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Orthodox Judaism: Lelov Hasidic Dynasty

The Lelov family is an Hasidic dynasty in Poland and Israel.

Its founder, DAVID BEN SOLOMON OF LELOV (1746–1813), studied Lurianic Kabbalah in his youth and behaved in the manner of the "great Ḥasidim." He became attracted to Ḥasidism as a result of his contact with Elimelech of Lyzhansk , and studied under several ḥasidic rabbis, including Moses Leib of Sasov , becoming the outstanding disciple of Jacob Isaac Horowitz , ha-Ḥozeh ("The Seer") of Lublin. He earned his living as a grocer. David's teachings stressed love of the Jewish people (ahavat Yisrael) and of man in general; he said: "I am not worthy as yet to be called a ẓaddik since I still feel more love for my own children than for other people." He was much appreciated by the prominent ḥasidic leaders of his day. David was both a friend and a relative of Jacob Isaac of Przysucha , the "Holy Jew." When a controversy broke out between the latter and Jacob Isaac of Lublin, David attempted to reconcile the two sides. The physician, Bernard of Piotrkow, the famous penitent (ba'al teshuvah), was his outstanding disciple. David's son, MOSES (1778–1850), became the son-in-law of Jacob Isaac of Przysucha, and served as rabbi in several communities. Toward the end of his life he settled in Ereẓ Israel. Since then part of the Lelow dynasty has been connected with Ereẓ Israel, although they did not formally serve as admorim. Moses' grandson, DAVID JOSEPH OF LELOV (1827–1907), was a disciple of Menahem Mendel of Warka (Worki). From 1877 he led a ḥasidic community. The dynasty is still continued through its branch in Ereẓ Israel.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.

M. Brakman, Migdal David (1930); L. Grossmann, Shem u-She'erit (1943), 56; M. Buber, Tales of the Ḥasidim: Later Masters (1961), 185–8; M.Y. Weinstock, Peri Kodesh Hillulim (1961).