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Rabbi Meir HaGadol (the Great) of Premishlan ZT’L (of Blessed Memory) (1703—1763), was one of the first disciples of Rabbi Yisroel Ba’al Shem Tov, ZT’L (1700—1760), founder of the Chassidic movement.
He was born to Rabbi Aharon Leib of Premishlan a descendent of great rabbis.
Initially, Rabbi Meir was in business. Gentiles called him “Honest Meir.”
Rabbi Meir withdrew from his business efforts and devoted all his time to the study and teaching of Torah and chassidus. Despite his fame as a Chassidic Rebbe he referred to himself simply as Meir’l.
Premishlan (Przemyslany in Polish) was the seat of Rabbi Meir’s formidable holy work. The Polish name is what appears on documents and maps dating back before 1939, when Przemyslany and the entire Ukrainian province of Galicia (Halychyna/Galizien/Galicja) was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1772—1918) and then under Polish rule as it had been prior. In 1939, Przemyslany and all of Galicia was occupied by Soviet troops and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (as part of the Soviet Union), and as of 1991, independent Ukraine.
Reb Meir’l was known as a Baal Ruach HaKodesh someone who knows things through the Holy Spirit that is granted even in these days when we don't have prophets. He was also known as someone who would cause Heavenly help for people and many Jews flocked to him.
Reb Meir’l lived in absolute poverty, for he gave away all his money to the poor and downtrodden. At times he sold household necessities in order to give money to charity.
In his later years Reb Meir’l moved to Mikolaev, and led his Chassidim from there. He was returned for buriel to Premishlan.
Rabbi Meir the Great was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Uren Aryeh Leib, zt’l (d. 1813) as Premishlaner Rebbe.
Rabbi Uren Aryeh Leib was succeeded by his son: Rabbi Meir (the second), zt’l (1783—1850) as Premishlaner Rebbe. He was widely known as a miracle-worker. Many waited upon him daily. His unassuming conduct endeared him to the masses.
Rabbi Meir the Second was succeeded by his son-in-law, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Frankel-Teumin, zt’l (d. 1857). In turn, he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib Frankel-Teumin, zt’l (1830—1880), as Premishlaner Rebbe. He was a disciple of his grandfather, Rabbi Meir the Second.
Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib Margulies, zt’l (1892—1956), was the grandson of Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib Frankel-Teumin. In 1917, he was crowned Premishlaner Rebbe in Lvov. During WWI, he escaped to Budapest. From 1927, he resided in London and was involved heavily in helping the many war refugees.
Presently, Rabbi Meir Rosenbaum serves as the Premishlaner Rebbe in Bnei Brak, and Rabbi Yehudah Leifer as Premishlaner Rebbe in Antwerp. The Bnei Brak Premishlaner Rebbe is the son of Rabbi Dovid Moshe Rosenbaum, zt’l who died in 1969 and was Kretchnifer Rebbe. He survived the Holocaust and settled in Rechovot, Israel. He was renowned for dispensing cures for serious ailments. He was the son of Rabbi Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum, zt’l, Kretchnifer Rebbe in Siget who was murdered in the Holocaust. He was the son of Rabbi Mayer Rosenbaum, zt’l (1852—1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe and the only one amongst the sons of his great father authorized to write kameiyos (amulets). He was the son of Rabbi Mordechai Leifer-Rosenbaum, zt’l (1824—1885), Nadvorna Rebbe. Rabbi Mordechai was the son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertchie Rosenbaum, zt’l (d. 1848), Nadvorna Rebbe and a descendent of Rabbi Uren Aryeh Leib, zt’l (d. 1813), Premishlaner Rebbe. Thus the Bnei Brak Premishlaner Rebbe is a direct drscendent of Rebve Meir of Premishlan and continues his Holy ancestor's dynasty ensuring that his Chassidic ways and teachings continue instead of dying or weakening after the devastation of the Holocaust.
Premishlan had two Jewish cemeteries. The first is where Rabbi Meir the Great lies. Efforts were under way to reacquire the property and erect a monument over Rabbi Meir’s gravesite. Jewish groups from within the country and from abroad reconstructed Rabbi Meir’s o in the summer 1998.
Plans were made to acvomadate people viditing his gtave to build a structure to house a mikveh ( a ritual bathing for spiritual elevation) , a beismidrash (a place of Jewish learning of tge Holy texts), sleeping quarters, bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room. Tge idea of providing amenties gor those who come to vidit his Holy grave continues with the present project of Rabni Meir Greenbaum.
People coming for blessing from visiting his grave need accomadions. For too long Prenushlan has been meager in that regard. Perhaps Jewish life can flourush there once again with this project's success. The destruction of the Holocaust which wreaked havoc in Premishlan can be shown to have fsiled miserably with the strengthening and continuence of tge legacy of the Holy Rebbe Meir of Premishlan whise blessings continue on behalf of those living and who will seek his prayers on their behalf ehen vusiting. His grave.
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