Alter Rebbe’s Father A Misnaged

The father of the first rebbe of Chabad was an opponent of the hasidic movement and of his son, the Alter Rebbe (Ba’al HaTanya). From Assaf’s new book, courtesy of Tzemach Atlas:

R. Yekusiel Yehuda Greenvald wrote a book about Toldos Chasidus in Hungary published in 1921. This story evidently is confirmed (embellished) in Chabad sources by R. Hayim Meir Heimlin who wrote about this in Beis Rabbi. Greenvald wrote that R. Boruch, the father of Rashaz opposed the new way of his son and left as far as possible to the place where Chasidus were still unknown, to Hungary. He left to be Melamed in Munkatch and then to Selush where he died. Only before he passed away he revealed his identity. Assaf writes about the mythological symmetry with father and son. R. Moshe also only revealed his identity before his death and was a wondering Jew just like R. Boruch.

Chabad sources I think would have you believe the Alter Rebbe’s father accepted hasidut late in his life. This appears to be false, however. The gravestone that reads “Father of the Ba’al HaTanya” was probably paid for by his surviving son Yehuda Leib or his Schneerson grandchildren, all of who were Chabadniks.



Filed under Chabad History

4 responses to “Alter Rebbe’s Father A Misnaged

  1. Binyomin

    The gravestone does not read “Av Baal HaTanya”. Those words show up in a caption underneath a photographic reproduction of the tombstone displayed in a memorial book of the Jewish community of Selush. If I remember correctly, it’s a very simple stone with no references at all to the Baal HaTanya (his son). I have the photo and will try to scan and post it to Tzemach’s blog at the earliest opportunity (he asked first).

  2. Please let me know when you post it there! (Better yet, get me a copy, as well!) Thanks!

  3. Closted

    The gravestone is not likely to be that of Rav Shenur Zalman’s father. This is because the gravestone is for “Yisroel Boruch” and it is very unlikely that the Rashaz’s father had the first name Yisroel. Indeed, none of the grnadchildren are named Yisroel Boruch although there are many Boruchs.

  4. person

    from a critical point of veiw
    how do you know that reb boruch opposed his son till he passed away? Your opinion is all based on asumptions!

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