MORDECAI OF NESKHIZ

MORDECAI OF NESKHIZ
MORDECAI OF NESKHIZ (Rus. Nesukhoyshe; 1752–1800), ḥasidic ẓaddik, founder of the Neskhiz dynasty and one of the most famous "miracle-workers" of his generation. He was a disciple of jehiel michael of zloczow and became friendly with aryeh leib of shpola whom he met in Jehiel Michael's house. His name appears in the list of prominent ẓaddikim of 1798–1820 which mitnaggedic writers included in their works against Ḥasidism. After serving as rabbi in Leshnev (Leszniow), in the province of Brody, where a ḥasidic group flourished as early as 1772, he settled in Nesvizh, near Kovel in Volhynia, around 1790. There he became renowned as a "miracle-working" ẓaddik and "his miracles in heaven and earth were revealed to the world; raising the dead, healing the sick, and enabling deserted wives to remarry… and he became a great wonder" (Zikkaron Tov (1892), 99). According to another tradition "Mordecai of Neskhiz was familiar with the mysteries of creation… and wrought many miracles but he regretted his actions" (Uri of Strelisk, Imrei Kodesh (1871), 9). A wealthy man, Mordecai commissioned the scribe Moses of Przeworsk to copy a Torah scroll for him. The work took three years and he paid him 400 zlotys. He wrote a small pamphlet, later published under the title of Rishpei Esh (1869). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Dubnow, Ḥasidut, index; M. Buber, Tales of the Ḥasidim, 1 (19684), 164–6; L.I. Newman, The Ḥasidic Anthology (1963), index s.v. Neschizer.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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