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Katz, Joseph ben Elijah

KATZ, JOSEPH BEN ELIJAH (17th century), writer of ethical works. Little is known about his life, except that he was av bet din in Zaslavl in the beginning of the 17th century. Joseph wrote Rekhev Eliyahu (Cracow, 1638). The book, which follows the order of Mishnah Avot, uses the Mishnah as a starting point for discussing ethical subjects such as reward and punishment, ethical behavior in commerce, and teshuvah (see *Repentance). Joseph draws upon various subjects from the Kabbalah and he mentions some kabbalistic and ethical works, such as Sefer Ḥasidim, Sefer ha-Zohar, Tola'at Ya'akov (by R. Meir ibn Gabbai), Tomer Devorah (R. Moses ben Jacob Cordovero), Reshit Ḥokhmah (Elijah ben Moses De-Vidas), Beit Ha-Shem (R. Solomon Alkabez), and also cites R. Isaac Luria Ashkenazi (Ha-Ari).