Up a side street in Meah Shearim (an ancient ultra-orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem) is the shul of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchok (not to be confused with Toldos Aaron). This large synagogue is just finishing a round of renovations, and has an impressive aharon kodesh (Torah ark) in front.
I'm told these are descendants of the talmidim (students) of the Gra, the Vilna Gaon, who were encouraged to relocate to Eretz Yisroel (Israel). While they come from this ultimate of Litvish / Yeshivish backgrounds, they operate with a structure similar to a chassidic movement, and their style of dress matches that of the many holy chassidic residents of Meah Shearim.
There's definitely an interesting cultural tidbit of history there, to be delved into further.
Dan comments: Toldos Avraham Yitzchok are chassidim. They split from the Toldos Aharon chassidut after the passing of the previous Rabbi, Avraham Yitzchok Kohn. One son founded the new branch named after his father, and another son leads the original congregation.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
// 12/19/2007 //