Rabbi Naftali Zvi Horowitz of Ropshitz (May 22, 1760 – May 8,
1827) was born on the day that the
Baal Shem Tov
Baal Shem Tov died, to Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Rubin of Linsk. His mother Beila was the daughter of
Rabbi Yitzchak Halevi Horowitz of Hamburg. 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 his uncle 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.
Rabbi Naftali Zvi 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 dynasty founded by Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi - see Ropshitz.
4 Further reading
5 External links
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 tzadik undo a divine decree, he replied that through his
actions and prayer a tzadik 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
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
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
^ Library of Congress Authorities: Ropshitser, Naphtali Ẓevi,
^ Sheim uSheirit, Ch 25 Ropshitz
Tal, Shelomoh (1983). Rabi Naftali Tsevi me-Ropshits (רבי
נפתלי צבי מרופשיץ) [
Rebbe Naftali Tsevi of Ropshits]
(in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook. OCLC 12104008.
Retrieved 18 November 2012. (subscription required)
M. G. "Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz". Great Leaders of our People. The
Orthodox Union. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
Meditative Tune from Ropshitz
"Mazel Tov" Tune from Ropshitz
Dance Tune from Ropshitz
Waltz from Ropshitz - played by Andy Statman
Sefer Ayalah HaSheluchah from
Rebbe Naftali of Ropshitz - in Hebrew -