The Jewish Eye
The Baal HaFlaah: Rav Pinchos Horowitz – A Chosid Whose Words Are Revered By MisNagdim
The Haflaah and the Sefer HaMakneh are hallmarks of every litvishe and chasidishe Bais Medrash. Not only that but Rav Pinchos Horowitz a talmid of the Magid of Mezeritch was Rav for over 30 years until his Petira in Frankfurt, Germany of all places! This is a testament to his larger than life greatness. Other testaments to his greatness came from Rebbi Akiva Eiger who called him a “True Gaon” and the Baal Nesivos who called him the leader of the generation. The Noda B’Yehuda’s son said that a day didn’t go by without his father mentioning Rav Pinchos.
He was born to his father Rav Tzvi Hirsh of whom the Noda B’Yehuda said, not to rely on his own words unless the great light Rav Tzvi Hirsh agrees with him. Rav Pichos's father was his first Rebbe and eventually he learned with his older brother the great Rav Shmuel Shmelke MiNikolsburg. The two became inseparable like Dovid and Yehonoson, wrote Rav Pinchos.
Together they made their way to Mezeritch and became Chasidim of the Magid, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov. Although unimpressed with the Magid at first, after being prodded by Rav Zusha on Anpoli the brother of Rebbi Elimelech MiLizhensk, they went back again and found their true calling and became devout chassidim.
Although he married wealthy, circumstances brought him to dire poverty at which point Rav Pinchos eventually took a position as Rav in Vitokov then moving to Lechowitz. In Lechowitz one of the rich powerful members, enraged after losing a Din Torah, chased Rav Pinchos out by spreading false rumors to the ruler of the town.
After a stay in Yampola, Rav Pinchos was invited to become Rov of Frankfurt. Although nervous about going to Frankfurt because of the far geographic distance and the vastly different minhagim, Rav Pinchos accepted the position after getting the approval of his Rebbe the Maggid. Rav Pinchos remained in Frankfurt for the next 33 years until his Petira. He loved the Kehilla and the Kehilla loved him, despite their differences. (Rav Pinchos was the only one in Frankfurt who davened Nusach Ari.) His kindheartedness and graciousness endeared him to all including the non-Jews. He opened up a Yeshiva that produced gedolei Yisroel including the Chasam Sofer and the Baal Shem of Michelstadt. His only battle was against the reform movement and Moses Mendelsohn, which he waged with all his might.
In his later years he lost his eyesight to cataracts. He agreed to undergo surgery to repair it however only on one eye. He reasoned that to see the beauty of this world he has no need. His only need is to learn torah. For that one eye is sufficient. For him one eye may have been sufficient but the entire spectrum of Klal Yisroel fondly looked after him with two eyes. Rav Pinchos was niftar the same year as the Dubno Maggid and a year before the Chida. Yehi Zichro Boruch!
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