Sholom Rokeach

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Sholom Rokeach
First Belzer Rebbe
Full name Sholom Rokeach
Born 1779
Died 10 September 1855
Belz
Dynasty Belz
Successor Yehoshua Rokeach
Father Eleazar Rokeach
Mother Rivka Henna Ramraz
Wife Malka
Children Yehoshua Rokeach

Sholom Rokeach (1781[1] – 10 September 1855), also known as the Sar Sholom (Hebrew: שר שלום‎, "Angel of Peace"[2]), was the first Belzer Rebbe.

To Belzer Hasidim, he is known as "Der Ershter Rov" (the first rabbi), but in the city of Belz itself he was called "Der Alter Rov" (the old rabbi) in deference to the Bach, who presided as rabbi of Belz in the sixteenth century.[3]

Biography[edit]

His father was Rabbi Eleazar,[4] one of the sages of the Kloyz of Brody. The latter was the grandson of Rabbi Eleazar, author of Maaseh Rokeach,[5][6] rabbi of Brody until 1736, then Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam.[6]

Rokeach grew up as an orphan and was raised by his uncle, his mother's brother, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Ramraz, rabbi of Skohl, then in Galicia. He married his uncle's daughter, Malka (1780[7] – 23 August 1853).[8]

In the town of Skohl he was influenced by Rabbi Shlomo (Flam), the Rebbe of Skohl (also known as Reb Shlomo Lutzker), who was the personal writer and right-hand man of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism. Since his uncle (and father-in-law) was opposed to Hasidism, Rokeach would secretly be let down the window by his wife, to learn at Rabbi Shlomo Lutzker's beis midrash at night. He was also a disciple of the Seer of Lublin.[9]

He composed several songs, most of them still sung by the Belzer Hasidim, including one niggun (melody) to Tzur Mishelo sung during the Shalosh Seudot third Shabbat meal.

Many of his teachings are preserved in an anthology entitled Midbar Kodesh.

He reigned as rebbe from 1817 until his death in 1855. In addition to leading his Hasidim, he defended the beleaguered Jews of his district to the governor. In a famous exchange, the governor of the district invited him to his office and said, "Do you know that I am the second Haman?" The Sar Sholom replied, "Luck was not on the side of the first one, either". The governor was so impressed by the Rebbe's firm stand that he promised to put an end to the Jewish persecution.[10]

Rebbes of Belz[edit]

  1. Rabbi Sholom Rokeach (1781–1855)
  2. Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach (1825–1894)
  3. Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (1854–1926)
  4. Rabbi Aharon Rokeach (1877–1957)
  5. Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (b. 1948)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Preschel Herzog, Pearl (Sep/12/12). Ami Living (87): 39. 
  2. ^ Isaiah 9:5.
  3. ^ Padwa, Rabbi Chanoch Dov. "Shmu'ot Belz", in Heichal Habesht 23, p. 115
  4. ^ Lapidus, Steve. "The Forgotten Hasidim: Rabbis and Rebbes in Prewar Canada". York University. p. 10. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "ספר מעשה רוקח". HebrewBooks.org. Amsterdam. 1740. Retrieved Jan/30/13. 
  6. ^ a b Preschel Herzog, Pearl (Sep/12/12). Ami Living (87): 44. 
  7. ^ Preschel Herzog, Pearl (Sep/12/12). Ami Living (87): 40. 
  8. ^ Preschel Herzog, Pearl (Sep/12/12). Ami Living (87): 43. 
  9. ^ Preschel Herzog, Pearl (Sep/12/12). Ami Living (87): 41. 
  10. ^ Brayer, Rabbi Menachem (2003). The House of Rizhin: Chassidus and the Rizhiner dynasty. Mesorah Publications. p. 355. ISBN 1-57819-794-5. 

See also[edit]