Friday, September 01, 2006

Guest Posting By Shoshana (Bershad) - Rebbe Pinchas Of Koretz

Newly constructed Ohel of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz
Shepetovka, Ukraine - 2004
(Picture courtesy of

As a descendant of Rebbe Raphael of Bershad, I have been researching the literature available in English, online and in print, for every morsel of information I can find about his life, his descendants, and his teachings. In the course of this research, I have also amassed a collection of quotations (a sampling of which is presented below) concerning his mentor, Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz, whose life and philosophy were intertwined with Rebbe Raphael’s. According to Martin Buber in Tales of the Hasidim: Early Masters, “one cannot consider Rabbi Pinhas apart from his most distinguished disciple, Rafael of Bershad. In the whole history of hasidism, rich in fruitful relationships between master and disciple, there is no other instance of so pure a harmony, of so adequate a continuation of the work. In reading the records, we sometimes hardly know what to ascribe to R' Pinhas and what to R' Rafael, and yet we have a number of utterances of the latter which bear the stamp of independent thinking. But more important than his independence is the matter-of-course devotion with which the disciple embodied his master’s teachings in his life and—according to tradition—even in his death, which quietly and solemnly sealed the proclamation of the commandment of truth, for which the master had striven for so many years.”

10 Elul is the yahrzeit of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz, one of the early disciples of the Ba’al Shem Tov. He was born in Shklov, White Russia (now Belarus), in 1726. His father was Rabbi Avraham Abba Shapira, the descendant of an illustrious line of Talmudic scholars. R' Pinchas received a thorough Torah education and studied the Tanach and Talmud as well as the writings of the great medieval Jewish philosophers. In his youth, he gained fame for writing Talmudic dissertations and halachic novellae. When his father was falsely accused of a crime, the family was forced to escape from Shklov, and they eventually settled in Miropol in Volhynia, the westernmost province of the Ukraine. While living there, his father, who had been a firm opponent of Chassidism, visited the Ba’al Shem Tov and decided to join the new movement. He encouraged his son, R' Pinchas, to become a follower of the Besht as well.

R’ Pinchas established himself in Koretz, surrounded by his own group of disciples, foremost among whom was R’ Raphael of Bershad. They studied the Torah and Zohar for many hours every day and strove to achieve perfect truthfulness and to conquer all traces of vanity. The Ba’al Shem Tov is reported to have said about R’ Pinchas, “a soul such as that of R’ Pinchas comes down to this world only once in 500 years.”

According to Martin Buber, R’ Pinchas was a teacher “in a small closed circle which developed Hasidic wisdom along its own, independent lines…. Rabbi Pinhas’ circle had no great influence on the outside world, but such as it is, it represents a unique and invaluable phenomenon, for its members were distinguished by the simple honesty of their personal faith, the unrhetorical telling of their teaching, a telling even tinged with humor, and by their loyal readiness to satisfy the demands put upon them, at the cost of their very lives.”

After 20 years in Koretz, R’ Pinchas moved to Ostroh. In 1791, he decided to go to Tzfat, Israel, but he became ill and died along the way in the town of Shepetovka. In 2004, the burial site in Shepetovka was restored by Rabbi Yisroel Meir Gabai, and an ohel was constructed over the tomb). After the death of R’ Pinchas, most of his followers became the disciples of R’ Raphael of Bershad.

R’ Pinchas did not write any books, but his teachings were widely quoted by other rebbes and compiled as the Midrash Pinkhas, Nofeth Tzufim, and Pe’er LaYesharim. A manuscript that survived the Holocaust was published by Rabbi Elimelech Elazar Frankel in 2003 as the Imrei Pinchas HaShalem. The two volumes contain a collection of the writings of R’ Pinchas and R’ Raphael, arranged in the order of the weekly parsha. They also include stories about the lives of these tzaddiks as well as biographical material on the rebbes and their families, information on their minhagim, reproductions of handwritten documents, ornate title pages of printed treatises, and photos.

Milton Aron, in Ideas and Ideals of the Hassidim, says, “In his teachings, R. Pinkhas preached universal love, even love of the most sinful people in humanity, because only such love can hasten the coming of the Redeemer.”

“One must love even the sinful, but must hate their actions. Although it is forbidden to be close to the wicked, one must still love them, so that perhaps they will return to the path of the Torah.”

“One must love every individual of Israel, and when you see that someone hates you, you must love them more, for Israel is a Throne for the Shechinah (Presence of G-d) and for holiness.”

The first step of any kind of healing is “to be concerned not only with yourself but with everything that goes on around you; help others and you will help yourself. You want to serve G-d? Start with serving G-d’s children.”

R’ Pinchas often said, “A man's soul will teach him… There is no person who is not incessantly being taught by his soul.” One of his students asked, “If this is so, why don't people obey their souls?” R’ Pinchas replied, “The soul teaches without ceasing, but it never repeats.”

“Usually, persons asking for advice have already solved their own problem without knowing it.”

“Man was created last for the following reason: If he is deserving, he shall find all of nature at his service; if he is undeserving, he shall find all of nature arrayed against him.”

“There are no words which, in themselves, are useless. There are no actions which, in themselves, are useless. But one can make useless both actions and words by saying or doing them uselessly.”

“It’s possible for a person to be created and live an entire lifetime just for the sake of uttering one word or making a single gesture that he performs for the Holy One.”

“Choose your words and deeds with care for they are of momentous importance.”

“A man should believe that even a piece of straw that lies on the ground does so at the decree of G-d. He decrees that it should lie there with one end facing this way and the other end the other way.”

“The world is like a book that can be read in either direction. There is the power of creation, to make something of nothing. And there is the power of destruction, to make nothing from something.”

“Until the birth of the Baal Shem Tov, the Jewish people always looked backward: How many years has it been since the destruction of the Temple? From the birth of the Baal Shem Tov onward, the clock has been ticking toward the future. With each new year, we look forward, realizing how much closer we are to the Redemption.”

“The world was created in such a way that a new entity can only arise by destroying what existed previously. The chick only emerges from the egg after the shell has broken, and the stalk of wheat only germinates after the seed kernel has decomposed. In the same way, the ‘light of Moshiach’ that will illuminate in the Messianic era was concealed within the destruction of the Holy Temple; the only way Moshiach could be revealed was for the previous Holy Temple to cease to exist.”

“Every sin is linked to a reason, good or bad—with the sole exception of vanity, which needs no reason to grow and grow. If someone finds it necessary to honor me, that means he is more humble than I. Which means he is better and saintlier than I. Which means that I should honor him. But then, why is he honoring me?”

R’ Raphael complained to his teacher that he could not eliminate feelings of vanity. R’ Pinchas replied, “Character development does not come overnight, regardless of how much effort you exert. Eradication of stubborn character traits takes time as well as effort. Today you achieve a little, and tomorrow you will achieve a bit more. You are frustrated and disappointed because you have not achieved character perfection as quickly as you had wished. Continue to work on yourself. Pray to G-d to help you with your character perfection. It will come in due time, but you must be patient.”

“For many years I wrestled with my Anger, until finally I conquered him and placed him in my pocket. Now I take him out only when I need him. But I am so angry with him, that I do not ever want to take him out again!”

R’ Rafael related: “I complained to my teacher that in adversity it is very difficult to retain perfect faith in the belief that G-d provides for every human being. It actually seems as if G-d were hiding his face from such an unhappy being. What shall he do to strengthen his faith? R’ Pinchas replied: ‘It ceases to be a hiding, if you know it is hiding.’ ”

“I thank G-d every day that I was not born before the Zohar was revealed, for it was the Zohar that sustained me in my faith as a Jew.”

“We learn in the Zohar that everyone has a light burning for them in the world above, and everyone’s light is unique. When two friends meet, their lights above are united, and out of that union of two lights an angel is born. That angel has the strength to survive for only one year, unless its life is renewed when the friends meet again. But if they are separated for more than a year, the angel begins to languish and eventually wastes away. That is why we bless the dead upon meeting a friend we have not seen for more than a year, to revive the angel.”

R’ Rafael asked his teacher, “Why is no face like any other?” R’ Pinchas replied, “Because Man is created in the image of G-d. Every human being sucks the living strength of G-d from another place, and all together they make up Man. That is why their faces all differ from one another.”

“Joy is on a higher plane than grief. Even with the newborn child, tears come first and smiles only later. Joy constitutes a higher stage, for it springs from higher worlds, from G-d.”

Per Milton Aron, R’ Pinchas was very fond of song, believing that if the pious sang beautifully, it would be possible to influence G-d to leave Heaven and make His abode among human beings on earth.

“Alone I cannot lift my voice in song—Then you come near and sing with me. Our prayers fuse, and a new voice soars. Our bond is beyond voice and voice. Our bond is one of spirit and spirit.”

“Jews eat lots of lokshen on Shabbat because noodles are symbolic of the unity of the people of Israel: They are so entangled that they can never be separated.”

“When you believe that everything is from Hashem, blessed be He, then there is no evil or bad at all—there is just all good.”

Menorah of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz
(Picture courtesy of


At September 1, 2006 at 6:55:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great posting. Here are few corrections:

> Rabbi Pinhas’ circle had no great
> influence on the outside world

Reb Pinchos Koritzer and his talmidim left a very big influence on Ukranian Chasidus, and even before any sforim with his maymorim were printed, they were circulationg amongst many tzadikim and chasidim in ksav yad, and are quoted for example in Bney Yisoschor.

> A manuscript that survived the
> Holocaust was published by Rabbi
> Elimelech Elazar Frankel in 2003 as
> the Imrei Pinchas HaShalem.

This recent work is a compilation of almost all sources (printed and not printed before) of which many were printed long before the war. But for the first time someone did a work to compile them all in one, and to fix many mistakes.

According to this seyfer (in the end), the real location of the keyver of Reb Pinchos was destroyed by communists yimach shmom. The new location fixed today is not a real place. (How do they know it isn't said their, so you can try to contact the publisher, but for some reason he didn't leave his address).

Also, in general - M. Buber is not a good source for reference, because he didn't quote chasidic sources and stories verbatim, but redid many of them (to fit his purposes). He was a philosopher on his own, and chasidic sources were just a spring board for him, and not a primary interest. Therefore one should be careful when quoting his conclusions or books, because often they cn be wrong, as an example above.

At September 1, 2006 at 10:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reply to A Yid

A Yid: Thank you for your very astute corrections! I agree that Martin Buber’s statements about R’ Pinchas and his versions of the quotations are generally regarded as fanciful and sometimes inaccurate, and that Buber had his own agenda. Obviously, the impact and influence of R’ Pinchas were much greater than he states. Also, some of the writings by R’ Pinchas were, indeed, published earlier; the Imrei Pinchas contains reproductions of the beautiful frontispieces of some of these works.

With the help of a friend who speaks Yiddish and Hebrew, I have been in touch with both Rabbi Gabai, who restored the gravesite, and Rabbi Frankel, the publisher of the Imrei Pinchas, and here is the history of the kever, as we understand it:

Rebbe Pinchas was buried in the 18th century cemetery that existed at the time. After the Russian Revolution, that cemetery was destroyed. A landsmanschaft organization in the U.S. funded the construction of a new cemetery in 1928. The tombstones were transferred to the new cemetery, where they were photographed by ASJ during his visit a few years ago. However, the actual tomb of R’ Pinchas was not moved. As the town of Shepetovka grew, the site of the old cemetery was now near the center of the town and was used for a police station and a house. When Rabbi Gabai began his restoration, he first confirmed that the tomb was not located near the tombstone. His organization purchased the property where the old cemetery had been, and he confirmed that the grave was still there. He then constructed the ohel, as well as a small guest house to accommodate visitors.

Sources (obtained and provided by my translator friend):

In Hachasidus, Yitzchok Alfasi states that “The tombstone of Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz was moved from the old cemetery to the new cemetery but his grave stayed in place, according to one opinion.”

In an article, “My Trip to Russia,” in the Jewish Press, dated October 20, 1989, Rabbi Chaim Uri Lipschitz obm says: "In Shepetovka, at the entrance to the cemetery where Rabbi Pinchas (Shapiro) from Kuritz is interred, Bunim Kleiner and a group of Jews awaited us. Bunim Kleiner has been doing this for 70 years." And further," Rabbi Pinchas Kuritz's grave had been situated in the old cemetery until a police station was built on the site. It was then transferred to the newer cemetery. Opinions vary; some believe that only the tombstone was moved. Others say the whole grave was transferred." The accompanying photograph shows the Chevra Kadisha of Shepetovka assembled in 1928 at the dedication of the new cemetery after the old cemetery was destroyed by the Communists.

In the beginning of the sefer Medrash Pinchas, there is a letter of approbation by Rabbi Tzvi Yecheskel Michelsohn of the Vaad HaRabonim of Warsaw, dated Sept 8, 1929. He writes: "And on his grave [is a] house [a] surrounded by a wall (or wall surrounding), and in the house near the grave stands the matzeveh/tombstone from [on] the large stone is written these words . . .” My translator friend read these lines from Medrash Pinchas to Rabbi Gabai and asked if he found the foundation of the wall which surrounded the house and he replied that he did. He also said that this area is near the police station (the detail learned from Rabbi Lipshitz's article in the Jewish Press).

Thus, the true location of the actual tombstone is at the restoration site where the ohel was constructed, and this was confirmed to us by both Rabbi Gabai (6/12/06) and Rabbi Frankel (7/3/06). When my friend asked Rabbi Frankel why the Imrei Pinchas did not give this information, he replied that the Rabbi Gabai was still trying to purchase the property at the time when the book was published.

At September 1, 2006 at 10:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

That was interesting.

At September 1, 2006 at 10:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Shoshana: Your comment facinated me. Obviously I saw the wrong kever during my visit in 2001, however what I am still not clear about is how they identified the precise location of the kever (and not just the general area) as indicated in Slide #42here

At September 1, 2006 at 10:53:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ: I am not sure, but Slide #36 shows a local resident pointing to a specific spot, and the site mentions that elders of the community gave Rabbi Gabai information also. My friend told me that Rabbi Gabai tests the ground using long poles, so presumably he did that here, as well. (As readers probably know, Rabbi Gabai has restored hundreds of graves of tzaddikim in the Ukraine and elsewhere; his organization restored the graves of the Ba'al Shem Tov and the Degel, among many others.)

The stones you photographed were the memorial, and they're still very important and impressive. I don't know for sure, but I would assume, from their appearance, that they were carved and placed there in 1928; surely, the original matzeveh (destroyed by the Communists) would have been far more modest. There are three stones at the memorial, and it's possible that two tombs really are there (of family members, perhaps). Did you take any closeup photos that might be legible enough to provide their identities?

At September 1, 2006 at 11:05:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Shoshana: Thank you for the information which satifies my curiosity.

Unfortunately I did not take any more close-up pictures.

One last thing, it was interesting that you mentioned the police station in Shepetovka. During my visit in 2001, the head of the Jewish community told me about some headstones the Jewish community had reclaimed from the police station that were been used for the stairs leading up to the station. I do recall having a picture of some of these reclaimed stones that were temporarily stacked up at the entrance to the Jewish cemetery.

I continue to wonder if my relatives in neighboring Sudilkov were frequent visitors to Rebbe Pinchas's kever..... I have to say I feel a great attachment to this tzaddik given the proximity of his kever to the shtetl of my ancestors. I am also interested to learn more about R' Yaakov Shimshon of Sheptovka who was buried in Tiveria. (Perhaps A Yid could write something about him one day....[hint hint])

At September 1, 2006 at 12:04:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A further thought: In re-reading my own comment above, I realize that the current residents of Shepetovka, who are Gentiles, may not have known the precise site of R' Pinchas's grave. However, they probably pointed out the location of the house that had been built on the property. Maybe they also knew that the house covered the grave, or maybe Rabbi Gabai discovered the outlines of the grave under the foundation of the house. Every solved mystery gives birth to a new one!

At September 1, 2006 at 12:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Exactly...when looking at that picture, the person was pointing in the general direction and I was curious how he knew that it started exactly at this spot and not three feet over in another direction.

At September 1, 2006 at 12:31:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoshana Bershad: Thanks a lot for this information. Pity they didn't print it in Imrey Pinchos, and many Yidn are not aware of all this details. By the way, since you contacted R. Gabay, and R. Frenkl, can you give their contacts? Also, if you'll ever speak with R. Gabay himself, tell him over (I'll try also when I can), that there is a problem in the method which his workers use to fix some matzeyvoys. I've heared it from Yidn in Ukrain, who are experts in stone cutting and carving.

They say, that some old stone matzeyvoys are restored by painting them in white and covering them in a special substance (similar to one used on wood furniture for example). It looks very nice, but it has a hidden problem. While stone is open and not covered with any chemicals it can "breathe", i.e. it can be eroded, by it can also adjust to the environment easily - constricting and expanding with temperature changes. When it is covered ("plated") with some substance, while it protects it from the elements, but the stone can't adjust anymore to temperature changes, and soon it starts to crack, and letters will fall off and matzeyvoys that stood for several hundres years will be destroyed in a short time!

At September 1, 2006 at 1:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Yid: I'm glad to make some of the sayings of Rebbe Pinchas available to English-speaking readers and to give everyone more information on the history of the restoration. (Disclaimer: my information is second-hand and in translation, so I can't claim that it is correct in every detail.)

Rabbi Frankel's phone no. is printed at the front of the Imrei Pinchas (I'm very grateful that you and ASJ urged me to purchase this wonderful work). I believe I have the contact info for Rabbi Gabai, but I will have to search for it (if I can't find it, I know my friend also has it, as she made the phone calls, but I may not be able to reach her until next week). ASJ has my email address if you'd like to email me about this, and then I can reply by email with the information (I don't think I should publish the phone nos. on the web).

Your comment about the substance that Rabbi Gabai uses on the tombstones is extremely interesting to me (and to my friend), because we noticed that the matzeveh of R' Raphael at Tarashcha looked much whiter after restoration than in an older photo (at first, I thought it was a plaster cast, but I was told that it was the original stone). My friend asked Rabbi Gabai about this, and he said that the inscription had been painted in black, but he didn't mention the white substance on the stone. We finally had to conclude that the whiteness was an artifact of lighting or camera filter. But now I feel like shouting, "Aha! I KNEW it!" Please do try to contact Rabbi Gabai to discuss the potential harm or safety of the substance he uses.

At September 1, 2006 at 1:14:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I meant. Painting the text and small ornaments in black is especially bad for matzeyvo, because the text (and ornament) can be ruined easily, becaise of the issue I brought above. I'll try to contact him when I'll get his contacts, but you can try it as well when you'll have an opportunity.

At September 1, 2006 at 1:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I have heard that even using chalk or shaving cream (so the inscriptions will be more legible in the photographs) can be detrimental to old tombstones. Sealing them could certainly damage them! And this is not just theoretical; you say that stoneworkers in the Ukraine have already observed this.

I found the contact info for Rabbi Gabai. Please email me! (And thanks in advance, ASJ, for putting us together!)

At September 2, 2006 at 11:39:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for the informative posting. I am descended from Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz. I would be interested in the connections with your ancestor as well as other information you may have about him.

Pinchas Fishel

E mail:

At September 5, 2006 at 12:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I knew nothing of R' Pinchas of Koretz beyond his name. Thank you for opening my eyes to him and to a new sefer I feel the need to purchase....Is Koretz also known as Poretz, or is that an entirely different small town in Volnihya?

At September 5, 2006 at 12:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Koretz is different than Poretz. Koretz was a shtetl in Volhynia north of Sudilkov and Shepetovka.

At September 6, 2006 at 10:42:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MCAryeh: I'm glad you know more now. Reb Pinchos Korizter zy"o was one of the greatest talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov hakodoysh, and the fact that many Yidn are not so familiar with his teachings can be explained simply, that there are no Koritzer or Bershader chasidim today who would popularize them. But this recent print (organized by descendants of Reb Pinchos) is a great thing and it makes a difference.

Russian and Poylish chasidus became almost extinct today. Mostly presented are Hungarian and Romanian chasidus. Amongst Russian chasidim are left probably only Breslov, Lubavitch and Karlin.

At November 22, 2006 at 9:19:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gallery of shpetovka

At November 22, 2006 at 9:20:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rabbi pinchas in shepetovka

At August 29, 2007 at 2:59:00 PM EDT, Blogger Roger Z. said...

Does anyone know if reb Pinchas of Koretz had children? Boys and/or girls? Does anyone know their names? I am looking to do some genealogical research,



At August 29, 2007 at 10:17:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roger: Yes, R' Pinchas had several children, and a number of people claim to be his descendants. I have not made a study of his genealogy, but I have seen the names of several sons and daughters and their spouses listed in at least one book on Chassidism (sorry, I didn't make note of the source). Rabbi Moshe Shapira was a son and was the father of Shmuel Avraham Shapiro, who, with his brother, Pinchas, had a printing press in Slavuta. Other famous descendants are Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetivka and Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapiro of Lublin.

At August 30, 2007 at 9:32:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Roger (or anyone else who's interested): I found some info for you today at the library (see Rabinowicz: Hasidism: The Movement and Its Masters, p. 52).

The first wife of R' Pinchas was named Treina; she gave birth to two sons, Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Moses. After she died, R' Pinchas married Yuta; she gave birth to two sons, Jacob Samson and Ezekiel, and one daughter, Reizel Sheindel.

At September 4, 2007 at 2:58:00 PM EDT, Blogger Roger Z. said...

That's great. Thank you so much.

At January 27, 2008 at 4:09:00 PM EST, Blogger Unknown said...

Whilst researching my family tree, I have happened upon a family belief that my late father's family were direct descendants of Reb Pinchas. We have Chassidic roots somewhere- my late father's hebrew name was Schneur Zalman which bore no relation to his Englsh forenames - so this new story deepens the connection but it would be great to know if anyone can help me validate or invalidate this story.
Shvuah tov

At August 17, 2008 at 1:20:00 PM EDT, Blogger Justin Goldner said...

Hello, I am looking for any contact information of Jews still in Bershad. I have some skeletel information on relatives that may still be there but no contact information whatsoever-- and I will be in Odessa in 1 day. If you or anyone you know has a phone number of someone in Bershad who might recognize some names, please email me at I appreciated reading your post. :)

At December 15, 2008 at 11:11:00 AM EST, Blogger Jeffrey Mark Paull said...


Does anyone know where I can find more information about who R' Pinchas of Koretz' descendants were? I have a strong reason to believe that his daughter, Sarah Rachel Shindel married one of my Polonsky ancestors, and that their grandchild was my 3rd great-grandfather, but I would like to verify this.

At September 5, 2009 at 7:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jeffrey Mark Paull said...

Since my previous post, in December of 2008, and I have successfully traced my ancestry to Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz. His daughter, Reizel (Rachel) Sheindel, did indeed marry Rabbi Shmuel Polonsky, who was the son of Rabbi Mordechai Gellis, and grandson of Rabbi Moses Gellis, of the Brody Klaus.

Rabbi Pinchas' son-in-law, Shmuel Polonsky, served as the Chief Rabbi and ABD of Ekaterinopol, and he gave rise to four successive generations of Polonsky rabbis who served as ABDs of their respective towns. This Polonsky lineage is documented in D. Neil Rosenstein's Unbroken Chain.

Anyone desiring further information regarding the Polonsky lineage from Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz is welcome to email me at

Best to All,

Dr. Jeffrey M. Paull

At October 21, 2009 at 10:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger Naomi said...

Shoshana, my paternal great=-grandfather, Moshe-Mordechai Bodnar, was a great-grandson (neen) of rabbi Rapahel from Bershad. My late father was a member of the Knesst. He was a descendant of rabbi Dov, the Magid from Mesritch. Please e-mail me: I am in Silicon Valley, CA

At February 10, 2010 at 3:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous david, a quaker said...

If there was a collection of R Pinhas's writings in English I would certainly buy it, it seems to me that he had a deeper insight into the very heart of creation than any other thinker I have read, as a Quaker he speaks to my condition. I did come across him via Buber followed by E Weisel .

At September 13, 2013 at 5:17:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Gershon George Wynschenk said...

dear shoshana
i am trying to trace for a friend a Meshulam ben Yisrael Sharfstein to trace the connection with Rabbi [Yehuda] Meir Shapiro of Lublin, the pioneer of the double-folio Talmud study schedule for Orthodox Jews, Daf Yomi. I am not very well myself,am 54, a long-term abuse victim,disabled, unemployed,Orthodox, and the Charedi ex-Vishnitz,ex-married out, now Chabad lady is 90 years old and confused and pushy, and we live in a traditional jewish mental elderly care home.
I am sorry to burden you, as you must be so busy, and obviously have many normal problems, as do we all, but it would be a great service to me and dr yutta singer-mansour[nee sharfstein] if you could help us.
Thank you,
Gmar Chatima Tova
Shabbat Shalom
Best wishes
Tsom Cal
Gershon George Wynschenk

At February 1, 2015 at 1:13:00 PM EST, Blogger Sender said...


Do you know where I can find the original (Hebrew/Yiddish) of this saying by Pinchas?

Any interpretations of the passage are most welcomed as well.

Thank you,


At August 5, 2017 at 12:09:00 PM EDT, Blogger автостоп said...

Thank you for the great post. I was born and lived in Bershad till age 18. That is so exciting to know that there are descendants of Raful Der Emeser! How did you find out it? Did your parents tell you or you did some genealogy research?


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