||Homiletics and kabbalistic commentary of the Pentateuch. In describing the attitude required of the Jew in his spiritual relationship with G-d, as well as the observances required in his practical relationship, Dubno Maggid discusses such subjects as the fear of G-d, love of G-d, knowledge of G-d, and prayer.
R. Jacob b. Wolf Krantz (known as the Dubno Maggid; 1741–1804), preacher. Born in Zietil, in the province of Vilna, Kranz demonstrated his homiletical skill at an early age and was known as preacher to his fellow yeshivah students especially in Mezhirech, where he received his halakhic, and probably his kabbalistic, education. He was barely 20 years old when he became Darshan in his city. From there he wandered through several other cities, holding the post of preacher in Zilkiew, Wlodawa near Lublin, Kalisz, and Zamosc. But he achieved his fame as preacher in Dubno, where he served for 18 years. As his reputation spread, he came into contact with some of the most prominent rabbis of his time, such as R. Elijah b. Solomon Zalman (the Gaon of Vilna). It is told that when R. Elijah was too ill to study, he asked R. Kranz to visit his bedside and read him his homiletical interpretations, stories, and parables.
All of R. Kranz's works were printed posthumously by his son, Isaac, and his pupil, Baer Plahm. His major homiletical work, Ohel Ya'akov ("The Tent of Jacob"), was printed in four parts (Genesis, Yosepov, 1830; Exodus, Zolkiew, 1837; the third and fourth parts in Vienna, 1859–63). In addition, his homilies on the five scrolls, Kol Ya'akov ("The Voice of Jacob"), were printed in Warsaw in 1819. Among his other published homiletical works are an exegesis of the Passover Haggadah (Zolkiew, 1836) and a collection of homilies called Haftarot (Warsaw, 1872). Baer Plahm edited R. Kranz's Sefer ha-Middot ("The Book of Ethics," Vilna, 1860), a work consciously modeled after the 11th-century Hovot ha-Levavot by R. Bahya ibn Paquda.
Although he made use of the vast treasure of Jewish ethical, homiletical, halakhic, and kabbalistic material, R. Kranz succeeded in composing homilies which the Jewish layman could readily understand. The inclusion of many parables, fables, stories, and epigrams captivated the hearts of less scholarly listeners. Yet the homilies are not simplistic, but represent the highest achievement of Hebrew homiletical art at that time. That R. Kranz integrated folkloristic material into his homilies without vulgarizing them was a significant achievement. His parables were culled from his works and printed separately as Mishlei Ya'akov ("The Parables of Jacob," Cracow, 1886). However, taken out of their homiletical context, the parables lose most of their artistic effect.
||על התורה... דרושים... ביאורים... אשר הניח... ר' יעקב זללה"ה, מ"מ דק"ק מעזריטש, דובנא, זאמושטש, ושאר ערי חמד... חלק א. חלק א: בראשית. "ואנכי בנו... יצחק קראנץ, אשר נקראתי לשבת על כסא אבי... דק"ק מעזריטש... העיר ה' את רוחי לחבר את האהל הלזה מיריעות מכתביו ... על סדר התורה. (ע"י איש מהיר ומבין... ר' אברהם דוב [בערוש פלאהם] ני' מילידי קהלתינו... הוא כתב על הספר כאשר מלאתי לו בפי... כי מכתבי מר אבי ז"ל כתובים בתכלית הקיצור)".
הסכמות: ר' יעקב [לורברבוים], סטרי', כז סיון תקפ"ט; - חלק א ר' שלמה זלמן [ליפשיץ] מפוזנן, ווארשא, יד מנחם-אב תקפ"ט. - חלק א