False Report: Mordechai Yosef Leiner Takes Over His Father zt”l, Becomes Radziner Rebbe at Age 13


radziner-rebbeA number of media outlets, including Arutz Shevah and Hareidim, reported that Mordechai Yosef Leiner celebrated a double milestone on Wednesday night at Khal Chassidim in Boro Park: He was named to succeed his father, Rav Yaakov Leiner zt”l, as the Radziner Rebbe, and he became bar mitzvah at the same time. Members of the family and askanim have told Matzav.com that the report is completely false and it is not clear who spread it or why it was published by some in the chareidi media in Israel.

Rav Yaakov Leiner zt”l, passed away suddenly three months ago, at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and 11 children, the oldest not yet 13. He had led the Radziner shtiebel on 54th Street in Boro Park. 

Rav Leiner represented the sixth consecutive generation of Leiners to serve as Radziner Rebbe, beginning with Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner zt”l, the first Radziner Rebbe, in the early 19th century.  He was also a great-grandson of Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Leiner zt”l, brother of Rav Gershon Henoch Leiner zt”l, the Radziner Rebbe well known for having rediscovered the techeiles for tzitzis.

According to the recent report, after the sudden petirah of Rav Yaakov Leiner zt”l, several rebbes – including the admorim of Novominsk, Alexander, and Amshinov – convened and decided that his eldest son, habochur Mordechai Yosef, should be installed as the rebbe, despite his young age, in order not to break the Radziner chain. However, that report has been confirmed as being untrue. The bar mitzvah celebration did take place amidst an atmosphere of simcha, with the presence of friends and family, and a number of rabbonim, including Rav Dovid Feinstein, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim, and Rav Aharon Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, but the bar mitzvah bochur was not appointed to replace his father. The reports by Israel National News claimed that the bochur “is the youngest new rebbe to be installed in a chassidus in the United States in at least the last 50 years.”

“Unfortunately, there are those who don’t have the sensitivity to refrain from spreading this type of information,” an askan who is associated with the Radziner bais medrash said.

{IsraelNN/Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. From what I know, he was not made a “Rebbe”. He is a regular boy who became an orphan at twelve, (His father died the day after he began learning his pshetl).
    His father ran a shtiebel in Boro Park, and it was obvious that the family was going to give the shtiebel over to his oldest son, who has now become 13 – a bar mitzvah!
    They are trying to keep the shtiebel going until the boy can take over, probably at 18. There is nothing wrong with keeping the family business in the family. I wish him good luck.

    As far as “Rebbe” goes, I don’t believe his father Rav Yaakov Zatzal called himself a Rebbe. He called himself “Rav of the Radziner Shtiebel”, and His oldest son will become “Rav of his father’s Shtiebel” when he turns 18.

    Last night, the poor kid became Bar Mitzvah and the speakers encouraged him to continue in his father’s ways. He also davened for the Amud….. Because he is a yasom and a chiyuv. The kid said kaddish.

    Nothing about becoming Rebbe.

  2. Im not “nispael” from the fact that arutz sheva or any other outlet wrote this. I am rather nispael how so many people believe what arutz sheva wrote. seems like many people cant think for yourselves.
    the bar mitzva was a regular beutiful simcha. of course reb yankel zal was very much missed and was mentioned but no such silly stupidities and crownings were done . in fact the noviminsker was not even there.
    instead of making all these stupid comments why dont u all help out so that the children can indeed grow up normal. the name of the keren for checks is keren yesomim radzin.
    send your checks in lechoved the simcha and help be mesameach an almana and 10 (not 11) yesomim
    I dont know the address of hand but it isnt hard to get it. you can send it c/o the alexander (rabbi Singer)
    You of course are thinking who am i to say anything. Well the answer is YES i did contribute so go ahead and send in your checks

  3. The report has no basis in fact and constitutes a Bizoyoin Adir and the perpetrators will have to give Din Vecheshbon.

    Lakewood NJ

  4. Here we happened to find out the truth pretty fast but this should serve as a sample for most news items. Every time I happen to know firsthand the details of a reported news item, I find at least several mistakes (or lies) in the report. So why do we still believe the news that we happen not to know from other sources?

    Someone told the Satmar rebbe that the only truthful words in a newspaper are its date. Said the rebbe, “Even this is a lie; the date was printed the day before.”

  5. there was a serious debate about the hachtoa ,i was listening to the rebbes on the dais , it was the uncle the radzienr reebe from Israel who rejected it to take place now at the bar mitzvia so a compromise was reached witch makes it ”clear” that the ”son” of the reebbe zt’l is the successer and the rebbe of yerushalayim will not function here in the bais hamedrish , the rebbes wanted also to make sure that the bar mitzvia will be specific a ”rebbe” and not in between like a ruv the family have no say in the matter they are mostly litvish that’s all i can say the write ups in Israel are all true 100%.

  6. How cruel can you get?
    I myself attended that barmitsva. It was a bittersweet occasion. The barmitsvah boy read the speech his deceased father, who, as you say, died suddenly, had prepared for him. From the moment he became 13, he entered into a state of ‘aveilus’, mourning, for his father. The barmitsva boy is the oldest boy., He has several older sisters. His mother bears her unexpected challenges with amazing serenity and grace. This celebration must have been very difficult for her.
    There really is no excuse for spreading lies and innuendos about what took place at that seudah. In the circumstances, everyone made an effort to make it as ‘normal’ as possible. No declarations were made nor positions declared.
    It would be in everyone’s interest not to cause anguish to a brave widow, and to report the truth.
    Mrs Rachelle Chrysler