Rav Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch (1704-1772). Born in Lukatch to Reb Avraham, he was descended from Rav Hai Gaon and Rav Yochanan Hasandler, a descendent of Dovid Hamelech. Rav Dov Ber learned with the Pnei Yehoshua in Lemberg early in his life. In 1752, he became the Baal Shem Tov’s closest disciple. Among his students were the Rebbe Reb Shmuel Shmelke HaLevi Horowitz and his brother, Reb Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz, the Baal HaFloh, the Rebbe Reb Zushia and his brother, Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchiv, Rav Nachum of Chernobyl, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi. His son was Rav Avraham HaMalach (1740-1776). The classic anthologies of his teachings are Likutei Amarim, Torah Ohr, and Ohr HaEmmes.
Rav Yitzchak Chai Taib of Tunisia, author of Cheilev Chitim (1835)
Rav Moshe Tzvi Neriyeh, Beis Midrash Lamed Daas (1995)
Rav Menachem Nachum of Tolna (1915)
Rav Shaul Mekiketz Shelai, born in Djerba, one of the two main cities in Tunisia, son of Rav Matuk Sali, and grandson of Emmanuel Shelai. At an early age, he leaned under rav Dovid HaKohen, and at age 20, he began to teach in the yeshiva of Rav Yosef Bereibi, the Ben Porat Yosef. With the latter’s passing, Rav Shaul became the Rosh Yeshiva. Rav Shaul edited and annotated many sefarim by previous gedolim of Djerba, including Kisei Rachamim by Rav Rachamim Mazuz and Ben Porta Yosef by Rav 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 insightsd on raising children.
Today in History – 19 Kislev
· Reichfuhrer Heinrich Himmler ordered deportation of Polish Jews, 1939.
· The Baal Hatanya was released from prison in Petersburg, where he been held on charges that his teachings threatened the authority of the czar. The day is celebrated by Lubavitcher Chassidim as a yom tov.