Living Legacy: Rebbe Yossele of Rimanov

Living Legacy: Rebbe Yossele of Rimanov

Yehuda Alter 

The 24th of Nissan marks the yohrtzeit of Rav Yosef Friedman of Rimanov, known as Rebbe Yossele of Rimanov. He was born in Rimanow, Poland, to his illustrious father, Rebbe Hershele of Rimanow, who is known as “Rebbe Hersh Meshores,” due to his devoted service of his rebbe, Rav Mendele of Rimanov. His mother was Rebbetzin Malka. 

Rav Yosef was an extremely holy child from a young age, and tzaddikim and gedolim of his generation revered him. He was renowned for his mofsim and the yeshu’os that he effected for his fellow Yidden. 

Tragedy struck when he was only three years old and his father left this world. He would recite kaddish in a low voice. When the young child was asked about this, he said, “what can I do? My father is standing right next to me when I recite kaddish!” 

Subsequently, his mother married the holy Ruziner who was then residing in Sadigura. The Ruziner would refer to the young boy as “Yosef Hatzadik.” Every Shabbos, he would wish his stepfather, the Ruziner, a good Shabbos. Once, when he was unwell, he didn’t come, so the Rebbe went to wish the young boy a gut Shabbos. 

Rav Yosef married Rebbetzin Freida Schor, a descendant of the Ba’al Shem Tov. Following his marriage, the chassidim in Rimanov implored him to come and lead them, but in his humility, he demurred. After the passing of the Ruziner, he followed his son, Rebbe Avrohom Yaakov of Sadigura. But in the year 1867, his rebbe instructed him to heed the call of the Rimanover chassidim, and he of course followed his instruction. 

He would remain at the helm of the Admorus of Rimanov for half a century—raising his chassidim to lofty levels of avodas Hashem, and serving as an address for those in need of as yeshuah. Thousands of Yidden flocked to the town of Rimanov to be near the Rebbe and bask in his aura—including great Admorim in their own right. 

 One of the tzaddikim of his generation said that it is no wonder that the Rebbe’s brochos are fulfilled; for his father sits in Gan Eden and answered Amein to every brocho that is uttered by his son. He would invoke the memory of his father with great awe, referring to him as “The tzaddik of Rimanov.” 

The Rebbe and the Rebbetzin had one daughter, Rebbetzin Malka, and through her the great legacy continues. 

The Rebbe was niftar in the year 1913 and he was interred in the ohel of his holy father in Rimanov. 

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