A bond that has never been severed

A Neokohn főszerkesztője


A deeply moving event took place in Mad on May 5th, memorializing a Hungarian family’s deep roots here in Hungary and commemorating an over two-hundred-year-old family legacy. 

The Flegmanns were a well-known family in this world-famous wine region. Their wines were enjoyed by locals, townspeople from the surrounding areas, aristocrats like Emperor Franz Josef, as well as Chasidic masters like the Levushei Mordechai and the Kerestirer Rebbe. The humble house of their ancestors, where some of the wine-making took place, is located in the town’s main square and is in close proximity to where the municipality still stands today. It is a small memento of the flourishing Jewish life that this city once knew.

Mád itself is one of the larger settlements in the Tokaj region. Its Jewish population before WWII neared 50%; now, some 77 years later, the Jewish „footprint,” which had been nearly non-existent for decades, is growing increasingly visible. The city’s majestic synagogue has been beautifully renovated, and the former yeshivah building and home of such giants as the author of Kol Aryeh, Rabbi Avraham Yehuda haCohen Schwartz, and the author of Levushei Mordechai, Rabbi Mordechai Leib Winkler, is now a popular inn that gained a 9.5 stars rating on Booking.com. The local cemetery, where numerous Torah giants are buried, is beautifully maintained and is more frequently visited than ever before.

Travellers from far and wide, including the United States, Israel and Europe, come to see Mád’s beauty and rich Jewish history and to visit the famous neighboring pilgrimage sites, such as Kerestir (Bordogkeresztúr), Liska (Olaszliszka), Tosh (Nyírtass) and Iyhel (Sátoraljaújhely). It is worth the trip just to take a deep breath of the crispy fresh air and get a glimpse of the panorama of this magical wine region. The Flegmanns, themselves, returned to visit Mad many times over the past decades to pay tribute to their loved ones who are buried there. They even came back 21 years ago to this day to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of one of their grandsons, way before the synogogue’s renovation. The charred building held profound emotional meaning to them, as their great great great great great grandfather actually built the shul, and six generations of Flegmanns all had their Bar Mitzvahs in that very same building.

The Flegmanns left Mád after the war and found their way to the United States. Only a couple of decades later, they were able to revive the family’s tradition of producing wine and began to make top quality wines in Israel. The family’s connection to Mád never ceased, though, and their strong heritage is deeply embedded in their hearts.

On May 5th, a memorial plaque was erected on the courtyard wall of this humble home that belonged to Abraham Chaim and Sara Flegmann, bearing witness to the rich history and legacy that the Flegmanns contributed to this town and region. Among those in attendance were the Mayor of Mád, Mr. József Tatárka, the Mayor of Kerestir, Mr. Istvan Rozgonyi, managing Rabbi of EMIH, the Hungarian affiliate of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement that operates the synagogue and the Rabbi’s inn, Rabbi Shlomo Köves, and the current owner of the Flegmann home, Mr. Béla Bányai, along with his wife and son. At the end of the event, a Flegmann daughter addressed the audience, expressing words of gratitude in the name of the family and thanking everyone for this opportunity and their graciousness. She voiced the hope that Flegmann wine be produced again here, soon, in its original home, Mad, the magnificent Tokaj region of Hungary.

Flegmann wine is distributed in the United States by Royal Wine Corp. and can be found in most fine wine stores. We invite you to savor a bit of history with every sip and join us in paying tribute to a beautiful legacy now alive again! L’chaim!