Dushinsky (Hasidic dynasty)

Dushinsky (Hasidic dynasty)

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Dushinsky is one of the few Hasidic dynasties not named after the place where it originated; instead, it is named after the surname of the Rebbe. It is a relatively new dynasty, as are many of the dynasties originating in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. However, the Dushinsky dynasty truly became a dynasty in Jerusalem, where it is centered today. It is not like other Hasidic groups in that it does not originate from a Hasidic background, but from the talmidim (students) of the Chasam Sofer
Moses Sofer
Moses Schreiber, known to his own community and Jewish posterity as Moshe Sofer, also known by his main work Chasam Sofer, , , was one of the leading Orthodox rabbis of European Jewry in the first half of the nineteenth century...


Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky (1865-1948), the Maharitz

The founder of the Dushinsky dynasty was Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, son of Rabbi Yisroel Dushinsky. He was a disciple of Rabbi Simcha Bunim Sofer (Shevet Sofer), one of the grandchildren of the Chasam Sofer.

After his marriage to the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai Winkler, author of Levushei Mordechai, Rabbi Dushinsky became the chief rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 in Galanta
Galanta is a small town in Slovakia. It is situated 50 km due east from the Slovak capital Bratislava.-Geography:Galanta lies in the Danubian Lowland , the warm southern part of Slovakia...

, Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. In an epidemic during the First World War his first wife died childless and he subsequently remarried Esther Neuhaus, daughter of Rabbi Yoel Tzvi Neuhaus. He relocated to the town of Chust
Khust is a city located on the Khustets River in the Zakarpattia oblast in western Ukraine. It is near the confluence of the Tisza and Rika Rivers...

, where he assumed the position of chief rabbi. In 1921, a son, Yisroel Moshe was born.

In 1930, the Dushinsky family moved to the British Mandate of Palestine, settling in Jerusalem. Shortly after in 1932 came the death of the chief rabbi and founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld
Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld
Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, also spelled Zonnenfeld, was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. He was originally given the name "Chaim", however, the name "Yosef" was added to him while he...

, leader of the Haredi community of Jerusalem. Rabbi Dushinsky was appointed as his successor. He founded a community of Hungarian Jews in Jerusalem, affiliated with the Perushim
The Perushim were disciples of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who left Lithuania at the beginning of the 19th century to settle in the Land of Israel, then under Ottoman rule...

 section of the Edah HaChareidis.

Rabbi Dushinsky was known for his strong opposition to Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

, and spoke to the newly-formed United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 against the creation of the Zionist State. Rabbi Dushinsky died on the eve of Sukkos, 14th of Tishrei
Tishrei or Tishri , Tiberian: ; from Akkadian "Beginning", from "To begin") is the first month of the civil year and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year in the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian. It is an autumn month of 30 days...

 1948, shortly after the founding of the State of Israel. He was succeeded by Rabbi Zelig Reuven Bengis
Zelig Reuven Bengis
Zelig Reuven Bengis was the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem for the Edah HaChareidis...


Books written by him, or based on his work, include:
  • Shut Maharitz (halachic responsa
    Responsa comprise a body of written decisions and rulings given by legal scholars in response to questions addressed to them.-In the Roman Empire:Roman law recognised responsa prudentium, i.e...

  • Toras Maharitz (Chumash commentary)
  • Chiddushei Maharitz (Gemara
    The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Rabbi Judah the Prince The Gemara (also transliterated Gemora or, less commonly, Gemorra; from Aramaic גמרא gamar; literally, "[to] study" or "learning by...


Yisrael Moshe Dushinsky (1921-2003), the Maharim

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi’s son Yisrael Moshe inherited his father’s position as Grand Rabbi of the Dushinsky community, and in turn also became the Chief Rabbi of the Edah HaChareidis. Under his leadership the Dushinsky community was steered towards chassidus. Rabbi Yisroel Moshe died in 2003 and was succeeded by Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss
Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss
Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss is the Chief Rabbi or Gavad of Jerusalem for the Edah HaChareidis. He was appointed to this post in 2003, after having served as the av beis din of the Machzike Hadass community of Antwerp, Belgium. Rabbi Weiss is a British national.-External links:*...

 as Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and by his son, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi, as the present Grand Rabbi of Dushinsky.

Dushinsky today

A famous student of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe, Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman, is one of the members of the Rabbinical Court (Badatz) which leads the Edah HaChareidis. He also leads his own beis din, and is highly respected in Dushinsky, where he is regarded as the second most important person after the Rebbe.

In 2005 a new large synagogue was inaugurated. It was built behind the old building, on Shmuel HaNavi Street, and seats hundreds. The bochurim (unmarried young men) sit in a first-level balcony-like room, while only married men and their pre-bar mitzvah children sit in the main shul. Above the bochurim's balcony is another balcony for the women. The main synagogue is only used on Shabbos and holidays; on weekdays, a complex of four also brand-new smaller synagogues (shtiblach) in the basement of the building are used. The old synagogue, on the first floor of the old building, is now used for tishen
Tish (Hasidic celebration)
A tish , also spelled tisch, is a gathering of Hasidim around their Rebbe. It may consist of speeches on Torah subjects, singing of melodies known as niggunim and zemirot , with refreshments being served. Hasidim see it as a moment of great holiness...


Rebbe Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, the present leader of the movement, has appointed his younger brother, Rabbi Mordechai Yehuda Dushinsky, as rabbi of the Dushinsky community in the all-Haredi Beit Shemesh neighbourhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. Aside from the Dushinsky communities in Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh, there are also smaller communities in Elad
El'ad, also spelled Elad , is a city in the Center District of Israel. Located about east of Tel Aviv on Route 444 between Rosh HaAyin and Shoham.In 2007 the town had a total population of 31,300. Its current population is estimated at over 32,000...

, New York
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...

's Boro Park district, and 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...

. In 2007, new Dushinsky synagogues were built in London and in the 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 ...

 section of 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...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, and building began for a new Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah schools were created in the Jewish world, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, as a form of public primary school for boys of modest backgrounds, where they were given an elementary education in Hebrew, the Scriptures , and the Talmud...

 in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, in addition to the recently completed synagogue there. There are also a number of Dushinsky chassidim in Antwerp; however, there is no Dushinsky synagogue there.

Dushinsky minhagim

Dushinsky has several special minhag
Minhag is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism. A related concept, Nusach , refers to the traditional order and form of the prayers...

im (customs), in things such as the style of dress and the nusach
Nusach is a concept in Judaism that has two distinct meanings. One is the style of a prayer service ; another is the melody of the service depending on when the service is being conducted.-Meaning of term:Nusach primarily means "text" or "version", in...

 used. The nusach
Nusach is a concept in Judaism that has two distinct meanings. One is the style of a prayer service ; another is the melody of the service depending on when the service is being conducted.-Meaning of term:Nusach primarily means "text" or "version", in...

 used, called nusach Maharitz, is a mix of nusach
Nusach is a concept in Judaism that has two distinct meanings. One is the style of a prayer service ; another is the melody of the service depending on when the service is being conducted.-Meaning of term:Nusach primarily means "text" or "version", in...

 Ashkenaz and nusach Sefard
Nusach Sefard
Nusach Sefard is the name for various forms of the Jewish siddur, designed to reconcile Ashkenazi customs with the kabbalistic customs of the Ari. To this end it has incorporated the wording of Nusach Edot Mizrach, the prayer book of Sefardi Jews, into certain prayers...

. This is not only the case with Shemoneh Esrei, but also with other elements of prayer: for example, between Kabbolos Shabbos and Maariv on Friday night, both Bameh Madlikin and Kegavno are said, and on Sukkos, the lulav
The Lulav is a closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the arba'ah minim used in the morning prayer services during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot...

 is shaken both according to the nusach Ashkenaz and nusach Sefard minhagim. Tachanun is said according to nusach Ashkenaz. No vidui is said at Mincha, as per nusach Ashkenaz. However, Kaddish and Kedushoh are said according to nusach Sefard, and Boruch she'omar is said after Hodu.

Books held in high regard are the works of the Chasam Sofer, the book Shevet Sofer, and the collections of Torah commentaries by the previous rebbes: Toras Maharitz and Toras Maharim. The study of mystical works is regarded as secondary to studying Halacha and Gemara
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Rabbi Judah the Prince The Gemara (also transliterated Gemora or, less commonly, Gemorra; from Aramaic גמרא gamar; literally, "[to] study" or "learning by...


Regarding Zionism, the book Vayoel Moshe
Vayoel Moshe
Vayoel Moshe is a Hebrew book written by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, leader of the Satmar Hasidic movement, in the year 1961. It made his case that Judaism is against Zionism....

, written by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum
Joel Teitelbaum
Joel Teitelbaum, known as Reb Yoelish or the Satmar Rav , was a prominent Hungarian Hasidic rebbe and Talmudic scholar. He was probably the best known Haredi opponent of all forms of modern political Zionism...

 of Satmar
Satmar (Hasidic dynasty)
Satmar is a Hasidic movement comprising mostly Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum , who was the rabbi of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary...

, is regarded as authoritative and received a praising recommendation from both the previous Rebbe (the Maharim) and Rav Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman when a new edition was printed in 2002.

Lineage of the Dushinsky dynasty


External links