Jewish History Soundbites

Gone, but not Forgotten: Obscure Chassidic Dynasties of Yesteryear

July 11, 2021
Smaller and lesser known Chassidic dynasties are almost entirely forgotten, as a result of their being almost entirely wiped out during the Holocaust. Each one had a following with a demographic and geographical reach and impact during centuries of their existence. And each one is a story.
The Ungar family of the Dombrova dynasty, Shpikov was a branch of Skver, large ones like Melitz, Alexander and Radomsk are more obscure today as well. Some were large, some very small, some influential, while others made less of an impact. But each and every one formed a component of eastern European Chassidic life until the war.
One of those was the Zabeltov dynasty, which was a branch of the Kossov dynasty, most famous through its Vizhnitz branch. Rav Dovid Hager (1797-1848) was a son of the founder of the Kossov dynasty Rav Menachem Mendel Hager. Having moved to the town of Zabeltov, he emerged as a charismatic leader of the region. His descendants continued in the town until the Holocaust. Almost the entire extended family along with their followers were tragically murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
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