Bobov (Hasidic dynasty)
Bobov (or Bobover Hasidism) (Hebrew: חסידות באבוב, Yiddish: בּאָבּאָװ) is a Hasidic community within Haredi Judaism originating in Bobowa, Galicia, in southern Poland, and now headquartered in the neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York.
Bobov developed into a leading Hasidic dynasty through the leadership of Shlomo Halberstam, a holocaust survivor who possessed a strong charismatic personality.
There are currently two independent Bobov communities, each with their own rebbes and institutions. The first, which carries the name Bobov and inherited all Bobov institutions, is led by Benzion Halberstam. The second one, named Bobov-45, broke away from the main group in 2005 and established their own institutions; they are led by Mordechai Dovid Unger.
Bobov communities are found in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn; Monsey, New York; Lakewood, New Jersey; Montreal; Toronto; Antwerp; and London.. In Israel, Bobov has large branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Elad, Beitar Illit, and an enclave "Kiryas Bobov" in Bat Yam.
Outline of Bobov's Hasidic rabbinical lineage
Yisroel ben Eliezer
Baal Shem Tov
founder of Hasidism
the Maggid of Mezritch
Elimelech of Lizhensk
author of Noam Elimelech
Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropshitz
author of Zera Kodesh
Chaim Halberstam of Sanz
author of Divrei Chaim
|Rabbi Myer Noson Halberstam|
|3. Grand Rabbi|
Third Bobover Rebbe
author of Divrei/Chochmas Shlomo
|4. Grand Rabbi|
Naftali Tzvi Halberstam
Fourth Bobover Rebbe
|1. Grand Rabbi|
First Bobover Rebbe
author of Ateres Shlomo
eldest grandson of the Divrei Chaim
|2. Grand Rabbi|
Ben Zion Halberstam
Second Bobover Rebbe
author of Kedushas Tzion
|5. Grand Rabbi|
Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam
Fifth Bobover Rebbe
Mordechai Dovid Unger
|Rabbi Shulim Unger||Rabbi Yosef Unger|
Ruv of Beth Midrash Apirion Shel Shlome
|Female Halberstam||Female Halberstam||Female Rubin|
|Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Tauber|
| Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin (born 1952)|
|Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Rabinovich|
present Ruv of Bobov in Monsey
|Female Halberstam||Female Rubin|
|Teacher → Student|
|Rabbi Yonasan Binyamin Goldberger|
Rebbe of Bikofsk & present Rosh Hakolel of Bobov
|Rabbi Meyer Yosef Eichenstein|
Present Rosh Hakolel of Bobov-45
|Father → Son|
|Husband ↔ Wife|
|Rabbi Ben Zion Blum|
Bobover Dayan of London
|Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Meisles|
Bobover Ruv of Kiryath Bobov in Bat Yam
|Rabbi Boruch Avraham Horowitz|
present Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Eitz Chaim of Bobov
|Rabbi Baruch Dovid Halberstam|
|Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam|
|Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Halberstam|
Ruv of Beis Chaim Yehoshua
|Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Halberstam|
Rabbi of Satmar in Monsey
|Rabbi Yechiel Halberstam|
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, NY
|Rabbi Yechezkel Dovid Halberstam|
|Rabbi Chaim Halberstam|
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
|Rabbi Ben Zion Avraham Halberstam|
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Flatbush
|Rabbi Shloime Halberstam|
Pokshivnitzer Rebbe of Lakewood, New Jersey
First Rebbe of Bobov
While most of the early yeshivos (Talmudical academies) originated in Lithuania, the 19th century saw the opening of similar institutions in Poland. The first yeshiva in Poland was established by the first Bobover Rebbe in 1881 in Vishnitsa where he was rabbi then; and it later moved with him to Bobov.
Second rebbe of Bobov
His work was continued by his son, Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, author of Kedushas Tzion. The Bobov Yeshiva was originally situated only in the town of Bobov itself. However, under his guidance, the court grew in numbers, with Hasidic youth flocking to Bobov. Subsequently, as many as sixty branches of the yeshiva under the name Etz Chaim were established throughout Galicia.
During World War II, the Bobov Hasidic movement was destroyed. The second Rebbe himself died in the Holocaust,(1874 - 1941/3 Menachem Av, HY"D) together with family members and thousands of his followers.
Third Rebbe of Bobov
Barely 300 chasidim survived, and the Rebbe's son Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam took it upon himself to rebuild Bobov. He first settled in the West Side of Manhattan, later moving to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. The Yeshiva was located on the west side of Brooklyn Avenue at 184 Brooklyn Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place; it later moved to nearby Borough Park. Rabbi Shlomo was known as a very wise man and a gaon (exalted) in middos (good attributes). He was noted for his steadfastness in not taking sides in disputes. This brought him great popularity and respect.
Over the more than fifty years that Rabbi Shlomo was Rebbe of Bobov, he founded and built a worldwide network of synagogues, Hasidic schools for boys and girls, mesivtas (high schools), and post-high school houses of learning. Besides schools, a summer camp for boys was founded in 1957 in Ferndale, New York, and a girls camp, Camp Gila, was founded a few years later. At the time of his death in August 2000, he was mourned by more followers than his father had in pre-war Poland. His Hebrew date of death was the first of Av, the same as that of Aaron, the Biblical High Priest. Many have noted their similar characteristics of Ohev Shalom VeRodef Shalom (Loved peace and pursued peace).
Fourth Rebbe of Bobov
With Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam's death, his son Rabbi Naftali Zvi Halberstam succeeded him. Rabbi Naftali Zvi died on March 23, 2005 (12th of Adar II, 5765), at age seventy-four, leaving a wife, two daughters, and two sons-in-law: one Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin Rav of Bobov-45 and the other Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger Rebbe of Bobov-45.
Fifth Rebbes of Bobov
After Grand Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Halberstam of Bobov died in 2005, a dispute arose among Bobover Hasidim as to who should succeed the dynasty leadership; some preferred Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, while another group of people preferred Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger, the son-in-law of the late Rebbe. For seven years, while a prolonged arbitration proceeding at a beth din was going on, both groups claimed the rightful Bobov leadership. After seven years of deliberation, the beth din ruled among other decisions regarding assets, that the Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, half brother of the previous Rebbe, has the only right to claim the name Bobov. However, the ruling allowed Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger to be named Bobov-45 rebbe.
Bobov-45 is an offshoot of the Bobov dynasty, also headquartered in Borough Park. It has branches in Williamsburg, Monsey, Lakewood, Montreal, Toronto, London and Antwerp. In Israel, Bobov-45 has branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, Ashdod, Elad, and Beitar Illit.
Mordechai Dovid Unger is the first and current, Grand Rabbi of Bobov-45. He is the younger son-in-law of the fourth Bobover Rebbe, Naftali Zvi Halberstam. Yehoshua Rubin, the older son-in-law of Halberstam, is the current dayan and rabbinical leader of the sect.
History of Bobov-45
The third Bobover Rebbe, Shlomo Halberstam, rebuilt the Bobov Hasidic dynasty in the United States after losing his wife and most of his children in the Holocaust; his son Naftali survived. After the war, Shlomo Halberstam remarried and had a son, Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, half-brother to Naftali.
Naftali became the fourth rebbe upon his father's death. He had no sons, but left two daughters, one of whom married Yehoshua Rubin, and the other Mordechai Dovid Unger.
In 2005, after the death of Naftali Halberstam, a breakaway group of Bobover Hasidim loyal to his son-in-law, Mordechai Dovid Unger, set up a grand hall under his leadership on 45th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn. A leadership dispute then arose between Unger and Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, who both claimed the title of Bobover Rebbe.
The dispute was taken to a beth din (arbitration panel), which ruled that the faction following Halberstam held the rights to the name "Bobov". Unger was also allowed to use the name Bobov, so long as a distinguishing identifier would be added to it. The qualifying suffix "-45" was henceforth adopted in tribute to the street on which the community center of the sect was located at the time. In addition, the beth din ordered Bobov to pay $6,200,000 to Bobov-45's Rebbe and dayan in twenty-five quarterly installments, as an allotment of their faction's share of the inheritance of the Bobov enterprise's assets, which was valued at over $50,000,000 at the time. The award was based upon the number of members in the two communities.
As the Rebbe of Bobov-45, Mordechai Dovid Unger has also been active in the wider Jewish community.
Community institutions, such as a synagogue and mikveh (ritual bath) have been built within Bobov-45. Other infrastructure includes a beth midrash (study hall), cheder (elementary school), yeshiva ketana (secondary school), mesivta, girls school, day camp, and wedding halls.
- "Naftali Halberstam Dies at 74; Bobov Hasidim's Grand Rabbi". The New York Times. March 25, 2005.
- Mintz, Jerome (1998). Hasidic People. Harvard University Press. p. 120. ISBN 9780674041097.
- Tzvi Rabinowicz (2000). Hasidism in Israel: A History of the Hasidic Movement. ISBN 0765760681.
- "We Are the King's Children". Torah.org. June 7, 2002.
- "The Second Bobover Rebbe, Rabbi Ben Zion bar Shlomo Halberstam, was born in 1874 (5634) in the village of Bikofsk, Galicia. His family moved to Bobov and, ... "19 km from Auschwitz. The Story of Trzebinia". YadVaShem.org.
- " .. had been all but wiped out by the Nazi Holocaust. Virtually single-handedly Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, who has died aged 92, revived it. "Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam". TheGuardian.com. September 1, 2000.
- pre-WW II thru '00
- "Grand Rabbi Solomon Halberstam". August 17, 2000.
- Numbers 33:38
- Pirkei Avot 1:12
- "Borough Park, NY - Bobov Dispute Heads Into Final Stage At Din Torah, Not Secular Court". VosIzNeias.
- London,UK - "Chasidey Bobov-45 Beth Hamedrash" - " (The congregation should not be confused with the Beth Hemedrash of Kehal Chasidei Bobov of Egerton Road N16, which follows the leadership of the half brother of the Fourth Bobover Rebbe.) "Bobov Synagogue, Clapton Common, London". JCR-UK Jewish Communities & Records.
- "bobov psd.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox.
- "The Life And Legacy Of Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam". August 1, 2008.
- "Bobov-45 Rebbe dances at wedding". October 26, 2017.
- "Jan 20, 2016 - The Bobov 45 Rebbe, Reb Mordche Duvid Unger Shlita, being Menachem Aveil the BMG Rish Yeshivah Harav Yerucham Olshin Shlita". TheLakewoodScoop.com. January 20, 2016.
- "Driving directions to Bobov-45 Bais Medrash, Brooklyn, United States".
- "Science Fair at the Bobov-45 Cheider". Hamodia.com. March 14, 2016.
- "Federal contract awards,..." "Contracting Profile: Yeshiva Ketana Of Bobov 45, Inc. Brooklyn NY".
- "BDE: Harav Mendel Gross, Menahel of Bobov-45 Mesivta". November 3, 2017.
- "Bobov-45 readies for ceremony This Sunday celebrating the rededication of massive 150,000 s.f. school building in Borough Park". Boro Park 24. Feb 16, 2019.
- "Bobov 45 (BP) Day Camp Song '16 on Vimeo". June 28, 2016.
- "Today is the wedding of a granddaughter of The Bobov-45 Rebbe Shlita ..." "Bobov 45 Wedding – Furshpeil". BoroPark24. May 27, 2018.