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Compiled by Reb Manny Saltiel
Aharon Hakohen (1395-1272 BCE) [the only yahrtzeit mentioned in the Torah]
Elazar ben Aharon Hakohen
Rav Chaim of Krasna (1793)
Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld (1805-1883), author of Chosan Sofer, and Rav in Matersdorf.
Rav Yaakov Moshe Shurkin, Rosh Mesivta Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, student of the Chafetz Chaim (1963)
Rav Shlomo Halberstam (1908-2000), son of Rav Ben Zion, grandson of Rav Shlomo, founder of the Bobov dynasty. At the outbreak of World War II, he and his father escaped to Lemberg. On the fourth of Av 1942 his father was killed, and Rav Shlomo escaped to the Bochnia Ghetto. In Bochnia, the Rav lost his Rebbetzin and two children. He managed to escape with his only surviving child, Naftali, to Budapest, and then to Bucharest. Rav Shlomo is believed to have been the last remaining Chassidic rabbi to have survived the Holocaust. Born in the Galicia region of central Europe, Rav Halberstam arrived in the United States in 1946, alone and indigent after his group was largely obliterated by the Nazis. During the war, Halberstam dressed up as a nun in order to rescue other Jews, hiding them in the false bottom of a coal truck. Halberstam is widely credited with rebuilding the Bobover community in the United States.
Rav Aharon Tumim (1630-1690). A rav in Prague from 1659 to 1672, Rav Aharon became Rosh Yeshiva in Worms in 1672. He wrote Mateh Aharon on the Hagadah. In 1687, he accepted a psotion of Rav of Krakow, but because of political circumstances, he delayed his departure until 1690. Shortly after he left Worms, the city was destroyed by the troops of King Louis XIV. He served in Krakow four months before a Polish nobleman had him arrested; he died as a result of torture.
Rav Aharon Yosef Baksht, known in mussar circles as Reb Archik (1863-1941). Born in Iyola, Lithuania (near Vilna), an only child to Rav Yeshayahu Baksht, he left home to study in Volozhin when he was 14. After studying under Rav Yitzchak Blazer at Halvayas HaMeis yeshiva in Slobodka, for three years, he transferred to the Beis Hatalmud in Kelm and became one of Rav Shimcha Zissel’s most outstanding talmidim. After his marriage, he took his first rabbinical post in Bisgola, near Shavli. Thereafter, he served at Simiatitz (1896-1901), Volgograd (later known as Stalingrad), Shadova, Suvalk, and eventually – in 1926 – in Lomza, where he also founded a Kollel. In 1937, he moved to Shavli to replace Rav Meir Atlas and founded a yeshiva. He was shot and murdered by the Nazis. Sadly, his many chidushim and commentary on the Yerushalmi were also destroyed.
Rav Gedaliah Silverstone (1871-1944). Born in Eastern Europe in 1871, he studied in the yeshiva of Telshe under Rav Eliezer Gordon. In 1901, Rav Silverstone became Chief Rabbi of Belfast (Ireland). In approximately 1906, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he served several congregations, including Tifereth Israel (which was then Orthodox) and Ohev Shalom. During the 1930s he settled in Eretz Yisrael. His works include Beis Meir, Yeshuah Gedolah, Pirchei Aviv, Sukkas Shalom and a Haggadah commentary entitled Korban Pesach.
Rav Moshe Stern, the Debrecziner Rav, author of Be’er Moshe (1914-1997). Born in Neuhaizal, Slovakia, on Hoshana Rabah, his father, Rav Avraham, was the Rav of Neuhaizal, a historian and author of the sefarim, Gapei Eish on the Shas, Shulchan Eish and Melitzei Eish. After learning with his father and grandfather, Rav Moshe left Neuhaizal to study in Yeshivas Pressburg, headed by the Chasam Sofer's great-grandson, Rav Akiva Sofer, the Daas Sofer. Rav Moshe married a daughter of Rav Mordechai Nissan HaKohen Strasser, a grandson of the Chasam Sofer. After his marriage, he moved to Debrecen, Hungary's second largest city, where Jews had been barred from living until 1840. Debrecen had served as the capital of Hungary twice, once in 1849, and a second time, in 1944. In Debrecen, he was appointed a poseik and dayan. By 1941, 9,142 Jews lived in Debrecen and comprised about 7% of its population. After the war, about 4,640 Jews returned to Debrecen making it the largest Jewish community in the area. Rav Moshe restructured the kehillah. Together with the Admor of Erlau, he even founded a yeshivah in Budapest. In about 1950, Rav Moshe was invited to be the rav of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he stayed for a year. Soon afterwards, Rav Moshe moved to New York and established his 'Kahal Yesodei HaTorah' whose congregants were mostly immigrants from Hungary. In 1969, Rav Moshe began publishing his sefer of responsa, Be'er Moshe. Another of Rav Moshe's sefarim is his "Kunterus Ha'Electric" where he discusses the dozens of shaylos involved with electricity, such as accepting testimony over the phone and setting up alarms to work on Shabbos.
Rav Shimshon of Astropolia, along with 10,000 Jews of Polana, died al kiddush Hashem, in the Chmielnicki massacres (1648).
Rav Shimshon Bachrach of Nicholsburg, son of the Chavos Yair (1721)
Rav Yaakov Landau, son of the Noda BiYehudah (1822)
Rav Shmuel Bornstein (also known as Shmuel Salir), author of Shem Mishmuel and Rebbe of Sochaczev (Sochochow) (1855-1927). He was the son of the Avnei Nezer.
Rav Yitzchak ben Mordechai Twersky, the first Skverer Rebbe in America. Known as Reb Itzikel Skverer, he left Ukraine and settled in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. came to America, arriving in 1923. Eventually he
Rav Eliyahu Moshe Shisgal [Schisgal] (1973). Learned with Rav Shlomo Heiman at Yeshivas Torah V'Daas. He married Faye Gittel Feinstein, daughter of Rav Moshe Feinstein.
Rav Menachem Azariah deFano (from Pano), Italian mekubal, known as the Rema miPano (1548-1620).
Rav Benzion Halberstam of Bobov (1874-1942). Born in Bokovosk, Galicia , to Rav Shlomo Halberstam, a grandson of Rav Chaim of Sanz. In 1893, Rav Shlomo moved to Bobov and appointed his son, Rav Benzion Rav of the town. His father’s work at working with youth was sadly cut short when he died suddenly in 1905, at the age of 58. On the following Shabbos, Rav Shlomo’s brothers appointed Rav Benzion the Bobover Rebbe. He followed in his father’s footsteps by focusing on the youth. He was murdered with 20,000 Jews after being forced to dig a mass grave in a forest outside of Lvov (Lemberg). Rav Benzion was survived by two sons – Rav Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe (d. 2000), and Rav Yechezkel Dovid (d. 1978), as well as 7 daughters, the oldest of whom was Devora Leah Twerski, of Milwaukee.
Rav Eliyahu Glucksman, dayan of the Washington Heights (New York) community, teacher at Bais Yaakov and Rika Breuers Teachers Seminary. Born in Berlin, he escaped to England in 1938, where he studied under Rav Eliyahu Dessler. He later emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, where he learned at Bais Yosef, Petach Tikvah, and then 10 years in Bnei Brak at Kollel Chazon Ish (1921-2004).
Rav Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi from Tzefas, the Arizal (1534-1572), born in Jerusalem, son of Rav Shlomo Luria Ashkenazi, who is believed to be descended from Rav Yechiel Luria, Av Beis Din of Brisk and author of “Chochmas Shlomo on Shas and the Yad Shel Shlomo. His father passed away shortly after his birth, and Rav Klominus taught him. He and his family moved to Egypt when Ran Klominus died. There he learned with Rav Dovid ben Zimra, the Radvaz from age 14. Among the other talmidim was Rav Betzaelel Ashkenazi, author of Shitas Mekubetzes. He moved to Tzefas at age 36, in the same year that the Ramak, Rav Moshe Cordovero, was niftar. He was niftar 2 years later.
Rav Gedalyah Chiyun (1750). Born in Turkey, he founded the Yeshivas Beis Kel (in 1732), which studied Kaballah according to the approach of the ARI. His teacher was the great mekubal, Rav Chaim Alfandari. His greatest student was Rav Shalom Sharabi (Rashash) of Yemen. (5 Av, according to Yated 2007)
Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky of Vilna (1863-1940). Born in Ivye, a small town near Vilna where his father ( a talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter) was Rav for forty years, preceded by his grandfather who had also served as Rav there for forty years, Rav Chaim Ozer was gifted with an infallible memory - never experiencing "forgetting," as he himself remarked, until his old age. At 15 years of age, he went to the yeshiva of Volozhin and was immediately accepted in Reb Chaim Brisker's select group. He married the daughter of the Vilna dayan, Reb Lazer, son-in-law of Reb Yisrael Salanter at the age of 20. Two years later, his father-in-law died, and he took thenposition of dayan in Vilna, and over the next 55 years, he became the unofficial Rav of Vilna. His only child, a girl of seventeen, became ill, was bedridden for three years, and died at twenty. Reb Chaim Ozer was one of the founders of Agudath Israel and the pillar of the movement throughout his life. He authored Sheilos Utshuvos Achi’ezer. With his petira, the Jewish people lost three giants in 10 months: Rav Shimon Shkop, Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe for 25 years, and in Grodno (9 Cheshvan), and Rav Baruch Ber Levovitz of Kamenitz (5 Kislev)
Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer, Rav of Adas Yisrael of Berlin (1820-1899). The first Rosh Yeshiva of the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary, and formerly Rabbi of Eisenstadt, Hungary. The Berlin Seminary, which was created in response to the growth of Reform in Germany, continued in existence until the late 1930s under the leadership of such figures as R' Dovid Zvi Hoffman (until 1921), R' Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan (until 1924) and R' Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg. [other source claims 4 Tamuz]
Rav Binyomin Paler (1908-2000), a talmid muvhak of the Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzchak Zev HaLevi Soloveitchik. His mother was a direct descendent of the Rema. Born in Brisk, Rav Binyomin studied in Toras Chessed of Rav Moshe Sokolovski, author of the Imrei Moshe. In 1931, he transferred to the yeshiva of Rav Velvel Soloveitchik, the rav of Brisk. He traveled with the Mir yeshiva to Shanghai, where he drew close to the mashgiach, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein. After the war, he arrived in the United Sates and founded the Beis HaTalmud yeshiva in Brooklyn. Soon afterward he married the daughter of Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf. In 1967, he founded the Mekor Chaim yeshiva, where he taught for over thirty years.
Rav Shimon Nosson Nota Biederman. Born in Tiveria to Rav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Admor of Lelov, a descendent of the first Lelover Rebbe, Rav Dovid, who himself was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. When his father was niftar in 1981, Rav Shimon Nasan Nota became Admor and opened Mosdos Ohr Yaakov in his father’s memory; these included kollelim and chessed organizations. (1930-2004)
Rav Aharon Shakovitzky (1911-2005). Born to Rav Binyomin Shakovitzky, the Maggid of Minsk, Reb Aharon traveled alone to Eretz Yisrael at the age of 12 to study under Rav Leib Chasman at Yeshivas Chevron. He survived the Chevron Massacre of 1929 and later he lived in the home of Rav Yechezkel Sarna. After marrying, he and his wife lived in Tel Aviv and later in Bnei Brak. He studied with hasmodoh and yegi'oh his entire life, never wanting to take on the burden of the rabbinate.
Rav Yehoshua Greenwald, Av Beis Din of Chust. After suffering the horrors of World War II, he followed the Rambam’s advice and wrote that “strolling in beautiful gardens, looking at pleasing works of architecture, and being surrounded by beautiful objects, alleviate depression and expand one's mind.
Rav Shlomo Zalman Hanau (Katz) of Frankfurt-on-Main, author of Binyan Shlomo, a work on Hebrew grammar
Moshe ben Amram Greenwald (or Grunwald) of Chust, the Arugas Habosem (1915). A disciple of Rebbe Yusha Rokeach of Belz. His son, Rav Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya, became the Pupa Rebbe.
Rav Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf, son of Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld. Rosh Yeshiva of the Chasam Sofer yeshiva. Author of Ma'aneh Simcha (1926)
Don Yosef Hanasi
Rav Shmuel, son of Rav Yitzchak Isaac Yankowitz, Rishon LeZion Rebbe (1999)
Rav Shalom Noach Brazovsky, the Slonimer Rebbe (1911-2000). Born in Baranovich (today in Belarus), where his father, Rav Moshe Avraham, was the Rosh Hakahal. Baranovich was the home of the Slonimer Rebbe, Rav Avraham Weinberg, and his yeshiva, Toras Chessed. (Rav Weinberg, known as the "Bais Avraham," was a great-grandson and namesake of the first Slonimer Rebbe, known as the "Yesod Ha'avodah." Rav Brazovsky's mother was a granddaughter of Rav Hillel, a brother of the "Yesod Ha'avodah.") The future Rav Brazovsky studied in Yeshivas Toras Chessed under its rosh yeshiva, Rav Avraham Shmuel Hirshovitz (a grandson of Rav Eliezer Gordon of Telz), and its mashgiach, Rav Moshe Midner (a grandson of the "Yesod Ha'avodah" and a student of Rav Chaim "Brisker" Soloveitchik). He thus absorbed Talmudic studies in the Lithuanian style with traditional chassidic teachings. Shortly before his own passing in 1933, the Bais Avraham recommended to his cousin, Rav Avraham Weinberg of Teveryah that he take Rav Brazovsky as a son-in-law. (Rav Avraham's brother was the father of Rav Yaakov Weinberg, the late rosh yeshiva of Ner Israel, and Rav Noach Weinberg, founder of Aish Hatorah.) On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, 1941, Rav Brazovsky opened the Slonimer yeshiva in Yerushalayim. With the exception of the Yesod Ha'avodah, none of the Slonimer Rebbes or their predecessors, the rebbes of Lechovitch and Kobrin, committed their teachings to writing. As part of his effort to rejuvenate Slonimer chassidus, Rav Brazovsky was responsible for collecting the oral traditions ascribed to these leaders in works such as Divrei Shmuel and Toras Avos. Rav Brazovsky also authored many volumes of his own teachings, including the seven-volume Nesivos Shalom. Rav Brazovsky served as the Slonimer Rebbe from his father-in- law's death in 1981.
Rav Shmuel Shmelke Toibish, Rav of Yas (Jassi), author of Chayei Olam, Milchamos Hashem, and Mitzvas Chalitzah (1865).
Rav Yehuda HaLevy of Ragoza, founder of the Jewish yishuv in Yafo (1878).
Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv, the Alter from Kelm (1824-1898). After his marriage, he moved from Kelm to Kovno where he became a talmid muvhak of Rav Yisrael Salanter. In 1862, he opened the Talmud Torah of Kelm, in order to combat the growing influence of haskala. About 15 years later, he and his yeshiva were denounced as “anti-government, and Rav Simcha Zissel had to change his last name from Broide to Ziv. His talmidim included Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slobodka), Rav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz (the Alter of Novardok), Rav Aharon Bakst, Rav Reuven Dessler, and his son Rav Nachum Ziv. The yeshiva was always highly restricted and at most it held 30 to 35 talmidim.
Rav Shmuel Luvtzar, author of Olas Shmuel (1898).
Rav Shimon Agasi was born in Baghdad (1852-1914). His family originated in Persia. In Persian, his name Agasi, means "commissioner," a position some of his forebears, who were very wealthy and influential, had occupied in their native land. Rav Shimon's father, Rav Aharon, had been a very successful businessman who imported paint from India. At the age of eleven, Shimon began to study in Baghdad's Medrash Talmud Torah, founded by Rav Abdallah Somech. It developed rapidly to become the top Torah institution in the city, where over three thousand students studied free-of-charge. Among those who learned there were Rav Eliyahu Mani (the chief rav of Chevron), the Ben Ish Chai and Rav Salman Mutzafi. In 1865, a man, named Yitzchak Luria, came to Baghdad and attempted to open an Alliance school, which offered secular studies and tried to modernize the lifestyles of its students. However, Baghdad's sages placed a cheirem on the school and thwarted his efforts. From Medrash Talmud Torah, Rav Shimon proceeded to its adult division, Beit Zilcha, where he became one of its finest students. His main mentors in Beit Zilcha were Rav Abdallah Somech's two best students, Rav Shmuel Majled and Rav Nissim HaLevi. At the age of 17, Rav Shimon began to study Kabbalah from Rav Chaim Vital's Eitz Chaim. A number of years later, he joined the Chacham Yitzchak yeshivah, founded by Rav Yitzchak Berabi Mordechai Sasson, another of Baghdad's great sages. Among its illustrious students were Rav Yehuda Petaya, Rav Dovid Sofer, Rav Rafael Shlomo Laniado, Rav Nissim Kadouri and Rav Yitzchak Nissim. In 1898, his oldest son, Aharon, passed away on Purim of that year. Rav Agasi was the author of Shem MiShimon.
Rav Meilech Silber, menahel of the Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway (1970). Born in Nuremberg, Germany, his lifetime of serving his fellow Jews began at the age of 7: Rav Avrohom Yitzchok Klein, leader of the Adas Yisroel community in Nuremberg, would send him on secret missions in the early morning hours, going to the houses of poor families, leaving an envelope full of money on the step, knocking on the door, and then running away as fast as he could. With the advent of World War II, the Silber family moved to America, settling in the Bronx. He learned at different periods in RJJ, Torah Vodaas and Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin. He also served as National Director of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel, as well as Head Counselor of Camp Agudah. In 1946, Reb Meilech was sent by Rav Hutner to a new yeshiva in the Crown Heights neighborhood which was searching for a principal. At the time, the yeshiva consisted of 10 kindergartners, two teachers and, now, a principal. From this humble beginning grew the renowned Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway. Throughout the next 25 years, Reb Meilech built the yeshiva into a dynamic force in Torah education. Today, Yeshiva Zichron Meilech, under the leadership of Rav Chaim Leib Epstein, takes its name from Reb Meilech and strives to continue in his path.
Rav Chanoch Henich Dov Zilberfarb, the Koidenover Rebbe (1978).
Rav Yaakov Yitzchak HaLevi Horowitz, the Chozeh of Lublin (1754-1815), 8th generation from the Shelah HaKodesh; student of Reb Shmelke at Nikolsurg and Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. Many of his insights were published posthumously in Divrei Emes, Zichron Tov, and Zos Zichron
Dr. Leo (Shmuel) Deutschlander (1888-1935), one of the founders of the Bais Yaakov movement. Born in Berlin, Reb Shmuel’s father was niftar when he was five years old, and his mother just two years later. In addition to his Torah chinuch, he studied in the Universities of Berlin, Warburg, and Gussen, earning a doctorate in German history and literature. Following WW1, after Lithuania proclaimed its independence, he was invited to head of the Yavne religious school system in the Jewish Ministry of the new republic - a position he retained from 1919 to 1922. He was later instrumental in allocating funds to Sarah Schenirer’s first Bais Yaakov in Krakow.
Rav Yishak Nissim, Rishon LeTzion (1896-1981). Born in Baghdad, he came to Yerushalayim in 1925. In 1955, he was chosen as the Rishon L'Zion and the Chief Rabbi of Israel. He published two volumes of responsa, under the name “Good Wine” (Yayin Tov?)
Rav Yitzchak Yosef Zilber (1917-2004), born in Kazan, Russia, to Rav Ben Tzion, who had studied in the Slabodka yeshivah. Rav Ben Tzion taught Torah to his son, despite Soviet Russia's Mandatory Schooling Law. During the 1920s, in the Soviet Union, all of the Jewish schools were closed, and those caught studying or teaching Torah were exiled to Siberia. At the age of fifteen, Rav Yitzchak Yosef delivered shiurim throughout the city. At one point, he was arrested for his kiruv activities and thrown into prison. On Purim of 1953, when he was still in prison, Rav Yitzchak Yosef assembled fifteen Jews and taught them about Megilas Esther. In 1972, Rav Yitzchak Yosef finally received an aliyah permit. When he arrived in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Yitzchak Yosef took his son, Ben Tzion, to Meah Shearim. While there, he met Rav Beinish Finkel, the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Mir, with whom he became very close. Although Rav Yitzchak Yosef was overjoyed to be in Eretz HaKodesh, he was deeply disturbed by the fact that, during that period, very few Russian-born Jews kept Torah and mitzvos. Then and there, he launched an amazing array of activities on behalf of his Russian brothers. As in Russia, he would travel long distances to draw young Russians, who were scattered all over the country, closer to Torah. One of those young people was Eliyahu Rips, currently a professor of worldwide fame who lectures on the subject of the Bible Codes. Soon after his aliyah, Rav Yitzchak Yosef became a mashgiach ruchani in Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim, headed by Rav Baruch Horowitz. In that yeshivah, he paid special attention to its Russian baalei teshuvah. Over the years, he assisted and inspired all of the organizations for Russian immigrants, among them Shamir, Shevut Ami, Ohr Avner and the Russian departments of Ohr Sameach, Machon Lev and Aish HaTorah. Today, Toldos Yeshurun sponsors kollelim in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod, Netanyah, Ofakim, Beitar, Beit Shemesh, Neveh Yaakov, Netivot and Modi'in, while Rav Yitzchak Yaakov's daughter, Chavah Kuperman, runs a network of shiurim for women.
Yissachor ben Yaakov Avinu (1564 BCE)
Rav Don Yitzchak Abarbanel (1437-1508). Abrabanel was born in Lisbon, Portugal, to an illustrious Sephardic family which traced its lineage back to Dovid Hamelech. His grandfather, Rav Shmuel, escaped from Seville, Spain, when the Catolics destroyed the Jewish quarter, mudering many Jews. When Rav Yitzchak was only 20, he completed his first book, Ateres Zekeinim, and began to work on his famous commentary on the Torah. In the Summer of 1471, following the victory of King Alfonso V over Morocco, an emissary of the Moroccan Jewish community, Emmanuel ben Yitzchak, approached Don Yitzchak Abrabanel with a plea to assist in the ransom of 250 Jewish would-be slaves. The Abarbavnl was not only successful, he added his own funds to supply food and medicine. Abarbanel served as treasurer to King Alfonso until he was forced to move to Castile (Spain) and eventually entered the service of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1484. In March 1492, an edict was issued expelling the Jews from Spain, after the conquest of Granade. Despite his political influence he was unable to prevent the expulsion in 1492 and refused the king’s offer to remain at his post, choosing instead to throw in his lot with his people. On Tisha B’Av, he led 300,000 Jews out of the country. Only 10% reached safe shores. Rav Yitzchak found asylum in Naples, where he remained for seven years, until the French invaded. He then fled to Corfu and finally – in 1503 - to Venice, where he died. Most of his writings were composed in his later years when he was free of governmental responsibilities. [Hamodia 2005 says it’s 29 Tishrei]
Rav Shimon Ziat, one of the rabbonim of the Aram Tzova (Aleppo) community in Eretz Israel (1905-2000). When he was very young, his father passed away and, at the age of 14, he fled to Mexico City due to the hunger which prevailed in Syria after the First World War. His mentor was the mekubal Rav Mordechai Attias. In 1961, he moved to Eretz Yisrael with his entire family, settling in Bnei Brak where his sons founded Torah institutions and taught Torah.
Rav Hillel of Paritch, author of Pelach Harimon (1795-1864). A talmid muvhak of Rav Avraham Dov, Rav of Zhitomer. He served as Rav of Patrich, and later succeeded Rav Baruch Mordechai in Bobroisk. His other writings are included in Imrei Noam and Likutei Beurim (a commentary on various works of the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch).
Rav Yitzchak Blazer, author of Pri Yitzchak and Kochvei Ohr (1837-1907). One of the leading disciples of Rav Yisrael Salanter, Rav Yitzchak was born in Vilna, married at the age of 15, and moved to Kovno. At the age of 15, he became the Rabbi of St. Petersburg (hence his “other” name, Reb Itzele Peterberg), a position he held for 16 years. He spent the last 3 years of his life in Yerushalayim.
Rav Aharon Perlow, the Stoliner-Warsaw Rebbe (1942)
Rav Zevulun Aryeh Graz (1904-1989). Born in Ozband, Lithuania, to Rav Yosef Nesanael, a student of the Alter of Kelm and, for a while, the menahel ruchani of the Telz yeshivah. As a youngster, Rav Zevulun Aryeh studied for a while in Kelm, and then under Rav Eliyahu Lopian in Telz. In 1924, he joined a group of Telz students to Eretz Yisrael to study in the Knesses Yisrael yeshivah in Chevron, a branch of Slabodka. After the massacre of 1929, the survivors left Chevron and settled in Yerushalayim. Rav Zevulun Aryeh noved back to Lithuania in 1931, married, and delivered shiur at Yeshivah Ohel Moshe. Later, Rav Zevulun Aryeh studied in the Kovna kollel of Rav Avraham Kahana-Shapiro, the Dvar Avraham. In 1939, when the Nazis overran Lithuania, Rav Zevulun Aryeh, who already possessed Palestinian citizenship, headed back for Eretz Yisrael. Upon arriving, he moved to Chadera, where he stayed for 10 years. Rav Tzvi Yehuda Meltzer, the brother-in-law of Rav Aharon Kotler, was Rav of Pardess Channah at that time. Opening a branch of the Kletzk yeshivah in Pardess Channah, he invited Rav Zevulun Aryeh to deliver shiurim there. When Rav Tzvi Yehuda moved his yeshivah to Rechovot, he asked Rav Zevulun Aryeh to join him there, too. Every Erev Shabbos, Rav Zevulun Aryeh would return from Rechovot to his home in Chadera for Shabbos, in an armored vehicle that protected him from Arab snipers.
Rav Binyamin Wolf Lev, author of Shaarei Torah (1829)
Rav Aryeh Leib Katzenelenbogen, Rav of Brisk (1837)
Rav Yeshaya Weltfried of Kalisch (1939), a descendent of the Chozeh of Lublin, from his mother’s side. He married the daughter of Rav Yechiel Danziger, the first Alexander Rebbe, and eventually moved to Kalisch, where he established his court. He was nifter a month before the onset of WW II.
Rav Mordechai Banet of Nikolsburg, Hungary, author of Parashas Mordechai (1753-1829)
Rav Nosson Nota Shapira, author of Megaleh Amukos and Ranav Ofanim (1585-1633). Eliyahu HaNavi is said to have visited with him regularly. Son of Rav Shlomo Shapira, and grandson of Rav Matisyahu ben Yosef Treves of Provence (1325-1382) who was appointed Chief Rabbi of Paris by Charles the Fifth. The Shapiro family comes from the German town of Speyer from where the founder of the family escaped at the time of the First Crusade in 1096.
Rav Hillel of Paritsh (1795-1864). A chassid of Rav Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tzemach Tsedek, he served as the Rav of Bobruisk for many years, and authored Pelach HaRimon, a work of deep chassidic thought. (Yated 2007 says 11 Av)
Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, Menahel of Ezras Torah (1881-1973). Born in the Mohilev province of Russia, he studied at the Mir Yeshiva at the age of 15. Soon after, he became the youngest student in the yeshiva of Slutsk headed by R' Isser Zalman Meltzer. In 1923, R' Henkin was on the verge of being deported to a Soviet labor camp when he escaped to the United States. After being detained on Ellis Island for five weeks, he obtained a rabbinic position on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, R' Henkin published his important work on the laws of marriage and divorce entitled Perushei Ivra. In 1925, he was appointed Executive Director of the charitable organization Ezras Torah. He would remain in this position for 48 years. The halachic rulings in the Ezras Torah calendar are R' Henkin's, based on his work, Edut Le'Yisrael.
Rav Yosef Greenwald of Pupa (1984), author of Vayechi Yosef. Son of Rav Yaakov Yechezkel Greenwald, the previous Pupa Rebbe, author of Vayaged Yaakov, and grandson of Rav Moshe Greenwald of Chust, author of Arugas HaBosem.
Rav Yosef Naftali Stern, rosh yeshivas Pressburg in Yerushalayim (1971)
Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Liska, Hungary (1798-1874). Rav Tzvi Hirsch spent several years at the court of the Yismach Moshe, who spent a dominant role shaping his life. Rav Tzvi Hirsch authored Ach Pri Tevua and Hayashar Vehatov.
Rav Yitzchak Friedman, the Bohusher Rebbe (1903-1992). Born in Spikov, Russia to his father Rav Shalom Yosef
Nachum Ish Gamzu, Rabbi Akiva's rabbi for 22 years buried in Tsefas.
Rav Benzion Yadler, Maggid of Yerushalayim (1952 or 1962)
Rav Asher, the Stoliner Rebbe (1760-1828). The son of Rav Aharon Karliner, he was raised by Rav Shlomo Karliner after his father’s petira. Rav Asher later settled in Stolin.
Rav Shimon ibn Lavie, author of Kesem Paz and composer of “Bar Yochai” (1588)
Rav Tzvi Hirsch Halberstam, Rav of Rudnick (1846-1918), born to Rav Baruch Halberstam of Gorlitz (the son of Rav Chaim of Sanz) and Pes'l (the daughter of Rav Yekusiel Yehuda, the Yitav Lev of Sighet). At the age of fifteen, Rav Tzvi Hirsch married the daughter of Rav Yisrael of Barnov, the son of Rav Eliezer of Dzikov, and lived with his in-laws for the next three years. Afterwards, he moved to Sanz. In 1875, two years before his passing, Rav Chaim called in Rav Tzvi Hirsh and said to him, "I am old and sick and have no more strength. Therefore, I advise you to travel to your other grandfather, the Yitav Lev in Sighet, and study Torah from him." After studying in Sighet for a year, Rav Tzvi Hirsh received semicha from the Yitav Lev and became the rav of the Polish town of Niska for ten years. In 1887, his father, Rav Baruch, moved to Gorlitz and handed over his rabbinical post in Rudnick to Rav Tzvi Hirsh. Rudnick was a small town on the banks of the San River in southern Poland, near Russia. Four members of the Sanz dynasty served as rabbanim in this town - the renowned Rav Chaim Sanzer, Rav Yechezkel Shraga of Shiniva, Rav Baruch of Gorlitz and Rav Tzvi Hirsh. The dynasty began in 1812 when the Rudnick community approached Rav Naftali of Ropshitz with a problem. After Rav Baruch of Gorlitz's passing in 1906, Rav Tzvi Hirsh became Rebbe in his place. Rav Tzvi Hirsh's most famous son was Rav Yekusiel Yehuda, the Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe, who survived World War II and founded Kiryat Sanz and the Laniado Hospital in Netanyah, Israel. Although Rav Yekusiel Yehuda was only 13 when his father passed away, he had learnt a lifetime of wisdom from him. Rav Tzvi Hirsh passed away Kleinvarden, Hungary, and his body was brought to Gorlitz to intern him next to his own father, Rav Baruch. Rav Yekusiel Yehuda founded his court in Klausenberg, Transylvania, in 1927. After losing his first wife and eleven children in the Holocaust, he moved to America in 1947 and, in the 1980s, he moved to Eretz Yisrael. Since his passing in 1994, the court is led by two of his sons. His older son, Rav Tzvi Elimelech is the Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe in Netanyah, while his younger son, Rav Shmuel Dovid, leads the court in Boro Park.
Rav Chanoch Henich Dov Padwa, Rav of London (1906-2000). Born in the town of Busk, near Alesk, Galicia, as a young man he studied in Tzelim, and then in the Belz shteibel in Cracow. In time, his family moved to Vienna. There, Rav Chaim Pinter, the Rav of Bukovsk, who became his rav muvhak. From 1940 to 1955, he served as the rav of the Botei Rand neighborhood of Jerusalem. His first wife was niftar in 1946, leaving him with five children. In 1947, he married Yehudis, the daughter of Rav Avraham Aharon Sonnenfeld, the eldest son of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, and she raised his children as her own, even marrying them off. He served as Rav in London for almost 50 years.
Rav Yitzchak Meir Levine, Chairman of the world Agudas Yisrael organization
Sir Moshe (Chaim) Montefiore (1784-1885). Born in Livorno, Italy, of Sephardic descent, he traced his lineage back to the exiles from the Spanish Expulsion. When he was still a young child his family resettled in England. Young Moses became a member of the London Stock Exchange at a time when there were only 12 licensed Jewish brokers in all of England. In a matter of a few years he had amassed great wealth and had become a member of the London Aristocracy. In 1812, he married his wife Judith, whose sister was the wife of Reb Nathan Meyer Rothschild, one of the wealthiest Jews in Europe at the time. Sir Moses eventually became the stockbroker for his brother-in-law and as a result of their partnership they amassed a tremendous fortune. In addition, he was a partner in a large insurance company as well as a gas company that introduced gas lighting to many of the major cities of Europe. Sir Moses also had a hand in building railroads and many other industrial and financial enterprises. As the years passed, Moses and Judith grew together in their Yiddishkeit. In 1837, Montefiore was appointed Sheriff of London. In the same year, Queen Victoria, who had recently ascended the British Throne, awarded him the honorary title of Knighthood, bestowing upon him the title “Sir” Moses. In 1846, he was elevated to the rank of Baron. By the time he was 41 years old, Sir Moses, with his wife’s encouragement, decided to retire from business affairs and devote the rest of his life, time and considerable resources to Jewish affairs. The welfare of the Jewish People became his sole business for the next 60 some years and his list of accomplishments is truly magnificent. When he was appointed as Sheriff of London, he specifically wrote in his contract that he would be absolved from working on Shabbos and yom tov. He also specified that he was to be absolved from entering a Church on non-Jewish holidays. Even when he was traveling, he almost always made sure to travel with an entourage of at least 10 Jews to ensure that he would have a minyan. He also took one of the many sifrei Torah that he owned along with him. In 1840, a monk named Thomas disappeared from his home several weeks before Pesach. The French Counsel in Damascus blamed the Jews for his disapperance and claimed that they killed the monk to use his blood for matzos. Prominent Damascus Jews were imprisoned and tortured. Many died and some, who could not withstand the torture, “confessed” under duress to the crime. Upon learning of it, Sir Moses traveled to Damascus to save the country and the honor of the Jewish people. In 1846, Sir Moses was invited by the Russian government to visit Russia in connection with its Jewish situation. Upon returning to London, he demanded equal rights for the Jews and stressed that it would also be an economic blessing for the country. Montefiore’s 100th birthday was celebrated as an official holiday in London and he was accorded great honor by both Jew and non-Jew alike. The Montefiores died childless, but they left behind a legacy of tzedaka and chesed that endures to this very day.
Rav Shimshon Wertheimer (1658-1724). Born in Worms, Germany, he learned in the yeshivos of Worms and Frankfurt. After marrying the daughter of the Rav of Manheim in 1684, he moved to Vienna. Within a few years, he became the wealthiest Jew of his day. He served as finance minister for Austrian emperors Leopold I, Josef I , and Karl IV. In exchange for his services , Reb Shimshon requested better treatment for his fellow Jews throuought the Austrio-Hungarian Empire. He negotiated the Jews’ right to live in major cities, including Vienna and Frankfurt, he saved the Jews of Rothenberg from expulsion, and he intervened to save Jews of Worms and Frankfurt. He was also a talmid chacham and helped to establish 40 kehillos in Hungary. He founded and endowed a yeshiva in Frankfurt, setting up his son-in-law, Rav Moshe Kann, as Rosh Yeshiva. In Vienna, he set up a beis din. In 1712, he rebuilt the city of Nikolsburg, which had burned down. Reb Shimshon was also in charge of transferring monies to Eretz Yisrael from all of Europe. He also left behind kisvei yad on Torah, Midrash, and Kabbalah.
Rav Asher, author of Mayim Adirim (1804).
Rav Avraham Mordechai of Pintchov (1824)
Rav Shlomo Chaim Perlow of Koidenov (1862)
Rav Yehuda Levi (1783-1879). Born in Sarajevo to Reb Menachem Levi, he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, and became Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim in 1845. He passed away in Yaffa.
Rav Moshe Bernstein, Rosh Yeshivas Kamenitz. Born in the town of Turetz, he learned in Mir. He became the son-in-law of Reb Baruch Ber Lebowitz. Hired Rav Elya Lopian as mashgiach under the recommendation of Rav Moshe Aaron Stern.
Rav Shlomo Chanoch Rabinowitz, the 4th and last Rebbe of Radomsk, perished with his family in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was known for the network of Yeshivos Keser Torah he had established throughout Poland and Galicia. The Radomsker Chassidim during the period between the two World Wars, were counted among the three largest Chassidic movements in Poland. (1942)
Rav Yaakov Kuli (Culi), author of Me'am Loez (1732) [formerly listed here as 18 Av]
Rav Shimon Shalom Kalish, the Amshinover Rebbe (1863-1954). Born to Rav Menachem of Amshinov, a grandson of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka, founder of the Vorka-Amshinov dynasty. During his teens, Reb Shimon was sent to learn with his uncle, Rav Yeshaya of Peshischa. His uncle was so impressed with him that he took him as a son-in-law. In 1918, Rav Menachem of Amshinov passed awy, and his older son, Rav Yosef took his place as Rebbe. Rav Shimon was sent to Otvotzk, a suburb of Warsaw. He also became a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. In 1933, he spent a full year in Eretz Yisrael with his son, Rav Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir. Although he wished to stay, his obligations forced him to move back to Europe. The Rebbe escaped to Kobe, Japan, along with a group pf talmidim of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, and the entire Mir Yeshiva. After the war, he spent 8 years in America. He passed away while planning his emigration to Eretz Yisrael, a goal he never accomplished. He did author the sefer, Mashmia Shalom. His son, Rav Meir, became the Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan and was niftar in 1976.
Rav Aryeh Leib Balchover of Zaslev, author of Shem Aryeh (1851)
Rav Aharon Menachem Mendel of Alesk (1923)
Rav Menachem Nachum of Boyan (1868-1936). The oldest of the Pachad Yitzchak's four sons, he was the grandson of Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger.
Rav Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944). Born to Rav Baruch Schneur, the oldest of the seven sons of the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel (the Tzemach Tzedek). He was a devoted chasid of Rav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe (the Rebbe Rashab). After the Rebbe Rashab passed away, Rav Levi Yitzchak became equally dedicated to his successor, Rav Yosef Yitzchak, or the Rebbe Rayatz. Rav Levi Yitzchak and Rebbitzen Chana had three sons. The oldest, Rav Menachem Mendel, became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rav Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of the major Ukrainian city Yekaterinoslav (today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest and exile.
Rav Eliezer of Azipalle, youngest son of Rav Yehuda Tzvi of Stretn and grandson of Rav Uri of Strelisk (1865)
Rav Meir Rabinowitz (1916-2006). The son of the Skolya Rebbe, Rav Dovid Yitzchak Eisik Rabinowitz, Reb Meir was born in Vienna during World War I. He spent three months in forced labor, and escaped with the help of Skolya Chassidim. Arriving in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he and his brother opened a Skolya Beis Midrash. He, his wife and daughter followed his father to Williamsburg, then toBoro Park. When the Rebbe was niftar in 1979, Reb Meir refused to take over and appointed his son-in-law, Rav Raphael Goldstein. Being entirely mevatel himself, he served his son-in-law with the same kavod he had shown his father.
Rav Chaim Soleveitchik of Volozhin and Brisk (1853-1918). Son of the Beis Halevi, Rav Yosef Dov Soleveitchik, Rav Chaim was born in Volozhin, but moved with his family to Slutzk while still quite young, when his father became Rav of the city. When Rav Chaim was 20, he married Lifsha, the daughter of Rav Raphael Shapira, the son-in-law of the Netziv. Since Rav Raphael was a rish mesivta in Volozhin, Rav Chaim moved there. When Rav Raphael moved away, Rav Chaim took the post of rosh mesivta. Volozhin in 1880. In 1892, following the closing of the Volozhin yeshivah, Rav Chaim moved to Brisk where he succeeded his father as the community Rav. Rav Chaim is buried next to the Netziv in the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw. His oldest son was Rav Moshe, who was the father of Rav Yosef Dov and Rav Ahron Soleveitchik. His other famous son was Rav Yitzchak Zev (the “GRIZ”), also known as Reb Velvel, the Brisker Rav of Yerushalayim.
Rav Aharon Rokeach, fourth generation Belzer Rebbe (1880-1957). He escaped the Nazis and made aliyah in 1944, establishing his court in Tel Aviv. The current Belzer Rebbe is his nephew.
Rav Mordechai ben Hillel, the "Mordechai" (~1230-1298). A descendent of the Ravyah, he was a principle disciple of the Maharam miRottenberg, and a close friend of the Rosh. The Mordechai cites views of French and German authorities and brings the piskei halacha of the Tosefos without the discussion. He, his wife, and their five children were all burned at the stake during the Rindfleisch pogroms, when over 100,000 Jews in Bavaria and Austria were murdered, and well over 100 communities disappeared.
Rav Meir HaGadol of Premishlan. One of the closest Chasidim of the Baal Shem Tov, his grandson (also Reb Meir) became more famous than he. (1773)
Rav Eliyahu HaKohen Dushnitzer, Mashgiach of Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva (1949). He authored Nachalas Eliyahu. He was involved with the famous dybuk story, which also involved the Chafetz Chaim
Rav Shmuel Meyuchas of Yerushalayim (1771)
Rav Dovid Sutton Dabbah (1885-1949). Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he married in 1910, and was asked to serve as the Rav of Killis, Turkey, near the Syrian border. He returned to Syria in 1916, but his wife died at the age of 25 one year later. He remarried in 1918, and left for Yerushalayim in 1924, as daily life for Jews in Syria became quite difficult. Settling in the Bucharim neighborhood, he studied at the Yeshiva Porat Yosef. Several years later, he traveled to Argentina, hoping to raise funds for the Jews of Yerushalayim. Shortly after his arrival, the leader of the Syrian community in Argentina, Rav Shaul Sutton, was niftar, and Rav Dovid was asked to succeed him. He became Rav and Av Beis Din of Buenos Aires and authored Yaaleh Hadas, chidushim on gittin and mishpatei beis din.
Rav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, author of Kehillas Yaakov (1899-1985). His father, Reb Chaim Peretz, was a shochet in Horensteipel. When Ren Chaim Peretz was 60 years old, his wife died, leaving him with three daughters. He asked his rebbe, Rav Mordechai Dov, the son-in-law of Rav Chaim Sanzer, whether he should remarry. On the latter’s recommendation, he married a young woman, and he fathered three sons. The oldest was Rav Yaakov Yisrael. At the age of 11, Rav Yaakov Yisrael was recruited to learn with Rav Yosef Yosel Hurvitz at Novardock. At 19, he was sent by the Alter of Novardock to head a yeshiva at Rogatshov. After a stint in the Russian army, he was appointed rosh yeshiva of Novardock at Pinsk. The Chazon Ish saught him as a husband for his sister. He authored many works, most notably Kehillas Yaakov. His son, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, is a leading Torah authority in Yisrael.
Rav Shimon Goldstein (1942-2005). Born in Williamsburg to Reb Dovid and Rochel Goldstein, he learned in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, and was orphaned of both his parents at a young age. He resided with his grandmother for a few years. After her petirah, he moved into the Chaim Berlin dormitory as a young teenager. He became very close to the rosh yeshiva, Rav Yitzchak Hutner, who had a major hashpa’ah on his derech halimud and hashkafa. Despite his difficult situation, he was one of the happiest talmidim in the yeshiva. After his marriage, Rav Shimon continued learning in the yeshiva, and joined the staff as a rebbi three years later. Rav Shimon never left the koslei bais medrash for any other employment until the day of his petirah, a beloved eighth grade rebbi for decades.
Rav Aharon of Terbeli, author of Machneh Aharon (1741).
Rav Ephraim Zalman Margulies, Rav of Brod, author of Mateh Ephraim, Beis Ephraim, Olelos Ephraim, Shaarei Ephraim (1762-1828)
Rav Dovid Ortinberg of Berditchev, the Tehilla LeDovid (1910)
Rav Shalom Halperin, the Vasloier Rebbe (1857-1939). Born in Sadigua to Rav Dovid Halpern, who was a son-in-law of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin. At the age of seventeen, he married his cousin Chana Sarah, the daughter of the first Bohusher Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak. When Rav Shalom was nearing forty years of age, the Bohusher Rebbe decided that it was time for his son-in-law to lead his own chassidim.
Rav Moshe Hager of Antiniya (1994)
Rav Yeshayahu Menachem ben Yitzchak of Cracow, the originator of the Heter Iska (1599
Rav Yehuda Fatiyah (Pethayya; Patia) (1859-1942), the foremost student of the Ben Ish Chai, who said that he was the reincarnation of the “Noda B'Yehuda.” He said that he had to come back to the earth for although in his last lifetime, he was a tzaddik, he did not fulfill his Torah obligation to study Kabbalah. So in this life, the study of Kabbalah was his main focus and tikkun. Born in Baghdad, he eventually moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he was nifter. His most famous sefer, Minchas Yehuda, is one of the most revelatory works about demons, how they act and deceive people. He was an expert in exposing these demons and casting them out. He also authored Beis Lechem Yehuda. (Yated 2006 – 27 Av)
Rav Meir Ashkenazi, Rav of Shanghai (1891-1954). Born in Tcherikov, in Russia's Pale of Settlement., to Lubavitcher Chassidim. At the outbreak of the First World War, his family -- together with many others -- fled Russia to Manchuria. It was there, in the city of Harbin, that Rav Meir and Toiba Liba were married. Rav Ashkenazi and his family moved to the port-city of Vladivostok on the eastern coast of Russia. Not long afterwards, in 1918, the community there appointed Rav Ashkenazi as their rabbi. After seven years, he moved to assist the small Jewish community in Shanghai, China. Deteriorating conditions in Europe in the 1930's led to a slow stream of German, Austrian, and Russian Jews into the Far East, which increased considerably at the outbreak of the Second World War. By the end of 1941, there were 18,000 Jewish refugees in Shanghai, ten times the number of Jews in Shanghai just ten years earlier.
Rav Yoel Teitelbaum of Sighet, the Satmar Rav (1888-1979). A descendent of the Yismach Moshe (Rav Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujhel), “Reb Yoilish” traced his ancestry to the Maharsha and the Rema. He received his early training from his father, Rav Yomtov Lipa Teitelbaum, Rav of Sighet and author of Kedushas Yomtov. He then became a chasid of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam in Shinava (the Divrei Yechezkel). At the age of 17, he was appointed Rav of Musza in Czechoslovakia. After appointments at Orshova and Kroli, he became Rav of Satmar from 1935 to 1944. He was one of 1684 Hungarian Jews saved from the Nazi killing machine as a result of the negotiations of Rav Michael Ber Weissmandl with Adolf Eichmann. In 1946, he arrived in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and rebuilt to Satmer community. He authored V'yoel Moshe and Divrei Yoel.
Rav Eliyahu Baruch Goldschmidt (1935-2000). Rav Elya was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his parents had moved in 1938, along with their three-year-old son, in flight from Nazi Germany. Rav Elya moved to Lakewood in 1960 and drew close to Rav Aharon Kotler. He spent 20 years at Lakewood, followed by another 20 years as mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva Gedolah Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg. Rav Elya was suddenly niftar while working on a new sefer on Shalom bayis entitled Dear Son, planned as a counterpart to his best- selling Dear Daughter on the same subject.
Rav Yehoshua Charif of Cracow (1648), author of Maginei Shlomo, an attempt to resolve the questions of the Baalei Tosefos against Rashi. He was the great-grandfather of the Pnei Yehoshua. Born in Vilna at end of 16th century, he arrived in Cracow in 1640 as Rosh Yeshiva, replacing Rav Yoel Sirkis (the Bach) as Rav a few months later. He held the position until Rav Yom Tov Lipman Heller (Tosefos Yom Tov) became Rav in 1643. Among his talmidim was Rav Shabsai Cohen (the Shach).
Rav Avraham Mordechai Alter (1853), son of the Chidushei Harim and father of the Sfas Emes.
Rav Yehuda Fattiah, Iraqi Gadol and mekubal, author of Beis Lechem Yehuda (1941)
Rav Shmuel Tzvi Hersh Horowitz of Spinka (1921-1997), Spinka Rebbe of Williamsburg, grandson if Rav Isaac Weiss (1875-1944), who was the author of Chakal Yitzchak.
Rav Menachem Kohn (1964-2006). Born to Mr. and Mrs. Yosef Yitzchak Eizik Kohn, both Holocaust survivors who had moved to Los Angeles after the war. He was the youngest of four brothers. A watershed in his life was his entry into the Telshe Yeshiva at the age of 14, following in the footsteps of his brothers who had also learned in Telshe. For the next 28 years, his neshama became bound to the yeshiva of Telshe, its Roshei Yeshiva and talmidei chachomim. Throughout the years, Reb Menachem penned his own chiddushei Torah, and a number of years ago he published two sefarim, one on Mesechta Beitza and the second on Mesechta Moed Kotton. He called the sefarim Ateres Avi, in memory of his father. The day before the accident which took his life, Reb Menachem went to Monroe to daven at the tziyun of the Satmar Rebbe on his yahrtzeit. He also went to visit the current Satmar Rebbe.
Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv, (1817-1893). He was born in Mir, the son-in-law of Rav Isaac, son of Rav Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821) he married the granddaughter of Rav Chaim Volozhiner when he was 14 years old. In 1849, upon the petira of Rav Yitzchak, the father-in-law of the Nertziv, Rav Yitzchak was succeeded by his older son-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yitzchak. However, he died five years later, and the Netziv was appointed Rosh Yeshiva, a position he held for 40 years. Volozhin was forcibly closed by the Russians in 1893. He wrote Haamek Davar, a commentary on the Chumash, Haamek She’elah on the She’eltos of Rav Achai Gaon, and Meshiv Davar, a collection of his responsa. Among his children were Rabbi Chaim Berlin and Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan (born to two different mothers).
Rav Avraham Chaim Ades (1848-1925), born in Halab (Aram Soba), Syria, among the most ancient Jewish communities in the world. According to tradition, Jews lived there even before the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash. As a youngster, Rav Avraham studied under Rav Mordecahi Abadi and Rav Ezra Tawill Hakohen. At the age of 20, he married the daughter of Rav Moshe Swed, rav of Aram Soba. In 1896, Rav Avraham immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. Soon after his arrival, he learned at Rechovot Hanahar, a kabbala yeshiva in the Bucharian neighborhood. Among his students were Rav Yosef Yedid Halevi, Rav Shlomo Raphael Laniado, Rav Ezra Chamawi, Rav Ezra Attia (later to become rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef), and Rav Yaakov Katzin.
Rav Avraham Yaakov HaKohen Pam (1913-2001). Rav Pam’s father, Rav Meir, was a product of Soloboka and Radin. As a child, Rav Pam studied in Kovna. His family later moved to the United States, where his father was appointed to the faculty of Rabbenu Chaim Berlin yeshiva. Tthe thirteen-year-old began to study in Torah VoDaas. He became very close with the rosh yeshiva, Rav Dovid Lebowitz, and Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. After his marriage, he taught at Torah VoDaas for 60 years. After the petirah of Rav Moshe Feinstein, he was appointed president of Chinuch Atzmai in the United States. He was also a member of the presidium of the largest Torah organization in America, Torah Umesorah. He founded the Shuvu organization for the chinuch of Russian children in Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Moshe Finkel, born in Mir to Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel. He gew up with his great-grandfather, Rav Baruch Kamai, the Rav of Mir. He learned at Slobodka under his grandfather, Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel, the Alter of Slobodka, then at Kelm, where he learned bechavrusa with Rav Povarsky, then at BBaranovitch, under Rav Elchanan Wasserman and Rav Shlomo Heiman. Shortly before WW2, he immigrated to Yerushalyim and married the daughter of Rav Mordechai Davod Levin, author of Darchei Dovid. There, he worked diligently under his father for the Mir Yeshiva (1909-2004).
Rav Shmuel Salant, Rav of Yerushalayim (1816-1909). Born in Bialystok, Russia, his father passed away soon afterwards, and he was sent off to study in Salant, Lithuania, where it had already been arranged that he would eventually marry Toiba, the oldest daughter of Rav Yosef Zundel of Salant, from whom Rav Shmuel took his surname. Soon after his marriage, Rav Shmuel moved to Volozhin, where he was appointed magid shiur. He made aliyah in 1841. From 1848 to 1851, Rav Shmuel served the Yerushalayim community as a meshulach. In 1878, he was voted as the chief Ashkenazi rav of Yerushalayim to replace Rav Meir Auerbach who had just passed away.Rav Shmuel Salant managed to unify the many groups of Azhkenazim of Yerushalayim, and to lead them successfully for 50 years.
Rav Menachem Mendel Alter of Pavinitz (1942)
Rav Eliezer Zusia Portugal, the Skulener Rebbe (1897-1982), from a small town, Sculeni (Skulen), in what was then northeastern Romania (now Ukraine). Just 18 years of age when his father dies, he became Rav of the town, a position he held for 20 years. The the Sadigerer Rebbe who persuaded the Rebbe to relocate to the large Jewish center of Chernovitz, home to a Jewish population numbering many thousands, to oversee Jewish education there. Toward the end of World War II, in March of 1945, he found himself, along with other holocaust survivors and displaced persons, in the Russian-governed town of Czernovitz, Bukovina. Rav Portugal was particularly known for his work on behalf of Holocaust orphans and for his spiritual resistance against Romania's communist government. In 1962, he launched the crowning glory of his life's work - the Torah network of Chesed L'Avraham in Eretz Yisrael, which eventually expanded to four Chesed homes and schools for hundreds of children from various tragic backgrounds, as well as a countrywide network of afternoon programs for children in public schools. More than 50,000 children have gone through its ranks.
Rav Yosef Meir Twersky of Machnovka (1857), son of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Geshel from Skvira. Machnovka is located in western Ukraine, 13 miles SSE of Berditchev and 96 miles SW of Kiev. It is situated along the west bank of the Gnilopyat River. It was within the "Pale of Settlement" of the Russian Empire. In the census of 1897, the village of Makhnovka had 2,435 Jews out of a total population of 5,343 (about 45%). In 1939, the Jewish population of Makhnovka was 843. The Germans captured the town on July 14, 1941 and on the 9th of September executed 835 Jews in the Zhezhlevsk forest. A ghetto was then set up for the few hundred Jews still in the area. They were all murdered in a number of "Aktions" in 1942.
Rav Shmuel Sperber (1905-1985). Born in Brasov, Transylvania, where his father, Rav Dovid, was the rabbi. As a youth, Shmuel studied in the yeshivos of Oyber-Visheve, Hungary under the tutelage of Rav Eliezer Dovid Gruenwald and Rav Mendel Hager. After receiving semichah and marrying, Rav Sperber lived in Iasi, Romania. In 1931, after being attacked by anti-Semites, he decided to leave Romania and settle in England. There, he enrolled in law school at the University of London and also founded a yeshiva, Ohr Torah. With the arrival in England of the large transports of German-Jewish children on the eve of the Holocaust, Rav Sperber became actively involved in comforting and educating them. At this same time, Rav Sperber became active in the Mizrachi movement, and he opened a camp in North Wales to prepare approximately 200 children for life on a kibbutz. Later he moved to Manchester, where he continued to work with youth, and then back to London to become an adjunct professor at the University of London. In 1971, Rav Sperber settled in Israel. One of his sons is the author of a multi-volume work on the history of minhagim / customs and of unusual ritual objects.