Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Machlokes in Ger

16 Adar is the yartzeit of the Pnei Menachem, the sixth Gerer Rebbe, R’ Pinchos Menachem ben R’ Avrohom Mordechai Alter ZY”A. Although you usually will not find anything written here about machlokes regarding who should become Rebbe, I felt that I must write about this amazing machlokes.

Unfortunately, after a Rebbe dies, there is often a bitter machlokes as to who should become the new Rebbe. The same thing (with a twist however) happened in Ger after the fifth Rebbe of Ger, the Lev Simcha, R’ Simcha Bunim ZY”A died. There was a fight between his son, R’ Yaakov Aryeh (the current Gerrer Rebbe) and his brother, the Pnei Menachem, concerning who should succeed as Rebbe of Ger. (Ger is perhaps the largest Chassidus in Eretz Yisroel) However this time the machlokes was quite different than what you would expect. The Pnei Menachem insisted that the son of the deceased Rebbe become Rebbe, while the son insisted that his Uncle (a son of the Imrei Emes) become Rebbe.

After much “fighting” back and forth, they reached a compromise. The elder Pnei Menachem agreed to become the Rebbe, but only on condition that after his passing, R’ Yaakov Aryeh would assume the position of Rebbe. And so it was. After several years the Pnei Menachem passed on and R’ Yaakov Aryeh, the current Rebbe, took over the leadership. May we merit to only have machlokes like this from now on.

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