Jewish History Soundbites

A Chassid in Krakow: The Maor Veshemesh

May 22, 2022

Rav Klonymous Kalman Halevi Epstein (1751-1823) is known by his posthumously published work the Maor Veshemesh. Born into a poor family, he spent the bulk of his childhood selling bagels in the streets of Krakow to support his family. He eventually emerged as a budding Torah scholar, and later joined the nascent Chassidic movement, becoming a close follower of the Noam Elimelech of Lizhensk. 

He later attempted to establish a chassidic presence in Krakow, but faced much opposition from the establishment. Eventually returning to his home town of Neustadt, he gained a following, while he himself continued to travel to the great tzadikim of his day. His burial site in Krakow is much visited until this very day, while his primary legacy in the form of his sefer Maor Veshemesh is sometimes referred to as ‘the Shulchan Aruch of Chassidus’. 


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