Friday, December 9, 2011

Poland -- Aleksander Hassidim

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

An article in the Jerusalem Post  by Levi Cooper gives fascinating background on the Aleksandrow Hassidim, who still make pilgrimages to the small town of Aleksandrow Lodzki to visit the grave of the founding Aleksander rebbe, Rabbi Yehiel Dancyger (1828-1894), and his sons. In January 2010, more than 300 Aleksander Hassidim traveled to the town to mark the 100th anniversary of Yehiel's son, Rabbi Yerahmiel Yisroel Yitzhok. The only physical traces left in the town are the cemetery and the former residence of Yehiel's grandson, Rabbi Yitzhak Menahem Dancyger (1879-1942), who was killed in Treblinka.
Rabbi Yehiel requested not to be accorded any rabbinic title and asked his followers not to place notes with requests on his grave as is traditionally done with a hassidic master. Aleksander Hassidim, therefore, bring such notes to the grave, read them out and then, in accordance with the wishes of Rabbi Yehiel, they do not place them on the grave. Rather, they place them on the nearby grave of Rabbi Heynech.
The article traces the complex history of the dynasty and describes the situation today, with centers in Israel and the U.S.

Read full story HERE

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