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ELIMELECH WEISBLUM OF LIZHENSK (1717–March 11, 1787 ), a Rabbi
Rabbi
and one of the great founding Rebbes of the Hasidic
Hasidic
movement , was known after his hometown, Leżajsk
Leżajsk
(Yiddish : ליזשענסק-Lizhensk‎) near Rzeszów
Rzeszów
in Poland
Poland
. He was part of the inner "Chevraya Kadisha" (Holy Society) school of the Maggid Rebbe
Rebbe
Dov Ber of Mezeritch (second leader of the Hasidic
Hasidic
movement), who became the decentralised, third generation leadership after the passing of Rebbe
Rebbe
Dov Ber in 1772. Their dissemination to new areas of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
led the movement's rapid revivalist expansion.

Rebbi Elimelech authored the classic work Noam Elimelech. It developed the Hasidic
Hasidic
theory of the Tzaddik into the full doctrine of "Practical/Popular Tzaddikism". This shaped the social role of mystical leadership , characteristic of the "Mainstream Hasidic" path. As the founder of Hasidism
Hasidism
in Poland
Poland
-Galicia , his influence led numerous leaders and dynasties to emerging from his disciples through the early 19th century. Among them the Chozeh of Lublin , together with the Maggid of Koznitz and Menachem Mendel of Rimanov
Menachem Mendel of Rimanov
one of the three "Fathers of Polish Hasidism", furthered the spread of Tzaddikism in Poland. Because of this, Rebbi Elimelech is venerated by the "Mainstream" path in Hasidism, predominant especially in Poland, who descend from his influence.

CONTENTS

* 1 Biography

* 1.1 The brothers Rabbi
Rabbi
Elimelech and Reb Zushya * 1.2 Hasidic
Hasidic
Leadership

* 2 Noam Elimelech

* 2.1 Three Hasidic
Hasidic
mystical paths

* 3 References * 4 External links

BIOGRAPHY

Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech was born in Galicia (Central Europe), which was located in the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
that was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
. He died in Leżajsk
Leżajsk
on the 21st of Adar
Adar
. He was known as a Tzadik
Tzadik
who devoted his life to studying and teaching the Torah
Torah
, as well as encouraging people to draw closer in return to God. He was an ascetic , who believed in staying away from alcohol.

THE BROTHERS RABBI ELIMELECH AND REB ZUSHYA

Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech was a prominent student of the Maggid of Mezeritch , and was brought under his tutelage by his illustrious brother the famous Tzadik
Tzadik
and Rebbe
Rebbe
Reb Meshulam Zushya of Anipoli . Both brothers are central figures in Hasidic
Hasidic
tradition and Reb Zushya is especially beloved for his sincerity and fervour. The two offered a contrast in the model of the Hasidic
Hasidic
Rebbe
Rebbe
, with Elimelech the ascetic scholar, and Zushya giving the impression of the charismatic "saintly simpleton", although he too was well versed in Hasidic philosophy
Hasidic philosophy
. Of all the students in the Maggid's "Holy Society" it is told that only Zushya could contain his dveikus (fervour) and remain in the room as the Maggid revealed fiery new teachings. The other students would faint or run out of the room in ecstasy. The two brothers would travel together in mystical exile of repentance to atone on behalf of the whole Jewish people and the exile of the Shechinah (Divine Presence). Famous Hasidic
Hasidic
tales are told of their encounters.

On one occasion Rabbi
Rabbi
Elimelech and Reb Zushya were staying at an inn. Each night non-Jewish peasants would enter their room and jestingly beat the one who lay nearest the fireside, Reb Zushya. One night, Rabbi
Rabbi
Elimelech offered to change places with his brother so that he could take the beatings instead. Suggesting that Reb Zushya had suffered enough of this "Divine admonishment" the agreement was made and Rabbi
Rabbi
Elimelech lay next to the fire instead. That night, the common gentiles again entered to begin their jest. This time, however, one of them said that the one by the fire had taken his fair share of the treatment, and now it would be better to jest with the other one! Again Reb Zushya took the beatings. Afterwards, he told his brother that whatever is decided in Heaven transpires!

HASIDIC LEADERSHIP

After the death of the Maggid of Mezeritch , the Hasidic
Hasidic
movement avoided one centralised leader, as had characterised it under the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid. Instead the great leadership of students of the Maggid dispersed across Eastern Europe, from Poland
Poland
to Russia, taking with them their different interpretations of Hasidic
Hasidic
worship. Nonetheless, in this third generation, Rabbi
Rabbi
Elimelech was considered by most of the Maggid's students and followers as his successor. He began the dissemination of Hasidism
Hasidism
in Poland, which subsequently increased to a much greater extent under his foremost disciple, the Chozeh of Lublin .

Many of Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech's students (talmidim) went on to be Rebbes in their own right. The most famous are the Chozeh of Lublin , Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rimanov
Menachem Mendel of Rimanov
, the Kozhnitzer Maggid , the Apter Rov and Rabbi
Rabbi
Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, author of Maor Vashemesh.

To this day his grave in Leżajsk
Leżajsk
, Poland
Poland
, is visited by thousands of those faithful to Hasidism, particularly on the anniversary of his death, the 21st of the Hebrew month of Adar
Adar
(in leap years, commemorated twice, in Adar
Adar
I and Adar
Adar
II). In 2012, approximately 6,000 pilgrims came to visit the site on the anniversary coming from Israel, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany, Holland, France, Great Britain, Canada and the USA. In most Chasidic minyanim , Tachanun is omitted on the Noam Elimelech's Yartzeit .

It is said that when Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech came before the heavenly tribunal, he stated that "unfortunately, I didn't pray or learn Torah", the judge then proclaimed "if so then you have to be taken to hell!", the angels carried Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech to what he thought was hell but was really Heaven, Rebbe
Rebbe
Elimelech then said "How merciful is our father in heaven, he made hell so good, just imagine what heaven must be like!"

NOAM ELIMELECH

As is common amongst great Rabbis, he is most commonly known by the name of his popular book Noam Elimelech, a commentary on the Torah. This book is one of the principal works of Hasidism
Hasidism
. The sefer was called Sefer Shel Tzadikim, (a Book for the Righteous) by Rabbi
Rabbi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of the Lubavitch dynasty).

The book has asterisks or stars placed in seemingly random places over words. Tradition has it that these stars have some meaning. In Devarim Areivim (another Hasidic
Hasidic
classic), the author, Rabbi
Rabbi
Dov Ehrmann, wrote: "In the first edition of the sefer, there are in many places small stars which allude to some secret meaning". The Klausenberger Rebbe
Rebbe
once said that the stars in the heavens are a commentary to the stars in the book Noam Elimelech. As such, all subsequent printings have included these stars. The Noam Elimelech also wrote Tzetl Koton, a seventeen-point program on how to be a good Jew as well as Hanhagos HaAdam a list of customs for all pious Jews to follow.

THREE HASIDIC MYSTICAL PATHS

The Biala Rebbe
Rebbe
of America praying in the Ohel of Rabbi Elimelech. His grave is venerated in pilgrimage by "Mainstream"-Polish dynasties and their followers, as their spiritual path in Hasidism descends from his influence

A Hasidic
Hasidic
aphorism describes three paths of mysticism in the Hasidic movement, formed by three works of Hasidic
Hasidic
thought. Nachman of Breslov 's Likkutei Moharan is described as the Hasidic
Hasidic
book of the great, giving hope and encouragement to those trapped in problems, through Rabbi
Rabbi
Nachman's innovative creativity and the personal articulation of one's problems to God. Schneur Zalman of Liadi
Schneur Zalman of Liadi
's Tanya
Tanya
is subtitled the Hasidic
Hasidic
book for the intermediate person, who has ease to intellectually contemplate and internalise Hasidic
Hasidic
thought , free from distracting troubles. In this Habad path, the Tzadik's primary role is to teach the esoteric dimension of Hasidism
Hasidism
in intellectual understanding. Noam Elimelech is seen as the formative book of the righteous Tzadik
Tzadik
. It instructs select people of spiritual ability how to become Hasidic
Hasidic
mystical leaders, while advocating attachment to the Tzadik
Tzadik
by the common folk. Because of this, Noam Elimelech influenced the Mainstream Hasidic
Hasidic
proliferation of the Tzadik, who embodies and channels the Ayin-Yesh Divine flow of blessing to this World. The Chozeh of Lublin (1745-1815) developed further the dynamics of this process. Meanwhile, the mid-19th century Peshischa -Kotzk spiritual development in Hasidism
Hasidism
and its influence, is excluded from this description. It left aside Tzaddikism and mystical focus in favour of personal autonomy, introspection and Rabbinic Torah
Torah
study in the spirit of Hasidic
Hasidic
spiritual inwardness. The Yid HaKodosh of Przysucha in Poland
Poland
began this trend when he broke away from the Chozeh of Lublin's Tzadik
Tzadik
focused spiritual path.

REFERENCES

* ^ See image of gravestone at e.g. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fTh0xyZ1FRQ/R-rEbh5TgVI/AAAAAAAABA4/h3023o7lqXI/s400/elimelech.jpg which gives the year as ת' נ' צ' ב' ה' which is 547, short for the Jewish year 5,547, or 1787. * ^ Cited in The Great Maggid by Jacob Immanuel Schochet . Kehot Publications * ^ David M. Gitlitz " rowspan="1">Preceded by Magid of Mezritsh HASIDIC REBBES 1772–1786 Succeeded by Chozeh of Lublin , Rabbi
Rabbi
Yisroel of Kozhnitz

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 33416737 * LCCN : n85009707 * ISNI : 0000 0000 6686 8735 * GND :

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