Peshischa (Hasidic group)

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Peshischa (Yiddish: פשיסחה) was an important Hasidic school of thought based out of Przysucha, Poland founded by Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz, which flourished during the late 18th to early 19th century. Its teachings are the foundation for Kotzk Hasidism, Ger Hasidism, Amshinov Hasidism, Zychlin Hasidism, Aleksander Hasidism, Vurka Hasidism, Sochatchov Hasidim, Porisov Hasidim, Biala Hasidim and Izhbitza-Radzin Hasidism.

Grand Synagogue of Przysucha


Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz preached an elitist, rationalistic Hasidism that centered on Talmudic study and formed a counterpoint to the miracle-centered Hasidism of Lublin. His immediate successor, Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, brought Peshischa to its highest point and kickstarted a counter-revolutionary movement which challenged the Hasidic norm. While under the leadership of Rabinowicz, Peshischa was closer to a philosophy whereas, under Simcha Bunim it was transformed into a religious movement. Under Simcha Bunim's leadership, centers were created across Poland that held ideologically alliance to Peshischa. These centers preached Simcha Bunim's ideals of rationalism, radical personhood, independence and the constant quest for authenticity. He outwardly challenged the dynastic nature of Hasidic rebbes, which led to several unsuccessful attempts by contemporary Hasidic leadership to excommunicate Peshischa. After his death in 1827, Peshischa split into two factions, those of his more radical followers who supported Menachem Mendel of Kotzk as Simcha Bunim's successor and those of his less radical followers who supported the succession of Simcha Bunim's son Avraham Moshe Bonhardt. However, after Avraham Moshe's death a year later in 1828, the community almost unanimously followed Menachem Mendel, who gradually incorporated most of the community into Kotzk. After his death in 1859, Peshischa ceased to exist as a separate movement, yet its ideals still exist as the foundation for a large percentage of modern Hasidism.[1][2]


  • Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz, First Grand Rabbi of Peshischa
    • Simcha Bunim Bonhardt of Peshischa, Second Grand Rabbi of Peshischa
      • Avraham Moshe Bonhardt of Peshischa, *Third Grand Rabbi of Peshischa
        • Israel Yitzhak Kalish, *Fourth Grand Rabbi of Peshischa, First Grand Rabbi of Vurka.
      • Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, *Third Grand Rabbi of Peshischa, First Grand Rabbi of Kotzk

Descendants of Simcha Bunim of PeshischaEdit

Descendants of Yaakov Yitzchak RabinowiczEdit


  1. ^ "Peshischa Hasidim | Virtual Shtetl". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  2. ^ Dynner, Glenn Davis (2009), "Pshiskhe Hasidic Dynasty," The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews of Eastern Europe, YIVO.