R' Eliyahu Baal Shem of Chelm

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R' Eliyahu Baal Shem of Chelm

Hebrew: המקובל רבי אליהו בעל שם, אב"ד חלם
Death: 1575 (20-29)
Place of Burial: Chełm, Lubelskie, Polska
Immediate Family:

Son of Aharon בעל שם
Father of Yehuda Aaron Yehudah .; ? Baal Shem of Chelm and Mrs. Moshe HaCohen

Occupation: Chief Rabbi of Chelm (Kholm) Lublin
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About R' Eliyahu Baal Shem of Chelm


Elijah Ba'al Shem or Eliyahu Ba'al Shem of Chełm (government of Lublin)[1] (born 1550;[2] died at Chelm,[2] 1583[citation needed]) was a Polish rabbi who served as chief rabbi of Chełm. He also studied Kabbalah,[3] and, according to his descendant Tzvi Ashkenazi, created a golem.[4] He is credited with creating the first golem with a "shem" (that is, using a combination of letters from one of the names of God to form a name; Elijah used "Sefer Yezirah"[4][5]), so he was known as a "Ba'al Shem."[6] He is the first rabbi in history to be known by this title.[1]

He was born Eliyahu ben Aharon Yehudah ("Elijah son of Aaron Judah").[7] About 1565 he entered the yeshiva of Rabbi Solomon Luria of Lublin, and, after receiving his rabbinical ordination, became rabbi of Chełm, a position he would hold for the rest of his life.[3] In 1564, he gathered with other prominent rabbis, including his teacher, to co-sign the "piske dinim" (laws) which allowed an agunah to remarry.[3][7]

His great-granddaughter[8] was married to Rabbi Ephraim ha-Kohen (1616—1678), author of "Sha'ar Efrayim"[9][10] and grandfather of Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi.[8]


See Documents in Media for sources about the Golem.

http://www.answers.com/topic/golem#The_Golem_of_Chelm The Golem of Chelm The earliest known written account of the creation of a golem by a historical figure reported a tradition connected to Rabbi Eliyahu of Chelm (1550–1583).[1][3][4] Moshe Idel comments, "This tradition in one form or another is the blueprint of the later legend of the creation of the Golem by Eliayahu's famous contemporary R. Yehudah Leow of Prague." A Polish Kabbalist, writing in about 1630–1650, reported the creation of a golem by Rabbi Eliyahu thus: "And I have heard, in a certain and explicit way, from several respectable persons that one man [living] close to our time, whose name is R. Eliyahu, the master of the name, who made a creature out of matter [Heb. Golem] and form [Heb. tzurah] and it performed hard work for him, for a long period, and the name of emet was hanging upon his neck, until he finally removed it for a certain reason, the name from his neck and it turned to dust."[1] A similar account was reported by a Christian author Christoph Arnold in 1674. Rabbi Yaakov Emden (d.1776) elaborated on the story in a book published in 1748: "As an aside, I’ll mention here what I heard from my father’s holy mouth regarding the Golem created by his ancestor, the Gaon R. Eliyahu Ba’al Shem of blessed memory. When the Gaon saw that the Golem was growing larger and larger, he feared that the Golem would destroy the universe. He then removed the Holy Name that was embedded on his forehead, thus causing him to disintegrate and return to dust. Nonetheless, while he was engaged in extracting the Holy Name from him, the Golem injured him, scarring him on the face."

Hasidic tradition records Eliyahu Baal Shem in the 16th century, founding a "Nistarim" mystical brotherhood to offer physical and spiritual encouragement to the Jewish populance, from which Hasidism later emerged. (Lubavitcher Rabbi's Memoires, Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, Kehot publications, 3 volumes)

Not many people with this title have been recorded (outside of the Baal Shem Tov, the Baal Shem of Michelstadt was one example) and none have it today. The first recorded person to receive the title was Eliyahu of Chelm. Other Baalei Shem include Rabbi Eliyahu of Worms (the founder of the movement variously known as "Macheneh Yisrael", the "Nistarim", and the "Holy Brotherhood"), Rabbi Joel of Ropshitz (a student of Rabbi Yoel Sirkis), Rabbi Adam Baal Shem, and Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk (known as the Baal Shem of London)


About המקובל רבי אליהו בעל שם,אב"ד חלם (עברית)

על אליהו בעל שם כולל בהמשך שושלת יוחסין, כותב אלי אשד

לפי "אלף מרגליות"(ערך 523) נפטר בשנת תמ"ה(1685)