Grand Rabbi "Sar Shalom" of Belz

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הרב שלום מבעלז Rokeach

Also Known As: "Grand Rabbi Sar Sholom", "Rabbi Sholom Rokach", "Belzer Rebbe", "הרב שר שלום", "האדמו"ר מבעלז", "רבי שלום מבעלזא"
Birthplace: Brody, L'vivs'ka oblast, Ukraine
Death: Died in Belz, Ukraine
Immediate Family:

Son of R' Elazar Rokeach and Rifkah Hena Rokeach
Husband of ? and Rebitzen Malka Rokeach
Father of Rabbi Moshe Rokach (MiKarov); Yehushua Rokach ADMOR of Belz; Esther Rokeach; Rabbi Yehuda Zindel (MiUchan) Rokach; Rabbi Elazar Rokach [of Belz] and 3 others
Brother of Rabbi Meir MeBarditchov; Devorah Rokeach; Ella Rokeach and R" Arye Leibush Rokeach M'Barditchev

Occupation: כ"ז אלול תרט"ו, Harav Mibelz - Hasar Shulem, First Rebbe of Belz
Managed by: Eliyahu Teitelbaum
Last Updated:

About Grand Rabbi "Sar Shalom" of Belz

Rabbi Sholom Rokeach, (1779 - September 10, 1855), also known as the Sar Sholom (in Hebrew "minister of peace", Isaiah 9:5), was the first Belzer Rebbe.

To chasidim of Belz, he is known as "Der Ershter Rov", the first rabbi, but in the city of Belz itself he was called "Der Alter Rov", the old rabbi, in deference to the Bach (Rabbi Yoel Sirkis) who presided a as rabbi of Belz in the sixteenth century.

His father was Rabbi Elazar, one of the sages of the Kloyz of Brody. The latter was the grandson of Rabbi Elazar, rabbi of Brody until 1736, then rabbi of Amsterdam.

Rabbi Sar Sholom grew up as an orphan, and was raised by his uncle, his mother's brother, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Ramraz, rabbi of Skohl, then in Galicia. He taught him Jewish tradition, and married his daughter Malka to him.

In the town of Skohl he was influenced by Rabbi Shlomo (Flam) the Rebbe of Skohl (also known as the Lutzker Maggid), who was the personal writer and second hand of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism.

Since his uncle (and father in law) was opposed to Hasidism, Rabbi Sholom would secretly be let down the window by his wife, to learn at Rabbi Shlomo Lutzker's Beis Midrash during the nights. He was also a disciple of the Seer of Lublin.

He composed several songs - most still sung by the Belzer Chasidim, including one tune, to "Tzur Mishelo", sung during the Shaleshudes third ritual meal on the Sabbath, which is still popular today.

Many of his teachings are preserved in an anthology entitled "Midbar Kadesh".

He reigned as rebbe from 1817 till 1855.

Rebbes of Belz

  1. Rabbi Sholom Rokeach (1779 - 1855)
  2. Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach (1825 - 1894)
  3. Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (I) (1854 - 1926)
  4. Rabbi Aharon Rokeach (1877 - 1957)
  5. Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (II) (b. 1948)

Belz is a Hasidic dynasty named for the town of Belz, a small town in Western Ukraine. The town has existed since at least the 10th century with the Jewish community being established during the 14th century.

In 1665 Jews in Belz obtained equal rights and duties. The town became home to Hasidim in the early 19th century. At the beginning of World War I Belz had 6,100 inhabitants, of which 3,600 were Jewish.

The founder of the dynasty was Rabbi Shalom of Belz, also known as the Sar Shalom, who was inducted as rabbi of Belz in 1817.

A great Torah scholar and legendary miracle worker, Rabbi Shalom personally helped build the city's large and imposing synagogue. Dedicated in 1843, the building resembled an ancient fortress, with three-foot thick walls, a castellated roof and battlements adorned with gilded copper balls. It could seat 5,000 worshippers and had superb acoustics. It stood until the Nazis invaded Belz in late 1939.


"Unbroken Chain" by Neil Rosenstein page 1103


This small town of Belz in Poland was to become the center of one of the most important Chassidic dynasties of Galicia. Because he was orphaned as a child, R. Shalom studied under his uncle, Issachar Ber. In Sokol he was introduced to the Chassidic teachings of R. Solomon of Lutsk and he later studied under the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin, the Apter Rov, R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Magid of Kozienice and R. Uri Strelisker.

The Chozeh, R. Jacob Isaac Horowitz, had him appointed the Rabbi of Belz and on his death in 1815, R. Shalom, now thirty-seven, became recognized as a Tzaddik revered in his splendid Beit Midrash in Belz by thousands of Chassidim. He was considered a Talmudic authority.


All who visited his home would always find his wife, Malka, by his side.

R. Haim Halberstam, the Sanzer Rebbe once commented on the palpable feeling of peacefulness permeating the couple. This atmosphere was enhanced by the unique relationship that the Belzer Rebbe had with his wife whom he consulted in all matters, both personal and rabbinic. Their unrestrained respect and admiration and their mutual devotion are well known to Belzer Chassidim to this day as an example to be followed.

archives New York Times

Religion Notes


Published: August 14, 1993

Wedding Draws 30,000 . . . The recent wedding celebration of the heir to the Hasidic dynasty of Belz was probably the biggest ever held in Jerusalem. But this being Israel, it was also fraught with religious, political and even culinary significance.

-------------------- direct descendant of Maharshal and Rashi