Yosef Yosel Hurwicz






Gateshead Yeshiva was seen as a branch of Novardok, officially sharing its doctrines, ideals and methodology and named "Yeshivas Beis Yosef" in common with other branches of Novardok.

The Novardok yeshiva in Navahrudak, then the Russian Empire, was one of the biggest and most important yeshivas in pre-World War II Europe, and a powerful force within the Mussar movement. The yeshiva was established in 1896, together with a Kollel for married men, under the direction of Rabbi Yosef Yozel Horwitz, an alumnus of the Kovno Kollel and pupil of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. In the footsteps of his mentor, he was a staunch advocate of the Mussar approach. He was known as the der Alter fun Novardok, a Yiddish term meaning "the elder of Novardok".

Yeshivas Bais Yosef, located at 1502 Avenue N in Flatbush

Rabbi Yosef Yosel Hurwitz

Rabbi Yosef Yosel Hurwitz, the Alter of Novorodock, was a true radical. As a young man, he was deeply engaged in business and the support of his family. However, at the age of 27, he met Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and the impact of that meeting shook him to the foundations and completely transformed the direction of Reb Yosels life. He threw himself into study and spiritual matters. His whole life was now based on total, radical faith, and he became completely disengaged from material concerns.

He established a large yeshiva in Novorodock and was responsible for creating a whole network of yeshivas. Reb Yosel believed that abnormal times required a radical approach which demanded total immersion in spiritual matters without consideration for the amenities of existence. His major work is appropriately named Stature of Man. In 1919, while he was in Kiev, a plague broke out and while caring for the sick, Reb Yosel himself became ill and succumbed on the 17th day of Kislev.

Yosef Yozel Horowitz (Hebrew: יוסף יוזל הורוביץ), also Yosef Yoizel Hurwitz, known as the Alter of Novardok (18491919) was a student of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter. He established a large yeshiva in Novardok, and some of his discourses were recorded in the book Madregat Ha-Adam (Hebrew: מדרגת האדם, Stature of Man). The most basic and important theme in his book is Bitachon (trust in God). He and his followers were famous for miracles that resulted from their absolute trust.

There is even one event of trust told in his book, that is thought to be about him himself. It describes a person learning alone at night and his candle running out and he trusted in Hashem and someone in the middle of the night brought him a new candle. His followers would board trains in time of civil war with no fear and establish hundreds of yeshivas in Russia.

Eventually the movement got involved in a financial dispute with other yeshivas over funding. The leaders were claiming each Novardok yeshiva should be considered as one entire yeshiva. Opponents wanted all Novardok yeshivas to be considered as one. In spite of the lowering of standards that this indicates, the movement from all indications that are available formed and produced people of great ethics. There is basically nothing left of the movement today with the exception of some of Horwitz's great-grandchildren, such as Rabbi Yechiel Perr of Far Rockaway New York.

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Yeshivas Bais Yosef Yosel Brooklyn

1502 Avenue N


1502 Avenue N Flatbush