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R Yechiel Michel lived (from what I've seen) from 1826 - 25 Elul 1786.
He was the son of R Yitzchak of Drohobitch (d - 7 Nissan 1750), author of
a book called "Teufot Harim", which is supposed to have genealogical
information. (I tried finding the book at the Hebrew U. library, with no
luck.) R Yitzchak of Drohobitch was the "z'ken hachasidim", the eldest
chassid of the Baal Shem Tov.
R Yechiel Michel wrote a niggun (a tune) that was the Baal Shem Tov's
favorite. On his death bed, the Besht asked that R Yechiel Michel come
in to sing the niggun, so that he could hear it one last time.
The family were decendants of the famous Chayut family. R. Yitzchak's
father was R Yoseph Sproidlyer of Pistin (died in Israel), his father was
R Moshe of Zvirech, and his father was R Yitzchak Chayut (d 11 Tammuz
1585). R Yitzchak Chayut's father-in-law (according to one account that I
saw), was also the father-in-law of the Maharal of Prague. Now I know
that it doesn't seem possible to go from 1585 to 1826 in so few
generations, and I'm sure that there must be some missing generations.
This account is from the book "Otzar Harabanim" by Friedman. Most books
don't have R Moshe of Zvirech existing at all.
R Yechiel Michel had 5 sons, and at least 1 daughter.
His daughter married R David of Stefan, a descendant of the "Taz", R David
Segel. R David of Stefan was himself a Rebbe. The father of the wife of
the first Lubavitcher Rebbe had the same name as the father of R David of
Stefan, but, I've never been able to figure out if they're the same person,
such that R David of Stefan and the Alter Rebbe would have been
R Yechiel Michel used to call his 5 sons his 5 books of Torah. They were R
Yoseph of Ampal (d 24 Tevet 1812), R Yitzchak of Radvil (1744 - 11 Iyar
1835), R Binyamin of Zbariz (d - 3 Nissan 1822), R Mordechai of Kremnitz
(1755 - 11 Tammuz 1820), and R Moshe of Zvhil (d - 10 Iyar 1831).
R Moshe was the first Zvhiller Rebbe, a sect that still exists today in
Boston and Israel. They have a web site www.rebbe.org that has a bit of
the Zvhiller history including a bit of genealogical information.
R Yechiel Michel was a diciple of the Baal Shem Tov, but I think he is
better known as a disciple of R Dov Ber, the Besht's succesor.
If anyone knows anything of the descendants of R Mordechai's son R Yitzchak
Yaakov (married Chana Yetta/Vita/Ita, great granddaughter of R Dov Ber),
I'd be interested in knowing about it, as I'm trying to determine if I'm
descended from R Yitzchak Yaakov myself.
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