|Days of the month of Tevet טבת|
|Rosh Chodesh AlephTevet - Dec 7||Rosh Chodesh Beit Tevet - Dec 8-||Tevet 2 בג - Dec 9||Tevet 3 - ג - Dec 10||Tevet 4 - ד - Dec 11||Tevet 5 - ה - Dec 12||Tevet 6 - ו - Dec 13||Tevet 7 - ז - Dec 14||Tevet 8 - ח - Dec 15||Tevet 9 ט - Dec 16|
|Tevet 10 י - Dec 17||Tevet 11 יא - Dec 18||Tevet12 - יב - Dec 19||Tevet 13 - יג - Dec 20||Tevet 14 - יד - Dec 21||Tevet 15 - טו - Dec 22||Tevet 16 - טז - Dec 23||Tevet 17 יז - Dec 24||Tevet 18 -יח - Dec 25||Day 19 -יט - Dec 26|
|Day 20 - כ - Dec 27||Day 21 - כא - Dec 28||Day 22 - כב - Dec 29||Day 23 - כג - Dec 30||Day 24 - כד - Dec 31||Day 25 - כה - Jan 1||Day 26 - כו - Jan 2||Day 27 - כז - Jan 3||Day 28 - כח - Jan 4||Day 29 - כט - Jan 5|
Per the sages, it is good just to say the Name of a Tzadik. Of course the more one learns about each individual Tzadik, the more it 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 Nachtman 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 a Hebrew month.
Here is a link to make a donation or to purchase a spiritual gift to help support the building of this list.
Some months there is only one day of Rosh Chodesh for the month of Tevet. This year of 2018 there are 2 days of Rosh Chodesh Tevet which starts the evening of December 7th.
In years where Kislev only has 29 days like the year 5777 - 2016, the Tzadikim who left are mentioned on the 29th of Kislev.
Tonight is the Seventh 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.
In years where there are only 1 day of Rosh Chodesh that night is the seventh candle of Chanukah. In years that have 2 days of Rosh Chodesh Tonight is the Eighth Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Yesod and the Vessel of Chesed
Avraham Avinu (1638 BCE which is 1948 אתתקמח in the Hebrew Calendar) (Bava Basra 91a). [According to others, his yahrtzeit is 1 Tishrei or Nissan (Moed Katan 28a)]. There is much written about Avraham in all of the levels of Torah. He is the first of three prophets in the Biblical Torah. In my opinion the highest compliment that can be paid to this unique and wonderful soul is that he is the chariot for the Sepherot of Chesed - LovingKindness. He passed 10 tests according to the Midrash commencing with emerging from the fire of his execution ordered by the tyrant emperor Nimrod and ending with his going against his nature of being a Loving Man in the action of the Binding of Issac. For more information we suggest you start your study of Kabbalah with the Basic class offered on this website in the Revealed Wisdom section.
Rabbi Yair Chaim Bachrach (1638-1702), author of Chavos Yair. His grandmother Chava was a granddaughter of the Maharal of Prague Her husband, Rabbi Samuel, the rabbi of Worms, was murdered during a pogrom in 1615, and she never remarried. Chava lived in Worms until her grandson Yair Chaim’s thirteenth birthday at which time she undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but died on the way. Rabbi Yair Chaim esteemed her to such an extent that the title of his most famous work, Chavos Yair, is based on her name. One of his works, Mekor Chaim, a major commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim was ready to be printed when the commentaries of Taz and Magen Avraham were printed. Sadly, Rabbi Yair Chaim withdrew his own commentary. Besides his halachic expertise he had complete mastery of all the sciences, music and had a deep interest in history. He also wrote poetry. He compiled a 46 volume encyclopedia on many topics. In 1689 the Worms community was decimated by the French. Gradually, it was rebuilt. In 1699 he was finally appointed rabbi of Worms where his father and grandfather had served before him. He served for only three years until his death in 1702. He is buried in Worms, Germany.
Rabbi Masoud Raphael Alfasi. Born in Fez, Morocco. Leader of the Tunisian Jewish community. Died in Tunisia (1774).
Rabbi Avraham Moshe of Peshischa (1828), son of Rebbi Simcha Bunim.
Rabbi Yosef Hamaaravi, baal mofes, buried in Kfar Elchamama in Tunisia.
Rabbi Yitzchak Eizk Langner, sixth Strettiner Rebbe (1906-1979). Born to Rabbi Moshe Langner, the fifth Strettiner Rebbe, his sister became the Tolner Rebbetzin. In 1921, his father moved the family from Galicia to Toronto. He married in 1929, but he and his wife never had children. In 1959, he succeeded his father.
Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo Berman. Born in Russia to the mekubal, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Berman, who authored a commentary to the Arizal’s Eitz Chaim, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo and his family moved to Tel Aviv when he was still young. He attended Yeshiva Chabad before his Bar Mitzvah and learned under Rabbi Dovid Povarsky. When his teacher became Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, he took his little talmid with him. When the Chazon Ish found out about the young illui, he had him move into his home and cared for himn as a son. At Ponevezh, he became the talmid muvhak of the Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbi Dovid Povarsky and Rabbi Shmuel Rozovsky. In time, the Chazon Ish married him off to his niece, the daughter of the Steipler Gaon. He became Rosh Mesivta of Ponevezh at the age of 20, and later became Rosh yeshiva (1931-2004)
Feygela - buried in Gur Poland. She is the first Rebitzin of the Gur Dynasty.
Rabbi Yaacov Evan Tzur - buried in Fes Morocco
Tonight is the Eight Candle of Chanukah. It is actually the Light of Malchut and the Vessel of Binah.
This day is called Zot Chanukah. This is Chanukah. For an explanation of this Name, please see
The ARI (Rabbi Issac Luria - Niftar 5th of Av) teaches that Chanuka, and especially Zot Chanuka is the actual final judgment period from Rosh HaShana.
Reb Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov teaches based on the Zohar that Chanukah is a time of Teshuvah M'Ahava, repentance out of love for HaShem.
- Reb Yisroel of Ruzhin says that a simple Jew can receive from HaShem on Zot Chanuka, what Tzadikim can on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
John Lennon Contrary to common belief, John Lennon was killed on the 2nd of Tevet. He was killed in the evening of December 8 which in the year 1980 was the second of Tevet. Most people celebrate his Yartzeit on December 8 but in Shamayim they use the Hebrew Calendar. So light a candle to assist his ascension in Shamayim. Is John Lennon a Tzadik? Can he assist us as the other Tzadikim do? Just listen to his music to know the answers to these questions.
Medgar Evers Some will ask, "Can a non Jew become a Tzadik"? The answer is Yes.The source is the exhumed body of Medgar Evers, the civil rights leader assassinated during the 60's. His body was exhumed 28 years later for a second autopsy. The Pathologist was quoted as saying, "My God, he looks like he was just buried." There was no deterioration of his body. For those who are knowledgeable this is the only verifiable sign of a Tzadik. For the rest of us write to me at Yeshshem@hotmail.com and i will help you understand.
Nelson Mandela. 1918 to 2013. This is being written on the day of his elevation. More will follow over the year as it develops.
Rabbi Avraham Poteliano - buried in Mantua Italy.
Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov (1888)
Rabbi Yaakov Kuli Slonim buried on Har Hazetim Jerusalem Israel
Rabbi Yitzchak HaLevi Kroiz, Yerushalmi, grandson of Rav Eliezer Yosef, Belzer Rebbe.
Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Stretyn (1864), the second of four sons of Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi of Stretyn, who was the foremost student of Rabbi Uri of Strelisk. Rabbi Avraham succeeded his father as the Rabbi of Stretyn, after his father's death in 1854. Rabbi Avraham left four daughters, and many of the Stretyner Chasidim followed his son-in-law, Rabbi Uri Rohatyner, and Rabbi Uri’s son, Yehuda Tzvi, after him. Other Chasidim of Rabbi Avraham followed Rabbi Nachman of Bursztyn, who was nifter in 1914.
Rabbi Yaakov HaCohen Gadisha (1851-1909), Rabbi and Av Beis Din of Yerba, Tunisia, wrote Kochav Yaakov, Ma'il Yaakov and Halichos Yaakov.
Rabbi Yechezkel Ezra Yehoshua, Rabbi of the Iraqi community in Yerushalayim (1941)
Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz rosh yeshivas Mir (1902-1979). Born in Stutchin, Poland, where his father, Rabbi Alter Raphael, was Rosh Yeshiva. His mother, Ettel, was the daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, the Alter of Novardok. In 1920, both of his parents suddenly died, and Reb Chaim was left to care for his younger brother and two younger sisters.When Rabbi Chaim was 22, Rabbi Shimon Shkop, Rosh Yeshiva in Grodno invited him to join his yeshiva. Within three years, Chaim was appointed to a lecturing post in the yeshiva. Reb Chaim continued his studies in Mir where the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, chose him as a suitable match for his daughter. With the outbreak of World War II, he remained with the Mirrer Yeshiva in its exile in Shanghai for five years. After the war, he lived for a short while in America. With the establishment of the Mirrer Yeshivah in Yerushalayim, he immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and served as its Rosh Yeshivah. Rabbi Chaim authored Sichos Mussar.
Rabbi Chaim Sneor Zalman. He is buried in Liadi
Rabbi Moshe Zev of Bialystock, author of Maros Hatzovos and Agudas Aizov (1729). He was the founder of Gemilas Chassadim Beis Medrash, Bialystock’s most prominent Torah center, where Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk learned after his marriage. [NOTE: Rabbi Ze’ev Nachum of Bendin, the father of Rabbi Avraham Borenstein of Sochatchov, authored a sefer called Agudas Eizov.]
Rabbi Yehoshua Eizel Charif of Slonim (1801-1872). Born in Glovanka, near Minsk. After many years of learning under the enthusiastic support of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yitzchak Fein, he became Rabbi Kalavaria, then Kutno, and finally Slonim (near Grodno). He was mechaber of many sefarim, including Emek Yehoshua, Nachlas Yehoshua, Noam Yerushalmi, Sefas Hanachal, and Atzas Yehoshua.
Rabbi Gershon Henoch Leiner of Radzin(1839-1891), the Baal Hatecheles. His grandfather was the Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz, founder of Ishbitz chassidus after leading a group of disciples from the Court of Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. He replaced his father as Rebbe of Ishbitz after the former’s petira in 1878. Rabbi Gershon Henoch travelled from Radzin to Italy in search of the Chilazon, the marine source from which the dye was obtained. The Chilazon carried the dye in a special sac located in its pharynx. In the famed aquarium at Naples he saw the Chilazon and studied the way in which the dye was removed and prepared. He discovered that it was used by artists in their paintings because it would never fade.
Rabbi Yaakov Shaul Katzin, head of New York Aleppo community (1900-1994). Born in Yerushalayim, he learned at Yeshiva Ohel Mo’ed and at Yeshiva Porat Yosef. In the midst of World War I, Yaakov’s father and sister died of typhoid fever. His mother died soon after, and Yaakov was an orphan at 16. At 18, he married Mazal, the daughter of Rabbi Shalom Hedaya, a noted kabbalist and Talmudic scholar, and was appointed Rosh Yeshiva in the then-newly-erected Yeshiva Porat Yosef building. During the course of his life, Yaakov wrote several books on the science of Kabbalah. In 1925, he published Ohr HaLevanah, which consisted of three parts – Ohr HaLevanah, Ohr Hadash and Ohr HaHayyim – a commentary with novella from the teachings of Rashash. He also wrote Yesod Ha’Emunah, which included arguments that dispelled doubts about the authenticity of Kabbalah, as well as responsa. In 1931, he published Pri Eitz Hagan, which included biographies of prominent tzadikkim and discussions of their ethical teachings, solutions to problems posed by Gaon Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad and the order of prayers for Rosh Hashanah, along with explanations. From 1928 to the end of 1932, Rabbi Jacob served as a Dayan in the Supreme Beit Din of the Sephardic Community of Jerusalem. In 1933, Rabbi Jacob accepted an offer from Magen Dovid Congregation of Brooklyn, New York as Chief Rabbi and Chief Dayan. On August 10, 1933, Jacob, Mazal and their first four children - Shaul, Shulamith (Charlotte), Abraham, and Itzhak - came to New Yodrk. (They had nine children who reached adulthood in all.) Shaul became Chief Rabbi of the Brooklyn community after the death of his father.
Rabbi Chaim Shaul Dveik, Rosh Yeshiva Hamekubalim of Yerushalayim and author of Eifo Shleima (1933) He is buried on Har Hazeitim Jerusalem Israel
Rabbi Shalom Rokeach, Rav of Skohl (1961)
Mr. Yitzchak Meir (Irving) Bunim (1901-1981). Born in Volozhin, Lithuania to Rabbi Moshe and Esther Mina Buminowitz, Irving moved to the Lower East Side of New York with most of his family in 1910. (His father moved in 1905.) He and his two brothers were enrolled in Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, and his father joined the family of Torah Vodaas. As a youth, he joined the fledgling Young Israel movement and made significant inroads from within. In the 1940s, he accepted the presidency of Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, a position he held for 30 years. He threw himself in the founding of Beis Midrash Govoha and Kollel in Lakewood. He also devoted much time and energy to Chinuch Atzmai and Torah Umesorah. He and his wife, Blanche, raised three children, Rabbi Amos, Chana, and Judith.
Rebbetzin Recha Schwab (1908-2003). Married in 1931, she moved with Rabbi Schwab to the United States in 1936, and settled in Washington Heights in 1958. She left this world with 180 descendents, all Torah-observant.
Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam of Shinova, the Shinover Rav (1815-1899). He was born in Rudnick, Galicia, the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. As an emissary of his father, he founded the Sanzer synagogue in Tzefat. Tragically, he was married and widowed 5 times. His first wife was the grand-daughter of the Yismach Moshe, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum of Mujehly, Hungary. He served as the rabbi of Shinova from 1855 till 1868, and then again from 1881 till his passing. Many of his Torah insights into Scripture, Law and Kabbalah are collected in Divrei Yechezkel. Here is a story from www.ascentofsafed.com to describe some of his wonders and to help us appreciate what we have lost so that we can desire to get it back.
Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam of Shinova was standing in the train station when suddenly he heard the sound of someone crying. "Who is crying?" he asked Berel, the tailor, who was also waiting for the train. "It’s a little girl," answered Berel. "Why is she crying?" the tzadik wondered. "I don't know," said Berel. "I’ll go ask her."
After a few minutes he came back and said, "The little girl's purse is lost. She has no money to buy a ticket to get home." The tzadik looked at him strangely. "Perhaps you can help her out, Berel," he suggested. "One day it might stand you in good stead." Berel paid for a train ticket for the girl with his money and gave it to her. She thanked him profusely as she wiped away her tears. Soon after that the train arrived and they both had to board. When they reached the station of his tailor shop, Berel got off.
A short time later a general came into the shop and ordered new uniforms for all the soldiers under his command. Berel was very happy because the large job would ensure him a good income. As soon as the general left, Berel set to work. He brought the material, measured it, and cut it. Then he sewed the pieces together to make uniforms. He made them shorter than the usual uniforms to save money and increase his profit. He hoped the general would not notice. But the general did notice. When he received the uniforms and saw that they were short, he became very angry and sent a squad of soldiers to arrest the Jewish tailor.
Berel saw the soldiers coming. Frightened, he sneaked out through the back door, running as fast as his legs could carry him. "The Shinover Rav will surely help me," he thought desperately. "I'll go to him." He ran and ran. Finally, he reached the home of the rebbe. "I am in terrible trouble," Berel cried out. "Rebbe, please help me!"
"What is it, my son?" the Shinover asked, concerned.
Berel told the rebbe his whole story. The tzadik promptly advised him to go to Vienna and speak to the officer who was in charge of his case.
Berel took the train to Vienna. It turned out to be difficult to find out who was the officer he needed to see and how and where to locate him. Finally he met someone who said he knew which official it was and where he lived, and would write down the information for him. But then, when the friendly man handed Berel the slip of paper with the name and address, he warned him, "This officer is mean. And he does not like Jewish people."
Berel was scared, but he knew he must follow the rebbe's instructions. He went to the officer's house and knocked on the door. The door opened. A little girl stood there – the same little girl who had cried at the train station. She ran inside excitedly calling, "Father! Father! Come quickly! It is the man who was nice to me when I lost my purse!"
Berel was amazed. "This is a miracle from G-d." he thought.
The girl's father appeared. "So you are the man who saved my precious daughter," the officer exclaimed, taking Berel's hand in his. "I have wanted to thank you all this time, but I did not know your name or where you lived. How can I ever thank you and show you my gratitude?"
"I am in danger of being arrested and you are the officer in charge of my case," Berel said. "You can help me by pardoning me for making the uniforms short."
"Of course I will pardon you," the officer promised. "I always thought the old uniforms were too long, anyway. The soldiers used to trip on them when they ran. And I will make sure you are paid in full for the work, as well."
Berel left Vienna with a light heart and pockets full of money. Sitting on the train on the way home, Berel thought about how he had been saved because he had been kind to a little girl in need. Suddenly he remembered the odd look that the Shinover Rav had given him at the train station when he told him to help the little girl. "The rebbe must have known from the beginning what was going to happen," thought Berel in wonder. "And then later, when I was running away, he knew just where I should go. Praised be G-d. What a great rebbe I have!"
Rabbi Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, Rav of Elizabeth, NJ. (1908-1995) Born in Latvia and arrived in USA in 1934. Some say his Hilula is 4th of Tevet.
Rabbi Shlomo Molcho (1500-1532). Born in Lisbon, Portugal, a descendant of Portuguese Marranos. He published 22 essays on the topic of redemption according to the secrets of Kabbalah in his work, Sefer Hamefoar. He met with the Pope and asked him to stop the campaign against the Marranos. He also met Rabbi Yossef Karo in Tzfas and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Taitzik of Salonica who taught Rabbi Molcho Kabbalah. His speeches inspired many Marranos to publicly return to their faith. Arrested by the officers of the Inquisition, he recited Shema with great joy, as he was burned at the stake by Roman Emperor Charles V in Mantua, Italy.
Rabbi Aharon of Titiov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (1828)
Rabbi Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger (1884 - 1961), was his father's fifth child, and the third Sadiger Rebbe. He was named for his grandfather, the first Sadigerer Rebbe. When he turned 18, he married Bluma Raizel, the daughter of the Kapischnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Heschel. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Rebbe fled to Vienna, Austria, and lived there for 24 years. There he opened his Beis Hamedrash (Shul and Study Hall) for the many chassidim who had fled with him. During the Anschluss of 1938, when the Nazis entered Vienna they subjected leading rabbis to public humiliation. The Rebbe was seized and forced to sweep the streets clean, to the amusement of the onlooking Germans. The Rebbe made a vow that if Hashem would release him from the clutches of the Germans and enable him to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel, he would sweep the streets there. The Rebbe did indeed keep his promise and after he arrived in Eretz Yisroel, he would arise very early every morning and sweep the streets around his house. During World War II, thousands of his chassidim met their deaths, whole kehillos (communities) totally wiped out. The Rebbe once said that the Holocaust was hinted at in the words of the posuk (verse) in Parshas Haazinu: "O-marti af-aihem, I had said, I will scatter them." The Seforno explains that the word 'af-aihem' stems from the word pai-ah, a corner, and he explains further, "There will come a time before Moshiach when Klall Yisroel will be totally wiped out. All that will remain from them will be a corner, and this corner will be in Eretz Yisroel. This punishment will descend on them because Klall Yisroel never perfected themselves, not at Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah), and not in Eretz Yisroel and not in Golus." (exile). After WWII, he lived in Tel Aviv for the rest of his life, where he continued the Sadigerer line and authored Abir Yaakov. During one of the last nights of Chanukah in 1961, one of the chanukah lights suddenly went out. The Rebbe wanted to know which light it was. When he heard that it was the fifth light that had gone out, he said, "I was my father's fifth child." On the fifth of Teves 5721 (1961) the Rebbe's neshomo ascended. The Rebbe's holy body was laid to rest in the Ruzhiner section of the Nachalas Yitzchok cemetery in Tel Aviv.
Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowitz, the Biala-P’shischa Rebbe (2003). Born ~1923, the first-born son of the previous Biala Rebbe, the Chelkas Yehoshua. He became Rebbe after his father was nifter in 1982 and opened his beis midrash in the Har Nof section of Yerushalayim.
Rabbi Yaakov Reischer, born in Prague, was an Austrian rabbi, halakhist and author. He was the son of R. Joseph, author of Gib'ot 'Olam, and a pupil of R. Simon Spira of Prague, who gave him in marriage the daughter of his son Benjamin Wolf. Reischer was dayyan at Prague, whence he was called to the rabbinate of Rzeszów in Galicia, deriving his name Reischer from that city, which is known as Reische among the Jews. He was subsequently called to the rabbinate of Anspach, and then occupied a similar position at Worms, from 1713 to 1719, when he went to Metz, officiating there until his death Feb. 1733. Reischer's first work, Minḥat Ya'akov, was published while he was still young, in Prague in 1689. He was also the author of: Minchas Yaakov, Chok Yaakov, Iyun Yaakov (peirush on Eyn Yaakov), and Shevus Yaakov (1661-1733). He is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Metz. Some say his Hilula is 9 Shevat.
Rabbi Chaim Shlomo of Koson (1919)
Rabbi Alter Yisrael Shimon Perlow of Novominsk (1873-1933). Author of Tiferes Ish. Scion of the dynasties of Ustila, Koidanov, Lehovitch, Karlin, Apt, Czernobyl and Berdichev, Rabbi Alter Yisrael Shimon settled in Warsaw in 1917. He knew the whole Mishna by heart and to the end of his life he reviewed eighteen chapters every day.
Rabbi Chaim Meidanik (1954). Rav in Chicago and author of Mazkeres Chaim and Hegyonei Chaim.
Rebbetzin Beila Morgenstern (1908-2006). First-born daughter of the Admor of Ozerov-Chenchin, Rabbi Moshe Yechiel Epstein, author of Aish Das and Be’er Moshe. She married Rabbi Tzvi Hershel Morgenstern, a descendent of the Kotzker Rebbe. Her husband served as a principal of the Bronx Bais Yaakov. She always recited the entire sefer tehillim on the yahrtzeit of every one of her noble forefathers and asked Hasehm that their merit should protect all of klal Yisrael. Among her grandchildren are Rabbi David Altusky and Raabbi Yechiel Altusky.
Rabbi Moshe Dovid Walle (Vally; Vali: the Rama"d Vali) (1697-1777). As well as being a rabbi, Rav Walli practiced as a physician in Padua (Padova), Italy in the late 1700’s. At that time Padua, one of the oldest universities in Europe, and one of the first to admit Jews, was a focus of education and was blessed to contain a vibrant Jewish community. The Rama"d Vali is considered the foremost follower of the Ramchal (Luzatto) who was a major authority on spiritual mystical matters and an expert in the Hebrew Language. Rav Walli’s work is often considered esoteric, but according to Luzzatto, Walli was the Messiah son of David in his generation. His words often focused on Christianity and Kabbalah: “The sunlight is separated when you see a rainbow. You see illusion. You do not see the one light. This is what happened with Christianity. They see fragmentation and separation and do not see the true Light. They do not understand Jesus’ true teachings because they do not use Kabbalah to understand it.” When the Ramchal was forced to leave Italy, Rav Moshe Dovid was appointed head of the his academy in Padua. He wrote a commentary on commentary on Chumash (Ohr Olam on Breishis; Bris Olam on Shemos; Avodas Hakodesh on Vayikra; Shivtei Kah on Bamidbar; Mishna Lamelech on Devarim), Na"Ch, Likkutim.
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh, son of the Baal Shem Tov (1779)
Rabbi Raphael Shlomo Laniado (1740-1793). Originating from Spain through their progenitor, Rabbi Shmuel, the Laniado family was among the most famous and well-established in the Syrian city of Chaleb. Rabbi Raphael Shlomo Laniado was a prolific writer, and he is well-known for the several halachic works: HaMaalos LeShlomo, Beis Dino Shel Shlomo, Lechem Shlomo, and Kisei Shlomo.
Rabbi Mordecai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz (1800-1854 Some say 1878), founder of the Chassidic Court at Ishbitz after leading a group of disciples from the court of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. Born in Tomashov, Poland in 1800, he was a childhood friend of Reb Menachem Mendel Morgenstern, later to become the Kotzker Rebbe, and they studied together in the school of the Chasidic Master, Reb Simcha Bunim of Pshiske. His sefer. Mei HaShiloach, is considered a fundamental work of Izhbitz and Radziner chasidus. Among his talmidim were Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen miLublin and Rabbi Leibel Eiger.
Rabbi Shalom Yosef Friedman of Husyatin (1879 Some say 1851). Son of the 1st Rebbe of Husyatin, Rabbi Mordechai Shraga (the youngest son of the Rizhiner Rebbe, who had moved to Husyatin in 1865 and was nifter in 1894. He was the father of Rabbi Moshe of Boyan-Cracow (“Reb Moshenu”).
Rabbi Yosef Elyashiyov (2007). Born in the former Soviet Union to Rabbi Tzion, who was killed by the authorities for his efforts to promote Judaism, he moved from Samarkand to Tashkent after marrying; there he and his wife raised their seven children. While living in Tashkent he had to spend seven years away from home — four years in custody on suspicion of underground religious activity and three years hiding from the KGB, who had him under surveillance for his activities to promote Judaism. In 1971, he managed to secure an exit visa and left his home and his family, traveling to Eretz Yisroel. He opened the first Shaarei Tzion institutions in 1980, naming them after his father. He then started a kollel with the goal of drawing avreichim from Bukharan families as well as a school in Kiryat Ono for Bukharan immigrants. Today, a total of 4,500 students, from kindergartners to avreichim, study at Shaarei Tzion institutions.
Chaya Mushka, was the wife of the Tzemach Tedek, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, who was arrested no less than twenty two times for his defiant and unwavering stand in defense of traditional Jewish life in Russia (1789-1866). In the end, miraculously, his efforts met with complete success. The following sheds a little known background detail of that miracle. The Rebbetzin was forever reciting Psalms, but with many mispronunciations. Once she commented to her son, Rabbi Yehuda Leib, subsequently the Rebbe of Kopust: "Isn't it strange? One might think that by now, I should know the book of Psalms by heart. After all, I've been reciting the Psalms every day for many years.” "True," said Rabbi Yehuda Leib, "but each time you recite them with new mistakes.” When the Rebbetzin related this exchange to her husband, she added that perhaps she had better stop her custom rather than distort the holy words. "No," insisted Rabbi Menachem Mendel, "continue to recite as before.” Later, he admonished his son and instructed him to ask his mother for forgiveness. "What do you know?" he told him. "My success in Petersburg was in the merit of your mother's Psalms." Rabbetzin Chaya Mushka is buried in Lubavisk Russia.
Ezra Hasofer (313 BCE or some say 320 BCE) Some say Nechemya and Ezra were the same person. So they were niftar the same instant.
Rabbi Ezra of Gerona (1227), the Ramban’s teacher in Kabalah. He himself learned Kabbalah from Rabbi Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, son of the Ravad III.
Rabbeinu Yosef, son of Shmuel Hanaggid, and son-in-law of Rav Nissim Gaon of Kirouan was murdered in an Arab pogrom with another 1500 Jews in Spain. The massacre took place on 30 December 1066 (9 Tevet 4827; 10 Safar 459 AH) when a Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, which was at that time in Muslim-ruled al-Andalus. They assassinated the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred many in the Jewish population of the city, including Rabbeinu Yosef.
Rabbi Yehuda (“Reb Yiddel”) Weber (1920-2006). Born in Vodkert, Hungary to Rabbi Yissacher Weber, a descendent of the Bach, and Rebbetzin Chana, a niece of the Arugas Bosem. After his Bar Mitzvah, Yehuda was sent to learn in Pupa under Rabbi Yaakov Yechezkel Grunwald, the Vayaged Yaakov, the Pupa Rebbe, who was his rebbi muvhak for 7 years. When he was nifter at the age of 59, he was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Yosef Grunwald, the Vayechi Yosef. Rabbi Yehuda then served as mashgiach of Pupa. When the yeshiva was closed in 1944, Rabbi Yehuuda spent 6 months in the local work camps before being deported to Bergen Belsen. In 1946, his sister introduced him to his Rebbetzin, Batsheva. A year later, his sister, Miriam, married the Pupa Rebbe. Both families settled in Antwerp, then moved to Williamsburg, in New York, in 1950. In 1952, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of the newly established Pupa Yeshiva , first located in Queens, then in Ossining, in Westchester County. Although his family stayed in Williamsburg, Reb Yiddel made the 40-mile drive for four decades.
This is a fast day. It is the last fast day of the 4 fast days, of the year that are connected to the Destruction of the Temple, and there is also a connection to HaShem through the months that each of the 4 fast days are within. See my email for Tevet for more information.
Zecharia ben Berachya ben Ido Hanavi (320 or 313 BCE). This is a good day to read and study the Prophecies of Zechariah.
Malachi Hanavi (320 or 313 BCE). His death ended the era of prophecy. This is also a good day to read and study his prophecies.
Rabbi Yehuda Eilenberg, author of Minchas Yehudah (1610)
Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz (or Sternberg) of Breslav, author of Likutei Halachos (1844). As a young man, he lived in Nemirov, nine miles north of Breslav. Despite family opposition, Nosson became the disciple who recorded Nachman's thoughts, edited his writings and wrote the early history of the Breslaver Hasidim.
Rabbi Meir Shalom Rabinowitz of Kalushin (1851-1901). Born to Rabbi Yehoshua Asher of Zelichov, the son of the Yid Hakadosh of Peshischa, he became a son-in-law of his older brother, Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov, author of Atarah Lerosh Tzadik. He served as Rabbi of the kehhillos of Porisov, Gravlin, and Kalushin. He became Rebbe after the petira of his brother in 1889. Many of his ideas in Torah and Chassidus were recorded by his son and successor Yehoshua Alter in the sefer Nahar Shalom.
Rabbi Noach of Hordishitz (1903)
Rabbi Raphael Wexelbaum, Rosh Yeshiva of Itri
Rabbi Yechezkel Halshtuk, the Ostrovtzer Rebbe (1887-1942). Born to Rabbi Meir Yechiel, founder of the court of Ostrovtze (Ostrowiec), a town which lies along the Kamienna River, a tributary of the Vistula, and which is situated in the Polish highlands just north of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains. At 18, Reb Yechezkel married Rebbetziin Beila Mirel, daughter of Rabbi Naftali of Meilitz, who was a grandson of Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz. In 1911, he was appointed Rav of the town of Inovlodz, and 10 years later, he was appointed Rav of Nashelsk. He succeeded his father as Rebbe after the latter’s petira in 1928. He founded a yeshiva named Beis Meir, in honor of his father. He and 20 of his Chasidim were murdered by the Nazis during davening on the night of Asesers BeTeves. His Rebbetzein, 7 sons, and one son-in-law were all murdered by the Nazis.Some of his writings were published after the war under the name Kodshei Yechezkel. Some say his Hilula is 8 Tevet.
Rabbi Shabsai Yogel, born in Piask, Russia (1875-1957). After studying in Eishishock as a youngster, he learned at Volozhin until it was closed by the Russian authorities, at which time he returned to Piask until he married Liba Kletzkin from Slonim. He then moved to Slonim and learned in one of the Novardok kollelim. In 1906, he was asked to head the Slonim yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Kahana in 1816. The yeshiva’s first rosh yeshiva was Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, who later became the founder of the Slonimer chassidic dynastry. In 1929, Rabbi Shabsai visited Yisrael for the first time; two months later, his son Shlomo perished in the Chevron massacres. During the early years of WW2, Rabbi Shabsai and his family moved to Eretz Yisrael. Since the yeshiva in Slonim was destroyed by the Nazis, he rebuilt it. He decided to do so in Ramat Gan, which at that time was a spiritual wasteland.
Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer, the Pittsburgher Rebbe, the Admor of Petersburg-Ashdod (1989). Author of Emunas Avraham, son of Rabbi Yosef (Tzidkas Yosef), and son-in-law of Rebbe Issamar of Nadvorna. His son, Mordechai Yissacher Dov Ber Leifer of Pittsburg, is author of Pisgamei Oraisa.
Rabbi Natan Shterenhertz - Moharnat. He is buried in Bratslav in the Ukraine
Admor Avraham Aba Layfer from Pitzburg-Ashdod. He is buried on Har Menuchot Jerusalem, Israel.
Rabbi Moshe of Ostraha, author of Arugas Habosem (1784).
Rabbi Shlomo Eiger, author of Gilyon Maharsha, son of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. (1851)
Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ullman of Makava, author of Yerios Shlomo (1865). Son of Rabbi Shalom Charif, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman served as Rabbi of Rendick for two years and of Makova, Hungary, for 39 years. He fought against any inroads of the Reform movement for much of his life. At the end of his sefer, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman added Kuntres Beis Yad, where he expounds on fourteen differences in the sugya of eid echad neeman b’issurim. This kuntres is the basis of many of the halachos os issur ve’heter.
Rabbi Yehoshua Horowitz of Dzikov, author of Ateres Yeshua. (1912)
David Twersky of Zlatipoli (1914). The oldest son of Rabbi Tochanan of Rachmistrivke, the son of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. Reb David married Rebbetzin Bas-Tzion Tzipora Feiga, daughter of Rabbi Aharon of Karlin. With his father’s petira, Reb David became Rebbe in Rachmistrivke, along with his brothers, but moved his court to Zlatipoli.
Rabbi Shalom Moskovitz, the Shotzer Rebbe of London (1958).
Rabbi Moshe Bergman, Rosh Yeshiva, Rashbi Yeshiva (1977)
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Shlomo Halperin (1984), the Vasloi Rebbe, grandson of the first Vasloier Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Halperin. His father, Rabbi Chaim Dov Halperin, was the Rebbe’s only son and moved from Romania to Eretz Yisrael in 1950 and was nifter in 1957. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef himself was succeeded by his son Rabbi Avraham Shimshon Shalom, who lives in Bnei Brak.
Rabbi Shmuel David Tzvi Mayer (known as Rabbi David Hersh), menahel of Yeshiva Beis Binyomin in Stamford, Connecticut. (2003)
Rabbi Moshe Margulies, author of Pnei Moshe on the Yerushalmi (1781)
Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, author of Ohr Pnei Moshe. (1805)
Rabbi Mordechai Chaim Kastelantiz of Teveria, known as “Reb Mottel Slonimer” (1953)
Rabbi Moshe ben David Biderman, the Lelover Rebbe (1776-1850 or 1851). Born in abject poverty, he married Rachel Rivka, a daughter of the Yid Hakadosh of P’shischa. After the latter’s petira in 1813, he became a chasid of Rabbi Simcha Bunim of P’shischa, along with his friend, Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorki. In 1843, he finally agreed to a leadership position, agreeing to be rav of the community of Przedborz, Poland. In the last years of his life, he decided to move to Eretz Yisrael. He and many of his Chasidim arrived at Akko on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. He traveled to Yerushalyim, but immediately took ill. Tragically, between the illness and the Arabs, he was never able to daven at the kotel, his life-long dream. He was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Elazar Mendel, and a vibrant community of Lelover Chasidim still exist in Eretz Yisrael today. Sadly, the community in Przedborz – about 4500 Jews – was liquidated at Treblinka.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vishiva, the She’eris Menachem. (1941)
Rabbi Yechiel Mordechai Gordon, Rosh Yeshivas Lomza (1965). Among the roshei yeshivos who travelled to the United States to raise funds during WW2 were Rabbis Eliezer Yehuda Finkel from Mir, Yechiel Michael Gordon from Lomza, Aaron Kotler from Kletzk, Shimon Shkopf from Grodno, Elchanan Wasserman from Baranowitz, and Baruch Ber Leibowitz from Kamenetz.
Rabbi Yitzchak Hakohen Huberman, the tzadik of Raanana. (1896-1977). He was born in Tomashov (Tomaszow Lubelski), near Lublin. An 1895 census reveals that, out of a population of 6,077, over half the citizens, 3,646 were Jews. The first shul in this town was built in 1594, but after the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648-49, only 18 of the original 200 families still remained. The most famous Jew of the town was the Kotzker Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern of Tomashov, who lived here until he left for Kotzk. Rabbi Yitzchak became a follower of the Imrei Emes of Ger and, after his mentor's petira, of his son, the Beis Yisrael. In 1940, Josef Stalin deported 200,000 Polish Jews, including Rabbi Yitzchak, to forced labor camps in Siberia and elsewhere. This saved their lives, since most of those left behind were murdered by the Nazis when they invaded Russia, a year later. After the war, Rabbi Yitzchak served as a rav for six years in Germany before moving to Eretz Yisrael, and settling in Raanana. Rabbi Yitzchak wrote a collection of chiddushim on Megillas Esther and entitled it Higidah Esther, in his mother's memory.
Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu. There are a number of midrashim that surrounds Reuven the son of Jacob. He is the first born or is he? He gave his mother Dudaim. He was merciful within the story of the selling of Joseph. He was inappropriate within the incident of adultery around Bilhah is father's concubine wife. We learn many spiritual laws from these stories in the Torah and Midrash. Reuven was born on the 24th day of Kislev. This is significant in that it is the day prior to the Holiday of Chanukah. Reuven lived 155 years. He was the first born of Leah and is the genealogical first born of Jacob. The Tribe of Reuven received the first portion in the land of Israel. He was the Priest of Israel after his father's death while in Egypt. This changed with the building of the Mishkan in the desert.
According to the midrash Leah named Reuven which means "see, a son." Leah is reported to actually have said "See the difference between my son and my father in law's son (Esau). Esau sold the birthright willingly while Reuven surrendered the birthright to Joseph unwillingly. Yet he harbored no ill will and even rescued Joseph from their hand.
The incident of the dudaim was instrumental in the birth of Issachar and for the family to realize the relationship of Issachar to the donkey. This is due to the story that when Reuven saw the dudaim he tied his donkey to the plant. When he returned he found the dudaim torn from the ground and the donkey dead. He then realized the power of the dudaim and gave these ownerless items to his mother Leah.
Reuven is said to be the first to do Teshuvah out of Love and it is considered that Reuven was the first to save a life (of Joseph); in that merit the first city of refuge was put in the land of the Tribe of Reuven. Reuven is buried across the Jordan in Rumia.
Rabbi Raphael Meir Penijel (1804-1894). Born in Bulgaria, he moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael when he was 3 years old. When Raphael Meir was 15, his father died. When he was 17, he married the daughter of Rabbi Asher Halevi. In the early 1940's, he was chosen as one of the “shadarim” (sheluchei de’rabbanan) and sent to Northern Africa to collect funds for the yeshuv. Following stints in Morocco and Tunisia, he traveled to Italy. While there, he befriended the Pope, who offered to show him the Vatican’s archives. There, he saw some of the sacred vessels that Titus had stolen from the Beis Hamikdash. The visit is described in his sefer, Lev Hamarpei. When he returned to Eretz Yisrael, he founded the Doresh Tzion Yeshiva in 1868 and was instrumental in helping to found the Tiferes Yerushalayim institutions. In 1881, he succeeded Rabbi Avraham Ashkenazi as Yerushalayim’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi, the Rishom LeTzion. In addition to the sefer noted above, he also authored Sheilos U’Teshuvos Leshon Marpei.
Rabbi Reuven Dov Dessler (1863-1935), father of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, the Michtav Eliyahu. Born in Libau, Lithuania to Rabbi Yisrael David and Chinke Hinde, who (along with Rabbi Yisrael David’s brother, Rabbi Eliezer) were great philanthropists and who helped Rabbi Simcha Zissel move his yeshiva from Kelm to Grubin, a small town near Libau. When he was 12, Rabbi Reuven Dov was sent to Rabbi Simcha Zissel’s yeshiva and stayed there for 11 years. When it closed, he moved to Kelm to continue learning with the Alter. In 1891, he married Henne Freidel Grodnensky, daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Grodnensky, a leading dayan in Vilna. Her maternal grandfather was Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. She gave birth to Rabbi Reuven Dov’s only son, Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer. Sadly, she was nifter 4 years after they wed, and Rabbi Reuven Dov married Fruma Rachel Rabinowitz of Telz. A few years later, he moved to Homel, on the Okraine-White Russia border. Although he was very successful in business, he maintained a rigid learning schedule, and he took off every Elul and Tishrei to travel to Kelm to learn. In 1923, the Communists gained control of the area, and Rabbi Reuven Dov lost all of his assets. His final years were trying. In 1931, he moved into his son’s home in London and immersed himself in Torah study.
Rabbi Alter Elazar Menachem of Lelov (1935-2001). Born to the Admor of Lelov, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai, he learned with the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak as a youth. In 1958, he married the daughter of Rabbi Shimon Aharon Hershkowitz, the ga'avad of Slavita. In 1965, he founded his beis medrash on Rabbi Akiva Street in Bnei Brak. After the petirah of his mother in 1978, he established the Or Menachem network of kollelim. He also founded Kehal Ateres Moshe of the Lelover Chassidim of the United States, now headed by Rabbi Alter Elazar Menachem's son, Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Shlomo.
Rabbi Leib Bakst, studied at Mir from the age of 13 under Rabbi Eliezr Finkel and Rabbi Yeruchom Levovitz; he also studied with the Brisker Rav and Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibovitz in Kaminetzk. He was involved in the miraculaous escape of the Mir Yeshiva to Kobe, Japan, and Shanghai, China, and eventually came to Detrot. There, he became the Dean of the Yeshiva Beis Yehuda rabbinical college. In 1985, he founded the Yeshiva Gedola Ateres Mordechai as an independent high school. (1915-2004).
The Amora, Mashrisha bar Pekud of Bavel Abba Arika (d. 247), known as Rav, last Tanna, first Amora, was a disciple of Judah haNasi. He moved from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia (219) and became the Founder and Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. The Amoraim were renowned Jewish scholars who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral Torah, from about 200 to 500 CE in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. Their legal discussions and debates were eventually codified in the Gemara. The Amoraim followed the Tannaim in the sequence of ancient Jewish scholars. The Tannaim were direct transmitters of uncodified oral tradition; the Amoraim expounded upon and clarified the oral law after its initial codification.
Rabbi Raphael of Bershed, a talmid of Rav Pinchas of Koritz (1827)
Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Rosenbaum of Nadvorna (1904-1977). Born to Rabbi Issamar of Nadvorna, he learned with his father in his youth, and married a first cousin ag age 19, then learned full-time, supported by his father-in-law. He took a position as Rav of Seret in 1928. In 1941, Romania allied itself with Germany. Of the 420,000 Jews of Romania, 160,000 were murdered by German and Romanain soldiers, and another 150,000 were shipped by cattle cars to Transnitra in the Ukraine; 10,000 died on the trip and another 80,000 died in the camps there. In 1942, Rabbi Chaim Mordechai and his family arrived in the Djurin camp in Transnitra. They survived and arrived in Yerushalyim on Sukkos 1948, but moved to Tel Aviv because of the war. He established Yeshivas Ma’amer Moredechai in Yaffo and moved his yeshiva to Bnei Brak in 1961. He was succeeded by his only son.
Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, (1920-2001), Rav and Av Beis Din of Antwerp. He was born in Wojnicz, Poland in 1918. In his youth he was well known for his brilliance, excellent character traits and geniality, dubbed the "Cracower Illui" at age 15 in recognition of his prodigious powers of Talmudic analysis. He was known to have memorized Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, as well as Rishonim and Acharonim. Rabbi Kreiswirth studied for many years in the famous Torah centers of Poland and Lithuania. With the 1939 German invasion of Poland, Rabbi Kreiswirth fled to Lithuania, where he married the daughter of the Rabbi Slabodka Mashgiach, Rabbi Avraham Grodzinski. The couple then left via Vilna for Palestine, but at the end of World War II, returned to Poland in an attempt to rescue Jewish children who had been sheltered by the Catholic Church for the war's duration. In 1947, he moved to the United States and from 1947 to 1953 served as Rosh Yeshiva at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois. In 1953 he moved to Antwerp in an effort to rebuild the Jewish community there. This move was against the counsel of the Chazon Ish and the Amshinover Rebbe, but Rabbi Kreiswirth devoted the rest of his life to the Belgian community, became the Av Beth Din and Posek in Antwerp and was active in Agudath Israel. He died on Sunday 30 December 2001 (16 Tevet 5762 on the Hebrew calendar) shortly before midnight, aged 82. He is buried on Har HaMenuchot.
Rabbi Pinchas Rozovski. He is buried in Swiecieny Lithuania
Rabbi Yaakov Krantz, Dubna Maggid (1741-1804). Born in a province of Vilna, Jacob ben Wolf Kranz showed exceptional homiletical and Kabbalistic talents at an early age, and by the age of twenty became the darshan of his city. From there he began preaching through the cities around Lublin in Poland, finally settling in Dubnow. His reputation as a maggid spread, bringing him in contact with the great rabbis of the period, including the Vilna Gaon. The majority of his works were in homiletics, using stories and parables to transmit deeper ethical and moral teachings.
Rabbi Ephraim Fishel Shapira of Strikov (1743-1822). A disciple of the Magid of Mezritch, the Rebbe Elimelech and the Chozeh of Lublin, he was called the "Oleh Temimah."
Rabbi Aryeh Leibush Lipschitz of Vishnitza, the Aryeh d’Bei Ilai (1849)
Rabbi Pinchas Epstein, Av Beis Din of Yerushalayim (1887-1969). Born in Griva, Lithuania, his primary teacher was Rabbi Zalman Sender Kahana Shapiro in Bialystok. In 1904, he settled in Eretz Yisrael with his father and began studying at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in the Old City of Yerushalayim. Rabbi Epstein was one of the founders and early leaders of the Eidah Ha'chareidis, a group which split from the established Yerushalayim community in 1919 in response to the growing influence of the Zionists on the existing religious council. In 1949, he was appointed to head the Eidah Ha'chareidis.
Rabbi Suleiman (Salman) Mutzafi of Yerushalayim (1900-1974); born in Baghdad. His father, Rabbi Tzion Meir, descended from an illustrious family of Torah scholars who first arrived in Baghdad during the Spanish expulsion.
Rabbi Huna bar Mar Zutra,Reish Galusa, the head of Babylonian Jewry (Reish Galusa), and Rav Mesharshiya bar Pekod were arrested by the Persian authorities and killed al kiddush Hashem.
Ravna Ameimar bar Mar Yanuka was also arrested; he was killed two months later.
Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Shapira of Dinov (1783-1841 some say 1850), born to Reb Pesach and his wife, the niece of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. A talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin, Tzvi Elimelech was told by the Chozeh that he was from Shevet Yissascher, which explained the talmid’s special feelings towards Chanukah, as it is known that the Sanhedrin of the Chashmonaim had many members from Shevet Yissascher. This is the source of the name of his sefer, Bnei Yissascher.
"The Missed Appointment"
The lengthy ecstatic prayers of Rosh Hashana drew to a close. During the Kiddush that followed, Rabbi Yehudah-Tzvi of Strettin made an enigmatic statement to his chasidim. "When the fifth night of Chanukah comes, after the lighting of the candles, if you will remind me at that moment, I will arrange a banquet for everyone!"
The chasidim stared at their master, perplexed. Some thought to themselves, "What is the connection between Rosh Hashana and Chanukah?" Others wondered, "Why a banquet only on the fifth night? Why not every night!?"
The fifth night of Chanukah came and the chasidim reminded their rebbe of his promise made on Rosh Hashana. His face lit up and he immediately ordered a banquet prepared for all the guests. After many "L'chaim"s were offered someone stood up courageously and asked, "Rebbe, what's the occasion of the banquet?"
The Rebbe explained in hushed tones, "I saw during the sacred prayers of Rosh Hashana that a tzadik of our generation would be appointed one of the judges of the heavenly court. I knew there were three possibilities. Either myself, the Rebbe of Butzchatch, or the Rebbe of Dinov (R. Tzvi-Elimelech, the Bnei Yissaschar).
The Chassidim were awestruck by this revelation. A few weeks later, Rabbi Tzvi-Elimelech passed away, on the 18th of the Jewish month of Tevet. The holy Dinover Rebbe had been chosen to be a judge of the heavenly court.
Rabbi Moshe of Korestchov (1866). Born to the Chernobyler Maggid, Rabbi Mordechai, Rabbi Moshe was the grandson of the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl on his father’s side and Rabbi Aharon HaGadol of Karlin on his mother’s side. His brother was Rabbi Yochanan of Rachmistrivka. A few years after his father’s petira, he abided to the urging of the Chasidim and set up his court in Korestchov. He was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Mordechai.
Rabbi Chaim Shmuel Horowitz of Chentchin (1915)
Rabbi Moshe Chalfon of Djerba, Tunisia, author of Shoel Venishal and Bris Kehuna (1874- 1950)
Rabbi Mendel Geffner, initiator of mass Chol Hamoed Birchas Kohanim
Moshe Heller of Yerushalayim; only son of Rav Refoel Tzvi Mechel Heller (2002).
Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, the Zhmigrader Rebbe (1912-2007). Two of his sons succeeded him – the Sanz-Zhmigrader Rebbe of Boro Park and the Sanz-Zhmigrader Rebbe of Europe..
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