Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk

(1730–88)
   Chassidic leader. A pupil of DOV BAER of Mezhirech, Menachem Mendel accompanied SHNEUR ZALMAN on a visit to Vilna in an abortive attempt to rescind the ban on Chassidism pronounced by ELIJAH BEN-SOLOMON, the gaon of Vilna. Menachem Mendel was forced by the opponents of Chassidism to leave his community in Minsk in 1773. In 1777 he headed a group of three hundred people, Chassidim and others, who left Russia for Israel. Settling in Safad and then in Tiberias, he built a chassidic synagogue and continued to write to his followers in Byelorussia, proffering advice and encouragement. His teachings were of a philosophical type, in line with those of Dov Baer. Fifteen stories about him can be found in Martin BUBER’S Tales of the Hasidim.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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