Living Legacy: The Minchas Elozor of Muncacz, zy”a

Living Legacy: The Minchas Elozor of Muncacz, zy”a

2 Sivan marks the yohrtzeit of the Munkatcher Rov, zt”l, one of the greatest Rabbonim and leaders of Hungarian Jewry in the interwar period—whose influence is still strongly to this day, through his descendants, and through those who are inspired by his Torah and his fiery, uncompromising Yiddishkeit. 

He was born in the town of Stryzow, Galicia, in 1871, to his father, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Shapira—a direct descendant of the Bnei Yisaschar, who was the first in the family to hold the position as the Rov of the Hungarian town of Muncacz. It was then handed down from father to son, and it was there that the Minchas Elozor became Av Beis Din in 1903. Following the passing of his father, in 1913, he became the Rov of Muncacz. 

The next twenty-five years would be a glorious era during which he would teach countless talmidim, and his Torah genius would become known far and wide, publishing seforim on Torah, halacha, and chassidus. In the 1920’s he opened a yeshiva Darkei Teshuva, which drew hundreds of talmidim from throughout the region. 

In 1933, he visited Eretz Yisroel for two weeks. His travails were recorded by his chossid, Moshe Goldstein, Hy”d, and it was translated in Journey to Jerusalem. 

Our readers have most likely seen the footage of the Minchas Elozor at the wedding of his daughter (Fruma Rivka Rabinowitz, mother of the current Muncaczer Rebbe) in 1933, in which he noticed the Television cameras; upon which time he swiftly looked into the lens and admonished those would be watching in America: “I tell you, my brethren in America! If you will keep Shabbos, it will be good for you….!” These precious seconds illustrate so much of what we know about the tzaddik; his kana’us, his fiery defense of Yiddishkeit, and a deep caring for his fellow Yid. He was extremely dedicated to the needs of the poor, and did much to assist them. 

The Minchas Elozor was widely respected by the greatest Gedolim of his generation, who revered him for his tzidkus and his mastery of every area of Torah and Kabbalah. He was likewise respected by the government authorities, who would make their way to his door. 

Following his petirah in 1937, he was succeeded by his son in law, Rav Baruch Yehoshua yerachmiel Rabinowitz, who was later the rov of Cholon Israel, and his children carry on the courts of Muncacz (in Boro Park) and Dinov (in Williamsburg) perpetuating the holy living legacy of their grandfather, the Minchas Elozor of Muncacz. 

Living Legacy commemorates the memory of the holy tzaddikim whose legacies remain with us to this day, a special project of Comments or suggestions may be emailed to [email protected] 

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