Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv, (1817-1893). He was born in Mir, the son-in-law of Rav Isaac, son of Rav Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821) he married the granddaughter of Rav Chaim Volozhiner when he was 14 years old. In 1849, upon the petira of Rav Yitzchak, the father-in-law of the Nertziv, Rav Yitzchak was succeeded by his older son-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yitzchak. However, he died five years later, and the Netziv was appointed Rosh Yeshiva, a position he held for 40 years. Volozhin was forcibly closed by the Russians in 1893. He wrote Haamek Davar, a commentary on the Chumash, Haamek She’elah on the She’eltos of Rav Achai Gaon, and Meshiv Davar, a collection of his responsa. Among his children were Rabbi Chaim Berlin and Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan (born to two different mothers).
Rav Avraham Chaim Ades (1848-1925), born in Halab (Aram Soba), Syria, among the most ancient Jewish communities in the world. According to tradition, Jews lived there even before the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash. As a youngster, Rav Avraham studied under Rav Mordechai Abadi and Rav Ezra Tawill Hakohen. At the age of 20, he married the daughter of Rav Moshe Swed, rav of Aram Soba. In 1896, Rav Avraham immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. Soon after his arrival, he learned at Rechovot Hanahar, a kabbala yeshiva in the Bucharian neighborhood. Among his students were Rav Yosef Yedid Halevi, Rav Shlomo Raphael Laniado, Rav Ezra Chamawi, Rav Ezra Attia (later to become rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef), and Rav Yaakov Katzin.
Rav Avraham Yaakov HaKohen Pam (1913-2001). Rav Pam’s father, Rav Meir, was a product of Slobodka and Radin. As a child, Rav Pam studied in Kovna. His family later moved to the United States, where his father was appointed to the faculty of Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin yeshiva. The thirteen-year-old began to study in Torah VoDaas. He became very close with the Rosh yeshiva, Rav Dovid Lebowitz, and Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. After his marriage, he taught at Torah VoDaas for 60 years. After the petirah of Rav Moshe Feinstein, he was appointed president of Chinuch Atzmai in the United States. He was also a member of the presidium of the largest Torah organization in America, Torah Umesorah. He founded the Shuvu organization for the chinuch of Russian children in Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Moshe Finkel, born in Mir to Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (1909-2004). He grew up with his great-grandfather, Rav Baruch Kamai, the Rav of Mir. He learned at Slobodka under his grandfather, Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel, the Alter of Slobodka, then at Kelm, where he learned bechavrusa with Rav Povarsky, then at BBaranovitch, under Rav Elchanan Wasserman and Rav Shlomo Heiman. Shortly before WW2, he immigrated to Yerushalyim and married the daughter of Rav Mordechai Davod Levin, author of Darchei Dovid. There, he worked diligently under his father for the Mir Yeshiva.
Today in History – 28 Av
· The Council of Four Countries, the autonomous governing body of Polish Jewry, met for the last time after 200 years of functioning,1762.
· German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I, 1914.
· Acting on intelligence linking Osama bin Laden to Al-Shifa’s current and past operators, namely the Iraqi nerve gas experts and the National Islamic Front in Sudan, United States warships stationed in the Red Sea launched cruise missiles hitting the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, as well as on terrorist bases in Afghanistan. The missles were in retaliation for the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which killed 224 people (including 12 Americans) and injured 5,000 others.