Binyamin ben Yaakov Avinu, buried near Kfar Saba
Rav Avraham Azulai (1670-1744). Born in Fez to Rav Mordechai Azulai. In 1700, he fulfilled his life’s dream and boarded a ship for Eretz Yisrael. The only possessions he took him were the many manuscripts of his chiddushim. These were all lost at sea during a storm. In Chevron, Rav Avraham wrote his major work on Kabbalah, entitled Kiryat Arba. It is based on the teachings of the four great kabbalists: the Ramak, the Arizal, Rav Chaim Vital and Rav Avraham Galanti. Later, in Aza (Gaza), Rav Avraham composed three more sefarim: Baalei Bris Avraham, a commentary on the twenty-four books of the Tanach, and Chessed l’Avraham, which contains kabbalistic drashos. In addition to this, he wrote Kanaf Renanim, a summary of the kavanos of the prayers according to the Arizal; Ma’aseh Chosheiv, a summary of the kavanos of the Arizal on the mitzvos; Ahavah BaTa’anugim on the Mishnah, and Hagahos l’Sefer HaLevush on the Shulchan Aruch. His great grandson was Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai, the Chida.
Rav Gedaliah of Zalkaa (1763).
Rav Raphael Kohen of Hamburg (1722-1803). Rosh yeshiva in Minsk at the age of 19, Rav Raphael became Rav of Pinsk in 1763. In 1776, he became Rav of the joint community of Altoona, Hamburg, and Wandsbek (AHU). He is the author of Toras Yekusiel.
Rav Chaim Yosef Brukstein of Pistin (1864).
Rav Dovid Twersky of Makarov (1902). Makarov is located in Kievskaya, 28 km from Kiev. The earliest known Jewish community was 1765. 1897 Hasidic population (census) was 3953. The Twersky Chasidic dynasty began in Makarov with a Nachum Twersky (1805-1851). Decimated in the Holocaust, Makarov is an offshoot of the Chernobyl dynasty.
Rav Hillel Moshe Meshel Gelbstein (1834-1904 or 1907), born in Bialystok, his mother was a 12th generation descendent of the Shlah HaKodesh. At the age of 15, he traveled to Kotzk and became of chassid of Rebbe. After the Kotzker passed away, Rav Meshel adopted the Chidushei HaRim as his rebbe. On the 23rd of Adar of 1867, the Chidushei HaRim was nifter, and on the 13th of Nissan that same year, the Tzemach Tzedek was niftar. Considering himself orphaned, Rav Meshel moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim – he would never again sleep outside the walls of the city. His sefarims included Mishkenos Le’abir Yaakov, Ohr Leyesharim, and Ohr Zarua Latzadik.
Rav Raphael Dovid Auerbach, Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Shomayim (1869-1945)
Rav Gedalya Moshe Goldman of Zvhil (1888-1949), son of Rav Shlomo (Reb Shlomke) of Zhvil. When the Soviets rose to power, he was sent to Siberia and after eight years of exile managed, in 1936, to flee to Eretz Yisrael, where he also concealed his greatness. He served as an Admor for only five years, for he died when he was only 61.
Rav Nachum Dov HaKohen Kreisman (1923-2004). Born in the town of Rakishok in Lithuania’s Ponovezh District from a famous line of rabbonim who served in the Rakishok rabbinate for nine consecutive generations, ending with HaRav Betzalel Yalovetzky. As a bochur he went to Yeshivas Telz, where he studied under Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch. He settled in Baltimore and enrolled at Ner Yisrael, where he studied under Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman. When Rav Aharon Kotler came to Baltimore, Rav Ruderman sent two bochurim to the train station to meet him: Nachum Dov and Shmuel Kamenetsky. Noting the high caliber of the two young men Rav Kotler took them back with him to New York in preparation for starting Yeshivas Lakewood. In 1954, Rav Kreisman moved to Eretz Yisrael and married, and in 1967, he was chosen to serve as a dayan by Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, Rav Betzalel Zolti, the Rav of Yerushalayim, and Rav Shlomo Shimshon Karelitz.
Today in History – 24 Cheshvan
· The refugee ship, the Patria, was sunk (1940), killing about 250 Jews (of a total of 1,771 illegal immigrant passengers) from Romania. The Haganah tried to sabotage the ship to prevent the Patria from leaving port. They smuggled a bomb aboard the ship, intending to damage the ship’s engines, but instead, it created a large hole in the ship’s hull, and the ship sank quickly, drowning many passengers.
· Israel’s eight day Sinai Campaign begins in coordination with France and England, 1956. Israel invades the Sinai in response to the increase in attacks on Israel from Gaza by the Egyptian-backed Fedayeen. Under United States and Soviet pressure Israel is forced to withdraw from the Sinai.