WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Nikolsburg is the name of an ancient city in the historical South region of Moravia, and today in the Czech Republic. The Jewish community of Nikolsburg became an important commercial center in 1575, becoming later the seat of the regional Rabbi of Moravia. The great Maharal of Prague was the Rabbi in Nikolsburg and of Moravia from 1553 till 1573.
Records from 1754 show that there were 620 Jewish families in Nikolsburg, making up half of the town's population. Of the many great Tzadikim who served there as Rabbis since the Maharal, were the famed Tosfos Yom Tov zt"l who served as Rabbi from 1624 to 1627, Menachem Mendel Krochmal zt"l from 1650 to 1661, Mordechai Benet zt"l from 1789 to 1829, Shamson Rafael Hirsch from 1846 to 1851.
Reb Shmuel Schmelke Halevi Horovits zt"l, talmid of the Magid of Mezrich, served as Rabbi of Nikolsburg and Moravia from 1773 till 1778.
The Rebbe shlita, a descendant of Reb Schmelka zt"l, has been visiting the old town of Nikolsburg every year at the time of the Yartzeit to be mispallel at the local Kivrei Tzadikim, especially at the Kever of his great ancestor. In 5766 (2006) over a crowd of a hundred Nikolsburg Chasidim and descendants of Reb Schmelka came together for a Shabbos to celebrate the Yartzeit.
The town of Mikoluv as it is known today, hasn't seen so many Jews since before World War II, they all davened the Tefilos in the main Shul and ate the Shabbos Seudas in the Castle. It was the first of a few more such large visits that followed, each time it brought Jews together from many parts of the world to pray at the graveside of the Tzadik Reb Schmelka zt"l.
In 5769 (2009) the Seudas Shabbos were held at the hall of the Tanzberg hotel, which was once the house of the Maharal, who also had his Yeshiva there. One can still see the Mikvah deep in the cellar.
Those Shabbosim were something to remember, the uplifting Chasidishe Nigunim were heard once again in those narrow streets and alleyways. It was surely a spiritual experience that connected the present to the past.
Interior of Main Shul in Nikolsburg
The Rebbe in Nikolsburg