Boyan (Hasidic dynasty)

Boyan (Hasidic dynasty)

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Boyan is a Hasidic
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 dynasty named after the town of Boiany in the Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. The Hasidut is presently headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, with communities in Beitar Ilit, Bnei Brak, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Antwerp, Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, and Monsey, New York.

First Boyaner Rebbe

The founder of the dynasty was Rabbi Yitzchok Friedman
Yitzchok Friedman
Yitzchok Friedman was the founder and first Rebbe of the Boyan Hasidic dynasty. He was known as the Pachad Yitzchok .-Early life:...

 (1850–1917), known as the Pachad Yitzchok (Dread of Isaac). He was the eldest son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman (1820–1883), the first Sadigura
Sadigura (Hasidic dynasty)
Sadigura is a Hasidic dynasty, one of the branches of the Ruzhiner dynasty.The dynasty began with Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman of Sadigura now located in Ukraine, who was a son of Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhin, the founder of the Ruzhiner dynasty....

 Rebbe, and the grandson of Rabbi Yisroel of Ruzhin (1797–1851), founder of the Ruzhiner
Ruzhin (Hasidic dynasty)
The Ruzhin Hasidic dynasty was founded by Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhyn, . Today, Ruzhyn is an urban-type settlement in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine. Rav Yisroel's father was the Rebbe Sholom Shachne of Prhobisht, who was a son of Rabbi Avrohom "HaMalach"...


Upon the death of his father in 1883, Rabbi Yitzchok and his brother Rabbi Yisrael (1852–1907) assumed joint leadership of their father's Hasidim. Although they were content with this arrangement, many of the Sadigura Hasidim preferred to have one Rebbe, and in 1887, the brothers agreed to draw lots to determine who would stay in Sadigura and who would move out. The lots fell to Rabbi Yisrael to remain as the second Sadigura Rebbe, while Rabbi Yitzchok moved to the neighboring town of Boiany (Boyan) and established his court there, becoming the first Boyaner Rebbe. Under the leadership of the Pachad Yitzchok, Boyaner Hasidut flourished. Boyaner communities were established in nearby towns as well as in Tiberias, Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

, and Jerusalem, Israel.

Boyaner Rebbes after World War I

At the beginning of World War I, the town of Boyan was completely destroyed by invading armies. The Rebbe and his family escaped to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, where the Rebbe died in 1917. After the war ended, three of his four sons each moved to a different country to establish their court. His eldest son, Rabbi Menachem Nachum (1869–1936), became the Boyaner Rebbe in Chernowitz
Chernivtsi is the administrative center of Chernivtsi Oblast in southwestern Ukraine. The city is situated on the upper course of the River Prut, a tributary of the Danube, in the northern part of the historic region of Bukovina, which is currently divided between Romania and Ukraine...

, Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

. Rabbi Menachem Nachum's two sons, Rabbi Aharon and Rabbi Mordechai Shraga, succeeded him; they and their families were murdered by the Nazis
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 during World War II. Rabbi Menachem Nachum's son-in-law, Rabbi Moshenu (1841–1943), became the Boyaner Rebbe in Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

; he was murdered in Auschwitz
Auschwitz concentration camp
Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...


The Pachad Yitzchok's second son, Rabbi Yisroel (1878–1951), became the Boyaner Rebbe in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, Germany; in 1939 he moved to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. He had two daughters, whose husbands did not succeed him. The Pachad Yitzchok's third son, Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov (1884–1941), became the Boyaner Rebbe in Lemberg; he was murdered by the Nazis
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 in 1941.

The Pachad Yitzchok's youngest son, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo
Mordechai Shlomo Friedman
Mordechai Shlomo Friedman , sometimes called Solomon Mordecai Friedman, was the Boyaner Rebbe of New York for over 40 years...

, remained in Vienna with his mother until the latter's death in 1922. At that point he considered an offer to head the Hasidic community of Drohobych
Drohobych is a city located at the confluence of the Tysmenytsia River and Seret, a tributary of the former, in the Lviv Oblast , in western Ukraine...

 in Western Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and another offer to lead an organized chaburah (group) of Boyaner Hasidim on the Lower East Side
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side, LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street....

 of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. He embarked on an 11-month pilot trip to America in December 1925, and then spent another year weighing the pros and cons of moving to America before acceding to the request of the Boyaner Hasidim of New York to establish his court with them. He and his family arrived in New York in November 1927.

Over the next 40 years, the Boyaner Rebbe of New York succeeded in uniting the Ruzhin-Boyan survivors of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 and proved that Hasidut could be a viable lifestyle in America. The Rebbe exuded the sense of nobility and spiritual loftiness characteristic of rebbes of the Boyaner dynasty, but he also expressed a warmth and paternal concern for his disciples which attracted many American youth who had never seen a Hasidic rebbe. Yeshiva students and secular Jewish boys alike were drawn to him in large numbers, and he made many ba'alei teshuvah
Baal teshuva
Baal teshuva or ba'al teshuvah , sometimes abbreviated to BT, is a term referring to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuva literally means, "repentant", i.e., one who has repented or "returned" to God...

 (returnees to the faith). The Rebbe also took an active role in American Jewish leadership, being a founder and president of the Agudath HaAdmorim (Union of Grand Rabbis) of the United States (in which capacity he participated in the Rabbi's March on Washington in 1943); first vice president of Agudath Israel of America
Agudath Israel of America
Agudath Israel of America , is a Haredi Jewish communal organization in the United States loosely affiliated with the international World Agudath Israel.-Functions:...

 and a member of that body's Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah
Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah
Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah refers to the supreme rabbinical policy-making council of any of several related Haredi Jewish organizations....

; and president of Vaad HaEzra, in which capacity he raised funds to help Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe.
In 1948 the Ruzhiner synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tiferes Yisroel (also called the Nissan Beck Synagogue), which was completed by the Sadigura Rebbe, Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, in 1872, was destroyed by the Arab Legion during the 1948 Israel War of Independence
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. On his trip to Israel in 1953, the Boyaner Rebbe of New York laid the foundations for a new Ruzhiner Torah centre, also to be called Tiferes Yisroel, in the New City of Jerusalem. In 1957 the Ruzhiner yeshiva, called Mesivta
Mesivta is an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva high school for boys. The term is commonly used in the United States to describe a yeshiva that emphasizes Talmudic studies for boys in grades 9 through 11 or 12; alternately, it refers to the religious studies track in a yeshiva high school that offers both...

 Tiferes Yisroel, was inaugurated with the support of all of the Rebbes of the Ruzhiner dynasty. A large synagogue was built adjacent to it, also bearing the name Tiferes Yisroel; the current Boyaner Rebbe, Rabbi Nachum Dov Brayer
Nachum Dov Brayer
Nachum Dov Brayer is the present Rebbe of the Boyan Hasidic dynasty. He is the grandson of the former Boyaner Rebbe of New York, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo Friedman, who died when he was 11 years old. On Hanukkah 1984, at the age of 25, he was coronated Boyaner Rebbe. He lives in...

, leads his Hasidut from here. The design of the synagogue, located on the western end of Malkhei Yisrael Street close to the Central Bus Station
Jerusalem Central Bus Station
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station is the main bus depot in Jerusalem, Israel and one of the busiest bus stations in the country. Located on Jaffa Road near the entrance to the city, it serves Egged, Superbus and Dan intercity bus routes...

, includes a large white dome, reminiscent of the domed Tiferes Yisrael Synagogue that was destroyed in the Old City.

Following Rabbi Menachem Shlomo's death on 2 March 1971, the Boyaner Hasidim were left leaderless. The Hasidim approached the Rebbe's eldest son, Yisrael, to take over as Rebbe, but he declined. The Hasidim then asked the Rebbe's daughter Malka and her husband, Rabbi Dr. Menachem Mendel Brayer, a teacher at Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University is a private university in New York City, with six campuses in New York and one in Israel. Founded in 1886, it is a research university ranked as 45th in the US among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012...

, to offer one of their two young sons to be groomed for the position. The elder, Yigal, an aerospace engineer, was suggested and then rejected. The lot fell to the younger son, Nachum Dov (born 1959), who then enrolled at the Ruzhiner yeshiva in Jerusalem to prepare himself for the task. On Hanukkah
Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE...

 1984, Rabbi Nachum Dov Brayer was coronated Boyaner Rebbe. The Hasidut is now based in Jerusalem, Israel, where the Rebbe resides.

Boyan today

Modern-day Boyaner Hasidut numbers more than 1,000 families, and is the largest of the dynasties that have their roots in the Ruzhiner dynasty. The majority of Boyaner Hasidim live in and around Jerusalem. There are also Boyaner communities in Bnei Brak, Antwerp, London, Manchester, Monsey, and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Boro Park
Borough Park, Brooklyn
Borough Park , is a neighborhood in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City in the United States....

 and Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

. The kloiz that the Boyaner Rebbe of New York presided over at 247 East Broadway still draws a daily minyan
A minyan in Judaism refers to the quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain religious obligations. According to many non-Orthodox streams of Judaism adult females count in the minyan....

, although the community is mainly centered around a small synagogue in an apartment house at West 82nd Street and West End Avenue on New York's Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

 where the Rebbe spent his last years. Whenever the present Boyaner Rebbe visits America, he receives visitors in the former Rebbe's prayer room in the Lower East Side kloiz, and it has become a practice for chatanim
Jewish wedding
A Jewish wedding is a wedding ceremony that follows Jewish law and traditions.While wedding ceremonies vary, common features of a Jewish wedding include a ketuba signed by two witnesses, a wedding canopy , a ring owned by the groom that is given to the bride under the canopy, and the breaking of a...

(grooms) in the Boyaner community to pray here before going to their chuppah
A chuppah , also huppah, chupah, or chuppa, is a canopy under which a Jewish couple stand during their wedding ceremony. It consists of a cloth or sheet, sometimes a tallit, stretched or supported over four poles, or sometimes manually held up by attendants to the ceremony. A chuppah symbolizes the...


Lag BaOmer tradition

The Boyaner Rebbe traditionally lights the first bonfire at the annual Lag BaOmer celebration at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, Israel. This privilege was purchased by Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, the first Sadigura
Sadigura (Hasidic dynasty)
Sadigura is a Hasidic dynasty, one of the branches of the Ruzhiner dynasty.The dynasty began with Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman of Sadigura now located in Ukraine, who was a son of Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhin, the founder of the Ruzhiner dynasty....

 Rebbe, from the Sephardi
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 guardians of Meron and Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

; the Sadigura Rebbe bequeathed this honor to his eldest son, Rabbi Yitzchok, the first Boyaner Rebbe, and his progeny. The first hadlakah (lighting) is attended by hundreds of thousands of people each year; in 2001, the crowd was estimated at 300,000.

Lineage of the Boyaner dynasty



See also

  • History of the Jews in Poland
    History of the Jews in Poland
    The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was the centre of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the...

  • History of the Jews in Galicia (Central Europe)
  • History of the Jews in Ukraine
    History of the Jews in Ukraine
    Jewish communities have existed in the territory of Ukraine from the time of Kievan Rus' and developed many of the most distinctive modern Jewish theological and cultural traditions. While at times they flourished, at other times they faced periods of persecution and antisemitic discriminatory...

External links