-Rav Yaakov Margulies, Av Beis Din Nuremberg (1492) [others say 1501 or 1520]. Author of Seder Haget V’hachalitza, which is quoted extensively by the Rema. His son, Rav Isaac, was a rav in Prague and was the one who compiled his father’s sefer.
-Rav Elimelech Menachem Mendel Landau of Strikov (1859-1936). Born Menachem Mendel (Elimelech was added a year before his petira) to Rav Dov Berish of Biala. After the petira of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka in 1848, the majority of Vorka Chassidim chose to follow Reb Menachem Mendel’s father, Rav Dov Berish. After his petirah in 1876, none of the sons were willing to accept leadership, so the Chassidim followed Rav Dov Berish’s primary talmid, Rav Yechiel of Alexander. Reb Menachem Mendel and his brothers moved to Alexander to follow Rav Yechiel, and – after his petirah in 1894 – his son, the Yismach Yisrael. When the Yismach Yisrael died childless in 1910, Reb Menachem Mendel’s brother, Reb Aharon Tzvi founded a court. Only when he passed, did Menachem Mendel accept leadership of the Chassidim and set up court in Strikov. After World War I, he settled in the town of Zhgierzh, adjacent to Lodz, and founded Yeshivas Beis Aharon, named after his brother.
When he visited Eretz Yisrael, he founded Yeshivas Zechusa DeAvraham. His divrei Torah were printed in Maggid Devarav L’Yaakov and in Bayeshishim Chachmah. His son, Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Dan, succeeded him and was murdered by the Nazis (4 Cheshvan 1943). His son, Rav Avraham survived the war and reestablished Strikover Chassidus in Eretz Yisrael.
-Rav Binyamin Beinish Finkel, Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva (1911-1990). Born in Mir on Yom Kippur. In 1931, he studied under the Chafetz Chaim, and in 1934-35 under Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik of Brisk. Rav Beinish married the daughter of Rav Shmuel Greineman, the Chazon Ish’s brother-in-law. He took over as rosh yeshiva for his father, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel after the latter’s petira in 1965.
Today in History – 18 Shvat
· King Alfonzo V ordered Sicily’s Jews to attend conversion sermons, 1428.
· More than eighty New Christians were burned in an Auto Da Fe, including Francisco Maldonna de Silva, after the Inquisition discovered that they were holding regular Jewish services, 1639.