Rav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, Rav of Elizabeth, NJ. (1908-1995) Born in Latvia and a student of the famed Rogachaver Ilui, he arrived in USA in 1934. He founded schools, and pioneered in teaching Talmud on the radio, records and audiotapes. From the 1960s to the 1980s he made twenty-two trips to the USSR to sustain the three million Jews imprisoned there. Stories about him can be found in the book “Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah,” by Rivkah Teitz Bla (Ktav Publishing House)
Rav Shlomo Molcho (1500-1532). Born in Lisbon, Portugal, a descendant of Portuguese Marranos. He published 22 essays on the topic of redemption according to the secrets of Kabbalah in his work, Sefer Hamefoar. He met with the Pope and asked him to stop the campaign against the Marranos. He also met Rabbi Yossef Karo in Tzfas and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Taitzik of Salonica who taught R’ Molcho Kabbalah. His speeches inspired many Marranos to publicly return to their faith. Arrested by the officers of the Inquisition, he recited Shema with great joy, as he was burned at the stake by Roman Emperor Charles V in Mantua, Italy.
Rav Aharon of Titiov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (1828)
Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger (1884-1961), named for his grandfather, the first Sadigerer Rebbe. When Reb Avraham Yaakov turned 18, he married Bluma Raizel, the daughter of the Kapischnitzer Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Meir Heschel. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Rebbe fled to Vienna, Austria, and lived there for 24 years. When the Nazis entered Vienna in 1938, the Rebbe was seized and forced to sweep the streets clean, to the amusement of the onlooking Germans. After WW2, he lived in Tel Aviv, where he continued the Sadigerer line. He authored Abir Yaakov.
Rav Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowitz, the Biala-P’shischa Rebbe (2003). Born ~1923, the first-born son of the previous Biala Rebbe, the Chelkas Yehoshua. He became Rebbe after his father was nifter in 1982 and opened his beis midrash in the Har Nof section of Yerushalayim.
Today in History – 5 Teves
· Auto-da-fe at Toledo, 1486. More than 900 people were humiliated in a parade from the Church of San Pedro Martir to the cathedral, forced to recant, fined 1/5 of their property and permanently forbidden to wear decent clothes or hold office.
· Decree of Empress Catherine restricted the right of residence of Russian Jews, 1791.