Bobov (Hasidic dynasty)

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Bobov is a Hasidic group within Judaism with its headquarters in the neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York. It has branches in the Williamsburgsection of Brooklyn, Monsey, New York, Antwerp, and London. In Israel Bobov has its headquarters in Bat Yam, and branches in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and Ashdod.

Bobov originated with Rabbi Solomon Halberstam in Galicia (Central Europe), where the bulk of his Hasidim were originally followers of his grandfather, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, known as the Rabbi of Sanz, or by the name of his books the Divrei Chaim.

With his passing, his son Rabbi Benzion Halberstam took the lead, and by creating over 60 Yeshivas throughout Poland, he gained popularity among the youth, which in turn gained him thousands of followers.

After World War II, barely 400 of his loyal followers remained. The rest perished together with him during the Holocaust, killed by the Nazis and their Ukrainian allies. His son Rabbi Solomon Halberstam took it upon himself to rebuild Bobov. He first settled on the West Side of Manhattan, later moved to Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and finally settled in Borough Park.

Rabbi Solomon was a bit more "wordly" in his ideas compared to other Hassidic groups. He was noted for his outspokeness against disputes between Hasidic groups. This brought him great popularity and respect.

At the time of his death in August 2000, he was mourned by more followers than his father had in Poland. It has been noted that his date of death was on the same date of Aaron the Cohen, mentioned in the Torah, which his son Rabbi Benzion Halberstam explained due to the similar characters of loving piece.

With his passing, Babbi Solomon's ailing son Rabbi Naftali became the new leader of Bobov. While Rabbi Naftali was the elder of Rabbi Solomon's two sons, the younger and more talented son, Rabbi Benzion, was able to use his charismatic personality to recruit a large group of followers especially among the more intellectual hasidim. With Rabbi Naftali's deteriorating health, Rabbi Benzion has slowly been assuming some of the responsibilities and authorities of a Rebbe.