Living Legacy: The Imrei Yosef of Spinka, zt”l

Living Legacy: The Imrei Yosef of Spinka, zt”l

Spinka today is one of the most prevalent branches of the chassidic world in Hungary, with numerous branches of the dynasty still in existence today. 

The founder of the movement, a ga’on v’kadosh , was Rav Yosef Meir Weiss, zy”a, the first Spinka Rebbe, a talmid of the great luminaries of the chassidic movement. In honor of his 112th yohrtzeit, we glimpse into his living legacy. 

The Imrei Yosef was born in the year 1838 in teh town of Muncacz, to his father Rav Shmuel Tzvi, the Dayan in the town. He was known to be exteremely sharp, from a very young age, and he learned in some of the great Hungarian yeshivos. Even in the town of Muncacz, which was filled with the Talmidei Chachomim, the young boy stood out for his extreme hasmodoh in learning, sleeping a mere few hours a night, and dedicating all his waking hours to learning. This intensity was only matched by his mastery of Torah and his phonomenal ability to hold in his own in learning with the greatest ge’onim. 

The Imrei Yosef was closest to three of the great tzaddikim of his time, each of whom was known for a particular avodah, and he absorbed these aspects of avodas Hashem from each of them: From the Sar Shalom of Belz, he learned Torah; from Rav Eizikel of Zidichoiv, he learned tefillah; and from the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, he learned chessed. In each of these areas, he was legendary. 

His kedusha, Tahara, and the open miracles that were so clear in the presence of the Imrei Yosef is impossible to describe. His chiddushim in every area of Torah—in depth and breadth, nigleh and nistar—are comprised in the voluminous Imrei Yosef. 

He suffered greatly during his lifetime, having lost two wives to illness, and he himself was only cured through a bracha from his Rebbe, Rav Eizikel of Zidichoiv. He would fast every Wednesday as a zechus for the children of Klal Yisroel. 

On 6 Iyar, 1869, his holy neshamah ascended on high—but his work of bringing yeshuos for Yidden did not end. One of the great tzaddikim remarked: “whenever I go up to bring yeshuos, I see the Imrei Yosef rushing to and fro with bundles of yeshuos for Yidden.” 

In 1972, the family made the decision to bring up his holy Aron to Eretz Yisroel and reinter him in Petach Tikvah, which immediately became a magnet for Yidden seeking yeshuos, and continues to be to this day. 

Among the photos included here, we see images of the ohel in Spinka (which remains erect, with the matzeivah), the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe standing by as they were moving the aron, and a photo of the levaya in Yerushalayim. 

Today, the descendants of the Imrei Yosef continue the legacy with multiple batei medrashim, kollelim and yeshivos that serve the Boro Park community. 

Zechusoi Yogein Oleinu. 

Below are photos of the tziyun in Spinka, the reinternment, the levaya in Eretz Yisroel, and the Tziyun in Petach Tikvah,

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