A Miraculous Wedding in Belz

A Miraculous Wedding in Belz

The story of the Belzer Chassidim is a true-life story of revival of the dead.

This is their incredible tale according to Wikipedia (I’ve edited a bit)….

In 1939, with the Nazi invasion of Poland, the town of Belz was in a panic. The Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, known as “Wonder Rebbe” on account of the many miracles he performed, was at the top of the Gestapo’s wanted list.

The Rebbe and his half-brother, Rabbi Mordechai of Bilgoray, fled Poland with the Nazis in hot pursuit. The most harrowing chapter of their escape took place when the brothers were driven out of occupied Poland and into Hungary by a Hungarian counter-intelligence agent who was friendly to Jews. The Rebbe, his brother, and his attendant shaved off their beards and peyos and were disguised as Russian generals who had been captured at the front and were being taken to Budapest for questioning.

Rebbe Aharon and Rabbi Mordechai spent eight months in Budapest before receiving highly-rationed Jewish Agency certificates to enter Palestine. In January 1944, they boarded the Orient Express to Istanbul.

Although he had lost his entire family—including his wife, children, grandchildren and in-laws and their families—to the Nazis, Rebbe Aharon re-established his Hasidic court in Tel Aviv, where there was a tiny Hasidic community.

Both he and Rabbi Mordechai (who had lost his wife and daughter) remarried, but only Rabbi Mordechai had a child, Yissachar Dov Rokeach, in 1948.

Rabbi Mordechai suddenly died a year later at the age of 47. Rebbe Aharon took his brother’s son under his wing to prepare him to become the future Rebbe to the Belz dynasty.

When Rebbe Aharon died, his nephew, Yissachar Dov, was only 9 years old.

This meant that for 9 years the Belzer Chassidim had no rebbe.

In 1965, at the age of 17, Yissachar Dov married, and a year later he assumed leadership of Belz.

And then, for another 10 years, the Rebbe and his wife had no children.

B”H, at long last, their son and lone heir, Aharon Mordechai Rokeach was born in 1975.

Under the Rebbe’s leadership, the Belz community has grown from a few hundred families to a worldwide community of over 7,000 families in 2011.

And now, B”H, there is more good news in Belz…The Rebbe’s oldest grandson will be getting married in two weeks, the 12th of Sivan (May 21st).

Which makes me think of the despair and fear I would have felt if I had been a Belzer Chassid in 1942, as the Nazi beast murdered innocent women and children and men day and day and year after year with no end in sight…

And the despair and fear I would have felt if I had been a Belzer Chassid in 1957, with only several hundred Chassidim having survived the Shoah, and suddenly with no Rebbe to guide us through those tense and turbulent times….

And the despair and fear I would have felt if I had been a Belzer Chassid in 1974. The Rebbe had been married for 9 years already, and he was still childless. After all we had endured, would the Rebbe have no heir?

And the boundless joy and graditude I would feel as a Belzer Chassid in 2013. With tens of thousands of Chassidim around the world preparing to attend the wedding of the Rebbe’s grandson.

And even though I’m not a Belzer Chassid, I will be joining those tens of thousands that night…This is a wedding I wouldn’t miss for anything.

A celebration not only of a marriage, but of a mighty and holy group of Jews risen from the ashes, B”H.

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6 comments

  1. shandel strasberg

    beautifully said!

  2. Rachel

    where’s the wedding?

    • JewishMom

      the chupah’s at 7 pm in the courtyard of the big Belz shul in Kiryat Belz. There will be a bunch of video screens on the street so everybody can see…Maybe I’ll see you there:)

  3. very nicely written!!! i’ll be there iy”h , probably for mitzvah tantz…

  4. update 2015: The Rebbe’s son just celebrated the bris of his THIRTEENTH grandchild the day after Lag B’omer. The oldest grandson got married two years ago, the oldest granddaughter last year, and PG the third will be married PG this coming week. Who knows what joyous surprises await each of us in our own personal lives 10, 20 years down the road….

  5. The Belzer Rebbe left Budapest in 1944 for Palestine and in his farewell speech told the Jews there that they’d be safe from the Holocaust.

    http://www.kedem-auctions.com/content/haderech-budapest-1944-first-edition-belzer-rebbes-farewell-words-upon-his-escape-holocaust

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