שבת ט' בכסלו תשפ"ג 03/12/2022
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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Reflections

Chassidus in Tel Aviv of Yesteryear

On the occasion of the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg zt’l, Rebbe of Slonim–Tel Aviv

B. Wolff 16/04/2009 12:54
Tel Aviv – the first city in the State of Israel, was once a center of purity, holiness and Chassidus. Many Chassidic courts were set up there – such as Husetin, Belz, Strikov, Sadigura, Vishva, Modzhitz, Voslui, Bohosh, Lelov, Kozhnitz and more. Scores of Chassidim made their way to Tel Aviv upon arriving on the holy shores, mainly in the years following the Holocaust; some for a short period of time, some for longer, on their way to their final destination in the Land of Israel.

The court of Sadigura, first under the leadership of the Rebbe Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Friedman of Sadigura (the ‘Avir Yaakov’), and Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Friedman of Sadigura who escaped from the horrors of the Nazis in Europe, was a magnetic force for any Jew with a spirit of Chassidus. The court of the Rebbe Rabbi Mordechai Shalom Yosef Friedman of Sadigura-Pishemishel, as it was called in those days, who arrived from Vienna, Austria at the beginning of the war, was on Pinkas Street in northern Tel Aviv. In those stormy days of the Second World War and the years following, Rabbi Mordechai Shalom Yosef led his followers whilst based in the famous address on Betzalel Yoffe Street in Tel Aviv, and afterwards moved his headquarters to Pinkas Street in the north of Tel Aviv. Today, this Chassidus is situated in Bnei Brak in ‘Shikun 5’.

Another branch of the house of Ruzhin was the Chassidus of Rabbi Yitzchak Friedman, the Rebbe of Bohosh. For a time the Rebbe lived in Tel Aviv and worked tirelessly to re-establish and revive the house of Ruzhin – until it too relocated to Bnei Brak.

The court of Voslui was headed by the Rebbe Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Shlomo Halperin, who emigrated from Romania to escape the rising anti-semitism and eventually settled in northern Tel Aviv. His home was a focal point of religious activism, and still serves as a power house of Torah and Chassidus.

Rabbi Moshe Mordechai the Rebbe of Lelov, also settled in Tel Aviv for many years and set up his court on Mohaliver Street. He was there mainly during the years following the Holocaust, and his home was a center of healing for every broken heart.

The central and foremost Chassidus in Tel Aviv was, without a doubt, the court of Belz. The Rebbe Rabbi Aaron Rokach of Belz settled in the city and established anew the holy court of Belz, which had been almost obliterated by the Nazis of Europe. He set up headquarters on Echad Ha’am Street, an address synonymous with activism on behalf of Torah and Chassidus until this day.

The court of Vizhnitz also made its way to the Holy Land, via the city of Tel Aviv. The Rebbe Rabbi Eliezer Hager - the ‘Damesek Eliezer’, founded his large and famous Yeshiva in Tel Aviv; and his brother Rabbi Chaim the ‘Imrei Chaim’ also lived in the city, before establishing Kiryat Vizhnitz in Bnei Brak.

Another famous Chassidus that began its fledgling years in Tel Aviv, was Slonim - under the guidance and direction of Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg of Slonim-Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel was born in Slonim, to his father Rabbi Yissachar Leib. After the latter’s death he led the people in all communal matters, but was unwilling to accept the title of ‘Rebbe’. Only after the passing of Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, who had been appointed as Rebbe in Baranowitz, did Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel acquiesce and agree to take on the yoke of leading the followers of Slonim.

Upon arriving in the Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel attempted to hide his greatness and set about finding work to support his family. He opened a business on Herzel Street in Tel Aviv, but could not stand idly by watching the religious youth being led astray by the temptations of the street. Together with a group of local Rabbanim, he opened the Chassidic school ‘Sinai’.

Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel set up a small study-hall near his house, and all too soon the wellsprings of greatness that he had worked so hard to hide burst forth, and his home and Beis Medrash became a magnet for Torah scholars and followers from all over.

On the 24th of Nissan 5738, the Rebbe Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg of Slonim-Tel Aviv passed away. His life’s work ‘Otzar Archei haTorah’ Ohalei Yissachar, was abruptly brought to a halt with his passing, leaving countless pages of his greatness unturned.