ELIAKUM-GETSL LEVITAN (ca. 1860-1912)
His real surname was Margolis-Tomim. He was born in Ruzhanoy (Ruzhany), near Slonim, Byelorussia. He was later known as the Zembrover Preacher. He was administratively banished from the town where he once had walked the streets screaming: “Watch out, Jews, save it! The Torah is burning!” He then settled in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), where he led a group of some 100 recluses and qualified young men and also ran a smaller yeshiva. For a certain period of time he was a preacher in Bialystok and Brisk (Brest). Craftsmen would cast aside their work and run after him to hear his sermons, in which he excelled with an earthy speaking talent. He appeared both in opposition to modern education and against all modern movements—even Zionism. He lived in great want and published such religious texts as: Ramat shmuel (Shmuel’s plateau) (Vilna, 1899), 84 pp.; Maḥaze enayim (The eye’s sight) (Warsaw, 1902), 104 pp. He lost other writings in Warsaw, where he came to recuperate from paralysis. After his death, his work in Hebrew and Yiddish Maamar dvar tora (Essays on the Torah) was published (Warsaw, 1913), 70 pp. and later (Williamsburg, 1962/1963), 65 pp.
Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography.