A historic menorah, reputed to be linked to numerous miracles, will be lit once again this Chanukah in Manhattan by a direct descendant of one of Poland’s most renowned Chasidic dynasties.
The menorah originally belonged to the Koznitzer Maggid, Rav Yisroel Hopstein, a disciple of Rebbe Elimelech of Linensk who has been described as one of the three founding fathers of Chassidism in Poland. The story is told that the Rebbe’s daughter, Perela, had lost several children and the Koznitzer beseeched the gedolim of his time to bless his daughter with healthy children. The Berditchever Rebbe came to the Koznitzer Maggid and asked him for his precious, heirloom menorah and upon receiving the prized menorah, the Berditchever Rebbe pronounced it as a wedding gift to the as yet unborn son of the Maggid’s daughter, Perela. The Berditchiver’s words were fulfilled and years later the menorah was given to that same child upon his wedding. The menorah was eventually returned to the Koznitzer Maggid and it was passed down from generation to generation, with stories of miraculous happenings through the menorah continuing to be told until today.
The Koznitzer Rebbe, Reb Shimshon Moshe Sternberg, whose mother lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, lit the well known menorah last year at a public event on the last night of Chanukah. A number of those in attendance last Chanukah reported that the menorah continues to be a source of bracha as they themselves have been the recipients of wonderful blessings within the past year. The Koznitzer Rebbe, who lives in Tel Aviv, is the grandson of the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yisroel Elazar Hopstein, and the Upper West Side’s Koznitzer shteibel, which opened a year and a half ago, has fast become a thriving component of the area’s Jewish community.
The historic menorah will be lit once again this year by the Koznitzer Rebbe on the last night of Chanukah at Manhattan Day School located at 310 West 75th Street at 6:30 PM and the Rebbe will be distributing Chanukah gelt and refreshments following candle lighting. A special musical presentation by the Yedidim Choir will feature an all new song titled The Maggid’s Menorah, written by Yitzchok Rosenthal in honor of the Koznitzer Rebbe’s 200th yahrtzeit.