Living Legacy: Rebbe Elozor Menachem Mendel Biederman of Lelov-Yerushalayim
by Yehuda Alter
Thursday, the 16th of Adar, marks the yohrtzeit of the Lelover Rebbe Rebbe Elozor Menachem Mendel Biederman, a tzaddik and ba’al mofes who resided in Yerushalayim.
His father was Rav Moshe of Lelov, a son of Rebbe Dovid Lelover, and his mother was the daughter of Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchok, known as the “Yid Hakodosh of Pershischa.” He was born in the year 1827.
It is said that three tzaddikim came to him from the World of Truth, asking him to name his newborn son after them. Two of them were Rav Elozor, the son of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk, the second was Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. He would not say who the third was. Thus, the child was named Elozor Menachem Mendel.
He married Feige Mattel Horowitz, a granddaughter of the Chozeh of Lublin.
In the year 1850, he alighted to Eretz Yisroel, along with his father. Sadly, his father, Rav Moshe., was niftar a short time later and interred on Har Hazeisim. Rav Elozor Menachem Mendel assumed his place as the Lelover Rebbe.
He would become the de facto leader of the chassidim among the old Yishuv in Yerushalayim.
His fame as a tremendous oved Hashem spread far and wide, and many would come to him for guidance and inspiration—including numerous Admorim and Rabbonim from Europe. His avodah was otherworldly, and he said about himself, “it is no wonder that I grew up this way… I had such an illustrious father.”
He would daven Maariv at the Kosel every night for many hours, and was known in to be an incredible ba’al tefillah.
The story is told among the old families of Yerushalayim that the custom was to bring children at three years old for the Rebbe to make them payos. One year, the Rebbe insisted that the fathers give a large sum of money in order for him to make the chalaka. Later that year, a plague broke out among the children of the city—but not a single one of the children that the rebbe shore were affected by it.
The Rebbe had a minhag to wash for an elaborate melave Malka each week. In the year 1883, Purim came out on Friday and Shabbos, and the Yidden of Yerushalayim celebrated Purim Meshulash. On Motzei Shabbos, the sixteenth of Adar, the crowd waited for the Rebbe to enter for melava Malka, but he was late in coming. Finally, after washing and reciting the bracha with great deveikus, he drank l’chaim, and said, “Yehi rotzon that we should merit the coming of Moshiach.” He recited shemah and returned his neshomoh to its maker, and was interred on Har Hazeisim alongside his g father.
He left behind three illustrious sons who continued in his ways, giving the world generations of the Biderman family who continue to spread Yiddishkeit with fire and inspiration around the world.