Vizhnitz (Hasidic dynasty)


Vizhnitz (Hasidic dynasty)

Vizhnitz is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by Rebbe Menachem Mendil Hager. Vizhnitz is the Yiddish name of Vyzhnytsia, a village in present-day Ukraine.Followers of the rebbes of Vizhnitz are called "Vizhnitzer chasidim".

Lineage of the Kosov Vizhnitz dynasty

History

Menachem Mendel Hager

Menachem Mendel Hager was born on May 17, 1830 in Kosiv. He was the son of Rabbi Chaim Hager of Kosiv and the son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhyn. He was appointed Rebbe at the age of 24, and soon after he moved to Vyzhnytsia, a small town close to Kosiv. As his reputation grew, so did his followers. He became known and admired for his charitable acts, sincerity in prayer and love for Eretz Yisrael. In his older years he endevored to emigrate to there. He had two sons, Reb Boruch and another, Reb Yaakov Dovid, who died during his lifetime. His son-in-law was the son of Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach of Belz, Reb Shmuel of Sokal. His Torah thoughts were published under the title "Tzemach Tzaddik". He died on October 18, 1884 and was buried in Vyzhnytsia. His son Reb Boruch took his place becoming the second Rebbe of Vizhnitz.

Boruch Hager

Boruch Hager was born in 1845 and was named after Rabbi Boruch of Medzhybizh at the behest of his grandfather, Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhyn. In 1885, aged 45, he inherited the mantle of leadership from his father, Menachem Mendel Hager, and became rebbe to thousands of chasidim. He led them for only 8 years until his death in 1892. His Torah thoughts were collected in "Imrei Boruch" by his son-in-law. Eight of his sons became rebbes in different locals: His eldest, Reb Yisroel, succeeded him in Vyzhnytsia; Reb Chaim became rebbe in Ottynia; Reb Moshe in Suceava; Reb Shmuel Avrohom Abba in Horodenka; Reb Yaakov Yitzchok Dovid in Storozhynets; Reb Pinchos in Borsha; Reb Feivish in Zelishtshik; Reb Yechiel Michel succeeded his brother in Horodenka. Another son, Reb Sholom, died in his youth. His sons-in-law were Reb Shmuel Dov Chodorov of Petriva; Reb Mordechai Chodorov of Kolomea, who published "Imrey Boruch"; Reb Sholom Yosef Friedman of Sadigur-Chernovitz.

Yisroel Hager

Yisroel Hager was born on August 20, 1860. He was the firstborn son of Rabbi Boruch Hager. He married the daughter of Rabbi Meir Horowitz of Dzikov. In 1875 he moved to his father-in-laws house and studied at great length with his brother-in-law Rabbi Yehoshua of Dzikov. 3 years later he returned to Vyzhnytsia and became very close to his grandfather, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager. In 1893 he was appointed as rebbe in Vyzhnytsia. The young rebbe invigorated new life into the chassidus and it attracted many more followers from the surrounding provinces. He established many Talmud Torahs and also a yeshiva to which he appointed his son Rabbi Menachem Mendel as rosh yeshiva. When the First World War broke out he was forced to move to Grosswardein. He lived there until his death in 1936. In 1949, his remains were transferred to Israel and re-interred in Zichron Meir. His sons were Reb Menachem Mendel of Visheve, Reb Chaim Meir, who inherited his fathers position in Grosswardein; Reb Eliezer of Vyzhnytsia; Reb Boruch of Siret and Reb Shmuel Abba who died young. He also had six daughters.

Vizhnitz today

The head rabbis are also know as "Admorim" ( _he. אדמו"ר, which is the acronym for "אדונינו מורינו ורבינו" "Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabeinu", "Our master, Our teacher, and Our rabbi"), who are located currently in Bnei Brak and Haifa in Israel and Monsey, New York.

The Vizhnitzer Rebbe in Bnei Brak has two sons and four daughters. His sons-in-law are famous rabbis.The eldest daughter married Rabbi David Twersky, the Skverer Rebbe of New Square, NY. One daughter married Rabbi Yisachar Dov Rokeach, the Belzer Rebbe from Jerusalem. One daughter married Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe from Kiryas Joel, NY. The youngest daughter married Rabbi Menachem Ernster, the rosh yeshiva of Vizhnitz Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.

His elder son is Rabbi Yisroel. He was the Av Beis Din of the Vizhnitzer congregation in Bnei Brak until he was ousted. Upon his return - after eighteen years - he did not take on his old mantle. However, he now has a larger following than before his ouster. A daughter of Rabbi Yisroel married the youngest son of his uncle - Rabbi Mordecai Hager. Another daughter married the second son of his brother-in-law - Rabbi David Twersky, the Skverer Rebbe. His younger son is Rabbi Menachem Mendel. He became the Av Beis Din of the Vizhnitzer congregation in Bnei Brak after his Father the Grand Rabbi has thrown out his older broter Yisroel which lasted for eighteen years. During his rein, he made many enemies and then regretted it. Currently he is president of the "Ichud Chasidei Vizhnitz" (Union of Vizhnitzer Chasidim) - a newly formed and developing offshoot member group.

Grand Rabbi Eliezer Hager is the Seret-Vizhnitzer Rebbe in Haifa, Israel, he is a first-cousin of the rebbes of Bnei Brak and Monsey. He is the older of two sons of Rebbe Boruch Hager, zt"l, author of Mekor Baruch, who was a son of the Ahavas Yisroel. There is also a Shotz-Vizhnitzer Rebbe in Haifa, Israel, a nephew of the Seret-Vizhnitzer Rebbe.

Grand Rebbe Shraga Feivel Hager, the Kosover Rebbe of Brooklyn, is a descendant of the "Imrei Boruch" and follows many of the customs of Vizhnitz. His namesake great-grandfather was a brother of Rabbi Israel Hager, author of "Ahavas Yisroel".

Grand Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kohn, the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe of Jerusalem was a student of the late Rebbe Chaim Meir of Vizhnitz, as well as the present Rebbe Moshe Yehoshua of Vizhnitz and has adopted many of the customs of Vizhnitz.

Vizhnitzer Chassidim are uniquely dressed in that they are the only group - besides Stropkov - who wears their hat bow on the right side, not left.

See also

*Vyzhnytsia
*List of Hasidic dynasties

External links

* [http://hasidicnews.com/Viznitz.shtml The Two Vizhnitz (Rabbis)]
* [http://www.ilovetorah.com/viznitzbenibrak.jpgThe two sons of Vizhnitz]
* [http://chaptzem.blogspot.com/2006/08/vizhnitz-gets-court-decision-on-bnei.html Vizhnitz court case]
* [http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/hydepark/forum.asp?forum_id=13185 Vizhnitz HaChassidus - a forum in Hebrew and Yiddish]
* [http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/hydepark/forum.asp?forum_id=9755 Vizhnitz Chai - a forum in Hebrew and Yiddish]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7484487638302201647&q=rebbe+satmar Video of Vizhnitzer Rebbe with his son-in-law the Satmar Rebbe]
* [http://www.wiznitz.com/ Rav Mendel Hager - The Av Beis Din - exclusive website]
* [http://www.nkusa.org/Historical_Documents/monsey072302statement.cfm Vizhnitz-Monsey Rebbe's son signs document condemning those who received Binyamin Netanyahu during his 2002 visit to New York]


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