Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu
Rav Raphael Meir Penijel (1804-1894). Born in Bulgaria , he moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael when he was 3 years old. When he was 15, his father died. In the early 1940s, he was chosen as one of the “shadarim” (sheluchei de’rabbanan) and sent to Northern Africa to collect funds for the yeshuv. Following stints in Morocco and Tunisia , he traveled to Italy . While there, he befriended the Pope, who offered to show him the Vatican ‘s archives. There, he saw some of the sacred vessels that Titus had stolen from the Beis Hamikdash. The visit is described in his sefer, Lev Hamarpei. When he returned to Eretz Yisrael, he founded the Doresh Tzion Yeshiva in 1868 and was instrumental in helping to found the Tiferes Yerushalayim institutions. In 1881, he succeeded Rav Avraham Ashkenazi as Yerushalayim’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi, the Rishom LeTzion. In addition to the sefer noted above, he also authored Sheilos U’Teshuvos Leshon Marpei.
Rav Reuven Dov Dessler (1863-1935), father of Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, the Michtav M’Eliyahu. Born in Libau , Lithuania . When he was 12, Rav Reuven Dov was sent to Rav Simcha Zissel’s yeshiva and stayed there for 11 years. When it closed, he moved to Kelm to continue learning with the Alter. In 1891, he married the daughter of a leading dayan in Vilna and granddaughter of Rav Yisrael Salanter. She gave birth to Rav Reuven Dov’s only son, Rav Eliyahu Eliezer. Sadly, she was nifter 4 years after they wed, and Rav Reuven Dov remarried. Although he was very successful in business, he maintained a rigid learning schedule, and he took off every Elul and Tishrei to travel to Kelm to learn. In 1923, the Communists gained control of the area, and Rav Reuven Dov lost all of his assets. His final years were trying. In 1931, he moved into his son’s home in London and immersed himself in Torah study.
Rav Alter Elazar Menachem of Lelov (1935-2001). Born to the Admor of Lelov, Rav Moshe Mordechai, he learned with the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak as a youth. In 1958, he married the daughter of Rav Shimon Aharon Hershkowitz, the ga’avad of Slavita. In 1965, he founded his beis medrash on Rabbi Akiva Street in Bnei Brak. After the petirah of his mother in 1978, he established the Or Menachem network of kollelim. He also founded Kehal Ateres Moshe of the Lelover Chassidim of the United States , now headed by Rav Alter Elazar Menachem’s son, Rav Dovid Tzvi Shlomo.
Rav Leib Bakst, studied at Mir from the age of 13 under Rav Eliezr Finkel and Rav Yeruchom Levovitz; he also studied with the Brisker Rav and Rav Baruch Ber Leibovitz in Kaminetzk. He was involved the miraculaous escape of the Mir Yeshiva to Kobe , Japan , and Shanghai , China , and eventually came to Detrot. There, he became the Dean of the Yeshiva Beis Yehuda rabbinical college. In 1985, he founded the Yeshiva Gedola Ateres Mordechai as an independent high school. (1915-2004).
Today in History – 14 Teves
· Jews of Laibach, Austria expelled, 1515.
· Purim Chevron. The Arab leader in command demanded 50,000 gold coins within 3 days, and on this day, the shammash found a sack with that amount in it, 1740.
· Population of Israel reached three million, 1971.
· Mrs. Miriam Dier in New York at the age of 103 years. Her grandson said that her longevity due to her never being critical of another person, she would greet everyone with sever ponim yafos, and that she possessed an inimitable Simchas HaChaim, despite the sufferings and illnesses that she had experienced in her life.