Vizhnitz (Hasidic dynasty) – Wikipedia

Posted By on December 18, 2017

Vizhnitz is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager. Vizhnitz is the Yiddish name of Vyzhnytsia, a town in present-day Ukraine (then, a village in Austrian Bukovina).

Followers of the rebbes of Vizhnitz are called Vizhnitzer Hasidim.

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 Israel 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 endeavored to emigrate 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 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 40 he inherited the mantle of leadership from his father, Menachem Mendel Hager, and became rebbe to thousands of Hasidim. He led them for only eight 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 was born on August 20, 1860. He was the first-born son of Rabbi Boruch Hager. He married the daughter of Rabbi Meir Horowitz of Dzhikov. In 1875, he moved to his father-in-law's house and studied at great length with his brother-in-law Rabbi Yehoshua of Dzikov. Three 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 the dynasty and 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 World War I broke out he was forced to move to Grosswardein (Oradea). He lived there until his death on 2 June 1936.[1] In 1949, his remains were transferred to Israel and re-interred in Zichron Meir, Bnei Brak.

His sons were Reb Menachem Mendel of Visheve, Reb Chaim Meir (Chayim Meir'l), who inherited his father's position in Grosswardein; Reb Eliezer of Vyzhnytsia; Reb Boruch of Siret; and Reb Shmuel Abba who died young. He also had six daughters.

After the Holocaust, Reb Chaim Meir settled in Bnei Brak, Israel, to build a community there. Disciples from pre-war Europe gathered around him and formed a comprehensive net of educational and communal institutions. He became a spiritual mentor of the Agudas Yisrael party in the Israeli Knesset. Agudas Yisrael won substantial government aid for Bnei Brak and affiliated communities in return for its support in coalition governments.[2]

Reb Chaim Meir had two sons, the older Moshe (Reb Moshelle) and the younger Mordechai (Reb Mottele).[2]

Reb Chaim Meir's sons-in-law include Rabbis Yidele Horowitz, Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss (both were married to Reb Chaim Meir's daughter, Miriam),[3] and Yisrael Friedman (married to Reb Chaim Meir's daughter, Tziporah. Their son is Hoshea Friedman).[4]

Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, was the Vizhnitser Rebbe in Bnei Brak. He died on March 13, 2012, aged 95.[5] He had two sons and four daughters. His elder son is Rabbi Yisroel, named after his great grandfather, the "Ahavas Yisroel"; his other son is Rabbi Menachem Mendel, named after the founding Vizhnitzer Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzaddik. Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua's sons-in-law are famous rabbis. The eldest daughter married Rabbi David Twersky, the Skverer Rebbe of New Square, NY. One daughter married Rabbi Yissachar 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 the Vizhnitz Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.[6]

Rabbi Mordechai Hager, born in 1922, is the current Vizhnitzer Rebbe. He is the oldest hassidic rabbi in the entire world.[7][8] He is known for his devotion to learning Torah: he studies 18 hours a day and asks his Chasidim to study at least two hours every day. He has about 50.000 followers internationally.[citation needed] He has 14 children, 8 sons and 6 daughters. His sons serve as leaders of his followers' synagogues, in the United States and internationally. The eldest son, Rabbi Pinches Shulem ztl served the synagogue in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York; Rabbi Yisroel serves the synagogue in Monsey, New York; Rabbi Mendel serves the synagogue in Kiamesha Lake, New York; Rabbi Yitzchok Yochonon serves the synagogue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The other sons serve internationally: Rabbi Eliezer in Jerusalem, Israel Rabbi Aron in Montreal, Canada; Rabbi Duvid in London, UK; and his youngest son, Rabbi Buroch Shamshon, in Beit Shemesh.

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

Upon Grand Rabbi Eliezer Hager's passing on July 7, 2015, he was succeeded by his son Grand Rabbi Yaakov Hager, who is the current Seret Viznitz Rebbe. Rabbi Eliezer Hager's son-in-law, Rabbi Naphtali Reuven Kornreich, formerly Chief Rabbi of Tel Zion, also was crowned as a Rebbe upon the Rebbe's passing, and is now known as the Kosov-Viznitz Rebbe, and leads a Hasidic Court in Beit Shemesh.

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

Vizhnitzer Hasidim are uniquely dressed in that they are the only group besides the Stropkover Hassidim who wear their hat bow on the right side, not left, which makes it seem backwards compared to similar hats.

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Vizhnitz (Hasidic dynasty) - Wikipedia

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