Jewish, Jewish, Everywhere, & not a drop to drink
Sunday, January 26, 2003
GER / GUR HASIDISM:
POLAND TO ISRAEL:
Ger , Gerrer , or Gur , (Gora Kalwaria), is the name of a small town in Poland from which a large Orthodox Hasidic Judaism dynasty originated. They are now based in Jerusalem where their Rebbe lives. The rabbis who lead them have come from a family by the name of Alter . The founder of this group was Rabbi Yitzchok Meir (Rothenberg) Alter (1799 - 1866), known in Hebrew as the Chidushei HaRim named for his scholarly works on Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch.
Almost all of their devotees in Europe perished during the Holocaust, but their leader at the time somehow managed to escape and quickly set about rebuilding the movement in then Palestine .
There are large communities of Gerrer hasidim in New York, London, and Belgium. In Israel they dominate the Agudath Israel of Israel religious political movement and party in the Israeli Knesset. They have set up several satellite communities in parts of Israel.
They are distinguished by their dark hasidic garb, and on shabbat and Jewish holidays the married men wear a high circular fur hat called a spodik (not to be confused with the much flatter shtreimel a fur hat worn by some of the other hasidic groups.)
The second Rebbe was Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (1847 - 1905).
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