Peshischa (Hasidic group)

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. It's teachings are the foundation for Kotzk Hasidism, Ger Hasidism, Amshinov Hasidism, Zychlin Hasidism, Aleksander Hasidism, Warka 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, founder of the Peshischa school of thought.
    • Simcha Bunim Bonhardt of Peshischa, First Grand Rabbi of Peshischa. (1813-1827)
      • Avraham Moshe Bonhardt of Peshischa, Second Grand Rabbi of Peshischa. (1828)
        • Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, Third Grand Rabbi of Peshischa. (1828-1859)

Descendants of Simcha Bunim of PeshischaEdit

The Bonhardt (Yiddish: באנהאַרד) rabbinic family originated in Hesse, Germany and later moved to Leipzig where they archived great prominence. Simcha Bunim’s mother, Sarah Sirkin was the scion of a highly distinguished Polish-Ukrainian rabbinic family descending from Joel Sirkis. Among Simcha Bunim’s ancestors are; Moses Isserles, Moses ben Isaac Bonems, Shmuel Eidels and the Exilarch, Mar Ukba. His family tree is as follows:

  • Judah Leib Bonhardt (1720-1784).
    • Tzvi Hersh Bonhardt (1747–1810) & Sara Sirkin (b. 1748), daughter of Betzalel HaLevi of Zhovkva.
      • Simcha Bunim Bonhardt of Peshischa (1765–1827) & Rebeccah Auvergir-Kogov (1776–1857), daughter of Moshe Auvergir-Kogov of Będzin.
        • Avraham Moshe Bonhardt (1800–1828) & Braindel Faiga (b. 1802), maternal granddaughter of Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz.
          • Tzvi Hersh Mordechai Bonhardt (1826–1866) & Tzipora Kalish (1824–1901), daughter of Israel Yitzhak Kalish.
            • Avraham Simcha Bonhardt (1843).
            • Sarah Ita Bonhardt (b. 1845).
            • Rachel Bonhardt (b. 1849).
            • Henya Roza Bonhardt (1850–1938).
            • Chana Bonhardt (1855–1917).
            • Yitzhak Mzvolin Bonhardt (1857–1934).
            • Golda Laya Bonhardt (1858–1939).
            • Rivka Bonhardt (1859–1942).
          • Sarah Hadas Bonhardt (b. 1824) & Fishel Samuel Heller (b. 1821), descendant of Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller.
            • Faigel Heller (1838 - 1925).
            • Devorah Beyla Heller (b. 1841).
            • Avraham Moshe Heller (b. 1843).
            • Yitzhak Simcha Heller (b. 1845).
            • Shanyna Rachel Heller (b. 1847).
        • Liba Bonhardt (1804–1855) & Yaakov Dyzengez (b. 1802).
          • Tzvi Hersh Dyzengez (b. 1822) & Leah (b. 1823), daughter of Yechiel of Szydłowiec.
            • Yechiel Simcha Bunim Dyzengez (1839–1894).
            • Mozek Dyzengez (1840–1905).
        • Beyla Bonhardt (1804 -1830) & Melech Austricher (1802–1847).
          • [1] Yitzhak Simcha Bunim Austricher (b. 1828) & Rivka (b. 1830).
            • Perel Leah Austricher (b. 1850).
          • [2] Yitzhak Simcha Bunim Austricher (b. 1828) & Devorah Gitla Morgensztern (b. 1829), daughter of Dovid Morgensztern of Kotzk.
            • Tzvi Hersh Austricher (b. 1849).
        • Unknown daughter (b. 1802) & Levi Yitzchak Dancyger (1800 - 1830), son of Shraga Fayvel Dancyger of Aleksander.

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.