EPSTEIN, ABRAHAM MEIR BEN ARYEH LEIB, also called Meir Harif ("sharpwitted"; 1726–1772), talmudist. Epstein was born in Grodno. He studied under his father, the kabbalist Aryeh Leib *Epstein, with whom he later also pursued halakhic studies. The results of their joint work appear in the talmudic glosses Divrei Ḥiddud. In 1750 he was appointed rabbi of Lyskovo, and in 1752 of Nowy-Mysz. In the dispute between *Eybeschuetz and *Emden on the use of amulets, Epstein, like his father, supported the former. He leaned toward *Ḥasidism and received Israel of Plotsk, a pupil of *Dov Baer of Mezhirech, with great respect. The added name Abraham was given to him during a serious illness in 1756. He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries and was frequently consulted on halakhic problems. He was the author of novellae to the Talmud and to Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Shevil Nahar, Divrei Yedidim, Mahadura Batra); a collection of sermons, Vikku'aḥ Ger ve-Toshav; an ethical treatise in the form of a dialogue; responsa; glosses and novellae to the Shulḥan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, together with contributions by his father. Some of his novellae are contained in the works of his contemporaries. His ethical will was published as an appendix to the Gevurot ha-Ari of Ephraim Mordecai Epstein (18882).
Ephraim Mordecai Epstein, Gevurot ha-Ari (18882), 27–29; Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 30.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.