Menachem Nachum Twersky

Menachem Nochum Twersky[1] of Chernobyl (born 1730, Norynsk [uk], Volhynia - died 1787, Chernobyl, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) was a Ukrainian rabbi, and the founder of the Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty.[2] He was a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezritch, and published one of the first works of Hasidic thought.[3] He is considered one of the pioneers of the Hasidic movement.[citation needed][4]


Orphaned as a child, Twersky was raised by his uncle Rabbi Nochum, who sent him to be educated in one of the highly acclaimed yeshivot in Lithuania. After his marriage he earned his livelihood as a teacher of young boys, while continuing his intensive studies of Torah.[5]

With the advent of Chassidism, Twersky became a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism. After the Baal Shem Tov's death, Twersky accepted the Maggid of Mezritch as his mentor. His book Me'or Einayim (Light of the Eyes) was published after his death, and contains a collection of his homilies concerning the weekly Torah portions and selections of the Talmud. The book gained widespread acceptance as one of the major works of Hasidic thought.[3]

He was succeeded as the Maggid of Chernobyl by his son Rabbi Mordechai Twerski. The surname would become known as Twersky in the United States. The Chernobyl dynasty branched into a number of successive dynasties through Mordechai's eight sons, including those of Skver, Rachmastrivka, Trisk, and Talner.[citation needed]

Twersky's daughter, Malka, married Rabbi Avraham of Korostyshiv. Their daughter, Chava, wife of Rabbi Shakhna of Pohrebysche, was the mother of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhin.

Me'or EinayimEdit

His books Me'or Einayim and Yesamach Lev (lit. 'The light of the eyes makes the heart happy'[6]), comprising insights on the weekly Torah portion, reflects his proclivity to Kabbalah. It has gained widespread acceptance as one of the major works and foundations of Hasidic ideology.


  1. ^ Disciples of the Baal Shem Tov and the Magid of Mezeritch
  2. ^ Dynner, Glenn (2006). Men of silk: the Hasidic conquest of Polish Jewish Society. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517522-6.
  3. ^ a b Green, Arthur. Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl: Upright Practices, The Light of the Eyes.
  4. ^ url=
  5. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica, TWERSKY, ḥasidic dynasty in the Ukraine.
  6. ^ Book of Proverbs 15:30

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