Memory Lane: Khal Mincha Chadashah Viznitz
Last week, we profiled the Shabbos that Harav Mottele Chodorov, the Tolna-Viznitzer Rebbe who arrived on these shores in the year 1921, spent in Boro Park on Shabbos parashas Shelach of 1922.
According to the Morgen Zhornal announcing the visit, the Rebbe stayed at the home of Reb Dovid Pankin, at 1237 48th Street. This tidbit of information cause quite a stir among the mispalelim of Khal Mincha Chadashah--Viznitz, a shul that was established by Reb Mottele’s great-great nephew, Reb Mottel Adler, zichrono livrachah, on that very plot of land—only about 70 years since that historic Shabbos in 1922.
Reb Motel was the son of Harav Naftali Chaim Adler of Viznitz-Netanya who was a son in law of the Imrei Chaim of Viznitz, who was a son of the Ahavas Yisroel of Viznitz, a brother in law of Reb Mottele Chodorov of Tolna-Viznitz. Numerous mispallelim who celebrated their annual melaveh melakah on the motzoei Shabbos following the release of that article came that evening with their Hamodia’s in hand, sharing the unbelievable, inspiring anecdote that everything in This World is ordained, and how a predecessor, a tzaddik and a leader who came to Boro Park in days of yore surely planted the seeds for their existence here in the days before the coming of Moshiach.
Reb Mottel Adler was the son of Rav Naftali Chaim who was descended from the holy tsaddikim of Dzikov, including his namesake Harfav Naftali Chaim Horowitz, who authored the sefer Mincha Chadashah.
Reb Naftali Chaim was raised in Netanya, where one resident remembered his special qualities that stood out immediately in his youth. “He loved every Yid simply because he was a Yid. The way he expressed overwhelming love toward everyone whom he encountered can fill volumes—a trait he surely inherited from his holy ancestor, the Ahavas Yisroel.
He brought this special love and seeking the good of his fellow Jew, and he imbued everyone with his infectious love for Torah and avodah when he came to Boro Park, close to forty years ago. His avodas hatefillah was legendary as well.
Tragically, he was struck by a car about 30 years ago, and was taken from this world a short time later. But even in his lifetime, he exerted special tefillos that the shul which was then being built should indeed be a light to the community—and by every measure, the continuous voice of Torah and tefillah that is heard there is the fulfillment of that exhortation.
The leadership was assumed by his ledest son, ybl”ch, Rav Yisrael Eliezer Adler, the son in law of Harav Yosef Frankel, the V’yelipoler Rebbe of Flatbush, who is a son in law of the previous Bostoner Rebbe, Harav Levi Yitzchok Horowitz, zt”l, who also davened at the shul with his children and grandchildren. The Bobover Rebbe, Harav Shlomo Halberstam, zt”l, graced the Sheva Brachos of R’ Mottel’s only daughter, and participated in the Hachnosas Sefer Torah at the Chanukas HaBayis of the shul.
Since the shul was founded, all the rebbes of the Viznitzer dynasty have visited the shul on different occasions; the previous Viznitzer Rebbe, the Yeshuas Moshe, zt”l, the Viznitzer Rebbe Shlit”a of Monsey, the previous Seret-Viznitzer rebbe zt”l and the Viznitzer Rebbe Shlit”a of Bnei Brak.
Harav Chaim Stein, Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, the Debreciner Rav and Harav Chuna Halperin, zeicher tsaddikim lkivrachah, are among the 100 illustrious personalities that have graced the shul with their presence over the years.
Thus, the Mincha Chadashah, the new offerings of Torah and avodah being created anew every day, are really steeped in and inspired by a nearly-century old foundation.
May these merit of these holy tzaddikim who came before us, and paved the way—literally iand figuratively—so many decades ago so that the path in Yiddishkeit in these challenging times of ikvesa d’Meshicha indeed serve as a protection and an inspiration to the inhabitants of Boro Park of today.