||Kabbalisitic and hasidic homilies on 58 positive and negative precepts.
R. Zevi Elimelech of Dynow (1785–1841), hasidic zaddik in Dynow, Galicia, often known after his main work as “the author of Benei Yissakhar” (Zolkiew, 1850). He was a disciple of R. Zevi Hirsch of Zhidachov, R. Jacob Isaac “ha-Hozeh” (“the seer”) of Lublin, and the Maggid R. Israel of Kozienice. R. Zevi Elimelech served as rabbi in Strzyzow, Halicz, Dynow, and Munkacs. His total opposition to Haskalah and philosophy was evidenced in both his devotion to Kabbalah as the essence of Judaism and his statement that “there is no knowledge, either in the realm of science or philosophy, which is not alluded to in the Torah [which is higher than the intellect]” (Benei Yissakhar, Sec. 2:88). He considered philosophical enquiry a waste of time and of soul. Rational reason should not be sought for the mitzvot, but they should be observed with love, as divine decrees, whether rational or not, without questioning or seeking proofs. Man must have faith “even in two opposite [commands of G-d] where the intellect cannot solve the contradiction” (ibid., Sec. 1, 73). The task of the zaddik is of utmost importance since by means of the high spiritual level he attains he may help to unite the upper and lower worlds. R. Zevi Elimelech differentiated between two types of zaddikim: the perfect one, “the servant of G-d” (eved adonai) and the one who only “worships G-d” (oved Ad-nai). Worship of G-d must combine both love and fear. Fear corresponds to zimzum and love corresponds to hitpashetut (“expansion”). Just as there can be no stability or survival for worlds without zimzum, so if it were not for fear, man would dissolve in ecstasy “and the light of the soul would depart from its earthly container.” Fear of Divine Majesty - in contradistinction to fear of punishment - is the acme of faith. A man “to whom G-d gives knowledge (binah) is enabled to retreat within himself directing his thought to his Creator also while in the company of other men.” R. Zevi Elimelech thus reformulates Nahmanides' thesis (commentary on Deuteronomy 11:20).
R. Zevi Elimelech's writings comprise kabbalistic: glosses to the commentary of Eleazar of Worms on Sefer Yezirah (Przemysl, 1888); commentary on the beginning of Eleazar's Sefer Hokhmat ha-Nefesh (Lemberg, 1876); glosses to the Zohar (Przemysl, 1899); Ma'yan Gannim, a commentary on Or ha-Hayyim (1848) by Joseph Jabetz.
Homiletic and exegetical works which became popular among Hasidim, among them Derekh Pikkudekha (Lemberg, 1851), homilies on the mitzvot; Igra de-Kallah (Lemberg, 1868), homilies on the Torah; Igra de-Pirka (Lemberg, 1858); Likkutei Maharza (Przemysl, 1885), on the Torah and the Prophets; Keli ha-Ro'im (Lemberg, 1808), commentary on Obadiah; Devarim Nehmadim (Przemysl, 1885); Maggid Ta'alumah (Przemysl, 1876), novellae to tractate Berakhot; Rei'ah Duda'im (Munkacs, 1879), on tractate Megillah; Ve-Heyeh Berakhah (Przemysl, 1875), commentary on Mishnah Berakhot; Berakhah Meshulleshet (Przemysl, 1896, commentary on the Mishnah); Tamkhin de-Oraita (Munkacs, 1926).