Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Haifa’s Rebbe of Unity and Peace

Yossi Elituv and Mishpacha Staff

He was a child in the court of his illustrious grandfather, the Ahavas Yisrael of Vizhnitz, but stayed on the sidelines during the leadership of his father, the Mekor Baruch. Yet when he was appointed Rebbe of Seret-Vizhnitz 51 years ago, he vowed to keep Yiddishkeit alive in “Red Haifa” at any cost. Several years ago Rav Eliezer Hager ztz”l granted an exclusive interview to Mishpacha, sharing his convictions about a country in trouble and the remedy for healing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

On Motzaei Yom Kippur 1924 in Grosswardein, Transylvania, the Ahavas Yisrael of Vizhnitz couldn’t contain his joy. A new grandson had just been born to his son Rav Baruch Hager and Rebbetzin Tzirel — and named Eliezer after Rav Baruch’s uncle Rav Eliezer of Dzikov. Later, looking at the newborn, the Ahavas Yisrael exclaimed, “When my grandfather, Rav Naftali of Ropschitz, beheld his newborn son, Rav Eliezer of Dzikov, he said, ‘Eliezer, my son, you are shining like the sun!’ ” Years later, it was obvious that the Ahavas Yisrael was referring to this newborn Eliezer as well. He was to become the Seret-Vizhnitz Rebbe of Eretz Yisrael, and in the 51 years of his influence until his passing last week at age 90, helped turn notoriously “red” Haifa from a staunchly secular town to a city that was open to the embrace of Torah and chassidus. The Ahavas Yisrael passed away in 1936 when Eliezer was just 12, but even as a young child, he was unusually attached to his grandfather. One time, he accompanied the Ahavas Yisrael to the “kvittlach tzimmer,” the Rebbe’s private domain where he received visitors in confidence. The Rebbe’s attendants tried to stop the child at the door. “Leave the boy,” the Rebbe ordered them. “Let him watch. The day will come when many people will gather at his door.”

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"