Yahrtzeits – 3 Adar
-Rav Mordechai Yaffe, author of Levush Mordechai, and known as the Baal HaLevushim (1530-1612). Born to the Rav of Prague, he was sent to Poland to study under the Maharshal and Rama in his youth. Married in 1553, he founded a yeshiva in Prague. However, in 1559, King Ferdinand decreed that the Jews of Prague be evicted. Despite the successful efforts of Pope Pius IV on behalf of the Jews (which resulted in a 2-year delay), the Jews of Prague left the city in 1561. Rav Mordechai settled in Venice, where he learned with Rav Avraham Abuhav and Rav Mittsyahu Delcorte. He became Rav of Horodna (Grodno) in 1572, then Lublin in 1588. In 1598, when the Maharal left Posen for Prague, Rav Mordechai became rabbi of Posen until his death. Two important peirushim on the Levush were written many years later: In Elya Rabba, Rav Eliyahu Shapiro answers many refutation of the Levush brought in the Malbishei Yom Tov, (written by the author of Tosefos Yom Tov), and in
Levushei Tzedakah, Rav Tzadok Hakohen answers difficulties raised by the Smah in Levush Choshen Mishpat.
-Rav Noach of Krakow, author of Toldos Noach on Midrash (1638)
-Rav Noach Chaim Berlin of Altuna, author of Atzei Almogim and Atzei Arazim and Av Beis Din of AH”U (1802).
-Rav Binyamin Zev Lev, Rav of Verboi and author of Shaarei Tefilah (1851)
-Rav Dovid Morgenstern of Kotzk (1866), the eldest son of Reb Mendel of Kotzk
-Rav Eliyahu Mezhritch, author of Midreishei Eliyahu (1868)
-Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz-Teumim, the Aderes (1843-1905). The last part of his name, Te’omim denotes the fact that he was a “te’om,” or twin. His mother, Chana, was a descendant of the Baal Halevushim and the Chacham Tzvi. After his marriage, Rav Eliyahu Dovid moved to his wife’s birthplace, Ponovezh. He served as Rav of Ponovezh from 1872 to 1890 and of Mir from 1890 to 1898. He was then asked to assume the position of chief rabbi of Yerushalayim, at the recommendation of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky. There, he assisted the 80 year old Rav Shmuel Salant. Rav Eliyahu Dovid served as the rav of Yerushalayim for four years.
-Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht, founder (1952) and rosh yeshiva, Kerem B’Yavne (1994). Born in Yerushalayim, he attended Yeshiva Etz Chaim under Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. Thereafter, he learned under the guidance of Rav Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav. After marrying his wife, Miriam, he moved to Bnei Brak where he studied under the Chazon Ish and was also close to Rav Isaac Sher.
-Rav Yechiel Malach (1922-2006). Born in Ostrolenka, Poland, he was a talmid muvhak or Rav Avraham Yoffen, he went on to learn in Slobodka, then settled in Brooklyn after the War. He became ninth grade rebbi and manhig ruchani at Yeshivas Be’er Shmuel. At about 1986, he moved to Yerushalayim, where he was marbitz Torah in the Gerrer Yeshiva Ner Yisrael.
Yahrtzeits – 4 Adar
-Rav Achai bar Rav Huna of Rabanan Soverai, 506 CE
-The body of R. Meir (MaHaRaM) of Rotenburg’s was released for burial in 1307, fourteen years after his death in the fortress of Ensisheim. He was buried in the old Jewish cemetery of Worms. Next to him was buried R. Alexander Susskind Wimpfen, who gave away his entire fortune to ransom the body. Both graves miraculously escaped Nazi ravaging of the cemetery (born 1215).
-Rav Mordechai Leib Mann, rosh yeshiva Beis Hillel in Bnei Brak
-Rav Leib Sarah’s (1730-1796). Considered one of the hidden tzadikim by the Baal Shem Tov, he spent his life wandering to raise money for the ransoming of imprisoned.
-Rav Avraham Blumenkrantz (1944-2007). Born in Palestine four years before the founding of the state of Israel, Reb Avraham and his family were abroad at the outset of the War of Independence. In the early 1950s the family settled in Bogotá, Colombia. His father, Rav Chaim Menachem Bentzion, became chief rabbi. Reb Avraham came to New York as a teenager to study at Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim under Rav Moshe Feinstein, with whom Rabbi Blumenkrantz maintained a close relationship until Rabbi Feinstein’s death in 1986. Under the guidance of Rav Moshe, Rav Avraham took positions at Staten Island and Brooklyn. He also became Rav in Far Rockaway. He also became well-known for his Pesach guide.