Shmuel Bornsztain (I) - World War I

World War I

At the outbreak of World War I, Bornsztain was visiting a spa in Germany and was arrested as a Russian citizen. Only after much effort did he succeed in returning to Poland with other Rebbes who had been similarly detained. Due to persecution of Jews by the Tsarist government, he could not return to Sochaczew, but resettled in Łódź with his family. Here he acted as a guide and advisor to his own Hasidim as well as Hasidim of other dynasties and non-Hasidim seeking encouragement and support.

In 1915, the town of Sochaczew was overrun and destroyed by the German army.

In 1919, Bornsztain chose to leave the tumult of the big city, which was taking its toll on his health as well as his ability to concentrate on his holy work, and relocated to Zgierz, a small town near Łódź . Here he established his yeshiva and led his Hasidic court.

His health worsened in 1926 and, upon the advice of his doctors, he moved to Otwock, a resort near Warsaw. There he died at the age of 70 on 8 January. He was brought to burial in the same ohel (covered grave) as his father, the Avnei Nezer, in Sochaczew. His son, Dovid, succeeded him as third Sochatchover Rebbe.

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