Ohel of Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov | רבי יחיאל מיכל פון זלאטשאוו







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Born in Brody Ukraine in 1721, Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov was the son of the renowned Reb Yitzchak of Drohobitch, a prominent Torah scholar and,....

Born in Brody Ukraine in 1721, Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov was the son of the renowned Reb Yitzchak of Drohobitch, a prominent Torah scholar and, very possibly, a direct descendant of the Maharal of Prague. The Rav of the city of Brody, Reb Yitzchak was an extremely outspoken opponent of Chasidisim, who in his later life became a chossid of the Baal Shem Tov.

Following in his father’s footsteps, young Yechiel Michel, was a disciple of the Bal Shem Tov who received clear instruction directly from his acclaimed teacher, becoming one of his most prominent students. After the Baal Shem Tov's passing in 1760, Reb Yechiel Michel became a devout follower of his successor, the Maggid of Mezritch, and while he is most well known as a disciple of the Maggid, he was a prize student of the Baal Shem Tov as well.

A deep master of Torah and a spellbinding orator, Reb Yechiel Michel was a much sought-after Rav and lecturer. The Zlatchover Maggid, as he was titled by some, was largely responsible for the first introduction of Chassidus to many parts of the Jews of Galicia which covers a huge portion of what is today modern Ukraine. He founded a multi-branched dynasty of chassdius and had numerous prestigious talmidim including Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, also known as the Ohev Yisrael, and Rebbe Mordechai of Neshchiz, known as the Rishpei Aish.

The height of Reb Yechiel Michel’s leadership was a difficult time, with, chasidim ostracized after being accused of creating a false brand of Judaism. Those allegations were followed by rampant burnings of chasidic books and Reb Yechiel Michel was forced to move from town to town, his safety in question the entire time. Over the course of that period, Reb Yechiel Michel served as rav in the Galician communities of Brody, Alek, and Zlotchov, finally finding refuge in Yampol where he passed away on the 25th of Elul in 1786.
Reb Yechiel Michel’s five sons and his daughter compiled his chidushim into the sefarim titled "Mayim Rabim." More recently, a new sefer was his Torah thoughts called "Toras Hamagid Haziltchov" was released in print.

Reb Yechiel Michel was also a gifted composer and many of his nigunim are still sung today, including one which was highly regarded by the Baal Shem Tov. Legendary in Chabad circles, the nigun is said to bring the immediate assistance of the Baal Shem Tov to anyone who sings it with real teshuva in their hearts, no matter where they may be. It is also believed that the Baal Shem Tov offered to reappear in this world to those who sing this nigun with true sincerity.

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov protect us all.

Ohel Location on Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/4WWsXVvEuYNhwfJE9

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