- Skver (Hasidic dynasty)
Skver (also Skvir or Skwere; _yi. סקווירא) is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by
RebbeYitzchok Twerski in the city of Skver (as known in Yiddish; or Skvira, in present-day Ukraine). Followers of the rebbes of Skver are called "Skverer hasidim".
The dynasty of Skver is a branch of the Chernobyl dynasty. Its founder, Rebbe Yitzchok, also known as Reb Itzikl, was one of the eight sons of Rabbi
Mordechai, the Maggid of Chernobyl.
There are currently two off-shoots of the Skverer dynasty. One is led by Grand Rabbi Duvid Twersky, and is headquartered in
New Square, New York. The other group, identified as Skver-Boro Park, is led by Grand Rabbi Michael Twersky , son of the late Grand Rabbi David Twersky of Skwer-Boro Park.
| | | | | | | | | |MEOR | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
Menachem Nachum Twerskiof Chernobyl (1730–1797),
disciple of the
Baal Shem Tovand the Maggid of Mezritch,
and author of "Me'or Einayim"
| | | | ARN | | | | |!| | | | | LKS | | | | | | | | | | | | ARN=Rabbi
Aaron of Karlin,
Maggid of Mezritch
LKS=Rabbi Dovid Leikes,
Baal Shem Tov|
| | | | |!| | | | | |!| | | | | |!| | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | F1 |~|y|~| MAG |~|y|~| F2 | | | | | | | | | | | | MAG=Rabbi Rabbi Mordechai Twersky,
Chernobyl| F1="First Wife" | F2="Second Wife" |
,|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|(| | | |,|-|^|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|.| | familytree|boxstyle=font-size:10px;font-family:tahoma;
AT | | MK | | YYT | | MNM | | AVT | | DT | | YS | | YR | AT=Rabbi Aaron of Chernobyl | MK=Rabbi Moshe of Karustshov | YYT=Rabbi Yakov Yisroel of Tcherkas | MNM=Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Makarov | AVT=Rabbi Avraham, the Maggid of Turisk | DT=Rabbi Dovid of Tolna | YS=Rabbi Yitzchak of Skvira | YR=Rabbi Yochanan of Rachmastrivka |
| | | |,|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|v|-|'| | |
| | | AYH | | MNN | | ISR | | DSW |~|y|~| DVD |~|y|~| DEG
AYH=Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Makhnifke | MNN=Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Shpikov | ISR=Rabbi Yisroel | DVD=Rabbi Dovid'l (1848–1919) of Skver | DSW="daughter of R' Shlomo Wertheim of Savran" |DEG="daughter of R' Elyokim Getz of Ostraha"
| | | |,|-|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|-|'| | | |,|-|^|-|.| | | |
| | | MRD | | | SHL | | | NAC | | | | | | | YTZ | | YY |
MRD=Rabbi Mordechai Twerski | SHL=Rabbi Shlomo Twersky | NAC=Rabbi Nachum Twersky| YTZ=Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky of Kishinev | YY=Rabbi Yakov Yosef Twersky (1899–1968), previous rebbe of Skver and founder of New Square community|
| | | |!| | | | | | | | | | | | |F|-|-|-|V|-|-|-|-|-|(| |
| | | YTS | | | | | | | | | | | VIZ | | RAC | | | | DSK | |
YTS=Rabbi Yitschok Twersky of Skver | VIZ=Rabbi Mordechai Hager, rebbe of Viznitz-Monsey | RAC=Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky, rebbe of Rachmastrivka-Boro Park | DSK=Rabbi Duvid Twersky (born 1940), present rebbe of Skver and leader of New Square community|
| | | |!| | | | | | | |
| | | YMS | YMS=Rabbi Yechiel Michl Twersky of Skwer-Boro Park
The first Skverer Rebbe was Rabbi Hershele of Skver (Reb Hershele Skverer), a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov. When Reb Hershele settled in Skver (Skvira) he was elected to become the town rabbi in the "shtutishe shil" ( _yi. שטאטישע שול = main shul in the city). Reb Hershele's daughter later married Yitzchok Twerski, called Reb Itzikl, the seventh son of Rabbi
Mordechai of Chernobyl.
Reb Itzikl, founder of the dynasty
After Reb Hershele died on Chol Hamoed Succos 5548 (1788) the townspeople chose Rabbi Reb Itzikl, the seventh son of Rabbi
Mordechai of Chernobyland Reb Hershele's son-in-law, as the next rabbi of Skver. Legend has it that Reb Itzikl was given the honor of leading the "Atoh Horeiso" prayer on the night of Shemini Atzeres, and his prayers moved the towspeople so, that he was immediately chosen to be the next rabbi. The election of a successor to Reb Hershele as the town rabbi, which had been scheduled to take place after the Sukkot holyday, was canceled as the townspeople had already agreed on their rabbi.
Rabbi Itzikl was married three times. He married his first wife, who was a daughter of Rabbi Yitzchok of Radvil and a granddaughter of the
Apter Rov, in 1783. They had two sons—Avrohom Yehoshua Heshil and Menachum Nochum of Shpykiv. His second wife Chaya Malka was a daughter of Rebbe Yisroel Friedmanof Ruzhin. His third wife Chana Sima was the daughter of Rabbi Hershele (Naftoli Tsvi) of Skver
Unlike his father Rabbi The Chernobyler Magid, Reb Itzikl was a reticent sort and did not deliver public discourses as was common among other Hasidic rebbes. His successors generally did the same. The philosophy of general reticence and understatement in devotional behavior chracterisitic of Skver can be traced to this practice.
While Reb Itzikl was not a preacher, people traveled from afar him to discuss their personal matters privately with Reb Itzikl. He established his Hasidic court in the center of the city, occasionally traveling to other towns in Ukraine.
Reb Itzikl is known in Hasidic legend as the "filozof eloki", the Godly philosoper. He is said to have studied the works of
Maharalextensively. There is evidence that he also studied medieval and pre-medieval works of Jewish philosophy, in departure from the common Hasidic practice to shun philosophical studies of fundamental faith issues.
Haskalamovement (the Jewish Enlightenment, not to be confused with the more general Age of Enlightenment), was sweeping through Eastern Europe in the late eighteenth century, and Reb Itzikl frequently attempted to debate and confront the "Maskilim". A well-known tale relates that Reb Itzikl engaged in a fierce debate with a "Maskil", and won the debate after citing an argument from "Sefer Haikarim".
There are no published works by Reb Itzikl himself, although a collection of oral teachings (name needed) has been published by Skverer chasidim in recent years under the imprint of "Mechon Mishkenos Yakov".
Rabbi Itzikl's son by his third wife Chana Sima, Reb Dovidl, succeeded his father as Skverer Rebbe. He was known to be ascetic and exceedingly reticent. He once said, "Men shvagt un men shvagt, dernoch riet men abisl un men shvagt vater" ("We keep silent and we keep silent; then we rest a bit, and go on keeping silent").
In 1914 Rebbe Dovidl left Skvira for Kiev due to the Bolshevik revolution, which left smaller cities and towns unsafe. He stayed in Kiev until his death (on 15
Kislev5680) in 1919. He left no published works.
Reb Itzikl Skverer of Boro Park
Rebbe Dovidl's eldest son, Rabbi Mordechai Twerski, died in the same year as his father in Kiev. During those difficult times many Jews fled Ukraine and came to America.
Rabbi Mordechai's son, Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky, known as Reb Itzikl Skverer (Skvirer), also left Bessarabia and came to America, arriving in 1923. Eventually he settled in the
Borough Park, Brooklynand opened his shul on 45th Street between 13th and 14th Avenue.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky died prematurely, while his son Rabbi Dovid Twersky was still young. Although there were not many vibrant Hasidic communities in America in those days, he was raised in a Hasidic atmosphere in his mother's house where he was guarded against the influences of the American culture. Later, when his uncle the Grand Rabbi Yakov Yosef Twersky of Skver came to America, his mother asked the Skverer Rebbe to look after him and teach him. When Rabbi Dovid grew older he took over the leadership of the shul of his late father Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky, and devoted his whole life to help a fellow Jew. Rabbi Dovid Twersky was known in the Hasidic community for his extraordinary expertise and influence with many in the medical field, and consequently was often sought out for advice. He died in 2001 and was succeeded by his son, Yechiel Michl Twersky, the Skwerer Rebbe of Boro Park.
Skwer-Boro Park today
Today, Skwer-Boro Park has one of the biggest Hasidic institutions in Metropolitan New York. "Tomer Devorah" Girls School, founded by the late rebbe Grand Rabbi Dovid Twersky around 1980, currently has an enrolment of about a thousand girls. The school for boys "Bais Yitzchok" is named after Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky. In addition, there is also a summer camp for the boys and girls where they enjoy a range of programs in the summer months.
Reb Yakov Yosef
Rebbe Dovidl's son, Rebbe Yakov Yosef (1900–1968), was revered as an exceptionally pious man. In 1925 he married Trana, the daughter of Rabbi Pinye of Ustilla and granddaughter of Rabbi Yisucher Dov of Belz. As a young man he lived in
Belzand later adopted some of the Belzer customs. A few years later he set up court in Kalarash, Romania, and later in Yas. During World War II he lived in Bucharest.
After the war Rabbi Yakov Yosef came to the U.S. Disappointed with American materialism and decadence, he was immediately overcome by a desire to create a rural community far from the hustle and bustle of New York life. It is said that soon after he arriving on American shores he said to his followers, "If I weren't so embarrassed, I'd turn around and head back immediately."
After spending a few years in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where his home and synagogue became a beacon for many who sought his counsel, he established a community in what was then rural Rockland County, New York, and named it New Square. Establishing the village and its institutions became his life's work. It was the first such "shtetl" in America, and was later emulated by a number of other groups.
Building a shtetl
In 1956, with a handful of followers, Rabbi Yakov Yosef moved to
New Square, New York, the first Hasidic Shtetl in America.
The present rebbe
After Reb Yakov Yosef's death in 1968, his son, Rabbi Duvid Twerski, took over the community's leadership. The community grew to new prominence under his guidance. Aside from its headquarters in New Square and its branches in New York City, the group maintains institutions in Canada, England and
Israel. The rebbe has a very exacting schedule. Each Shabbos he runs three tishn, and his chasidim file past him five times.
Due to immense population growth in New Square, the new village of
Kiryas Squarehas recently been inaugurated in Spring Glen, New York. [ [http://www.frumsource.com/news_detail.asp?news_id=148] ]
* Grand Rabbi Yisroel
Baal Shem Tov— founder of Hasidism.
# Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730-1787) — author of "Meor Einayim" and "Yesamach Lev"; disciple of the
Baal Shem Tov.
# Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky (1730-1787) — also known as the "Chernobyler Magid" (Preacher of Chernobyl); son of the "Meor Einayim"; author of "Keser Torah".
# Grand Rabbi Yitzchok (Itzikl) Twersky of Skver (1770-1837) — son of the Magid of Chernobyl; son-in-law of Rabbi Naftoli Tzvi Hirsh of Skver, a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov;.
# Grand Rabbi David (Duvidl) Twersky of Skver (1848-1919) — son of Rebbe Itzikl.
** Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky of Skver (1866-1919) — son of Rebbe Duvidl
*** Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky of Skwer (1888-1941) — arrived in America in 1923, son of Rabbi Mordechai
**** Grand Rabbi David Twersky of Skwer-Boro Park (1922-2001) — son of Rabbi Yitzchak
***** Grand Rabbi Yechiel Michl Twersky — present Skwerer Rebbe of Boro Park, son of Rabbi David
** Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twerski of Skver (1899-1968) — Rebbe of New Square; son of Rebbe Duvidl; son-in-law of Rebbe Pinchas Twersky of Ustila (1880-1943).
*** Grand Rabbi Duvid Twersky of Skver — present Rebbe of New Square and Grand Rabbi of the Skverer Hasidim (Skver sect) worldwide; son of Rebbe Yaakov Yosef.
Philosophy and lifestyle
Skverer Hasidism stresses
Torah study, prayer, and abstention from excessive earthly pleasures in order to achieve purity of heart and mind. To that end, the Village of New Square was established, where residents are sheltered from influences deemed decadent.
A central part of the lifestyle is the attachment to the
rebbe. As with most Hasidic groups today, the Rebbe's position is generally attained through his lineage. However, to be accepted by the masses, the Rebbe is expected to display behaviors such as humility, love for fellow Jews, and general devotion to God's service. The rebbe, as " tzadik" or righteous person, is seen as a conduit to God for the masses.
Modes of dress for Skverer hasidim are generally similar to those of other Hasidic groups, especially that of
Vizhnitz, Belz, and Klausenberg. Weekday attire for men consists of long coats called "rekels" and velvet hats. On Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath), Jewish holidays and special occasions the men wear long black coats made of silk(or imitation silk made from polyester) called " bekishes". Married men also wear fur hats called " shtreimels", and knee-high leather boots known as "shtifl".
Married women wear stylish wigs, generally with an additional covering over it, such as a hat or kerchief, and wear modest clothing with wrist-length sleeves, fully covered necklines, and stockings.
*"Meor Eynayim" by the first rebbe of Chernobyl, Rebbe
Menachem Nachum Twersky.
*"Toldos Yaakov Yosef", by Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Hakohen of Polnoye, disciple of the
Baal Shem Tov;
Ohr ha-Chaim" ("the light of life"), by Rabbi Haim Ben-Attar. (Traditionally studied on Friday nights (on the eve of the Sabbath). The book is especially treasured by Skverer Hasidim.
* [http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=skverrer+rebbe&page=1&lv=0 Videos of the Skverer Rebbe's visit to Queens, NY, in 2005]
* [http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2006/02/10/back-to-skvere-one/ Skverer Rebbe's visit to LA]
Chernobyl (Hasidic dynasty)
List of Hasidic dynasties
*"Yachas Chernobyl V'Ruzhin", by David Aaron Twerski of Zhurik
*"Reb Itzikl Skverer", by Leibel Surkis, New Square, NY, 1997
*"Bikdusha Shel Ma'la", Biography of Rabbi Yakov Yosef (Twerski) of Skver, by Mechon Mishkenos Yakov, 2005
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Chernobyl (Hasidic dynasty) — Chernobyl is a Hasidic dynasty that was founded by Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky, known by the name of his work as the Meor Einayim ([the] light/brightness [of the [eyes]. The dynasty is named after the Ukrainian town of Chernobyl, where… … Wikipedia
Mezhbizh (Hasidic dynasty) — This article is about the Hasidic dynasty of Mezhbizh, descended from the Baal Shem Tov. For the Mezhbizh branch of Hasidic dynasty of Apt, see Apta (Hasidic dynasty). For the non Hasidic rabbinic dynasty of Mezhbizh, see Rapoport Bick (rabbinic… … Wikipedia
Machnovka (Hasidic dynasty) — Machnovka (various spellings) is a Hasidic dynasty and part of the Chernobyl dynastic group of families. It takes its name from the village Makhnivke in the Ukraine, where its founder lived. Machnovka is an extant Hasidic group which survived the … Wikipedia
Nadvorna (Hasidic dynasty) — The tombstone of Rebbe Issamar of Nadvorna on the Mount of Olives This file is a candidate for speedy deletion. It may be deleted after Tuesday, 22 November 2011. Nadvorna is a Hasidic rabbinical dynasty within Orthodox Judaism. The dynasty… … Wikipedia
Chortkov (Hasidic dynasty) — The hasidic synagogue in Chortkov Chortkov (also Chortkow, Tshortkov, Czortkow) is a Hasidic dynasty that originated in Chortkov, present day Ukraine. It had a large following before the Second World War, but most of its adherents perished in the … Wikipedia
Cleveland (Hasidic dynasty) — The residence and shul of the first Clevelander Rebbe on Massie Avenue … Wikipedia
Ozharov (Hasidic dynasty) — The Ozerov Hasidic dynasty is a Hasidic group that began in 1827 when Rabbi Yehudah Leib Epstein, Rabbi of Ożarów in Poland since 1811, assumed leadership of his Hasidim ( disciples ). Rabbi Epstein was a disciple of the Seer of Lublin, the Holy… … Wikipedia
Makarov (Hasidic dynasty) — Makarov is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by the Rebbe Menachem Nochum Twerski of the Chernobyl dynasty. Makarov is the Yiddish name of Makariv, a town in present day Ukraine. Lineage Rebbe Menachem Nochum Twerski of Makarov (1805–1851),… … Wikipedia
Chentshin (Hasidic dynasty) — Chentshin is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by the Rebbe Chayim Shmuel Szternfeld. Chentshin is the Yiddish name of Chęciny, a town in present day Poland. Rebbe Szternfeld was a descendant of the Chozeh of Lublin. He was known for his… … Wikipedia
Novominsk (Hasidic dynasty) — Novominsk is the name of a Hasidic dynasty originating in Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland and currently based in the United States. It also runs a yeshiva knows Yeshivas Novominsk Kol Yehuda. It is presently led by its Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow who… … Wikipedia