Jewish Temeshvar Endures
Temeshvar (Timisoara) was the first city in Europe, and the second in the world after New York City, to illuminate its public streets with electric lights. The oldest gravestone in the Jewish cemetery is dated 1636. Between 1552 and 1716 large numbers of Spanish Jews settled in there, and the government received them with favor. The Jewish population in 1940 was 11,000, representing more than ten percent of the city.
In August and September 1942, preparations were made to deport the Jewish population of Temeshvar to Nazi camps in occupied Poland. A change in the political and military dynamics prevented the deportation. In 1947, there were still more than 13,600 Jews in Temeshvar. Emigration reduced this number to 6,700 by 1957. The population was down to 3,000 in 1971 and in 2000 the Jewish community numbered just a few dozen elderly people.
The spirit of Jewish Temeshvar continues to radiate brightly. Many leading chassidishe rebbes, rabbis, and roshei yeshiva attended the annual melaveh malkah of the Beis Medrash Beer Moshe Temeshvar of Boro Park on Motzaei Shabbos Toldos, November 17. Yisroel (Sheldon) Borgen and his sons-in-law, Howard Sipzner and Amir Kornblum, were honored for strengthening the spirit of Jewish Temeshvar with their dedication in memory of Mrs. Borgen’s parents, Rabbi Dovid ben Chanoch Henach Cohen, z”l, and Sarah bas Eliezer Lipa, a”h.
The beis medrash, at 1557 47th Street, is led by Rabbi Yosef Meyer Leifer, Temeshvarer Rebbe, and personifies the chassidishe heritage of the Nadvorna and Temeshvarer chassidic dynasties.
Today’s Temeshvarer Rebbe is the son of Rabbi Meshulim Zalman Leifer, zt”l (d. 1987), Temeshvarer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Aaron Leib Leifer, zt”l (d. 1963), Temeshvarer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yechiel Leifer, zt”l (d. 1928), Mihalowitzer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yosef Leifer, zt”l (d. 1927), Bursha Rebbe; son of Rabbi Mordechai Leifer, zt”l (1824-1884), beloved Nadvorna Rebbe.
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Leifer, son of the Temeshvarer Rebbe, serves as member Rav of Kolel Emek Halacha, and Rabbi Chaim Leifer, son of the Temeshvarer Rebbe, leads the Temeshvarer Beis Medrash in Aled, near Bnei Brak.
Last week, at the home of the kallah and in the presence of the grandfathers, Yeshaya Rubin was engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Zalman Ashkenazi, Ostila Rav in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Ashkenazi, Alesker Rebbe in Kensington.
The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Rubin, Sulitza Rav in Far Rockaway, son of Rabbi Shmuel Shmelka Rubin, Sulitzer Rebbe. The Ostila Rav is the son-in-law of Rabbi Yehoshua Adler, Dzjikover Rebbe. The Sulitza Rav is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yesochor Berish Rubin, zt”l (d. 2001), Keresturer Rebbe.