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Compiled by Reb Manny Saltiel
Yosef Hatzadik born and died on this date
Rav Kalonymus [Klonymos] Kalman Halevi Epstein of Cracow, the Maor Vashemesh (1823). One of the most celebrated of the followers of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, he started heading the Jewish community of Cracow in 1785. At the end of his life he moved to Eretz Yisrael and is buried in the old cemetery of Tzefas.
Rav Yisrael Najára, born in Damascus, Syria, he served as secretary of that community in which his father was a rabbi. Later he wandered widely and finally was rabbi in Gaza where upon his death his son succeeded him. He was the author of Lekach Tov. Although his works were attacked by Rav Chaim Vital, Rav Isaac Luria, Vital's teacher, declared that Najara's hymns were listened to with delight in heaven. He wrote hundreds of piyutim, hymns, and poems. Many of Najara's piyyutim and hymns have been taken into the rituals and machzorim of Jews in different countries, especially in Italy and Palestine. He was the author of the famous Shabbos z'mirah, Kah Ribbon Olam (1555-1625) [Yated 2007 for 30 Sivan: Rav Moshe Najara, student of the Arizal, author of Lekach Tov on Rashi (1580)]
Rav Shlomo Halberstam (1847 or 1848 -1906). the first Bobover Rebbe, son of Rabbi Meir Nosson and grandson of Rav Chaim of Sanz, the Divrei Chaim. Rav Shlmo’s mother was the daughter of the Imrei Noam of Dzikov. He married in 1861, and moved to Sanz in 1863, where he became a close disciple of the Sanzer Rav. In 1866, at the age of 19, he was appointed Rav of Bukovsk. He was appointed Av Beis Din in Ushpitzin in 1879, then in 1880 Chief Rabbi of Wisnicz, near Krakow for 13 years. In 1893, due to a heart condition, he was obliged to leave the city and move to the city of Bobowa, near Tarnow, a city endowed with fresh air, and there he founded the Hasidic dynasty of Bobova. After his petira, his son, Rav Benzion, succeeded him as the leader of thousands of Bobover Chasidim.
Rav Dovid Grossman (1940-2005). Born in London, he moved with his family to Toronto in 1949. He learned in the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland for 5 years and, in 1960, became a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim. After his marriage, he moved to Washington Heights, where Rav Dovid became a sixth grade Rebbe in MTJ, and later in Breuers, also serving as the principal of Viener Bais Yaakov in Williamsburg. In 1974, the Grossmans moved to Boro Park, where Rav Dovid became active in numerous chesed organizations. In 1987, Rav Dovid accepted the position of Chaplain at the Metropolitan Geriatric Center, a nursing home affiliated with Maimonides Hospital.
Rav Shmuel ben Yechiel of Cologne, killed by Crusaders.
Rav Nachman of Horodenka, one of the first close colleagues of the Baal Shem Tov, whose mechutan he later became. His grandson was Rav Nachman of Breslav. In 1764, he emigrated to the Holy Land, and settled in Tiveria. The following year (1765), he passed away and was buried there. (According to “Aliyos to Eretz Yisrael,” he was already in Eretz Yisrael in 1750, and he passed away in 1772.)
Rav Mordechai Zeev Itinger, co-author of Mefarshei Hayam (1863)
Rav Avraham Twersky, the Trisker Maggid (1802-1889), whose drashos are recorded in his sefer Magen Avraham. He was one of eight sons of Rav Mordechai of Chernobyl and was Rebbe for 50 years.
Reb Elimelech Gavriel (Mike) Tress (1909-1967).
Rav Paltiel Friend (2003). Born in the 1920s, Reb Paltiel grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended Mesivta Torah Vodaas, becomimg a talmid of Rav Dovid Leibowitz. When Rav Dovid left to form Yeshiva Chafetz Chaim, Rav Paltiel left with him. In the late 1960s, the current rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chafetz Chaim, Rav Henoch Leibowitz, , was approached by the small Torah community in Montreal asking for his help in starting a yeshiva in their city. Rav Henoch appointed Rav Paltiel to be a rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Mercaz HaTorah. In the 1970s, he was again approached by Rav Henoch Leibowitz to assume the role of masmich of Chafetz Chaim. In his later years, together with Rav Avraham Ginzberg, he formed a Senior Kollel of talmidim of the yeshiva.
Rav Yaakov Sapir, author of Even Sapir (A Journey to Yemen), a collection of stories of his travels through India, Australia, and Yemen, collecting tzedaka, having departed Yerushalayim in 1859. An account of the life of Yemenite Jewish communities is written at length.
Rav Yosef Chaim Shneur Zalman Kotler, rosh yeshivas Lakewood (1982). Rav Schneur passed away on the nineteenth year, seventh month and second day after assuming his Rosh Yeshiva position; equal to the day to the tenure of his father as Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood. This extraordinary phenomenon was spoken of throughout the Torah world as a sign that in shamayim he was considered a worthy son, disciple and successor who carried on his father’s mission to build Torah with total devotion.
Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Lubavitcher Rebbe (1902-1994). Born in Nikolaev, Russia on 11 Nissan. He first met his predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson in 1923 and married his second daughter Chaia Moussia (1901-88) in 1928. He became the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1950. He is best remembered for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew. His emissaries around the globe, dedicated to strengthening Judaism, number in the thousands.
Rav Shlomo Eiger of Lublin (1872-1940). His father, Rav Avraham of Lublin, the Shevet Yehuda, was the son of the first Lubliner Rebbe, Rav Yehuda Leib (Rav Leibele Rav Leibele) Eiger (1816-1884), Rav Akiva Eiger's grandson and a close talmid of the Izhbitzer, Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner. Rav Shlomo married the daughter of the gevir, Rav Alter Wallerstein of Krushnik (45 miles east of Lublin), in 1887. When his father was niftar in 1914, he became Rebbe. Lublin was the main city of Eastern Poland. Jews had lived there since the 15th century, and perhaps earlier. In 1921, Lublin had a population of 37,337 Jews, comprising over a third of its population. The Lubliner heritage was continued by Rav Shlomo's cousin, Rav Avraham Eiger, who established his court in Bnei Brak and passed away in 2000.
Rav Yaakov ben Meir (Rabbeinu Tam). The most famous of Rav Meir ben Shmuel’s sons, one of Rashi’s grandsons. He studied under his father and his older brother, Shmuel (the Rashbam), who was 15 years his senior. His other older brother Yitzchak (Rivam) was 10 years older than Rav Yaakov. Born in Ramerupt, Reb Yaakov was only 5 (or 9, according to others) when Rashi was niftar, and thus was not zocheh to learn with him. He succeeded his father as Rosh Yeshiva in the Ramerupt. He was quite wealthy as a wine merchant and financier. On the 2nd day of Shavuos of 1146, Crusaders entered and pillaged the city of Ramerupt, taking all of his possessions and inflicting five knife wounds in his head. He was saved by a nobleman, who promised the mob that he would convert the rabbi. After this incident, Rabbeinu Tam moved to Troyes and opened a teshiva. On 20 Sivan,1771, the Jews of Blois, France were subject to a blood libel, the first in Jewish history. And 32 Jews were killed. Rabbeinu Tam established that day as a fast day. Some of Rabbeinu Tam’s responsa are collected in Sefer Hayashar. (1100-1171)
Rav Yaakov Reinman, Rav of Narol, a town in western Galicia (1778-1814). A disciple of Rav Shlomo of Skohl and Rav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham Reinman (1796-1841).
Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer, Rav of Berlin and Eisenstadt; talmid of the Aruch L’ner (1899)
Rav Nissim Chaim Moshe Mizrachi, Rishon LeTzion of Yerushalayim and author of Admas Kodesh (1949)
Rav Chaim Moshe Mandel, mekubal in Bnei Brak (1996)
Rav Mordechai Shakovitzky, Rav in Leeds (England), Rosh Kollel in Johannesburg where he was one of the founders of the South African Kiruv Movement, and later Rosh Yeshivas Pischei Teshuva Yerushalayim. He was the son of Rav Naftali Hakohein Shakovitzky, the Gateshead Rav before Rav Mordechai Miller, and son-in-law of Rav Zalman Yosef Aloni Dubow (Rav and Av Beis Din of Dublin, Ireland). (1998)
Rav Ezriel Meir of Lublin (1873-1941). Born to Rav Avraham Eiger of Lublin, a descendent of Rav Akiva Eiger. He reluctantly took the reigns of the Lublin Chassidim after his father’s petria in 1914. In 1913, Rav Ezriel Meir and his brother founded Yeshivas Ahavas Torah in Lublin, moving it to Warsaw a few years after WW I. Warsaw had the largest Chassidic community in the world at that time. Jews had first settled there during the 14th century, after the reign of King Kasimierz, and was then inundated by the Chassidic movement at the end of the 18th century. By 1939, Warsaw had a population of about 393,950 Jews, which was approximately one-third of the city's total population.
Rav Yisrael Yaakov Algazi, grandson of Rav Shlomo Algazi, author of Yavin Shemua. He served the Sephardic community of Yerushalayim, replacing the batei Kehuna and led the Beit El Yeshiva. His sefarim included Ar’a Derabanan, Emes LeYaakov, Neos Yaakov, and Sheiris Yaakov (1680-1756)
Rav Chaim De la Rosa, mekubal and author of Toras Chacham (1786)
Rav Shmuel ben Dovid Madjar, Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim (1848).
Rav Moshe Hager of Kossov, author of Leket Ani (1860-1926). The Kossov dynasty began with Rav Menachem Mendel, the Oheiv Yisrael of Kossov (1768-1826), the son of Rav Koppel Chassid, a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov. It was Rav Menachem Mendel who first adopted the family name, “Hager,” which still prevails in the Vizhnitz dynasty, an offshoot of the Kossov court. Kossov is a town that lies at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, in East Galicia, near the confluence of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Jews had lived there since the fifteenth century at least. Rav Menachem Mendel’s grandson, Rav Yaakov Shimshon, married at the age of 15, but had remained childless for about thirty-two years, remarrying twice during that time. Then, Rav Moshe born. Rav Yaakov Shimshon passed in 1880, when his son, Moshe, was only 20. One year later, he took his post as Rebbe. Rav Moshe was succeeded by his son, Rav Chaim, who ultimately perished in the Holocaust. After the war, the Kossov dynasty was continued in Boro Park by a son of Rav Moshe’s daughter, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel.
Rav Pinchas Halevi Horowitz of Nikelsburg (1730-1805), Rav of Frankfurt, the Baal Hafla'ah. His father was the Rav of Tchortkov. His brother, Reb Shmuel Shmelke, became a talmid of the maggid of Mezeritch; in Chasidic circles, Rav Pinchas Halevi is also said to be a talmid of the magid, but this has been argued and is likely not true. As a youth, the Chasam Sofer learned with Rav Pinchas Halevi, whom he considered his rebbe muvhak. His son, Rav Tzvi Hirsch, followed him as Rav of Frankfurt. Toward the end of his life, the enlightenment and reform movements began their entries into Frankfurt. In 1805, a Reform school was established there, despite the firm opposition of its rabbanim. He authored Hafla'ah and HaMikneh on Gemara and halacha and Panim Yafos on chumash. [some say 4 Tammuz, e.g. Hamodia 2007]
Rav Baruch Frankel-Teumim lived in Oshpitzin, author of Baruch Ta'am and Tuv Ta’am. He is a great grandfather of Rav Shlomo Halberstam, the 1st Bobover Rebbe. (1828).
Rav Yechiel Yehuda Isacsohn (1977). Founder of Yeshiva Toras Emes in Los Angeles. After his petira, his name was added to the yeshiva.
Rav Gedalia Schorr (1911-1979). Born in the town of Istrik to Rav Avraham Schorr, a Rizhiner chasid, Rav Gedalyah moved to America with his family at the age of 10 and was one of the first students of Mesivta Torah Vodaas uner Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. He joined the first group of the Daf Yomi cycle when he was 12 years old, and started delivering shiur on the Daf when he was 15. At Torah Vodaas, he studied with Rav Dovid Leibowitz, grandson of the Chafetz Chaim’s brother. When he was 20, he began giving shiur at the Mesivta. After he was married, he left for Europe to study under Rav Aharon Kotler at Kletsk. However, one year later, he was told by the American consul in Warsaw to return home because of the imminent danger. He worked closely with Agudas Yisrael’s rescue efforts during the war. In 1946, he was appointed menahel ruchni, along with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, of Mesivta Torah Vodaas, a post he maintained for 33 years. In 1956, after the death of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, he also became Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash Elyon, the post-graduate division of Torah Vodaas. His discourses have been collected in the sefer Ohr Gedalyahu.
Rav Simcha Bunim Alter(1992), the Gerrer Rebbe from 1977-1992; also known as the Lev Simcha. He originated the daf yomi for the Talmud Yerushalmi.
Rebbetzin Raizel Portugal, the Skulener Rebbetzin (1925-2005). Born in Yapa, Romania, a city near Sighet, Romania. Her father, Rav Menachem Zev Stern, one of the talmidim of the Satmar Rebbe, was the Rav of Vishava, Romania, and later of Givat Shaul. Her mother was the daughter of Rav Meir Barnet, the Baal Divrei Meir.
Rav Meir Horowitz of Dzikov (Tarnobrzeg), author of Imrei Noam, grandson of Rav Naftali, the Ropshitzer Rov. One of his sons, R' Tuvia Horowitz, was Rav of Majdan. Another son, Ravi Aharon Horowitz, married Fradel, a daughter of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz in 1878. (1819-1877)
Rav Chaim Mashash, author of the Nishmas Chaim
Rav Eliyahu Mani of Chevron (1899). An associate of the Ben Ish Hai in Baghdad, Rav Eliyahu moved to Eretz Yisrael and became the Head Rabbi of the jewish community in Chevron.
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, the Lutzker Rav and author of Oznaim L'Torah (1881-1966). Learned at Volozhin and Slabodka; married the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe, and moved to Telshe to help run the yeshiva. Rav of Voronova at age 30 for 2 years, befriending Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, then served as Rav of Zhetel for 18 years. In 1914, he fled to Minsk and became a close friend of the Chazon Ish. Moved to Lutsk in 1930 as Rav, until WW II. Moved to Eretz Yisrael during the War. Led by Rav Aaron Kotler and the members of the Israeli Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, Chinuch Atzmai was formed in 1953. Rav Zalman Sorotzkin was chosen to head it.
Rav Moshe Chevroni, rosh yeshivas Chevron yeshiva, author of the Mas’eis Moshe. He was a son-in-law of R' Moshe Mordechai Epstein (rosh yeshiva in Slobodka, Chevron)
Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, the Klausenberger Rebbe (1905-1994), great-grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He spent most of World War II in concentration camps. During his last 15 years of life, he founded Kollelei Shas in Eretz Yisrael and America. These Kollelei Shas were intended for premier avreichim who were already known for their sharp intellect and hasmada. The goal of the kollel was that in the course of three years, the members had to complete the entire Shas. Every member had to obligate himself to be tested on 75 blatt Gemara with Tosafos each month and know them by heart! The, in 1983, at his house in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya, he laid the cornerstone for what would ultimately become Mifal HaShas, where avreichim would learn 30 blatt of Gemara with Tosafos with a built-in review program and be tested monthly on the material learned. In addition to his tremendous efforts on behalf of Torah learning, the Rebbe also used his experiences from the war to stimulate him in another area. Having survived the horror of witnessing the murder of his wife and their 11 children, Reb Yekusiel vowed to dedicate his life to welfare and good health of all Jewish children. He founded Laniado Hospital in Netanya in 1975 after 15 years of fund-raising. His vision of a proper Jewish hospital was confirmed in 1990, as it was one of the only hospitals in Israel to have every employee working during the 127-day doctors’ strike. After his petira, his eldest surviving son, Rav Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, became the new Sanz Rebbe in Israel, as well as President of the Hospital.
Rav Dovid Lipschitz, president of Ezras Torah welfare program in the US, and Dean of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchonon (1906-1993). Known as the "Suvalker Rav," he was born in Minsk, but moved to Grodno as a child, where he later studied in Yeshivas Shaar Hatorah of Rav Shimon Shkop. He transferred to the Mir yeshiva where he studied under R' Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and Rav Yerucham Levovitz. At age 24, he married Zipporah Chava Yoselewitz and two years later, in 1935, he succeeded his father-in-law as rabbi of Suvalk, a title he carried for the rest of his life. One-half of Suvalk's 6,000 Jews (including the Lifshitz family) escaped to Lithuania. In June 1941, Rav Lifschitz arrived in San Francisco on a boat that carried several other leading sages. Rav Lifschitz's first position was in the USA was in Chicago, but he soon moved to Yeshivas Rabbienu Yitzchak Elchanan (the rabbinical school of what later became Yeshiva University), where he remained for the rest of his life. A small number of his shmuessen were printed posthumously under the title Tehilah Le'Dovid.
Rav Mendel Falik (2007). Born in Paterson, New Jersey, his family moved to Brooklyn when he was eleven years old so that he could have a proper chinuch. He attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaas until the age of 15, when his parents sent their ben yachid to the Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He then went to Bais Medrash Govoah. After several years, he moved to St. Louis, to begin his career as a marbitz Torah. For close to forty years, Rav Mendel was a mechanech par excellence. For most of those years, he was a rebbi in Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
Rav Binyamin Levy of Smyrna (1721)
Rav Mordecai of Kremnitz (1813). One of the five sons of the Magid of Zlotchov (Rav Yechiel Michel). One of hios four brothers was Rav Moshe of Zvhil, the first Zvhiller Rebbe. Rav Mordechai was also the father-in-law of Rav Aharon II of Karlin (the Beis Aharon).
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938). Born in New York City to Albert and Rebecca Nathan Cardozo. His ancestors were Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the United States in the 1740s and 1750s from the Iberian peninsula via the Netherlands and England. Of the six children born to Albert and Rebecca Cardozo, only Emily, married, and she and her husband did not have any children. As far as is known, Benjamin Cardozo led the life of a celibate. As an adult, Cardozo no longer practiced his faith, but remained proud of his Sephardic Jewish heritage.
Rav Yitzchak Chiyus (Chayes; Chayus) (1616). Rav in Prossnitz (Prostejov) and Prague. Author of Pnei Yitzchak (which sets Yoreh Deah to rhyme), Siach Yitzchak (which sets Hilchos Pesach to rhyme), and Pachad Yitzchak, a commentary on the passage in Tractate Gittin which deals with the destruction of the Temple, as well as Api Rav’reve.
Rav Aharon Moshe Toibish, Rav and Av Beis Din of Jassy (Yassy; Iasi; Yosser; Tirgu-Yasski), Romania, and author of Karnei Re’em and To’eifos Re’em. Yassy, the capital of Moldavia, once had 40,000 inhabitants, but fires in 1822 and 1827 reduced that number by a half. In 1854, the whole of Moldova was in Bessarabia, a province of Russia. In 1849, 20% were Jews, and in 1908, close to 50% were Jews.
Rav Tzvi Hirsch Eichenstein of Zhidatchov (Zidichoiv) (1785-1831), founder of the Zhidachov dynasty and author of Ateres Tzvi. A close disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin, he championed the position that the practice of Chasidism had to be firmly based on the study of the Kabbala of the Ari Hakadosh.
Rav Avraham Damesek of Krakow, author of Avnei Kodesh (1841).
Rav Yehuda Leib Tzirelson (1859-1941). In 1908, he became Rav and Av Beis Din in Kishinev. In 1912 he was among core Jewish leaders and rabbis who laid the foundation to Agudath Israel movement. In 1918 Bessarabia became part of Romania and R. Tsirelson was nominated Chief Rabbi of the whole Bessarabia. In 1920 having enough knowledge of Romanian language he was elected to represent Jews of Bessarabia in the Parliament of Romania in Bucharest. In 1922 he became the only Bessarabian Jewish representative in the parliament.
Rav Elchonon Bunim Wasserman, author of Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz Heorot, Kovetz Maamarim and Ikvesa D'Meshicha. Born in the town of Birz, Lithuania, he learned at Telshe under Rav Eliezer Gordon and Rav Shimon Shkop., then lived with and learned from R’ Chaim Soleveitchik from 1897 to 1899. He learned from the Chafetz Chaim 1907-10, becoming his closest disciple, then went to Brisk to be Rosh Yeshiva. Became Rosh Yeshiva of Brananovich after WW1 in 1920 and grew it from 60 to 500 bachurim. (1875-1941) (12 Tammuz, according to some)
Rav Shmuel (“Shmelke”) Pinter, the Bukovsker Rebbe (1919-1994).
Rabbeinu Yaakov ben Asher, the Baal Haturim (1268-1340), son of the Rosh. When his father fled Germany with his entire family to Spain in 1803, Rav Yaakov first lived with his brother Rav Yechiel, in Barcelona, then moved to Toledo, where his father was Rav. His younger brother, Rav Yehuda, who would marry Rav Yaakov’s daughter, succeeded the Rosh as Rav of Toledo, while Rav Yaakov himself preferred to take a position on the Beis Din. His monumental halchic work, the Arba’ah Turim included virtually all opinions available to Rav Yaakov, as well as a wealth of customs. The many commentators on the Tur include those of Rav Yosef Karo (the Beis Yosef), Rav Moshe Isserles (Darkei Moshe), Rav Yoel Sirkes (The Beis Chadash), Rav Yehoshua Falk (Derishah uPerishah), and Rav Yosef Escapa (the Rosh Yosef), who deals with only a part of the work. The Chida comments that without a proper study of the Tur and its commentaries, one cannot begin to determine halachah. Rav Yaakov also authored Sefer HaRemazim (also known as Kitzur Piskei HaRosh), an abridged version of his father's compendium of the Talmud, quoted in Sefer Mesharim. Rav Yaakov died in Toledo.
Rav Eliyahu Baruch Kamai, Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva (1840-1917). A descendant of Rav Avraham, the brother of the Vilna Gaon, Rav Elya was born in Telz. His father died when the boy was only two, and the boy's teacher was his stepfather and future father-in-law, Rav Chaim Zev Jaffe. Beginning in 1868, Rav Elya Baruch also succeeded Rav Chaim Zev as rabbi of the town of Shkod, Lithuania. In 1899, Rav Elya Baruch was called to serve as rosh yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva. In 1901, Rav Elya Baruch also became Rav of the town of Mir. When his co-rosh yeshiva, Rav Avraham Tiktinsky, retired in 1907, Rav Elya Baruch named his own son-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, to the faculty of the yeshiva. Some of Rav Elya Baruch's lectures were published under the title Zichron Eliyahu. He was succeeded as Rav of Mir by his son, Rav Avraham Zvi Kamai, who was massacred with 2300 of his congregants on 18 Cheshvan in 1942.
Release of Rav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson of Lubavitch from Soviet prison, 1927
Nazis executed 5000 Jews in the fortress of Kovno, among them Rav Elchonon Wasserman, Rav Yosef Chaim Zaks, a Rosh Yeshiva at Ohel Moshe in Slobodka, and Reb Velvel Grodzensky (son of Rav Avraham, the mashgiach of Slobodka), 1941.
Rav Moshe Ravkash, the author of Be’er Hagolah. During the fury of the Cossacks in Vilna, most of the community did not believe that the danger was imminent, so they did not escape. A few of the great Torah scholars of that generation did, in fact, escape to freedom. Among them were the Shach, the Shaar Ephraim and the Beer HaGolah. He spent a few years in Amsterdam until it was safe to return.
Rav Aryeh Epstein, the author of HaPardes
Rav Mordechai of Kremnitz [Kremnica] (1820). One of the five sons of the Zlotschover Maggid, Rav Yechiel Michel, who were referred to as my “chamisha chumshai Torah." One of Rav Mordechai’s brothers was Rav Moshe of Zvhil, the first Zvhiller Rebbe.
Rav Dovid of Rachmistrivka (1950)
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Rosenbaum of Zutchka (1906-2000). Born in Romania to Rav Isamar Rosenbaum of Nadvorna, he was named after his mother's ancestor, Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Komarna. At an early age, his family moved to Chernovitz, whose 45,000 Jews constituted about 45% of the city's population. The first maskilim settled in Chernovitz at the start of the 19th century, and their influence had grown so fast that, by 1849, they controlled the Board of the Jewish community. It was in Chernowitz that secular Yiddishism held a major convocation and proclaimed Yiddish as the Jewish national language in1908. After Rav Yitzchak Eizik married his wife, Chanah, his father asked him to preside as Rav and Admor in the town of Vashkowitz. Two years later, he moved to Zutchka where he remained until World War II. Soon after the war, Rav Yitzchak Eizik moved to Boro Park. After Rav Yitzchak Eizik's father passed away, he settled in Tel Aviv to take over his father's beis medrash, in 1973. In 1981, he relocated to Bnei Brak. One of the Rebbe's sons, Rav Nasan Dovid, took over the Zutchka beis medrash in Bnei Brak.
Rav Yosef Trani, the Maharit (1568-1639). Born in Safed, he married to a descendant of Rav Yosef Caro, but fled Safed due to plague outbreak. Returned to Safed to head a yeshiva in 1594. Moved to Constantinople in 1604, becoming Rabbi of the city and leader of Turkish Jewry a few years later. Best known for his teshuvos.
Rav Shmuel Shatin, the Kos Hayeshuos (1719). [according to some, 18 Tammuz]. Rav of Dramesht.
Rav Yaakov Halevi Ruderman, (1901-1987) Rosh Yesiva of Ner Israel, Baltimore. Born on Shushan Purim in 1901 in Dolhinov, Russia; studied in Yeshivas Knesset Yisrael in Slobodka, then headed by Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel (the Alter) and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein. Among his colleagues in Slobodka were Rav Reuven Grozovsky; Rav Ruderman's first cousin, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky; Rav Aharon Kotler; Rav Yitzchak Hutner; In ~1926, Rav Ruderman published his only written work, Avodas Halevi. In 1930, Rav Ruderman joined his father-in-law, Rav Sheftel Kramer, at the latter's yeshiva in Cleveland. In 1933, Rav Ruderman moved to Baltimore and founded the Ner Israel yeshiva, leading that yeshiva for 54 years until his passing. His death in 1987 followed less than one-and-a-half years after the passing of Rav Kaminetzky and Rav Moshe Feinstein. Posthumously, Rav Ruderman's students have published two volumes of his teachings: Sichos Levi contains mussar/ethical insights based on the weekly parashah, while Mas'as Levi contains lectures on the 19th century work Minchas Chinuch and other Tamudic and halachic insights.
Rav Mordechai Attiah, rosh yeshiva in Yerushalayim
The Zutchke Rebbe (2000).
Rav Chaim ben Atar, the Or HaChaim Hakadosh, (1696-1743). Born into a well-respected family in Sali, Morocco, Rav Chaim spent his early years learning with his grandfather, whose name he shared. Rav Chaim's dream was to go to Israel. With 30 followers he arrived in Israel, four days before Rosh HaShanah in 1742 and settled in Acco. Rav Chaim and his students spent Yom Kippur in the cave of Eliyahu HaNavi on Mount Carmel. Purim was spent in Tzfat and Miron, where a great deal of time was spent studying the holy Zohar. On the 15th of Elul of 1743, Rav Chaim finally arrived in Jerusalem with his group. He immediately established a yeshiva called Knesses Yisrael and second secretive yeshiva for the study of Kabbalah. One of his new students was Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai, the Chida, who at that time was only 18 years old
Rav Aryeh Leib Ginzberg, the Shaagas Aryeh (1695-1785). Born in Pinsk, he was the son of Rav Asher, Av Beis Din of Pinsk. When he was still young, his family moved to Minsk. A widow in the city had a complete set of the Shas in her home and would loan masechtos to any talmid chacham who needed them. When Aryeh Leib was still a child, he borrowed masechtos from her. Thus, every day, he would complete one masechta, and then ask her to exchange it for a different one. In 1725, when he was only thirty, Rav Aryeh Leib was invited to serve as the Rosh Yeshivah of Minsk, but the laypersons forced him out, since he was unashamed to rebuke them when he felt that it was necessary. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to serve as Rav of Volozhin (where he authored Shaagas Aryeh), and later in Metz, Germany. Prior to his petirah, the Shaagas Aryeh made a siyum of Shas, which he had reviewed one thousand times during his lifetime. [Yated 2005 says 28 Tammuz] [25 Tammuz, according to Yated 2007]
Rav Dovid Moshe Rosenbaum of Kretshnif (1969), son of Rav Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum and son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim Mordechai of Nadvorna. Lived in Rechovot. (Kretchinev, Kretchniv, Kretshniff)
Rav Mordechai Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Montreal (1992).
Rav Amram Blau, head of Neturei Karta in Yerushalayim (1894-1974). He was close with the Brisker Rov and the Chazon Ish and earned their respect. Neturei Karta movement broke off from Agudath Israel in 1935 because of their insistence on total separation from the Zionist Jewish community. In 1938, Rav Blau and Aharon Katzenellenbogen seceded from the Edah Charedis. For the most part, the members of Neturei Karta are descended from Hungarian Jews that settled in Yerushalayim's Old City in the early nineteenth century and currently number about 5000. Rav Blau was forced to surrender leadership of Neturei Karta in 1965, after he married Ruth Ben-Dovid, who was a divorced woman and a convert from Catholicism, two years after his first wife, Hinda, passed. She also was a convert and former member of the French Resistance, who had rescued Blau during the Holocaust. In December 2006, Satmar leaders condemned six Neturei Karta adherents as "reckless outcasts" for attending the Holocaust denial conference hosted by Iran. Rav Amram Blau, as well as his successor Rav Aharon Katzenelenbogen, were vehemently opposed to activities of this sort. As an indication of his disfavor, Rav Katzenelenbogen went to the Zionist Israeli secular court to enforce an order forbidding Moshe Hirsh from leaving Israel, to prevent him from engaging in joint activities with Jew-hating Arabs.
Chur, son of Kalev and Miriam, killed by the erev rav for his protest against making the Egel. (1309 or 1312 BCE)
Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin (1932-1999), son of Rav Yoshua Zelig Diskin, rav of Periaslov (Ukraine) and Pardes Chana, and grandson of Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin. He learned at Ponevezh and the Kaminetz-Knesses Beis Yitzchak kollel. He served for 26 years as one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Kol Torah.
Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, the Kapischnitzer Rebbe (1888-1967). Named after the Apta Rov, the Oheiv Yisrael, of whom he was a direct descendant, he was born in Husyatin. His maternal grandfather was Rav Mordechai Shraga of Husyatin, son of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin. He moved with his father to Vienna at the outbreak of World War I. Succeeded his father, Rav Yitzchak Meir on the first day of Rosh Hashana 1936, his father’s petira. Only two years after Reb Avraham Yehoshua became Rebbe, Yiddishe life was shattered by the German occupation of Vienna. The Rebbe was seized and forced to clean the streets to the amusement of the jeering Germans. On his arrival in America, the Rebbe settled in the Lower East Side of New York. The Rebbe was among the founding members of Chinuch Atzmai (semi-private religious school system in Israel), together with Reb Aharon Kotler. One of his most faithful followers was the Ponovezher Rov, Reb Yosef Kahaneman.
Rav Aharon Yosef Bakst (Baksht), Rav of Shavel (1867-1941). Born in Ivye, as a young man in Volozhin, he caught the eye of Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer. He eventually moved to Kelm where he became attached to Reb Simcha Zissel Ziv. He served in no less than thirteen cities, including Baisagola, Semiatitz, Tzaritzin, Poltave, Seduva, Lomza, and Suwalk. He came to Shavel in 1930. He was killed in the Holocaust together with his son-in-law, Rav Aizik Rabinowitz of Telz. He was the last Rav of Shavel.
Rav Salman Mutzafi (1900-1975). Born in Baghdad to Rav Tzion Meir, who descended from an illustrious family of Torah scholars who first arrived in Baghdad during the Spanish expulsion. The person who had the greatest influence on Rav Salman during his childhood was the Ben Ish Chai. Every Shabbos, the young Salman accompanied his father to Baghdad's main shul to hear the Ben Ish Chai's drasha, which lasted for two hours and was attended by over 2,000 people. In 1934, he moved to Eretz Yisrael. For two full years, he studied the nine volumes of Siddur Harashash, with all of its kabbalistic kavanos. It is said that his prayers have successfully saved the Jewish people on many occasions.
Rav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg (1923-1999). The Weinberg family is from the Slonimer chasidic dynasty, a Lithuanian chassidus. The approach and relationship of the Slonim chasidim to Torah has been similar to the classical Litvishe approach. The founder of the dynasty was Rav Avraham ben Yitzchak Mattisyohu Weinberg, the author of Chessed L’Avraham. As a youth, Rav Weinberg studied in the Rabbenu Chaim Berlin yeshiva in New York City under Rav Yitzchak Hutner, a talmid of the Alter of Slobodke. Rav Weinberg married the only daughter of Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, the rosh yeshiva of Ner Yisrael of Baltimore and another talmid of the Alter. In 1964, Rav Ruderman sent him to Toronto, to preside as the rosh yeshiva of a branch that Ner Yisrael had established there several years earlier.Eight years later, when the yeshiva in Toronto decided to become independent, he returned to Baltimore. Shortly before the petirah of his father-in-law in 1987, Rav Weinberg was asked to preside as the rosh yeshiva of Ner Yisrael in Baltimore. He was a member of the Moetzes Roshei Hayeshivos of Torah Umesorah for many years, and was very active in expanding the projects of this important organization.
Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Spiegel (1937-2001), Rav of the Romanian shul Khal Shaarei Shomayim, son of Rav Moshe Menachem Spiegel, the Admor of Ostrov-Kalushin (formerly of Brownsville, later of the Lower East Side), and the grandson of Rav Naftali Aryeh Spiegel, the former Rav of Ostrov-Kalushin in Poland; a talmid muvhak of Rav Ahron Kotler.
Rav Yehuda Halevi Eidel [Edel] of Slonim (1805). Born in Zamosc, Galicia, in 1757 or 1759. His most famous work was Afikei Yehuda. His chidushim on Seder Toharos was considered indispensable for anyone studying this topic. Rav Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk kept a copy on his table at all times. He also published a book on Hebrew synonyms called Redifei Maya, and his first book, Safah le-Ne'emanim, a treatise on grammar, was what caught the attention of the Vilna Gaon." He had five children, all of whom became rabbis.
Rav Avraham (Maskileison) ben Yehudah Leib (1788-1848). He authored Maskil L’eisan (chidushim on parts of Moed and Kodoshim,), Be’er Avraham (chidushim on Shas), Nachal Eisan (chidushim on the first two parts of Rambam’s Yad Chazakah), and Yad Avraham (chidushim on Yoreh De'ah; notes on Sifre).
Rav Moshe Dovid Ashkenazi, Rav of Toltshova-Tzefas (1855).
Rav Yaakov Aryeh Guterman (1792-1874). A chasid of the Kozhnitzer Maggid, the Chozeh of Lublin, the Yid Hakadosh of Peshischa, and the Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa, he took the mantle of leadership in Radzymin (Warsaw district) after the petira of Vorka Rebbe in 1848. His divrei Torah were written in Bikkurei Aviv (on Chumash) and Divrei Aviv (on Midrash for Sefer Bereishis).
Rav Yehoshua of Tomoshov (1904)
Rav Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapiro (Naroler Rebbe) (1907-2007). He was a grandson of the Rav of Narol, and a descendant of the Sar Sholom, the first Belzer Rav. When he was a young child, his family fled to Kashuai in Hungary, where his grandfather re-established his court. The family returned to Narol in 1924. After his grandfather’s petirah, in a decision made by Gedolei Yisrael, Rav Chaim Meir was appointed Rav and Dayan in Narol despite his young age. He received heter horaah from the Beis Din in Lvov, and became a posek for Belzer chassidim. After the Nazi invasion in 1939, he fled with his family to Taprov, where his father-in-law lived, and stayed until the summer. In June, all Jews who didn’t have passports were seized by police and shipped to Siberia. The Naroler Rav’s family managed to leave Siberia and reach Samarkand where survival was easier. In 1945, the Rav was permitted to leave Russia and go to the west. In 1946, he arrived in Antwerp, and began to give shiurim to the Belzer chassidim who had arrived there. He was active among the refugees here too, helping marry off orphans and setting up their homes. In 1948, the Naroler Rav moved to Brooklyn. A Belzer beis medrash was founded, and the Naroler Rav was appointed at its head. He gave many shiurim among them, a shiur on Minchas Chinuch which he consistently gave for over 70 years. On Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 1972, the Naroler Rebbe left America and settled in Bnei Brak, where he founded the Naroler beis medrash. The Rebbe leaves behind his son Rav Berish, Rav of Narol
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Halevi Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Ireland and later Palestine (1888-1959). His father, Rav Yoel Leib Herzog (1865-1933) was Chief Rabbi of Paris. From his birth until his 16th birthday, Reb Yitzchak studied at the feet of his father. He was given smicha by Rav Yaakov Willowski (the Ridbaz, author of a peyrush on the Yerushalmi). In 1916, he was named Chief Rabbi of Belfast, Ireland. Later he served in the same post in Dublin, and later he became Chief Rabbi of all of Ireland. Following the passing of Rav Avraham Yitzchak haCohen Kook in 1935, Rav Herzog was invited to become Eretz Yisrael’s second Ashkenazi chief rabbi. He served in that capacity from 1933 until his petira in 1959. He is the author of the Heichal Yitzchok.
Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshivas Mir (1967). Married daughter of Rav Eliyahu Baruch Kamai (rosh yeshiva of Mir) in 1903. Between 1939 and 1941, because many business were taken over by the Soviet government, the Mir Yeshiva left Bilarus. Rav Finkel, many other rabbis and yeshiva students went to Lithuania because that country was still independent. The story of the escape of Mir Yeshiva to Shanghai during WWII has been the subject of several books. After the war, the rabbis and students founded the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York. R. Finkel survived to establish the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Moved the yeshiva to Yerushalaim in 1944 until his petira.
Rav Yona Stenzel, initiator of Halacha Yomi and Mishna Yomi
Rav Bentzion Abba Shaul, rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef (1998)
Rav Nosson Nata Hanover, author of Yaven Hametzula (1683).
Rav Yisrael of Rikel, murdered in Kavakaz (1823).
Rav Moshe Yehuda Twersky of Trisk-Chelm, author of Imrei Mi (1937).
Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch (1941), Telsher rosh yeshiva, brother of Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Bloch and 2nd son of Rav Yosef Leib Bloch (1860-1929). Upon his fater’s petira, Rav Avraham Yitzchak assumed the leadership of both the yeshiva and the city of Telshe, although he was not yet forty. The yeshiva's end in Europe began in the summer of 1940, when the Soviets, who had occupied Lithuania, ordered the yeshiva closed. The Nazis entered the city on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz of 1941. After three terrible weeks of torture, on 20 Tammuz the Nazis massacred the male population of the city, including the yeshiva's administration and student body. The women and children of Telshe were killed on 7 Elul. (2 Tammuz, per Yated 2006)
Rav Avraham Chaim Na’eh, posek; author of Shiurei Torah and Ketzos Hashulchan (1890-1954). Born in Chevron to Rav Menachem Mendel Na'eh, Rosh Yeshivah of the Sdei Chemed's yeshivah, Magen Avos. Later, he studied at Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin's yeshivah, Ohel Moshe, under Rav Yehoshua Leib's son, Rav Yitzchak Yerucham. In 1912, he published his Chanoch LaNoar, which contains the laws necessary for bar-mitzvah youths. With the outbreak of World War One, the Turks, who were in control of Eretz Yisrael, expelled anyone who did not possess Turkish citizenship from the land. Most of the expelled Jews clustered in Alexandria. Rav Avraham Chaim opened Yeshivas Eretz Yisrael there. This yeshivah had two hundred avreichim and talmidei chachamim, who had been exiled from Yerushalayim, supported fully by Rav Avraham Chaim during the entire war. There, he wrote Shenos Chaim, a special Kitzur Shulchan Aruch for Sephardic Jews. In Teves of 1918, he returned to Yisrael and served as safra de'daina (personal secretary) of the Eidah HaChareidis, under Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the Rav of Yerushalayim. In 1948, he founded the Vaad HaRabbanim of Agudas Yisrael. Later, he helped found the chareidi weekly newspaper, Kol Yisrael (later still, he was one of the prime movers behind HaModia).
Rav Hillel Lichtenstein , the Krasna Rav (1979).
Rav Chaim Shaul Karelitz (1912-2001), Av Beis Din of Badatz Sheeris Yisrael, Mashgiach Ruchni of Yeshivas Beis Meir and Talmud Torah Tashbar, nephew of the Chazon Ish, learned at Kosovo, Barnaovich (under Rav Elchanon Wasserman), Kaimetz (under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz), and Lomza in Petach Tikva.
Rav Betzalel Rakow (1927-2003), born in Frankfurt, Germany. His father, Rav Yom Tov Lipman, studied in Volozhin under Rav Isser Zalman of Slutsk. After Kritallnacht, his family left via Antwerp to England, in 1939. Rav Betzalel learned at Rav Moshe Schneider’s Toras Emes, along with Rav Moshe Sternbuch and Rav Tuvia Weiss. By age 18, he became very close to Rav Elya Lopian and Rav Yechezkel Avramski. He then joined the Gateshead Kollel, marrying three years later. In 1956, he became the rosh yeshiva of Etz Chaim in Montreaux, Switzerland, where he developed a close relationship with Rav Yechiel Weinberg and the Brisker Rav. In 1963, he became the Rav of Gateshead, where he remained until his petira. He is the author of Birkas Yom Tov. He is the brother of Rav Benzion Rakow, rosh yeshiva of Chayei Olom Yeshiva, but he was also the rov of beis hamedrash Heichal Hatorah and a leader of Agudas Yisrael in London.
Rav Shlomo of Chelm (1717-1781). Born in Zamosc, he became Rav of Chelm and Lvov (Lemberg). author of Merkevet Hamishnah, a work which is considered by many to be among the most important commentaries on Rambam's Mishneh Torah. He also wrote Kuntres Breichos Bechesbon, a collection of Talmudic math problems and their solutions.
Rav Avraham Matisyahu Friedman of Stefanest, Romania (1848-1933). Only son of Rav Menachem Nachum (fourth son of the Rizhiner Rebbe). Succeeded his father after the latter’s petira in 1869.
Rav Shmuel ben Yoel ibn Shuiv, Rav in the Aragonese community of Salonica (1528). His father, who was born in Spain and moved to Salonica in 1495, authored Olas Shabbos, Nora Tehillos, and Ein Mishpat.
Rav Mano’ach Hendel, author of Chochmas Mano’ach (1611)
Rav Shlomo of Karlin (1740 or 1738 -1792). A student of the Maggid of Mezritch, as well as of Rav Aharon the Great of Karlin, whom he succeeded in 1772, he died Kiddush HaShem, stabbed by a Cossack while in the midst of the Amida prayer.
Rav Avraham Grodzenksi, mashgiach of Slabodka; died al kiddush Hashem, along with his sons, Yisrael, Zeev, and Eliezer, and his daughter, Miriam (1942). A collection of his thoughts are recorded in Toras Avraham. His last three years were spent in the Kovno Ghetto. An account of that period in his life was written by his daughter, Rebbetzin R. Wolbe, who became the wife if Rav Shlomo Wolbe, entitled “Ve’emunascha Baleilos.” On June 23, 1941 (27th of Sivan) German bombardment of Lithuania put a stop to the learning in Slobodka, as Kovno took the brunt of the attack.
Rav Levi Yitzchak Bender (1897-1989). Born in Grodzisk (near Warsaw), he was sent to Yeshivas Mokov when he was ten, where he became drawn to Breslav Chassidus. The teachings of Rav Nachman (who died in 1810) were transmitted chiefly by his talmid, Rav Nasan Sternhartz, who transcribed the Rebbe's teachings and conversations. After Rav Nasan's passing in 1844, the torch of Breslav was carried on by a number of leaders, including Rav Nachman of Tulchin (died 1884) and Rav Nachman of Tcherin (died 1894). The fourth generation of leaders included Rav Yitzchak Breiter (died around 1943) and Rav Avraham Chazan (Rav Nachman of Tulchin's son; died in 1917). Rav Levi Yitzchak, one of the fifth-generation leaders, was a talmid of Rav Avraham Chazan. The sixth generation leaders of our time include Rav Yaakov Meir Shechter (born 1931), one of the well-known gedolim of Eretz Yisrael. After his father-in-law's passing, Rav Levi Yitzchak moved with his family to Uman, where he remained for twenty years until 1936. After five years in Moscow, Rav Levi Yitzchak, his wife and his daughter, moved to Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Central Asia. In 1945, the family moved to nearby Samerkand, known as the Yerushalayim of Uzbekistan, which had a much larger, loyal Jewish community. In 1949, Rav Levi Yitzchak arrived in Eretz Yisrael, where he helped build Breslav chassidism into the vibrant community of today, and helped establish the main Breslav beis medrash, near the border of the Meah Shearim district.
Rav Moshe Cordovero (Remak) (1522-1570). The Remak was the son of Rav Yaakov, one of the exiles from Cardova, Spain. He studied under the great kabbalists Rav Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz (who would become his brother-in-law) and Rav Yosef Karo. Rav Chaim Vital was among his greatest talmidim. He was the author of Tomer Devora and Pardes Rimonim. In the latter book, he systematized all kabbalistic knowledge that had been revealed until then. In his sefer, Ohr Ne’erav, he explains the necessity of studying Kabbalah but also criticizes those who study this subject without prior Torah knowledge, pointing out that one must first study Torah, Mishnah, and Gemara before studying Kabbalah. He also wrote a comprehensive commentary on the Zohar entitled Ohr Yakar, but it was not published for 400 years. Publication of this multi-volume work was finally begun in 1962 and completed in 1989. Although he served as Rosh Yeshiva and as a Dayan, his fame rests on his contribution to Kabbalistic literature and thought.
Rav Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen, the Knesses Yechezkel (1749)
Rav Dovid Morgenstern of Kotzk. Son and successor the Kotzker Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel
Rav Gedalya Aharon Kenig (Koenig), author of Chayei Nefesh, founder of Kiryat Breslav in Tzefas (1981). He was succeeded by his son, Rav Elazar Mordechai Kenig.
Rav Nechemia Alter, son of the Sefas Emes (1942).
Rav Yaakov Yosef of Ostrah (1849)
Rav Shaul Moshe Zilberman, the Viershaver Rav, and author of Pardes Shaul (1939)
Rav Yitzchak Grodzinski of Vilna
Rav Yitzchak Kolitz (1922-2003). Born in Elita, Lithuania, to Rav Eliyahu Dovid Nachman Kolitz, Rav of the town and a chavrusa of the Chazon Ish for many years. His father passed away when he was 3 years old. After spening several years in the public school, Rav Yitzchak went to Slobodka when he was 10 years old. In 1935, he moved to Eretz Yisrael with his mother and older brother. At the age of 14, he met Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, with whom he developed a close relationship for life. He learned at Chevron and became close to Rav Yechezkel Sarna. After the 1948 war, he became a magid shiur in a yeshiva in Rechovot; during that time, he became a ben bayis of the Chzon Ish. In 1955, he was appointed a dayan in Tel Aviv, then Av Beis Din, then Chief Rabbi (following Rav Bezalel Zolti). (25 Tammuz, per Hamodia 2007)
Rav Yaakov Yosef (1840-1902). Born in Krozhe, a province of Kovno, he studied in the Volozhin yeshiva under the Netziv, where he was known as "Rav Yaakov Charif" because of his sharp mind. He was one of the foremost students of Rav Yisrael Salanter. In 1888, he accepted an invitation and became the first and only Chief Rabbi of New York, as elected by the Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. He also took an active role in establishing the Etz Chaim Yeshiva, founded in 1866. He authored Le'Beis Yaakov.
Rav Yosef Yitzchak Rottenberg, head of Belgian community
Rav Aharon Berachia ben Moshe of Modina (1639). A student of the Rema. He was the author of Maavar Yabok, a collection of mitzvahs related to bikur cholim and everything having to do with the dead until burial.
Rav Meir of Apta, the Ohr Lashamayim (1831)
Rav Yeshaya Dovid Zilberstein of Veitzen, author of Maasei Lamelech (1930).
Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshua Trunk (1821-1893). Born in Plotsk, he received most of his teaching from his father, who was niftar when the boy was just 11. As a teenager, he spent 3 months with the Kotzker Rebbe, who’s direction he followed for the remainder of his life. When he was twenty, Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshua founded a yeshivah and served as rav in Shrensk for seven years. Later in Vorka, his fame as a posek grew. In 1860, he moved to Kutna, which lies near Gustenin and Zichlin. The first record of Jews in Kutna is a document from 1513, in which King Zigmund of Poland grants a year’s moratorium to the gentile debtors of three Kutna Jews - Moshe, Shlomo and Liebke. Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshua published several sefarim, including Yeshuas Yisrael, on Choshen Mishpat, Yeshuos Malko, and Yavin Daas. His only son, Rav Moshe Pinchas, succeeded him as Rav in Kutno. The demise of the Kutna kehillah came when the Nazis finished liquidating its remaining Jews on March 26, 1942.
Rav Nachman Bulman (1925-2002). His parents, Reb Meir and Ettel Bulman were Gerrer chasidim who had moved to the Lower East Side from Poland. Reb Meir had lost his first wife in childbirth and his second wife in a pogrom. He had also lost two children. In their 40s, the Bulmans received the Imrei Emes of Ger for a bracha for children. The result of that blessing was Nachman, who was born in New York. He attended Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchonon and then studied in its rabbinical program. He received semicha and a B.A. (in philosophy) from Yeshiva College. During the week, he learned in the Litvishe yeshiva way. On Shabbos and Yom Tov he absorbed the atmosphere of his parents' Polishe shteibel with a love of chassidus. For years, he was also a frequent visitor at the tishin of the Modzitzer Rebbe, Rav Shaul Yedidya Taub. In 1950, Reb Nachman married Shaindel Freund, his aiyshes chayil for 52 years. He found a position in the town of Danville, Virginia, a small Orthodox community which consisted of about 30 families. He held the position for 3 years. From 1953-1954, Rabbi Bulman served as mashgiach in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchonon. He was once again pulled to the world of rabbonus when he became rov in South Fallsburg, N.Y., in 1954. During this time, he founded the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), together with Rabbis Weitman, Goodman, and Chait. His next position was as head of Adas Jeshurun synagogue in Newport News, Virginia, beginning in 1957. Rabbi Bulman then returned to his position as mashgiach in Yeshiva University from 1962-1963, and then worked for Torah Umesorah from 1963-1967. In 1967, he took his next rabbinical position as the rav of the Young Israel of Far Rockaway. During this time, he founded Sarah Schenirer High School and Seminary in 1968, and the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway (Yeshivas Derech Eison), and he taught in both places.
Rav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinev (Rav Sinai of Zhemigrod). (1870-1941) Rav Chaim of Sanz especially treasured his fourth son, Rav Baruch of Gorlitz, saying that a lofty soul such as his had not descended to the world for the past three hundred years. When he was fourteen, Rav Baruch married the daughter of Rav Yekusiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, the Yitav Lev of Sighet and a talmid of Rav Chaim Sanzer, and in 1870, Rav Sinai was born to the couple, in Rudnik. After reaching adulthood, Rav Sinai served as rav for several years in Gorlitz and Koloshitz, before taking over a permanent position in Zmigród, a scenic mountain town about 150 kilometers from Cracow, where Jews had lived since at least 1410. Zmigród had a relatively small community - a 1900 census records it having 1,240 Jews out of a total population of 2,249. Nowadays, this region of Austrian-controlled Galicia is part of Poland. He escaped the Nazis by fleeing to Lemberg, Galicia, but was exiled to Siberia by the Soviets. He did not survive the trip.
Yosef ben Yaakov Avinu
Rav Yaakov Adess, born in Yerushalayim (1898-1963), the youngest of his father's four sons. He received his early education from his father, Rav Avraham Chaim Adess. In 1910, his father placed him in Yeshivas Ohel Moed, where he learned under Rav Raphael Shlomo Laniado and Rav Yosef Yedid Halevi. There, he stayed as magid shiur from 1920-1923, when the yeshiva closed. He moved with Rav Laniado to Porat Yosef, first as magid shiur and later as Rosh Yeshiva. Most of his writings on Shas were destroyed when the Jordanians captured the Old City in 1948. At the end of 1945, Rav Adess was appointed as av beis din in Yerushalayim. In 1955, he was chosen to serve on the Chief Rabbinate's Beis Din Hagodol.
Rav Shmuel Rozovsky (1913-1979), born in Grodna to Rav Michel Dovid (Rav of Grodna for 40 years) and Sarah Pearl, daughter of Rav Avraham Gelburd, who had served as Grodna's previous rav for almost 50 years. At a very young age, he began to study in the Shaar HaTorah Yeshivah of Grodna, under Rav Shimon Shkop, eventually becoming his talmid muvhak. In 1935, his father was niftar, and the gedolei Torah urged Rav Shmuel to succeed him. However, he was drafted into the Russian army and moved to Eretz Yisrael. There he began studying in the Lomza Yeshivah in Petach Tikvah. In 1944, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman opened the Ponovezh Yeshivah and chose Rav Shmuel, only 30 at the time, to head the yeshivah. Later on, he was joined by Rav Dovid Povarsky and Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach. Subsequently, he was asked by Rav Kahaneman to head the newly founded Grodna Yeshiva in Ashdod.
Rav Elimelech Ehrlich (1914-1989), a seventh generation Karlin chossid, was born in the town of Kodznahorodok, next to Stolin, not far from the border of Poland and Russia. During WW II, his family moved to Samarkand. There, he composed Yiddish niggunim for the many Jewish refugees, cheering their broken hearts. His role in life was thus fixed. After the war, in Paris, Rav Yom Tov discovered a new brand of fire which began to kindle in his heart: Novardok. He later mved to New York, and then to Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Mordechai Twersky, Skverer Rebbe of Flatbush (1924-2007). Born in Kishinev, he moved with his family to America when he was four months old. When his father, Rav Yitzchak, was niftar in 1941, Rav Mordechai and his brother, Rav Dovid, ran their father’s beis midrash in Boro Park. Rav Mordechai opened the Skverer beis midrash in 1970.
Rav Elazar of Lizhensk (1806)
Rav Moshe Teitelbaum, av beis din of Ujhely, Hungary (1759-1841), author of Yismach Moshe, founder of Satmar and Sighet dynasties. He was a direct descendent of the Rema. He served as Rav and Av Beis Din of Shinova at the age of 26. He made a shiduch with his only daughter to a chasid of the Choseh of Lublin, and shortly thereafter became of follower himself. He taught Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam of Shinova.
Rav Shlomo Ganzfried (1804-1886), born in Ungwar, Hungary. His father died while he was still young, and he was raised by the Rav of Ungwar, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Heller. He is the author of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
Rav Nachman Kahana, author of Orchos Chaim (1904)
Rav Yaakov Shaul Elyashar (1817-1906). Born to Rav Eliezer Yerucham Elyashar in Tzefas, young Yaakov Shaul moved with his mother at the age of six to Yerushalayim; his father dies a year later. His mother’s second husband, Rav Binyamin Mordechai Navon, took the boy under his wing. In 1883, Rav Yaakov Shaul accepted to become Rishon Letzion. At the inauguration, he also received the title of Chacham Bashi by the Turkish rulers. Rav Yaakov Shaul authored the sefer Yissa Bracha. His son, Rav Nissim Elyashar, founded a charedi community in Yerushalayim and named it Givat Shaul, in his father’s honor.
Rav Chaim Friedlander (1923-1986), mashgiach in Ponovezh. He is considered one of the closest disciples of Rav Dessler. Author of Sifsei Chaim and Mesilos Chaim B'Chinuch.
Rav Yochanan HaSandler
Rav Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi) (1040-1105). He traced his ancestry through the Tanna'im Rav Yochanan HaSandlar and Hillel the Elder back to King Dovid. He received his early talmudic training from his father, Rav Yitzchak. At a young age he went to Worms, Germany, to broaden his knowledge under Rav Yaakov ben Yakar. At the age of 25 he returned to his native Troyes. Amazingly, Rashi accomplished all his work during the Period of the Crusades, when life was extremely dangerous for the Jews. Rashi had three daughters, who were great scholars in their own right, but also were married to men of greatness, and had children known as the "Baalei Tosafos," the most famous of whom, Rav Yaakov ben Meir, was known as Rabbeinu Tam.
Rav Yehoshua Boaz, the Shiltei Hagibborim, Italian commentator to Rif (1612)