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Tzvi Hirsh of Zidichov

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Tzvi Hirsh Eichenstein, born 1763 in Sambor and died in Zidichov 1831, was a Hasidic rabbi and the founder of the Zidichov Hasidic Judaism dynasty in Zidichov. He was a disciple of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin the "Seer of Lublin" (Chozeh of Lublin). He was introduced to the Chozeh by his younger brother, Rabbi Moshe of Sambor.

Among Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh's students were Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna, Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yisaschar), Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Zidichov, Rabbi Shimon of Yaruslav, and Rabbi Shalom of Kaminka.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh was very passionate about studying Kabbalah, Zohar, and the Kitvei Ari ("writings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria") in particular. He made a tremendous effort in encouraging Jews to study these works. With the assistance of his students, some yeshivot in Galicia added the study of Kabbalah to their curriculum. Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh blended the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov with the kabbalah of the Ari.

His book Ateret Tzvi includes his commentary on the Zohar. In his book Sur Mei'ra Ve'asei Tov (lit., "refrain from evil and do good"), he shows the path to spiritual growth with the assistance of Zohar study and the Kitvei Ari.

Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna writes in one of his books that the soul of his teacher Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh is "from the root of the soul of Rabbi Chaim Vital, which is close to the soul of Rabbi Akiva". Once Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh told his brother Rabbi Moshe of Sambor that in one of his "previous lives" he was Rabbi Yishmael Kohen Gadol (one of a series of high priests of the Second Temple, famous for his mystical visions recorded both in the Talmud and in the corpus known as Sifrei Heichalot - literature of the heavenly palaces). The righteous Jews of his generation said he had the soul of the famous Yenukah, mentioned in the Zohar portion of Balak. Another one of his students, Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Zidichov, said, "I heard from the holy mouth of my teacher that he was one of the students of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai".


yi:זידיטשוב

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