| The Moment |

Sunrise over Sadigura

More than a year has passed since he became Rebbe, and every day that goes by, the chassidim become more attached to him

Photo: AEGedolimphotos.com

When I heard that the new Sadigura Rebbe was traveling to the United States for the first time since becoming rebbe, I rejoiced. Although neither I, nor my forbears, have a connection to Sadigura, I merited to see this young, humble rebbe often. He was a modest avreich, talmid chacham, and yerei Shamayim who came often to visit his father-in-law, Rav Osher Chaim Sternbuch, who lives a few houses away from me.

I knew he was the son of the Sadigura Rebbe, but even without knowing that, you could tell that this was a very distinguished young man. I’d watch him accompany his father-in-law to davening, walking with a measured, dignified pace — a genuine Ruzhiner prince.

And then, his world turned over. His father passed away, leaving behind hundreds of shattered, grieving chassidim. In his will, his father appointed him as the successor, although he was just 24 years old. And all at once, he went from a quiet kollel yungerman to a rebbe of chassidim.

But still, when the Rebbe comes to Antwerp to visit his wife’s family, he goes back to his first love — to the kollel bench, to those same chavrusas and sugyos. We, the neighbors, already know when the Rebbe is here. When we see the gabbai waiting for him outside the door to escort him to the kollel; sometimes, other rebbes and prominent personalities come to visit. Then the Rebbe comes from kollel, graciously accepts his visitors, and returns right after the visit.

More than a year has passed since he became Rebbe, and every day that goes by, the chassidim become more attached to him. In the early days of his new position, I was among the first to have an audience with him in the kvittel shtub, and there were already many kvittlach on the table from chassidim seeking yeshuos.

I’m not yet a Sadigura chassid, but I am moved each time to hear that the young Rebbe is so successful, and I marvel when I peruse his divrei Torah, the deep imrei kodesh and chassidus he regularly shares with the chassidim. Last week, the Rebbe spent his first Shabbos with chassidim in America and inaugurated a beautiful kloiz in Lakewood. For a community that lost its revered leader at the prime of his life, I can only rejoice with their happiness and renewal.

—David Damen, Antwerp


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 886)

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