Hilula and Yarzeit for the Hebrew Month of Kislev כסלו

Per the sages, it is good just to say the Name of a Tzadik. Of course, the more one learns about each individual Tzadik strengthens one's connection to that Tzadik and assists in the Channel of connection between you and he/she. As we develop more information about a particular Tzadik his or her name will appear as a Link. Otherwise it will just be listed below the date.

One spiritual ritual recommended by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov is to say the Names of the Tzadikim starting with Adam and Chava and continuing until today. This list will be added as a link when it is available. In the meantime try doing this ritual with the Names of all the Tzadikim who passed in an Hebrew month.

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  • Below are the Tzadikim who celebrate their Hilulah during the month of Kislev - כסלו

    Rosh Chodesh Alef Kislev which is Aleph of Kislev - ל חשון starts Evening of November 13 2023

    In most years Cheshvan has only 29 days. When this occurs the Hilula from the 30th is celebrated on the 29th. Note: This year of 2023 Cheshvan has 29 days.

    Rabbi Yaakov Betzalel Zolty, Rav of Yerushalayim

    Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Hakohen of Rimanov (1778-1846). From the age of fifteen, Tzvi Hersh began traveling to the court of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. He became one of the Rebbe’s closest chassisdim and his personal attendant; he thus became know as Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Meshares. After the petira of Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz (another of the closest chassidim of Rabbi Menachem Mendel), Rabbi Tzvi Hersh returned to Rimanov to accept the mantle of leadership of the chassidim. His divrei Torah were compiled and published by his son, Rabbi Yosef, under then name Be’eiros Hamayim. It is comprised of several sefarim, all beginning with the word Be’er. For example, the sefer Be’er Lechai Roi, contains his drushim on Chumash and the Yomim Tovim. Other teachings of his can be found in the sefer Mevasser Tov.

    Rabbi Asher (Oscar) Fasman (1908-2003). Born in Chicago, he served as Rabbi in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ottowa, Canada, before returning to Chicago. He developed Hebrew Theological College from an afternoon only school to a full-time yeshiva, bringing gedolei Torah as Roshei Yeshiva. He was president of the yeshiva from 1946 to 1964, and also served as president of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and Rabbi of Congregation Yehuda Moshe in Lincolnwood, Illinois. His son, Rabbi Chaim Fasman, is Rosh Kollel in Los Angeles.

    Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg (1914- 2006). He was born in Yerushalayim to Rabbi Yaakov Gedalyahu who came to Eretz Yisrael from Kovno in the early 1900s. He learned in the Eitz Chaim Yeshiva and developed a very warm bond with Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. Rabbi Waldenberg wrote his first sefer, Dvar Eliezer, when he was only 19. Upon the passing of his mother and later his father both in the 1960s, he published two separate sefarim on the halachos of mourning. Rabbi Waldenberg got involved with medical ethics during the period that he served as rabbi of a shul adjacent to the old location of Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital in downtown Yerushalayim. Among those who attended was Professor Avraham Steinberg, a pediatric neurologist and head of the Medical Ethics Center at Sha'arei Tzedek, as well as the editor of the Talmudic Encyclopedia. "Doctors who prayed at the synagogue, myself included, started asking him questions. Eventually, he began teaching a weekly medical ethics class for doctors and nurses." His teshuvos were compiled in his magnum opus, a 21-volume set of responsa entitled Tzitz Eliezer. The first volume of Tzitz Eliezer was published in 1945, when he was not yet 30. In addition, he authored a book on the laws of sea travel on Shabbat called Shvisa b'Yam, a book on mourning laws called Ein Ya'acov and a book on legal issues in the modern state called Hilchos Medina. He was also a member on the Beis Din Hagadol where he sat together for many years with Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Rabbi and Rebbetzin Waldenberg merited to have one child, a son, Rabbi Simcha Bunim Waldenberg. Rabbi Simcha Bunim became a dayan in the Eidah Hachareidis and served as its appointed Rov of the neighborhood of Ezras Torah. He himself was known as a posek muvhak. Tragically, Rav Simcha Bunim passed away about two years ago.

    Rosh Chodesh Bet Kislev which is Aleph of Kislev - א כסלו starts Evening of November 13 2023. In year 2023 this is the first of Kislev

    Rabbi Yitzchak Lampronti, author of Pachad Yitzchak (1756)

    Rabbi Ephraim Alankava, Rav of Telmisan Algeria (on the border with Morocco) and author of Shaar Kevod Hashem (1441)

    Rabbi Trivash of Mantova, Italy (1551).

    Rabbi Shalom Shachna ben Rabbi Yosef of Lublin(1490-1558), teacher and father-in-law of the Rema. His grandfather and namesake was Rav of Neustadt and the Gadol Hador in Austria, who along with the Maharil founded the minhagei Ashkenaz that are still prevalent until today. He established the Lublin Yeshiva in 1515 and was succeeded by Rav Shlomo Luria, the Maharshal.

    Rabbi Yosef Shmuel of Cracow (1703), author of Mesoras Hashas. The Chidah, in his biography of Rabbi Yosef Shmuel, wrote that he learned all of Shas 42 times, fulfilling the commandment "Vedibarto ‘bom’," (the numerical value of ’bom’ being 42). He also added that for 25 years he learned standing on his feet and all his learning was Torah lishmah.

    Rabbi Moshe Chaifetz, author of Meleches Shabbos and Meleches Machsheves (1711).

    Rabbi Avraham Eiger of Posen (1846-1914), son of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Eiger, the first Lubliner Rebbe, grandson of Rabbi Shlomo Eiger and great-grandson of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He succeeded his father as leader of his chasidim from 1882 to 1914. He was the author of a work on Chassidus, Shevet mi-Yehuda. He was also a member of the Vaad Haruchani of the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin.

    Rabbi Chaim Nosson Dembitzer (1820-1892). Born in Krakow, he did historical research and critical work in the field of Talmudic and rabbinic literature, and wrote about its leading personalities. His sefer, Klilas Yofi, included biographies of rabbis of Lvov, Krakow, and other cities in Poland and Lithuania. His student, Feivel Hirsch Wettstein, wrote his biography, Toledos Maharchan

    Rabbi Moshe Hager of Radovitz, author of Vayikach Moshe (1904). He may be related to Rebbe Yosef Alter Hager of Radovitz who was was the son of the Toras Chaim (Rebbe Chaim Hager of Kosov)

    Rabbi Yitzchak Levitan from Aram Tzova (Aleppo) (1911).

    Rabbi Naftali Hertz (Hertzel) Krezmer (1912). He was born in Bialystok to Rabbi Avraham, a textile merchant, and a grandson of Rabbi Osher (ben Tzvi) Hakohen, who wrote the Birkas Rosh on Brachos and Nazir. He got married in Ponevezh and remained there, serving as the rov of Yanova and other places. He wrote Noam Hamitzvos.

    Rabbi Yisrael Ungar of Zavna (1936).

    Rabbi Tzadok Shaingarten (1912-2005), Rabbi of Ohr Torah in Boro Park. Born in Warsaw to staunch Gerrer Chasidim, he learned for two zmanim at Baranovitch before attending Kletzk under Aharon Kotler. Later, her learned at Mir under Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz from 1932 to 1938, then returned to Warswa. When the Nazis conquered Poland, he fled to Vilna. He traveled with the Mir Yeshiva to Japan and Shanghai. After the war, he moved to New York, married Rebbetzin Ruth.

    Reb Yaakov Kasirer, founder and long-time president of Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles (2005). Born in Bistra, Hungary, he lost his parents and many siblings during World War II. In 1946, he married Reizi, a childhood friend of the family, and moved to Bregenz, Austria, on the Swiss border. Two of their three children, Robert and Gabi, were born there. In 1954, they moved to Los Angeles, where their youngest child, Hindy, was born. They were involved in the creation of yeshiva Rabbi Isacsohn (Toras Emes), then founded Bais Yaakov in 1968, in order to assure that their daughters received a local Torah education. Even after both daughters graduated, however, Mr. Kasirer and his wife assured the ongoing growth and success of Bais Yaakov.

    Gimmel of Kislev - ב כסלו starts Evening of November 15 2023

    Rabbi Shmerel of Verchovka (1775) talmid of the Baal Shem Tov

    Rabbi Akiva Sofer of Pressburg (1960), author of Daas Sofer. Son of Rabbi Simcha Bunim Sofer (The Shevet Sofer), grandson of the Kesav Sofer (Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer) and the great-grandson of the Chasam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Sofer). Interestingly, three continuous generations – the Chasam Sofer, the Kesav Sofer, and the Shevet Sofer – all served as Rav of Pressburg for 33 years. When Rav Akiva Sofer neared his 33rd year as Rav, he asked his uncle, the Erlauer Rav, what to do. Upon his uncle’s advice, the Daas Sofer moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1940, thus saving himself from the horrors of Worl War II.

    Rabbi Aharon Kotler (1892-1962), rosh yeshivas Bais Medrash Govoah, Lakewood. The son of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Pines, Rav Aharon was known as the "Shislovitzer iluy." At 14 he entered the Slobodka yeshivah, where he learnt under the Alter and HaRav Moshe Mordechai Epstein. He also heard shiurim from Rabbi Baruch Ber, who had his own yeshiva in one of the suburbs of Slobodka. He married the daughter of Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, head of the yeshivah Etz Chaim in Slutsk, and became his assistant (1914). Even before he was 25 years old, he became one of its roshei yeshivah. After the yeshivah's forced transfer to Kletsk in Poland – due to the Bolchevik takeover and religious persecution (1921), Rabbi Isser Zalman emigrated to Erez Ysrael, and Rabbi Kotler directed the Etz Chaim for 20 years. With the Soviet occupation of Poalnd in 1939, Rabbi Kotler escapied first to Kobe, Japan, then to the United States (April, 1941). Reb Aharon assumed a leading role in the operations of the Vaad Hatzoloh. Under his leadership, Beth Medrash Govoha opened in a converted house in Lakewood, New Jersey in April 1943, and the yeshiva and kollel student body increased from the original 14 to 140 in 1962, the year of Reb Aharon's petiroh. Reb Aharon also headed Chinuch Atzmai, the network of Torah day schools in Israel, founded in 1953, and he took over the leadership of Torah U'Mesorah, the American day school movement, after the death of its founder HaRav Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. He also headed Agudas Yisrael's Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah.

    Rabbi Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, the Lakewood mashgiach. Rabbi Nosson was born in Kuhl, Lithuania. His father, Rabbi Moshe Yom Tov was one of the 14 original students of the yeshiva in Slutsk. (Another of these students was Rabbi Aharon Kotler). Rabbi Nosson himself began his education in the yeshiva in Kelm. When he was fifteen, he came to the United States - his father had accepted a rabbinic post in Montreal - and enrolled in Yeshivat Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchanan (forerunner of the Talmudic division of Yeshiva University). After two years there, he returned to Lithuania to study at the Mir Yeshiva. He also studied under Rabbi Shimon Shkop, and in Kamenetz, under Rabbi Baruch Ber Lebowitz. Beginning in 1941, Rabbi Nosson joined with Rabbi Aharon Kotler to develop the Lakewood Yeshiva. He left several children, including Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Zichron Moshe in South Fallsburg, New York. (1910-1998)

    Rabbi Dr. Dov Revel,President and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York.

    Rabbi Nachum Weidenfeld of Dombrova, the Chazon Nachum (1875-1939). Born in Hormilov, Galicia, to Rabbi Yaakov (the Kochav MiYaakov) and Rebbetzin Rachel, a direct descendant of the Shach. One of his brothers, Rabbi Dov Berish, became famous as the Tchebiner Rav. After the Kochav MiYaakov passed away in 1894, Rabbi Nachum and his elder brother, Rabbi Yitzchak, supervised the studies of their younger brother, Rabbi Dov Berish, who had just celebrated his bar-mitzvah. After marrying his wife, Taibah, he went to live with his in-laws in Yassi, Romania. A year later, he replaced his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Shabsi HaKohen Rappaport, as the rav of Dombrowa, Galicia. Although Dombrowa was relatively small, it was intensely Jewish, having a population of about 2,400 Jews and 600 gentiles. Jews had lived there since the end of the sixteenth century. Nazi troops seized Dumbrowa on the 8th of September, 1939, only eight days after the war started. At the last possible moment, Rabbi Nachum fled the town with nothing but his stick and a knapsack. He had sent dozens of manuscripts to his son-in-law in Kolbasov but not one member of that family survived and all his writings were lost.

    Dayan Eliezer Posen, born in Frankfurt to Rabbi Gershon, who was appointed Dayan of the IRG (Jewish Religious Society) by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. As a bachur, he learned in Pupa, Hungary, then returned to Frankfurt and married Chulda Falk in 1923. After his marriage,he became magid shiur in the Breuer Yeshiva; he then succeeded his father as Rav of the kehilla in 1932. In 1938, he escaped the growing Nazi menace to England. He was appointed Dayan of the Adas Yisrael shul in 1945. His brother was Rabbi Shimon Yisrael Posner, the Shoproner Rav of New York. (1892-1969).

    Gimmel Kislev - ג כסלו starts Evening of November 15 2023

    Rabbi Meir HaKohen Katz, father of the Shach

    Rabbi Meshulam Yissaschar Ashkenazi of Stamford Hill, London, the Stanislaver Rebbe (1995 some say 1994).

    Rabbi Shilo Raphael, Av Bais Din of Yerushalayim

    Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky (1921-2000). Born in St. Louis, he learned at Torah Vadaas in his early 20s, while serving in the army. He married Sarah Gartenhaus in 1950 and joined Yeshiva Ner Israel in 1954. He became Rosh yeshiva and replaced Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg after the latter’s petira. Rabbi Kulefsky left two sons (Tzvi Hirsch and Nosson) and three daughters [Esther Chana (Abraham), Ettie (Rosenbaum), and Faigi (Gruman)], 40 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. [niftar 3 Kislev; buried 4 Kislev]

    Not yet recognized as a Tzadeket

    Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American Jewish poet born in New York City. She is best known for "The New Colossus," a sonnet written in 1883; its lines were placed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1912. The sonnet was solicited by William Maxwell Evarts as a donation to an auction, conducted by the "Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty" to raise funds to build the pedestal. Lazarus was the fourth of seven children of Moshe Lazarus and Esther Nathan, Portuguese Sephardic Jews whose families had been settled in New York since the colonial period. She was related through her mother to Benjamin N. Cardozo, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. From an early age, she studied American and British literature, as well as several languages, including German, French, and Italian. Her writings attracted the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He corresponded with her until his death. (Wikipedia)

    Dalet Kislev - ד כסלו starts Evening of November 16 2023

    Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Kulevsky, Rosh Yeshiva Ner Yisroel, Baltimore (2002)

    Admor Yaakov David Kalish from Amshinov. He is buried in Poland at Amshinov (Mszczonów) cemetary

    Rabbi Eliyahu Kubo, av beis din of Saloniki, author of Aderes Eliyahu and Sheni Hame’oros Hagedolim (~1628-1688). The Kubo family had immigrated to Greece from Spain during the Spanish expulsion. Rabbi Eliyahu became Chief Rabbi in Salonika.

    Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Margulies of Lublin (1805)

    Rabbi Yaakov David Kalish (1803-1878), founder of the Amshinov dynasty. Reb Yaakov David’s father was Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorka, a leading disciple of Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and a peer of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. When Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa passed away in 1827, his followers split into two streams, some of them following Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk whose emphasis was on fiery self-discipline, while the remainder adhered to Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorka whose approach was one of warmth and love. In 1848, when Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorka passed away, many of his followers wished to follow Rabbi Yaakov Dovid of Amshinov. He, too, followed the Vorka tradition of kindness and kiruv rechokim. Rabbi Yaakov Dovid set up court in the town of Mszczonow, Poland, which became known to Jews as Amshinov. There, he became known as the rebbe of Amshinov. Meanwhile, Rabbi Yaakov David’s brother, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, continued the Vorki dynasty from their father in Vorki itself (1779-1848). Rabbi Menachem, the oldest of Rabbi Yaakov Dovid’s three sons, inherited the mantle of Amshinov from his father for 40 years.

    Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai of Stretin (1954)

    Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Stern, Rosh Yeshivas Toras Chessed in London (1949-2005). Born in Miskolcz, Hungary, to Rabbi Pinchas Zelig Stern, the Serentcher Rav, he arrived in London with his parents in 1956. Seeing the need for a new chassidish yeshiva in London, Rabbi Stern founded Toras Chessed 27 years ago. During his entire life, he was close to the Rebbes of Satmar and Pshevorsk.

    Hey Kislev - ה כסלו starts Evening of November 17 2023

    Rabbi Chaim Yosef David (the second) (1898) ben Rabbi Avraham Azulai descendant of the Chida

    Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda Tannenbaum (1887) son-in-law of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vorka. He wrote Yashrish Yaakov

    Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer HaLevi Eidels, the Maharsha (1631 or 1636); born in Krakow in 1555. His father, Rabbi Yehuda, was an eminent talmid chacham who descended from Rabbbi Yehuda Hachassid, as well as from Rabbi Akiva Hakohen Katz, the father-in-law of the Shela Hakadosh. His mother was the granddaughter of Rabbi Yehuda Loewe, the Maharal of Prague. Rebbetzin Eidel Lifschitz of Pozna, the wealthy widow of Rabbi Moshe Lifschitz, the rav of Brisk, made a match between her daughter and the Maharsha. She also supported her other son-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Ashkenazi, author of Zichron Moshe, with whom the Maharsha studied. In appreciation of his mother-in-law's efforts, the Maharsha added the name Eidels to his own name, and from then on called himself Shmuel Eliezer Eidels. Rebbetzin Eidel passed away in 5368 at the age of 100. During his years as rosh yeshiva in Austroha, the Maharsha compiled his monumental Chiddushei Halachos and Chiddushei Aggados on Shas. Baal Shem Tov said that if one would know how great the Maharsha was, they would lick the dirt on his grave.

    Rabbi David Luria (1798-1855), the Radal, was a student of the Rabbi of Vilna, Rabbi Shaul Katzenellenbogen. He wrote an important commentary on Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer. He is also known for known as a commentator on Gemara and Midrash. He also composed halachic responsa and a commentary on Rambam's Mishneh Torah. Radal's dedication to learning was legendary. It is said that he did not sleep more than one hour during the short summer nights and three hours in the winter, in addition to an afternoon nap of precisely 12 minutes. In 1854, he was offered the rabbinate of Warsaw. He refused this position despite the encouragement of the Gerrer Rebbe that he take it. However, Rabbi David did involve himself in communal needs, including a meeting in 1846 (together with Rabbi Yitzchak of Volozhin) with Sir Moses Montiefore to address the needs of Russian Jewry.

    Rabbi Asher Anshel Yungreiss (Jungreis; Jungreisz), Czenger (Chenger) Rabbi, the Menuchas Asher (1806-1873). [according to Hamodia 2005, 27 Elul 1889]

    Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Kamenitz (1867-1940). He was born in Slutzk to Reb Shmuel Dovid Leibowitz, who was a close follower of the Rav of Slutzk, Rabbi Yosef Ber Soleveitchik. At the age of 16, he went to Volozhin and became the talmid muvhak of Rabbi Chaim Brisker. In 1903, he was invited to be Rosh yeshiva of Kenesses Beis Yitzchak in Slobodka. During World War I, the yeshiva moved to Minsk, and in 1921, to Vilna. Finally, in 1926, it moved to Kamenitz. He was the father-in-law of Rabbi Reuven Grozovsky, who became his successor. He authored Birkas Shmuel on Shas.

    Rabbi Mordechai Rimer (1928-1999), Mashgiach Ruchni of Yeshivas Kochav M'Yaakov. Born in Munkacz to Rabbi Binyomin, one of the most prominent Kalushitz Chassidim who was the rosh hakahal of the Sanz beis medrash in the city. Young Mordechai grew up in the home of his grandfather, HaRav Arye Leib Rimer, one of the most prominent Sanzer Chassidim in Kashow. In the winter of 1944, he was taken from the yeshiva of Munkacz, along with his entire family, to the ghetto, and on rosh chodesh Sivan of that year he was taken, along with them, to Auschwitz. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived there until its liberation. After the war, he learned at the Chevron yeshiva under Rav Meir Chodosh. After his marriage in 1950, he learned in the Chevron kollel for another twelve years. At that time, he began to deliver a shiur for baalei batim bnei Torah in the Achva shul, a shiur which he continued to deliver for forty-five years. In 1962, the gaon of Tchebin invited him to be a maggid shiur and mashgiach in his yeshiva, and for thirty- eight years HaRav Mordechai assumed responsibility for the chinuch of the yeshiva's students. During the Yomim Noraim he regularly served as a ba'al tefilla at the Tchebin yeshiva.

    Vav Kislev - ו כסלו starts Evening of November 18 2023

    Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandel (1957), Rosh Yeshiva of Nitra Yeshiva, renowned for his mesiras nefesh during the Holocaust, risking his own life to save Jews. His wife and children were murdered by the Nazis.

    Rabbi Shlomo Abu Maaravi (1989), founder of Otzer HaTorah network

    Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlap (1883-1951). Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and Rav of Yerushalayim's Sha'arei Chessed neighborhood. He was a close disciple of Rabbi Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook. Author of Mei Marom and Michtavei Marom.

    Rabbi Chaim Shmuel Lopian, author of Ravcha Shmaatsa (1998 or some say 1999). The son of Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian, he was amongst the first students in the Gateshead Kollel under Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, in 1942.

    Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Lipshitz-Halberstam, the Stropkover Rebbe (1908-1994). Born in Stropkov, Czechoslovakia, to Rabbi Yissacher Dov Lifshitz of Ungvar. His paternal grandfather was Rabbi Aryeh Leibush from Apta, the Yismach Tzadik, and his maternal grandfather was the Rebbe of Strpov, the Divrei Shalom, who was the son of the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinava, the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga’s first public post was as Rabbi of Yablonka. After a few years there, he became dayan of Bergsas. During WW2, he was sent to Auschwitz, where his wife and five children perished. After the war, he moved to Eretz Yisrael. In 1954, upon the death of his uncle, Rabbi Menachem of Stropkov, and Rabbi Yechezkel was appointed Admor by the Sanz elders of Shinava and Stropkov. He authored Divrei Yechezkel Shraga.

    Zion Kislev - ז כסלו starts Evening of November 19 2023

    Rabbi Ahron HaLevy Epstein of Cracow (1881) son of Rabbi Klonimus Kalman, the Meor Veshemesh

    Rabbi Shlomo Binyamin HaLevi Ashlag (1983), son of Rabbi Yehuda Leib author of HaSulam on Zohar. He is the author of the Peirush HaSulam.

    Rabbi David Sinzheim of Strasbourg, France (1745-1812). He served as President of the “Sanhedrin” established by Napolean, the first meeting of which occurred on February 9th, 1807. He was author of Yad David.

    Chet Kislev - ח כסלו starts Evening of November 20 2023

    Rabbi Avraham Hakohen Itzchaki. He is buried in Burgil Cementary in Tunisia.

    Rabbi Moshe, author of Mahadura Basra, printed at the back of Gemara (1668)

    Rabbi Eliyahu ben Yehuda Kovo (1630-1688). The son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Chaim, who was the son of Rabbi Chaim Shabsai and the Chief Rabbi of Salonica. After the death of his father-in-law in 1685, he was appointed to be Chief rabbi. He died at a young age due to a plague, which also took the lives of his two sons. He compiled Tana D’bei Eliyahu, a collection of 451 responsa, but most of it was lost. His grandsons managed to collect 26 of them and printed them as Sheilos Uteshuvos Aderes Eliyahu.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Navon (1733-1786). Born in Contantinople, he was the son of Rabbi Yehudah Navon, author of Kiriyas Melech Rav on the Rambam’s Mishna Torah, and the grandson of Rabbi Ephraim Navon, author of Machaneh Ephraim. Rabbi Yitzchak himself wrote Din Emes on the Tur and the Beis Yosef; the sefer was published in Salonika in 1803.

    Rabbi Moshe Shapira of Slavita, son of Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz (1838 some say 1839).

    Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak of Tunis, author of Mishmeros Kehunah (1864).

    Rabbi Aharon Twersky, the 3rd Rebbe of Chernobyl (1786-1871). Rabbi Aharon was the oldest of the eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, and the grandson of Rabbi Menachum Nachum, the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl, his childhood teacher. Rabbi Aharon succeeded his father after the latter’s petira in 1837. He also served as the nasi of the Rabbi Meir Baal Haness maos of Eretz Yisrael fund in the Ukraine.

    Rav Nachum Dov Schneerson of Ovritch (Ovruch)(1895). Uncle of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, son of the Rebbe Rashab. Ovruch is an historic town in the Zhytomyr province of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Ovrutsky district. {note: Rabbi Avraham Dov of Ovritch is author of Bas Ayim}

    Rabbi Avraham Mordechai of Kamarna (1941). {Rabbi Yitzchak IsaakYehudah Yechiel of Kamarna (1806- 1874). His uncle was Rabbi Zvi of Zhiditchov. He authored many important Chassidic works such as Heichel Habracha, Derech Emunah, Otzar Mitzvosecha, Zohar Chai, and Megillas Setarim among others.

    Rabbi Pinchas David Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe (1876-1941). Born in Yerushalayim to Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke and Sheyna Elka Horowitz, he was very close to his grandfather, Rabbi Elazar Mendel of Lelov until the latter’s passing in 1883. He then became a devoted talmid of his uncle, Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Shlomo of Lelov. He also became part of a small group of boys who studied mishnayos in depth with Rav Shneur Zalman of Lublin. After his marriage to Rivka, he lived in Tzfas with her parents. When his father died tragically at age 36, he was forced to move to Yerushalayim to care for his mother and younger siblings. His wife, Rivka, died in 1904. Her father, eager to keep his son-in-law in the family, suggested that he marry his granddaughter, Sarah Sasha Brandwein, who was still a child. In 1909, at the age of 16, she gave birth to a son, Moshe. During World War I, he escaped to the United States as a refugee in 1915, with the help of Rabbi Yaakov Meir of Salonika, the Rav of Greece. In gratitude to the Jews of Boston, who helped him procure residential rights in America, he settled in Boston.

    Rabbi David Borenstein of Sochotchov, the Chasdei Dovid (1876-1942). Born to Rabbi Shmuel (the Shem MiShmuel), who was the son of the Avnei Nezer. His primary teacher was his grandfather. In 1906, he became the Rabbi of Vishogrod, Poland. He moved to Loz in the late 1920s. He was very active with Agudas Yisrael and encouraged many to settle in Eretz Yisrael. He died of heart failure in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Sochatchov heritage continued under his brother, Rabbi Chanoch Henoch, who had established a beis medrash in Bayit Vegan. author of Chasdei David (1942) Died in the Warsaw ghetto.

    Rabbi Eliezer Geldzahler (1958-2004), born to Rabbi Eliyahu Yehoshua Geldzahler, founder of Mosdos Ohr Yisrael of Queens and a talmid of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, Rabbi Reuven Grozovsky, and Rabbi Gedaliah Schorr. Rabbi Eliezer’s mother, Henna Freidel, was the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler. As a child, he learned in his father’s yeshiva, where he made a siyum for Gemara Bava Basra before his Bar Mitzvah. As a bachur, he learned at Yeshiva Zichron Yaakov in South Fallsburg under Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel. From there, he went to Yerushalayim to learn in the yeshiva of Rabbi David Soleveitchik. He spent several years in the Lakewood Kollel. In 1980, he married Baila, the daughter of Rabbi Michel and Rebbetzin Feige Twersky of Milwaukee. He opened Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael in Brooklyn and served as its Rosh yeshiva, developing a mesivta and a yeshiva gedola. In January of 2004, the bus he was on in Israel was involved in a crash, and he was critically injured. He never recovered from his injuries and passed away 10 months later.

    Tet Kislev - ט כסלו starts Evening of November 21 2023

    Today is the 9th day of the 9th month. Therefore the Mekubalim teach that it is a happy day and one can connect to the energy of Parnasah through the Sephirot of Yesod of Yesod.

    Rabbi Noson ben Rabbi Tzvi Trevitzer of Tzfas (1918) One of the Ziknei Breslov.

    Rabbi Dov Ber Schneerson of Lubavitch (1773-1827), 2nd Lubavitcher Rebbe, known as the Mitteler Rebbe. He was the son and successor of his father Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya (the Alter Rebbe), and uncle and father-in-law of the Tzemach Tzedek. Rav Dov Ber assumed the leadership of Chabad upon his father's passing in 1812. In 1813 he settled in the town of Lubavitch, which was to serve as the movement's headquarters for the next 102 years. In 1826, Rabbi Dov Ber was arrested by the Czarist government on slanderous charges. His day of release, Kislev 10 is celebrated to this day as a "festival of liberation" among Lubavitch chassidim. He was Niftar in his 54th year. This is 3 times Chai (18).

    Yood Kislev - י כסלו starts Evening of November 22 2023

    Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Margulios, Rav and Av Beis Din of Cracow, author of Chasdei Hashem (1616)

    Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Elazar ben Rabbi Binyomin Elazar Yustman (1920), Piltzer Rebbe, grandson of the Chiddushei Harim, author of Sifsei Tzaddik

    Rabbi Isser Zalman ben Rabbi Baruch Peretz Meltzer, Rosh Yeshiva of Slutzk and Etz Chaim in Yerushalayim (1953) author of Even Haezel

    Rabbi Rafael Dabosh of Libya (1926), son of the famous mekkubal from Lybia, Rabbi Frija Dabush. He was Av Beis Din in Tripoli.

    Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein (1866-1934), rosh yeshiva of Slabodka and Chevron yeshivos. Born in the town of Bakst in the Vilna district, he learned at Volozhin while still quite young. After his marriage in 1889, he moved to Kovno. Three years later, one of his sisters married Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, one of the greatest of Rav Chaim Soleveitchik’s students. The two developed a close relationship. In 1894, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel offered both of them positions at Yeshiva Kenesses Yisrael of Slobodka. He authored Levush Mordechai. Both Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rabbi Moshe Mordechai married daughters of Reb Shraga Frank, one of the wealthiest men in Kovno, and in whose attic Rav Yisrael Salanter began teaching mussar to Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel and Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer.

    Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer (1870-1954), author of Even HaEzel, rosh yeshiva of Slutsk and Eitz Chaim-Yerushalayim, disciple of Netziv, Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, and the Chafetz Chaim. Father-in-law of Rabbi Aharon Kotler, and uncle of Rabbi Shach.His wife was descended from Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt, author of Ponim Meiros. Both Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rabbi Moshe Mordechai married daughters of Reb Shraga Frank, one of the wealthiest men in Kovno, and in whose attic Rav Yisrael Salanter began teaching mussar to Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel and Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer.

    Yood Aleph Kislev - יא כסלו starts Evening of November 23 2023

    Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Ben-Zion ben Rabbi Yisrael Abba Rosenfeld (1978) Responsible for spreading Breslov in the USA. He was a descendant of Rabbi Ahron of Breslov and the Tcheriner Rav. He gave many shiurim on Reb Nachman's teachings in English.

    Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, Rav in Krakow (1734)

    Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Halevi of Pressburg, author of Imrei Ravrevei (1762).

    Rabbi Simcha Ashkenazi of Dessau [Dasseau] (1785)

    Rabbi Yechiel Heller, Rav of Sovalk [Suvalk]. Among his sefarim are Shailos U'Teshuvos Amudei Ohr, Ohr Yesharim on the Haggadah, Oteh Ohr on Shir HaShirim, and Kinah L'David which was a hesped on Rav David Luria. He was niftar at the age of 47. (1861; according to some, 1867)

    Rabbi Yitzchak Friedman (1924). Born in Sadigura, both of his parents were grandchildren of the Ruzhiner Rebbe. In 1903, he married, and with the passing of his father, he set up his court in Rimanov. He was niftar, at the age of 39, during a fund-raising expedition in the United States. A close friend and relative collected hespedim for the Rebbe in a sefer called Akeidas Yitzchak.

    Yood Bet Kislev - יב כסלו starts Evening of November 24 2023

    Ravina II Bar Shmuel (c. 475), who completed the codification of the Talmud Bavli begun earlier by Rav Ashi. His petirah marks the end of the period of Amoraim.

    Rabbi Shlomo Luria Ashkenazi, the Maharshal (1510-1574 some say 1573) of Lublin; author of the Yam Shel Shlomo, a halachic commentary on 16 tractates of the Talmud (only 7 of which are still extant). His Chochmas Shlomo, glosses on the text of the Talmud and comments, is printed in the standard editions of the Talmud.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Lampronti (1679-1756), author of Pachad Yitzchak, the first major Talmudic encyclopedia ever assembled. He was also moreh tzedek in Ferera, Italy, and the teacher of the Ramchal

    Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch and Tzefas (1765-1840). He was a disciple of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and the first two Rebbes of Chernobyl. Rebbe of Avritch from 1785, he moved to Tzefas in 1830 at the age of 65. He is the author of Bas Ayin, a commentary on Chumash. In the deadly earthquake of 24 Tevet 5597 (January 1, 1837), 5,000 people lost their lives, of whom 4,000 were Jews. Although most of the shul of the Avritcher Rebbe collapsed, the part where the men were clustered remained upright and everyone was saved. He is buried in the old cemetery of Tzefas.

    Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson of Petach Tikva (1910-1993). Born in Warsaw, he was was named rabbi of Sanok in 1937, before being appointed to the Beis Din of Warsaw in early 1940. Following the German occupation of Warsaw he was deported to the Konin labor camp, near Chelmno. When the Konin camp was liquidated in the summer of 1943, Rabbi Aharonson was taken to Hohensalza, and afterwards to Auschwitz 3 (Buna). In 1945 he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald and then forced to participate in the death march to Theresienstadt. The Rabbi kept a diary to provide evidence of the crimes of the German Nazis, and endangered his life constantly in order to document the horror. His writings were collected in the memoir "Alei Merorot" (Leaves of Bitterness", published by his son in 1996. After his liberation he moved to Eretz Israel, where he served as a rabbi in Petach Tikva and Emmanuel.

    Yood Gimmel Kislev - יג כסלו starts Evening of November 25 2023

    Rabbi Rachamim Mazuz of Jerba

    Ravina berei D'rav Huna (499 or 421 CE). Rosh Metivta of Sura. He, together with his teacher, Rav Ashi, collected and commented upon the Gemara of what would henceforth be known as the Talmud Bavli.

    Rabbi Yisrael Taub of Modzhitz, author of Divrei Yisrael (1849-1920). He was the son of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Taub of Zvolin (1888) and the grandson of Rabbi Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir (1856), who was one of the students of the Chozeh of Lublin. He became the first Rebbe of Modzhitz and was succeeded by his son, Shaul Yedidya Elazer. Legend has it that in 1913 Taub composed a 30-minute negun while having his leg amputated without anesthesia.

    See Heichal HaNegina for more

    Rabbi Yisrael Friedman,ben Rabbi David Moshe the second Tchortkover Rebbe (1934 or 1932)

    Rabbi Shalom Hadayah of Aram Tzova (1864-1944). The lineage of his father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Hadayah, could be traced back to Rabbi Saadyah Gaon. Rabbi Shalom's mother, Rebbetzin Sabatyah, was the grand-daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Attiah, author of the Zera Yitzchak. Reb Shalom’s father passed away when he was only three. At the age of 20, he married Sarah, the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Labaton, one of the most outstanding rabbanim and dayanim of Aram Tzova. When Rabbi Yitzchak moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1888, he took Rabbi Shalom and his family with him. In 1891, Rabbbi Shalom had to return to Aram Tzova. While there, he was stricken with an eye ailment and nearly lost his eyesight. Despite that, he wrote a sefer, Shalom LaAm, which focuses on the issues of doing tzedakah and chessed, particularly on behalf of Torah students and scholars. In 1896, Rabbi Shalom moved to Eretz Yisrael permanently, first settling in the Bucharian Quarter, then moving to the Ohel Moshe neighborhood. In 1904, Rabbi Shalom was appointed moreh tzedek in the beis din of Rabbi Vidal Anjel and Rabbi Baruch Elnekavah. In 1930, he was appointed raavad (rosh av beis din) of all the Sephardic communities in Yerushalayim. In 1927, Yerushalayim's chief kabbalist, and rosh yeshivah of Bais Keil, Rabbi Mas'ud HaKohen Elchaded, passed away and Rav Shalom was appointed his successor. Besides Shalom LaAm, the other sefarim Rabbi Shalom wrote were: Dover Shalom, responsa on the Arba Turim; HaChaim v'HaShalom, a series of Torah extrapolations; and Shalom v'Tzedek. His son, Rabbi Ovadyah, was a prominent rosh mesivta in the Porat Yosef yeshivah. When the Jordanians conquered the Old City, Yeshivas Bais Keil was destroyed and Rabbi Ovadyah reestablished it in his own home in the new city. After the Six-Day War, he reestablished the yeshivah in the Old City.

    Yood Dalet Kislev - יד כסלו starts Evening of "November 26 2023

    Admor Mordechay Tabersky He is buried in the Ukraine in the Belaya Tserkov, cemetary which is on Sholom Aleihem street.

    Rabbi David Abuchatzeira HY"D (1919) ben Rabbi Masoud, brother of Baba Sali,he was killed al kiddush Hashem.

    Rabbi Shmuel Heshel ben Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Friedman (1918) talmid of Rabbi Avraham ben'Reb Nachman Chazan, whose sefarim he helped print. He was called one of the "true anshei shlomeinu" of Breslov. Passed away in Yafo.

    Rabbi Naftali Hirsh He is buried in the Shvarzenatz Cemetery in Poland.

    Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu (1567 BCE-1442 BCE)

    Rabbi Menashe ben Yisrael of Amsterdam, was born in 1604 on Madeira Island, Portugal. His family fled the Inquisition and moved to the Netherlands in 1610, where the famous Sephardic community of Amsterdam began to flourish. Menashe rose to eminence not only as a rabbi and the author of a number of books but also as a printer, establishing the first Hebrew printshop in Amsterdam. In 1638 he settled in the Dutch colony of Recife, Brazil, but a few years later was called back to Amsterdam, where he founded and directed one of the first Jewish Day Schools in the city. With a mission to have Jews readmitted to England, he was able to persuade Oliver Cromwell to allow this on the basis of philosophy and theology. As a result, a Synagogue and a cemetery were established in London. Rav Menashe was a friend of Rembrandt van Rijn, who apart from making an etching of the Rabbi, also illustrated his books.

    Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Shtefanesht, Romania, one of the 5 sons of Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin (1823-1869). He was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Avraham Matisyahu, when the latter was 21 years old.

    Rabbi Mordechai Yaakov Breish of Zurich, the Chelkas Yaakov (1895-1976). Born in Skohl, Galicia, his father was a chassid of Rabbi Yissachar Dov of Belz. He married in 1920, and the couple lived in Lvov. He became Rav in Alesk, and then in 1928 of Disbourg, Germany. In 1933, he published Tikun Eruvin, a detailed examination of the halachos of eruvin involved in his project of making a community eruv to help his mispalelim, who were otherwise carrying on Shabbos. Following a life-threatening incident with the Nazis, who had just come to power, Rabbi Mordechai Yaakov and his wife decided to escape Germany. After a brief time in Lance, France, they settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he nurtured the Jewish community for 40 years. In 1967, he established the Kollel Le’horaah Chelkas Yaakov in Bnai Brak.

    Tet Vav Kislev - טו כסלו starts Evening of November 27 2023

    Rabbi David ben Rabbi Yitzchok Twersky of Skver (1919)

    Rabbi Eliyahu Lavi of Libya

    Rabbi Rafael Even Tzur Rabbi of Fez, Morrocco (1916)

    Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, son of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, and redactor of the Mishna (120-192 CE Some say it was 193, others say 219)

    Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (the second), author of Batei Kenesiyos (1760).

    Rabbi Ze’ev of Zhitomer, the Ohr Hamei’ir (1799)

    Rabbi Eliezer Fishel of Brody (1811)

    Rabbi Simcha Bunim Sofer of Pressburg (1842-1906), author of Shaarei Simcha and Shevet Sofer. Born in Pressburg, Hungary (now Bratslava, Slovakia), he was the son of the Kesav Sofer, the grandson of the Chasam Sofer, and a great-grandson of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He succeeded his father as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Pressburg in 1872, at the age of 29, the yeshiva housing over 400 talmidim at the time. He himself was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Akiva Sofer, the Daas Sofer. Interestingly, three continuous generations – the Chasam Sofer, the Kesav Sofer, and the Shevet Sofer – all served as Rav of Pressburg for 33 years. When Rav Akiva Sofer neared his 33rd year as Rav, he asked his uncle, the Erlauer Rav, what to do. Upon his uncle’s advice, the Daas Sofer moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1940, thus saving himself from the horrors of World War II.

    Rabbi David Hakohen Leibowitz (1890-1941). Born in Warsaw, he studied in the yeshiva of Radin as a teenager, where he held private study sessions with his great-uncle, the Chafetz Chaim for 12 hours a day. In 1908, upon the recommendation of his saintly great uncle, Rabbi David went to learn in the Slabodka Yeshiva, under the direction of the Alter of Slabodka, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In 1915, Rabbi Leibowitz succeeded his father-in-law as Rav of Selechnik. After six years, however, he returned to Slobodka as a founding member of the Slabodka Kollel. Every member of the Kovno Kollel had to commit himself to one year of traveling abroad and raising funds for the Kollel. That is what brought Rabbi David to America in 1926. While there, he was offered the job as rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Torah Vodaas. Among his students were Rabbi Gedalya Schorr and Rabbi Avraham Pam. In 1933, Rabbi Leibowitz founded Yeshivas Rabbenu Yisrael Meir Hacohen (better known today as the Chafetz Chaim Yeshiva/Rabbinical Seminary of America in Forest Hills, N.Y.) There he transplanted to the United States his unique style of Talmud study as well as the Slabodka school of mussar. The yeshiva has been headed for the past half-century by his son, Rav Henach Leibowitz.

    Tet Zion Kislev - טז כסלו starts Evening of November 28 2023

    Rabbi Meshulam Roth, Rabbi of Tchernovitz and author of Kol Mevaser

    Rabbi Yaakov of Lublin (1644), father of Rabbi Herschel of Cracow

    Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub (the Imrei Shaul), the second Modzitzer Rebbe. Born in Osherov. (1886-1947). He assumed the leadership of Modzitz upon the passing of his father Rabbi Yisrael, the Divrei Yisrael, in 1920. From 1940 until 1947 the Rebbe resided in Brooklyn New York. Reb Shaul was probably the most prolific chassidic composer of all time with the total output numbering close to 1000 compositions. His year of Hilula is 1947

    Rabbi David Leib Schwartz of Bnei Brak, “Der Heiliger Tzadik” (1999)

    Rabbi Menachem Kalish of Amshinov (1860-1917) succeeded his father, Rabbi Yaakov David Kalish in 1878, at the young age of 18. One of Rabbi Menachem's sons, Rabbi Yosef, became Rebbe in Amshinov, while his second son, Rabbi Shimon Shalom, became a Rebbe in Otvotsk. When Rabbi Yosef passed away, in 1935, his son, Rabbi Yaakov David (1906-1942), was immediately appointed as his successor. His uncle, Rabbi Shimon Shalom, had fled to Shanghai where he helped the Mir yeshivah escape and, after the war, he went to America. Upon his passing in 1954, he was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir, who set up court in the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Bayit Vegan. Rabbi Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir's grandson, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Milikowski, succeeded him in 1976. Rabbi Yitzchak Kalish, the son of Rav Yosef, became the Rebbe of Amshinover chassidim in America. Of Amshinov itself, nothing remained.

    Here is a story about Rabbi Menachem Kalish from "Safed of Ascent."


    It was the last moments before Yom Kippur began. The Jews of Amshinov were all busy with their final preparations for the holiest of days. The centrally located synagogue of the Amshinover Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Kalish, was packed wall to wall and then some. Many were reciting Psalms in broken-hearted tones, while others were chanting the "Al Heit" confessional as part of their "soul accounting" process. All assembled were hurrying in anticipation of the Rebbe's imminent arrival and the cantor dramatically intoning the first words of the opening Kol Nidre prayer.

    But the Rebbe, for some mysterious reason, delayed. Only his immediate family was aware of the reason why, and they weren't able to explain until much later. It began when they were all gathered in the Rebbe's room, his wife, children, and grandchildren, to receive his blessing, when suddenly they heard vigorous knocking on their front door.

    For a moment, the family members were frightened. Who could it be at such a time? The Rebbetzin (Rebbe's wife) walked quickly to the door and opened it. In the doorway, crying bitterly, stood the village blacksmith and his wife. The Rebbetzin urged them to enter and sit down, and as they stumbled in through their tears, they already began to pour forth their sad story.

    Their son, a young man, for several years already had been doing whatever he felt like, ignoring all their attempts at parental guidance. He spent much of the time with non-Jewish youths his age, and behaving like them. Now matters had deteriorated drastically: he announced to them his interest to convert.

    At first the parents assumed that he was just joking with them, trying to "get their goat." But now he told them that tomorrow morning - on Yom Kippur itself! - was scheduled the baptism immersion ceremony to finalize his conversion. It happened that that year Yom Kippur coincided with an annual holiday in their religion, so the local priest had decided that would be the perfect date to baptize the Jewish boy, thereby giving the ceremony an expanded significance, and adding to the joy of the holiday celebrators.

    "We came to beg the Rebbe to save us from this horror. At least request from the priest, who is known to have great respect for you, to delay their disgusting ceremony until after Yom Kippur. How can it be that on this holiest of days, when the entire Jewish people is seeking atonement for their sins, that our son, our very flesh and blood, will be converted away from being Jewish. What a disgrace! What a tragedy! G-d forbid!" exclaimed the distraught parents, as they completed their plea and burst into tears again.

    The Amshinover had listened carefully to every word. Without saying anything to the frantic couple, he turned to his aging mother, the Rebbetzin Chaya-Leah, and asked her to have his daughter-in-law, Sara'leh, the wife of his son Yosef, write a letter in his name to the head priest of the town in fluent and flowery Polish, requesting that the conversion ceremony be delayed for a few days.

    Sara'leh succeeded in penning the letter surprisingly quickly. The Rebbe asked his main attendant, Reb Yudel, to deliver the letter as fast as possible directly into the hand of the priest. Reb Yudel was an energetic man and quick on his feet. He sped off with alacrity to fulfill his mission from the Rebbe. The Rebbe took out his pocket watch and began to count off the seconds. "One, two, three, four…"

    Everyone present thought this behavior of the Rebbe remarkably strange. Till what number would he count? How long was he prepared to wait for Yudel's return? What about getting to shul for Yom Kippur before sunset?

    In the end, not that many minutes elapsed and Yudel was already back, and with an answer. A positive one! The priest agreed to delay the ceremony.

    The parents of the young man thanked the Rebbe profusely and returned home, somewhat encouraged. At least Yom Kippur would be Yom Kippur.

    Meanwhile, the congregation in shul was becoming nervous; the sun was already setting. In the last moments before it dipped below the horizon, the Rebbe finally entered, awe-inspiringly dressed in his white robe and tallit, with his spodek (tall fur hat for special occasions) adding majesty to his appearance. As soon as the Rebbe reached his place, the cantor, Rabbi Yisrael-Yitzchak, the rabbinical judge in Shidlowvitza, began in a trembling yet powerful voice to chant with the traditional sweet melody, the awesome introductory phrase to the opening prayer of Yom Kippur evening, Kol Nidre.

    The Yom Kippur prayers in the synagogue with the Amshinover Rebbe were always a thrilling event, but this year it seemed more powerful than ever to those who participated regularly. Even the simplest Jew was able to feel the holiness of the day and the fearsomeness of the ensuing judgment descending on them. Those with deeper understanding sensed that every word of prayer emerging from the Rebbe's mouth and soul was instrumental in the battle to overcome the accusations of the prosecuting angel and secure Heaven's blessings for a good and sweet year for every Jewish home and community.

    The sun set, the final "locking" prayers were completed and the fast ended. The Rebbe sat at the head of the large table set up in the shul for the celebratory post-Yom Kippur meal; surrounded by his chasidim. The Rebbe's face was radiant with happiness and pleasure, like a king returning victorious from a difficult, exhausting war. In the eyes of the chasidim this was a clear sign that the Rebbe knew that his prayers had been accepted on High. An elevating spirit of joy and satisfaction filled the room.

    Suddenly everyone startled as the doors to the shul slammed open and banged against the wall. In burst a young man with bushy hair and a wrinkled, ragged yarmulke perched precariously on his head. He ran directly to the Rebbe's table, threw himself outstretched on the floor, and screamed, "Rebbe! Help! Save me!"

    It was the son of the blacksmith. He continued, in a voice choked with burning tears, "I'm completely torn up inside. I regret so much what I almost did Rebbe, I promise - I'll never go back to them again."

    Most of those present did not know the identity of this strange young man or his story. A handful of the chasidim, however, had managed to uncover the background to what had caused the Rebbe's delayed arrival to the Kol Nidre prayer, and they were aggravated. "After all the trouble and anguish he caused before Yom Kippur started last evening--to his parents, to the Rebbe and to the entire congregation--he still has the nerve to come here and cause a disturbance as soon as Yom Kippur ends, too?" they murmured among themselves.

    The Rebbe sensed immediately what they were whispering about. He turned towards the lad with a look that emanated pure affection. Then he stood up from his chair, walked towards the young man, and extended his hand for a welcoming shake. He then brought him back with him to his place and the table and poured him a cup of wine. "Say the blessing for wine," he ordered him, "and say L'Chayim."

    The astonished boy did as told and the Rebbe responded with a hearty "Amen!"

    This first encounter with the Amshinover Rebbe became a sharp turning point in the young man's life. From that Yom Kippur on, he became firmly attached to the Amshinover Rebbe with all his heart and soul. And he acted accordingly. He studied assiduously day and night, with great energy and concentration. It seemed as if he was determined to compensate for all those wasted years. He prayed with fervor and forged positive relationships with the other chasidim in the Rebbe's court.

    The Amshinover chasidim liked to say that due to the Rebbe's reputation and efforts just before Yom Kippur he was successful in delaying the conversion ceremony, but that this mistaken and distant soul could be returned to its source and correct path, that could only be with the help of the Rebbe's prayers and tears on Yom Kippur itself