Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer

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Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
Third Pittsburger Rebbe
Grand Rebbes.jpg
Grand Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer (right) with Grand Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke Leifer of Chust (USA)
Term 6 January 1990–present
Full name Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
Main work Pisgamei Oraisa
Born Newark, New Jersey
Predecessor Avraham Abba Leifer
Father Avraham Abba Leifer
Mother Rachel, daughter of Rabbi Isamar of Nadvorna
Wife Miriam Liebes

Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer is the third and current Rebbe of the Pittsburg Hasidic dynasty. Since succeeding his father, Grand Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer, as Rebbe in 1990, he has expanded the Hasidic presence in Ashdod, Israel with new schools and institutions, and increased the number of Pittsburger families to 100 in Ashdod. He also shepherds Pittsburg Hasidim in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Beit Hilkia, New York and California.[1] He and his Rebbetzin, who speak English, Hebrew and Yiddish, have a personal relationship with each member of the Hasidut.

Early life[edit]

Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber is the son of Grand Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer and the grandson of Grand Rabbi Yosef Leifer, the founder of the Hasidut in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1924. Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber was named after his great-grandfather, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Ber (Bertche) Leifer of Navordna-Satmar, and his great-great grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai of Nadvorna. He traces his paternal ancestry back to Grand Rabbi Meir the Great of Premishlan, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov.

He was born in Newark, New Jersey, where his father taught Torah and Hasidut and eventually founded a Hasidic yeshiva there.[1]

Move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[edit]

In 1966, after the death of his grandfather, Grand Rabbi Yosef Leifer, who served the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, religious community for more than four decades, his father, Rabbi Avraham Abba, accepted the invitation of the Pittsburgh congregation to succeed his father as Rebbe.

In 1970, his father moved to Ashdod, Israel. He learned in Monsey, Sanz (in Netanya), and then in Lakewood.

Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber married Miriam Liebes in New York. His wife is the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Liebes, av beis din of the Iggud Harabbanim (Rabbinical Alliance) of America.[2]

In 1982, his father opened a yeshiva in Ashdod and requested that he come to Israel and lead the yeshiva. He arrived with his family and in addition to leading the yeshiva, he assisted his father in opening Torah institutions and bringing secular Jews back to Torah and mitzvos.

When his father died on 6 January 1990 (10 Tevet 5750), he acceded to the leadership of the Pittsburgh Hasidim. He is one of several Hasidic Rebbes living in Ashdod; the others are the Tolna Rebbe, the Neshchiz Rebbe, and the Melitzer Rebbe.

Current activities[edit]

The current Pittsburger Rebbe presides over the Pittsburg educational system which includes a cheder with over 300 students, two yeshivas with 90 students, and a halacha kollel, Gemara kollel, early-morning kollel and night kollel for married men.[1]

Notable Alumni of the Pittsburg Yeshiva include Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg, Nadvorna-Kechnia Rebbe, and cousin to the Pittsburger Rebbe. [3]

The Hasidut has also attracted formerly non-observant Jews through the Rebbe's shiurim (classes), tishen and personal interaction. Pittsburgher families and institutions are concentrated in the Rova Gimel and Rova Zayin (third and seventh quarters) neighborhoods of Ashdod.

Like his father before him, the current Pittsburger Rebbe leads exuberant tishen on Friday nights and after the Shabbat morning meal, as well as a Seudah Shlishit which goes late into the night accompanied by the Rebbe's words of mussar.[1] Pittsburg is also famous for its heartfelt nigguin, many of which have been composed by the present Rebbe. These niggunim are sung both within the Hasidut and at the tishen of other Rebbes, and have been recorded on musical albums.[4]

Rebbes of Pittsburg[edit]

  1. Yosef Leifer, the Tzidkas Yosef (1891–1961)
  2. Avraham Abba Leifer (1918–1990)
  3. Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer


  1. ^ a b c d "Overview of Pittsburgh: A Warm Hasidic Community in Ashdod, Israel". Retrieved February 2010. 
  2. ^ Klass, Rabbi Yaakov (26 November 2008). "Q & A: Dismissal Of A Rabbi (Part I)". The Jewish Press. Retrieved February 2010. 
  3. ^ Herzig, Gur Aryeh (April 10, 2013). "Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg Galvanizes Global Audiences". Hamodia. Retrieved 20 May 2014. Later he traveled to Eretz Yisrael and learned in the yeshivah of his cousin, the Pittsburgher Rebbe of Ashdod. From there he went on to the Mirrer Yeshivah in Yerushalayim. 
  4. ^ Venafshi by Pittsburg Mostly

External links[edit]