Rav Meir Paprish, the Ohr Tzadikim (1624-1662). At the young age of 13, Reb Meir began learning Kabbalah as a student of Rav Yaakov Tzemach who studied under Rav Shmuel Vital, the son of Rav Chaim Vital.
Rav Dovid ben Moshe Madjar of Yerushalayim (1800), author of Chesed Dovid.
Rav Yom Tov (ben Yisrael Yaakov) Algazi, the Maharit Algazi (1727-1802), one of the main students of the famed kabbalist Rabbi Shalom Sharabi. Stemming from a long line of great Torah sages originating in Spain, his father was av beis din in Izmir, Turkey for over 40 years before being appopinted Rishon Letzion in Yerushalyim. Rav Yom Tov was born in Izmir, and studied together with Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai (the Chida) as a youth. In 1758, he was appointed rosh yeshiva of Neveh Shalom. In 1782, after the petira of Rav Shalom Sharabi, Rav Yom Tov was appointed rosh yeshiva of Beis Kel and served as Rishon LeTzion following the petira of Rav Rephael Meyuchas. He left behind a legacy of piskei halacha – Shu”t Simchas Yom Tov, Hilchos Yom Tov, and Kedushas Yom Tov. He left one son (Rav Yaakov) and 3 daughters.
Rav Aaron (ben Meir) Hagadol of Premishlan, disciple of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotschov
Rav Binyamin Zev Lev (ben Elazar Leib) Rokeach (1777-1851). He was born in the small town of Vadislav, and his father, the Shemen Rokeach, sent him to the yeshivos of R’ Eliezer Kempne of Prostitz, and of his brother-in- law R’ Yirmiyohu of Mattersdorf. He married Feigele, the daughter of Rav Yitzchak Eisik Elkish, Rav of Ushpitzin from the dynasty of the Rebbe R’ Heschel and the Moginei Shlomo. He subsequently became rov in Amshinov. He is the author of Shaarei Torah. His son, Yirmiyahu, was author of Divrei Yirmiyahu.
Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya (ben Moshe) Grunwald of Pupa, the Vayaged Yaakov (1941). Son of the Arugas Habosem, Reb Yaakov Yechezkiya studied under his father until his marriage. In 1929, Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya was chosen as Rav of Pupa, Hungary. He established a yeshiva there which soon numbered 300 students. Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya’s son, Rav Yosef Grunwald, succeeded his father in 1951.
Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz (1891-1965), Av Beis Din of Tiktin, Rosh Yeshivas Mir-U.S. He was a talmid of Slobodka, a Rav of Rakov, and a close friend of Reb Chaim Ozer Grodzenski of Vilna. He was also the founder and head of a kollel, and a leader of Agudath Israel of Poland. After the First World War, the Mirrer Yeshiva appointed him as its president. His wife’s grandfather was Rav Betzalel HaKohen, a dayan in Vilna and author of Mareh Kohen. At the beginning of World War II the Rav and his family reached the United States, while his beloved Mirrer Yeshiva escaped from Mir to Vilna, to avoid Soviet persecution. During the War, the Rav was was one of the leading personalities of the Vaad Hatzalah.
Rav Yisrael (ben Avraham Mordechai) Alter, the Beis Yisrael of Ger (1895-1977). The third son of the Imrei Emes, he celebrated a double simcha on his Bar Mitzvah, as he became engaged to his cousin, Chaya Sara. They married two years later. In 1940, the Imrei Emes escaped the Nazis and reached Eretz Yisrael, along with his sons, Rav Yisrael, Rav Simcha Bunim, and Rav Pinchas Menachem. Tragically, Rav Yisrael’s wife, daughter, and son perished, a fact he didn’t learn until 1945. He remarried in 1948, but had no children from his second wife. After his father’s petira, Rav Yisrael assumed the mantle of leadership as the 4th Rebbe of Ger. For the next 29 years, he rebuilt Ger and was a major force in the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael. After his passing, Ger was led by his brother, Rav Simcha Bunim, until his petira in 1992. After that, his other brother, Rav Pinchas Menachem led Ger for four years. Since then, Ger has been led by Rav
Yaakov Aryeh, the son of Rav Simcha Bunim.
Rav Moshe (ben Yehuda) Schwab (1918-1979). Born in Frankfurt-am-Mein, he was the younger brother of Rav Shimon and Rav Mordechai. He was sent to learn in Kaminetz under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz and in Baronovich under Rav Elchonon Wasserman. In 1938, he moved to England and accepted a position at the Kollel in Gateshead. In 1942, he married Rochel Baddiel, daughter of Rav Dovid Baddiel, one of the founding members of the Gateshead kehilla. In 1946, he joined the Yeshiva and became very close to Rav Dessler. He authored Ma’archei Lev on the Yomim Tovim.
Rav Mordechai (ben Moshe) Wulliger (1895-1995), born in Bishtina-Marmoresh, his primary teacher was Rav Chaim Zvi Teitelbaum, Rav of Sigher and author of Atzei Chaim. Rav Wulliger settled in the United States in 1938 and was a member of the Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodas for about 50 years. He authored a myriad of seforim, the first of which was Pardes Mordechai (1927).
Today in History – 2 Adar
· The Byzantine Emperor Justinian orders the public reading of the Greek translation of the Shabbos portion of the week, but prohibits Rabbis from speaking in public on the parasha, 553 CE.
· Massacre of the Jews of Freiberg, Germany, in the Black Death riots, 1349.
· Anti-Jewish riots in Cracow, 1682.
· Nazis confiscate all sefarim and sifrei Torah in the Kovno ghetto, 1942.
· Greek Jews from Salonika transported to Nazi extermination camps, 1943. (Of 50,000 Jews in Salonika, only 1,200 survived the Holocaust.)
· Knesset bill passed Mi Hu Yehudi – defining a Jew as one born to a Jewish mother or one “converted to Judaism”, 1970.