Avraham Mordechai Alter
|Avraham Mordechai Alter|
The Gerrer Rebbe at a prayer gathering in the Hurva Synagogue, November 1942
|Term||1905 – 3 June 1948|
|Full name||Avraham Mordechai Alter|
|Main work||Imrei Emes|
|Born||25 December 1866
|Buried||Sfas Emes Yeshiva, Jerusalem|
|Predecessor||Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter|
|Father||Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter|
|Mother||Yocheved Rivka Kaminer|
|Wife 1||Chaya Ruda Czarna|
|Children 1||Meir Alter
Simcha Bunim Alter
|Wife 2||Feyge Mintshe Biderman|
|Children 2||Pinchas Menachem Alter|
Avraham Mordechai Alter (25 December 1866 – 3 June 1948), also known as the Imrei Emes after the works he authored, was the third Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger, a position he held from 1905 until his death in 1948. He was one of the founders of the Agudas Israel in Poland and was influential in establishing a network of Jewish schools there. It is claimed that at one stage he led over 200,000 Hasidim.
He had eight children by his first wife, Chaya Ruda Czarna, daughter of Noach Czarny, a prominent Gerrer Hasid in Biala. His eldest son, Rabbi Meir Alter, who was a Torah scholar and businessman, perished in Treblinka during the Holocaust with his children and grandchildren. His second son, Rabbi Yitzchak Alter, died in 5695 (1934) in Poland.
In 1922, his wife Chaya Ruda died. Some time later he married his niece, Feyge Mintshe Biderman, who bore him his youngest child, Pinchas Menachem Alter, in 1926.
In 1924, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai visited Palestine together with his brother in-law, Rabbi Hirsh Heynekh Lewin, his son-in-law Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter and the Sokolover Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchak Zelig Morgensztern. Over a six-week period, they visited Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron, Tiberias and Tel Aviv.
World War II
During World War II, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai was a prime target of the Nazi authorities in German occupied Poland.
He managed to escape to Palestine in 1940 with several of his sons and began to slowly rebuild his Hasidic dynasty.
Death and legacy
With the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War he was trapped in Jerusalem. He died during the holiday of Shavuot of natural causes during the siege of the city by the Jordanian Arab Legion. As bodies could not be removed to the Mount of Olives during wartime, he was buried in the courtyard of the Sfas Emes Yeshiva, located near the Mahane Yehuda Market in downtown Jerusalem.
After his death, the dynasty continued with his three remaining sons, who became the consecutive next three heads of the Gerrer Hasidim worldwide: Rabbi Yisrael Alter (fourth rebbe of Ger); Rabbi Simchah Bunim Alter (fifth rebbe of Ger); and Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter (sixth rebbe of Ger). In 1996, Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter was buried next to his father in the courtyard and an ohel was placed over both graves, which are visited regularly by students in the adjoining yeshiva.
The Hebrew acronym for Rabbi Avraham Mordechai is "Re'em (Hebrew: רְאֵ"ם). A religious moshav in central Israel is named for the Rebbe, Bnei Re'em, (lit. Sons of Re'em) as well as the nearby junction of highway 40 and highway 3.
Rebbes of Ger
- Yitzchak Meir Alter (1798–1866)
- Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (1847–1905)
- Avraham Mordechai Alter (1866–1948)
- Yisrael Alter (1895–1977)
- Simcha Bunim Alter (1898–1992)
- Pinchas Menachem Alter (1926–1996)
- Yaakov Aryeh Alter (b. 1939)