Friday, August 24, 2007

Yarzheit R' Tzadok HaCohen

I don't know if it is the heat, or what, but I was too exhausted yesterday to post this. But I can't let R' Tzadok's yarzheit go unmentioned. Yesterday, 9th Elul was his yarzheit. He was one of the few original Jewish philosophers of the 19th century. His thought is a crossover of Lithuanian and Chasidic thinking, and he wrote extensively on almost everything - from chumash and Talmud, to chasidus and even the Torah that he learned in his dreams.

Rabbi Haber at Torahlab is having a sale of two of his books in honour of his yarzheit. They have a limited amount of the Kest-Lebovitz edition of Reb Tzadok’s classics Tzidkas HaTzadik and Machsheves Charutz. They are selling a package of both of these seforim together for only $7.50 plus shipping. Click here for more info and to order.

There is a lot of Torah from him on the internet, but I didn't find very many stories about him. I wanted to include more anecdotes about his life, but haven't got time now to write. So these brief biographies will have to do (taken from wikipedia and torahlab

He was born into a Lithuanian Rabbinic family and then became a follower of the Hasidic Rebbe, Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Izbica, and a close friend of Yehudah Leib Eiger, another student of Mordechai Leiner. He is a classic example of a Litvish Jew turned Chasidic. As a young man he gained widespread acclaim as an illuy, a brilliant talmudist. Rabbi Zadok refused to accept any rabbinic post for most of his life. He eked out a living by his wife running a small used clothing store. Upon the death of Eiger in 1888, Zadok Hakohen agreed to take over the leadership of the Hasidim. It was then that he began to give his public classes that would take place on Shabbat, Holidays, Rosh Chodesh and special occasions. It is the transcription of those classes were compiled into his work known as Pri Tzadik. Rabbi Zadok was a prolific writer in all areas of Judaism, halakhah, Hasidism, Kabbalah, angelology, ethics, he also wrote scholarly essays on astronomy, geometry, and algebra.

One of his lone surviving students was Rabbi Michael Mokotovsky, whose son was Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Mokotovsky, better known by his penname Eliyahu Kitov,

Reb Tzadok HaKohein of Lublin
Rav Tzadok, or “The Kohein” as he was known amongst Chassidim, was one of the most prolific authors in the history of the Chassidic movement. Born into a non-Chassidic rabbinic family, Rav Tzadok became famous as a child prodigy authoring articles and books which later became classics. Later in life, Rav Tzadok became Chassidic and became a Chassid of the Izbitcher Rebbe. Having excelled in both the Chassidic and non-Chassidic world, Rav Tzadok’s writings became a synthesis of analytical logic and mysticism. Eventually, Rav Tzadok became the Rebbe of Lublin. His writings are treasured by scholars everywhere.

May His Soul Be Bound in the Bonds of Eternal Life

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