As we finished a series of articles on the Ershter Ruv z”l, we’ll continue with a series on the Mitele Ruv z”l. Reb Yehoshua Rokeach known to Chasidim as The Mitele Ruv z”l, was the youngest son of the Ershter Ruv.
The Mitele Ruv z”l shaped Belz in very significant ways built on the foundations laid by the Ershter Ruv. Many of the deep fundamental Torahs in Belz, the approach to communal affairs, and even a few important Niggunim in Belz originate from the Mitele Ruv.
The Mitele Ruv z”l led Chasidim and much of Yiddiskeit in a time that historians call the “Golden Age” of Chasidim. Although serious threats to tradition were already on the horizon, through the leadership of the Tzaddikim it didn’t permeate the vast majority of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe until WWI.
The Mitele Ruv’s leadership extended far beyond Belz and had a great impact on the whole region. Many of the Galician and Hungarian Chasidish Rebbes were students of the Mitele Ruv. With founding Machzikei Hadas he was the first Torah leader to use the democratic process to secure the integrity and purity of Yiddishkeit.
There are many fascinating stories and teachings from the Mitele Ruv that are very relevant for today’s times. We are excited to start this series and explore them together with our readers.