Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
|Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer|
|Third Pittsburger Rebbe|
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|
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. He and his Rebbetzin, who speak English, Hebrew and Yiddish, have a personal relationship with each member of the Hasidut.
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.
Move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
Rebbes of Pittsburg
- Yosef Leifer, the Tzidkas Yosef (1891–1961)
- Avraham Abba Leifer (1918–1990)
- Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
- "Overview of Pittsburgh: A Warm Hasidic Community in Ashdod, Israel". www.pittsburghdynasty.org. Retrieved February 2010.
- Klass, Rabbi Yaakov (26 November 2008). "Q & A: Dismissal Of A Rabbi (Part I)". The Jewish Press. Retrieved February 2010.
- Venafshi by Pittsburg Mostly music.com.