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Yood Zion Kislev - יז כסלו starts Evening of December 16 2016


Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam, the only son of the Rambam, born to him by his 2nd wife. Born in Fostat, Egypt (1186-1238). Author of Hamaspik L'avdei “"/ Hashem. The english translation of this Sefer is excellent and highly recommended to study for the non Hebrew speaker.

Rabbi Noach of Ludmir, talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin and author of Biurim of Maharam Schif

Rabbi Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, Alter from Novardok (1849 some say 1858]-1919). Born in the Lithuanian town of Plongian to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman, Rav and Dayan of the town, Rabbi Yosef Yoizel joined Kovno's Kollel Perushim where he studied under Rabbi Itzele Blazer, Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam and Rabbi Avraham Shenker, spending at least 18 hours a day - most of the time standing- studying. He also spent two lengthy periods learning in solitude – first, he secluded himself in a small room for a year and a half after tragically losing his first wife during childbirth; later, learning in a room in a forest for 12 years, leaving only to visit his family for Shabbats. In 1894, Rabbi Yosef Yoizel began to visit the Alter of Kelm, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv. Later, he established a large yeshiva in Novorodok and was responsible for creating a whole network of yeshivas. During the War, in 1914, he moved the yeshiva – with its students – to Hommel in the Ukraine, as the Germans advanced on Novardok. In 1918, he moved it to Kiev.

Rabbi Chai Taib of Tunisia, author of HaLev Hitin (1835)

Rabbi Shlomo Heiman, Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash Elyon, Tora Vodaas (1893-1944). Born in Parenz, near Minsk, Rabbi Shlomo entered the yeshiva in Halusk at age 12, where he learned under Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz. He remained there until 1917, when he married Chaya Feiga Rudensky of Volozhin. That year, he was appointed by Rabbi Baruch Ber to serve as Rosh Yeshiva in Knesses Bais Yitzchak. When anti-Semitic harassment forced him to leave the area, the Chafetz Chaim asked Rabbi Shlomo to teach in his yeshiva. When WWI ended, Rav Elchonon Wasserman asked Rabbi Shlomo to be a Rosh Yeshiva in Baranovitch. In 1927 Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzenski invited Rav Shlomo to be Rosh Yeshiva of the Ramailles Yeshiva in Vilna, a position he held for almost eight years. In 1935, with Rabbi Chaim Ozer's approval, Rabbi Shlomo accepted an invitation to head Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. Thus he was spared, through hashgocho pratis, the horrors of WWII. Since he arrived in America a few years before the onset of the Holocaust, he was able to aid in the rescue of Bnei Torah and Rabbanim.

Rabbi Avraham Yochanan Blumenthal (1877-1966). Born to his parents one year after they made aliyah from Hungary, he married in 1895, and - despite the death of three of his children and his wife's becoming hard of hearing - he began an orphanage for the destitute of Yerushalayim during World War I. Beis Zion Blumenthal has been continued by his grandson, Rav Eliezer Rakovsky (Niftar 1996) and his great grandson, Rav Baruch Rakovsky.

Yood Chet Kislev - יח כסלו starts Evening of December 17 2016

Rabbi Eliezer Zev ben Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenbaum of Rachov (1998) Lived in Ramat Gan

Rabenu Avraham HaChasid

Rabbi Shlomo Tanji of Morocco

Admor Yosef Itzchak from Avrutch He is buried in Avrutch Belarus

Rabbi Aryeh Leib Darshan of Posen (1736)

Rabbi Baruch of Mezhbizh (1756 some say 1753 -1811 some say 1812), son of Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi and Adel, the only daughter of the Baal Shem Tov. Educated by Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz and the Maggid of Mezritch, he began serving as Rebbe in Tulchin. After the passing of his older brother, the Degel Machane Ephraim in 1798, Rabbi Baruch settled in Mezhibizh. He is buried in the Ukraine.

Rabbi Yekusiel Shmelke of Sassov (1857)

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Ovritch, son of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch, and father of Rebbitzen Shterna Sarah who was the wife of the Rebbe RaShaB (1877).

Rabbi Mordechai Alishberg of Boisk (1889)

Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Ehrenreich, author of ShU”T Kav Chaim (1875-1936). Born in Savrantz, his grandfather was Rabbi Avraham Yehuda Scwartz, the Kol Aryeh. His primary teacher was brother, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, Rav of Shamlau and author of Lechem Shlomo. Rabbi Chaim Tzvi became Rav of the Mahd community when he was 57, succeeding his father-in-law. He was also Av Beis Din of Mahd for over thirty years. In 1923, he published Ketzeit Hamteh on the mateh Ephraim (by Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Margulies of Brodt) on the halachos of Chodesh Elul and Chodesh Tishrei. In 1932, he published Shaarei Chaim on Shaarei Epharim, dealing with halachos of krias Hatorah. His magnus opus, Kav Chaim, comprised 102 (gematria of Kav) Teshuvos in practical halacha.

Rabbi Tzvi Menachem Teller, Rosh Yeshiva at the Bais Medrash L’Torah (Skokie Yeshiva) (1951-2007). His parents were Gerrer Chasidim from distinguished lineage, descended from Rabbi Yitzchok of Vorki. Upon advice of the Gerrer Rebbe, the Bais Yisroel, young Tzvi Teller went to a Lithuanian style Yeshiva. He learned at the Ponovezh Yeshiva for seven years as a talmid of Rabbi David Povarsky and Rabbi Shmuel Rozovsky. After marrying, the couple moved to Seattle where Rabbi Tzvi became a principal for 3 years. In 1975, they then moved to Skokie.

Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz The Bostoner Rebbe. His Hilula is 2009. He was well known for his outreach to students of Yale and Harvard and other Boston schools. He also started the Rofeh International organization. He was insistent that it was not correct for the Israeli government to give back the land in Gush Gatif no matter how much money was offered in the form of a bribe for his support. The bribe took the form of additional government support for schools and education. Many other Rabbi did succumb to this inducement and changed their votes and attitudes about the matter.

Yood Tet of Kislev - יט כסלו starts Evening of December 18 2016

This is a special celebration day for the followers of Chabad. This is the day that the founder of the Lubavitch movement was released from the Tzar's Prison where he was unjustly imprisoned.

Rabbi Chaim Tayeb (1836) great tzadik and mekubal in Tunisia

Rabbi Nissim Chaim Rosenbaum of Drohvitz HY"D (1942) ben Rabbi Eliezer Zev of Kretchnif

Rabbi Dov Ber ben Avraham who inherited the mantle of leadership of Hasidic Judaism from the Baal Shem Tov became known as the Maggid (preacher) of Mezeritch. Born into poverty, and suffering numerous health problems, the Maggid nevertheless became a key architect of the khasidic movement. He is regarded as the first systematic exponent of the mystical philosophy underlying the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Dov Ber was a great organizer of leaders from among his disciples, some of whom captured his teachings in books that gave a systematic exposition of the Maggid’s brand of Jewish mysticism. On April 11, 1772, Rabbi Elijah, the Vilna Gaon, issued a writ of excommunication against khasidism and refused to meet with Menachem Mendel and Shneur Zalman; Lubavitcher khasidim have subsequently taught that had the Gaon only met with these two, the messiah would have come. “From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. ” —Rabbi Dov Ber.

Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriyeh, Beis Midrash Lamed Daas (1995). He was a member of the Kenesset from the National Religious Party. He is the founder of the Benai Akiva Yeshivot and Ulpanot. His was a leader in the Religious Zionist Movement.

Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Tolna (1915)

Rabbi Shaul Mekiketz Shelai, born in Djerba, one of the two main cities in Tunisia, son of Rabbi Matuk Sali, and grandson of Emmanuel Shelai. At an early age, he leaned under Rabbi David HaKohen, and at age 20, he began to teach in the yeshiva of Rabbi Yosef Bereibi, the Ben Porat Yosef. With the latter’s passing, Rabbi Shaul became the Rosh Yeshiva. Rabbi Shaul edited and annotated many sefarim by previous gedolim of Djerba, including Kisei Rachamim by Rabbi Rachamim Mazuz and Ben Porta Yosef by Rabbi Yosef Bereibi. Later in life, he and his wife moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Shlomi, near Nahariya. In Yisrael, he wrote Midrasho shel Shlomo in 1948 and Karmi Sheli (on Kiddushin) and Medrash Avos (on Avos) in 1963, as well as other writings. His final work, Bayit Va’Shem was published posthumously in 1975. Appended to it is Va’Yatek Mi’Sham, offering guidelines and insights on raising children.

Caf of Kislev - כ כסלו starts Evening of December 19 2016

Rabbi Shmuel ben Rabbi Yaakov of Nemirov (1830) Tzadik mentioned in the writings of Rabbi Noson the main follower of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim ben Rabbi Klonomus Kalman Rosen (1984) Great tzadik and one of the Gedolei of Breslov.

Rabbi Baruch Hager of Seret-Viznitz, the Imrei Baruch (1892). The son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, Rabbi Baruch was Rebbe for only eight years, and was niftar at a young age. His son, Rabbi Yisrael Hager (the Ahavas Yisrael), was born when Rabbi Baruch was only 15 years old. Some say his Hilula is the 2nd of Kislev.

Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner, Rosh Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, author of Pachad Yitzchak (1907-1981 some say 1980). His uncle, Rabbi Benzion Ostrover, had been a disciple of Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk, and was instrumental in providing his young nephew with a direct link to the world of Chasidut. At the age of 15, he went to Slobodka and was directed by the Alter, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In 1925, he entered the new Slabodka branch in Chevron, where he also met and learned from Rav A. I. Kook. He remained until 1929, after which he returned to his parents in Warsaw. He became a personal tutor for Rabbi Moshe Solevetchik’s son, Aharon. In 1932, he published his Toras HaNazir, a commentary on the Rambam’s Hilchos Nazir. In 1933, he married Masha Lipshitz and moved to Eretz Yisrael. Despite his great attachment to the Land, they left for America one year later, not to return for 30 years. He built Yeshiva Chaim Berlin to his specifications with his famous blend of Torah philosophies. Among his talmidim are Rabbi Yitzchak Shurin, grandson of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky. Among his colleagues at Slobodka were Rabbi Yitzchak HaLevi Ruderman, Rabbi Reuven Grozovsky; Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky; and Rabbi Aharon Kotler. In 1949 he began publishing his discourses on morals and ethics which he subtitled, Divrei Torah B’inyanei Hilchot Deos V’Chovos Halevovos. As a young man he wrote Toras Hanazir on the Rambam’s Hilchos Nezirus. He wrote a profound commentary (Kovetz Heaaros) on Rabbeinu Hillel on the Safra. His discourses on Yomim Tovim and Shabbos (Pachad Yitzchok) are collected in seven volumes.

Here is some additional information about Rabbi Hutner from the website Kavod Torah.com:

The Enigma of Greatness - Maran Harav Yitzchok Hutner, Zt"l, Rosh Yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Berlin. The great Gaon, Maran Harav Hutner, Zt"l was and IS STILL the Rebbe of thousands in Eretz Yisroel and in Chutz L'aretz.He contributed a new depth to Mussar and Machshava. That depth was part of his inner being and not a strategy for inspiring students. His Seforim "Pachad Yitzchok" are textbooks of riveting concepts in Machshava. But more important he was a text "Person" of the depth of his thought. But his depth did not limit itself to Machshava and Mussar. His concern for his Talmidim, his understanding of people was so unique, so profound .... that when a person would speak to him they would feel the piercing perception of a Gadol B'yisroel. Known as the "Iluy of Warsaw" Maran Harav Hutner, zt"l wrote his first Sefer on Rambam Hilchos Neziros which was decorated by an unusual Haskama from Maran Harav Chaim Ozer, zt"l who declared "Ashrei Yoladeto".

Rabbi Yochanan Twersky, the Rachmastrika Rebbe. He was also the cousin of the Belzer Rebbe. He was shot by the Nazis during Friday night prayers. His daughter, Malka married the first Boyaner Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Friedman, the Pachad Yitzchak. (1981)

Rabbi Meshulam Feivish HaLevi of Zbarazh, author of Yosher Divrei Emes, a basic work on chasidic thought (1794). He studied under Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritch. His teachings appear in Likutim Yekarim. His disciples included Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotz

Rabbi Feivish of Kremenitz, the Mishnas Chachamim (1774)

Rabbi Hirsh Paley (1911-2006 [?]). Born in Shklov, Lithuania, to Rabbi Avraham Noach Paley, a close talmid of Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibovitz. The family immigrated to Eretz Yisrael when Rabbi Hirsh was fourteen. His father became the mashgiach in Yeshivas Chevron. Rabbi Hirsh would travel with his lifelong friend Rabbi Shalom Schwadron to hear Rabbi Elya Lopian in Yerushalayim, whom he considered his rebbi muvhak and and moreh derech. Rabbi Hirsh was the last surviving member of the Chevron community following the 1929 riots. In 1965, he married Menuchah, the daughter of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Pines. She had been one of the first talmidos of Sara Schenirer and served as a mechaneches in Beis Yaakov Schools for over six decades, both in Tel Aviv and in Yerushalayim. They moved to Tel Aviv, where Rabbi Hirsh studied in Kollel Heichal HaTalmud, founded by his father. He later became mashgiach at Chevron Yeshiva.

Caf Aleph of Kislev - כא כסלו starts Evening of December 20 2016

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman ben Rabbi Moshe David Friedman of Tenka (1999) He was already a great Rav while in Europe. He lived in Brooklyn, where he was well known as a tzadik. He was very close with the gedolim of his time including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and the Satmar Rebbe, who he is buried near.

Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (1566-1446 B.C.E.) Born: Aram Naharayim, 1600 BCE. Died: Egypt, 1445 BCE. Reuven was the son of Yaacov the Patriarch and Leah the Matriarch. He is one of the 12 Tribes and was Yaakov's firstborn. He was designated for the service of God, for until the service was transferred to the Tribe of Levi when the Tabernacle was erected, it was performed by the firstborn. The monetary rights of the firstborn (to receive a double inheritance in the Holy Land) were given to Joseph, the firstborn of Yaacov and Rachel, but not the genealogical birthright. Reuven, Shimon, and Levi were the leaders of the Jewish people of Israel in Egypt. Some say his Hilula is 24 Kislev.

Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank, rav of Yerushalayim (1873-1961). He was born in Lithuania and was a student of Rabbi Eliezer Gordon and Rabbi Shmuel Salant, his main work is a set of responsa known as Har Tzvi. He also authored Mikraei Kodesh. He was the father-in-law of Rabbi Menachem Ben-Tzion Sacks, the Menachem Tzion.

Rabbi Yaakov Meir Padwa of Brisk, author of Mekor Mayim Chaim, a commentary on Shulchan Aruch.

Rabbi Yochanan Perlow, the seventh Rebbe (some say the sixth) of the Stolin-Karlin dynasty (1900-1956). Born in Stolin, a suburb of Pinsk, White Russia, to Rabbi Yisrael, the “Yanuka” of Stolin. After his father was niftar in 1921, his six sons split the succession: Rabbi Moshe became rebbe in Stolin; Rabbi Avraham Elimelech took over in Karlin; Rabbi Yaakov moved to the U.S. in 1923 to lead the Karlin community that already had four shuls in New York and one shtiebel in Detroit. He became known as the Detroiter Rebbe. Rabbi Yochanan moved to Poland where he became a rebbe in Lutsk, capital of the Volhynia district. Among the 41,000 people in Lutsk were 18,000 Jews. After the Nazis entered Lutsk on June 25, 1941, they herded the Jews into a ghetto in December, and the following August, they dragged 17,500 of them outside the town and murderously gunned them down. The last survivors, Jewish workers in the local labor camp, mounted a heroic but hopeless revolt on December 11, after learning that they, too, were about to be liquidated. Only about 150 Lutsk Jews survived the war. Rav Yochanan, his wife and two daughters fled into the surrounding forests and made their way deep into Russia with groups of partisans. After being deported to Siberia and personally burying his wife and elder daughter there on the same day, Rav Yochanan somehow survived the war. He lost almost his entire family; only one daughter, Faige, survived. He moved to Haifa in 1946, then to America two years later. While in New York, he founded the Karlin-Stolin Torah Institutions and published the new Siddur Beis Aharon v'Yisrael, comprising Karlin-Stolin minhagim. Rabbi Yochanan's grandson, Rabbi Baruch Yaakov Meir Shochet, became the next Stolin-Karlin Rebbe. He composed the poem "Kah Echsof Noam Shabbos" that is printed in most editions of Shabbos Zemiros. His Hilula is 1956. He is buried in Tiveria.

Caf Bet of Kislev - כב כסלו starts Evening of December 21 2016

Rabbi Eliezer (or Elazar) Ashkenazi, author of Ma'asei Hashem (1512-1585 some say 1586). Born in Turkey, he studied with Rav Yosef Taitatzak (1465-1546) in Salonica, and served as a rabbi in Egypt from 1538 to 1561. For unknown reasons, he was compelled to leave, then served in Famagusta, Cyprus, and on to Venice, Italy. Due to a disagreement with Rav Shmuel Yehudah Katzenellengogen, he moved to Prague, where he helped develop the chevra kadisha, on which others are based. After a year, he moved back to Italy and lived in Cremona. In 1578, he moved to Posen, Poland and took his final post. He retired to Cracow, where he lived his last few years. He is author of Maasei Hashem. He was a contemporary of the Maharal.

Rabbi Meshulem Mirels, father-in-law of the Chacham Tzvi (1686).

Rabbi Pinchas of Ostroha (1805).

Rabbi Yechezkel Panet, Av Bais Din of De'esh (Dezh), Chief Rabbi of Transylvania and author of Mar’eh Yechezkel and Kenesses Yechezkel. (1783-1845) (Some say 1929.)

Rabbi Yoel Ashkenazi of Zlotchov (1906), brother-in-law of Rav Yosef Yoel Deutsch of Kretchinef, Hungary, author of Yad Yosef (1859 either his birth year or the publication date)

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Rabbi Chaim Kesar (Chassar), Rav in the Yemenite community in Israel (1997)

Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Schwadron, Yerushalmi maggid (1913-1997 some say 1998), brother-in-law of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. He was named for his grandfather, the Maharsham, the leading posek in Galicia before World War I. He lost his father at age seven, and for a time lived in an orphanage. After his bar mitzvah he studied in the Lomzer Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah, and later in the Chevron Yeshiva in Yerushalayim under Rav Yehuda Leib Chasman. After his marriage, he continued his studies in Kollel Ohel Torah. The kollel's members included Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Shmuel Wosner. In addition to his renown as a maggid, he published approximately 25 of his grandfather's works, as well as Lev Eliyahu (of Rabbi Elya Lopian), and the writings of Rabbi Chasman, Ohr Yohel.

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Klein. Born in New York, he learned at Torah Vodaas. His rebbe muvhack was Rabbi Shlomo Heiman. He subsequently learned under Rabbi Reuven Grozovsky at Beis Midrash Elyon in Monsey. His last 40 years were spent as menahel of the mesivta of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn. (1922-2004)

Caf Gimmel of Kislev - כג כסלו starts Evening of December 22 2016

Rabbi David of Novordok (1837) author of Geila Meseches

Rabbi David ben Rabbi Mordechai Zusia Twersky of Bohush-Yas (1933)

Rabbi Ben-Zion Alphas (1940) Darshan in Eretz Yisroel

Rabbi David Teveli Shiff, author of Lashon Zahav, and the son of Shlomo Zalman HaKohen Shiff

Rabbi Elimelech of Tosh (now Nytass), Hungary (1946 some say 1942). Son of the founder of the Tosher dynasty, Rav Meshulem Feish Lowy. He is also the grandfather of the present Tosher Rebbe shlita.

Rabbi Shabsai Yudelevitz, Yerushalmi maggid (1924-1996).

Caf Dalet of Kislev - כד כסלו starts Evening of December 23 2016

Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (1446 B.C.E.)

Rabbi Yichya Tzalach (1804), the Maharitz of Yemen

Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchok ben Rabbi Yehuda Rosenfeld (1850), Rav of Tcherin, he was a talmid of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and accompanied him on his mysterious trip in 1807.

Rabbi Moshe ben Rabbi Menachem Mendel Paneth of Deizh (1902)

Rabbi Chaim Hager of Atinya (1932) ben Rabbi Boruch of Vizhnitz, son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchok of Bohush

Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini, the Sdei Chemed (1832-1904). Rabbi Chaim was born in Yerushalayim and was married at 18. After his father was niftar two years later, Rabbi Chaim’s cousins in Constantinople offered to support his learning if he moved there. After 13 years in Turkey, he took a position of Rabbi in the small city of Karasubazar in Crimea. He served there for 33 years, fighting the forces of the Kariites, before moving back to Yerushalayim. He lived there for 2 years, then moved to Chevron, where he was appointed Rabbi of the city in 1880. His Sdei Chemed is a monumental, universally-acclaimed 18-volume Talmudic and halachic encyclopedia.

Caf Hey of Kislev - כה כסלו starts Evening of December 24 2016

Tonight is the first Candle of Chanuka. It is actually the Light of Binah and the Vessel of Malchut.

Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Nissim Harari Raful (1991) He is buried in Jerusalem on Har Hamuchot.

Rabbi Avraham, son of the Vilna Gaon (1808). Please see above - Rabbi Shlomo Zalman

Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu ben Rabbi Refoel Eliyahu Medini (1904), He is author of Sdei Chemed

Rabbi Yaakov Ettlinger (1798-1871), son of Rabbi Aharon, rosh yeshiva of the local mesivta in Karlsruhe, Germany and grandson of the Shaagas Aryeh. In 1823, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of the Beis Midrash in Mannheim, and 12 years later he became Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Altona. He authored many sefarim, including Aruch LeNer, Binyan Tzion, Bikurei Yaakov. He gave smicha to Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch after the latter learned with him for barely a year. He is buried in Germany.

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman (1758),father of the Vilna Gaon (1758). It is interesting to note that both father and son passed on the same day 50 years apart. 50 is a Kabbalistic number referring to Binah and Yovel. It is most likely that both father and son have the same soul with the son being a reincarnation of the father. This is a common experience in many families.

Rabbi Yochanan Twersky, the Tolna Rebbe (1906-1988 some say 1998 probably a typo error). He was the son of Rabbi David Mordechai in Tultchin, where his grandfather, Rabbi Menachem Nachum was Rav. The latter had moved there from Tolna a year earlier.

Rabbi Raphael Avraham Sharabi (1875-1927). Son of Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, he was active in helping the victims of the Damascus blood libel. He authored Divrei Shalom.

Rabbi Chaim of Antineya, the Tal Chaim (1931)

Caf Vav of Kislev - כו כסלו starts Evening of December 25 2016

Tonight is the Second Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Yesod and the Vessel of Chesed.

Rabbi Yosef ben Rabbi Ahron Perlow of Koidenov (1915) Descendant, ben acher ben from the Lechovitcher.

Rabbi Avraham ben David, Ravad III, also known as the Baal Hasagos (1121-1198 some say 1197). The 3rd of three great Jews named Avraham ben Dovid who lived in the same era, this Rabbi Avraham was born in Provence in the small village of Puskeiras (Posquières) to a wealthy and prominent man who was close to Prince Roger. At the age of 12 he went to Lunel to study with Rabbi Meshulem ben Moshe, author of Hashlama on the Rif. He married the daughter of Rabbi Avraham ben Yitzchak, Av Beis Din (known as Raavad II), the author of Ha’Eshkol. He then learned in the yeshiva of Narbonne, headed by Rabbi Yosef ben Marven Halevi. The Ravad's brief critical notes to the Mishneh Torah are known for their abrasive quality. He objected to the Rambam’s methodology of presenting normative rulings without indication of their sources of rationales. In his later years, he learned kabala, and his two sons, Rabbi David and Rabbi Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, were among Provence’s first kabalists. Among the Ravad III’s greatest students were Rabbi Yitzchak Hacohen of Narbonne (the first commentator of the Yerushalmi), Rabbi Avraham ben Natan HaYarchi (author of HaManhig), Rabbi Meir Ben Yitzchak (author of HaEzer), and Rabbi Asher ben Meshulem of Lunel.

Rabbi Elazar of Kozhnitz [Kozienice](1863 some say 1861). Son of Rabbi Yisrael, the Kozhnitzer Maggid, his thoughts are recorded in Likutei Mahara. One of his disciples was Rabbi Aryeh Yehuda Leib haLevi Epstein (1837-1914), "Rebbe Leibush the Second," author of Birkas Tov.

Rabbi Meshulam Roth (1875-1962). Born in Gorodenka, Galicia (now in Ukraine), his teachers in Talmud and halachah were Rabbi Yaakov Weidenfeld (rabbi of Grimaylov and father of the Tschebiner Rav, Dov Berish Weidenfeld), Rabbi Avraham Mendel Steinberg (rabbi of Brody) and Rabbi Meir Arik (rabbi of Bucach, and perhaps the leading Galician sage of the period). For a time, Rabbi Roth also studied with Rabbi Yehuda Modern of Sighet, from whom he gained a strong attachment to the works of the Chasam Sofer. After his marriage, he was elected rabbi of Chorostkiv (Ukraine). Rabbi Roth was eventually elected rabbi of Shatz (Suceava, Romania) and later Czernowitz (Tchernovitz), Ukraine, where he witnessed the community's destruction during the Holocaust. In 1944, Rabbi Roth managed to escape to Eretz Yisrael. Some say his Hilula is the 16th of Kislev.

Rabbi Yehoshua Zelig Diskin, Rav of Pardes Chana (1896-1970); born in Chislavichi, son of Rabbi Shimon Moshe Diskin (1872-1930), author of Midrash Shimoni. Rabbi Yehoshua wrote the preface to his father’s sefer, entitled Toldos Ha-Mechaber. His son, named for his father, Rabbi Shimon Diskin (1932-1999), was born in the town of Periaslov in the Kiev region of the Ukraine where Rabbi Yehoshua Zelig was rabbi. He became one of the roshei yeshivos of Kol Torah. The Diskin family is descendant from the Maharal MiPrague and the Chavos Yo'ir.

Rabbi David Hersh Mayer, Rosh Yeshiva, Beis Binyomin, Stamford (CT) (1947-2002). Son of Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Mayer (Nitra, Czechoslovakia), author of Maharsha Ha’aruch, a close friend of Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl. His mother, Leah, was the main character in the famous story of the woman who demanded a knife for her newborn son as she was being taken away to a concentration camp; she then circumcised her 8-day child. The child was Rabbi David Hersh’s older brother, Menashe. The family survived and moved to America. Rabbi David Hersh learned at the Nitra yeshiva in Mount Kisco, NY, then at Lakewood. He was close to Rav Shneur Kotler and Rav Nosson Wachtfogel and was instrumental in the founding of the Los Angeles Kollel. He founded Beis Binyomin in 1977.

Caf Zion of Kislev - כז כסלו starts Evening of December 26 2016

Tonight is the Third Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Hod and the Vessel of Gevurah.

This is one of the few days without a Tzadik. It is suggested you use the Tzadikim from the general category where we do not know the exact days of the Tzadik's passing:

  • Concealed Tzadikim
  • Caf Chet of Kislev - כח כסלו starts Evening of December 27 2016

    Tonight is the Fourth Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Tiferet and the Vessel of Netzach.

    Rabbi Uziel Meizlish of Ritshval ben Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch (1785) talmid of the Magid of Mezrotch and author of many seforim, including TiferesUziel, Eitz Hadaas Tov and Menorah Hatehorah.

    Rabbi Baruch David ben Rabbi Mordechai Dov Twersky of Hornesteipil (1925). He is the author of Vayavarech David.

    Rabbi Moshe Torgeman, a Rebbe of Baba Sali

    Rabbi Chaim Chernovitch

    Rabbi Ezra Chamui of Damascus

    Rabbi Shlomo Ardit of Izmir

    Rabbi Avraham Ravigo (1714). Born in Modena, Italy, he became highly esteemed as both a supporter of Torah and as a great Torah scholar himself. He and a party of 25 set sail from Livorno, Italy, for Eretz Yisrael in 1702. When they arrived in Yerushalayim, his wife, daughter, and closest disciple died in a plague. He opened a yeshiva; among the ten Rabbanim who learned there was the son-in-law of Rabbi Yehudah HaChasid. After the petirah of Rabbi Moshe ben Chaviv, Rabbi Avraham was appointed Rishon Letzion. However, he passed away during one of his trips abroad trying to raise funds. His talmid, Rabbi Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi, wrote Eshel Avraham on the Zohar and other Kabalistic teachings that he received from Rabbi Avraham.

    Rabbi Avraham Madjar (1834). Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim author of Divrei Shalom.

    Rabbi Ezra Hamway, Ra’avad of Aram Tzova in Syria (1945)

    Rabbi Eliahu Meir Bloch (1894-1955). Born on Simchas Torah in the small Lithuanian city of Telshe to Rabbi Yosef Leib, Rav and Rosh Yeshivah of Telshe, having assumed the helm of the yeshivah from his father-in-law, Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, the founder of the Yeshivah. After his marriage, he spent 12 years as a Rosh Yeshiva at Telshe. When it became clear that the Yeshivah could not continue under the Soviets, the administration sent Reb Elya Meir and his brother-in-law, the late Rosh Yeshivah Reb Chaim Mordechai Katz on a mission to the United States, to raise funds to move the Yeshivah to either America or Eretz Yisrael. When they arrived, they learned of the Nazi invasion. They decided to restart the Yeshiva in Cleveland.

    Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Wainkrantz (1920-2004). Born in Popov, Poland, he studied at the Novardok branch in Polutsk, then traveled to Bialystok to learn at the Bais Yosef Yeshiva under Rabbi Avraham Yoffen. During WW2, he was exiled to Siberia. In 1947, he moved to America, married, and learned in Kollel for another 10 years under Rabbi Yoffen. He then founded a yeshiva ketana. He was also maggid shiur at Congregation Shomrei Emunah. In his later years, he became Rosh Yeshiva at Bais Yosef.

    Caf Tet of Kislev - כט כסלו starts Evening of December 28 2016

    Tonight is the Fifth Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Netzach and the Vessel of Tiferet.

    Many Hasidim do additional spiritual actions this night and day to promote Simcha (Happiness). This is done because the 5th night of Chanuka can not ever fall on a Shabbat. As such the Chabad Rebbe Father in Law - the 6th Labavitch Rebbe said in 1929 that the 5th Night represents Great Darkness. The light of the candles on the 5th night removes this greater darkness.

    It is also the anniversary of the second release from the Tzar's jail for the First Chabad Rebbe the Ba'al HaTanya.

    Rabbi Avraham Meyuchas (1767) Great Mekubal and Posek in Eretz Yisroel

    Rabbi Avraham ben Rabbi Nachman Chazan (1907), leader of Breslov after Rabbi Noson. He wrote many seforim, including Kochvei Ohr and Biur Halikutim on Likutei Mohoran.

    Rabbi Tzvi Mordechai ben Rabbi Avraham Moshe of Peshischa (1866) son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchok of Vorka

    Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Halevi Horowitz of Stanislav

    Rabbi Aharon Shimon Shapiro of Prague (1679)

    Rabbi Chizkiya ben David di Silva, author of Pri Chodosh on the Shulchan Aruch (1659-1698). Born in Livorna, Italy.

    Rabbi Gedalia of Linitz, author of Teshuos Chein (1803). Son of Rabbi Yitzchak, he was a disciple of the Magid of Mezritch. Rebbe Nachman said about Rav Gedalya of Linitz that he was foremost in the bringing of people to repentance in that generation, even though he never gave lectures and only sat and learned all day. This is mentioned in Likutey Moran 14. The Baal Shem Tov, whom he saw several times, regarded him very highly. Talmid of the Toldos Yaakov Yosef and the Mochiach of Polonya as well.

    Rabbi Shlomo of Vilna, author of Cheshek Shlomo (1905)

    Rabbi Baruch Hager of Vishiva (1944)

    Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu Finkler of Radoshitz (Radoszyce) (1902-1944). Son of Rabbi Meir Menahem Finkler (1862-1912)

    Rabbi Yisrael of Husyatin and Rizhin (1949). The son of Rabbi Mordechai Shraga and grandson of the Rizhiner Rebbe, he married Nechama Gitel, a grand-daughter of his uncle, Rabbi Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger, when he was 14 years old. He was also the uncle of Reb Moshenu of Boyan. In 1937, he moved to Tel Aviv, along with his son-in-law, Rabbi Yaakov, who would succeed him 12 years later.

    This story helps people understand the spiritual decline from Generation to Generation and yet all is good with the plan of HaShem!

    Rabbi Shlomo David Kahana of Warsaw and Yerushalayim, the Avi Ha’agunos (the Father of the Agunahs) (1953)

    Rabbi Zushe Waltner (1918-2002). Born in Hungary, he traveled through Poland and Switzerland until he eventually was admitted to England in 1937. There, Rabbi Waltner developed a very close relationship with Rabbi Eliahu Dessler. After World War II, Rabbi Waltner and Rabbi Aryeh Grosnass traveled to Europe to help the shattered remnants of European Jewry, and founded the yeshiva in Sunderland, UK, to accommodate some of them. Traveling to Tangiers to recruit talmidim for Sunderland, he met Rabbi Shmuel Toledano who soon built a yeshiva building and then invited Rabbi Waltner to come and found a yeshiva. At the advice of Rabbi Dessler who consulted with the Chazon Ish on the matter, Rabbi Waltner accepted the challenge. There he set up a yeshiva called Eitz Chaim. There are thousands of bnei Torah and religious balabatim today who freely acknowledge that he is responsible for their spiritual life. He also established Otzar Hatorah institutions in Morocco. Among his talmidim from Tangiers are Rabbi Shimon Pinto of Strasbourg and Rabbi Shlomo Farrache in Bnai Brak. Rosh Yeshiva in Sunderland and Tangiers

    Lamed of Kislev - ל כסלו starts Evening of December 29 2016

    Tonight is the Sixth Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Hod and the Vessel of Gevurah.

    Rabbi David Halberstam of Sokolov (1939) ben Rabbi Moshe of Shiniva, the son of the Divrei Yechezkel of Shiniva. He is buried in Queens, NY at Union Field Cemetery.

    Rabbi Elazar ben Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Weitzhandler (1984) one of the Chashuvei Breslov

    Rabbi Nochum ben Rabbi Yehonoson Starkis he and his brother, Nachman, were legendary figures in Breslov in the last generation.

    Rabbi David Oppenheim, Av Bes Din of Reznitz

    Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda (Hashi) Friedman (1925-2005). Born in Pressburg, Hungary, Rabbi Hashi was a descendant of the Chasam Sofer, whose youngest daughter, Rechel, married Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Friedman from Topolcany. Their youngest son, Yeshaya, married Yehudis Link and had a son, Moshe, who married Malka Hochhauser. Reb Moshe had three sons, Nissan, Hashi, and Pinchas. Among Hashi’s teachers were Rabbi Akiva Sofer (the Daas Sofer), Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyomin Sofer (the Cheishev Sofer), and Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandel. In 1944, he was sent to Aushwitz and marched the Death March to Gleiwitz and was transported to Buchenwald. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived another 60 years. He emigrated to Montreal in 1951 and moved to Toronto in 1970. His life was filled with Torah and hachnasas orchim.

    Rosh Chodesh Tevet starts Evening of December 29 2016.