Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin (1797-1850). Born to Reb Shalom, the Rebbe of Prohibisht (who was a son of Reb Avraham HaMalach, the son of the Maggid of Mezerich). He was engaged to the Rav of Berditchev at the age of seven; six years later, the chasuna took place. When Reb Yisrael turned sixteen his older brother, Reb Avraham (who had succeeded their father), was niftar, leaving no children. He was then succeeded by Reb Yisrael. When word reached the Rebbe that the Russian Czar intended to build a big church in the Old City of Yerushalayim, the Rebbe summoned Reb Nisan Bak who lived in Yerushalayim. Reb Nisan arrived there a few days ahead of the Russians and succeeded in buying the plot of land. The Czar was forced to buy a different plot of land, known today as the Russian Compound. The shul was known as the “Reb Nisan Bak Shul” and stood until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Arabs. Following the orders of the Czar, the Rebbe was locked up in the Kiev dungeons. The Rebbe spent 22 months locked in a small dark and damp cellar. A few days after the Rebbe was freed he fled Russia and settled in the town of Sadiger. The Rebbe’s derech was carried on through his six sons. The Rebbe’s oldest son, Reb Shalom Yosef, was niftar less than a year after his father and was succeeded by his son Reb Yitzchak, who became the first Bohusher Rebbe. The Ruzhiner’s second son, Reb Avraham Yaakov, took his father’s place in Sadiger. He had two sons, the eldest, Reb Yitzchak, was the first Boyaner Rebbe and the younger son, Reb Yisrael, was rebbe in Sadiger. The third son of the Ruzhiner was Reb Dov Ber who was rebbe in Lieov and the fourth son, Reb Menachem Nachum, was rebbe in Sthefanesht. The fifth son was Reb Dovid Moshe, the Chortkover Rebbe, and the sixth son was Reb Mordechai Shraga, the Husyatiner Rebbe. The Ruzhiner also had four daughters. The third daughter, Miriam, was married to Reb Menachem Mendel of Vishnitz, founder of the Vishnitzer dynasty.
Rav Yitzchak, son of Rav Chaim of Volozhin
Rav Yosef Zundel of Salant (Lithuania) (1786-1865), teacher of R’ Yisrael Salanter; learned under Rav Chaim Volozhiner, then after his petira in 1821, he would make trips to learn with Rav Akiva Eiger. Moved to Eretz Israel December 3, 1837. Father-in-law of Rav Shmuel Salant.
Rav Yehuda Leib of Kapust (1866)
Rav Eliyahu Horoshovsky, Rav of Drohbitz and author of Pnei Eliyahu and Ezur Eliyahu (1883).
Rav Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern, the Sokolover Rebbe (1864-1939). Born in Kotzk, he was the great – grandson of the Kotzker Rebbe. Married at the age of 18, he became Rav of Sokolov, a town near Shedlitz, at the age of 30. There he established the Yeshiva Beis Yisrael. In 1905, he succeeded his father as the Rebbe of Pilov. After a visit to Eretz Yisrael in 1924, he exhorted his followers to leave the Diaspora and settle the land. After the outbreak of World War II, he moved to Otwock, a village outside Warsaw. His eldest son, the Rabbi of Wengrov was stabbed to death by the Germans.
Rav Shabsi Sheftel Weill, Rav of Simani, Hungary (1943).
Rav Mordechai Miller, principal of Gateshead Seminary (1920-2000); one of the closest students of Rav Eliyahu Dessler. R. Miller held a postgraduate degree in law. He had a promising future in the professional world. His uncle had a law firm in London and with his great talents he would have been given a good position. But he gave it all up in order to spend his life al haTorah ve’al ho’avodoh.
Rav Avraham Aba Zions (1911-1995). Born in Brisk, Poland. His father passed away when Rav Aba was just nine-years-old. His mother would bring him to one of the talmidei chachomim in Brisk to have him tested every week. When Rav Aba was twelve-years-old, he was sent him to learn at the yeshiva of Rav Moshe Sokolovsky, author of the Imrei Moshe. Rav Aba was very close to the Imrei Moshe until the latter’s petirah in 1931, and he assisted with the publishing of the Imrei Moshe’s sefer on Maseches Beitzah, “Meleches Yom Tov.” After a few years, Rav Aba went to Kaminetz to learn by Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz. In or about the year 1936, Rav Aba returned to Brisk, starting a Talmud Torah there. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, Rav Aba escaped to Vilna. He was instrumental in the printing of Rav Baruch Ber’s sefer Birchas Shmuel. From there he joined the Mirrer Yeshiva bochurim as they traveled to Kobe, Japan, and eventually to Shanghai, China. After the war, Rav Aba came to New York and accepted a position as Rav of Congregation Knesses Israel in The Bronx, where he served for 28 years. In 1948, Rav Aba married Rivka Tellem, of Tavrig, Lithuania, whose family had settled in Newark.
Rav Shimon Groner, Mashgiach, Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin (1932-2005). Born in Brownsville, NY, to Rabbi Schnayer Zalman and Fayga Rochel Groner. Reb Schnayer Zalman was born in Yerushalayim, a scion of the well-known Grossman family, and he was a talmid of Yeshivas Eitz Chaim. He passed away when Shimon was only fourteen. Reb Shimon went to Chaim Berlin, where the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yitzchak Hutner treated Shimon like a son. Rabbi Groner was married in 1959 to Nechama Dubba Fishbein and continued his learning in the Kollel Gur Aryeh of Chaim Berlin. He taught the seventh and ninth grades in Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael of Forest Hills and from there was called by Rav Hutner to help found the Mesivta Chaim Berlin in Flatbush. After four years, he became a maggid shiur in the beis medrash, and in 1978 was appointed mashgiach ruchni, a post he held for his remaining 27 years.
Today in History – 3 Cheshvan
· King Cyrus of Persia formally conquers Babylon, c. 369 BCE
· King Edward I expels last of the 16,000 Jews from England, 1290.
· Volumes of the Talmud were burned in Venice, 1553
· Germanyoccupied Kharkov – 20,000 Jews fall into Nazi hands, 1941
Yahrtzeits – 4 Cheshvan
Rav Kalonimus Kalman Shapira,Piacezna Rebbe, author of Chovos Hatalmidim and Aish Kodesh (1889-1944). His father, Rav Elimelech of Grodzisk, was a direct descendant of the Magid of Kozhnitz and of the “Noam Elimelech” of Lizhensk. He was named Kalonimus Kalman after his maternal grandfather, the Maor Vashemesh. In 1905, Rav Kalonimus Kalman married Rachel Chaya Miriam, the daughter of Rav Yerachmiel Moshe of Kozhnitz. She helped him prepare his drashas and seforim, even adding pertinent insights of her own. After the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was crushed in Nissan 1943, Rav Klonimus Kalmish was taken to the Trevaniki work camp near Lublin. Prisoners who were completely “worked out” by exhaustion and starvation were removed and sent to the Treblinka and Rav Klonimus Kalmish met his death there on 4 Cheshvan, 1944.
Rav Aryeh Leib Gurwicz (1906-1982). He was born Leib Kushelevsky in the small town of Malat, Poland. After Leib had learned in the Mir for eight years, the rosh yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, and the mashgiach ruchani, Rav Yeruchom Levovitz, recommended that he travel to study under the Brisker Rav. He later married the daughter of Rav Elya Lopian, and became Rosh Yeshiva of Gateshead. He authored Roshei She’arim (a compilation of some shiruim which he delivered in the yeshiva), Arza Devei Rav (which contains hundreds of chiddushim on Shas). His sefer Meorei She’arim was printed posthumously by his talmidim, and consists of mussar and hashkafic talks that Rav Gurwicz gave over the years.
Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Dan Landa, the Strikover Rebbe (1943). The son of Rav Elimelech Menachem Mendel Landau, he was murdered by the Nazis.
Rav Yoav Yehoshua Weingarten of Kintzk, the Chelkas Yoav (1845-1923). His foundation in learning was established by Rav Zev Nachum Borenstein, the Agudas Eizov, but his rav muvhak was his son, Rav Avraham Borenstein, the Avnei Nezer, who was only 6 years his elder. In 1883, Rav Yoav accepted the positions of Rav and Rosh yeshiva in Litomirsk. In 1889, he became Rav of Gustinin, and founded a yeshiva there. From 1894 until his petira, he served as Rav in Kintzk. In 1894, he published Chlkas Yoav. He also published a sefer called Kava Dekesheisa, 103 unanswered kushyos on Shas intended to whet the minds of bnei yeshiva. After the petira of the Avnei Nezer, Rav Yoav accepted the authority of his son, the Shem MiShmuel. After his own petira, his only son, Rav Meir succeeded him as Rav of Kintzk. His son held the post for 27 years until he and his entire family were murdered.
Today in History – 4 Cheshvan
· 180 Jews killed in Munich, 1285
· Torquemada was appointed Inquisitor-General of Spain, 1483
· “Red Purim” in which the Jewish community in Algiers was saved from the navy of Karl V and the Spanish Admiral Doria which tried to capture the Algerian coast, 1541
· Austria’s Jews were forbidden to have the first names of Christian saints, 1834
· Romanian soldiers massacre 26,000 Jews in Odessa, 1941.
· Nazis liquidate Riga ghetto, 1943