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About R' Naftali Zvi Horowitz, Admur Ropczyce
Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropczyce (1760–1827) was born on the day that the Baal Shem Tov died, to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Rubin of Linsk. His mother Beila was the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Halevi Horowitz. Naftali Tzvi adopted the surname of his maternal grandfather.
He was the first Ropshitzer Rebbe. As a youth, Rabbi Naftali studied in the yeshiva of Rabbi Meshulam Igra, one of the Torah giants of the time, where his fellow students were Rabbi Mordechai Benet and Rabbi Yaakov Lorberbaum, who were to become two of the leading scholars of the next generation. Rabbi Naftali became attracted to the Hasidic movement, and traveled to the court of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk. Because of Rabbi Naftali's illustrious lineage, Rabbi Elimelech at first refused to admit him, as was his custom, but finally acquiesced to Rabbi Naftali's entreaties.
Upon the death of Rabbi Elimelech, Rabbi Naftali became a student of Rabbi Elimelech's disciple, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov.
He married Beila, the daughter of Rabbi Yitschok Horowitz of Hamburg and was a brother-in law of Rabbi Meshulam Igra.
Rabbi Naftali Tzvi is reputed to have had tens of thousands of followers. He died on 11 Iyar 5587 (corresponding to 8 May 1827) and is buried in Łańcut.
Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz is a crucial figure in the development of Galician Hassidism. There are many minhagei Ropshitz— "customs of Ropshitz", which are followed by Galician Hasidim. He was known for his profound wisdom, sharp sense of humor, and musical gifts. He insisted that young men should devote themselves exclusively to Torah study and not be involved in Hasidism until they were 25 years old. In his later years he perceived that some Hasidim followed Hasidic practices but were negligent in some basic requirements of Jewish Law, such as timely prayer and questioned if it would not be better if the Hasidic way were replaced by greater concentration on Torah study. When Rabbi Yosef Babad, the future author of the Minchas Chinuch, came to become a follower of his he sent him away, advising him to return home and pursue his studies in the revealed aspects of Torah.
Many major rabbis are descendants of the Rebbes of Ropshitz.
Among the offshoots of Rabbi Naftali Zvi of Ropshitz are Ropshitz, Dzikov, Glogov, Melitz, Stitshin, and Strizov dynasties.
Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz emphasized the power of prayer and stressed that a person must be able to pray in all circumstances and never say "I don’t have the head for prayer now." In answer to the question how can a tzaddik undo a divine decree, he replied that through his actions and prayer a tzaddik creates a new world, to which the old decree does not apply. He commented that Moses was shown each generation first, and then shown their leaders, because he might be dismayed at seeing Naftali as a leader. However, having first seen the generation, he understood that Naftali was appropriate for his generation.
Rabbi Naftali was particularly devoted to the mitzvah of sukkah and it is said that every day he was preoccupied with some aspect of that mitzvah, which he said was dear to his soul. Often in his works he speaks about the holiday of Sukkos.
Initially, Rabbi Naftali refused to give permission for the publication of his writings, but with the concurrence of his famous disciple, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, author of Divrei Chaim, his two works, Zera Kodesh and Ayala Shelucha were finally published. The only praise he permitted on his tombstone was "the singular one in his generation in the knowledge of God": ("יחיד בדורו בחכמת אלוקים".)
A leading Chassidic leader of his time. His teachings were posthumously published in Zera Kodesh on the Torah and Ayala Shlucha on the Holidays.
Ropshitz is the name of a Hasidic dynasty, or rabbinical family and group who are descendants of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Horowitz of Ropshitz (1760-1827). Ropshitz is the name of a town in southern Poland known in Polish as Ropczyce.
Many major rabbis are descendants of the Rebbes of Ropshitz.
Today, Rabbi Chaim Meir Yechiel Rubin, the son of the Muzhayer Rebbe, styles himself as Ropshitzer Rebbe.
- Rebbe Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropshitz (1760-1827), son of Rabbi Mendle of Linsk
o Rebbe Eliezer Horowitz of Dzhikov (d. 1860), son of Rebbe Naftali Tzvi
o Rebbe Yaakov Horowitz ABD Kolbasov and Melitz (d.1839), son of Rebbe Naftali Tzvi
o Rebbe Avraham Chayim Horowitz of Linsk (d. 1831), son of Rebbe Naftali Tzvi
o Rebbe Asher Yeshayahu Rubin of Ropshitz (d.1855), son-in-law of Rebbe Naftali Tzvi
+ Rebbe Menashe Rubin of Ropshitz (d. 1861), son of Rebbe Asher Yeshayahu
- Rabbi Reuven Horowitz ABD Dembitz, son-in-law of Rebbe Menashe
+ Rabbi Aharon Rubin of Rymanow (d. 1857), son of Rebbe Asher Yeshayahu
There is a story told about Reb Naftali Zvi, the Chassidic master of the town of Ropshitz. He was an extremely busy person. Up at 6:00 AM, he began his day at the mikvah, the ritual bath, and then went straight to morning prayers. At 7:30, he ate breakfast with his family, and then he went out to deal with his community. The mornings were spent teaching young children, and the afternoons were filled with adult classes, judging court cases, family counseling and supervising the kosher butcher. By evening he was home for supper and his day ended with his own personal studying, which took place from 9:00 PM – 2:00 AM every night.
One day he was approached by his students, “Rebbe, you have time for everyone but us. When are you going to study with us?” The Rebbe thought for a moment and replied, “The only time I have to study is at night between 9:00pm-2:00am. You are more than welcome to join me then.” And so it was. Every night they would come and study with their Rebbe.
Since the Rebbe was a master of mystical traditions, studying with him was an ecstatic experience. The Rebbe was able to reveal the divine light in every Jewish practice. One can imagine the communal sorrow when, after many years of service, Reb Naftali Zvi of Ropshitz passed away in his sleep.
The Shabbat after the Rebbe’s death, Reb Dov, who spent many nights learning with the Rebbe stood up at the synagogue’s bimah. “There are many who have asked me - what was the most important teaching I learned from our holy master,” he began. “I have thought about all the years and the wisdom, and I can truly tell you that the deepest teaching I ever received was watching the Rebbe kiss his book when he closed it at 2:00 in the morning.”
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About R' Naftali Zvi Horowitz, Admur Ropczyce (עברית)
The Ropschitzer - אבד"ק ואדמו"ר ראפשיץ גליציה
R' Naftali Zvi Horowitz, Admur Ropczyce's Timeline
May 21, 1760
May 8, 1827
Lancut, Łańcut County, Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland