Simcha Bunim of Peshischa

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Simcha Bunim of Peshischa
Rebbe Reb Binum
שמחה בונים מפשיסחה.jpg
Full nameSimcha Bunim Bonhart
Main workKol Simcha
Bornc. 1767
Bendin, Poland
Died4 September 1827 (12 Elul 5587)
Przysucha, Congress Poland
SuccessorMenachem Mendel of Kotzk
Yisroel Yitschok of Vurke
Avrohom Moshe of Przysucha
Yaakov Arye of Radzymin
FatherThe Maggid of Vadisloven
MotherSarah Sirkis
ChildrenAvrohom Moshe

Simcha Bunim Bonhart of Peshischa (Przysucha, in Poland) (Yiddish: רבי שמחה בונם בונהרד מפשיסחא; born 1765 - September 04, 1827) was one of the key leaders of Hasidic Judaism in Poland. And a member of the Sirkis-Jaffe Family.


Simcha Bunim was the son of Tzvi Hersh Bonhart the Maggid of Vadisloven and Sarah Sirkis who was notable for being the 5th or 2nd great-granddaughter of Joel Sirkis and thus being a decedent of the Davidic line. Simcha Bunim studied Torah at yeshivas in Mattersdorf and Nikolsburg. He was introduced to hasidism by his father-in-law, and became a follower of Yisroel Hopstein, and then Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin, and Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz, the hasidic leaders of the day. After the death of the Rabinowicz, most hasidim made Bunim their rebbe.

Not wanting to take up a rabbinical position, Bunim supported himself by practicing pharmacy. At a later stage, he became an agent for Temerl Bergson, a wealthy businesswoman who supported many of the hasidic leaders during her time.

Among his followers were Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, Israel Yitzhak Kalish, Yitzchak Meir Alter of Ger, Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Izhbitz, Yaakov Arye of Radzymin and Chanokh Heynekh HaKohen Levin.


Bunim wrote no works of his own, but many of his teachings were transmitted orally, some of which have been collected in Kol Simcha. Others are cited in later works.

One of the more famous oral teachings attributed to Bunim is:

Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed, discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: "For my sake was the world created."[1] But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: "I am but dust and ashes."[2][3][4]


  • Michael Rosen. Quest for Authenticity - The thought of Reb Simhah Bunim, Jerusalem, Urim Publications, 2008.
  • Alan Brill, "Grandeur and Humility in the Writings of R. Simhah Bunim of Przysucha," in Hazon Nahum
  • Glenn Dynner, "Merchant Princes and Tsadikim: The Patronage of Polish Hasidism" Jewish Social Studies - Volume 12, Number 1, Fall 2005 (New Series), pp. 64–110
  • Mahler, Raphael. Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century;
  • Kol Simcha (Hebrew)
  • Buber, Martin, "Tales of the Hasidim Vol. 2", 1946


  1. ^ "Sanhedrin 37a:15". Sefaria.
  2. ^ "Genesis 18:27". Sefaria.
  3. ^ Buber, Martin (1948). Tales of the Hasidim: Later Masters. Schocken Books. pp. 249–250.
  4. ^ "Sefaria Source Sheet: Two pockets". Sefaria.

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