ha-Tahor, on kashrut (1933); his main book Shomer Emunim (1942, published in several editions) consists of homilies concerning faith, confidence, individual providence, reward and punishment, and redemption, including at the end Kunteres Ahavat ha-Bore, expressing his longings and yearning for God, and songs of devotion and joy.

bibliography:

A. Roth, Uvda de-Aharon, written and ed. by E. Kohen Steinberger (1948).

[Adin Steinsaltz]

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