Yitzchak Meir Alter
|Yitzchak Meir Alter|
|Full name||Yitzchak Meir Rotenberg|
|Main work||Chidushei Harim|
|Successor||Chanoch Henoch of Alexander|
Yitzchak Meir Rotenberg (he had to change to "Alter" because he supported the November Uprising of 1830 ), is considered to be the first Rebbe of the Ger Hasidic dynasty, which he founded in the town of Góra Kalwaria (known as "Ger" in Yiddish), Poland. He headed the Kupath Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Kollel Polen (Poland) [ קופת רמבעה"ן כולל פולין ורשה / וארשא]. He was also known as the Chidushei HaRim for his Torah books. He is sometimes referred to fondly as Reb Itche Meir by his followers.
Rabbi Rotenberg was born in Magnuszew, Poland, in late 1799. He came from a very distinguished family of rabbis, among the most prominent in Germany and Poland. He was a descendant of Rashi and of the Tosafist, Rabbi Meir ben Baruch of Rothenburg.
He married Feigele Lipszyc, daughter of Moshe 'Halfon' Lipszyc, in 1811, and settled in Warsaw. They had fourteen children (according to most published sources), most of whom died in infancy.
Rabbi Rotenberg became known as a Talmudic gaon. At first he was close to the rebbes of Kozhnitz. After some years he was drawn to the Rebbe, Reb Simcha Bunim of Prshischa, whose close adherent he became. After the demise of the Rebbe, Reb Bunim, Alter became a disciple of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, known as the Kotzker Rebbe, who was famous for his acerbic wit and Talmudic brilliance. He was soon followed by a large number of Reb Bunim's followers. Alter and the Kotzer Rebbe eventually became brothers-in-law, when the latter married Chaya Lipszyc, the sister of Alter's wife Feigele.
Rabbi Rotenberg was succeeded as Rebbe by his colleague and disciple, Rabbi Chanoch Henoch of Alexander.
One of his sons, Avraham Mordechai, and three daughters, Cyna Pesia, Leah Hudes and Esther, survived to adulthood and married. By the time of Alter's death on 23 Adar 5626 (1866), only one child (Esther) remained alive.
Rabbi Rotenberg is also known for his talmudic commentary, though he wrote on many other areas. Extant published works are:
- Chidushei HaRim on Choshen Mishpat Part 1 Part 3
- Chidushei HaRim on Torah link
- Chidushei HaRim on Bava Batra link
- Chidushei HaRim on Bava Metzia link
- Chidushei HaRim on Bava Kama link
- Chidushei HaRim on Shavuot link
- Chidushei HaRim on Gittin link
- Chidushei HaRim on Ketubot link
- Chidushei HaRim on Pirkei Avot link
Rebbes of Ger
- Yitzchak Meir Rotenberg(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)
- Meir Einei Hagoilo, by Avrohom Yisochor Binyomin Alter and Avrohom Mordechai Alter, (1928)
- Toldoth Horim, by Itshe Myer Broder of Ger.
- No. 100 Elul 5727 Page 80 בית יעקב, פנחס יעקב הכהן לוין