Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reb Alter Tepliker

Reb Alter Tepliker
Yahrtzeit: 12 Adar

Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Bezhilianski (d. 1919), better known as “Reb Alter Tepliker,” was a respected scholar and leading
Breslover chassid in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Born in Teplik, Ukraine, he was active in the Breslover community in nearby Uman, where he married the sister of Rabbi Abraham b’Reb Nachman Chazan, author of Biur ha-Likkutim. (The latter’s father, Rabbi Nachman Chazan, was the one of the closest disciples of Reb Noson, who was instrumental in publishing the Rebbe and Reb Noson’s writings, and also keeping the Breslov community active during the difficult years after Reb Noson’s passing. He was also the Baal Musaf on Rosh Hashanah in the Breslover Kloyz in Uman.)

Many Breslover chassidim of the next generation, such as Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz and Rabbi Yitzchok Gelbach, were drawn to Breslov Chassidus after discovering Reb Alter Tepliker's Hishtapchus ha-Nefesh (selections from Rebbe Nachman and Reb Noson’s writings on hisbodedus). (The first part of this anthology was translated to English by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan as “Outpouring of the Soul,” published by the Breslov Research Institute.) Another popular anthology compiled bt Reb Alter is Meshivas Nefesh (translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum and published as “Restore My Soul” by the Breslov Research Institute).

Reb Alter was murdered at age 47 in a pogrom, during the Ukrainian struggle for independence in 1919. He was murdered in a synagogue while holding a Sefer Torah. It is widely believed that the historical photo of a chassid reciting Tehillim inside the doorway of the original Ohel over Rebbe Nachman’s grave depicts Reb Alter Tepliker.

His many books include:

  • Hishtapchus HaNefesh (Outpouring of the Soul) — on hitbodedut 
  • Meshivat Nefesh (Restore My Soul) — on inner strength 
  • Ohr Zorei'ach Haggadah (The Breslov Haggadah) — on the Passover Haggadah 
  • Mili de-Avos – on Pirkey Avos 
  • Mei ha-Nachal (“Waters of the Brook”) — chiddushim on Likutey Moharan.

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