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Mashpia (Hebrew: משפיע‎) lit. "person of influence", pl. Mashpi'im (Hebrew: משפיעים‎) is the title of a rabbi or rebbetzin who serves as a spiritual mentor in Tomchei Temimim (the Chabad yeshiva), in a girls' seminary belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, or in a Chabad community.

Contents

Definition

Although counterparts to the mashpia exist in both Hasidic and non-Hasidic movements (such as the Mashgiach ruchani), this term is exclusive to the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, because this mentoring role is significantly different from the approach of other groups. It refers specifically to one whose communal service as a spiritual mentor includes providing:

Rabbi Ya'akov Winner, mashpia of the Yeshivah Gedolah of Melbourne, Australia.
  • communal guidance through regular public lectures and classes, and leading farbrengens, Chasidic gatherings;
  • personal guidance in matters of decent interpersonal conduct and fine character traits;
  • inspiration to strive ever higher in one's spiritual growth, through intensive Torah study and observance of Mitzvos, particularly according to the Chabad Hasidic tradition;
  • answers to those seeking clarification on matters of Hasidic philosophy, customs, and general conduct according to the Chabad-Lubavitch school of thought; and
  • personally-tailored advice on how to advance in the uniquely Chabad discipline of avodas ha'tefilah, lit. "the service of prayer." This discipline involves lengthy meditation on sublime Hasidic concepts before and during the course of prayer.

The nature of the mashpia's role is alluded to in the preface to the Tanya, the classic text of Hasidic philosophy written by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. It is discussed in numerous public talks delivered by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. In particular, he instructed that one should approach one's mashpia regularly to be examined and evaluated.

There is a distinction to be drawn between a Rav, i.e., a personal mentor and adviser, and a mashpia. Although the two terms are similar and often used interchangeably, the latter term usually refers to someone knowledgeable and scholarly, who holds some official communal position. The former term, however, refers to an individual who is chosen simply as an objective outsider to offer advice and guidance. This person need not be otherwise qualified.

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Famous mashpi'im

Mashpi'im of old

  • Reb Hillel HaLevi of Paritch, d. (Paritch/Babroisk, Russia)
  • Reb Michoel der Alter, d. (Lubavitch, Russia)
  • Reb Zev Wolf Levitin, d. (Lubavitch, Russia)
  • Reb Shmuel Groinem Esterman, d. (Lubavitch, Russia)
  • Reb Shileim Kuratin, d. (Lubavitch, Russia)
  • Reb Itche Der Masmid, d. (travelling mashpia in pre-WWII Europe]]
  • Reb Dovid Horodoker (Kievman), d. (travelling mashpia in pre-WWII Europe)
  • Reb Zalman Moishe HaYitzchaki, d. (Nevel, Russia; Tel Aviv, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Avrohom Drizin (Mayorer), d. (Russia, Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, d. (Kfar Chabad, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Shmuel Levitin, d. (Russia; Crown Heights)
  • Reb Menachem Mendel Futerfas, d. (Russia; Kfar Chabad, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Nissan Neminov, d. (Brunoy, France)
  • Reb Zalman Serebryanski, d. (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Reb Yehuda Chitrik, d. (Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Chatche Feigin, d. (Lubavitch, Russia)

Mashpi'im of today

  • Reb Yoel Kahn (770 Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Nachmon Schapiro (Oholei Torah)Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Volf Greenglass (Montreal, Canada)
  • Reb Meilech Tzvibel (Rabbinical College of America, Morristown, NJ)
  • Reb Zalman Gopin (Kfar Chabad, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Itche Meir Gurary (Montreal, Canada)
  • Reb Boruch Lesches (Sydney, Australia; Monsey, NY)
  • Reb Fitche Ofen (Yerushalayim/Tsfas, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Shloime Zarchi (770 Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Berel Lipsker (Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Avrohom Lipskier (Seagate, NY)
  • Reb Avrohom Boruch Pevzner (Yerushalayim, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Zushe Alperovitch (Kiryat Gat, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Yosef Yitzchak Segal (Migdal Ha'Emek, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Sholom Charitonov (Oholei Torah, Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Shloma Majesky (Machon Chana, Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Ya'akov Winner (Yeshivah Gedolah Zal, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Reb Noam Wagner (Lubavitch Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg, S. Africa)
  • Reb Mendel Lipskier (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Reb Simcha Werner (Monsey, NY)
  • Reb Yossi Jacobson (Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Moshe Horenshtein (Tzfat, the Land of Israel)
  • Reb Yossi Gurary (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gordon (London, England)
  • Reb Itche Nemenov (Brunoy, France)
  • Reb Nechemye Bluming (Brunoy, France)
  • Reb Yisrolik Segal (Brunoy, France)
  • Reb Kuti Feldman (Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Tuvia Bolton (Kfar Chabad, The Holy Land)
  • Reb Simcha Bart (Los Angeles, Ca)
  • Reb Mendel Schapiro (Los Angeles, Ca)
  • Reb Shabsi Yaakov Adler (Toronto, CA)
  • Reb Mordechai Friedman (Cottage Grove, Minnesota)
  • Reb Pinye Korf [Oholei Torah], Crown Heights, NY)
  • Reb Avrohom Meir Sherr (Cincinnati, OH)

Mashpi'ois

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, in a historically unprecedented initiative, also encouraged women and girls to assume a similar role of providing guidance, referring to such a woman as a mashpi'oh (Heb. משפיעה), pl. mashpi'ois (Heb. משפיעות). This role is usually more community-focused.

Mashpi'ois of old

Current mashpi'ois

See also

External links


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