ISRAEL BEN SHABBETHAI OF KOZIENICE (also known as the Maggid of Kozienice):

Hasidic rabbi, cabalist, and thaumaturge; born at Kozienice, government of Radom, Russian Poland, about 1745; died in 1815. Israel was successively a pupil of Baer of Meseritz, Samuel Shmelka Hurwitz, and Elimelech of Lezaysk. He was a great Talmudic scholar, and had many discussions on rabbinical matters with Phinehas ha-Levi Hurwitz, who inserted in his "Gib'at Pineḥas" some of Israel's responsa. The "Keter Kehunnah" of Isaac Abraham b. Dob Berush also contains one of his responsa (No. 76). After the death of Baer of Meseritz (1772), Israel became the leader of the Ḥasidim, and won numbers over to Ḥasidism. His renown as a wonder-worker was so great that even Christians believed in his supernatural powers and resorted to him for aid; while Jews were attracted to him from far and near. He left a large number of works, mostly cabalistic; the following have been published: notes to the "Sefer Raziel," printed with the text, Warsaw, 1812; "'Abodat Yisrael" (Jozefow, 1842), containing sermons, novellæ on Ḥullin, and notes on the Pentateuch, the Hafṭarot, the Pesaḥ Haggadah, and Pirḳe Abot; "Tehillot Yisrael," commentary on Psalms (1861?); "Or Yisrael," commentary on the "Tiḳḳune Zohar," Czernowitz, 1862; "Nezer Yisrael," commentary on the Zohar, ib. 1869; "Ner Yisrael," commentary on the "'Eser Sefirot," on Hai Gaon's "Liḳḳuṭim," and on Joseph Gikatilla's "Sha'ar ha-Shamayim"; "Bet Yisrael" and "Geburat Yisrael."

  • Grätz, Gesch., 2d ed., xi. 113, 561;
  • Walden, Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash, pp. 75, 76;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 701.
K. M. Sel.
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