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Compiled by Reb Manny Saltiel
Select Month:  
1 Nissan

Nadav and Avihu, bnei Aaron Hakohen (1309 BCE)

Rav Moshe Yosef Hoffman, the dayan from Pupa

2 Nissan

Rabbeinu Baruch, father of the Maharam miRottenberg (1275)

Rav Eliyahu Kalmankash, Rav of Lublin (1633)

Rav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, the Rebbe RaShaB, 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe (1860-1920). He is the author of hundreds of major tracts in the exposition of Chassidic thought.

Rav Yaakov Yosef Twersky, Skverer Rebbe (1899-1968). In the summer of 1919, because of the pogroms in the Ukraine that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, the family moved to Kiev. A few months later, on 15 Kislev, his father, Rav Dovid, the Skverer Rebbe, was niftar, and the following fall, the remaining family left for Kishinev, Bessarabia (Moldavia). In 1925, Reb Yaakov Yosef married and moved to Belz. A few years later, he returned to Romania and led the Skverer Chasidim in Kolorash as their Rebbe. In the winter of 1945, he moved to Bucharest, from where he moved to the United States (in 1948). After establishing his court in Boro Park, then Williamsburg, he founded New Square in 1957.

3 Nissan

Rav Aryeh Leib Grossnass, author of Lev Aryeh

Rav Eliyahu Meir Finkel, Nasi Yeshivas Mir, Jerusalem, and father of the current Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel.

Rav Dovid Stavsky (1930-2004), served in the Columbus (Ohio) Jewish community for the last past 47 years of his life, including as Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation. He graduated from Yeshiva University with a B.A. in Psychology in 1952, ordained at the RIETS in 1955, and earned a Masters degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1966. Served as Chaplain in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital and was the Post-Chaplain at Fort Carson in Denver, Colorado from 1955-1957. He helped found Columbus Torah Academy in 1958, led the effort to build a mikvah (ritual bath) in Columbus in 1970, helped found the Columbus Community Kollel (learning center) in 1994.

4 Nissan

Rav Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenberg, author of HaKesav Vehakabala (1865)

Rav Yochanan Twersky of Rachmistrivka (1816-1895), son of the Maggid of Chernobyl.

5 Nissan

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt, the Ohev Yisrael (1755-1825). He learned under Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk and Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. In 1800 he accepted the post of Rabbi of Apta. Although he held many other rabbinic positions, to the chasidim he remained always the Apter Rav. He lived his last years in Medzibosh, the birthplace of the Baal Shem Tov.

Rav Shneur Zalman Ashkenazi of Lublin, Rav of Polotzk, Lublin; author of Toras Chessed (1830-1902).

Rav Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz, the tzadik of Ofakim, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of the Negev. (1915-1995)

Rav Tzvi Elimelech Spira (1841-1924). Born to Rav Dovid of Dinov, son of Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yissaschar), he became very close to Rav Chaim, the Sanzer Rav, at a very early age. At the age of 16, he married Sarah Horowitz, a great-granddaughter of Rav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz. He was appointed Av Beis Din of Bluzhov. In 1874, with the passing of his father, his older brother, Rav Naftali Hertz, became Rebbe of Dinov, but with his passing a few years later, most of the Chasidim followed Rav Tzvi Elimelech.

6 Nissan

Rav Shmuel Yehuda Katzenellenbogen (1521-1597). The son of Rav Meir of Padua (the Maharam Padua), Rav Shmuel was born in Padua. He served on the Beis Din of Venice and became Rav of the city and headed its yeshiva. His sefer, Drashos R’ Shmuel Yehuda, also called Shteim Esre Drashos, is sometimes erroneously named Drashos Mahari Mintz.

Rav Yaakov Temerlis (1668). Borns in Worms, he traveled to Lublin and then Kremenitz, Poland. Late in life, he moved to Vienna. His sefarim included Sifra DiTzniyusa DeYaakov, a kabbalistic commentary on the Torah.

Rav Chaim Abulafya, born in Chevron, Rav of Tzefas, Izmir (Turkey), Tveria (1660-1744), known as a miracle worker

Rav Aharon Roth, author of Shomer Emunim (1947)

Rav Meir Dan Plotsky (Plotzki) of Warsaw (1866-1928), the son of Rav Chaim Yitzchak Ber Plotzker from Kutno, a chassid of Rav Chanoch Henich of Alexander, and then of the Sfas Emes of Ger. At the age of nine, Reb Meir Dan was sent to learn in the yeshiva of Rav Chaim Eliezer Wacks, the Nefesh Chayah, in Kalish. Shortly before his Bar Mitzvah, he became a talmid of Rav Avraham of Sochotchov, the Avnei Nezer, whom he considered his lifelong rebbi muvhak. He married at the age of 15 and spent the next 10 years in Dvohrt with his in-laws. In 1891, he became Rav in Dvohrt. Later he helped expose the forged Yerushalmi on Kodshim, claimed to be discovered by Shlomo Yehuda Friedlander, who also claimed he was a Sefardi named Shlomo Yehuda Algazi. At the age of 36, he published his work on the Sefer Hamitzvos of the Rambam, called Chemdas Yisrael. In 1918, he became Rav of Ostrov-Mozbaisk in eastern Poland. He was voted chairman of Agudas Harabbanim of Poland, a prelude to Agudas Israel. At the age of 60, he left rabbanus to head a large yeshiva in Warsaw, known simply as the Mesivta. Rav Meir Dan also authored Kli Chemda on Chumash and Chemdas Shlomo on Orach Chaim.

7 Nissan

Rav Yitzchak of Drovitch (Drohobich) (1758). He was the father of R' Yechiel Michel, the Maggid of Zlotschov. In later years, Rav Yitzchak served as the official maggid or "mochiach" (admonisher) and dayan in the beis din of Brod at the time when Rav Yitzchak of Hamburg was serving as the town's rav. Rav Yitzchak's name is specifically attached to Drohobitch, a town that lies 40 miles south of Lelov and today is a major petroleum refining center. Like many towns in this region, the town switched nationalities periodically during its history, starting off as a Ukrainian village before becoming part of Galicia. In the 14th century Drohobitch became Polish when King Kazimierz annexed Galicia to Poland. Then Austria seized the town in 1772 during a partition of Poland. Poland grabbed it back for 20 years just before World War II and, today it is once more under Ukrainian control, minus its Jewish population. In 1939 Drohobitch had about 10,000 Poles, 10,000 Ukrainians and 15,000 Jews. [Hamodia 2006 says 1744]

Rav Pinchas Zelig, Rav of Lask and author of Ateres Paz (1670).

Rav Aryeh Leib Yelin of Bialystock, author of Yefeh Einayim (1884)

Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib Epstein (Leibush the 2nd) of Oztrov (1852-1928), son of Rav Yechiel Chaim of Oztrov and grandson of Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib HaLevi (Leibush HaGadol), founder of the Oztrov dynasty. In his early teens, he married Rebbetzin Draizel, who herself learned Gemara and personally tested their five sons. Rav Leibush succeeded his father as Rebbe in 1888. His most famous follower was Rav Meir Yechiel HaLevi Halshtok of nearby Ostrovtza. Rav Leibush was succeeded by his oldest son, Rav Avraham Shlomo, whom in turn was followed by his son Rav Moshe Yechiel HaLevi Epstein (the Aish Das of Oztrov, 1890-1971). Save for its 350-year old cemetery, nothing remains today of the town of Oztrov. [Hamodia says 1914]

Dr. Moshe Wallach, founder of Shaarei Tzedek hospital (1957)

8 Nissan

Rav Eliyahu ben Binyamin Wolf Shapiro MiPrague, the Eliyah Rabba on Shulchan Aruch, and Eliyah Zuta on the Levush to Orach Chaim. He was a student of the Magen Avraham in his youth (1660-1712).

Rav Eliyahu Hakadosh of York, Rabbeinu Yom Tov, and several other English Tosafists, who perished at Clifford's Tower, during the Crusades, 1146.

Rav Yaakov Tzvi Yales of Premezyl, author of Melo Haroim and Kehillas Yaakov (1825)

Rav Yechiel Michel Tikochinsky, author of Gesher HaChaim [also listed under 25 Teves]

Rav Mordechai of Neshchiz (1740-1800). Descended from the Maharal of Prague and Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, Rav Mordechai was a disciple of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. His sayings were collected in Rishpei Eish. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Yitzchak of Neshchiz.

Rav Yechiel Michel (ben Aron) Tukachinsky, Rosh Yeshivah of Eitz Chaim in Yerushalayim (1872 [or 1874]-1955). He authored many sefarim relating the halakhic observance in the Land and State of Israel (including Sefer Eretz Yisrael, Sefer Hashemitah, Ir HaKodesh V'HaMikdash, and others. He is authored Gesher HaChaim on the laws of mourning.

9 Nissan

Rav Yosef Yozfe Norlingen (1637), author of Yosef Ometz.

Rav Yaakov Tzvi Yalish (Yolles) of Dinov, the Melo Haro’im {Malei Roim} (1778-1825). He was born in Premeshyl, but moved in with his grandfather, the Rav of Mezhibuzh, after his mother passed away at an early age. He was a chassid of the Chozeh of Lublin, and he also authored Kol Yaakov (on Torah and Nach). Dinov is a town 175 miles SSE of Warsaw, in the Lvov district. Jews are first noted in 1552.The Dinov Chassidic dynasty was started by Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira. By 1880 the Jewish population stood at 1,241 (total 2,784). Most of the Jews left Dynów for Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Austria at the outbreak of World War I, returning four years later to find the town virtually destroyed. On 15 Sept. 1939, an SS unit arrived and rounded up 300 men and shot them in the forest. The Great Synagogue was burned to the ground on the same day. The rest of the Jews were expelled to Soviet-held territory. Some 200-250 survived the war, most in the Soviet Union. Rav Yaakov Tzvi served as Rav in Dinov, and later of two other cities, but decided to devote himself to full-time learning and left Rabbaus. He also authored Beis Vaad Lechachamim on the history of the Tana’im and Amora’im, Emes Le’Yaakov on Torah, Chinuch Beis Yehudah (named for his grandfather) on Chanukah, Parashas Derachim Zuta, and his most famous sefer Melo Haro’im.

Rav Aryeh Levine, the Tzadik from Yerushalayim, Mashgiach, Yeshiva Eitz Chaim (1885 1969); emigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1905

Rav Chaim Meir Hager, the Imrei Chaim (1887-1972). Son of Rav Yisrael of Vizhnitz, he became the son-in-law of Rav Zev of Rachmistrivka. In 1910, he became Rav of Wilhovitz. After World War II, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and established Kiryat Vizhnitz in Bnai Brak where he rebuilt Chassidus Vizhnitz as Rebbe for 35 years.

10 Nissan

Miriam HaNavia (1272 BCE)

Rav Betzalel Hacohen, Rav of Vilna, author of Mareh Cohen and Shu”T Reishis Bikkurim. [note: a sefer by the same name was written by Rav Dov Ber Baruchoff of Congregation Beth Israel in Malden, MA; d Pesach 1939]

Rav Shalom Mashash, Sephardic Rav of Yerushalayim (1909-2003). Born the Moroccan city of Meknes, a city of Torah known as the Yerushalayim of Morocco. Rav Shalom learned under Rav Meir Toledano until the age of 14. His father then sent him to learn under the great sage Rav Yitzchak Sabag. Writing in his sefer, Tevu'as Shemesh, Rav Shalom declares, "The fact that I was able to grow in Torah may be credited to my father, who did not yield to the pressures and offers that I pursue lucrative positions in banks….Thus, all the credit for my Torah learning is his, too.” His other main mentor was his relative from both his paternal and maternal sides, Rav Yehoshua Birdugo, the raavad of Meknes. In 1960 with the petirah of the chief rav and dayan of Casablanca, Rav Dovid Ibn Sussan, Rav Shalom became its raavad and chief rav, serving there for thirty years. In 1978, he moved to Eretz Yisrael to take the position as Chief Sepharic Rav of Yerushalayim.

11 Nissan

Rav Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban, (1194-1270). Born in Gerona, he remained there most of his life. He was a student of the Ramah (Rabbeinu Meir ha'Levi Abulefia). He authored the Milchamos Hashem on the Rif Alfasi against the critique of Baal HaMaor and Ravad. He also wrote a work defending the Bahag against the Rambam’s criticisms of his classification of mitzvos. He wrote an account of his public disputation in Barcelona with the convert Pablo Christiani in 1263. The Ramban’s commentary on Chumash is multi-dimensional including all methods of interpretation from simple pshat to esoteric Kabbala. The Ramban held that the mitzva of settling Eretz Yisrael applies even today and ultimately settled there himself during the last years of his life.

Rav Yeshayah Horowitz, author of Shnei Luchos Habris (Shelah Hakodesh) (1560-1630), born in Prague, where he became chief rabbi. In his later years he moved to Eretz Yisrael and became the chief rabbi of Yerushalayim.

Rav Betzalel Hakohen of Vilna, author of Mareh Kohen

12 Nissan

Rav Shlomo Zalman Lifshitz, Rav of Warsaw, author of Chemdas Shlomo (1839) [11 Nissan according to Yated 2007] Rav Shlomo was born in Posen, which was part of Poland at the time. Posen was a Torah metropolis for centuries. Its rabbonim included the Maharsha, the Maharal and the Levush. (Rav Akiva Eiger would serve Posen, beginning in 1815.) Rav Shlomo learned under the son-in-law of the Noda bi'Yehuda, known as Yosef haTzaddik, who was Rav in Posen, for 25 years until his passing in 1801. After being supported by his father-in-law for 22 years, he took up the yoke of rabbanus in about 1804. He was about 40 years old at the time. His first position was in Nashlask, Poland. After 15 years in Nashlask, Rav Shlomo moved to the Warsaw neighborhood of Praga, and in 1819 he became the first chief rav of Warsaw, which boasted 5,000 Jewish families and was the largest and wealthiest kehillah in Poland. An official 1826 census found that 2,500 talmidim were studying in 215 cheders. However, an 1827 government report estimated that 25% of Polish Jews had no livelihood. After serving as rav of Warsaw for 25 years, Rav Shlomo fell ill and passed away. Rav Shlomo was survived by his son Rav Yoel from his first marriage. (From Yated 2007. Main source: "MiGedolei HaChassidus," Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bromberg. Hotza'as Beis Hillel Jerusalem 5742)

Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus (1944-2001). Born to Rav Avraham Chaim and Chava Pincus in the United States, he learned at Brisk in Yerushalayim. He married Chaya Mindel, daughter of Rav Mordechai Man, Rosh Yeshiva of Kenesses Chizkiyahu, and continued his studies in Bnei Brak. Then, in 1981, upon the request of the Steipler Gaon and Rav Shach, he moved into the Negev to start up the community at Ofakim

13 Nissan

Rav Yosef Karo, Beis Yosef, Shulchan Aruch, Kesef Mishneh,and Magid Meisharim, (1488-1575). His first major work, the Beis Yosef is a comprehensive commentary on the Tur; it took 20 years to write. In it, he gathered the opinions and decisions of all the major authorities up until his time and cross-referenced them. He ruled between differing views on the basis of a consensus between the three preeminent halachic authorities, the Rif, the Rambam, and the Rosh. The work was completed in 1542, but he continued to refine it for the next 12 years, and published a second edition. After he had completed the Beis Yosef, Rav Caro made a summary of his rulings in the form of an index without reference to sources and titled it Shulchan Aruch ("Laid Table"). It was completed in 1555 in Israel; it was first published in Venice in 1565. Eventually, the Rama's gloss (called HaMapa -- "The Tablecloth") was published together with the Shulchan Aruch in Cracow in 1578, and together they became the universally recognized Code of Jewish Law. The Rambam had published his Mishna Torah without references for his rulings. The Maggid Mishna, a commentary on Mishneh Torah written by Rabbi Vidal di Tolouse, had referenced six of the fourteen sections of the work, and Rav Caro set out to complete the references, while at the same time explaining the Rambam's view and defending it from the Raavad. The Kesef Mishneh, as it was called, was published in Venice between the years 1574-76.

Rav Moshe ben Chaim Alshich (1508-1593) [others say 1522-1570]. Born in Adrianople, Turkey, student of Rav Yosef Karo in Adrianople and Rav Taitatzak in Salonica. He authored Toras Moshe. His students included Rav Chaim Vital and Maharitatz (Rav Yom Tov ben Moshe Tzahalon). He became a member of the Beis Din in Tzefas and is buried in Tzefas.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Tzemach Tzedek, 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe (1789-1866).

Rav Yoel Moskovitz of Shatz, great-grandson of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. He was betrothed at the age of thirteen to Rebbetzin Miriam, the youngest daughter of Rav Meir of Premishlan. Rav Yoel served as a rav in Vornika and Solitza and, after Rav Meir's passing in 1850, he set up his court in Shatz, a town in the Bukovina district of Moldavia, an area that straddled modern-day Romania, Ukraine and Hungary. Shatz is now called Suceava or Suczawa. Although Shatz was Moldavia's capital between 1388 and 1565, it was a provincial backwater of the Austrian Empire by the 19th century. According to a 1880 census the town had 3,750 Jews who constituted 37% of the town's total population of 10,104. Today's population of over 100,000 people includes almost no Jews.

14 Nissan

Rav Asher Yishaya of Ropshitz (1845), the main rebbi of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, the Shinover Rav.

Rav Avraham Yaffen, Rosh Yeshivas Novardok (1897-1970). Educated as a youth in the Pinsk Talmud Torah, he then learned under Rav Isser Zalman Melter in Slutzk. In 1913, he was apppinted rosh yeshiva of the main Novardok yeshiva by Rav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz and became his son-in-law. From then on, he assisted his father-in-law with all aspects of Novardok’s yeshivas. By 1939, there were over 80 Novardok yeshivas throughout Poland, serving over 4000 students. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1964.

15 Nissan

Yitzchak Avinu (1713-1533 BCE)

Yehuda ben Yaakov Avinu

Rav Yona Teumim Frankel (1595-1669), Av Beis Din in Metz. He was the son of Reb Yeshia Teumim. He is the author of Kikayon DeYona. In it, he explains the commentaries of Rashi , Tosfos , the Maharsha and the Maharshal on Gemara.

16 Nissan

Levi ben Yaakov Avinu, 1567 BCE

Rav Mordechai Dov Ber Twerski of Tomashpol, son of Rav Nachum, son of the Mitteler Rebbe, 1920.

Rav Nosson Ordman, Rosh Yeshivas Etz Chaim London for more than 50 years. Born in Tavrik, Lithuania and educated in Telz, he came to London in 1936 (1906-1996)

Rav Simcha Zissel Brodie (Broyde), Rosh Yeshiva of Chevron, 2000.

17 Nissan

Rav Avraham Reuven Hakohen Katz of Prague (1673), author of Yalkut Reuveni, a collection of kabbalistic material, arranged according to the verses in the Torah.

Rav Yitzchak of Skver (1885)

Rav Yirmiyahu Lev, the Divrei Yirmiyahu (1811-1874). Born to Rav Binyomin Zev Lev (the Shaarei Torah), he received smicha from Rav Mordechai Banet, the Ravv of Nicholsburg, at the age of 17. He served as Rav of Magendorf from 1844 to 1851, then succeeded his father in Verbau. Finally, he took a position in Ujhel (Hungary).

Rav Moshe Mordechai, succeeded his father, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, as Kapischnitzer (Kopycznitzer) Rebbe, until his sudden petirah in 1975.

Rav Meir Abuchatzeira of Ashdod, son of Baba Sali (1983)

Rav Shlomo Wolbe, mashgiach of Yeshivas Givat Shaul in Yerushalayims Sanhedria neighborhood (1916-2005). Born in Berlin, Rav Wolbe's early education was in the Yeshiva of Frankfurt and in Rav Botchko's yeshiva in Montreux, Switzerland. In the 1930s, he spent several years in Mir, where he became a close talmid Rav Yerucham Levovitz and Rav Chatzkal Levenstein. Rav Wolbe spent the war years in Sweden. After the war, Rav Wolbe moved to Petach Tikvah, where he married the daughter of Rav Avraham Grodzinsky, hy"d, the last mashgiach of Slobodka. Through her, he became a nephew of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, and a brother-in-law of Rav Chaim Kreisworth. In 1948, Rav Wolbe became mashgiach at Yeshivah Gedolah of Be'er Yaakov, a position he held for over 35 years. Later, he served as mashgiach in the Lakewood Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael and he opened Yeshivas Givat Shaul. Rav Wolbe published his first Hebrew work, Alei Shur, to provide today's yeshiva student with a basic guide to assist him to become a ben Torah.

18 Nissan

Rav Meir Halevi Abulafia, the Yad Rama, 1244.

Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik (1903-1993). Son of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik, and older brother of Rav Ahron Soloveichik. Great-grandson of Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, the Beis HaLevy (1820- 1892), and nephew of the Brisker Rav, Rav Velvel. Born in Pruzhan, Poland, on 30 Shvat. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, and then settled in Boston in the early 1930’s. He became Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva University, and gave weekly shiurim to senior students, while delivering philosophy lectures to graduate students.

Rav Moishe Ellinson, Rav Ohel Torah Manchester [after Jan. 2001]

19 Nissan

Rav Yehoshua Falk Katz, author of Meiras Einayim, the Derisha and Perisha on the Tur, the Sema on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (1614). As a youth, he learned under the Rema (to whom he was related) and the Maharshal. He later served as Rosh Yeshiva in Lemberg. He is the grandfather of the Pnei Yehoshua.

Rav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin (1736-1772). Student of the Maggid of Mezritch, founder of Chasidus in Belarus and the Karlin-Stolin dynasty. Rav Aharon left behind a son, Rav Asher of Stolin who was the father of Rav Aharon Karlin II (1808-1872)

Rav Menachem Ziemba (also known as R’ Menachem Prager) (1883-1943). Born in Praga, a small neighborhood of Warsaw along the right bank of the Wisla River, Rav Menachem was only nine years old when his father, R’ Elazar Ziemba died. He then lived and learned with his grandfather, R’ Avraham Ziemba. He married Mindel, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, R’ Chaim Yeshaya Tzederboim, when he was 18. When his father-in-law died, he wrote a treatise on carrying on Shabbos and entitled it Totza’as Chaim in his honor. He became a chasid of the Imrei Emes Gur. He was appointed Chief Rabbi of Warsaw in 1935. He became close to Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, and through him, his son-in-law, Rav Avrame’le Luftbir of Warsaw. When the latter died childless in 1919 Rav Menachem published his sefer Zera Avraham, based on their many correspondences. He died in the Warsaw ghetto.

Rav Shlomo Leib of Lentche, 1843.

Rav Yaakov Yosef Weiss of Sprinka, 1988.

Rav Shmuel Alexander Unsdorfer of Montreal and Petach Tikva, 2002.

20 Nissan

Rav Hai bar Sherira Gaon, rosh yeshivas Pompedisa, last of the Gaonim of Pumpedisa (1038)

Rav Yitzchak Chori, dayan in Djerba

Rav Yechezkel Panet of Karlsberg, author of Mareh Yechezkel, 1845.

Rav Yitzchak Dov Ber of Liadi, grandson of the Tzemach Tzedek, author of Siddur MaHaRiD, [1910].

21 Nissan

Rav Shmuel Shapiro, elder Breslav chosid

Rav Shimon Yisrael Posen, the Shoproner Rav, author of Toras Aleph, 1969.

22 Nissan

Rav Yehuda Rosanes of Constantinople, author of Mishneh Lamelech, (1658-1727). He also wrote Parashs Derachim.

Rav Yitzchak Kalish (1779-1848), founder of the Vorki dynasty, father of Rav Yaakov Dovid (founder of the Amshinov dynasty) and Rav Menachem Mendel, who continued the Vorki dynasty. Through his travels with his teacher, Rav Dovid of Lelov, he became a disciple of Rav Yaakov Yitzchak (the "Chozeh") of Lublin and of Rav Simchah Bunim of Peshischa. Some of his teachings and stories involving him appear in Ohel Yitzchak and Hutzak Chein, others in Shemu’as Yitzchak.

Dr. Nathan Birnbaum, 1864-1937. A leader in the early Zionist movement, he is credited for coining the word “Zionism” in 1890. He played a prominent part in the First Zionist Congress (1897) and was elected Secretary General of the Zionist Organization. However, ideological differences with Theodore Herzl led to his leaving the movement. In the years preceding World War I he gradually abandoned his materialistic and secular outlook, eventually embracing full traditional Judaism. He may be seen as the forerunner of the modern Baal Teshuvah movement. His most famous book of this period was Gottesvolk (“G-d’s People”) first published in German and Yiddish in 1917 (translated into English in a shortened form by J. Elias in 1947 titled "Confession"). In 1919, he became the first Secretary General of the new Agudath Yisrael Organization. He lived in Berlin 1921-1933. After the rise of Nazism, he left Germany for Scheveningen, Netherlands, until his death.

23 Nissan

Rav Moshe ben Yosef MiTrani, the Mabit (1505-1585). Son of the famous Rav Yosef MiTrani (Mahait), Rav Moshe was born in Salonika, Greece. He was sent to sent to Adrianople (Italy) as a boy to pursue his studies under the supervision of his uncle Aaron. At the age of 16 he went to Safed and completed his studies under Yaakov Beirav. He was one of four people to receive the special semicha from him in 1538, in Safed, along with Rav Yosef Karo, Rav Moshe Cordovero, and Rav Yosef Sagis. In 1525 he was appointed rabbi at Safed; he held this office until 1535, when he moved to Jerusalem, where he lived until 1585. His main work was Kiryat Sefer, a commentary on Rambam's Yad Chazakah. Hamabit, was an halachic responsa with 841 answers. He also wrote Beit Elo-him – a thematic discussion of the elements of prayer. [Hamodia 2005: 25 Nissan; according to introduction to Beis Elokim - the 22nd of Nissan]

Rav Yisrael Shalom Yosef of Bohush, 1923.

24 Nissan

Rav Moshe of Premishel, author of Mateh Moshe (1606)

Rav Chaim Menachem Heschel of Zhinkov (1837-1893). Succeeded his father, Rav Meshulam Zusya, and expanded the Chassidus throughout Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia. Some of his divrei Torah are found in the sefer Shemuos Tovos.

Rav Yosef Friedman of Rimanov (1913)

Rav Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz of Poltava (1917)

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg, the Slonimer Rebbe of Tel Aviv, 1978.

Rav Chaim Yitzchak Chaikin, rosh yeshiva of Aixes-les-Bains.(1995)

25 Nissan

Rav Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, author of Divrei Chaim (1793-1876 [some say he was born 1797]), founder of the Sanzer Chasidim. Born in Tarnograd, Poland. At the age of 18, he was appointed Rav of the small town of Rudnick, where he became a close talmid of Rav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz. In 1830, he became Rav of Sanz (Tzanz), where he stayed for 46 years. He had 15 children, including Rav Yechezkel of Shinov. His 3rd son, Rav Meir Nosson, died of an epidemic at an early age; his only son was Rav Shloime, who would become the 1st Bobover Rebbe. Another scion of Sanz, Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, the Klausenburger Rav, has erected several towns, yeshivos, and a modern medical center in Israel, as well as yeshivos in New Jersey and New York. The Sanz Chassidim have a yicchus document showing how they are descended via the Maharal of Prague from Rav Yosef I of Rome and back to King Dovid. [10 Nissan, according to others]

Rav Nachum Tzvi Goldberg (1922-2006). Born to Rav Kalman Avraham Goldberg, Rav of Vasilkov, he moved with the family to America in 1926. As a bachur, he learned with Rav Shlomo Heiman for 5 years, then moved to Lakewood to learn with Rav Aharon Kotler for 9 years (1943-1952). As a married man, he moved back to the East Side and taught at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ) for over 20 years. After his father was nifter in 1968, he replaced him as Rav of Adas Yisrael. In 1973, he also became administrator of Ezras Torah and made out the checks for all the yungeleit.

26 Nissan

Yehoshua bin Nun. Buried in Timnas Serach in Har Ephraim (1354-1244 BCE)

Rav Ephraim Navon, the Machaneh Ephraim (1677-1735). Born in Andrinople to Rav Aharon, he married the daughter of Rav Yehuda Ergaz. He served as Chief Rabbi of Constantinople.

Rav Moshe Halberstam (1932-2006). Born in the town of Tshakawe, Galicia to Rav Yaakov Halberstam, he was a great-great-great grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. As a youth, he studied at Yeshivas Beis Avraham Slonim under the Nesivos Shalom of Slonim. His rebbi muvhak was Rav Shmuel Wosner. He delivered shiurim for decades in a kollel for halacha that he headed. He was a member of the Eida Chareidis Beis Din and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tshakawe. In 1997, he was appointed a member of Badatz. He published a collection of responsa called Divrei Moshe. He founded the Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tzedaka, and was the head of the charity Chibas Yerushalayim Kupas Rebbe eir Baal Hannes. His son-in-law Rav Mattisyahu Deitch founded the Yad Ramah Institute under the guidance of the greatest halachic authorities of today, and it deals with solutions for problems in halacha and medicine. (Yated 2007 says 27 Nisaan; Hamodia 2007 says 28 Nissan)

Rav Moshe Teitelbaum, The Satmar Rebbe (2006). Author of Beirach Moshe, he is buried in Kiyas Yoel.

27 Nissan

Rav Asher Margulies, a Yerushalmi mekubal, author of Kumi V'Roni

Rav Yehuda Kahana, the Kuntres Hasefeikos (1819)

Rav Levi Yitzchak Greenwald, the Tzelemer Rav (1980). He arrived in America in 1939, just before the onset of WW2, after his Beis Medrash was destroyed on Kristellnacht, and he re-established his Beis Medrash in Williamsburg. He also established one of the first Chasidishe yeshivos in America, Arugas Habosem, named after his father, the Chuster Rav, who was known as the Argas Habosem.

Rav Shalom Moshe Ungar, son of Rav Shmuel Dovid Ungar, a descendent of the Abarbanel (who was himself a descendent of Dovid Hamelech). (1916-2003) Born in Krumpach, Slovakia. In 1941, he married the daughter of Rav Simcha Greenberg, an ardent Munkatcher chasid. Supported by his father-in-law, Rav Shalom Moshe learned bechavrusa with his brother-in-law, Rav Meir Greenberg, later to become the Kezmarker Rav of New York. Rav Shalom Moshe worked with another brother-in-law, Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandl, in rescue operations during the War. Deportations from Nitra began in Elul of 1944. The Nitra yeshiva (of 200 bachurim) was the last yeshiva in Europe to remain open and was liquidated on the 17th of Elul. Hiding in the forest for the remainder of the War, Rav Shalom Moshe lost his father, his wife, and his three children. In 1947, he was officially named Rav of Nitra. In 1948, the Nitra kehilla was established in Mount Krisco, Westchester County, NY.

Rav Avigdor Miller. (1908-2001). Born in Baltimore, Rav Avigdor attended public school like all the other Jewish boys from religious homes, and he studied Torah with his grandfather and other local rabbonim. At the age of 14, he left to study at Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchonon, which at the time was the only Jewish high school offering high-level Jewish studies in the U.S. It was there that he met future leaders of US Jewery, such as Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, Rav Yehuda Davis and Rav Mordechai Gifter. They met met secretly in Rav Miller's dormitory room in to hear a shiur in Mesillas Yeshorim by Rav Yaakov Yosef Herman. In 1932, he followed Rav Aizik Sher to Slobodka, where he spent 6 years learning. In 1935 he married his life partner for 64 years, Ethel Lessin. The first rabbinical position which Rav Avigdor accepted was in Chelsea, Massachusetts. In 1945, Rav Miller was offered a job as mashgiach of Chaim Berlin by Rav Hutner, a position he kept for 19 years. He was then invited by the Young Israel of Rugby to be their unofficial rov. The shul, located at East 49 street in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, a position which became official in 1946-47. He began writing his first book, Rejoice O Youth, in 1963. In 1964, when Yeshivas Chaim Berlin moved to Far Rockaway, Rav Miller decided to resign and devote himself full time to his congregation and his writing. He finished writing the book in 1965.

28 Nissan

Rav Shabsai Sheftl Horowitz II (1590-1660). The son of the Shelah Hakodesh, Reb Shabsai studied under his father and under Rav Shlomo Ephraim Lunshitz. After his father left for Eretz Yisrael, he became dayan of Prague. He then became Rav of Fuerth, then Frankfurt am Main, then Posen, where he founded a yeshiva. In 1654, he was appointed Rav of Vienna. In 1649, he published his father’s work, Shnei Luchos HaBris, along with his own extensive introduction, Vavei HaAmudim.

Rav Yichiyeh ben Yosef Tzalach, the Maharitz, founder of the Baladi community of Yemen (1713-1805). He is described as “without question,….the greatest rabbi and exponent of Jewish law ever to have been produced by Yemen.” By 1795, he served on the Beis Din of Sanaa.

Rav Yehoshua of Ostrova, son of Rav Shlomo Leib of Lentcha, and author of Toldos Adam (1819-1873).

Rav Yosef Yozke (or Yozpe) Rosenberg of Zalkava, author of Yad Yosef (on the first three perakim of Bava Metzia) and Revid Hazahav (1905).

Rav Yehoshua Pinchas Bombach of Ushpetzin (or Oswiecim) (1921). [note: according to a frequently told story of the brothers Reb Elimelech and reb Zusia, this city would later be called Auschwitz – see

Rav Yissacher Leib Weinberg of Slonim (1928).

Rav Aryeh Shapira, rosh yeshivas Volozhin [also known as Valozhyn, Volozhy'N, Wolozyn, Volozine, and Wolozine; note: perhaps this is a typo, and is instead referring to Rav Raphael Shapira, the son-in-law of the Netziv, who successeeded him until 1881; or possibly Rav Yaakov Shapira (d. 1936). See

Rav Shem Klingberg , the Zaloshytzer rebbe of Krakow (1943).

Rav Aharon Hakohen Rosenfeld, the Pinsk-Karlin Rebbe (1927-2001). For many years, he served as a maggid shiur in the Eitz Chaim yeshiva, and then in the Belz yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael and Belgium. When he was only thirty his wife was niftar, leaving him with five small children. He later married the widow of Rav Chaim Halberstam, who raised the orphans and brought them to marriage. On Pesach 1991, at the yahrtzeit of his grandfather, Rav Aharon of Karlin, he was appointed Admor of Pinsk-Karlin.

29 Nissan

Rav Moshe Pallier of Kobrin (1784-1858). A close follower of the Rebbe, Rav Mordechai of Lechovitch and his son, Rav Noach, he became the first Rebbe of the Kobrin dynasty in 1833. His teachings are collected in Imros Taharos.

Rav Mordechai Shalom Yosef Friedman, Sadigerer Rebbe, the Keneses Mordechai (1897-1979) The son of Rav Aharon of Sadiger, and grandson of the 2nd Sadigerer Rebbe, Rav Yisrael.

30 Nissan

Rabbeinu Yosef Halevi ibn Migash (Rimigash), talmid of the Rif (1077-1141). As head of the famous academy of Lucena, Spain, R' Yosef taught numerous disciples including Rabbi Maimon, father of Rambam. Rambam's praise of R' Yosef in uncharacteristically ecstatic. "The depth and scope of his wisdom astound all who study his words" said the Rambam. Having absorbed R' Yosef's teachings from his father, Rambam refers to R' Yosef as "my teacher".

Rav Chaim Vital (1543-1620). Born in Tzefas in Israel, two years after his family moved there from Calabria, Italy. He learned under Rav Moshe Alshich from the age of 14, for several years. He then learned kaballah from Rav Moshe Cordevero, the Ramak. In 1570, the Arizal came to Tzefas from Egypt, and after the petira of the Remak, Rav Chaim became the Arizal’s closest disciple. He wrote Etz Chaim, Shaarei Hakanos, and Shaarei Kedusha (a guide to achieving ruach ha-kodesh and nevuah), and edited and organized all existing manuscripts of the words of the Arizal, today know as Kisvei Arizal. He died in Damascus. His kever was later moved to Kiryat Malachi.

Rav Avraham Broide of Frankfurt (1717)

Rav Nesanel Weill, Av Beis Din of Karlsruhe and author of Korban Nesanel (1769). On October 17, 1750, he was elected to be Oberland- rabbiner for both Markgrafschaften of Baden-Durlach and Baden- Baden, and also all of the Unterlande. His son, Rav Yedidya Taya Weil, is the author of the Hagadah Marbeh Lesaper. (listed as 15 Iyar in Yated 2007)

Rav Yaakov Emden (1698-1776), known as Yaavetz (Yaakov ben Tzvi), son of the Chacham Tzvi. Settled in Altoona in 1733. He was involved in a famous controversy over an amulet (kameya) written by Rav Yehonason Eibeshutz, Rav Yaakov claiming that the amulet demonstrated an acceptance of Shabsai Tzvi.

Rav Chaim Meir Yechiel of Drohbitch (1924)

Rav Moshe Hershler, editor of Talmudic Encyclopedia and publisher of many sifrei Harishonim. (1991)

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