The Beis Yisroel of Ger, Rav Yisroel Alter zt”l, On His Yahrtzeit, Today, 2 Adar


beis-yisroel-smallRav Yisroel Alter, also known as the Beis Yisroel after the works he authored, was the fourth rebbe of the Chassidishe dynasty of Ger, a position he held from 1948 until 1977. He escaped from Poland during the Holocaust and settled in Palestine during 1940. In 1945 he learnt that the Nazi regime had murdered his wife, daughter, son and grandchildren. He remarried but had no children. Following the death of his father, Rav Avrohom Mordechai Alter, the third Rebbe of Ger, in 1948, he became a forceful leader of his growing followers in the Gerrer chassidus, and he became very active in the political life of the nascent State of Israel. He would go around at night by himself to the various yeshivos and check on the talmidim.

Rav Yisroel, a true pikeiach who had a brilliant way of looking at things, left a great impression on people from all walks of life who came in contact with him. His idea was to elevate every person to somehow become one level higher than his present state. There are countless stories from individuals who met the Rebbe, relating how he had a tremendous spiritual impact on them and how this strong impression will never leave them.

beis-yisroelUnder the leadership of the Rebbe, Ichud Mosdos Gur was established as the responsible body for funding all the educational institutions within the orbit of Ger in Israel. The Ichud is currently responsible for funding about 100 such institutions.

The Beis Yisroel put great emphasis on purity and holiness, and will always be remembered as the Rebbe who rebuilt Ger after the terrible destruction of World War II.

The Beis Yisroel became a powerful force within the Agudas Yisroel party and guided its work in the Knesset, concluding alliances with various other political parties to further the causes of the Torah community in Eretz Yisroel.

The Beis Yisroel was niftar in 1977 after suffering from yenem machlah, leaving no heir. He was succeeded by his brother, Rav Simcha Bunim Alter.

Yehi zichro boruch.

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