Shpoler Zeide’s Descendants Gather in Crown Heights

Photos: Mendi Dahan/

Lubavitcher descendants of the Shpoler Zeide gathered in Crown Heights for the annual seudas hoda’ah commemorating his miraculous rescue on the 19th of Shevat 231 years ago.

By reporter

Lubavitcher descendants of the Shpoler Zeide gathered Sunday night in Crown Heights at Lubavitcher Yeshiva for the annual Seudas Hoda’ah commemorating his miraculous rescue on the 19th of Shevat in 1793, 231 years ago.

The evening began with a kids’ program and meal in their own banquet hall, led by master storyteller Shmuli Zalmanov. All children had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the famous dancing bear.

Rabbi Velvl Butman served as MC and introduced Rabbi Sholom Dovid Geisinsky who continued his late father’s tradition of sharing the story of 19 Shevat.

Guest speaker Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld gave an inspiring address about the importance of children continuing their parents’ and ancestors’ legacy, as Chazal teach that parents and ancestors are the crown of the children and children are the crown of the parents. The evening was interspersed with Chabad niggunim and music led by musician Yossi Cohen.

The event celebrated a miracle that occurred in the year 1793, when the Shpoler Zeide was on his way back from participating in a bris in Bohuslav (in what is now Ukraine). When while crossing over the frozen Ros River the ice suddenly broke beneath him. Miraculously he was saved.

The following year, the Zeide instructed that all his children, grandchildren and future descendants should make an annual Seuda on the nineteenth day of Shevat, thanking Hashem for the miracle that saved his life.

The evening concluded with a special tribute to Rabbi Moshe Avtzon who helped sponsor the event. Rabbi Avtzon expressed his special appreciation to Rabbi Yossi Butman for arranging much of the evening.

The Shpoler Zeide was a student of the Baal Shem Tov and Mezritcher Maggid and known as a miracle worker and for helping Jews. He was a close associate and friend of the Alter Rebbe.

“The Shpoler Zeide was a man of ardent feeling, more intensely so than his colleagues, the other disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch. When he visited the Alter Rebbe in Liadi, in the year 5569 (1809) or 5570 (1810), he related that when he was three years old and saw the Baal Shem Tov, ‘he placed his holy hand on my heart, and from that time onward, I have felt warm.'” Hayom Yom – 14 Teves.

In keeping in line with the Rabbonim's policies for websites, we do not allow comments. However, our Rabbonim have approved of including input on articles of substance (Torah, history, memories etc.)

We appreciate your feedback. If you have any additional information to contribute to this article, it will be added below.

  1. I didn’t get the connection at first, thought it was a random character to entertain the kids. But then it hit me, the famous story of the Shpola Zaide and how he saved a yid from the poretz by taking his place in the punishment of dancing in a bearskin for the drunken squire’s entertainment. This costume looks a lot more comfortable and kid friendly than the original! Well done.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

advertise package