Biala (Hasidic dynasty)

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Biala (Yiddish: ביאלע) is a Hasidic dynasty originating from the city of Biała Rawska, where it was founded by R. Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz (II) (1847 - 1905). Biala is a branch of Peshischa Hasidism, as R. Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz (II) was the great-grandson of R. Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz ("the Yid HaKadosh") (1766 - 1813), the first Peshischa Rebbe. The dynasty was originally spread throuhout many towns in Poland, often taking the names of said towns. However after the Holocaust, the name "Biala" become synonymous with the entire dynasty. Today the dynasty is mostly concentrated in Israel, America and Switzerland.

Lineage[edit]

  • Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz of Peshischa (1766 - 1813) - Known as the "Yid HaKadosh", he was a disciple of R. Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz of Lublin (1745 - 1815), whom he later separated from following a notable theological difference between the two men. The Yid HaKadosh established the Peshischa shcool of Hasidic thought based out of Przysucha, Poland. He breached a rationalistic and talmudic-centric approach to Hasidism which stood in contrast to the kabbalistic and miracle based court of Lublin. After his death, he was succeeded by his disciple, R. Simcha Bunem Bonhardt (1765 - 1827), who went on to become one of the foremost figures in Polish Hasidism.
    • Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowicz (1784 - 1834) - Son of the Yid HaKadosh, he supported himself as a watch maker and is best known for defending R. Simcha Bunem, after an attempted was made by several Hasidic dignitaries to ban Peshischa Hasidism.
      • Grand Rabbi Natan David Rabinowicz of Szydlowiec (1814 - 1866) - Son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi, he studied under R. Yissachar Ber Baron, the first Radoshitzer Rebbe. R. Natan David abandoned the doctrines of Peshischa Hasidism and instead adopted a kabbalistic and miracle-centric view of Hasidism.
        • Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz (II) (1847 - 1905) - First Biala Rebbe. The son of R. Natan David, he married the daughter of R. Yehoshua of Ostrov (author of "Toldos Adam"). After his father-in-law's death he moved to Biała Podlaska, where he established his own Hasidic court and unlike his father, he embraced most parts of Peshischa Hasidism. Despite this, he still vehemently opposed the activities of maskilim, whom he described as "little foxes destroying the vineyard of the Lord". His teachings were posthumously published by his son R. Abraham under the title "Divrei Binah".
          • Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowicz (II) (1880 - 1906) - Son of R. Yaakov Yitzchak (II), he was an accomplished violinist and a painter and held a Hasidic court in Siedlice.
            • Grand Rabbi Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowicz (1900 - 1981) - Second Biala Rebbe. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi (II), he was raised by his grandfather R. Leibish of Ozarov. In 1923, he become the rebbe of Siedlice. He managed to escape Nazi occupied Poland, instead fleeing to the Russian-controlled zone, from which he was exiled to Siberia. In 1947 he immigrated to Mandatory Palestine and settled in Tel Aviv. He was in the forefront of activity to maintain adherence to traditional Judaism amongst the masses. He was one of the founders of the Chinuch Atzmai educational network, and he served on the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.
              • Grand Rabbi Bezalel Simcha Menachem Ben-Zion Rabinowicz (b. 1935) - Third and current Biala Rebbe. The son of R. Yechiel Yehoshua, he served as the rabbi of the city of Lugano. He is a member of the Agudat Yisrael.
              • Grand Rabbi David Matisyahu Rabinowicz (1927 - 1997) - Baila Rebbe of Bnei Brak. He founded the Yeshiva "Biala Or Kedoshim". The son of R. Yechiel Yehoshua.
                • Grand Rabbi Yaakov Menachem - Baila Rebbe of Bnei Brak. The son of R. David Matisyahu.
                • Grand Rabbi Aharon Shlomo Chaim Eleazar Rabinowicz, Baila Rebbe of Boro Park. The son of R. David Matisyahu.
                • Grand Rabbi Avraham Yerachmiel Rabinowicz - Ostrov-Biala Rebbe. The son of R. David Matisyahu.
              • Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Menachem Rabinowicz (1926 - 2010) - Biala Rebbe of Ramat Aharon. The Son of R. Yechiel Yehoshua, he was known for his support of Zionism and the State of Israel.
                • Grand Rabbi Baruch Shlomo Leib Rabinowicz - Baila Rebbe of Har Yonah. The son of R. Yitzchak Yaakov Menachem.
                • Grand Rabbi David Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowicz - Biala Rebbe of Ramat Aharon. The son of R. Yitzchak Yaakov Menachem.
              • Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda Rabinowicz (1923 - 2003) - Baila-Peshischa Rebbe. The son of R. Yechiel Yehoshua. He moved to the neighbourhood of Har Nof, where he established the Beit Midrash "Toldot Yechiel Biala-Peshisha".
                • Grand Rabbi Yaakov Elimelech Rabinowitz - Baila-Peshischa Rebbe of Ashdod. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda.
                • Grand Rabbi Chaim Yitzchak Menachem Mendel Rabinowicz - Biala-Peshischa Rebbe of Bnei Brak. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda.
                • Grand Rabbi Moshe Rabinowicz - Current Baila-Peshischa Rebbe. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda, he took over his father's Beit Midrash in Har Nof.
                • Grand Rabbi Baruch Leib Rabinowicz - Current Baila Rebbe of London. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda.
                • Grand Rabbi Simcha Ben-Zion Yitzchak Rabinowicz - Baila-Peshicha Rebbe of Ramat Shlomo. The son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi Yehuda.
            • Grand Rabbi Nathan David Rabinowicz (1899 - 1947) - Son of R. Yerachmiel Tzvi (II), he was the Baila Rebbe of London. He married the daughter of R. Alter Yisroel Shimon Perlow I (1874 - 1933), 2nd Novominsker Rebbe. He moved to London in 1927 where he established a shtiebel off Brick Lane. His ethical will, "Divrei David" was published in London in 1948.
              • Rabbi Tzvi Rabinowicz (1919 - 2002) - Author of several academic works on Hasidism.
          • Grand Rabbi Natan David Rabinowicz (II) (1868 - 1930) - Parzcever rebbe. The son of R. Yaakov Yitzchak (II), and a staunch opponent of the Haskalah and Zionism. He married the daughter of R. Yechiel Yaakov Hopsztajn (1846–1866), the fifth Kozhnitzer Rebbe.

Main books[edit]

  • Toldos Adam (by Rebbe Yehoshua of Ostrova, the father-in-law of the first Biala Rebbe)
  • Divrei Binah (by the first Biala Rebbe)
  • Aron Eidus (by Rebbe Shraga Yoir of Białobrzegi, the brother of the Divrei Binah)
  • Zichron Mishlei (by Rebbe Meir Shlomo of Mezritch, the son of the Divrei Binah)
  • Yeshuas Avraham (by Rebbe Avrohom Yehoshua Heshl of Lublin, the son of the Divrei Binah)
  • Chelkas Yehoshua and Seder HaYom (by Rebbe Yechiel Yehoshua)
  • Lehavas David' (by Rebbe Dovid Matisyahu of Biala-Bnei Brak)
  • Mevaser Tov (by Rebbe Ben-Zion of Biala)—parts of which have been translated into English

A translation of Seder HaYom into English has been published by the Biala Rebbe of America. The version of the prayer-book used by Biala Hasidim is called Siddur Chelkas Yehoshua.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]