Rav 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 of 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.
Rav 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.”
Rav Aryeh Leibush Lipschitz of Vishnitza, the Aryeh d’Bei Ilai (1849)
Rav Pinchas Epstein, Av Beis Din of Yerushalayim (1887-1969). Born in Griva, Lithuania, his primary teacher was R’ 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. R’ 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.
Rav Suleiman (Salman) Mutzafi of Yerushalayim (1900-1974); born in Baghdad. His father, Rav Tzion Meir, descended from an illustrious family of Torah scholars who first arrived in Baghdad during the Spanish expulsion.
Rav Chanina Shiff (1928-2007). A descendant of the Noam Elimelech of Lizhensk, he sent off in cattle cars to concentration camps where his parents were murdered. His older brother, Rav Elazar Shiff, later a prominent Belzer Chassid, also survived, as did two of their sisters. They arrived in Haifa on erev Tisha B’Av, 1945. Chanina Shiff went to learn in Yeshiva Sefas Emes. He served four generations of Ger Admorim as gabbai, he called out the kibbudim at every Gerer chasuna, and he composed and sang grammen at each Gerrer chasunah.
Today in History – 17 Teves
· Anti-Jewish riots in different parts of Austria, 1312.
· The organization of the Jewish community of Romewas approved by the Pope, 1524.
· Frederick William of Brandenburgissued a decree safeguarding the privileges of the Jews of Berlin, 1676.
· 40 Jewish workers were killed by Arabs at the Haifarefineries, 1947