Major Hasidic courts, 1815–1929. (Based on a map prepared for the exhibition "Time of the Hasidism." by Elżbieta Długosz, The Historical Museum of Kraków—Old Synagogue)

Find more information about

at the Center for Jewish History:

NOTE: you will be redirected
to the Web site for the

Ropshits-Dzikov Hasidic Dynasty

Hasidic dynasty founded by Naftali Tsevi Horowitz of Ropshits (1760–1827), a leader of Hasidism in Galicia. Naftali Tsevi was a student of Menaḥem Mendel of Rimanov (1745–1815) and, to a lesser extent, of Ya‘akov Yitsḥak, the Seer of Lublin (1745–1815), and Yisra’el of Kozhenits (1737–1814). After the death of his teachers, Horowitz became the leading figure of the Hasidic movement in much of Galicia, though he never served as a leader of Polish Hasidism as a whole. He was also well known for his sense of humor.

Naftali Tsevi’s relations with his teachers and colleagues were complex and often strained. He sided with the Seer in his dispute with Ya‘akov Yitsḥak of Pshiskhe (1766–1813), and with the disciples of Menaḥem Mendel of Rimanov against the wishes of their teacher (and his). He also disagreed with Menaḥem Mendel’s spiritual attempts to hasten the Messiah in 1814. Menaḥem Mendel wanted to bring the Messiah at all costs and prayed for Napoleon to be victorious, while Naftali Tsevi feared the corrosive effects of Enlightenment, which he assumed would come in the wake of a Napoleonic victory. His closest colleagues were Tsevi Hirsh of Zhidachov (1763–1831) and Tsevi Elimelekh of Dinov (1785–1841), but his relationship with them was also complicated and marked by tensions. Much of their disagreement was based on competing claims to the leadership of Hasidism in Galicia.

Naftali Tsevi functioned as a tsadik in the manner of his teachers. He performed miracles, “abrograted evil decrees,” and, claiming divine inspiration, brought down the divine flow (shefa‘) to provide for the material needs of his followers. He worked actively against legislation by the Austrian government that he saw as detrimental to the Jewish community—including the imposition of new taxes and efforts to modernize Jews through such requirements as military conscription and secular schools. He also opposed the Haskalah and programs of religious reform. His teachings were collected in three works: Ayalah sheluḥah (1863), Zera‘ kodesh (2 vols., 1868), and Imre shefer (1884). Ohel Naftali (1911) contains sayings and stories about Naftali Tsevi.

Naftali Tsevi’s most important disciples were Ḥayim Halberstam of Sandz (1797–1876) and Shalom Rosenfeld of Kaminka (1800–1852). He also had three sons who became Hasidic leaders: Avraham Ḥayim of Linsk (d. 1831), Ya‘akov Horowitz of Mielec (d. 1839), and Eli‘ezer Horowitz of Dzikov (d. 1860). Naftali Tsevi was succeeded as rabbi in Ropshits, however, by his son-in-law, Asher Yesha‘yah Rubin (1775–1845), author of Or Yesha‘ (1876).

Naftali Tsevi’s sons and son-in-law had many children who themselves became rabbis and founders of minor Hasidic dynasties throughout Galicia. The Dzikov dynasty achieved a certain prominence in Galicia during the last quarter of the nineteenth century under the leadership of Yehoshu‘a (1848–1912), the grandson of Eli‘ezer of Dzikov; it was considered the third most important Hasidic group in Galicia, after Belz and Bobov. Yehoshu‘a was a noted composer of Hasidic melodies and a prolific author of Hasidic discourses and responsa.

Suggested Reading

Yitsḥak Alfasi, Mamlekhet ha-ḥokhmah: Toldot Bet Ropshits-Dz´ikov (Jerusalem, 1994); Yosef Salmon, “R. Naphtali Zevi of Ropczyce (‘The Ropshitser’) as a Hasidic Leader,” in Hasidism Reappraised, ed. Ada Rapoport-Albert, pp. 321–342 (London, 1996); Shelomo Tal, Rabi Naftali Tsevi me-Ropshits (Jerusalem 1983); Menashe Unger, Di khsidishe velt: Geshikhte fun khsidshe hoyfn in Poyln un Galitsye (New York, 1955), pp. 205–269.