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Alexander Moses Lapidot

LAPIDOT, ALEXANDER MOSES (1819–1906), rabbi and early supporter of Ḥovevei Zion. Born in Vilna, Lapidot studied in yeshivot in Lithuania, during one period under Rabbi Israel *Lipkin (Salanter). He served as rabbi in Janow, Grodno, and from 1866, in Rossiyeny. He published interpretations of the Torah and essays on contemporary issues in newspapers and in various literary organs. His works include Avnei Zikkaron (a defense of the Written and Oral Law, 1897) and Divrei Emet (1910, 19664). He joined the *Ḥibbat Zion movement when it was founded in Russia and participated in the conference of movement activists in Druzgenik (1887). He published his national credo in the anthologies Derishat Ẓiyyon (1900) and Keneset ha-Gedolah (1890), emphasizing that he did not intend to take Ereẓ Israel by the sword, but by agricultural labor based on a religious way of life. The movement, he wrote, did not intend "to anticipate the coming of the Messiah," as was claimed by its rabbinical opponents. Therefore, Lapidot commanded those who observed the tradition to aid the movement and to strengthen its religious element. He also called on the wealthy to buy and work the land in Ereẓ Israel.


EẒD, 3 (1963), 264–5; D. Katz, Tenu'at ha-Musar, 2 (1964), 436–8; M. Markovitch, Le-Korot Ir Rosyan ve-Rabbaneha (1913), 14–16.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.