SLONIM, ḥasidic dynasty. The founder of the dynasty was R. ABRAHAM BEN ISAAC MATTATHIAS WEINBERG (1804–1883) who, after heading the yeshivah in Slonim, became a Ḥasid. His teachers in Ḥasidism were the ẓaddikim Noah of Lachowicze (*Lyakhovichi ) and Moses of *Kobrin . When Moses died, Abraham assumed the role of ẓaddik and became one of the leading rabbis of his time. His influence extended mainly throughout the northwestern part of the province of Polesie, Poland-Lithuania, between the cities of Slonim and Brest-Litovsk and between Kobrin and Baranovichi. Abraham's writings include Ḥesed le-Avraham (1886) and Yesod ha-Avodah (1892). His works, which include principles of his ḥasidic teachings, attest great scholarship. He advocated the study of Torah for its own sake, prayer with devotion (devekut), love and fear of the Creator, humility and confidence. He saw asceticism and mourning as ways of repentance. He also wrote a homiletic commentary on Mekhilta, entitled Be'er Avraham (1927). During Abraham's lifetime, his grandson NOAH (d. 1927) emigrated to Ereẓ Israel and settled in Tiberias, where Slonim Ḥasidim found a special place in the history of Ḥasidism in Ereẓ Israel from the late 19th century. The letters of the rabbis of Slonim to their fellow Ḥasidim in Ereẓ Israel were included in their writings. Abraham's disciple Menahem Nahum Epstein established his own dynasty of ẓaddikim in Bialystok. Another grandson, SAMUEL (d. 1916), succeeded Abraham as rabbi and excelled in strengthening religious life and institutions as well as in collecting funds for the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. Under Samuel, the Slonim dynasty became famous beyond its own circles for its special ḥasidic melodies. Samuel's teachings were incorporated in the works of his Ḥasidim, Kunteres Kitvei Kodesh (1948), Kunteres Beit Avraham (5 vols., 1950–54), and Beit Avraham (1958). After Samuel's death, a split occurred among the Slonim Ḥasidim. The majority chose as their leader Samuel's younger son, ABRAHAM (II; d. 1933), who lived in Bialystok and later in Baranovichi. In 1918 Abraham II established a major yeshivah in Baranovichi called Torat Ḥesed, where Lithuanian-Jewish scholarship and Ḥasidism were combined. Abraham made journeys to Palestine to visit his ḥasidic following there (1929, 1933). His teachings on the weekly portion of the Torah were published by his Ḥasidim in the Beit Avraham, mentioned above. His successor in Baranovichi was his son SOLOMON, who perished in the Holocaust in 1943 with many of his fellow Ḥasidim. His teachings and letters were published in the Zikhron Kadosh (1967). Meanwhile, in Slonim itself, Samuel's eldest son, ISSACHAR ARYEH (d. 1928), inherited his father's position. On Issachar's death his son ABRAHAM succeeded him and emigrated to Palestine in 1935, but did not serve as admor. In 1942, the Slonim Ḥasidim in Jerusalem established Yeshivat Slonim Beit Avraham. In 1955 the Slonim Ḥasidim elected ABRAHAM (III), the son of Noah (mentioned above), who had immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in his youth, as their admor.
K. Lichtenstein, in: Pinkas Slonim, 1 (1921), 48, 58–61, 87, 124, 128–9, 159–60, 178, 217, 231, 243; W.Z. Rabinowitsch, Lithuanian Ḥasidism (1970).
[Wolf Zeev Rabinowitsch]
Gale Document Number: GALE|CX2587518716