יום שלישי ט"ז בשבט תשפ"ב 18/01/2022
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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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Place

  • 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

The Chassidic Court of Slonim

The Chassidic court of Slonim, which goes back one hundred and fifty years, has had many prominent leaders thought the years. One of them famously said: "Each community has a gate in heaven – our gate is belief and humbleness".

04/06/2009 14:00
The Chassidic court of Slonim was established in the year of 5618 (1858) following the passing of Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin, when many of his followers appointed his disciple, Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, to be their Chassidic Master.

Rabbi Weinberg resided in the Belarusian town of Slonim, hence the name of the Chassidic court. Rabbi Weinberg was a son of Rabbi Yitzchak Matisyahu Weinberg, who was one of the leading Torah giants of his generation. Rabbi Avraham, who was extremely poor, served as a Rosh Yeshiva in his city and led a very simple life. He dedicated his whole life to learning and teaching Torah while at the same time concealing his greatness from the public.

When he accepted the yoke of Admorus (Chassidic leadership), he began leading his flock of Chassidim with a strong hand and much devotion. His Halachic rulings were accepted by his Chassidim with awe and trepidation.
His prayers were silent and no movement could be seen. However, his radiating face testified to the intensiveness of his prayers as he stood before G-d in fear.

His commentaries were collected in his noted book 'Yesod Ha'avodah' on the principles of Chassidism and its essence. Rabbi Weinberg wrote several other well-known books, such as 'Be'er Avraham' on the Torah, 'Chessed LeAvraham' on Kabbalah and 'Be'er Avraham' on Mechilta.

Rabbi Avraham Weinberg passed away on the 11th of Heshvan, 5644 (1883), at the age of 80. After his passing his grandson, Rabbi Shmuel Weinberg, took over the leadership and served as Chassidic master for 32 years until his passing on the 19th of Shevat, 5676 (1916) in Warsaw. His two sons were then appointed Chassidic Masters in his place – his eldest son, Rabbi Yissachar Leib Weinberg, continued his father's leadership in the city of Slonim until his passing on the 28th of Nissan, 5688 (1928), and his son Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel relocated to the Holy Land and settled in Tel Aviv, where he re-established his father's court.

The younger son, Rabbi Avraham Weinberg (the second), author of 'Beis Avraham' transferred the Chassidic court of Slonim to the city of Bialystok where he settled and served as Chassidic Master. He later relocated to Bernovitch, a small town in Belarus. There he established a large network of Chassidic institutions, including the famous 'Toras Chessed' Yeshiva. He merited to visit the Holy Land twice and to lay the cornerstone of the Slonim synagogue in the Beis Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem.

He passed away in the city of Slonim on the 1st of Iyar, 5693 (1933).

The son of Rabbi Avraham Weinberg (the second) was Rabbi Shlomo David Yehoshua Weinberg who continued the Slonim Dynasty when he was appointed Chassidic Master at a very young age and unmarried. His leadership was very short, however, due to WWII which broke out not long after his appointment.

 In June of 1941, with the occupation of Eastern Poland, Rabbi Shlomo David was sent to the Bernowitch ghetto where he was widely respected.

Even the underground activists of the Bernowitch ghetto trusted Rabbi David Yehoshua and merited his constant encouragement. At the outbreak of the war, his Chassidim who had settled in Tiberias begged him to flee Nazi-occupied Europe and join them in Israel, however he responded in a letter that was sent before Passover in 1940 that he could not possibly desert his 'young children' – referring to his Chassidim.

From the Bernowitch ghetto, Rabbi David Yehoshua was transferred to the Kolditchvo ghetto in 1942, and there, too, he continued to encourage and strengthen his brethren despite the unimaginably difficult circumstances and the knowledge that his family had been killed. He used to dance with the ghetto residents on Sabbath eves and remind them when Jewish holidays arrived. Whenever he stood in prayer, a pleasant atmosphere could be sensed in the room. On the 4th of Heshvan, 1943, he was ordered by the Nazis to lead a group of Jews in their march towards a mass grave, where they were to be killed. Rabbi David Yehoshua walked silently and proudly, with his head held high, toward his death.

Following the war, the Slonim community was renewed in Israel. It was actually the founder of the dynasty, Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, who made this possible; already in the year of 1873 he ordered some of his grandchildren, among them Rabbi Noach (who was only 13 years old at the time) and a few Chassidim, including Rabbi Yitzchak Matisyahu Sandberg, to immigrate to Israel and establish the foundations of a Slonim community in Tiberias. At the time, his request was received with much bewilderment, as the conditions in Israel were extremely difficult at the time. Only many years later did it become evident that Rabbi Avraham's request actually saved the Slonim dynasty from total extinction and made its re-establishment possible, as the lion's share of the Slonim community was wiped out during the Holocaust. Many Slonim Chassidim see this as a heavenly-sent miraculous rescue.

After the war, the Slonim Chassidim crowned Rabbi Mordechai Chaim Slonim (Kestilnitz) as their master and named him 'Reb Mottel Dayan'. Although he refused to officially be named Chassidic Master, in reality he led the Chassidim until his passing on the 12th of Tevet, 5714 – 1953. He was succeeded by Rabbi Avraham Weinberg (the third), a son of Rabbi Noach Weinberg and a great-grandson of the founder of the Slonim dynasty.

During his 27 years of leadership he restored the glory of the Slonim dynasty that had been almost totally destroyed during the war and rebuilt it with love and devotion. Rabbi Avraham was also one of the founders of the Orthodox educational network and served as a member of the Council of the Leading Rabbis. He passed away on the 12th of Sivan, 5741 – 1981. His commentaries were collected in the books 'Beis Avraham' and 'Nachal Eytan'