WIEDENFELD, DOV


WIEDENFELD, DOV (1881–1965), rosh yeshivah and posek, popularly known as the "Tshebiner Rav." Belonging to a prominent Galician rabbinic family, he received his education from his father Jacob, the author of the Kokhav mi-Ya'akov (1933), and from his own brothers, R. Isaac, the rabbi of Grimailov, and R. Nahum, the rabbi of Dubrovitsa. Although widely recognized as a scholar, R. Dov refused to enter the rabbinate and instead became a businessman in Trzebinia. In 1923, following the death of Trzebinia's rabbi, Wiedenfeld acceded to the requests of the community to become its spiritual leader. He now officially opened a yeshivah in Trzebinia which soon attracted 70 students, and his opinion in halakhic questions was eagerly sought by his colleagues throughout Galicia and Poland. Many of his decisions were later recorded in his Dover Meisharim (3 vols., 1937–51). During World War II he escaped from Trzebinia to Lvov and was later exiled to Siberia by the Communists. Here, under the most trying conditions, he still continued his talmudic studies, recording his new interpretations on scraps of paper and pieces of wood. In 1946 Wiedenfeld arrived in Jerusalem following Chief Rabbi Isaac *Herzog's intervention with the British government. There he reestablished his yeshivah, which he named Kokhav mi-Ya'akov and continued to respond to the many inquiries on Jewish law which he received. Following the death of R. Isaac Zeev *Soloveichik in 1960, Wiedenfeld was considered the final authority of his generation by many Orthodox Jews.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

B. Landau, Ha-Ga'on mi-Tshebin (1967).

[Aaron Rothkoff]


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