Visiting and Rebuilding Old Munkatch


munkatcherOn Sunday, April 3, hundreds of Munkatcher chassidim from the U.S. and Canada will depart New York’s JFK International Airport for the first leg of a journey to the city of Munkatch (Mukachevo), Ukraine. The trip will re-dedicate the “Groissa Beis Medrash,” the large beis medrash of the city, as well as celebrate the bar mitzvah of Alter Yechezkel Horowitz, son of Rabbi Yosef Horowitz, who serves as Munkatcher rosh yeshiva. Rabbi Yosef is the son of Rabbi Alter Yechezkel Horowitz, zt”l (1930-1994), beloved Boro Park Vienner Dayan and son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinovich, Munkatcher Rebbe.

The group will be traveling to Lviv (Lemberg), Ukraine where they will be joined on Monday by groups of chassidim from Israel and England. After the traditional penitential recitation of Yom Kippur Katan of Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan, they will all board coach busses to the town of Sassov, the resting place of the Munkatcher Rebbe’s ancestor and namesake, the Rebbe Reb Moshe Leib of Sassover, zt”l (1745-1807). On Tuesday, the combined group will travel to the cities of Kamarna and Ziditchov, where they will daven at the gravesites of the holy tzaddikim. The Rebbe and the entire group will then proceed directly to their primary destination – Munkatch.

Wednesday, April 6, is destined to be a memorable day for all the participants as well as for Munkatcher chassidim worldwide. The day will begin with Shacharis in Bais Medrash Ohel Rochel, situated in the historic courtyard where the rebbes of Munkacs resided, adjacent to the home of the Holy Minchas Elazar, zt”l. At midday the Rebbe, accompanied by the entire entourage, will enter the ohel (mausoleum) of the holy rebbes of Munkatch in the cemetery there. All of Tehillim will be recited on behalf of all of Klal Yisrael.

The chanukas habayis ceremony, together with the seudas bar mitzvah of the Rebbe’s grandson, will take place immediately after Maariv with the participation of all the visiting chassidim together with hundreds of local Jews from Munkacs and the entire region who are being encouraged to attend.Rabbonim and dignitaries from Ukraine and Hungary will grace the dais. The chanukas habayis is expected to be a special event that will become etched in the memories of all those lucky enough to witness it.

Thursday morning, following the hanochas Tefillin (placing of Tefillin upon the bar mitzvah boy) in the former home of the Minchas Elazar, the group will begin the journey home on chartered flights from nearby Uzghorod back to the U.S., Canada, and Israel.

Current Munkatcher Rebbe’s Forefathers

The Munkatcher Rebbe is the son-in-law of Rabbi Aaron Bernstein, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva Chayei Olam in Jerusalem and member of the Moetzes Gedolei Torah in Israel. The Munkatcher Rebbe is the grandson of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, zt”l (1872-1937), Munkatcher Rebbe and prolific author of Minchas Elazar; son of Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Shapiro, zt”l (1850-1913), Munkatcher Rebbe and author of Darkei Teshuva; son of Rabbi Shlomo Shapiro, zt”l (1832-1893), Munkatcher Rebbe and author of Shem Shlomo; son of Rabbi Elazar Shapiro, zt”l (1808-1864), Lanzuter Rebbe and author of Yodea Binah; son of Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro, zt”l (1783-1840), Dinover Rav and author of Bnei Yesoschor.

The Minchas Elazar was the son-in-law of Rabbi Shraga Yair Rabinowitz, zt”l (1839-1912), Bialbreziger Rebbe and author of Oren Adas. The Darkei Teshuva was the son-in-law of Rabbi Chanina Horowitz, zt”l (d. 1881), Ulinover Rebbe. The Shem Shlomo was the son-in-law of Rabbi Yekusiel Shmelka Erblich, zt”l (1800-1861), Sasover Rebbe and son of Rabbi Moshe Leib Erblich, zt”l (1745-1807), paragon Sassover Rebbe and author of Chidushei Ramal. The Yodea Binah was the son-in-law of Rabbi Yehoshua Heshel of Dukla, zt”l. The Bnei Yesoschor was the son-in-law of Rabbi Ben Tziyon Yitzchok, zt”l, Koyshiga Rav and brother-in-law of Rabbi Elimelech Weissblum, zt”l (1717-1787), Lizsjensker Rebbe and author of Noam Elimelech, as well as of Rabbi Meshulem Zushe Lipman, zt”l (d. 1800), Anipolie Rebbe and author of Menoras Zahav.

Rabbi Chanina Horowitz, grandfather of the Minchas Elazar, was the son of Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, zt”l (d. 1837), Melitzer Rebbe who was also known as the Baal Shem Tov Katan; son of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Horowitz, zt”l (1760-1827), Ropshitzer Rebbe and author of Zera Kodesh. Rabbi Chanina Horowitz was the son-in-law of Rabbi Eliezer Horowitz, zt”l (d. 1860), Djikover Rebbe and son of the Zera Kodesh.

The present Munkatcher Rebbe is also the grandson of Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinovich, zt”l (1866-1930), Partzover Rebbe and author of V’eilu Hadevorim Shenemru L’Dovid. The Partzover Rebbe was the son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Rabinovich, zt”l (1847-1905), Biala Rebbe and author of Divrei Bina; son Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinovich, zt”l (1813-1865), Shedlovitza Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yerachmial Rabinovich, zt”l (1784-1834), Pshischa Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Rabinovich, zt”l (1766-1813), renowned as the “Holy Jew” of Pshischa and author of Toras Hayehudi Hakodesh.

{The Jewish Press/ Newscenter}


  1. the father of the current rabbi was hagaon rabbi Boruch yehoshua yerachmiel who was instrumental in saving hundreds of jews from the nazis.he authored Binas nivoinim on torah, was the last rabbi of Mukachevo.also the father in law of the minchas elozor [from which the last rebbetzin was born]was r’yakov moishe of Kanarnow.

  2. What pulls Yiden to go back to places where their ancestors were slaughtered wholesale by the local population? Do they expect the Ukrainians started loving us?

  3. Esteemed No. 2: Your sentiment has value. However, should we abandon the grave sites of our ancestors and volutarily surrender them to the guilty murderers. Let them know that we are not wipes out, that we are actually thriving, and that we will outlast them !!!!

  4. #6 – there is a difference between tending to the grave sites and spending fortunes rebuilding old shuls which no one will now ever go to except the organized groups every few years who will pour fortunes into the local antisemites economy.

  5. R’ Yosef Shmuel shlita!!
    Yes, you are right. Possibly, all that money would be better spent in Eretz Yisroel. So also, the money spent for all the beautiful homes in the Five Towns, Flatbush, Boro Park, and Kiryas Yoel. Nevertheless, the money spent in honor of our holy martyred ancestors is of great value, too. Building facilities that will enable us to visit kivrei tzaddikim and kivrei avos for generations, in the face of the murderous rosho’im, also has great merit in heaven. An Ukranian anti-Semite that is being handsomely paid to rebuild the Munkatcher or Sigeter Beis Medrash will laugh at us. But when he cashes his paycheck, he will spend his money drowing himself in vodka. When he wakes up from his drunken slumber, his money will be gone, he won’t remember his drunkeness, but the beautiful beis medrash will be there, for him to curse, but for us to enjoy.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong. I once heard a line “Eisav Soneh es Yakkov”. The Ukrainians are above that and they make sure they do it with a “Bren”. So why rebiuld something that the”ll try to knock down.
    Gehennom is to cold for them

  7. My Babi’s brother, my Fete Boruch is the son of the Parcewer Rebbe who is a direct descendant of the Yid HaKadosh. My Babi’s first cousin is the Biala Rebbe of Lugano. Again, the sinas chinam and repulsive way they try to make it like my holy great uncle did not exist is an accusation against them in Shamayim.