404 Nagykálló | Zsidó Örökség Útja Nagykálló – Zsidó Örökség Útja

It is the oldest community in Szabolcs county. According to tradition, Jews had been living in Nagykálló since the medieval ages, however, continuity was definitely not maintained. Development of the community institutional framework began at the end of the 18th century, as part of a general process characterizing the neighbourhood. This can be connected to the Yiddish-speaking Jewry arriving from Galicia. Cheder and yeshiva had operated here from 1782. The first great synagogue was inaugurated around 1800. Records of community associations – patient support association (bikur holim) and chevra kadisha among them – can be found from 1814. The building of the synagogue was converted and augmented in 1924, based on plans by a local architect, Dezső Lisser.  After the Shoah, in the early 1950s the building was purchased and taken down by the town in the 1960s.

In 1785 66 Jews lived here, while by 1836 their number grew to 693. In 1848, the population of the community was 610. In 1900, the same number was 782 [out of 6 973 residents], and 1 060 in 1920 [out of 8 117 residents]. The majority of them were innkeepers, wine retailers and leather-merchants. Historical research connects the spreading of Hasidism to wine and leather trade routes towards Polish territories.


Prominent personalities for pilgrim tourists: 

The grave of Joel Brodi and the ohel of Eizik Taub can be found in the old cemetery. In the new cemetery, the graves of Mordechai Benet and his son, and the ohel of Menahem Broda are the most visited. Today, the Kálló Hasidism has two centres and two rebbes: New York (Kalov) and Jerusalem (Kaliv), but on the Jahrzeit on the 7th of Adar, pilgrims arrive from all over Western Europe, Israel and North America.

Heritage tourism: The painter Imre Ámos (Ungár) (1907-1944) was born on Nagykálló. He reached back to his childhood memories, namely, local Hasidic folk tradition on several of his paintings. He studied in Budapest, and worked in Szentendre. He met Marc Chagall in Paris. His paintings are characterized by dream-like imagery. The rooster was among his reoccurring themes, which is connected by art historians to the Kálló Hasidism.


Prominent rabbis

Joel ben Cvi Brodi (1655–1755), rabbi of the community, also chief rabbi of Szabolcs county in the middle of the 18th century. Yitzchok Isaac Taub (1751–1821 / 7th of Adar, 5581) arrived at Nagykálló as melamed. From 1781, he became rabbi of the community and the county, as well. He is considered as the first Hasidic rebbe in Hungary. His life is mostly described by legends. His parents lived in Szerencs. He was born in Szerencs or Nagykálló. He became fatherless early on in his childhood, and was brought up by his mother. Legends connect him to the disciples of Baal Shem Tov (approx. 1700–1760), Aryeh Leib the son of Sarah (1730–1796) and rabbi Dov Ber (?–1772) of Mezerics.  He was taught at Mikulov by the Hasidic rebbe, Shmelke Horowitz (1726–1778). He was influenced by Elimelekh Weisblum (1717–1787), rebbe of Leżajsk. The folk song beginning “I heard the rooster crow”, which is about waiting for the Messiah, is also attributed to him. In Hungary, the song is considered to be a typical Jewish folk song. The song was also a Hungarian Israelite scout anthem between the two World Wars. It is recognized by the Jewish communities, Hungarian folk music and world music, as well. In the Haredi world, it is sung in Hungarian even today. In 1840, Jesaja Benet (1792–1864 / 19th of Kislev, 5625), who was the son of the famous Mikulov scholar and rabbi, Mordecai Benet (1753–1829) became the rabbi of Nagykálló.  Bernát Benedikt (Yissachar Dov Ber Avraham Benet, 1822?–1902 / 23rd of Tevet, 5662), son of Jesaja Benet became rabbi. In 1882, Emánuel Bródy  (Menahem Broda, 1862–1938 / 8th of Av, 5698), son of Ábrahám Broda of Berezovo, son in law of the Nyírtass rebbe, Meshulim Feish Lowy (1821–1875) got in charge as leader of the yeshiva in Nagykálló. Between the two World Wars the number of his disciples was sometimes over 200. After his death, there was no new rabbi elected, and the yeshiva was closed. Asher Segal Lowy (?–1944), one of the descendants of the rebbe of Nyírtass had worked in Nagykálló before the Shoah


Famous people

Featured places for pilgrim tourists
  • The tomb of Brodi and the resting place of Taub

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