Elazar Mordechai Koenig

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Elazar Mordechai Koenig (born 1945) is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and the spiritual leader of the Breslov Hasidic community in Safed, Israel.

Early life[edit]

Elazar Mordechai Koenig was born in Jerusalem to Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon Koenig and his wife Esther Yehudit Koenig. His father was a leading disciple of Breslov elder Rabbi Abraham Sternhartz, who immigrated to Jerusalem from Uman, Ukraine in 1936.[1]

Koenig is an alumnus of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He studied kabbalah with his father as well as with several leading Sephardic masters, including Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi.[2]

Breslov leader[edit]

Kiryat Breslov housing complex

In 1967, his father, with the encouragement of Rabbi Sternhartz, founded the Breslov community in Safed and dedicated himself to fundraising for the expansion of this Torah center.[1] Upon his father's unexpected death in 1980, Koenig and his two brothers built up the Breslov Safed complex to include a synagogue, preschool, Talmud Torah, yeshiva ketana, and kollel.[1][3]

As of 2014, the Safed Breslov community comprises 250 families.[1] Koenig is the leader of this community as well as of its umbrella organization, Nachal Novea Mekor Chokhma Institutions. These include: Kiryat Breslov (a religious housing complex), a kollel, Yeshiva ketana, Talmud Torah Magen Avos, Ganei and Derech Yehudit Education Center for Girls, a daycare center for working mothers, Lilmod U'lamed Special Education School, the historic Trisk Synagogue in Safed's Old City, and a five-story Torah Center.

After suffering for many years from pulmonary fibrosis of unknown origin, Koenig underwent lung transplant surgery on January 15, 2005 at Manhattan's Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.[citation needed]

Influence beyond Safed[edit]

In 1997 Koenig founded the Breslov Center for Spirituality and Inner Growth, which organizes classes on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, lectures, musical events, and retreats in the Greater New York area. He also sponsors the annual Breslov Rosh Hashana gathering in Meron for Hasidim who are unable to travel to Uman.[citation needed]

His advice and blessings are sought by people around the world.


  1. ^ a b c d Frankfurther, Rabbi Yitzchok. "Finding Happiness in Breslov: A conversation with Rav Elazar Koenig, shlita, of Tzefas". Ami, 12 March 2014, pp. 62-71.
  2. ^ "HaRav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, Shlita, Manhig (Leader) of Kiryat Breslov, Tzefat, Israel". The Breslov Chassidic Center for Spirituality and Inner Growth. 1997. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Breslov Synagogue". safed.co.il. 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Friends of Tsfat - About HaRav Kenig, shlita *[1]