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Zadok ha-Kohen Rabinowitz of Lublin


ZADOK HA-KOHEN RABINOWITZ OF LUBLIN (1823–1900), ḥasidic ẓaddik, talmudic scholar, halakist, philosopher, kabbalist, and prolific author. He was born in Kreuzburg (Krustpils), Courland. His father, R. Jacob ha-Kohen, a Lithuanian rabbi, had a positive attitude toward Ḥasidism. R. Zadok was orphaned as a young child and raised by his uncle, R. Joseph ben Asher, a student of R Ḥayyim ben Isaac *Volozhiner. He was recognized as a prodigy from a young age, and known as the "illui of Krinik." After traveling throughout Poland and meeting various rabbis (seeking their endorsement on the me'ah rabbanim permit) he became a ḥasid and disciple of R. Mordecai Joseph Leiner of *Izbica Lubelska. After R. Leiner's death (1854) R. Zadok approved his close friend, R. Judah Leib *Eger, as the new rebbe, while he studied and wrote in piety and seclusion for more than 30 years. Following Eger's death (1888) R. Zadok was persuaded by the ḥasidim to become a rebbe. Although he refused to have his writings published during his life, he indicated before his death that he wanted them published posthumously. Most of those that were not in print before the Holocaust were destroyed in the Lublin ghetto. Extant from his writings are such early works as Sikhat Malakhei ha-Sharet (1929); halakhic responsa, including responsa to famous rabbis, collected in Tiferet Ẓevi (1909) and elsewhere; other halakhic writings; and books of ḥasidic teachings, from his first and best-known ḥasidic book, Ẓidkat ha-Ẓaddik (1902), through Resisei Layla (1913), Maḥashavot Ḥaruẓ (1912) and more, to later works such as Dover Ẓedek (1911), Likkutei Ma'amarim (1913), Takkanat ha-Shavin (1926), Yisrael Kedoshim (1928), and Pokad Akarim (1922). His late ḥasidic sermons were collected in the five volumes of Peri Ẓaddik (1901–24). His writings are deep and flowing, combining sharp intellectual analysis with ḥasidic psychological and mystical sensitivities, and a scholarly interweaving of a wide range of talmudic, halakhic, mystical, kabbalistic, ḥasidic, and philosophical sources. Among his main topics are the unity of God, psycho-spiritual growth, determinism, and sin (expanding on the teachings of R. Leiner), the Oral Law, the significance of the Jewish calendar and holidays, and topics in historiosophy, psychology, hermeneutics, and linguistics. His writings influenced many thinkers, including R. Elijah Dessler, author of Mikhtav me-Eliyahu; R. Isaac Hutner, author of Paḥad Yiẓḥak; and R. Gedalya Shorr, author of Or Gedalyahu.


S. Unger, Toldot ha-Kohen (1924); A.T. Brombreg, Mi-Gedolei ha-Ḥasidut, 7 (1954); J. Hadari, in: Reshit (1962); Sinai, 46 (1960), 353–69; 53 (1963), 75–91; 56 (1956), 84–99; Y. Elman, in: Jewish Law Association Studies: The Touro Conference Volume (1985), 1–16; Tradition, 21:4 (1985), 1–26; Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 3:1 (1993), 153–87; A. Liwer, "Paradoxical Principals in the Writings of R. Zadok ha-Kohen of Lublin" (Heb., M.A. thesis, 1993); G. Kitsis (ed.), Meʾat la-Ẓadik (2000); A. Brill, Thinking God (2002); S. Friedland, "Written Torah and Oral Torah and Aspects of Revelation and Concealment in the Writings of R. Zadok ha-Kohen of Lubin" (Heb., M.A. thesis, 2003).

[Amira Liwer (2nd ed.)]

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