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Compiled by Reb Manny Saltiel
Rav Meir Halevi Horowitz, the Maharam Titkin (1743). Titkin was founded in 1437. In 1522, ten Jews from Grodno, Lithuania, became the first Jews to settle there. At that time, Lithuania was three times the size of Poland, stretching from the Baltic almost to the Black Sea, including areas known today as White Russia and Ukraine. Titkin’s first Rav was Reb Mordechai (1538),
Rav Avraham Mencahem Halevi Steinberg, Rav of Broide (1928)
Rav Eliezer Dovid Greenwald of Satmar, author of Keren LeDovid (1867-1928). Born in Tcharna, Hungary, to Rav Amram Greenwald, the son of Rav Yosef, Rav of Tchechowitz. The family traced its roots to the Panim Meiros, the Chacham Tzvi, and the Maharal. As a youth, Eliezer Dovid was a disciple of his brother, Rav Moshe, the Rav of Chust and author of Arugas Habosem. He founded a large yeshiva in Satmar, Romania, in 1921.
Rav Mordechai Shapiro of Kaminka-Koritz (1947)
Rav Alexander Sender Linchner (1996), son-in-law of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz and founder of Kiryat Noar (Boystown), Bayit Vegan, in 1953 for for children who had escaped the Holocaust and other destitute Jewish immigrant children. Previously, he started a trade school for 14 boys from Yemen in 1949. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Moshe Linchner.
Rav Aharon Yechiel Leifer, the Nadvorna Rebbe of Tzefas (2000)
Rav Mordechai Don Waldman of Yeshivas Bais Dovid Monsey (2000)
Rav Yisrael Hager of Vizhnitz, the Ahavas Yisrael (1860-1936). The grandson of Rav Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz (the Tzemach Tzadik), he succeeded his father, Rav Baruch (the Imrei Baruch), as Admor of Vizhnitz after the latter’s petira in 1893. He was Admor for over 40 years, during which time, Vizhnitz grew to several tens of thousands of Chasidim. Rav Yisrael had four sons, Rav Menachem Mendel of Vishav, Rav Chaim Meir (the Imrei Chaim), Rav Eliezer, and Rav Baruch. Rav Yisrael’s remains were moved to Bnai Brak in 1950.
Rav Chaim Elazar Shapira of Munkacz, the Minchas Elazar, (1871-1937). A 5th generation descendent of the founder of Dinov dynasty, Rav Tzvi Elimelech (the Bnei Yisas’char). He learned under his father, Rav Tzvi Hirsch, author of Darkei Teshuvah on Yoreh De’ah. He succeeded his father as Rav of Munkacz in 1914. Munkacz, for centuries the capital of Carpathian Russia, belonged to Hungary before World War I and to Czechoslovakia when that country was created after World War I. He had no children with his first wife, and they decided to divorce. His second wife bore him one daughter, Frimet. From his youth and on, he completed the entire Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi every two years. He was a prolific author. In addition to Minchas Elazar, he wrote Nimukei Orach Chaim, Os VeShalom on the laws of tefillin and milah, and many other sefarim. In 1930, he fulfilled a lifelong desire and visited Eretz Yisrael. Sadly the Munkatcher died only 3 years after his daughters wedding. Soon after his petira, most of the 15,000 Munkatch Jews perished in the Holocaust. The son-in-law of the Minchas Elazar, Rav Barukh Yehoshua Yerahmiel Rabinowitz, was the son of the the Partzever Rebbe. He made aliyah with his first wife, who fell ill and passed away there. In 1947, he remarried, moved to the United States, and then established a kehilla in Sao Paulo, Brazil, remaining for fifteen years. He then returned to Israel, where he became the Rabbi of Cholon. The Munkatch dynasty was reestablished in Brooklyn and is presently led by two grandsons of the Minchas Elazar, the Munkatcher Rebbe, Rav Moshe Leib Rabinowitz of Boro Park, and his brother, the Dinover Rebbe, Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz of Flatbush.
Rav Mordechai Yechezkiahu ben Shimon (1994)
Rav Yaakov Wehl (1937-2007). He was born in Germany in 1937, and in early 1939, the Wehls left Germany, settling in Boro Park. Yaakov learned at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ). In 1959, he married Hadassah Galinsky. Rabbi Wehl began learning in the kollel of Yeshiva Ohr HaTorah, under Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, in Bensonhurst. At the time, he attended law school at night but eventually decided to leave law school and go into chinuch, spending his years at Allentown, Pennsylvania; Monsey; Hebrew Academy of Nassau County for 27 years; and Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Elementary School, where he served as principal for 12 years. Rabbi Wehl authored the very popular Haggadah “Ki Yeshalcha Bincha” in lashon kodesh, which was later translated into English and published by ArtScroll as “The Haggadah with Answers.” He was Daf Yomi maggid shiur for many years. He authored seforim on various mesechtos, include Shekolim, Moed Katan, Chagiga, Horios, Me’ilah and Kerisus. He also wrote a weekly Daf Yomi column in the Yated on Seder Nashim. In 1987, Rabbi and Mrs. Wehl authored the book “House Calls to Eternity” about the life story of their mother, Dr. Selma Wehl, who was a pediatrician in Boro Park for over sixty years, helping people until she was in her nineties. In 2001, Rabbi and Mrs. Wehl moved to Lakewood, enabling themto be near their children. A shul was founded at the home of his son, Rabbi Moshe Wehl, on Sharon Court, and named for his father, R’ Aharon Wehl -- Bais Medrash Ohel.
Rav Ovadia Bartenura (1440-1516). He lived in Italy in the second half of the 15th century and eventually moved to Yerushalayim. He was well known for his role as a Rav in Bartinura, Italy, and for his illuminating Pirush on the Mishnah. He also wrote Omer Nekeh, a supercommentary on Rashi’s peirush on Chumash. Considered one of the wealthiest mean in all of Italy, he settled in Yerushalayim in 1488.
Rav Yosef Irgas, Italian Kabbalist, author of Divrei Yosef, and Shomer Emunim, 1730.
Rav Yaakov Shimshon of Shpitivka (1801). He was a disciple of the Maggid of Mezhrech and a close friend of Rav Baruch of Mezhbez. He succeeded his father as rabbi in Shepetovka, but in 1799 he settled in Tiberias where he met Rav Nachman of Breslav. He died in Tiberias.
Rav Yisrael Tzvi of Koson, the Ohr Moleh (1944)
Rav Eliyahu Munk of Paris (1949). Author of The Call of the Torah, The World of Prayer, and The Seven Days of the Beginning. In the latter book, in which he cites Rav Dovid Zvi Hoffmann, and explains Creation as taking longer than six literal days. He also wrote The Just Lives By His Faith, a collection of essays written to explain difficult concepts in Judaism. One of his daughters, Amalie, married Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits in 1949. Another married Rav Chaim Fasman, Rosh Kollel in Los Angeles.
Rav Chaim Yitzchok Korb (1870-1957). Born in the small Latvian town of Piltin, Courland, he entered the Telshe Yeshiva at the young age of 16. He married Leah Miriam, daughter of Rav Moshe Yitzchok Rabin (author of Miluim l’Moshe on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah and Rosh Yeshiva and dayan in Ponovezh). After his chasuna, he remained in Ponovezh near his father-in-law. In 1909, Rav Chaim Yitzchok assumed his father-in-law’s position as dayan in the community. Eventually he left Ponovezh and became Rav in the city of Palangin, Lithuania. From there he became Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Pavlograd, Ukraine, and then in Zager. In 1926, Rav Chaim Yitzchok immigrated to the United States, assuming the position of Rav at the Beis Medrash Hagadol of Harlem. His sefer Nesivos Chaim was published at this period in his life. Two years later, he accepted the position of Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash L’Torah of Chicago. For over 20 years, Rav Korb delivered intensive shiurim in Talmud and halacha. Every day he would arrive at 3:00am to learn. He would remain in the yeshiva the entire day until 10:00pm when he would return home. Every day he spent 17 hours in the yeshiva. In 1947, Rav Chaim Yitzchok sustained a difficult blow with the passing of his wife of 51 years, Rebbetzin Leah Miriam. Two years later, Rav Chaim Yitzchok moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he stayed until his petira.
Rav Yeshaya Naftali Hertz of Dinov, author of Hanosen Imrei Shefer (1888). Born approximately 1838 to Rav Dovid Dinov (the Tzemach Dovid), who was the son of Rav Tzvi Elimelech, the Bnei Yissochor. After his father’s petira in 1874, he succeed him as Rav of Dinov and Rebbe of the chassidim.
Rav Avraham Wolf of Wolf's Seminary in Bnei Brak
Rav Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomer, the Ohr Hameir (1797)
Rav Chaim Yaakov Safran, Kamorna Admor
Rav Eliyahu of Ziditchov (1875)
Rav Uri Shraga Kellerman, Ram in Knesses Chizkiyahu - Kfar Chassidim
Rav Chaim ben Betzalel, an older brother of the Maharal and a talmid of the Rema in Krakow (1588).
Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer, Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of Chasidus. When he was thirty-six years old in 1734, Rabbi Yisrael revealed himself to the world. He wrote no books, although many claim to contain his teachings. One available in English is the annotated translation of Tzava'as Harivash, published by Kehos.
Rav Avraham Shalom Halberstam of Stropkov (1856-1940). The son of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, he became Rav and Av Beis Din of Stropkov in 1897. He was called The "miracle rabbi of Stropkov." His sefer, Divrei Shalom, contains Torah wisdom, and relates the miracles that he wrought.
Rav Avraham Mordechai Alter, the Imrei Emes of Ger, (1866-1948). The son of Rav Yehuda Leib (Sefas Emes) and a great-grandson of the Chidushei Harim, he was the third Rebbe in the Gur dynasty, the leader of over 250,000 chassidim in pre-WW II Poland. In 1940, he managed to escape with three of his sons to Yisrael. He began to rebuild the Gerrer community in Eretz Yisrael, but he died during the siege of Yerushalayim on Shavuos, 1948.
Rav Yehuda Rosner, the Imrei Yehuda (1879-1944). Rav Rosner opened a yeshiva in Szekelheid, which he headed throughout his years there. Although he was offered rabbinical positions in larger towns, he refused them on account of his yeshiva. Szekelheid had only 120 Jewish families, and that allowed the Rav to dedicate most of his time and attention to the yeshiva, which ultimately grew until, in the 1930's, it housed over 300 bachurim.
Rebbetzin Devorah Margulies, wife of of Rav Lipa Margulies, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn (1924-2005). Born in the town of Marashvarshehl, Hungary, Rebbetzin Margulies was the daughter of Rav Binyomin Alter and Chaya Rochel Ruttner. Her mother was a direct descendant of the Mareh Yechezkel.
HaNavi Hoshea ben Beeri
Avraham ben Avraham, the Ger Tzedek (Count Valentine Potocki) killed al Kiddush Hashem in Vilna, 1749.
Rav Aharon Tzvi Landau of Biala (1910)
Rav Zelig Reuven Bengis, author of Liflugos Reuven, av beis din Yerushalayim (1864-1953). His father, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Bengis, was the rav of the town of Shnippishok, Russia. At the age of 17, Reb Zelig Reuven went to learn at Volozhin under the Netziv. There, he learned bechavrusa with both Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. After several years in Volozhin, he married the daughter of Rav Chaim Tzvi Broide, the rav of a town called Shverkina-Zhager and spent eight years in his in-laws' Home. Afterward, Reb Zelig Reuven became the rav of Bodki, Lithuania. In 1937, Reb Zelig Reuven was asked to fill the position of av beis din of Yerushalayim's Eida Chareidis. When Reb Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky passed away in 1948, Reb Zelig Reuven succeeded him as rav of the Eida Chareidis in Yerushalayim. He also served as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohel Moshe in Yerushalayim.
Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf (1891-1980)
Rav Moshe Blau, Agudas Yisrael activist and a 6th generation of the Old Yishuv. He was the editor of Agudah's local weekly, Kol Yisrael, and was the brother of Rav Amram Blau of Neturei Karta. From 1933-1945, Rav Blau headed the chareidi community in Jerusalem, working with Yishuv leaders in its dealings with the British Mandate authorities. He died while rescuing Jewish survivors. In 1946, Rabbi Moshe Blau suddenly died in a very dramatic way, at the age of 61: He was on a boat on his way to Europe and the U.S. and died on the Mediterranean island of Messina, where he had been taken off the boat in an effort to perform an emergency operation. His body was flown to Eretz Israel. (1885-1946)
Rav Yissachor Dov Goldstein, head of Kolel Shomrei Hachomos, author of the Likutei He’aros on the Teshuvos Chasam Sofer (1988)
Rav Menachem Manish Safrin, the Komarna Rebbe of Bnei Brak (1990)
Rav Zalman Rotberg, Rosh Yeshivas Beis Meir, Bnei Brak (1913-2002). Born in in Lepnishock, Lithuania, to Rav Tuvia Rotberg, a close student of the Chofetz Chaim. Even before he was thirteen, Reb Zalman began to study in the Grodno yeshiva under Rav Moshe Mordechai Shkop, the son of HaRav Shimon Shkop. When he was fifteen he went to the Mirrer Yeshiva, where he became close to Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and Rav Yeruchom Lebowitz. He moved to Israel in 1936. In 1954, Rav Zalman moved to Bnei Brak where he began to serve as a ram in the Tifferes Tzion yeshiva. Following the petiroh of his father-in-law Rav Meir Karelitz in 1955, Rav Zalman established the Beis Meir yeshiva in his memory. The Beis Meir yeshiva opened in 1958 with six students, and slowly developed into a large yeshiva. In addition to his activities in Beis Meir, he was also a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Degel Hatorah. He taught Torah for over sixty years to thousands of students, and produced legions of talmidei chachomim who themselves became gedolim in Torah and mussar.
Rav Yisrael of Shklov (~1770-1839). He first came to study with the Vilna Gaon in 1797, only six months before the latter's petira. During that half-year, however, R' Yisrael was a constant companion of the Gaon. Afterwards, Rav Yisrael took upon himself to publish his teacher's works. Among R' Yisrael's publications was Be'ur Ha'Gra on Orach Chaim. In 1809, Rav Yisrael led the third group from among the Gaon's students to make aliyah. Like its predecessors, the group settled in Tzefas, where the community of the Gaon's students, known as the "Perushim," numbered 40 families. Rav Yisrael was sent back to Europe to fundraise for three years, during which time he published his own and the Gaon's commentaries on Maseches Shekalim. In 1814, Tzefas was struck first by a plague and then by physical disasters, and, in a matter of a few months, Rav Yisrael lost his wife, children and parents. He later remarried and began a second family, but the community of Tzefas continued to suffer at the hands of the Arabs and the Druze. The community was further decimated by an earthquake on January 1, 1837 which killed thousands of Jews throughout Eretz Yisrael. Rav Yisrael himself died in Teveryah. Among the works he left was Pe'as Ha'shulchan, a supplement to the Shulchan Aruch covering the laws pertaining to Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Yaakov Chaim Sofer, author of Kaf Hachaim, (1870-1939). Born in Baghdad and studied there under the Ben Ish Chai and Rav Abdalah Somech. In 1904, he embarked to Eretz Yisrael. Once in Yerushalayim, he began to study in the kabbalistic Beis Kel yeshiva in the Old City. This yeshiva, founded by Rav Gedalya Chayon, attracted many of the city's great kabbalistic sages, among them the Rashash, who eventually became its rosh yeshiva. In 1909, Rav Yaakov Chaim transferred to the newly founded Shoshanim leDovid yeshiva, located in the Beis Yisrael section of Yerushalayim. In addition to the Kaf Hachaim, he authored Kol Yaakov (on the laws of writing sifrei Torah, tefillin, and mezuzos, as well as various kavanos required for the writing and the donning of tefillin), Yagel Yaakov (a compendium of the Shabbos drashos he delivered while he was in aveilus for his father),and Yismach Yisrael (other chiddushim on the parsha).
Rav Moshe Rivkes (or Ravkash), author of Beer Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch (1672). He was one of four great tzadikim of Vilna who lived at the tragic time of the massacres at the hands of the Cossacks in 1655, along with Rav Ephraim (the Shaar Ephraim), Rav Shabbsai Cohen (the Shach), and Rav Shmuel Koidenaver. Approximately 25,000 Jews were killed in and around Vilna.
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Eichenstein of Ziditchov, Galicia (1805-1873 [Hamodia 2006 says 1804-1872]), the only son of Rav Yissacher Berish (a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin). He was the author of Likutei Maharya. His uncle, Rav Tzvi Hersh (the Ateres Tzvi, 1763-1831), was the first Rebbe of Ziditchov. Among the primary talmidim of Rav Yitzchak Eizik were Rav Yosef Meir of Spinka and Rav Shalom Mordechai Hakohen Schwadron. The next Ziditchover Rebbe, Rav Yehoshua Eichenstein (d. 1940), moved from Galitzia to Chicago in 1922.
Rav Avraham Tvi Perlmutter, Rav in Warsaw (1930)
Rav Aharon Konvarti, Rosh Yeshivas Hamekubalim Beis Kel in Yerushalayim; author of sheilos uteshuvos Kapei Aharon (1879)
Rav Eliezer Rokeach of Amsterdam, the Maaseh Rokeach
Rav Ezra Harari Raful, mekubal of the Aleppo community
Rav Moshe of Rozvadov, son of Rav Eliezer of Dzikov (1894)
Rav Shmuel Rosenberg of Unsdorf, author of Be’er Shmuel (1919). Son of Rav Yisrael Yona Zvi, Rav of Tisa-Ferred. At the age of 16, he attended the yeshiva of the Ksav Sofer. He became a Rav in Tchabba and later in Unsdorf, the latter for 37 years.
Rav Mordechai Brisk of Chanad, Av Beis Din Tashnad, author of Teshuvos Maharam Brisk (1944)
Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (1902-1989) author of Minchas Yitzchak; av beis din in Grosswardein, Romania before WW2, then in Manchester, England (1949-1969), and av beis din of The Eidah Chareidis in Yerushalayim (1972-1989). As a young child he learned under the Zhiditchover Rebbe of Delina, Reb Yehuda Zvi Eichenstein. He also had a daily 3 hour chavrusa with his father for many years, during which he learned the derech that his father had acquired from his Rebbe, the Arugas Habosem. For 13 years Reb Yitzchak Yaakov lived in Delina, until the First World War broke out in 1914. The family sought refuge in Munkatch, Hungary. In Adar 1944, the Nazis invaded Hungary and immediately started to erect ghettos. Rav Weiss recorded his harrowing trials and tribulations that he experienced in the war in the first volume of his sefer Minchas Yitzchak in a special section called "Pirsumei Nissa."
Rav Yehuda (Yeedle’le) Horowitz of Dzikov (1905-1989), the only son of Rav Alter Yechezkel, Rebbe of Dzikov, one of large chassidic dynasties in Galicia. Reb Yeede'le was born in Vishnitz where his father lived after he married the daughter of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, the Ahavas Yisrael. When he was still a young boy his father sent him to Tarnov to learn under the posek hador Rav Meir Arik, with whom he stayed for 5 years. In 1927 Reb Yeede'le married his first cousin. They were never zoche to have children and years later they divorced. In 1936 Reb Yeede'le accepted the position of dayan in Klausenberg. Every day for half a year Reb Yeede'le had a six hour chavrusa in Choshen Mishpot with his close friend Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (who later became rav of Yerushalayim and interestingly was niftar on the same day as Reb Yeede'le). In 1944, when the Nazis invaded Hungary, Reb Yeede’le escaped to Romania. In 1946, he moved to Eretz Yisrael. After a few years in Tel Aviv, Reb Yeede'le moved to Yerushalayim and made his home in the beis hamedrash of Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, the rov of Yerushalayim. He wrote many chiddushim in the margins of his sefarim – on virtually page of every sefer of the Chasam Sofer, on the Chida, the Maharsham, and Reb Meir Arik. In 1985, he traveled to London for what he had hoped would be a bried medical leave. Instead, he spent his final years there.
Rav Simcha Rubin, the Sassover Rebbe of London (2003)
Rebbetzin Rikel Brodsky, born on the Lower East Side, shortly after her parents, Rav Menachem Mendel Burnstein and his Rebbetzin Chava (nee Minsky) emigrated from Poland. Rikel was the youngest of eight siblings. An einikel of the Pnei Yehoshua and Rav Yaakov Emden, Rav Menachem Mendel had been the Rav of the shtetl Yadova, in Poland, a thriving kehilla that was later wiped out in the Holocaust. Rav Menachem Mendel opened a shul in the Bronx. She lost her mother when she was 11 and her father when she was 18. However, her devoted sisters and brother took care of her, marrying her off to a young refugee from the Mir, Rav Shamshon Brodsky, who had been close to Rav Chaim Shmulevitz. Rav Shamshon served as the Rav of a shul, Rosh Yeshiva of Zichron Moshe, and the menahel of Bais Miriam of the Bronx. Nearly thirty years ago, as the Bronx community slowly began to lose its character, the Brodskys moved to Flatbush. The Rav assumed leadership of Bais Medrash Rabenu Yaakov Moshe and a Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivas Birchas Reuven, and later in Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael. The Rebbetzen was described as “the most powerful mussar sefer we could ever learn” by one of the talmidim. (1924-2005)
Rav Avraham Weinberg, Slonimer Rebbe, the Birkas Avraham (1981)
Rav Dovid Pardo of Sarajevo, author of Chasdei Dovid on the Tosefta, and Maskil L'Dovid on Rashi, 1792.
Rav Chaim Yisrael of Pilov, son Rav Dovid of Kotzk (1905)
Rav Ephraim Hakohen Katz of Vilna, the Shaar Ephraim (1678)
Rav Shraga Yair Rabinowitz of Biala’varzig (1912). The son of Rav Nosson Dovid of Shidlovitza and author of Aron Eidus.
Rav Yaakov Meir Biderman, Rav in Waraw (1941). Son-in-law of the Sefas Emes
Rav Yitzchak Eizek Weiss of Spinka, the Chakal Yitzchak (1875-1944). Born to Rav Yosef Meir, the Imrei Yosef, who was the founder of the Spinka court and a talmid of Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Zidichoiv. Rav Eizik'l succeeded his father as rebbe when Rav Yosef Meir passed away, in 1909. He was also Rosh Yeshiva Of Yeshivas Beis Yosef (named after his father). Rav Yitzchak Eizik was the leader of thousands of Spinka chassidim throughout Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania. He auhored Chakal Yitzchak. He, along with most of his followers, perished in the Holocaust, and the dynasty was rebuilt by his grandson, Rav Yaakov Yosef.
Rav Yaakov Mutzafi, Rav of the Sefardic Eida Chareidis in Yerushalayim (1900-1983). The son of Rav Ezra and Mazal Mutzafi, Rav Yaakov was born in Baghdad into a distinguished rabbinical family. He acquired most of his Torah knowledge from his grandfather, Rav Moshe. He also learned in the Beit Zilka Beis Medrash, where his chavrusa was Rav Salman Chuji Abudi, who later became an important dayan. Rav Yaakov married the daughter of Chacham Sasson Dangur, who appointed him rosh yeshivah of Dorshei Torah. After World War II, Rav Yaakov moved to Eretz Yisrael and served as the chazan and maggid shiur in the Shemesh Tzadka shul for thirty years.
Rav Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821). The most prominent student of the Vilna Gaon, Rav Chaim established the Volozhin yeshiva in 1803, which was to become the classic model of Lithuanian yeshiva. His most famous work was Nefesh Hachaim, in which he emphasizes the power of Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos to bring a Jew close to G-d. He also authored Ruach Chaim, a commentary on Pirke Avos, and Nishmas Chaim, a collection of responsa.
Rav Moshe Horowitz, Bostoner Rebbe in New York
Rav Nissim Yagen, born in Yerushalayim to Chacham Yaakov, a regular at Rav Mordechai Sharabi's beis hamedrash. Rav Nissim was the oldest son in a family of 14 children. When he was 20, he went to Lakewood to learn with Rav Aharon Kotler and Rav Shneur Kotler for 4 years. He also became close to the mashgiach Rav Nosson Wachtfogel. He married a year later and continued his studies in several kollelim. During this time, he regularly attended the mussar shmuessim of Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz and Rav Shalom Schwadron. His first appointment was as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohel Moed. His first step in reaching out to the secular community was to organize a religious community in Givat Ada near Haifa on behalf of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach. He became the rav of the community which numbered 100 families. When he returned to Jerusalem a few years later, he was appointed the mashgiach in Yeshivas Or Baruch in Bayit Vegan. It was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War that Rav Nissim resolved to dedicate his life to helping Jews return to Judaism; shortly after the war, he founded Arachim. He may truly be considered among the founding fathers of the Teshuva Movement. In 1979 he founded Kehilas Yaakov Kollel on Yosef Ben Matityahu street for baalei tshuva which he continued to run until the end of his life. (1940-1999)
Rav Elazar Menachem Mendel Biderman the Lelover Rebbe (2001)
Birth, in 1565 BCE, and Yahrtzeit, in 1446 BCE (or 1436 BCE) of Yehuda, son of Yaakov Avinu (Midrash Tadshe).
Rav Yitzchak of Posen, the rebbe of the Magen Avraham and the author of Sheilos Uteshuvos Be’er Yitzchak (1685)
Rav Mordechai Menachem Kalish, of Vorke (1868)
Rav Shalom Eliezer Halberstam of Ratzfort, son of the Divrei Chaim (1944)
Rav Gedalyah Nadel, son of Rav Reuven Heschel Nadel, born in the Lithuanian city of Shavel (1923-2004). When he was thirteen, his parents moved to Eretz Yisrael, and made their home in Balfouria, a small settlement in the Valley of Jezreel. He became the Chazon Ish’s closest talmid. Though he never gained the prominence that some of the Hazon Ish’s other confidantes assumed with the passing of the Hazon Ish in 1953, Nadel did become the head of the Vizhnitz yeshiva. Rav Chaim Kanievsky was Rav Gedalyah's chavrusa. At the advice of the Chazon Ish, when Rav Gedalyah was still young, he began to study in the Lomza Yeshivah in Petach Tikvah. He married the daughter of Rav Eliyahu Weiner, a student of the Chafetz Chaim.
Rav Tzvi Hirsh Broide, Rosh Yeshivas Kelm. His wife was Rebbetzin Nechamah Leba Broide, the daughter of the Alter if Kelm. He became very close to his talmid Yechezkel Levenstein, the future mashgiach of Mir and Ponevezh.
Rav Aharon of Karlin, the Beis Aharon (1802-1872). The son of Reb Asher of Stolin. He was named for his illustrious grandfather, Reb Aharon of Karlin, the first Karliner Rebbe, and thus he is also known as Reb Aharon the Second Perlov of Karlin. He was also known as the Mlynover Rebbe and the Freilicher Rebbe (the latter a term describing his disposition). Later in his life, he was forced to move to Solin, several miles away from Karlin, and the dynasty has been known as Karlin-Sloin since then. His insights were anthologized in the sefer Beis Aharon.
Rav Moshe Vorhand of Makava (or Makó) (Hungary), the Ohel Moshe (1862-1944). His descendants include Zeev Vorhand, the “Prague Rabbi” from Manhattan, and the Lemberger boys, Simon, Mendel, Ephraim, Avram, Shlomo and Asher, all rabbis like their father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Rav Avraham Hakohen Rappaort Shrentzel, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron (1584-1651). As a youth, he learned under Rav Meshulam Feivush, the Rav of Cracow. He married the daughter of Reb Mordechai Shrentzel of Lemberg and continued his studies under Rav Yehoshua Falk in that city. He founded a yeshiva and taught there for 42 years. He authored Shailos Uteshuvas Eissan HaEzrachi.
Rav Yisachar Dov Ber, the “Saba Kadisha” of Radushitcz (Radoszyce; Radoshitz), (1765-1843). A disciple of Rav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin, and Rav Yaakov Yitzchak of P’shischa.
Rav Yerucham Levovitz, mashgiach Yeshivas Mir (1936). Jews first began to settle in the town of Mir early in the 17th century, but the town itself is mentioned in records for 1345. There were over 800 Jews in Mir by 1806. By the end of the 19th century, there were more than 3,000 Jews in Mir (62% of the town population). The Mir Yeshiva was founded in 1815. During WWI the Mir Yeshiva headed by Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, moved to Poltava, in the Ukraine and did not return until 1921. Reb Yerucham was born around the year 1874 in Luban, Belarus. In his teens, he went to learn in Slabodka, becoming one of the top students of the Alter, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In his early 20s, he attended Kelm, under Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv. After Reb Yerucham's marriage, he learned in seclusion for eight years, covering the entire Shas. Then he became the mashgiach of the Chafetz Chaim' s yeshiva in Radin. He became mashgiach at Mir in 1910, a position he kept for 26 years. Among his talmidim were Rav Shimon Schwab and Rav Dovid Povarsky, who later became rosh yeshiva of Ponevezh. His shmuessen were published posthumously by his students, in Daas Chochma U'mussar, Daas Torah and other sefarim.
Rav Yaakov Elimelech and Rav Chaim Menachem Mendel Paneth of Dezsh (1944)
Rav Moshe Mordechai Shteger, author of Meged Shamayim, a peyrush on Pri Megadim on Yoreh Deah. (1944)
Rav Avraham Yosef Pesachovitz, author of Be’er Mayim (1953)
Rav Aharon Cohen (1905-1961). Born in a small village near Kovno, Lithuania, his father, Rav Avraham Mordechai HaCohen, was a rebbe of small children, and his grandfather, Rav Yosef HaCohen, was known as the Masmid of Eishishok. When Germany conquered Lithuania, his family moved to the Ukarine and Rav Aaron learned at Lomza. After the war, he returned to Kovna and learned at Slabodka. In 1925, he joined the first group of talmidim sent by the Alter of Slabodka to Chevron. The Rosh Yeshiva at Chevron, Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, took him as a son-in-law. He served as Rosh Mesivta for 30 years. Childless themselves, his rebbetzen and he raised several orphans. His monumental work was called Beis Aaron.
Rav Moshe Leib Shapiro, author of Taba’os Hachoshen (1972)
Rav Shmuel Hominer of Yerushalayim, author of Eved HaMelech on the Chumash, and Ikarai Dinim, a summary of the laws of loshon hora with analysis
Rav Yehuda ibn Atar (1656-1733). He was a student of Rav Vidal HaTzorfati and Rav Menachem Serero. He was the Rav, the Av Beis Din and the Rosh Yeshiva in Fez for 40 years. His book Minchas Yehuda is his commentary on the Torah.
Rav Menachem Nachum of Skver-Boro Park (1946)
Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Nadvorna, the Tzemach Hasehm Letzvi (1801)
Rav Haim Mordechai Labaton (1780-1869). The son of Luna and Helfon Labaton, became Chief Rabbi and Av Beis Din of Aleppo. Rabbi Haim Mordecai married Morhava and had three sons, Helphon, Eliezer and Joseph Labaton, all of whom became rabbis. At age 70, Rabbi Haim Mordecai was disturbed that he did not have a daughter. After much discussion, he decided to marry a younger woman, who could bear him daughters. Sure enough, his wife bore him a daughter, Luna, who was wed to Rabbi Ezra Suede.
Rav Elazar Flecklesh, author of Teshuva M'Ahava
Rav Feivish Shneelbalg of London (2000)
Rav Yisrael Dan Taub, the Modziter Rebbe (1928-2006). He was born in Warsaw, and made aliyah with his family at the age of seven. In 1950, he married Rochel, the daughter of Rav Shmuel Aharon Shadrovitzki from Bialistok. He became Rebbe upon the passing of his father, the Imrei Eish. He led his Chassidim for many years from his beis medrash in Tel Aviv, and in 1995, he moved to a new location in Bnei Brak. He was also a member of the Agudas Yisrael Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah. He was buried next to the kever of his father at Har HaZeisim. The Modzitz dynasty descends from Rav Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Poland, who was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. Reb Yisrael Dan, was Rav Yechezkel’s grandson’s great-grandson. The tradition of composing and singing niggunim was started by the second Modzitzer rebbe, known as the Zvoliner Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu.
Rav Dovid Menachem Munish Babad, the Chavatzeles Hasharon of Tarnopol. Born to Rav Yehoshua Hesehl of Podvolotchisk, he married Leah the daughter of Rav Yoel Moshe Segal Landau of Yavrov (near Lvov). He and his rebetzen had 5 daughters. Rav Dovid Munish was a staunch chasid of Belz. In 1892, he succeeded his father as Rav in Strisov, when his father became Rav in Podvolotchisk. Two years later, he succeeded his father-in-law in Yavrov and served there for 17 years. In 1909, after the petira of Rav Shimon Badad, son of the Minchas Chinuch, Rav Shimon’s son – Yehoshua Heshel – became Rav of Tarnapol, but was too frail to handle the responsibilities. Thus, two years later, the community welcomed Rav Dovid Munish as de facto Rav, a position that was formalized in 1919, with the petira of Rav Yehoshua Hesehl. He also became the head of the Agudas Harabbanim of Galicia. (1865-1937)
Rav Shlomo Shapiro, the Shem Shlomo (1832-1894), grandson of Rav Zvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yissoscher), and son of Rav Elazar of Dinov (author of Yode’ei Binah; d. 1865). His mother, Tauba Chavah, was a descendant of the Pnei Yehoshua and the Maginei Shlomo. He was born in Ribatitch, Galicia, and in 1838, his father moved the family to Strizhov, a Central Galician town on the banks of the Wisloka River, settled by Jews since the sixteenth century. At the age of fourteen, Rav Shlomo married Frima Rivkah, a grand-daughter of Rav Moshe Leib of Sassov. After a few years in Sassov, Rav Shlomo rejoined his father in Strizhov, and he took over his father's position there, in about 857, after his father moved to Lancut. In about 1866, he became a devoted follower of Rav Chaim of Sanz; the two eventually became mechutanim. In 1880, the Jews of Munkatch, a large and influential kehillah in Hungary, (now in the Ukraine), appealed to Rav Shlomo to come and serve as their rav. After the passing of the Yitav Lev of Satmar, Rav Shlomo was designated as one of the leading rabbonim of Hungary. He authored Beis Shlomo on Chumash. His son, Tzvi Hirsh (author of Darchei Teshuvah, Beer Lechai Ro'I, and Tzvi Tiferes), succeeded him as Rav of Munkatch. He, in turn, was succeeded by his son, Rav Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the Minchas Elazar.
Rav Shimon Sofer, the Hisorerus Teshuva (1944).
Rav Moshe Sofer of Erlau, son of Rav Shimon Sofer (1944)
Rav Isamar Rosenbaum, Nadvorna Rebbe (1973). Son of Rav Meir of Kretchnif, a descendent of the Premishlaner dynasty, Rav Isamar was appointed Rebbe at the age of 15. He established a Beis Midrash in Tchernowitz. He escaped to America during WW II. In 1969, he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael and established the Be’er Mayim Chaim Beis Midrash in the Yad Eliyahu section of Tel Aviv.
Rav Yosef Leib Sofer of Paksh, author of Yalkut Sofer (1915).
Rav Dovid Deutsch, author of Ohel Dovid (1831)
Rav Moshe Yeruchem of Kotzk (1865).
Rav Baruch Asher of Chernobyl (1905)
Rav Eliyahu Bechor Chazan, author of Ta’alumos Lev (1908).
Rav Chaim Dov Halperin, the Vasloier Rebbe (1957)
Rav Yitzchak Shlomo Ungar (1925-2004). Born to Rav Avraham Tzvi, a 6th generation descendant of Rav Meir Eisenstadt, the Panim Meiros, and a descendant of the Arizal. The Nazis deported the Ungar family to the Shopron ghetto near the Hungarian border. There, the father and 5 younger children were murdered. All five elder brothers survived. After the war, Rav Yitzchak Shlomo moved to Eretz Yisrael and became a Rav in Bnai Brak. In 1950, he founded the Chug Chasam Sofer kashrus organization. He also served as dayan in Rav Shmuel Wosner’s Beis Din of Zichron Meir. He established the yeshiva Machaneh Avraham in 1962.
Rav Yisrael Mordechai of Rachmistrivka (1929-2004). Born in Yerushalayim, the son of of Rav Yochanon, grandson of Rav Dovid of Rachmistrivka, and great-grandson of Rav Menachem Nachum of Rachmistrivka. As a bachur he learned in Yeshivas Sfas Emes. In 5711 (1951) the young Yisrael Mordechai married the daughter of Rav Zalman Uri, one of the distinguished Chassidim in Yerushalayim. He became Rebbe in 1982 after the passing of his father.
Rav Ephraim Fishel Rabinowitz (1924-2005), Born in Yerushalayim, he learned in the Chayei Olam yeshiva and Kollel. After his marriage, he took a position as Ram in Yeshivas Tiferes Yisrael. After holding positions in Toronto and New York, he became Rosh yeshiva of Tiferes Yisrael after the passing of the yeshiva’s previous leader, Rav Yehushua Brim in 1986. He was also a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.
Rav Eliezer Yosef, son of Rav Yitzchak HaLevi Ledenberg, Belzer Rebbe (1954). He learned Beitza and Rosh Hashanah over 4000 times (memorized over 6 months when he was threatened by blindness).
Rav Yehuda Assad, author of Responsa Mahari Assad and Yehuda Yaaleh (1796-1866). Born in Assad, north of Budapest, Rav Yehuda learned under Rav Mordechai Banet in Nikolsburg. He served as Rabbi of Szerdahely from 1853 to 1866. After the petira of the Chasam Sofer, Raf Yehuda was regarded as the head of Hungarian Jewery.
Rav Yaakov Pollak, Rav of Prague, then Krakow, then Lublin (1455-1530 or 1525, per Yated 2007). He is considered the father or Torah scholarship and rabbinic authority in Poland. His main disciple was Rav Shalom Shachna (1490-1558), who headed the yeshiva in Lublin for over 40 years.
Rav Moshe ben Shlomo HaKohen, a German Tosefist (1198)
Rav Yisrael Chaim Friedman of Rachov, the Likutei Maharyach, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim (1922). He was one of the important talmidim of the Yitav Lev. His volume sefer was entirely printed by the author over the course of 11 years. He died in an accident that occurred while he was in the “Palinina” (where the flocks graze) to assure the kashrus of cheese. There was a sudden cloud burst of heavy rain, which resulted in a sudden flash flood in which Rabbi Yisrael Chaim Friedman drowned.
Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Shapiro of Bledov
Reb Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933). Born in Tserkov, Ukraine, he was the first son in a family of nine girls. His father was a Rizhiner chasid who frequented the court of the Sadigor Rebbe. He became Oberkantor (chief cantor) in Pressburg, Hungary, at the age of 18. He moved his young family to Hamburg, Germany, five years later. In 1911, he moved to New York to become chazazn at Ohab Zedek. He soon developed an enormous reputation among Jews and non-Jews alike, the New York Times including an article about him in May 1917.
Rav Shimon ben Gamliel, Rav Yishmael ben Elisha Cohen Gadol, Rav Chanina S’gan Cohanim, of the Ten Martyrs killed by the Romans (115 CE), commemorated in the Kinah “Eileh Ezkera” we say on Yom Kippur, and “Arzei Halevanon” we say on Tisha B'Av (Megillas Taanis). Once a fast day, (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2).
Rav Shmuel of Bros, son of the Pnei Yehushua (1821).
Rav Dov Berish Landau of Biala (1876), son of Rav Avraham Landau of Tchechinov and father of Rav Elimelech Menachem Mendel Landau of Strikov.
Rav Chaim Zisman Sofer, author of Mechaneh Chaim and Kol Sofer (1886)
Rav Naftali Tzvi Shmerler, author of Imrei Naftali (1944)
Rav Moshe Tzvi Twersky, Tolna Rebbe of Philadelphia (1890-1972). Born to Rav Menachem Nachum (Rebbe of Tolna-Toltchin) and great-grandson of first Tolna Rebbe, Rav Dovid.. Rav Moshe Menachem succeeded his father in Toltchin un 1916, but left the Ukraine in 1921, crossing the southern border into Moldavia to escape persecutation. He emigrated to the United States the following year and settled in Philadelphia.
Rav Reuven Fein, Rosh yeshivas Torah Vodaas and author of Bein Hamispasayim (1993) (Yated 2007 says 25 Sivan). He studied in Yeshivas Mir in Lithuania
Rav Dovid Mireles, author of Korban Haeidah on Talmud Yerushalmi, 1762 (Hamodia 2005 states 22 Sivan; Yated 2007 says 25 Sivan)
Rav Baruch Shimon Schneersohn, Rosh Yeshiva of Tchebin and author of Birchas Shimon (2001).
Rav Yonasan ben Uziel, student of Hillel.
Rav Yosi ben Kisma (quoted in Pirke Avos 6:9 and Sanhedrin 98a).
Rav Yehoshua Bucksbaum, the Galanta Rav (1944)
Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon, one of the Aseres Harugei Malchus (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 580).
Rav Meir Eisenstadt, the Maharam Eish, author of Panim Meiros (1670-1744). He traced his lineage back to Dovid Hamelech. During the gezeiros of Tach veTat (1648-49), many Jews had to flee from the oncoming forces of Chmielnitzki, among them the Shach and his siter. The two of them were separated, and the sister ended up in the home of Reb Yitzchak, a wealthy parness of Sochathov. When he discovered her lineage, Reb Yitzchak married her. Their second son was Reb Meir. After his marriage to the Rav of Sokoatchov, he was supported for 10 years by his father-in-law. He later served as dayan in that town. He then moved to Worms, in Germany. In 1702, he lefts Worms and went to Prozhnitz, Moravia, where he was appointed Rav. Among his disciples in Prozhnitz was Rav Yonasan Eybeschuetz. He was chief rabbi of Eisenstadt from 1718 until his death in 1744, and through him the local yeshivah became celebrated. His magnum opus, Panim Meiros, is a 4-volume collection of his sheilos u’teshuvos and chidushim on shas. He also wrote Me’orei Esh (drashos on Chumash and the five megillos), Ohr Ganuz (chidushim on Maseches Kesubos and on Hilchos yayin nesech), and other sefarim. He and his wife had 11 children (9 boys and two girls). His grandson, Rav Yaakov Eisenstadt, was the author of the Toledos Yaakov. Many Litvishe Gedolim can trace their roots to the Panim Meiros, including the Netziv, Rav Chaim Brisker, and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
Rav Mordechai Kletzki (later known as Meltzer) (1797-1883). He married the daughter of Rav Leib Meltzer, and afterwards went by the latter’s surname. He was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of the Ramailles Yeshiva of Vilna, newly founded by Reb Meiles, in 1827. In 1852, he accepted the position of Rav in Kalavaria, and in 1864, Rav of Lida. After his petira, his talmidim published his chidusim in Techeiles Mordechai.
Rav Shimshon Aaron Polansky, the Teplik Rav (1876-1948). Rav of Midovia in Ukraine’s Kiev district at age 20. Five years later, he became Rav of Teplik in Ukraine’s Podolia’s region. Rav Polansky immigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1922, settling in the Beis Yisrael area of Yerushalayim.
Rav Yisrael Zev Gustman (1908-1991), a talmid of Rav Shimon Shkop in Grodno. Rav Gustman became rosh yeshiva of Ramailles when he was still a young man in Vilna. He served on the beis din of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky. In fact, he was the youngest dayan in the history of Vilna (at age 19). When the Nazis invaded Vilna, they stormed the yeshiva beat Rav Gustman him until he collapsed. By a miracle he was spared, and he fled for his life. In 1961, Rav Gustman moved to Eretz Yisrael and transferred his yeshiva, Netzach Yisrael Ramailles, to the Rechavia section of Yerushalayim. Today its rosh yeshiva is his son- in-law, Rav Michel Berniker. One of his first students in Yerushalayim was Rav Moshe Francis, Rosh Kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel. Another talmid was Rav Moshe Lipke, Rosh Kollel of Y'kar Mordechai in Yerushalayim. Rav Gustman authored Kuntresei Shi'urim. (some say 18 Sivan)
Rebbetzin Pesha Leibowitz, wife of Rav Henoch Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Chafetz Chaim in Queens (1928-2004). She was born in Radin, the daughter of Rav Avraham Trop, and the grand-daughter of Rav Naftali Trop, the Radiner Rosh Yeshiva. The Rebbetzen’s father-in-law, Rav Dovid Leibowitz, the founder of Chofezt Chaim Yeshiva, was a talmid muvhak or the Alter of Slabodka, a nephew of the Chafetz Chaim, and a close talmid of Rav Naftali Trop. Rav Shmuel Birenbaum once remarked that “'the Rebbitzen is a 'gaon' in chesed.”
Dr. Yaakov Yisrael Dehan, murdered by the Hagana (1924). As a young, zealous secular Zionist, Dehran moved to Eretz Yisrael to make a difference. He did not see eye-to-eye with the Zionists’ approaches and began to develop close ties to Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and Rav Diskin. Eventually, using his legal and oratory skills, he became the spokesman and advocate of the charedi community. He was working with the king of the Trans-Jordan to build an autonomous religious settlement on the east of the Yarden. However, his works were sabotaged by the zionists when they killed him as he was coming from praying maariv. The order was likely given by Dovid Ben Gurion, or by Yitzchak Ben Tzvi (Israel’s 2nd president).
Rav Shlomo Kluger (1783-1869), author of Sefer HaChaim (a commentary on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim), and Chochmas Shlomo. Rav Kluger was born to Rav Yehuda Aharon, rabbi of Komarow. Rav Yehuda Aharon was a sickly man who died before age 40, leaving his son a homeless orphan. One day, R' Yaakov Kranz (the "Dubno Maggid") met the young boy wandering the streets of Zamosc, Poland, and he took him in. The Dubno Maggid arranged teachers for his charge, including R' Mordechai Rabin, rabbi of Zamosc, and R' Yosef Hochgelernter. A prolific author and posek, he wrote of himself that he had authored “115 large works on Tanach and the entire Talmud, and commentaries on the early and later poskim." This statement was written in 1844, 25 years before his petira. Ha'eleph Lecha Shlomo, his best-known work of halachic responsa, has 1,008 chapters. He also authored Imrei Shefer on Chumash. Rav Kluger served as Rosh Beis Din in Grodi, Galicia, and Rav in Broide.