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AARON HA-LEVI BEN MOSES OF STAROSELYE:

A Talmudic scholar and cabalist of note, who flourished in Poland during the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth. He was one of the most enthusiastic and steadfast disciples of the cabalist Senior Salman, rabbi of Lozhne and Lody, and studied under him until he had acquired a full knowledge of his mystic lore. He urged Salman to publish his work, "Tanya" (Slavita, 1796); and when the latter was imprisoned by a royal decree in 1798, Aaron traveled from town to town to collect money from his master's followers, to ransom him, or at least to bribe the jailer and the prison warders to allow them to see Salman. After the latter's death in 1812, Aaron took up his residence as rabbi at Staroselye, and many flocked to him to have the Law explained in accordance with the teachings of his master. These formed a school known as the Ḥasidim of Staroselye. Aaron was the author of "Sha'are 'Abodah" (The Gates of Worship), Shklov, 1820-21, a work which is also known by the name "'Abodat ha-Benonim" (The Worship of the Humble). It is divided into five sections: the first on the unity of God; the second on the union of souls; the third on divine service; the fourth on the Law and the Commandments; and the fifth on repentance. He also wrote "'Abodat ha-Lewi," Lemberg, 1861, a commentary on the Pentateuch. All of Aaron's teachings are based on the oral traditions of Salman and on his work, "Tanya."

Bibliography:
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 603;
  • Walden, Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash, No. 105;
  • Rodkinson, .
J. L. S.
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