Levi Yitzchak Schneerson

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Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson
Born April 28, 1878
Podrovnah, Russia
Died August 9, 1944
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Occupation Chief Rabbi of Yekatrinoslav, Russia
Known for Likkutei Levi Yitzchak on Kabbalah and Chabad philosophy
Spouse(s) Chana Schneerson
Chabad synagogue in Almaty, depicted on a Kazakh stamp

Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, (1878-1944), was a Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic rabbi in Yekatrinoslav, Ukraine. He was the father of the seventh and last Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.


Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was born on the 18th day of Nissan, 5638 (1878) in the town of Podrovnah (near Gomel) to Rabbi Baruch Schneur and Zelda Rachel Schneerson. His great-great grandfather was the third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn of Lubavitch.

In 1900, Levi Yitzchak married Chana Yanovski, whose father, Rabbi Meir Shlomo (he), was the Rabbi of the Ukrainian city of Nikolaiev. In 1902, their eldest son, Menachem Mendel was born. He was later to become the Rebbe of Lubavitch.

Schneerson lived in Nikolaiev until 1909, when he was appointed to serve as the Rabbi of Yekatrinoslav. In 1939 he was arrested by the communist regime for his fearless stance against the Party's efforts to eradicate Jewish learning and practice in the Soviet Union, and particularly for distributing Matzah to the Jews of Yekatrinoslav.[1] After more than a year of torture and interrogations in Stalin's prisons, he was sentenced to exile to a remote village Chiali in Kazakhstan. Shortly before his death, Levi Yitzchak was able to move to Almaty, where he was warmly welcomed by the small Lubavitcher community. There he died on the 20th of Av, 5704 (1944).[2] Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was buried at a cemetery in Almaty. A Chabad Lubavitch synagogue named in his honour has been built near his gravesite.

Schneerson was a distinguished Kabbalist. Some of his writings have been published in a five volume set under the name Likkutei Levi Yitschok. Most of it, however, was burned or confiscated by the Soviet authorities, and has yet to be returned to the Chabad movement.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gottlieb, Naftali Tzvi. Trans. Lesches, Elchonon. "Rabbi, Mystic and Leader - the Life and Times of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson" (Kehot Publication Society; 2008) 253 pages
  • Schneerson, Chana. Trans. Tilles, Yerachmiel. "A Mother in Israel - the Life and Memoirs of Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson" (Kehot Publication Society; 1985, 2003) 226 pages

External links[edit]