Chortkov (Hasidic dynasty)
Chortkov (also Chortkow, Tshortkov, Czortkow) is a Hasidic dynasty that originated in Chortkov (Polish: Czortków), present-day Ukraine. The town was part of the Tarnopol Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic until September 1939. The town itself was founded in 1522 by Polish King Sigismund I the Old. The dynasty had a large following before the Second World War, but most of its adherents perished in the Holocaust.
Chortkov dynasty history
Duvid Moshe Friedman
The first Rebbe of Chortkov was Rabbi Duvid Moshe Friedman (1828-1903), son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhyn. He was born in 1828 on the festival of Shavuos. His first wife was the daughter of Rabbi Aaron Twerski of Chernobyl. His second wife was his first cousin, a daughter of his brother Rabbi Shalom Yosef Friedman of Sadhora. In 1865, 14 years after his father's death, he settled in Chortkov forming his own community there. His followers were one of the largest hasidic groups in Galicia, numbering in the thousands. He led an ascetic life, secluding and preoccupying himself with study and prayer day and night. Although he preferred to detach himself from world affairs and distance himself from communal disputes, he was nevertheless considered a major leader of Central European Jewry. To this instance, he agreed to meet with Theodore Herzl who had sent him a personal letter hoping to garner his support for the Zionist Movement, although the meeting never materialised. His oldest son, Reb Nuchem Mordechai died aged 21 in 1880. He died on Hoshana Rabbah, 1903 and was succeeded by his second son, Reb Yisroel. His teachings have been published in Divrei Dovid, Beis Yisroel and Knesset Yisroel.
Rabbi Dovid Moshe's son was Rabbi Yisroel Friedman. Rabbi Yisroel ran his Chasidic court with the concept of Hod ShebaTiferes ("Majesty in Glory"; in kabalistic terms). He died in 1934. After Rabbi Yisroel; his sons, Rabbi Nochum Mordechai Friedman and Rabbi Dov Ber Friedman, served as Rebbes. Rabbi Dov Ber died in 1936. Rabbi Nochum fled to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1939, and died in Jerusalem in 1946. His son Rabbi Shlomo Friedman led the Chortkover Hasidim until his death in Tel Aviv in 1959.
Among the current leaders of the Chortkover Chasidim are Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Manchester, England and Rabbi Dov Ber Friedman of Antwerp, Belgium. Both are grandsons of the Chortkover Rebbe Dov Ber, but have refused the title of Chortkover Rebbe. In addition to the Chortkover communities in Manchester and Antwerp, there is also one in Jerusalem.
Lineage of the Chortkov dynasty
Historic photographs of Synagogue
A portion of the ornately carved ceiling of the Hassidic Synagogue
The Holy Ark of the Hassidic Synagogue
- History of the Jews in Poland
- History of the Jews in Galicia (Central Europe)
- History of the Jews in Ukraine