-Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, the Lutzker Rav and author of Oznaim L’Torah (1881-1966). Learned at Volozhin and Slabodka; married the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe, and moved to Telshe to help run the yeshiva. Rav of Voronova at age 30 for 2 years, befriending Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, then served as Rav of Zhetel for 18 years. In 1914, he fled to Minsk and became a close friend of the Chazon Ish. Moved to Lutsk in 1930 as Rav, until WW II. Moved to Eretz Yisrael during the War. Led by Rav Aaron Kotler and the members of the Israeli Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, Chinuch Atzmai was formed in 1953. Rav Zalman Sorotzkin was chosen to head it.
-Rav Moshe Chevroni, rosh yeshivas Chevron yeshiva, author of the Mas’eis Moshe. He was a son-in-law of R’ Moshe Mordechai Epstein (rosh yeshiva in Slobodka, Chevron)
-Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, the Klausenberger Rebbe (1905-1994), great-grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He spent most of World War II in concentration camps. During his last 15 years of life, he founded Kollelei Shas in Eretz Yisrael and America. These Kollelei Shas were intended for premier avreichim who were already known for their sharp intellect and hasmada. The goal of the kollel was that in the course of three years, the members had to complete the entire Shas. Every member had to obligate himself to be tested on 75 blatt Gemara with Tosafos each month and know them by heart! The, in 1983, at his house in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya, he laid the cornerstone for what would ultimately become Mifal HaShas, where avreichim would learn 30 blatt of Gemara with Tosafos with a built-in review program and be tested monthly on the material learned. In addition to his tremendous efforts on behalf of Torah learning, the Rebbe also used his experiences from the war to stimulate him in another area. Having survived the horror of witnessing the murder of his wife and their 11 children, Reb Yekusiel vowed to dedicate his life to welfare and good health of all Jewish children. He founded Laniado Hospital in Netanya in 1975 after 15 years of fund-raising. His vision of a proper Jewish hospital was confirmed in 1990, as it was one of the only hospitals in Israel to have every employee working during the 127-day doctors’ strike. After his petira, his eldest surviving son, Rav Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, became the new Sanz Rebbe in Israel, as well as President of the Hospital.
-Rav Dovid Lipschitz, president of Ezras Torah welfare program in the US, and Dean of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchonon (1906-1993). Known as the “Suvalker Rav,” he was born in Minsk, but moved to Grodno as a child, where he later studied in Yeshivas Shaar Hatorah of Rav Shimon Shkop. He transferred to the Mir yeshiva where he studied under R’ Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and Rav Yerucham Levovitz. At age 24, he married Zipporah Chava Yoselewitz and two years later, in 1935, he succeeded his father-in-law as rabbi of Suvalk, a title he carried for the rest of his life. One-half of Suvalk’s 6,000 Jews (including the Lifshitz family) escaped to Lithuania. In June 1941, Rav Lifschitz arrived in San Francisco on a boat that carried several other leading sages. Rav Lifschitz’s first position was in the USA was in Chicago, but he soon moved to Yeshivas Rabbienu Yitzchak Elchanan (the rabbinical school of what later became Yeshiva University), where he remained for the rest of his life. A small number of his shmuessen were printed posthumously under the title Tehilah Le’Dovid.
-Rav Mendel Falik (2007). Born in Paterson, New Jersey, his family moved to Brooklyn when he was eleven years old so that he could have a proper chinuch. He attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaas until the age of 15, when his parents sent their ben yachid to the Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He then went to Bais Medrash Govoah. After several years, he moved to St. Louis, to begin his career as a marbitz Torah. For close to forty years, Rav Mendel was a mechanech par excellence. For most of those years, he was a rebbi in Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
Today in History – 9 Tammuz
· Nevuchadnezer’s army breached the walls of Jerusalem, 586 BCE
· Pompey captured Jerusalem and killed 12,000 Jews, 63 BCE
· Anti-Jewish riots in Austria, 1230.
· 4,000 Jews were killed in Toledo, Spain, 1391