Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Zidichov

Chassidic leader and Kabbalist. Student of the Chozeh of Lublin. His famous book Ateret Tzvi, is a commentary on the Zohar.

Born: 1763 Saprin, Hungary
Died: Zidichov, 1831

Chassidic leader, Kabbalist.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh was a disciple of Rabbi Yaacov Yitzchak, the Seer of Lublin (the Chozeh of Lublin). He was introduced to the Chozeh by his younger brother Rabbi Moshe of Sambor.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh developed a close friendship with the tzaddik Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz. Among R' Tzvi Hirsh's students were famous tzaddikim such as Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (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 Kitvei Ari (writings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria) in particular. He made a tremendous effort in encouraging  Jews to study Zohar and Kitvei Ari. 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. He said that its not possible to grasp nor understand the holy rabbis, if the individual lacks knowledge of the Zohar and Kitvei Ari, which are the source and root of Chassidut. Lack of faith in tzaddikim is also a result of lacking such knowledge. R' Hirsh believed that this lack of connection was the root cause for lack of faith (chisron emunah). He said, "The one who never saw the light of Sefer HaZohar, never saw a light in his life."

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

 Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna writes in one of his books that the soul of his teacher R' Tzvi Hirsh is from the root of soul of Rabbi Chaim Vital which is close to Rabbi Akivah. Once Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh told his brother R' 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). The tzaddikim 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".  

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Zvi Hirsh of Zidichov  protect us all, Amen.


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