Living Legacy: The Chozeh of Lublin
Tisha b’Av marks the yahrtzeit of Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchok Halevi Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin, the Rebbe of the many of the greatest luminaries of the Chassidic movement, about him tzaddikim said, “Even the greatest malochim have no inkling of his greatness.”
The Rebbe was born in Tarnogrod to his father, Rav Avrohom Eliezer, in the year 5505 (1745). His father was the Av Beis Din in the town, and his mother was descended from Rav Yaakov Koppel, the famed talmid of the Ba’al Shem Tov.
As a boy, he learned with the rov of his hometown, and later he went to learn under the Rebbe Rav Shmelke of Niklosburg, whose yeshiva was in Shinive. From there, he went to the court of the Maggid of Mezrich. It is said that he also had a connection to Rebbe Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev. Following the passing of Rebbe Rav Shmelke in 1778, he made his way to Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk of whom he became a close talmid, and the leader of the younger talmidim.
Following the passing of Rebbe Elimelech, he became the most senior Rebbe in Poland and Galicia.
The greatness of the Chozeh was described through the tzaddikim throughout the ages. The Apta Rov said that the Chozeh didn’t so much as lift an eyelid without being mechaven l’sheim Shomayim. The Rebbe Reb Baruch’l of Medzibuz said that he was the true ‘seer,’ and it was known that he could see what was taking place anywhere in the world. Many attributed this to the fact that, in his youth, he covered his eyes with a cloth so he would not see anything improper.
The holy living legacy of the Chozeh of Lublin continues to this day through his seforim and through the influence of his talmidim, and their talmidim through the generations.
The Seforim of the Rebbe of Lublin are Divrei Emes, Zikoron Zos, and Zos Zikoron.
Among his more famous talmidim are the Chidushei Harim of Gur, the Yid Hakodosh of Pershischa, Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Pershischa, the Ropshitzer Rov, the Sar Shalom of Belz, Rebbe Uri of Strelisk, Rebbe Itzik’l of Worka, the Bnei Yisaschar, Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Rebbe Ber of Radoshitz, Rebbe Meir’l of Apta, the Ma’or Vashemesh, Rebbe Meir of Premishlan, the Divrei Chaim of Tzanz, among many others.
The Chozeh returned his pure soul to its Maker on Tisha B’Av of the year 1815, and was interred in the old Beis Hachaim of Lublin, where thousands stream every year to merit yeshu’os in the zechus of the holy tzaddik.