The chief event of his life was the struggle awakened in him by the opposition between the Talmud and the Cabala. Unacquainted with the tendencies and modes of life of the Hasidim, Buczacz did not believe in the miracles of their rabbis; and his wife and friends had great difficulty in persuading him to take his sick son to a Hasidic rabbi, Levi Isaac of Berdychev. The latter, however, influenced him to take up the study of the Cabala; but in trying to reconcile these new views—so utterly antagonistic to those of the extreme Talmudists, which he himself had hitherto held—he nearly became insane. The Hasidic rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdychev helped him through this struggle and won him over, to the great joy of the Hasidim, who feared his wide Talmudic learning. Buczacz adopted the Hasidic mode of living; but in his decision of halakic questions was guided, not by kabalistic, but by purely Talmudic, principles.
In 1813 he succeeded his late father-in-law as rabbi of Buczacz, and remained in office until his... Read More