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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bobov, (or Bobover Hasidism) (חסידות באבוב) is a Hasidic group within Haredi Judaism originating in Bobowa, Galicia in Southern Poland and now headquartered in the neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York. Bobov has branches in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn; Monsey, New York; Miami; Montreal; Toronto; Antwerp and London. In Israel, Bobov has large branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Betar Illit and an enclave Kiryath Bobov in Bat Yam.


Outline of Bobov's Hasidic rabbinical lineage

Grand Rabbi
Yisroel ben Eliezer
Baal Shem Tov
founder of Hasidism
Grand Rabbi
Dov Ber
the Maggid of Mezritch
Grand Rabbi
Elimelech of Lizhensk
author of Noam Elimelech
Grand Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropshitz
author of Zera Kodesh
Grand Rabbi
Chaim Halberstam of Sanz

author of Divrei Chaim
Myer Noson Halberstam

3. Grand Rabbi
Shlomo Halberstam

Third Bobover Rebbe
4. Grand Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Halberstam

Fourth Bobover Rebbe
Female Halberstam
1. Grand Rabbi
Shlomo Halberstam

First Bobover Rebbe
author of Ateres Shlomo
eldest grandson of the Divrei Chaim
2. Grand Rabbi
Ben Zion Halberstam

Second Bobover Rebbe
author of Kedushas Tzion
5. Grand Rabbi
Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam

(b. 1955)
present Bobover Rebbe (contested)
5. Grand Rabbi
Mordechai Dovid Unger

(b. 1954)
present Bobover Rebbe (contested)
Rabbi Yosef Unger
Ruv of Beth Midrash Apirion Shel Shlome
Female Halberstam
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Tauber
present Dayan of 48 Street
5. Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin> (b. 1952)
present Bobover Ruv (contested)<br/
Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Rabinowitz
present Ruv of the Bobover Shul in Monsey
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Teacher → Student
Grand Rabbi
Yonasan Binyamin Goldberger
Rebbe of Bikofsk & present Rosh Hakolel of 48 Street
Rabbi Meyer Yosef Eichenstein
Present Rosh Hakolel (contested)
Father → Son
Female Halberstam
Husband ↔ Wife
Rabbi Ben Zion Blum
Bobover Dayan of London
Female Halberstam
Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Meisles
Bobover Ruv of Kiryath Bobov in Bat Yam
Female Halberstam
Rabbi Boruch Avraham Horowitz
present Rosh Yeshiva of 48 Street
Rabbi Baruch Dovid Halberstam
Sorvosher Ruv
Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Grand Rabbi
Yaakov Yosef Halberstam
Ruv of Beth Midrash Zichroin Chaim Yehoshua
Grand Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Rebbe of Satmar in Monsey
Grand Rabbi Yechiel Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, NY
Grand Rabbi Yechezkel Dovid Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe
Grand Rabbi Chaim Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Avraham Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
Grand Rabbi Shloime Halberstam
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Lakewood, New Jersey



First rebbe of Bobov

Rabbi Solomo Halberstam, the first Bobover Rebbe

Bobov originated with Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam in the Galician village of Bobowa, where the bulk of his Hasidim were originally followers of his grandfather, Rabbi Chaim of Sanz (the author of Divrei Chaim).

While most of the early yeshivos ("Talmudical academies") originated in Lithuania, the 19th century saw the opening of similar institutions in Poland. The first yeshiva in Poland was established by the first Bobover Rebbe in 1881 in Vishnitsa where he was rabbi then; and it later moved with him to Bobov.

Second rebbe of Bobov

His work was continued by his son, Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, author of Kedushas Tzion. The Bobov Yeshiva was originally situated only in the town of Bobov itself. However, under his guidance the Chasidus grew in numbers, with Hasidic youth flocking to Bobov. Subsequently as many as sixty branches of the Yeshiva under the name "Eitz Chaim" were established throughout Galicia.

During World War II the Bobov Hasidic movement was destroyed, the Second Rebbe himself perishing in the Holocaust together with thousands of his followers.

Third rebbe of Bobov

Barely 300 chasidim survived, and the Rebbe's son Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam took it upon himself to rebuild Bobov. He first settled in the West Side of Manhattan; later moving to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, The Yeshiva was located on the west side of Brooklyn Avenue between Bergen and Dean Streets; it later moved to Borough Park. Rabbi Shlomo was known as a very wise man and a Gaon in Midos (Giant in good manners/attributes) and a true gentleman. He was noted for his steadfastness in not taking sides in disputes. This brought him great popularity and respect.

Over the more than fifty years that Rabbi Shlomo was Rebbe of Bobov; he founded and built a vast network of synagogues, chasidic schools for boys and girls (yeshivas), High schools (Mesivtas) and post high school houses of learning. Besides schools, a summer camp for boys was founded in 1957 in the Catskills' Ferndale, NY. These institutions span the globe. At the time of his death in August 2000, he was mourned by more followers than his father had in pre-War Poland. His Hebrew date of death was the first of Av the same as that of Aaron the Biblical High Priest (Numbers 33:38), which was noted by many (and mentioned at the funeral by his son Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam) for their similar characteristics of "loving peace" (Oheiv Sholom Veroidef Sholom - Loved peace and pursued peace) (Pirkei Ovos 1:12).

Fourth rebbe of Bobov

Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam, the fourth Bobover Rebbe

With Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam's passing, his older son Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam was crowned as his successor and his younger son Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam was appointed as Rav Hatzuir (Junior Ruv). Rabbi Naftali Zvi died on March 23, 2005 (12 days in Adar, 5765) at age seventy-four leaving a wife, two daughters and two sons in-law; Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin and Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger; as well as his brother and sisters.

Bobov today

Fifth rebbe(s) of Bobov

Following the death of Grand Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam, a dispute arose. Many Bobover Hasidim claimed his sons-in-law as the successors, splitting the title: Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger as their Rebbe (אדמו"ר) and Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin as their Ruv (אבד"ק). Many others however claimed his younger brother Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, the Rav Hatzuir (Junior Ruv), as the successor. Both groups of Hasidim claim their Rabbi as the rightful inheritor of the position of Bobover Rebbe. This dispute is currently before a Beth Din (Jewish court). Currently, Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam is the Rebbe in the Bobover Beis Medrash, while Rabbi Mordechai Dovid's Hasidim have established a temporary headquarters, and a weekdays and Shabbos Beis Medrash.

Grand Rebbe Mordechai Dovid Unger (right) and the Ruv, Grand Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin

Important Bobover literature

In addition to those books revered by all Hasidim, the Bobover Hasidim particularly treasure Kedushas Tzion of the second Bobover Rebbe (published by the third Bobover Rebbe) and Kerem Shlomo of the third Bobover Rebbe. The versions of the siddur ("prayer book") used by Bobover Hasidim are called Tzelosa DeShlomo and Tefilas Rav.


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