Bobov (Hasidic dynasty)

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Bobov, (or Bobover Hasidism) (חסידות באבוב) is an Hasidic community 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; Montreal; Toronto; Antwerp and London. In Israel, Bobov has large branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, the settlement of Betar Illit and an enclave Kiryath Bobov in Bat Yam.

Outline of Bobov's Hasidic rabbinical lineage[edit]

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
Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam

(b. 1955)
Fifth Bobover Rebbe
Mordechai Dovid Unger
(b. 1954)
Bobov-45er Rebbe
Rabbi Yosef Unger
Ruv of Beth Midrash Apirion Shel Shlome
Female Halberstam
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Tauber
Bobov Dayan
5. Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin (b. 1952)
Bobov-45 Ruv
Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Rabinovich
present Ruv of the Bobov-45er Shul in Monsey
Female Halberstam
Female Rubin
Teacher → Student
Grand Rabbi
Yonasan Binyamin Goldberger
Rebbe of Bikofsk & present Rosh Hakolel of Bobov
Rabbi Meyer Yosef Eichenstein
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 Mesivta Eitz Chaim of Bobov
Rabbi Baruch Dovid Halberstam
Sorvosher Ruv
Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Grand Rabbi
Yaakov Yosef Halberstam
Ruv of Beis Chaim Yehoshua
Grand Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam
Grand 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[edit]

Rabbi Shlomo 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 at 184 Brooklyn Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place; 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, and a girls camp "Camp Gila" was founded a couple years later. 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[edit]

With Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam's death, his older son Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam succeeded him, 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 II, 5765) at age seventy-four leaving a wife, two daughters and two sons in-law; Bobov-45 Ruv Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin and Bobov-45 Rebbe Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger; as well as his brother Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam Bobover Rebbe; and five sisters.

In 2005 after Grand Rabbi Naftali Halberstam of Bobov died; Bobov split into two sects world wide, while a very large percentage remained in the main center in Brooklyn on 48th Street, a small percentage left and started on their own in a new Center in Brooklyn on the 45th Street, under the leadership of Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger the son in law of the Fourth Bobov Rebbe Grand Rabbi Naftali Halberstam Zt"l, The dispute was later at an arbitration panel known as a Beth Din. The Beth Din gave out a decision that Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam brother of the previous Rebbe and son of Grand Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam has the exclusive rights to the title Bobover Rebbe. And that Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger which is leading the new faction can use the name Bobov only if it follows the guidelines set by the Beth Din, therefore they must add a name to Bobov(שם לווי) such as Bobov-45, and that Bobov must pay Bobov-45 6.2 Million Dollars within the next 5 years.

Fifth Rebbe of Bobov[edit]

Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, son of Grand Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, and brother of Grand Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam is the Bobov Rebbe.

Bobov-45 Rebbe[edit]

Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger son-in-law of Grand Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam is the Bobov-45 Rebbe Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin son-in-law of Grand Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam is the Bobov-45 Ruv.

Important Bobover literature[edit]

In addition to those books revered by all Hasidim, the Bobover Hasidim particularly treasure Kedushas Tzion by the second Bobover Rebbe (published by the third Bobover Rebbe) and Likutei Kerem Shlomo by the third Bobover Rebbe, the "Dibros Kodesh" by the fourth Bobover Rebbe, and the "Kovetz Imrei Kodesh" of the current Rebbe. The versions of the siddur ("prayer book") used by Bobover Hasidim is called Tzlosai D'Shlomo.