Jacob ben Wolf Kranz


Jacob ben Wolf Kranz

Jacob ben Wolf Kranz of Dubno (Hebrew: יעקב קרנץ‎), the Dubner Maggid (מגיד מדובנא), was a Lithuania (Belarus)-born preacher (maggid). (Alternative spelling of family name: Kranc)

Contents

Famous fables and stories

First I Shoot the Arrow

The most famous fable of the Dubner Maggid is about the way in which the Maggid was able to find such fitting fables. When asked about this the Maggid told: Once I was walking in the forest, and saw tree after tree with a target drawn on it, and at the center of each target an arrow. I then came upon a little boy with a bow in his hand. "Are you the one who shot all these arrows", I asked. "Yes!" he replied. "Then how did you always hit the center of the target?" I asked. "Simple", said the boy, "first I shoot the arrow, then I draw the target".

The Double Dubner Maggid

Confronted with many fake "Dubner Magid" there are several tributes to "Tests" that the Dubner Maggid would go through to prove he was the true Maggid, opening the bible at random, and inventing parables on the spot, which are repeated to this day. [1]

History

He was born at Zietil, government of Wilna (now Belarus), about 1740; died at Zamość December 18, 1804.

At the age of eighteen he went to Międzyrzec Podlaski (Meseritz), where he occupied the position of preacher. He stayed there for two years, and then became preacher successively at Zolkiev, Dubno, Włodawa (government of Lublin), Kalisch, and Zamość. He remained at Dubno eighteen years, his stipend being at first six Polish gulden per week with lodging, this amount being afterward augmented by two gulden. He left Dubno for Wilna at the request of Elijah Wilna, who, having recently recovered from a sickness and being unable to study, sought diversion in his conversation.

Jacob was an unrivaled preacher. Possessed of great eloquence, he illustrated both his sermons and his homiletic commentaries with parables taken from human life. By such parables he explained the most difficult passages, and cleared up many perplexing questions in rabbinical law. He was also an eminent rabbinical scholar, and on many occasions was consulted as an authority.

Books

All of Jacob's works were published after his death by Abraham Bär Flahm with the permission of Jacob's son Yitzhak Kranz who found the writings of the Maggid in Mezritch where he had preached.

These are:

  • "Ohel Ya'aqob", a homiletic commentary on the Pentateuch abounding with graphic parables (i., Józefów, 1830; ii., Zolkiev, 1837; iii., Vienna, 1863; iv., 1861; v., Vienna, 1859);
  • "Qol Ya'aqob" (Warsaw, 1819), a similar commentary on the Five Scrolls;
  • "Kokab mi-Ya'aqob", a commentary on the "haft'arot";
  • "Emet le-Ya'aqob" (Zolkiev, 1836), a commentary on the Passover Haggadah;
  • "Sefer ha-Middot" (n.p., 1862), ethics arranged in eight "gates" or sections, each section being divided into several chapters. This work resembles very much the "Chobot ha-Lebabot" of Bachya.

As the author himself had given no name to it, Abraham Bär Flahm, its editor, at first intended to call it "Chobot ha-Lebabot he-Chadash" ("The New 'Chobot ha-Lebabot'"); but out of respect for Bachya he changed his mind. The editor also revised the work, and added to it a preface containing a sketch of the author's life, and glosses of his own under the title "Shiyyure ha-Middot". Moses Nussbaum of Przemyśl extracted from the author's "Ohel Ya'aqob" all the parables, and published them in one book entitled "Mishle Ya'aqob" (Cracow, 1886). Following an open letter by Abraham Flahm printed in the popular Hagaddah that year, he agreed to print Flahm's preface in the succeeding reprints. The agreement is kept to this day.

Several parables never published till modern times, but passed on orally in the family, have been written down by Moshe Kranc, a descendant of the Dubner Maggid, in a book about business and Jewish tales: "The Hasidic Masters' Guide to Management".

References

  1. ^ Dubner Parable used at Israeli court of law, 2004
  • Bibliography: Sefer ha-Middot, Preface;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 543;
  • H. Margaliot, in Ha-Tzefirah, 1902, No. 8.

Article References

This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.

External links


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