March 16, 2020

[In alphabetical order according to First Name] A-C, D-L, M-R, S-U, V-Z, and secondarily by Year of Passing

At the end of each entry, thanks to Chaya M Mishelovin, the numbers indicate which stories in the archives the person appears in.


Rabbi Yisrael-Abba (HaKohen?) Pliskin [of blessed memory: 5665 (or 5667) - 27 Sivan 5756 (1905 - June 1996] spent nearly twenty years in hiding from the NKVD (forerunner of the KGB), a consequence of his absolute dedication to helping Torah-true Jewish education survive in Communist Russia. He managed to emigrate in 1947, and after a brief period in Paris went on to be one of the founding fathers of the highly successful Chabad community it Melbourne, Australia, before eventually moving to New York and becoming a gabbai (manager) of the "770" shul and a teacher in the English-language yeshiva for young men without strong Torah backgrounds. (For more details) Story #1019 --

Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn-Ezra (1089-1167) spent the first half of his life in the various cities of the Arabic part of Spain, always in financial difficulties and dire need. The second half of his life he spent travelling from country to country, studying peoples and countries, languages and cultures. He visited Africa, Egypt, Babylon Persia, and the Holy Land, where he learned Kabbalah from the sages in Safed and Tiberias. Finally, he returned to Italy, where he wrote most of his great commentaries to the Bible. Subsequently, he also lived in Southern France and London (!) before returning the area of his birth where he passed in 1135 at age 75. His influence upon learning and writing in Italy, Southern France and England was greater than that of any other Jewish figure. Story #1359-- see Archives

Rabbi Adin Even-Yisrael (Steinsaltz) [3 Av 5697 - 17 Av 5780 (July 1937 - August 2020)], was a descendant of the first Rebbes of Slonim and of Vorka. Born to secular parents, he became a ba'al teshuvah when he was a teenager, and studied in yeshivas at the same time he acquired university degrees in mathematics and science. Over the decades, he established a network of experimental schools and educational institutions in Israel and the former Soviet Union. In 1991 Rabbi Steinsaltz changed his last name to Even Yisrael upon the recommendation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Hailed by Time Magazine as a once-in-a-millennium scholar, he authored over 400 books concerning every aspect of Torah including Kabbalah and Chasidut, although he is best known and celebrated for his multi-decade project of a linear translation into modern Hebrew with commentary of the entire Babylonian Talmud. Story #1338 --see Archives

Rabbi Aharon ("the Great") of Karlin; (1736- 19 Nissan 1772) was a disciple of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritch. He was the pioneer of Chasidism in Lithuania, as is evidenced by the fact that in contemporary sources, "Karliner" became a local synonym for "chasid". He is remembered for the ecstatic and unrestrained fervor of his prayer, for his solicitude for the needy, and for the moral teachings embodied in his Azharos ("Warnings"). He was succeeded by his disciple R. Shlomo of Karlin, after whose death the succession reverted to R. Aharon's son, R. Asher of Stolin (d. 1823). The dynasty still thrives today; the Chasidim are known for the volume of their communal prayers. Story # 774, 919 -- see Archives

Rabbi Aharon of Chernobyl (1787- 8 Kislev 1871), eldest son and successor of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, studied closely with his grandfather, Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl. He became the Rebbe of thousands of Chasidim in the Ukraine. Story # 207, 477 -- see Archives

Rabbi Aharon of Belz [1900 - 21 Av 1957], the fourth rebbe in the Belz dynasty, was considered one of the purest holy men of his generation. In 1944 he miraculously escaped from the Nazis and moved to Israel, where after a brief time in Jerusalem he set up his court in Tel Aviv. The current Belzer Rebbe, who has established a huge center in Jerusalem, is his nephew. Story # 406, 923, 1233 -- see Archives

Rabbi Aharon-Leib of Premishlan [? - 2 Adar 1783] was the son of an elder disciple of the Baal Shem tov. He himself was a follower of Rabbi Yehiel-Michil of Zlotchov and then the Rebbe Eliemelech of Lyzhinsk, and the father of the very well-known and wildly popular tzadik and chasidic rebbe, Rabbi Meir of Premishlan, whom he named for his deceased father.Story #1381 -- see Archives

Rabbi Aharon-Yechiel Leifer [? - 1 Sivan 5760 (? - June 2000 C.E.)], was born in Bania, Rumania, where his father, Dovid, served as Rebbe, a descendent of the famous Galitzean dynasty of Nodvorna rebbes. As a young man he served as the Rabbi of Shatz, his wife's birthplace, also in Rumania. He arrived in Israel shortly after the war of Liberation in 5708 (1948 C.E.). Previously he had lost an entire family in the Holocaust, but had married his deceased wife's sister and started a whole new family. Legendary in Tzefat for his hospitality and kindness to those in need, his home and shul were a center for Jews of all stripes for fifty-two years. Beloved equally by Chasidim, Sephardim and Ashkenazim, by Europeans, Israelis and Americans, his death a little before (or after!) the age of ninety marked the end of an era in Tzefat. Story # 810 -- see Archives

Rabbi Akiva Eiger [1761- 13 Tishrei 1837], the chief rabbi of Posen, Prussia for 23 years, was an acclaimed scholar whose analyses of and innovative insights into the Gemora are studied in nearly all yeshivas. Story # 338, 690, 860 -- see Archives

Ari Halberstam [of blessed memory:19 Iyar 5738 - 23 Adar 5754 (May 1978 - March 1994 CE)] was in a van filled with other Chabad teenagers headed home from Manhattan when he was tragically shot to death on the ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge by a Lebanese-born Muslim terrorist. The ramp was renamed by the NYC government to "Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp" and a succession of signs there testify to his martyrdom. Aas a child, Ari shared a special bond with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his wife. At three years old, he sat on the Rebbe's lap as the Rebbe taught him the first letters of the aleph-bet. Mrs. Schneerson was particularly close to Ari, and was known to treat him as the grandson she never had.

Rabbi Aryeh Leib [of blessed memory: ?-6 Tishrei 1811 (?-Sept. 5570 C.E.)], known as the Shpoler Zeide ('grandfather'-a nickname given to him by the Baal Shem Tov at his circumcision), is famed as a miracle worker and devoted to the succor of poor Jews in distress. In his early years, he was a disciple of Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz, a leading figure in the first generation of chassidim.The Lubavitcher Rebbe stated the possibility that the Shpoler Zeide and Rabbi Leib Sarah's are the same person. Story # 138, 177, 359, 430, 588, 594, 770 -- see Archives

Rabbi Aryeh Levin [1885 - 9 Sivan 1969], studied at the Yeshivas of Volozhin, Slutsk and Slonim, he was known for his scholarship and genius. In 1905 he emigrated to the Holy Land, where he became the spiritual director of Talmud Torah Yeshivat Etz Hayim in Jerusalem, a position he held for the rest of his life. In the five decades plus since his passing, he has become a legendary figure -- remembered both as the "Father of the Prisoners" for his loving and supportive devotion to the members of the Jewish underground imprisoned by the British during the Mandate period, and as the "Tzadik of Jerusalem" for his limitless generous acts of kindness, and his love and tolerance of all Jews. [excerpted and adapted from the excellent profile on (plus one sentence from the Jerusalem Post)] Story # 1305-- see Archives

Rabbi Asher-Yeshaya (Rubin) of Ropshitz (?-1845 or 1855) was the son-in-law of Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz, whom he succeeded as Rebbe. He authored Or Yeshai.

Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch [1765-12 Kislev 1840], a Rebbe in Europe for forty years and in Tsfat for ten, was a disciple of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and of the first two Rebbes of the Chernobyl dynasty. One of his disciples was Rabbi Shmuel Heller, the chief rabbi of Zefat for over half a century. His famous book, Bas Ayin, was written in Europe, but he refused to allow it to be printed until he could 'expose' it to the air of the Holy Land and refine it there. His meeting with the philanthropist Sir Moses Montifiore in 1840 led to the beginning of modern Jewish agricultural settlement in Israel. He is buried in the old cemetery of Tsfat. Story # 143,215, 397, 528, 993 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Azuli (1570-1643), authored the well-known Kabbala work, Chesed l'Avraham. He is the grandfather of one of the most famous Sephardic sages ever, the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1806). Story # 365 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Benyamin Schreiber (1815-1875), known as the Ktav Sofer, was the son of the illustrious Torah giant, the Chatam Sofer, Rabbi Moshe Shreiber (1762-1839), and his successor as the head of the Pressburg Yeshiva, the most prestigious in the Austrian-Hungarian empire and the largest in all of Europe. Story # 1369 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham the Malach ("the Angel") (1739- 12 Tishrei 1776). Son of Rabbi Dov Ber (the Maggid) of Mezritch. While still a young man he committed to an ascetic and secluded lifestyle. Upon his father's passing in 1772 he declined to assume leadership of the chassidic movement, even though he was held in high esteem by all of hisfather's main disciples. He wrote a work entitled Chesed L'Avraham. His son, R. Shlomo Shachna of Probisht, was the father of the famed Chasidic leader, Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin. Story # 292, 594, 715, 729 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Landau of Chechanov[1784 - 5 Adar 1875], a disciple of R. Fishel of Strikov and R. Simcha Bunim Of Pesishcha, was a renowned scholar and rabbinical judge. He served as Rav and Rebbe in his community for 56 years, refusing all offers to serve in larger, more prestigious posts. He authored _Zechuta d'Avraham, Ahavas Chesed_, and many others. In 1943 his grave was dug up, and his body and even his burial shrouds were completely intact! Story #618 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham of Trisk (1802 - 2 Tammuz 1889) was one of eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. was one of the eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, all of whom became chasidic rebbes in their own right. In addition to being wee known because of the success of his blessings, his approachability and friendliness to all comers drew thousands of Chassidim to the court which he conducted for some fifty (50!) years at Trisk. His book, Magen Avraham on the Torah and festivals, enjoys great popularity among Chasidim, and among ywshiva students for whom it offers many guidelines. Story # 499, 598, 309, 633 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Wienberg, the Slonimer Rebbe [1804-11 Cheshvan 1883], was active in the spread of the Chasidic movement in Lithuania, the stronghold of the opposition to the Chasidism. He was also a main organizer of support for the religious communities in the Holy Land. His books include Chesed L"Avraham, a deep mystical work, and Be'er Avraham on the Mechilta.

Rabbi Avraham Benyamin Schreiber [1 Adar 5575- 19 Tevet 5632 (March 1, 1815 - Dec. 1871 C.E.)], known as the Ksav Sofer - after the title of halachic responsa , was the son of the illustrious Torah giant, the Chatam Sofer, Rabbi Moshe Shreiber (5522-5599 / 1762-1839 C.E.), and his successor as the head of the Pressburg Yeshiva, the most prestigious in the Austrian-Hungarian empire and the largest in all of Europe. Story # 125, 145, 228, 700 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Bornstein of Sochatchov [5600 - 11 Adar 5670 (October 14, 1839 - February 1910 C.E.)] was a descendant of the Ramah and the Shach. Years before his bar mitzvah he was recognized as a Torah genius. At age 13, he married a daughter of the Kotzker Rebbe, with whom he learned almost daily for nearly 7 years, until the latter's death, whereupon he became a follower first of his uncle, R. Yitzchak-Meir of Ger, and then of R. Chanoch-Henech of Alexander. Already a leading authority in Jewish law, in 1883 he became the rebbe of thousands of chasidim and the founder of the Sochatchover dynasty. His writings include the classic, Avnei Nezer (seven volumes of posthumously-published responsa), and Eglei Tal (on the laws of Shabbat). He was succeeded by his only son, R. Shmuel (1856-1926), author of Shem MiShmuel. Story # 951 , 1105, 1160-- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham-David Wahrman [6 Adar 5531 - 29 Tishrei 5601 (1771-1840)] of Buchach (or Buczacz or Butzchatch) was recognized as a Talmudic genius when still a teenager. Before becoming a chasidic leader in his own right later in life, he was a disciple of Rebbe Levi-Yitzchak of Berdichev and Rabbi Moshe-Chayim of Sassov. He is the author of many scholarly books covering the entire spectrum of Torah, with Eshel Avraham and Daas Kedoshim, important commentaries on the first two of the four sections of Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), being the best known.

Rabbi Avraham Mattisyahu Fridman of Shtefanesht [1848 - 21 Tamuz 1933], in Romania, was the grandson of the holy Rabbi Yisroel of Rhzhin. He succeeded his father, Rabbi Menachem Nochum, to be the second Rebbe in the dynasty, in 1869. While famed for his miraculous powers and having thousands of followers and admirers, he was also considered one of the true hidden tzadikim of his generation. In 1969 his remains -- which witnesses alive today testify were still as whole and fresh as the day he died! -- were exhumed and transferred from Romania to Nachlas Yitzchok in Tel Aviv, where his grave is still a holy site of prayer for thousands of Jews. Story #556 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter (1866 - 6 Sivan 1948), the son of the Sfas Emmes, was the third Rebbe in the Gur dynasty. He was the spiritual leader of over 250,000 Chassidim in pre-WW II Poland. In 1940, he managed to escape with three of his sons to Israel (then Palestine), although the vast majority of his followers did not survive. He began to rebuild the Gerrer community in Jerusalem, but he died there during the siege of Jerusalem on Shavuos, 1948. He was known as the Imrei Emmes, after the title of his major book. Story #1026, 1161-- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam, a descendant of the Divrei Yehezkiel, son of the Divrei Chayim of Sanz, is the present day Stropkov Rebbe in Jerusalem, living in Meah She'arim. He runs several yeshivas and kolels in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel. He is known for devoting himself to helping many who need to return to their Jewish roots.

Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Friedman (20 Cheshvan 1819-11 Elul 1883), the first of the Sadigorer dynasty, was the second son and successor of his famous father, the holy Rabbi Yisrael of Rhyzhin (1797-1850), who passed away in Sadigora. His own elder son, Yitzchak (1849-1917), became the first Boyanner Rebbe. His younger son, Yisrael (1853-1907), succeeded him in Sadigora as the rebbe of tens of thousands. Story #305, 535, 550, 672, 1300 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel [of blessed memory: 5515 - 5 Nissan 5585 (1755-March 1825 C.E.)] the Apter Rebbe, was a main disciple of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhinsk. He is also often referred to as "the Ohev Yisrael," both after the title of the famous book of his teachings, and also because its meaning ( "Lover of Jews") fits him so aptly.The Kapishnitzer Chasidic dynasty descends from him. Story #193. 231, 245, 333, 383, 388, 470, 521, 541, 696, 1008, 1058, 1124, 1262, 1374 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel of Kopischnitz [4 Iyar 1888 - 16 Tammuz 1967], a great-grandson of the Ruzhiner Rebbe on his mother's side, was named after his paternal ancestor, the Apter Rebbe. After WWI he moved to Vienna and after WWII to New York on the Lower East Side. Wherever he lived he was renowned for his supreme kindness and great ahavas Yisroel (love of ones fellow Jew). His dedication to refugees of the wars was especially extraordinary. In Israel, he opened an orphanage in Petach Tikveh, called Beit Avraham, which exists until this day. Story # 475 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avraham-Yitzchak Gluck was a successful British lighting contractor with interests in many European countries. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once told him that his mission was to spread spiritual light as well as electric light throughout the continent. Rabbi Gluck dedicated himself to this purpose with self-sacrifice and as result there are Chabad Houses in Hungary, Germany, and Spain. [from] Story # 1252 -- see Archives

Rabbi Avrohom-Yitzchok Kohn (5674 [in Tsfat!]- 27 Kislev 5757/1914 - Chanukah 1996) was the second Toldos Aharon Rebbe and son-in-law of Rabbi Aharon "Areleh" Roth, founder of the dynasty. He is the author of Divrei Emunah. Four of his many sons are rebbes today.
[It is recorded that he instructed his followers to study several of the printed works of Rabbi Aharon HaLevi Horowitz of Strashelye (1766-1828), who was a leading disciple of the first Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), and, I've been told by a few of his chasidim, other teachings of Rabbi Shneur Zalman as well.] Story 1000--see Archives

Rabbi Baruch Hager, the Seret-Viznitz Rebbe [1895-1963], known as the Makor Baruch, was the son of the Ahavas Yisrael of Vizhnitz [1860-1936]. He became the Admor of Seret-Vizhnitz after his father passed away. In Sivan 1947 he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, eventually settling in Haifa where he established a yeshivah, a Talmud Torah and other Torah institutions. This laid the ground for the establishment of the famous community of Ramat Vizhnitz, built on the side of Haifa's Mount Carmel, laying its foundation stone on the 3rd day of Tammuz (!), 1954. [excerpted from]
[His brother, Rabbi Chaim-Meir Hager, settled in Bnai Brak after the Holocaust and started a large Vizhnitz community there. A son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim-Meir, Rabbi Moshe Ernster, founded and leads the Maor Chaim community in the southernmost district of Tsfat (Safed).] Story 1380--see Archives


Rabbi Benyamin (ben Menachem Mendel) Mendelson [?-24 Iyar 5739 (?-May 1979 C.E.)] was born in Plotzk, Poland. He emigrated to Israel after WWII, where he became the founding rabbi of Komemiyut, a religious moshav in the south, which under his guidance and rabbinical leadership became one of the first settlements to observe all the biblical and rabbinical agricultural laws which apply to the Holy Land. He is still is considered a foremost authority on the laws of the Sabbatical Year. Story #168, 546-- see Archives

Rabbi Ben-Tzion Abba-Shaul [29 Tammuz 1924 - 19 Tammuz 1998], born in Jerusalem, became a leading Sephardic rabbi, a judge on the Supreme Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem, and an eminent authority on Jewish medical laws. For the last 15 years of his life, he served as the head of the prestigious yeshiva, Porat Yosef. In addition, he penned thousands of halakhic responsa, some of which are printed in his book, She'eilot U'Teshuvot Ohr LeZion. He was also well-versed in kabbalah, and in the 1960s he founded the Emet VeShalom Yeshiva for learning kabbalah at night. [Mostly from Wiki]. #1343-- see Archives

Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam of Bobov (1874- 4 Menachem Av 1941) at age thirty-one succeeded his father, the first of the dynasty, as Rebbe of Bobov. He is often referred to as the Kedushas Tzion, after the commentary on the Torah that he wrote. He was murdered by the Nazis in 1941. His successor was his son Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam (1907-2000), who rebuilt Bobov in the United States. Story #659, 764 -- see Archives

Rabbi Boruch of Kosov* [? - 13 Cheshvan 5543 (? - Oct. 1782 C.E.)], an important disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, and of R. Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, worked actively to propagate and publicize the ways and teachings of Chassidism. He is the author of "Yesod HaEmunah" and "Amud HaAvoda." Story #237 -- see Archives
*Not to be confused with Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kosov, founder of the Vihznitz and Kosov dynasties.

Rabbi Boruch of Mezhibuz [1753 - 18 Kislev, 1811] was the son of R. Yechiel Ashkenazi and Adel, the daughter of the Baal Shem Tov.He moved from Tulchin to assume the Chasidic leadership in Mezhibuz, the town of his holy grandfather. He was one of the pre-eminent Rebbes in the generation of the disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch and had thousands of Chassidim. Story #140, 166, 588, 1307 -- see Archives

Rabbi Baruch-Shalom Schneersohn [22 MarCheshvan 5566 – 16 Shvat 5629 (Oct. 1805 – Feb. 1869] was the firstborn of the 3rd Rebbe of Chabad, the Tzemach Tzedek, and the great-great-grandfather of the 7th Rebbe (1902-1994). Unlike his younger brothers became the, he remained inflexible in his determination not to accept any position as head of a Chassidic community, even though he was eminently qualified. He was exceptionally humble. It was only after his passing that numerous manuscripts he had authored came to light, which provided evidence of his profound intelligence and wisdom. Story #1217--see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Vital (1543 - 30 Nisan 1620) Student of Rabbis Moshe Alsheich and Moshe Cordevero, but best known as the main disciple of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria and the authoritative redactor of his doctrines, as recorded in Etz Chaim ("Tree of Life"). Pri Etz Chaim ("Fruit of the Tree of Life"), and Shmoneh Sha'arim ("Eight Gates"). Author of several books of his own as well. (For a fuller biography) (For teachings of Rabbi Chaim Vital translated into English) Story #197, 301, 302, 404, 407, 439, 446, 453, 595, 597, 751 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim (ben Moshe) Ibn Atar (1696 - 15 Tammuz 1743) is best known as the author of one of the most important and popular commentaries on the Torah: the Ohr HaChaim. He established a major yeshiva in Israel, after moving there from Morocco. Chassidic tradition is that the main reason the Baal Shem Tov twice tried so hard (and failed) to get to the Holy Land was that he said if he could join the Ohr HaChaim there, together they could bring Moshiach. His burial site outside the Old City of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, is considered a propitious place to pray. Story #274, 451, 606, 651, 657, 712, 813, 868, 1022 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Toledano [(of blessed memory: circa. 5460-5543 (1700-1783 C.E.)] was the Rabbi of Sali in Morocco in the generation after the Ohr HaChaim left for Israel. In the book Tehila l'David he is described as being "the glorious adornment of the sages...pleasing to G-d and man." Story #161 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim-Yosef-David Azulai (circa 5484-5566; 1724-1806), better known as the "Chida," which are the initials of his name, is a highly respected Halachist, Kabbalist, historian and bibliographer. Born in Jerusalem, his teachers included Rav Shalom Sharabi [the Rashash], and Rav Chaim ben-Atar (the Ohr HaChaim). Eventually he wrote and published 71 works! His Shem HaGedolim is one of the most important source books of Jewish literature and history. Several times he traveled abroad for periods of over five years each, usually as an emissary of the communities of the Holy Land, and once to serve as the Rav of Cairo. He lived the last third of his life in Livorno (Leghorn), Italy, where he wrote most of his major works and where he passed away at age 82 and was buried. In 1960 his coffin was exhumed and brought to Israel. When the coffin was opened in preparation for burial on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem, genuine miracles occurred -- see archived story #708 -- see Archives

Rabbi Hayyim Pinto Hagadol ("the Great") [Tammuz 15, 5509 - Elul 26, 5605 (July 1, 1749 - September 28, 1845)], a descendant of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto--the "Rif" of Ein Yaakov--was born in Agadir, Morocco on the 6th Hilula of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Attar. At age 20, he became the head rabbinical judge in Mogador, exercising this function for more than 70 years. The greatest Torah scholars of the generation esteemed him, and Jews and Muslims alike venerated him. It is said that Eliyahu Hanavi revealed himself regularly to him and studied with him. On the day of his passing, at age 96, he promised his disciples that those who would invoke his name on the day of his Hilula would see their prayers answered. Story #877 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Tirar of Chernowitz [5520 - - 27 Kislev 5577 (1760 - December 1817 C.E.)] was a leading disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch and of Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. He authored a number of important books, including Siduro Shel Shabbat, which explains the exaltedness and holiness of the Seventh Day according to mystical principles of Kabbalah, but is best known for -and by!-- the name of his esoteric commentary on the Torah, Be'er Mayim Chaim. Towards the end of his life he moved to Safed, where he is buried. Story #246 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Hager of Kosov (1768 - 25 Iyar 1854) succeeded his father, R. Menachem Mendel, as Rav and Rebbe in Kossov in 1827. He is the author of Toras Chayim. A prominent synagogue in Tsfat is named after him. His son, Menachem Mendel, became the first Rebbe in Vishnitz. Story #704, 828 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz [25 Nissan 5553 - 25 Nissan 5636 (April 1793-April 1876 C.E.)] was the first Rebbe of the Sanz-Klausenberg dynasty. He is famous for his extraordinary dedication to the mitzvah of tzedaka and also as a renowned Torah scholar; his voluminous and wide-ranging writings were all published under the title Divrei Chaim. His eldest son founded the famous Sanzer synagogue in Tsfat in the middle 1800's. Story #281, 438, 457, 463, 487, 492, 503, 507, 801, 833, 891, 896, 1064, 1280-- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin [8 Sivan 5509 - 14 Sivan 5581 (June 1749 - June 1821 c.e.)] was the main disciple of the Gaon of Vilna, who selected him to establish a yeshiva in 1802. The Volozhin Yeshiva became the most important and most influential in Lithuania. His major work is the Nefesh Ha-Chaim (perhaps inspired, some say, by the popularity of Tanya), dealing with complex spiritual issues. Story #537, 932, 987-- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapira of Mogelnitz [?-5 Iyar 5609 (? - May 1849 C.E.] was raised and taught by his maternal grandfather, the Koznitzer Maggid. He married the granddaughter of the Rebbe R. Elimelech of Lyzhinsk. He was also the disciple of four leading figures of his generation: the rebbes of Lublin, Pesichah, Apta, and Ruzhin.

Rabbi Chaim Chizkiya Medini [1832 - 24 Kislev 1904] was born and raised in Jerusalem. After many years in Turkey, Buchara and the Crimea, he returned to the Holy Land in 1878 and became the head of the rabbinical court and main yeshiva in Hebron in 1880, where he successfully revitalized the Jewish educational and social institutions. He is best known for his monumental, universally-acclaimed 18-volume Talmudic and halachic encyclopedia, S'dei Chemed (the only non-Chabad book ever published by the official Chabad publishing company). Even the Arab inhabitants of Hebron accepted him as a holy man. After his burial they tried to steal his body and bury him in a mosque, but were unsuccessful. Story #316, 493, 519, 860-- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim (Ben Baruch) Of Antunia [1863 - 25 Kislev 1931], had many followers. He also served as the head of the Bukaviner Kollel. Many of his teachings are published in "Tal Chaim." Story #173 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim-Elazar Spira, the Munkaczer Rebbe (Dec 17, 1871- 2 Sivan, 1937) wrote and published over twenty books on the Jewish Law, Torah, chasidism, and religious philosophy and customs. His most notable work which made him world famous was the scholarly work, Minchas Elazar, which contains six volumes. Story #193, 287, 696, 759, 860, 878 -- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim-Meir Hagar, the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz [15 Kislev 5648 - 9 Nissan 5732 (Dec. 1887 - April 1972)], after the Holocaust moved to Bnai Brak in Israel where he established the post-war Vizhnitz community. He also became one of the main rabbinical leaders of Agudat Yisrael in Israel. Upon his passing, his two sons, Moshe-Yehoshua and Mordechai, became the Vizhnitz Rebbes in Bnai Brak and Monsey, NY respectively. Three of his Bnai Brak granddaughters are married to the current Rebbes of Skver, Belz, and Satmar. Story #996, 1057-- see Archives

Rabbi Chaim-Moshe ben Meir-Yosef Mendel [1902 - 4 Tammuz 1996] was born in the town Bistrita in Romania. He was ordained as a rabbi in Hungary, and before World War II he served as Dayan (a judge in a religious court) in Timisvar, Western Romania.
He tried hard to conceal his deeds and holiness, but after R' Yisrael Abichatzera [the "Baba Sali"] and the Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Yakov Rabikov ["the shoemaker"] sent him people to be blessed, and even Admorim came to receive his blessing, he became renowned as one of the leading Ashkenazic Kabbalists of his generation, a performer of salvations and a great lover of Israel. Many thronged to him for his advice and blessings. He is buried in Bnai Brak. [This paragraph is excerpted from] Story #1380-- see Archives


Rabbi Chaim Zanvil Abramowitz (1890's-24 Tishrei, 1995), the Ribnitzer Rebbe, was a main disciple of Rabbi Avrohom Matisyohu of Shtefanesht, grandson of the "holy Rhyzhiner." The Ribnitzer was aacknowledged by all Jews across the spectrum as a renowned performer of miracles. After emigrating from Russia in 1973, he subsequently lived in Jerusalem and Monsey, NY. It is known that from the 1930s until the end of his life he fasted on all days when it is permitted to do so under Jewish law. Story #515, 556, 1192-- see Archives

Rebbetzin Chaya "Moussia" Schneerson (25 Adar 5661- 22 Shvat 5748 / March 1901- Feb. 1988 C.E.) was the daughter of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn. On 14 Kislev 5689 (Dec. 1928 C.E.), She married the next-Rebbe-to-be, her distant cousin, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (5662-5754/1902=1994 C.E.), in Warsaw, in a wedding attended by many Chasidic rebbes and leading Torah scholars of the generation. She devoted herself totally to supporting her husband in his role as a leader of world Jewry, and was known in her own right for her modesty, eruditeness and plethora of good deeds. Story #600, 843, 1157. 1258, 1314, 1364-- see Archives

Rabbi Chizkiyahu Medini [1832 - 24 Kislev 1904] was born and raised in Jerusalem. After many years in Turkey, Buchara and the Crimea, he returned to the Holy Land in 1878 and became the head of the rabbinical court and main yeshiva in Hebron in 1880, where he successfully revitalized the Jewish educational and social institutions. He is best known for his monumental, universally-acclaimed 18-volume Talmudic and halachic encyclopedia, Sedei Chemed (the only non-Chabad book ever published by the official Chabad publishing company). A beloved leader everywhere he served, he dedicated his life to the dissemination of Torah study and deeds of kindness. As a result of his influence, many attacks on Hebron's Jews were averted, and a number of heavy fines and taxes were revoked. Even the Arab inhabitants of Hebron accepted him as a holy man. After his burial they tried to steal his body and bury him in a mosque, but were unsuccessful. Story #1326 -- see Archives

Rabbi David Twerski of Tolna [of blessed memory: ? - 10 Iyar 5642 (? - 1808 - May 1882 C.E.], son of the famed tzadik, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, had thousands of chasidim that relied on his leadership. His works include Magen David. There is a Tolner Shul in Safed even today. Story #267 -- see Archives

Rabbi David Moshe Friedman (20 Cheshvan 1828-21 Tishrei 1903), the first Chortkover Rebbe, was the fifth of the holy six sons of the famed R. Yisrael of Rhyzhin (1797-1850), who attracted a large following after the death of his father. He is the author of Divrei Dovid. Story #985 -- see Archives

Rabbi David-Chai Abuhatzeira, who after several decades is still serving as the Chief Rabbi of Nahariya, Israel, is one of the five sons of Baba Meir Abuhatzeira, the son of the legendary Baba Sali. Rabbi David is currently considered the scion of the esteemed Abuhatzeira clan. Story #1109 -- see Archives

Rabbi David-Chananya Pinto (b. 1950) is the scion of a well-known rabbinical family, whose roots reach back 450+ years to Rabbi Chaim Vital, the main disciple of the "Holy Ari," Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, in 16th-century Safed. His father, Rabbi Moshe-Aharon Pinto (1912-1985), immigrated from Morocco to Israel (where is name became associated with miracles and thousands of Jews flocked to his home in Ashdod for blessings). Rabbi David remained in France, where he still lives. He currently has a large following and has established dozens of educational institutions throughout the Jewish world, named after his holy ancestors. Story #1333 -- see Archives

Rabbi David Biederman of Lelov (1746 - 7 Shvat 1814) was a close follower of the "Seer" of Lublin. He was known for his extraordinary compassion for, and inability to see faults in, his fellow Jews. His main disciple was Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorki, whose son, Yaakov David, was the first Amshinov Rebbe. Two printed collections of stories about him are Migdal David and Kodesh Halulim. Story #1247 -- see Archives

Rabbi Dovid-Tzvi Chein, the chief rabbi of Chernigov, known as the Radatz [1846-24 Kislev (Erev Chanuka) 1926], a major Lubavitcher chasid, renowned for his scholarship and piety. He is one of the only three people to receive rabbinical ordination directly from the Rebbe Maharash. In early 1926 he left Russia and settled in Jerusalem, together with his son-in-law, Rabbi Shalom-Shlomo Schneersohn, Rabbi of Nikolaev and brother of Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Schneersohn, father of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe. Until this day, many of his descendants are important Lubavitcher-Chabad chasidim. Story #903, 1117-- see Archives

Rabbi David Zvi Shlomo Biederman (1844-5 Elul 1918) was one of the most respected rabbinical figures in old Jerusalem through World War I, and the leader of its Chassidic community. He was the official head of Kollel Warsaw, and in 1883 succeeded his father as Lelover Rebbe. Story #233 -- see Archives

Rabbi David of Zubeltov (1797 - 25 Iyar 1846) was the son of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kosov and the son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov. He became a rebbe in his own right at the young age of 29. He was held in great respect for his wisdom, even by the other rebbes of his generation.

R. David "Dudu" Fisher is a famed Israeli cantor and popular singer, who also played the role of Jean Valjean in the musical Les Miserables in Tel Aviv, in New York and in London. Although descended from generations of those who opposed Chassidism, he, his mother and his grandmother had close connections to the two most recent Lubavitcher Rebbes. Story #1206-- see Archives

Rabbi Dov Ber [c.5460 - 19 Kislev 5533 (c.1700- Dec. 1772 C.E.)], the son of Avraham and Chava, known as the Maggid of Mezritch, succeeded his master, the Baal Shem Tov, as the head of the Chasidic movement. Most of the leading chasidic dynasties stem from his disciples and his descendents. The classic anthologies of his teachings are Likutei Amarim and Torah Ohr (combined by Kehos Publishing as Maggid Devorav l'Yaakov), and Ohr HaEmmes. Story #111, 191, 263, 369, 415, 422, 497, 523, 753, 807, 862, 889,997, 1058, 1079, 1094, 1304, 1355 -- see Archives

Rabbi DovBer Shneuri [9 Kislev 1773 - 9 Kislev 1827] was the eldest son and successor to Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of the Chabad movement. The author of numerous deep, mystical texts, he is known in Lubavitch circles as "the Mittler (Middle) Rebbe." Story #320, 368, 595, 620, 1042, 1047, 1134, 1248, 1274, 1304, 1354-- see Archives

Rabbi Dov-Berisch Weidenfeld, [of blessed memory: 5 Shevat 5641 - 10 Mar-cheshvan, 5726 (January 1881-October 1965 BCE)], the "Tchebiner Rav," served as the chief rabbi of Tchebin, Poland, until World War II when he was exiled to Siberia and from there to Bucharest. After the Holocaust, he came to Israel, where he was immediately accepted as one of the Torah giants of the generation. Soon after he re-established his yeshiva, Kochav MiYaakov, in Jerusalem. Three volumes of his great work, Sheilos Uteshuvos Dovev Meishorim, have been published. Many more were lost in the war. Story #598, 929-- see Archives

Rabbi Eliezer Ascari (1533-1600), a disciple of the Ramak (Rabbi Moshe Cordevero), subsequently became famous as the author of Sefer Chareidim. He also authored a commentary on the tractate of Brachot in the Jerusalem Talmud, and is the composer of the popular Shabbat prayer-hymn: Yedid Nefesh. Story #547, 1220-- see Archives

Rabbi Elazar Menachem-Mendel (ben Moshe Biderman) of Lelov (1827 - 16 Adar 1883), moved to Israel at age 24 with his father in 1841. After his father passed away that same year, he became the chasidic leader of the Jerusalem Old City community for the next 42 years, and was also highly respected by all the non-chasidim as well. Story #589 -- see Archives

Rabbi Elazar of Reishe (1839-15 Tamuz 1910), a city in Galicia, Poland, was a great-grandson of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lyzhinsk. He was best known for miraculous healings, and for his book, Mishna Lemelech, on the weekly Torah readings. Story #646 -- see Archives

Rabbi Elazar Rokeach of Amsterdam (? - 27 Tishrei 1741), author of 'Maaseh Rokeach,' was an outstanding Torah scholar and authority on Jewish law, and also a noted Kabbalist. Before coming to Amsterdam in 1735, Rabbi Elazar served as chief rabbi in several important cities in Poland, among them Brodi and Cracow. The non-Jews of Holland also recognized and respected him for his piety and holiness, and the Dutch royal palace even minted a special coin with his likeness in honor of his arrival. Story #1370 -- see Archives

Rebbe Eliezer Zusia Portugal [1 Cheshvan, 1898 - 29 Av 1982], the Skulener Rebbe, immigrated to the USA in 1960, after imprisonment in Rumania and international efforts to secure his release. He is the author of Noam Eliezer and Kedushas Eliezer, and was a prominent follower of the Shtefaneshter Rebbe, but is best known for his superhuman efforts to rescue Jewish orphans and refugees in Eastern Europe before, during and after WWII and his continuing support of them, and his Chessed L'Avraham network of schools for children that continue until today. Those who merited to be in his presence were astonished by the length of his prayers and the beauty and intensity of the tunes that he composed, many of which have become internationally famous today. Story #129,556, 561, 613, 1028, 1078, 1184-- see Archives

Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhinsk [5477 - 21 Adar 5547 (1717 - March 1787 C.E.)], was a major disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov, and the leading Rebbe of the subsequent generation in Poland-Galitzia. Most of the great Chassidic dynasties stem from his disciples. It is told that before he died, Rebbe Elimelech bequeathed the sight of his eyes to the Chozeh of Lublin, the spirit of his heart to the Kozhnitzer Maggid, the soul of his mind to Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, and the power of speech to Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt. Other major disciples included Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov, and Rabbi Klonymos Kalman Epstein, known as the Maor VaShemesh. His book, Noam Elimelech, is one of the most popular of all Chassidic works. Story #148, 160, 252, 256, 333, 335, 697, 382, 435, 478, 486, 691, 746, 790, 896, 902, 979, 1006, 1017, 1057, 1058, 1151, 1162, 1164,1381 -- see Archives

Rabbi Eliyahu Hakohen of Izmir, Turkey [1650 - 1 Adar B 1729], is best known as the author of Shevet Mussar, a major work of Torah ethics and morality. He also wrote Midrash Talpiot. In the historical work, Shem HaGedolim, it states, "Rabbi Eliyahu HaKohen of Izmir wrote almost 40 books and turned many away from sin with his public lectures." Story #776, 1343-- see Archives

Rabbi Eliyahu Kramer, the Gaon of Vilna (1720 - 19 Tishrei 1797) was one of the most prominent figures in the Torah world of recent centuries, his erudition covered the entire field of Torah scholarship (as well as natural sciences and mathematics) on which he wrote some 70 works. Despite his extreme seclusion - his ascetic assiduity has become proverbial - he exerted a powerful influence on Jewish affairs. Story #340, 479, 523-- see Archives

Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef of Drivin [? - 12 Tammuz 5607 (1847 C.E.)] was one of the elder disciples of Rabbi Dov Ber, the second Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty, and subsequently of his successor, the Tzemach Tzedek, both of whom used to send students to learn Chasidic philosophy from him. He was also a prodigious scholar of Talmud and Jewish Law. Before moving to Jerusalem in 1847, he served as chief rabbi of Polotzk, a major Jewish community.


Rabbi Feivish (Meshulam Feivish) HaLevi of Zabriza (Zebariz) studied under R. Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and R. Dov Ber of Mezritch. He was an authority on the laws of writing Torah scrolls. His disciples included R. Menachem Mendel of Kosov. His Yosher Divrei Emes is a basic work on chasidic thought, and his teachings appear also in Likutim Yekarim. Story #371 -- see Archives

Rabbi Fischel ("Fisheleh") Shapira of Strickov (1743 - 17 Tevet 1822) was a disciple successively of the Magid of Mezritch, the Rebbe Elimelech and the Seer of Lublin. He was known for his extreme modesty and humility. His colleagues referred to him as "Oleh Temimah" - "the unblemished offering. Story #325 -- see Archives

Rebbetzin Freyda [1764 - 16 Sivan 1813], the daughter of Rabbi Shneur Zalman, was an erudite and pious woman. As his first-born, and a special soul, she was especially dear to her father and he would frequently deliver Chasidic discourses just for her. One of her sons, Rabbi Aharon Zaslavski of Kremenchug, married Rebbetzin Chaya, the daughter of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Story #497, 652 -- see Archives

Rabbi Gershon of Kitov [? - ca.1760] was the brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov and subsequently an important disciple. He was the recipient of the famous letter from the Besht about his visit to the heavenly abode of Moshiach, as well as other important correspondence. In 1747 he moved to the Land of Israel, living first in Hebron and then in Jerusalem. Story #414 -- see Archives

Rabbi Gedaliah-Moshe Goldman [5647 - 24 Cheshvan 5709 (1887 - Oct. 1948 C.E.)], a direct paternal descendant of Rabbi Yechiel-Michil of Zolochov, an important student of the Baal Shem Tov, joined his father, Rabbi Shlomo ("Reb Shlom'ke") Goodman (? - 26 Iyar 1945), in the Holy Land in 1937, after having suffered eight years in Siberian exile. He succeeded him as Rebbe of of Zivhil for only a few years until his own passing. Story #1015, 1145-- see Archives

Rabbi Hillel of Paritsh (1795-13 Av/Shabbat Nachamu 1864) was a chassid of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tsemach Tsedek, and as the chassidim used to say, "half a rebbe" in his own right. He served as the Rabbi of Bobruisk for many years, and authored Pelach HaRimon, a work of deep chassidic thought. Story #269, 737, 1227 -- see Archives

Rabbi Jacob-Immanuel Schochet [28 Av 5695 - 20 Av 5773 (August 1935-July 2013)] was a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism. He wrote and lectured extensively on the history and philosophy of Chassidism and topical themes of Jewish thought and ethics, with over 35 books disseminated in countless countries and translated into numerous languages. Swiss born, he became rabbi of Cong. Beth Joseph, and professor of Philosophy at Humber College, in Toronto, Canada. Story #1153 -- see Archives

Rabbi Klonymos Kalman Halevi Epstein [? - Tammuz 1, 5587 (? - July 1823 C.E.)], better known as the Maor Vashemesh ("Light and Sun"), the title of his mystical Torah commentary, was among the most celebrated of the followers of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk. The Seer of Lublin said that R' Klonymos was the reincarnation of the Tana Rabbi Eliezer ben Charsom, who was a Kohen Gadol (high priest) during the Second Temple. In 1785 he started heading the Jewish community of Cracow. At the end of his life he moved to the Holy Land. He is buried in the old cemetery of Tsfat.

Rabbi Leib Sarah's [5490 - 4 Adar I 5556 (1730 - Feb. 1796 C.E.)] was held in high esteem by the Baal Shem Tov. One of the "hidden tzaddikim," he spent his life wandering from place to place to raise money for the ransoming of imprisoned Jews and the support of other hidden tzaddikim. The Lubavitcher Rebbe stated the possibility that Rabbi Leib Sarah's and the Shpoler Zeide are the same person. Story #155, 226/744, 344, 447, 483, 1104.1159 -- see Archives

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak (Deberamdiger) of Berditchev [5500 - 25 Tishrei 5571 (1740 - Oct. 1810)] is one of the most popular rebbes in chassidic history. He was a close disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch. He is best known for his love for every Jew and his active efforts to intercede for them against (seemingly) adverse heavenly decrees. Many of his teachings are contained in the posthumously published, Kedushat Levi. Story #101, 140, 157, 193, 255, 259, 306, 314, 353, 358, 363, 402, 406, 409, 418, 444, 460, 465, 477, 522, 541, 549, 569, 575, 588, 620, 668, 696, 790, 937, 990, 1036, 1058, 1086, 1139, 1189. 1342-- see Archives

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson [1878-20 Av 1944], father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was considered by the Rebbe Reshab to be one of his three greatest chassidim. An outstanding scholar and one of the leading Kabbalists of the first half of the 20th century, he was the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (a major Ukrainian city, today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest on the day before Passover in 1939. He was sentenced to exile in Kazakhstan, in the village of Chi'ili, where his health rapidly deteriorated. His extensive writings while in exile crammed into the margins of his books, were rescued, smuggled out, and brought to his son in Brooklyn. A number of volumes in the projected multi-volume set called Toldot Levi Yitzchak have already been published. Story #199 -- see Archives

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe (1921 – 18 Kislev 2009), a direct descendent of Rabbi Shmuel-Shmelke of Nicholsburg, led two communities: in Boston and in the Har Nof district of Jerusalem. He was known for the vast help he has extended to people in medical emergency situations, and his open, friendly nature that made him beloved to Jews of every type. Story #612, 693, 780, 980 -- see Archives

Rabbi Meir of Konstantin, son-in-law* of Rabbi Yaakov Emden, was the head of the rabbinical-court in Constantine, Russia.
*In this I have adhered to my source, the esteemed Rabbi S. y. Zevin. A few internet genealogy sites say he was a son, not a son-in-law. Story #107 -- see Archives

Rabbi Meir of Primishlan [? - 29 Iyar 5610 (? - May 1850 C.E.)], lived in abject but uncomplaining poverty, yet exerted himself tirelessly for the needy and the suffering. His divine inspiration and his ready wit have become legendary. He wrote no works, but some of his teachings were collected and published by his Chassidim after his death. Story #183, 185, 205, 207, 361, 377, 386, 457, 660, 825, 883, 957, 1171 -- see Archives

Rabbi Meir Yechiel of Ostrovtze (1851-19 Adar 1928) was a disciple of R. Elimelech of Grodzinsk, who said that he would account it a privilege if after his death R. Meir Yechiel would refer to him as his rebbe. An outstanding scholar who lived an ascetic lifestyle, he led a following of learned chassidim. His intricate sermons, which drew heavily on gematria, came to be known as "Ostgrovotze pshetlach." They have been collected in Meir Einei Chachamim, and his teachings on Bereishit in Or Torah. Story #434, 576 -- see Archives

Rabbi Meir Abuhatzira, popularly called "Baba Meir" (10 Tevet 1917 - 17 Nissan 1983), was the oldest son and designated spiritual successor of the Baba Sali. The Lubavitcher Rebbe indicated in private conversation that he was one of the pillars of the world. However, he pre-deceased his illustrious father by two years. Born and educated in Morocco where he became there one of the most important rabbis of his generation as well as an accomplished Kabbalis. In 19??, he made aliyah and moved to Ashdod, where, after turning down an offer to be chief rabbi of Jerusalem, he lived reclusively for the rest of his life. Today, his son Rabbi David, chief rabbi of Nahariya, is considered the scion of the Abuhatzeira clan. Story #824, 874, 925 -- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk/Horodok [5490 - 1 Iyar 5548 (1730 - May 1788 C.E.)] was an elder disciple of the Magid of Mizritch and one of the earliest Chasidic rebbes. He led the first modern aliyah to Israel, in 1777, where he and three hundred Chasidim and others settled in Tsefat (Safed). After a few years most of the group moved to Tiberias, where he is buried in the "Students of the Baal Shem Tov" section of the Old Cemetery. His works include Pri HaAretz and Likutei Amarim. Story #556 -- see Archives165, 254, 340, 369, 969, 997, 1272,1353

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager of Kosov (1768 - 17 Cheshvan 1826) was the son of a close disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, and himself a disciple of R. Moshe Leib of Sasov. He conducted a modest business until persuaded by his contemporaries to become rav of Kosov, to which thousands of Jews then flocked. Both the Vizinitz and Kosov dynasties stem from him. His teachings are collected in Ahavas Shalom. Story #364, 371 -- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov [?-19 Iyar 1815],.was an important Rebbe in the third generation of hassidism. His was a main disciple of the Rebbe Elimelech, and many rebbes of the succeeding generation studied with him. His teachings are collected in Menachem Zion and other works. Story #196, 494, 819, 896 -- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk [5547 - 22 Shevat 5619 (1787 - Jan. 1859 C.E.], although born into a non-chasidic family; early became a disciple of R. Yaakov Yitzchok [the "Seer"] of Lublin, R. Yaakov Yitzchok [the "Yid HaKadosh"] of Pshischah, and ultimately of R. Simcha Bunim of Pshischah, Superficially stern, he practiced and preached a zealous and unrelenting search for truth, whose prime enemy is self-centeredness. His oft-quoted aphorisms are characteristically pungent and unsugared. Stressed earnest Torah study. Spent the last two decades of his life in isolation. After his passing, the majority of his followers recognized his disciple R. Yitzchak Meir of Ger as their rebbe.[from Uri Kaploun in "A Treasury of Chassidic Tales"] Story #279, 951, 1127, 1219-- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem-Mendel Hager [Iyar 5590 – 29 Tishrei 5644 (May 1830 – Oct. 1884], became the first Vizhnitzer Rebbe at age 24. He eventually acquired a large following of chasidim. He was the son-in-law of Rebbe Yisrael of Rizhin (whose daughter Miriam-Manya he married at age 14) and the father-in-law of the 2nd Belzer Rebbe, R. Yehoshua Rokeyach. He is often referred to as the Tzemach Tzaddik, after the title of his booko of Torah thoughts. Story #575 -- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn [29 Elul 5549 - 13 Nissan 5626 (Sept. 1789 - April 1866)], the Third Rebbe of Chabad, was known as the Tsemech Tzedek, after his books of Halachic responsa and Talmudic commentary called by that name. He was renowned not only as the Rebbe of tens of thousands of chasidim, but also as a leading scholar in his generation in both the revealed and secret aspects of Torah. Story #153, 159, 164, 195, 225, 254, 255, 270, 294, 306, 307, 312, 330, 337, 368, 391, 436, 467, 563, 591, 595, 600, 603, 616, 683, 699, 808, 838, 969, 972, 975, 1031, 1037, 1042, 1062, 1082, 1169, 1171, 1236, 1291, 1307, 1313, 1341, 1344-- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe [n.d.: 11 Nissan 5662 - 3 Tammuz 5754 (April 1902 - June 1994 C.E.)], became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law's passing on 10 Shvat 5710 (1950 C.E.) He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions. Story #104, 113, 114, 127, 131, 142, 144, 150, 151, 174, 180, 182, 187, 192, 210, 216, 223, 230, 238, 243, 264, 266, 273, 286, 298, 310, 323, 336, 345, 376, 389, 399, 424, 441, 449, 476, 488, 500, 517, 530, 553, 566, 604, 621, 636, 643, 655, 669, 674, 677, 698, 710, 725, 735, 745, 748, 760, 782, 787, 791, 799, 800, 811, 813, 832, 834, 840, 869, 872, 879, 899, 900, 907, 916, 939, 969, 986, 987b, 992,1000, 1009, 1020, 1035, 1046, 1048, 1059, 1068, 1070, 1085, 1088, 1113, 1116,1119, 1120, 1125,1126, 1135, 1144, 1157,1165, 1167, 1169, 1171, 1176, 1191, 1193,1215, 1226, 1229, 1238, 1244, 1276, 1279, 1281, 1288, 1302, 1309, 1320, 1332, 1336, 1339, 1340, 1350, 1360, 1365-- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem-Mendel ("Reb Mendel") Futerfas (1906 - 4 Tammuz 1995), was a near legendary Lubavitcher chasid, even for those who knew him personally. In 1947 he was arrested for administrating networks of underground yeshivas and Jewish schools, and for facilitating the repatriation of thousands of Soviet Jews to Poland after WWII, and sentenced to 8 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, which he went through without compromising any religious observances, despite the cruel pressure to do so. After another six years in Siberian exile he was allowed to emigrate to England, thanks to an appeal for family repatriation made by prime minister Harold Wilson during his summit meeting in Moscow with Chairman Nikita Khrushchev. In 1973 settled in Kfar Chabad, Israel, where for twenty years he was a major influence on three generations of chasidim. Story #515, 584, 774-- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem-Mendel Rubin of Liska (1740-1803) was the father of well-known and highly popular chasidic Rebbe, R. Nafatali of Ropshitz. A posthumous collection of his writings is called Likkutei Maharam. Story #1228 - see Archives.

Rabbi Menachem Nachum, the Maggid of Chernobyl [5490 - 11 Cheshvan 5548 (1730-1787 C.E.)] and founder of the Chernobyl dynasty, was a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov and senior disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch. Also, he is said to be a grandson of Adam Baal Shem (predecessor of Yisrael Baal Shem Tov). He is the author of Meor Enayim. Story #344, 534, 589, 673,726, 729, 1299-- see Archives

Rabbi Menachem Kalish of Amshinov [5620 - 16 Kislev 5578 (1860 - Dec. 1917 C.E.)], succeeded his father, Rav Yaakov Dovid Kalish, the first in the Amshinov dynasty, in 1878, at the young age of 18. Highly active and effective in deeds of kindness on behalf of the Jewish community, he was referred to by the Sefas Emmes Rebbe of Gur as "a remainder from the greatest supreme rabbinical court" (in the early years of the Second Temple--see Avot 1:2). One of his sons, Rabbi Yosef, became Rebbe in Amshinov, while a second son, Shimon-Shalom, became a Rebbe in Otvotsk. The latter's great-grandson, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Milikowski, is the current Amshinover Rebbe in Jerusalem (his father around that time was the Head of a Yeshiva in Tsfat!).

Rabbanit Menucha-Rachel Slonim [5558 - 24 Shvat 5648 (1798- Feb. 1888 C.E.)], for many decades the matriarch of the Ashkenazic Jewish community in Hevron, was the daughter of the second Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi DovBer Schneuri. She and her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Slonim, were sent to Hevron by the Rebbe in the early 1800's to bolster its fledging Chabad congregation (originally started by fifteen Chabad fanilies who moved there from Zefat!). Her grave there is today a place of pilgrimmage. Story #522 -- see Archives

Rabbi Meshulam-Zushya of Anapoli (see Zushya)

Rabbi Chaim Michoel Dov Weissmandl [1903 - 6 Kislev 1957] made extraordinary but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to save the Jews of Slovakia during the Holocaust. A survivor himself, he subsequently moved to USA and in 1946 founded the Nitra yeshiva in Somerville New Jersey, an attempt to inaugurate a Talmudic agricultural community. He subsequently moved the yeshiva to Mt. Kisco, NY, where it still exists and flourishes. Today he is best known for his pioneering work on Torah Codes in an era before computers. Story #640 -- see Archives

Rebbetzin Miriam-Chaya Moscovitz was the daughter of the well-known chasidic rebbe, Rabbi Meir of Primishlan. She married Rabbi Yoel Moscovitz, who became the first Rebbe of Shotz. Her third son, named Meir after his illustrious maternal grandfather, became the second Rebbe of the dynasty. She herself was known to have the power to bless, and helped countless number of people. Story #823 -- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai ("Mottel") of Chernobyl [5530 - 20 Iyar 5697 (1770 - May 1837 C.E.)], successor to his father, Rabbi Nachum, was the son-in-law of Rabbi Aharon the Great of Karlin and subsequently of Rabbi David Seirkes, an important disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. His eight sons all became major Chasidic leaders. One of them Yaakov Yisrael Twerski of Cherkassy, the first Hornsteipel Rebbe, married Devora Leah, one of the six daughters of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch, son of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (match arranged by the two grandfather-Rebbes), in order to maximize the possibilities for fulfillment of the prediction, "the Moshiach will be born of the elder disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch or the youngest." Story #209, 272, 366, 474, 499, 506, 707, 749, 805, 829, 880, 1299 -- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitch (? - 15 Tishrei 1810), a descendant of Rashi, the foremost Torah commentator, and the renowned Torah scholar, Rabbi Mordechai Yoffe (1530 - 1612), known as the Levush.was a disciple of R. Shlomo of Karlin; known for the fervor of his prayers, and for being exceedingly charitable, particularly toward the poor of Eretz Yisrael. (Due to the latter, he was arrested in 1798 under a false charge of treason, the same charge and the same year as the Alter Rebbe of Chabad). Story #447, 852, 1296 -- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai of Nadvorna [?-15 Tishrei 1895], the great grandson of Rabbi Meir "The Great" of Premishlan, was orphaned early and raised by his uncle, the famous Rebbe, Meirl of Premishlan (see below). Chassidim from all over Rumania and Hungary streamed in to receive his blessings. An extraordinarily large number of his descendents became Chassidic leaders and Rebbes, including dozens in the world today. His teachings are collected in Gedulas Mordechai.Story #207, 437, 495, 1230-- see Archives

R. Mordechai of Neshchiz [1740 - 8 Nissan 1800] was descended from the Maharal of Prague and Don Yitzchak Abarbanel. He was a disciple of R. Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. The ill and the unfortunate came to visit him from long distances. It is recorded that he never uttered a negative word about another person. He actively supported settlement in Eretz Yisrael. He was succeeded by his son, R. Yitzchak of Neshchiz. His sayings were collected in Rishpei Eish. Story #257, 351, 390, 989, 1172-- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai Dov Twerski of Hornisteipel [1840-1904] was named after his two maternal great-grandfathers, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl and Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch. He was also a direct descendant of Rabbi Zusha of Anipoli and the son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim of Sanz. A highly respected Talmudic scholar, he was also the author of a popular book of Chasidic guidance, Pele Yoetz. Story #267, 309, 357, 721, 1064, 1280, 1293-- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai-Tzemach (ben Suliman) Eliyahu [of blessed memory: 5689 - 25 Sivan 5770 (1929-2010)], son of Rabbi Salman Eliyahu, a Kabbalist and disciple of the Ben Ish Cahi, served as the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993. A noted sage in all areas of Torah study, as well as a significant kabbalist, he was considered to be one of the leading authorities on Jewish law in Israel. His son, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, is currently the popular Chief Rabbi of Tsfat. Story #171, 330, 658, 708, 809, 864, 1225, 1331-- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai ("Mottele") Twersky from Rachmistrivka (?- 17 Iyar 1921) moved to Jerusalem from Europe in 1908. He was known for his sharp mind and many business men used to seek his advice. He himself was a skilled craftsman, who did complex engravings from silver and copper. His father, Rabbi Yochanan Twerski, son of the famous Rebbe Mottele of Chernobyl, was the first Rebbe of the Rachmistrivka dynasty. Story #360 -- see Archives

Rabbi Mordechai Shraga of Husyatin (20 Iyar 1834 - 22 Iyar 1894) was one of the six sons of Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin who became the head of a dynasty in Galicia. His thousands of Chassidim included many prominent scholars. Story #598, 1079-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, known as 'RaMBaN' or 'Nachmanides' [1194 - 11 Nissan (!) 1270], is accepted as one of the all-time great Talmudic and Scriptural scholars. He was also a master kabbalist, a major link in the transmission of Jewish mysticism. He is well-known as a champion defender of the Jewish faith, as a result of his participation and victory in a famous debate again Cristian clergy in 1263. As a result, he was expelled from Spain. Subsequently, he moved to the Holy Land at age 70 where he composed his immortal commentary on the Five Books of Moses, of which there exists an excellent annotated English translation, Nachmanides on the Torah, by Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel.Story #930 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Al-Sheich [5268 - 13 Nissan 5353 (1508 - April 1593 C.E.)] was the author of many works, including important analytical explanations of Scriptures, which are highly regarded even today (and in recent years have become available in English). He was a student of R. Yosef Caro and member of his Beit Din in Tsfat. He is buried in the old cemetery of Tsfat. (For a fuller biography) Story #227, 248, 446-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe-Tuvia Lieff, the Rav of Agudath Israel-Bais Binyomin Shul in Brooklyn, New York, is a respected Torah scholar and a popular speaker on Dial-a-Daf and Torah Tapes. Story #1330 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon; [of blessed memory: 4895 - 20 Tevet 4964 (1135-1204 CE)], known as the Rambam - the Hebrew acronym of his name, or as Maimonides. was one of the most important Torah scholars in the last 1000 years. Born in Cordoba, Spain, he fled with his parents and family from persecution to North Africa, passing through Morocco and Israel, and eventually settling in Egypt, where he became the Sultan's personal physician. His numerous books, including Mishna Torah and Guide to the Perplexed, were --and still are -- influential in the three fields of Jewish law, philosophy and medicine. Story #632, 1359-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe De Leon (1238-1305) of Guadalhajara, Spain, is best known as the first publisher of the Zohar (the teachings of second century mishnaic sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, as recorded by his students, which constitute the primary text of Kabbalah). He is also the author of the Kabbalah tome, Shekel HaKodesh. Story #124 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Kordevero (1522-23 Tammuz 1570), known by the anacronym of his name: Ramak, was considered the head of the Tsfat Kabbalists until his death shortly after the arrival of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria. Author of many major works of Kabbalah, including Pardes Rimonim ("Orchard of Pomegranates"), in which he systematized all kabbalistic knowledge that had been revealed until then. (For a fuller biography) Story #195, 227, 301, 350, 403, 404, 453-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe ben Mordechai Galante [5300-5374 (1540-1614 C.E.)] was one of four (along with Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of Shulchan Aruch) to receive semicha from Rabbi Yaakov Beirav in the 'renewal of semicha' controversy. He and his older brother Avraham, who subsequently became the city's chief rabbi, lived in Tsfat in the 1500's. Story #103, 247-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe ben Yonatan Galante [?-5449 (?-1689 C.E.)], was the grandson of Rabbi Moshe ben Mordechai Galente. He moved from Tsfat to Jerusalem around the year 5415 (1655 C.E.), where he became the Chief Rabbi of the city and was known as "Rav HaMagen." He also founded a large yeshiva there, and was succeeded as its head by his main student, the great rabbinical suthority known as the "Pri Chadash."

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudylkov [1748 - 17 Iyar 1800 was the son of R. Yechiel Ashkenazi and Adel, the daughter of the Baal Shem Tov. He authored one of the first primers of Chasidic thought, Degel Machaneh Ephraim ("Banner of the Camp of Ephraim"), and thereafter was popularly known as "the Degel." His holy grandfather testified about him that he was a Talmudic genius. He served as the rabbi of Sudylkov for several decades, but then retired to Medzibuz, the town of the Baal Shem Tov, at the end of his life, where he passed away and is buried. Story #755 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Pallier of Kobrin [1784 - 29 Nisan 1858] was a close follower of the Rebbe, R. Mordechai of Lechovitch and afterwards of his son, R. Noach. In 1833 he became the first Rebbe of the Kobrin dynasty, with thousands of chassidim, including Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, who became the first Rebbe of Slonim. Many of Kobrin and Slonim chasidim subsequently moved to Eretz Yisroel. His teachings are collected in Imros Taharos. Story #167 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Shneuri [of blessed memory [5544-5638 (1784-1878)] was the youngest son of the Alter Rebbe of Chabad.He was known to be exceptionally brilliant with an astounding memory. Also fluent in several languages, at the young age of 16 he was his father's translator for some of the interrogations during his second arrest in 1800. He lived the last decades of life in self-imposed exile, after having his sent his family to live in the Land of Israel. He passed away at age 94 near Kiev. Story #1149 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Shreiber [1762-1839], was a giant of Torah known as the 'Chasam Sofer,' after the title of his volumes of responsa which have been significant to a high degree in the modern development of Jewish law and thought. He founded the Pressberg Yeshiva in 5567 (1806), which became the largest yeshiva in Europe under his leadership, and subsequently of his son, known the Ktav Sofer and later his grandson, known as the Shevet Sofer. Story #125, 228, 266, 284, 1112-- see Archives

Rebbe Moshe of Peshevorsk (1720 - 12 Tevet 1806) was the predecessor of the Peshevorsk dynasty (which since 1956 has been based in Antwerp). He was held in high esteem by the brothers R. Elimelech and R. Zusha, and many other chassidic giants. It is said of him that Rabbi Moshe Alshich often appeared to him and taught him Torah. His was famous for the perfection and purity of the Torah, tefilin and mezuzah scrolls that he scribed, which were eagerly sought after and are extremely valuable. He is the author of the acclaimed Ohr Penei Moshe, commentary on the Five Books of Moses and the five Megillot, and a subsequent volume on the Talmud. Story #661 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sossov (1745-4 Shvat 1807) was the leading disciple of Reb Shmelke of Nicholsburg. He also received from the Maggid of Mezritch and from Elimelech of Lyzhinsk. Subsequently a Rebbe in his own right with many followers, he was famous primarily for his love of his fellow Jews and his creative musical talent. His teachings are contained in the books, Likutei RaMal, Toras ReMaL Hashalem, and Chidushei RaMal. Story #291, 304, 435, 578, 642, 671, 926, 1058, 1355-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe-Zvi Giterman of Sevran [of blessed memory: 5535 - 27 Tevet 5597 (1775 - Dec. 1837 C.E.)] was a disciple of his father, whom he succeeded as Maggid of Savran in 1802, and of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of and Rabbi Boruch of Mezhibuz. He later became the Rabbi of Berditchev after the passing of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak in 1810, and subsequently of the towns of Uman and Kishinev as well. He had thousands of chasidim. Among his disciples were Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kossov [forerunner of the Vizhnitz dynasty], and Rebbe Tzvi Hersh of Ziditchov. His Torah insights were collected and printed in the book, Likutey Shoshanim. Story #263 (editor's note), 936, 1090-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum [1759-28 Tammuz 1841], known as the Yismach Moshe after the title of his book of Torah commentary, was famed both as a scholar and wonderworker. A disciple of the Seer of Lublin, he was instrumental in the spread of Chasidut in Hungary. His descendants founded the dynasties of Satmar and Sighet. Story #552, 715, 815-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Biederman of Lelov [? - 13 Tevet 1851] was the son of R. David of Lelov and the son-in-law of "the Holy Yid " of Pshischah. He declined to officially succeed his father as rebbe, considering himself unworthy of the position. He moved to Israel in 1851, where he helped to strengthen the Chassidic community in Jerusalem, although he passed away shortly after his arrival. He is buried on the Mount of Olives, near the prophet Zacharia. Story #233, 296, 355, 498, 717, 1152-1224- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Biderman (1903 - 24 Tevet 1987), sixth-generation Rebbe of Lelov, lived in Tel Aviv for many years, then moving to Bnei Brak in 1964. He was accepted also by many Karliner chasidim as the new Rebbe after the passing of Rabbi Yochanan of Karlin-Stolin in 1956. When the sacred Kotel was recaptured in 1967, of all the Chassidishe Rebbes, he visited it most. His prayers there lasted most of the day. Because of his attachment to the Kotel, he moved back to Jerusalem and remained there until 1981, at which time he became too weak to visit the Kotel and returned to Bnei Brak. He is the author of Kedushas Mordechai. Story #717 -- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895 - 13 Adar B 1986) was born in Uzdan, near Minsk, Belorussia. He became rabbi of Luban while young and remained there till 1937. After that he immigrated with his family to the United States, to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There he became Rosh HaYeshivah of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim, which became world-famous because of his presence. He also became the most important halachic authority in the Americas, and his rulings were accepted worldwide. They have been published in a multi-volume collection called Igrot Moshe. Story #572, 745-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Weber [5 Kislev 5675 - 18 Adar A 5760 (1914 - March 2000 C.E.)] was a central and beloved figure in Jerusalem's religious community. Nearly every day he went to the Western Wall from his home in Meah Shearim to pray and to help visitors wrap tefillin. Less publicly, he distributed enormous sums of tzedakah to the city's poor. It is known that, decades ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe said of him that he is one of the holiest and kindest people in the world. He published several volumes of Torah insights in Yarim Moshe. There is an ongoing periodical of his teachings distributed weekly called Shemu V'Techi Nafshechem, which also offers for sale his audio recordings. Story #146, 796, 1368-- see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Feller [born 1 Tammuz 5697 (June 1937)] is a senior shliach [emissary] of the Lubavicher Rebbe (and one of the most popular and respected by the other thousands of shluchim. For nearly sixty years he has been the chief emissary for Jewish Activities in the state of Minnesota. Story #1234 - see Archives

Rabbi Moshe Sherer [5681 - 23 Sivan 5758 (1921 - May 1998)] was co-Chairman of the Agudath Israel World Organization from 1980, and the Chairman of Agudath Israel of America from the 1960s, until his death in 1998 of leukemia. He utilized his prestigious positions, to advocate the interests and articulate the views of Orthodox Jewry for better than half-a-century. (from . Story #1325- see Archives

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772 - 18 Tishrei 1810) was the great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov. From early youth he set out on his distinctive path in divine service -- ascetic study, solitary mediation, fiery worship. His chasidim learned from him as well their lifelong quest for atonement, the impossibility of despair for the man of faith, and a unique concept of the nature and role of the tzadik. After a brief stay in the Holy Land the controversial young Rebbe settled in Breslov in 1800, and then in Uman in 1802. His burial place there in the Ukraine is a popular place of pilgrimage for his chasidim (and many others), especially on Rosh Hashana. Most of his teachings were recorded by his disciple R. Nasan Stenhartz. His books include Likkutei Maharan (kabbalistic and moral teachings), and Sippurei Maasiot (stories). A large amount of his teachings have been translated into English. Story # -- see Archives

Rabbi Nachum Shneuri was the eldest son of the second Chabad rebbe, Rabbi Dov-Ber. Upon his father's passing at age 54, many turned to Rabbi Nachum to assume the role of successor, but he deferred to his brother-in-law, Rabbi Menachem-Mendel Schneersohn, the eventual third rebbe, known as the Tzemek Tzedek. Story #1250 -- see Archives

Rabbi Naftali HaKohen Katz [c. 5409 - 5479 (c. 1648-1719)], an important sage and kabbalist, served as Head of the rabbinical court and the yeshiva of Ostroh (Ukraine), Posen (Poland) and Frankfurt-am-Main (Germany), and at a certain time was also appointed as head of the Va'ad Arba Aratzot ('the Council of the Four Lands'). At the end of his life he accepted an invitation to become the chief rabbi of Safed, but unfortunately he passed away on the ship to the Holy Land. Story # 1194 -- see Archives

Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz [6 Sivan 5520 (the same day as the Baal Shem Tov's passing!) - 11 Iyar 5587 (1760-1827 C.E.)] became the rebbe of many thousands of chassidim. He was noted for his sharp wit and humor and his elusive sparkling aphorisms. Some of his teachings are collected in his works, Zera Kodesh, Ayalah Sheluchah, and Imrei Shefer. Many stories about him appear in the book, Ohel Naftoli.Story #252, 379, 390, 456, 626, 896, 909, 964-- see Archives

Rabbi Natan-Nota Shapira [5345 - 13 Menachem-Av 5393 (1585-July 20,1633)] was a noted rabbinical authority and kabbalist, who at a young age became the Chief Rabbi of Krakow in 1617. He was a main figure in the dissemination of the Kabbalah teachings of "the Holy Ari" of Safed throughout Poland. He is often referred to by the title of his most important book, the "Megaleh Amukot," an astonishing work containing 252 explanations of Moses' Story #1241 -- see Archives

Rabbi Nechemiah Halevi Ginzburgh of Dubrovna [15 Shevat 1788 - 15 Shevat 1852]. His father, Rabbi Avraham Beirach, was a chassid of the Alter Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman. He himself was a prominent chassid of the first three Rebbes. His second wife, Gitta Rachel, was the Alter Rebbe's granddaughter. Rebbe Nechemiah was known as a great scholar in the revealed parts of the Torah and was the study partner of the Tzemach Tzedek. His responsa were printed in his book, "Divrei Nechemiah." He also wrote commentary on the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch. prayer in the first verse of parashat Va'et'chanan. Story #1241, 1313-- See Archives

Rabbi Nosson Dovid (ben Yerachmiel Rabinowitz) of Shidlowitz (1814 - 7 Cheshvan 1866) was the grandson of the "Holy Yid" of Peshishcha and a miracle-working Rebbe of thousands in his own right. His sons and several of his disciples also became rebbes. Story #585 -- see Archives

Rabbi Nota of Chelm [? - 1 Shvat 5572 (17?? - 1812 C.E.)], a disciple of Rebbe Elimelech of Lyzhinsk, became a Rebbe in his own right and acquired many followers. He is the author of Nota Sha'ashuim. Story #206 -- see Archives

HaRav Ovadia Yosef (1920 - 3 Cheshvan 2013), born in Baghdad, Iraq, was the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983, and the founder and long-time spiritual leader of Israel's "Shas" political party. His decisions and responsa in Jewish Law have influenced an entire generation of Sephardic rabbis, and are often consulted by Torah scholars across the spectrum. Story #1063 -- See Archives

Rabbi Pinchas (ben R. Avraham Abba Shapiro) of Koretz [10 Elul (1726 - Sept. 1791 C.E.] was considered to be one of the two most pre-eminent followers of Chassidism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov (along with his successor, the Maggid of Mezritch). His teachings appear in various collections (such as Midrash Pinchas), and are cited in the classic Bnei Yissaschar. Story #156, 730, 737, 770, 807, 1172-- see Archives

Rabbi Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz (1730-7 Tammuz 1805) was a follower of the Maggid of Mezritch, along with his older brother, Rabbi Shmuel ("Shmelke") of Nicholsburg (1726-2 Iyar 1778). He attained scholarly repute as the author of Hafla'ah (on Talmud and halacha), HaMikneh (same) and Panim Yafos (on Scripture), and became the chief Rabbi of Frankfurt. Like many rabbinical authors, he is commonly referred to by the title of his most famous work, in this case as the Ba'al Hafla'ah. His most illustrious student was R. Moshe Schreiber, the famed Chattam Sofer. Story #202 -- see Archives

Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter [Sivan 5686 - 16 Adar B, 5756 (June 1926 - March 1996)], also known as the Pnei Menachem after the works he authored, was the sixth Rebbe of Ger, a position he held for the last four years of his life. He was the only offspring of the second marriage of his father, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, the third Rebbe of Ger. The fourth Rebbe of Ger, Rabbi Yisroel Alter, and the fifth Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter, were his much older half-brothers. In the 1950s, he was appointed rosh yeshiva of Sefas Emmes, the flagship yeshiva of Ger in Jerusalem. After his passing, he was succeeded as Rebbe by his nephew, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter (the current Rebbe as of this writing), son of Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter. Story #298, 1057 -- see Archives

Rabbi Raphael HaKohen of Hamburg (1722-1803) was a prominent scholar and author of Toras Yekusiel. He was the chief rabbi of several major towns in Lithuania. He is famed for his saintly conduct. His disciples included the celebrated Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin. Story #523 -- see Archives

Rebbetzin Rivka Schneerson (1833- 10 Shvat 1914) a granddaughter of Rabbi DovBer, the 2nd Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, at age 16 married her first cousin, Rabbi Shmuel, who later became the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe. Surviving her husband by 33 years, for many years she was the esteemed matriarch of Lubavitch, and chasidim frequented her home to listen to her accounts of the early years of Lubavitch. She is the source of many of the stories recorded in the talks, letters and memoirs of her grandson, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe). The Beis Rivka network of girls' schools are named after her. Story #412, 584 -- see Archives

Rabbi Salman Mutzafi (1900 - 17 Tevet 1975) was a descendant of an illustrious family of Torah scholars who first arrived in Baghdad during the Spanish expulsion. After serving many years as the city's chief rabbi, he moved to Israel where he founded the Bnei Zion Yeshiva. Recognized as one of the great kabbalists of his generation, he is also the compiler of Siftei Tzaddikim: a guide for visiting the graves of special righteous Jews buried in Israel. Story #792 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shimon-Menashe Chaikin (1777-1893), was among the most prominent disciples of the Mitteler Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek [the 2nd & 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbes]. He immigrated from Slutsk to Eretz Israel in 1819, and there served as the rabbi and leader of the Chabad congregation of Hebron for over seventy years. Blessed with longevity, he lived until the age of 116 years. Story #1326 -- see Archives

Rabbi Sar Sholom of Belz [1779-27 Elul 1855] was the first of the Belz chassidic dynasty. He became the main rebbe of Galician jewry, and had tens of thousands of chassidim. His teachings are collected in Dover Shalom. Story #545 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shabtai Slavtitski is the head Lubavitcher emissary in Belgium. He has a large congregation in Antwerp, where he is well respected rabbinical figure.

Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazer Taub [21 Tishrei 1886 - 16 Kislev 1947], the second Modzitzer Rebbe, succeeded his father, Rabbi Yisrael, in 1920. At the outbreak of WWII he left Poland and eventually arrived in New York in 1940. He traveled extensively, bringing Torah and niggunim to many communities, of which he composed close to 1000 compositions! On his fourth and last trip to the Land of Israel in 1947 he fully intended to remain and settle, but he passed away that same year. He was the last person buried on the Mount of Olives until after the 6 Day War. Story #324 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, one of the most important sages in Jewish history, lived over 1800 years ago. Teachings in his name abound throughout the Mishnah, Gemorrah, and Midrashim, while the Zohar, the primary source text of Kabbalah, is built around Rabbi Shimon's revelations to his inner circle of disciples. During the hours before his passing, on Lag b'Omer, he disclosed the "most sublime" secrets of Torah, in order to ensure that the day would always be an occasion for great joy, untouched by sadness because of the Omer period and mourning for him. The seminal importance of the Zohar in Jewish thought and the annual pilgrimage to Meron on Lag b"Omer are testimonies to his success. Story #135, 186, 193, 197, 237, 292, 301, 306, 369, 386, 393, 404, 443, 493, 522, 536, 547, 648, 703, 754, 859, 889, 947, 965, 1013, 1054, 1170, 1220-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz (1500-1580), a major kabbalist in 16th century Tsfat, was the author of many important commentaries on Torah and Kabbala. He is best known as the composer of the famous liturgical poem "Lecha Dodi" (Come My Beloved"), sung by Jews worldwide to welcome the Shabbat. (More about Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz; a new translation and commentary for Lecha Dodi) Story #239, 295, 301, 480,1055-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo Luria, the "Maharshal," was one of the leading Torah scholars of the sixteenth century. His writings are studied and venerated still today. He served as Rabbi and head of the Rabbinical court in Lublin, one of the most important centers of Jewish life at that time. He was a relative of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, apparently his great uncle. Story #212, 302, 404, 601, 1261-- see Archives

R. Shlomo of Karlin [1738-22 Tammuz 1792], was also a student of the Maggid, as well as of Reb Aharon the Great of Karlin, whom he succeeded in 1772, as well as adopting his orphan son. Most of the Chassidic leaders of the next generation in the Lithuanian region were his disciples. He died Kiddush HaShem, stabbed by a Cossack while in the midst of the Amida prayer. His adopted son, Rabbi Asher, became the first Rebbe of Stolin. Story #136, 348, 402, 652, 713, 729, 974, 1284 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo of Bobov [1848 - 1 Tammuz 1906] was the first rebbe of the Bobover dynasty, which he became shortly following the death of his renowned grandfather, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He was noted for strengthening the Judaism of the younger generation and founding numerous yeshivas. His chasidim numbered in the thousands. Story #487, 507, 619-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo (ben Benzion) Halberstam of Bobov, [1907 - 1 Av 2000], survived the Holocaust along with only 300 chasidim, succeeding his father who was among those martyred. Settling in Manhattan and then different locations in Brooklyn, he served as the third rebbe in the Bobover dynasty for over 50 years, rebuilding Bobov to an even more thousands than his father had before the war. In addition to being wise and pious, he was noted for his steadfastness in not taking sides in disputes. Interestingly, he passed away on the same Hebrew date as Aharon the High Priest, who was the first Jew to be known for "loving peace and pursuing peace" (Avot 1:12). Story #507, 605, 1074, 1336-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo HaKohen Rabinowitz of Radomsk [1803-29 Adar 1866] was the author of Tiferet Shlomo. His speaking ability and musical voice attracted thousands of Chasidic followers. Story #293, 398,504-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo Chanoch HaKohen of Radomsk [1885 - 18 Av 1942] the fourth and last rebbe of the dynasty, perished with his family in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was known for the network of 36 yeshivas "Kesser Torah" he established throughout Poland and Galicia. During the period between the two World Wars, the Radomsker chasidim numbered among the three largest Chasidic movements in Poland. Story #489-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo-Eliezer Alfandri (1820 - 22 Iyar 1930) was born in Istanbul, Turkey, where his reputation for piety and wisdom was established at a young age. He served as the chief rabbi in Istanbul (unofficially) and Damascus, and subsequently in Safed for 20 years toward the end of his life. He passed away at age 110 (!) in Jerusalem. Eight days before, the world-renowned Rebbe of Munkacz, Rabbi Chaim-Elazar Shapira, made a special trip from Hungary to meet with him, calling him the "the top tzadik of the generation." Many of his rabbinical correspondence on topics in Jewish law are included in his book, Sabba Kadisha. For more information on his life and writings, see his entry in "Sages of Safed" on our website. Story #860-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Lifshitz (1765-1839) was appointed Chief Rabbi of Warsaw in 1821. In his influential book Hemdat Shlomo, he deals with the problems of his generation, including assimilation. His rulings about conversion still hold great weight today.

Rabbi Shlomo (Shlom'ke) of Zivhil [of blessed memory: 5629 - 26 Iyar 5705 --yesod of yesod (? (1869 - May 1945 C.E.)], was the fourth of the dynasty and the first one to be based in Israel, was a descendent in direct paternal line from Rabbi Yechiel-Michil, an important student of the Baal Shem Tov known as the Magid of Zlochov. For a long time after he came to Jerusalem, no one knew his true identity as the Rebbe to whom thousands had flocked in his native land, until a chance visitor from his hometown revealed his secret to the stunned worshipers in the shul he was attending. So once again he acquired thousands of followers and admirers. Famed for his remarkable deeds of kindness, he particularly concentrated on rescuing youths from missionaries and inculcating the importance of the laws of family purity to the masses, while still finding time to answer complicated questions in Jewish Law. Story #806, 842, 861, 1065 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo-David Kahane [5628 - 27 Kislev 5704 (1868 - Dec. 1943 C.E.)] was onsidered a leading rabbinical authority in his generation. He was the Chief Rabbi of Warsaw and its rabbinical court for many years until the early years of WWII, when he managed to escape the deadly clutches of the Nazis who were hunting him and eventually arrive in Israel. He became the chief rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem until his death in 1943. His "Committee of Polish Rabbis in Israel" and his "Committee of Polish Rabbis for Freeing Agunot" saved literally thousands of Jewish women whose husbands' whereabouts were unknown as a result of WWII horrors, and enabled them to remarry. Story #825 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach [23 Tamuz 5670 - 20 Adar, 5755 (July 1910 - March 1995 C.E.)] was born and spent his entire life in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Central Jerusalem. He was one of the most knowledgeable and important decisors of Jewish law in Israel in his generation. Religious Jews from across the spectrum of observance and, famously, from the secular academic, medical and scientific communities as well, flocked to his home for Torah perspective on all aspects of life. Local police estimated that at least 300,000 people attended his funeral. Story #953, 1208-- see Archives

Rabbi Shlomo-Yitzchak ("Schwartzie") Schwartz [1944 - 12 Shvat 5777] became in 1969 one of Chabad’s first full time college campus rabbis, serving UCLA and other UC system colleges for almost twenty years. In the 1980's the widowed Schwartzie married Olivia, and in 1989 they opened Chai Center, independent of Chabad, to give full expression to his creative--and wild--ideas for adult education for "every Jew that moves." Over the years he had a life-changing effect on thousands of Jews. For the last two decades of his life, he was Ascent's "Summer Rabbi-Scholar in Residence"-- accompanied and aided by Olivia, of course. Story #913, 1002, 1110, 1196 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn [2 Iyar 5594 - 13 Tishrei 5643 (1834-Sept. 1882 C.E.)], the fourth Lubavitch Rebbe, known as "the Rebbe Maharash," was the seventh and youngest surviving son of his predecessor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, "the Tsemach Tsedek". His chasidim [and their descendants] often referred to him as a "BaalShemskeh" type of Rebbe, meaning a doer of visible miracles.Story #106, 159, 195, 225, 234, 290, 339, 436, 440, 505, 545, 591, 701, 752, 802, 1062, 1117, 1167, 1218, 1273, 1328-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Aceda (1538-1602) became in 1578 the head of a major yeshiva in Tsfat for the study of Talmud and Kabbalah, and the author of a classical commentary on Pirkei Avot, Midrash Shmuel. Story #197-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Vital (1598-1677) was the son of Rabbi Chaim Vital, the foremost student of The Holy Ari and the only one permitted to record his teachings. R. Shmuel inherited these manuscripts and arranged the publication of many of them. Born in Damascus where he officiated as a rabbinical judge for most of his life, he moved in 1663 to Cairo, Egypt, where he remained till his passing. He wrote a commentary on the siddur, according to the system of the Holy Ari, which contained kabbalistic mediations for the prayers. He also wrote many other works, most of them unpublished, and collected his own and his father's novel insights on the Talmud. Story #763-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel of Kaminka (? - 1831), a senior student of the Baal Shem Tov, was known as "Ish Elokim Kodesh Maod," - "a very holy G-dly man." He lived the latter part of his life in the Holy Land, settling first in Tsfat, and was nearly 100 years of ge when he passed away. Many of his teachings are printed in Chesed L'Avraham. Story #573-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel (ben Avraham Yeshaya) of Karov-Vinagrov (? -15 Iyar 1820), a major disciple of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhinsk and then the "Seer" of Lublin, became a rebbe in his own right upon the passing of the Seer in 1815. Many rebbes of the next generation were his students. Story #559-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Abba Zikelinsky of Zichlin [19 Kislev (!) 5570 - 26 Elul 5639] was an important disciple of Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Pshischah, and subsequently a Rebbe in his own right with a large following]. Story #275, 498-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke HaLevi Horowitz of Nikolsburg (1726 - 2 Iyar 1778) was a major disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch along with his younger brother, Rabbi Pinchas, who became the Rabbi of Frankfort (see above). Many of the leading rebbes in Poland and Galitzia were originally his disciples. Among the books he authored are Divrei Shmuel and Nazir HaShem. Story #289, 987-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Munkes, an elder disciple of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad, was known for his devoted and creative service for G-d, his rebbe and his fellow Jews. Stories abound of his sharp wit and “chasidic pranks”. He lived in Beshenkovitz and then in Kalisk (or the reverse?) in (or near?) the district of Polotz. Story #662, 875, 901, 983-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Koselewitz [1895-1964] was the eldest son of Rabbi Tzvi-Yehuda Koselewitz, the town rabbi of Tichtin, one of the most important rabbinical posts in pre-WWII Lithuania. After the family moved to USA before WWII, he became recognized as one of the leading rabbinic scholars in New York City. Story #918-- see Archives

Rabbi Shmuel Weinberg (1850-1916), the 2nd Rebbe of Slonim (in Europe) and author of Divrei Shmuel, was the grandson of Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, author of Yesod HaAvodah, the first of the Slonim dynasty. ( He was known for his tireless efforts to unite the ultra-Orthodox communities, both Hasidic and Misnagdic, in the struggle against the intrusion of modernity into towns in their region, and was instrumental in founding the first pan-communal organization of Orthodox communities in Eastern Europe, Keneset Yisrael, a short-lived predecessor to the Agudas Yisroel movement. (YIVO) In 1900, he worked to establish Yeshivat Ohr Torah in Tiberias, and twice visited in the Land of Israel when he was younger. He passed away on the 19th of Shevat 5676, while he was in Warsaw for medical treatment, and was laid to rest there, in the Jewish cemetery. ( Story #1337-- see Archives

Rabbi Shneur Zalman Fradkin of Lublin [5590 - - 5 Nisan 5662 (1830 - 1902 C.E.)], A chasid of the Tzemech Tzedek and Maharash of Lubavitch, was chief rabbi in Polotsk and then Lublin. When he made aliyah to the Holy Land, he became a major rabbinical figure in the Jerusalem community. He is best remembered for his important scholarly book, Toras Chesed. Story #228 -- see Archives

Rabbi Shneur Zalman Schneersohn [18 Elul 5505 - 24 Tevet 5573 (1745 - Dec. 1812 C.E.)], one of the main disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch, is the founder--and "Alter Rebbe"--of the Chabad-Chassidic movement. He is the author of Shulchan Aruch HaRav and Tanya as well as many other major works in both Jewish law and the mystical teachings. Story #116, 139, 154, 158, 165, 175, 198, 249, 327, 330, 344, 368, 465, 471, 557, 582, 595, 683, 692, 713, 720, 731, 733, 789, 796, 798, 820, 834, 836, 894, 896, 901, 945, 963, 1043, 1047, 1069, 1094, 1099, 1154, 1204,1255, 1284,1304, 1310. 1342-- see Archives

Rabbi Shneur-Zalman Schneersohn (1898 - Wed. July 2, 1980 - Tammuz 18 5740) was a second cousin of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe, having a close relationship with him in Paris when they both lived there after 1936, even hosting the Rebbe's mother in his house for three months. He held the post of Chief Rabbi of the Association of Orthodox Jewry of France, and was well-known and highly respected for his work in saving more than one hundred children after the German occupation of Vichy France. In 1950, when the 6th Rebbe passed away, a small percentage of the chasidim considered him a fitting successor. Eventually settling in Brooklyn, he founded and headed for many years the Shevet Yehuda Institute of Technology, which offered a training program in computer science for yeshiva students, one of the first such programs ever. He is buried directly behind the Lubavitcher Rebbes' ohel, alongside the Tomashpol Rebbe, in the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens. Story #959-- see Archives

Rabbi Sholom Shachna (Friedmann) of Probisht (1766-1803) was the son of R. Avraham the Malach and grandson of Rabbi Dov Ber (the Maggid) of Mezritch. His wife was the granddaughter of Rebbe Nachum of Chernobyl. One of their sons was the famed chasidic leader, Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin.Story #729 -- see Archives

Rabbi Sholom-Dovber Schneersohn [20 Cheshvan 5621 - 2 Nissan 5680 (Oct. 1860 - April 1920)], known as the Rebbe Reshab, was the fifth Rebbe of the Lubavitcher dynasty. He is the author of hundreds of major tracts in the exposition of Chassidic thought. In 1915, after 102 years of four Chabad rebbes living in Lubavitch, he transferred the center of the movement to Rostov-on-the-Don. Story #198, 584, 614, 637, 903, 1163, 1246, 1268, 1278-- see Archives

Rabbi Shraga-Shmuel (“Shmelke”) HaLevi Shnitzler [15 Tammuz 5649 – 27 Tishrei 5740 (July 1889 – Oct. 1979)] was a descendant of a major disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, Rabbi Shmuel-Shmelke HaLevi Horowitz of Nikolsburg. Among the minority of Hungarian Jews who survived WWII, Rabbi Shraga-Shmuel remained in Hungary for several years, serving as a spiritual leader and advisor for the remnants of survivors in his region of Hungary. In 1949 he emigrated to Jerusalem, where as the Tchaber Rav he became known as a worker of miracles as well as a great Torah scholar. Hundreds of people regularly came to him for blessings and advice. Story #217-- see Archives

Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa (1765 - 12 Elul 1827) spent many years as a business man and a pharmacist. He was a beloved disciple of "the Seer" and of "The Holy Yid" whom he succeeded. Known as "a rebbe of rebbes," his major disciples included the Kotsker and the first Rebbes of Ger and Alexander. Story #325, 531, 682, 994-- see Archives

Rebbetzin Trana Twersky, born in the first decade of 1900's, was the daughter of Rebbe Pinchas ("Pinye") Twersky of Ostilla (1880-1943) and granddaughter of Rabbi Yissachar Dov, the 3rd Rebbe of the Belz dynasty. In 1925, she married Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twersky, the 4th Rebbe of the Skver dynasty. They had three daughters and one son, Rabbi Dovid Twersky, who is the current Rebbe of Skver and the head of the chasidic village of New Square, in Rockland county, New York. Story #914 -- see Archives

Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Shapira of Dinov (1785 - 18 Teves, 1841) was the nephew of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk and disciple of the "Seer" of Lublin and of Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, and a renowned Torah scholar and Chasidic master in his own right. He is best known for his scholarly and mystical work, Bnei Yissaschar, which includes a chapter for each month of the year. Story #542, 1098, 1203-- see Archives

Rabbi Tzvi-Hirsh of Chortkov was the father of the well-known Chassidic Rebbe, Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg. Story #251-- see Archives

Rebbe Tzvi-Hirsh of Riminov [5538 - 29 Cheshvan 5608 (1778-Nov. 1847 C.E.)] was the attendant of the well-known Rebbe, R. Menachem Mendel of Riminov, and subsequently his successor. He had a reputation as a miracle worker. Some of his teachings are collected in Mevasser Tov and in Be'erot HaMayim. Story #256, 1317-- see Archives

Rebbe Tzvi-Hirsh Eichenstein [1785 - 11 Tammuz 1831], founder of the Zhidachov dynasty, was a prominent disciple of the Seer of Lublin. He championed the position that the practice of Chasidism had to be firmly based on the study of the Kabbala of the holy Ari of Safed. He wrote and published numerous commentaries on Kabbala, including Ateret Tzvi on the Zohar, and several on the weekly readings. The Malbim was a student of his. He was succeeded by three nephew-disciples, including Yitzhak-Isaac of Zhidachov and Yitzhak-Isaac-Yehuda-Yechiel of Komarno. Story #256, 1317-- see Archives

Tzvi Jacobs, born in 1954 in Charleston, South Carolina, worked as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry from 1997 to 2011, when he took a sabbatical to revise "From the Heavens to the Heart," as well as to write a new book about his spiritual journey, titled "Who's Gonna Save the World?". Tzvi currently lives in Monsey, New York. Both his books are now available on Amazon in book and Kindle editions. Story #1335-- see Archives

Udel, the only daughter of the Baal Shem Tov (who also had an only son), married one of her father's disciples, Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi. Their children were Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudylkov, author of the major Chassidic work, Degel Machne Ephraim; Rabbi Boruch of Mezhibuzh, one of the leading rebbes of his generation; and Feige, mother of Rabbi Nachman of Bretzlov. The Besht said of her that her soul was from the treasure room in Heaven of pure souls. He considered her one of his main students, and she was greatly respected by all of his disciples. She passed away in one of the years between 5546-5557 (1786-1797 C. E.).

Rabbi Uri ("the Saraph") of Strelisk (? - 23 Elul 1826) was the disciple of Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin and of Rabbi Mordechai of Neshchiz, and the brother-in-law of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kosov. He was called "the Saraph" ["fiery angel"] due to the ecstatic fervor of his prayers. He authored Imrei Kadosh. His main disciple was Rabbi Yehudah Zvi Hirsch, the first of the Stretyn dynasty. Story #935-- see Archives

Professor Velvl Greene [17 Tammuz 5688 - 25 Cheshvan 5772 (July 1928 - Nov. 21, 2011)] was a professor of epidemiology, microbiology and public health at the University of Minnesota from 1959 to 1986. In 1960 he joined the NASA agency's Planetary Quarantine Division, to search for and analyze life on Mars. In 1986 he moved to Israel, where he was invited to be the chair of epidemiology and public health at Ben-Gurion University and director of its Center for Jewish Medical Ethics. For 30 years he maintained a scientific and religious dialogue with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. One of his sons, Rabbi Dovid Greene, is director of Chabad-Lubavitch in Rochester, Minnesota.Story #1234 - see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira [1808 - 20 (19?) Tevet 1880] served as the chief rabbi of Tafilalet, Morocco, until shortly before his death. He was an accomplished scholar and kabbalist renowned for his piety, who performed many miracles. His many distinguished descendants include his grandson known as "Baba Sali." His written works include Torah commentaries ("Abir Yaakov") ethical works (most of a kabbalistic nature) and responsa on Jewish law. His tomb in Egypt is an official antiquity site protected by the government of Egypt. On his yahrzeit a ceremony attended by hundreds of devotees is held there, many travelling from Israel whenever permissible.Story #1254-- see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Beirav [1474- 1 Iyar 1546] was born near Toledo, Spain. As a young man, he studied with Rabbi Yitzchak Abuhav. Subsequently, he wrote commentaries on the four sections of the Rambam and on Talmudic subjects and published a volume of responsa. After serving as a rabbinical leader in Fez, Morocco, and Cairo, Egypt, he became the chief rabbi of Tsfat. Story #227, 301-- see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef HaKohain of Polnoye [5470 - 24 Tishrei 5542** (1710 - Oct. 1781 C.E.)] was one of the earliest and closest rabbinical disciples of the Baal Shem Tov. He was the first person to author a book of Chassidic teachings, titled Toldos Yaakov Yosef, which had a revolutionary effect upon publication. Subsequently, he published two other chasidic classics, Ben Porat Yosef and Ketonet Passim. These three books, in which he said many hundreds of times (249 times in ‘Toldos’ alone), “I heard from my teacher, my master, that….” were the chief printed sources for teachings in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. He is often referred to as the "Baal HaToldos," after his first and most famous work. Story #232, 807, 862, 982, 997, 1297,1353-- see Archives
** Not certain, Some say 5544 (1783) and some say 5551 (1790)

Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka [? - 3 Sivan 5561 (? - May 1801)], a descendant of Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropole, was a student of the Maggid of Mezritch and Rabbi Pinchus of Karitz and a close friend of Rabbi Boruch of Mezibuz. As a great authority in Jewish Law, he earned considerable respect also in rabbinic circles. In 1794 (according to, he moved to Israel and settled in Tiberias, where he is buried. Story #938, 1133-- see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Horowitz [5505 - 9 Av 5575 (1745 - Aug. 1815 C.E.)], known as 'the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin', was one of the four successors to the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk (1717-1787), and the leader of the spread of chassidus in Poland. Many great Rebbes of the next generation emerged from his followers, including: the Yid HaKodesh, Simcha-Bunim of Peshischa, David of Lelov, the Yismach Moshe, the Sabba Kadisha of Radoshitz, the Bnai Yisasscher, Rabbi Naftali-Zvi of Ropshitz, the Maor Vashemesh and Sar-Shalom of Belz. Many of his insights were published posthumously in Divrei Emmes, Zichron Zos, and Zos Zichron. Story #333, 351, 396, 468, 626, 667, 896, 1023, 1147, 1286, 1316-- see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshischa [5526-19 Tishrei 5574 (1766- Sept. 1813 C.E.)], The “Holy Jew”of Peshischa, was the leading disciple of the “Seer” of Lublin, but subsequently split off to form the famous Peshischa movement of Chasidut. Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk were among his many disciples who became great Rebbes in their own right. Story 568, 1009b, 1122-- see Archives

R. Yaakov Aryeh Guterman [5552 – 18 Tammuz 5634 (1792-1874 C.E.)], the “Sabba Kadisha” (holy grandfather) of Radzmin, was a disciple of Rabbis Yaakov Yitzchak and Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and of Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorki, who he succeeded as Rebbe in 1848. He was famed as a miracle maker.

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael (Twersky) of Cherkas (1794 - 13 Elul 1876) was the son of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl, son-in-law of R. Dov Ber of Lubavitch, and grandfather of R. Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipl. Story -- Archives

Reb Yaakov Leizer (6 Tevet 1907 - 27 Cheshvan 1998) became the second Pshevorsker Rebbe in 1976. Like his father-in-law and founder of the dynasty, Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Gevirzman, great-grandson of the Rebbe Elimelech, "Reb Yankele" did not seek to open a network of institutions. Even so, specially chartered planes would bring hundreds of chasidim to Antwerp for every Yom Tov and occasion. Among the visitors were often those who had come seeking salvation of one type or another. Hundreds of stories abound about his Divine inspiration and the miracles that he performed. His only son, Rabbi Leibish Leizer, is the current Pshevorsker Rebbe. Story #601 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda ("J.J.") Hecht (24 Cheshvan 1923 - 15 Av 1990) was sometimes described as the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Foreign Minister. In 1945, he was appointed the official director of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE). In 1953 he started one of the first camps for religious Jewish girls, Camp Emunah. In the 1970's he became the administrative head in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, of both Hadar HaTorah Yeshiva and Machon Chana Seminary. Rabbi Hecht also was the official translator of the Rebbe's talks to children and for the farbrengens on the radio. The Rebbe once described him publicly as one of "the chasidim who share deep soul bonds with him."

Rabbi Yaakov-Yosef Twersky [5659 - 2 Nissan 5728 (1899-1968)] was the son and main successor of Rabbi David ("Dovidl"), the third Rebbe of the Skver dynasty. After World War II, he lived in Bucharest, and then in 1948, he emigrated to the United States. After spending a few years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1954 he established a settlement in what was then rural Rockland County, New York, and named it New Square. After some housing was constructed, he moved there with four families of followers in December 1956. By 1958, the community had 68 houses, and as of the end of 2022, the population is over 10,000. Story #914 see Archives

Rabbi Yechezkel of Kuzmir [? - 17 Shvat 1856], a disciple of the Seer of Lublin, was the grandfather of the first Modzitzer Rebbe, a famous chassidic dynasty best known for its creative and exciting chassidic music. Story #229, 293, 380, 667-- see Archives

Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, (1813- 5 Tevet 1899), was the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. As an emissary of his father, he founded the Sanzer synagogue in Tzefat. He served as the rabbi of Shinova from 1855 till1868, and then again from 1881 till his passing. Many of his Torah insights into Scripture, Law and Kabbalah are collected in Divrei Yechezkel. Story #680, 1064, 1151, 1220, 1280-- see Archives

Rabbi Yechiel Michil of Zolotchov (1731-25 Elul 1786), son of Rabbi Yitzchak of Drohovitch, was introduced by his father to the Baal Shem Tov at a young age. He also became a disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch. It is said that his sermons consistently aroused his listeners to repentance. Many of his teachings are collected in Mayim Rabim. Story #208, 334, 848, 989, 998, 1012-- see Archives

R. Yechiel Meir Lifschitz of Gostynin [1816 - 21Shvat 1888] was sometimes known as Der Tilim Yid (the Psalms Jew) because of his constant instruction to those who came to him for advice and support that they turn to the reading of the Book of Psalms. He was a disciple of R. Menachem Mendel of Kotsk and of R. Yaakov Aryeh of Radzymin, after whose death he became chassidic leader in Gostynin. His selfless and unsophisticated mode of living induced people to refer to him as "one of the 36 hidden tzadikim." His teachings appear in Merom HaRim and Mei HaYam. Story #211-- see Archives

Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach [5585 - 23 Shvat 5654 (1825 - Jan. 1894 C.E.)] was the fifth son and the successor to his father, Rabbi Sholom, the first Rebbe of Belz. A major leader of Galician Jewry, he was also the founder of Machzikei HaDas, perhaps the first Orthodox Jewish organization to be involved in government politics, and still a force in Israel today. Some of his discourses are published in Ohel Yehoshua, a supplement to the book of his father's teachings, Dover Sholom. He was succeeded by his second son, Yissachar Dov, grandfather of today's Belzer Rebbe, who bears his name. Story #141, 445, 551-- see Archives

Rabbi Yehoshua-Binyomin "Josh" Gordon was the founder and executive director of Chabad of the Valley in Southern California, established in 1973, and spiritual leader of Chabad of Encino. He oversaw a string of institutions, including 26 Chabad centers, Hebrew schools, adult-education institutes, summer camps and a host of other closely linked communal institutions. He was also a beloved Torah scholar and educator, who taught thousands of students around the globe through the world's most widely viewed daily Torah classes. Story #1260-- see Archives

Rabbi Yehuda-Aryeh-Leib Alter (1847 - 5 Shvat 1905), the Sefas Emes, succeded his grandfather the Chidushei Ha- Rim to become the Rebbe of the Gur-Alter dynasty at the tender age of 19. Over the decades, he became one of the most influential Chasidic leaders in Europe. His followers numbered in the tens of thousands.

Rabbi Yehuda Leib (Leibele") Eiger Of Lublin [1816 - 22 Shvat 1888] was the grandson of one of the eminent Talmudic scholars of the century, Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He became a chasid of R. Menachem-Mendel of Kotsk, and subsequently of R. Mordechai-Yosef Leiner of Izbitz, upon whose death he became a Rebbe in his own right, in Lublin. One of his close followers was Rabbi Tzadik HaCohen of Lublin. His published works include "Toras Emmes" and "Imrei Emmes", both on the weekly Torah readings and the holidays.

Rabbi Yehudah Leib of Kopust (1811- 3 Cheshvan 1866), an elder brother of Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, established an independent branch of Chabad Chasidism in Kopust after the death of his father, R. Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the Tzemech Tzedek. Following his death in the same year, he was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman of Kopust, although many of the chasidim returned to Lubavitch. Story #600, 699-- see Archives

Rabbi Yehuda-Meir Shapira [5647 - 7 Cheshvan 5693 (1887 - October 1933)], a Chortkover Chasid, was a prominent Polish rabbi and rosh yeshiva, also known as the Lubliner Rav. He is noted for his establishment of the Daf Yomi study program in 1923, and the founding of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in 1930. (based on Wikipedia) Story #1261--see Archives

Rabbi Yehuda Zvi-Hirsch Brandwein of Strettin [of blessed memory: 5540 - 11 Iyar 5604 (1780 - April 1844 C.E.)] was the leading disciple of Rabbi Uri of Strelisk, whom he succeeded in 1826, and whom he resembled in his ecstatic mode of prayer. He was highly praised by many of the tzadikim of his generation. His teachings may be found in Degel Machaneh Yehuda. He was succeeded by his son Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Strettin. Story #935, 1098-- see Archives

Rebbetzin Yehudis (Edith) Bloch served as Director at Sholom Senior Center in Brooklyn for several decades. The founder of the "Friday Night Women's Oneg Shabbos Torah Study Group", she organized speakers for the Friday night shiurim for women in Crown Heights for over 50 years. Her hospitality was legendary; she hosted many yeshiva boys for meals on Shabbos, and her basement was lined wall to wall with cots for guests to sleep. She passed away on the 4th day of Chanukah in 2019 at age 91. (excerpted from a eulogy on Story #1258-- see Archives

Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam [1904-9 Tammuz 1994] the Klausenberger Rebbe, also became the post-war Rebbe of the Sanz Chassidim. One of the foremost Chasidic leaders of his generation, he is best known for his revitalization of the study of Talmud through "Mifal Shas" and the building of a hospital, Laniado in Netanya, that functions at the highest standards of Jewish law and medical practice. Story #244, 605, 761, 1071, 1319, 1333-- see Archives

Rabbi Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak Danziger of Alexander [1853 - 29 Tevet 1910] was a popular Chasidic leader in Poland of a wide range of followers. His book Yismach Yisrael is studied by many different Chasidic groups.

Rabbi Yeshayahu Halevi Horowitz (1560-11 Nissan 1630] served many years as chief rabbi in Cracow, Frankfurt and then Prague, his birthplace. In 1621 he moved to Israel and became the chief rabbi of Jerusalem. He is best known as the author of Shnei Luchot HaBrit, a work of Scripture commentary and Jewish Law, and is usually referred to as "the SHeLaH", the acronym of its title. He lived the last years of his life in Tzefat although his burial place is in Tiberias, only a few meters from the tomb of the Rambam. It is a popular pilgrimage site, especially on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, which he himself recommended as a propitious time for saying the special prayer for success in educating one’s children that he composed. Story #395-- see Archives

Rabbi Yeshayaleh Steiner of Karstir (Iyar 3, 1851-1925) was the founder of the Kerestirer dynasty. He was a disciple of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz after whose passing he became a disciple of Rabbi Mordechai of Nadvorna. The Nadvoner Rebbe suggested that he move to the town of Kerestir (Karstir). In Kerestir he became a famous Rebbe know as a miracle worker. Story #1229 --see

Rabbi Yidele Horowitz, the Dzikover Rebbe (1905- 9 Cheshvan 1989), was raised by his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Yisrael Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz. After WWII, he moved to Tel Aviv, and then towards the end of his life, to London, for medical reasons. Although known as a formidable scholar and a man of exceptional character, he shunned the limelight and abhorred any reverence or treatment as a Rebbe. He lived a very frugal life. Absolutely all the monies forwarded to him by admirers and Chassidim were immediately distributed to orphans and widows. Story #786-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer [18 Elul 5458- 6 Sivan 5520 (Sept. 1698 - June 1760 C.E.)], the Baal Shem Tov ["Master of the Good Name"-often referred to as "the Besht" for short], a unique and seminal figure in Jewish history, revealed his identity as an exceptionally holy person, on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 5494 (1734 C.E.), and made the until-then underground Chasidic movement public. He wrote no books, although many works claim to contain his teachings. One available in English is the excellent annotated translation of Tzava'at Harivash, published by Kehos. Story #121, 126, 132, 152, 164, 179, 186, 203, 213, 220, 236, 252, 253, 255, 283, 294, 299, 308, 319, 334, 335, 342, 356, 381, 401, 410, 415, 431, 433, 448, 459, 464, 466, 469, 490, 496, 502, 510, 522, 532, 533, 535, 566, 593, 615, 617, 625, 654, 665, 686, 703, 707, 720, 755, 762, 771, 778, 783, 795, 797, 897, 814, 821, 826, 845, 849, 851, 862, 876, 889, 898, 902, 912, 915, 917, 927, 954, 960, 968, 982, 997, 1016, 1038, 1060, 1066, 1073, 1081, 1087,1107, 1115, 1123, 1128, 1129, 1136, 1143, 1173, 1179, 1186, 1202, 1216, 1232, 1235, 1269, 1287, 1292, 1297, 1303, 1376, 1382 see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzira [Rosh HaShana 1899 - 4 Shvat 1984] or Baba Sali, as he was affectionately known throughout the Jewish world, was born in Tafillalt, Morocco to one of Jewry's most illustrious families. From a young age he was renowned as a sage, leader, miracle maker and master kabbalist. In 1964 he moved to Eretz Yisrael, eventually settling in 1970 in the Southern development town, Netivot, where thousands of followers and admirers from all over the world and across the Jewish spectrum streamed to see him and ask his blessing. Even today his burial place there is a pilgrimmage site for tens of thousands of visitors. Since his passing, several biographies have been published, including two in English. Story #118, 171, 222, 328, 375, 428, 479, 527, 554, 634, 708, 860, 925, 1205, 1256, 1311, 1334, 1348, 1361-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisroel Haupstein [5497 - 14 Tishrei 5575 (1737 - Sept. 1814 C.E.)], the "Maggid" (preacher) of Kozhnitz was a major disciple of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lyzhensk and, along with the 'Seer' of Lublin, the main spreader of the Chasidic movement to Poland-Galitzia. He acquired his position in Koznitz at age 28, and lived there for the rest of his life, known for his passionate prayer and many miracles. He is the author of the chassidic-kabbalistic work, 'Avodas Yisrael' and fifteen other kabbalistic books. His miraculous birth to an elderly couple is the subject of a famous Baal Shem Tov story Story #724, 1016, 1080, 1124, 1147, 1164-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Friedmann of Ruzhin [5557 - 3 Cheshvan 5611 (1797 - Oct. 1850 C.E.)] was a great-grandson of the Maggid of Mezritch. At a young age he was already a charismatic leader with a large following of chasidim. Greatly respected by the other rebbes and Jewish leaders of his generation, he was--and still is--referred to as "The Holy Rhuzhiner." Six of his sons established Chassidic dynasties, communities of which -- Sadigora, Chortkov , etc -- are still thriving today, as are some founded by the sons of his sons – Boyan, etc. Also, the husbands of two of his four daughters became the founders of the Vizhnitz and Vasloi dynasties. Story #105, 270, 315, 577, 828, 1042, 1079. 1349-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisroel (Ben Baruch) Hagar of Vizhnitz, then in the region of Bokovina, Austria [5620 - 2 Sivan 5697 (1860 - May 1936 C.E.)], had many thousands of followers over the 43 years he served as Rebbe. In 1905 he founded the famous Vizhnitz yeshiva, whichcontinues today in a number of branches in the USA and especially throughoutthe land of Israel,  Because of his warmth and friendliness to every Jew, he was known as "the Ahavas Yisrael," which is also the title ofthe set of books of his Torah teachings published posthumously. Story #129, 133, 173-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisroel Friedman (10 Iyar 1854 - 13 Kislev 1934), the second Chortkover Rebbe, had chasidim numbering in the tens of thousands. These included quite a few famous Rebbes and Rabbonim. When World War I broke out he moved to Vienna, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the first international convention ('Knessia Hagedola') of Agudas Yisroel in 1923, he was elected to be the head, along with the Chafetz Chaim and the Gerer Rebbe, both of whom deferred to him. His books, Tiferes Yisroel, Yismach Yisroel, and Ginzei Yisroel, are considered classic works. Story #781 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Alter (1895- 2 Adar 1977), known as the Bais Yisroel, was the fourth Rebbe in the Gur dynasty. Following the death of his father in 1948 in Jerusalem, Gur grew under his leadership to be the largest Chasidic group in Israel. He lost his wife, children and grandchildren in the Holocaust, and although he married a second time, had no further children. He was succeeded by his brother, Rabbi Simcha-Bunim Alter, and then his youngest brother, Rabbi Pinchas-Menachem Alter. (The current Gurer Rebbe is Rabbi Yaakov Alter, son of R. Pinchas-Menachem.) Story #306, 1315-- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Taub (1849-13 Kislev 1920) was the first Rebbe of the Modzitz dynasty. He is best known for his creative output of more than two hundred melodies, many still sung today by Chasidic groups the world over. His most famous song was composed In 1913, while undergoing surgical amputation of a leg, without anesthesia! He is also the author of a book of Chasidic commentary on the first three books of the Torah, Divrei Yisrael, by which name he is often referred to. Story #576 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaCohen Kagan (1838-24 Elul 1933), popularly known as the Chafetz Chaim after the title of one of his many influential books, was one of the most important and beloved rabbinical scholars and leaders of the 20th century. His other works include Mishna Berura, an authoritative, almost universally accepted compendium of Jewish Law, and Shmiras HaLashon, about proper and improper speech. Story 1007 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yisrael Yitzchak Kalish [1779 died 22 Nissan 1848] was the founder of the Vorki dynasty in Poland. Previously, through travel with his teacher, R. David of Lelov, he became a disciple of R. Yaakov Yitzchak (the "Seer") of Lublin and of R. Simchah Bunem of Pshischah. Some of his teachings and stories involving him appear in Ohel Yitzchak and Hutzak Chein. His son R. Yaakov David founded the Amshinov dynasty, while his son R. Menachem Mendel continued the Vorki dynasty.
Story -- see Archives

Rabbi Yisroel Spira, the Bluzhover Rebbe [5650 - 2 Cheshvan 5750 (1889 - October 1989)], a direct paternal descendant of the Bnei Yissaschar and a noted Torah scholar, received rabbinical ordination at the young age of 13. However, he is best known for being an inspiring spiritual leader in the hells of the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving WWII, he moved to the USA, where he re-established the Bluzhev chassidus in Brooklyn. He said of himself, "The reason I remained alive [for so long] was so that I could continue recounting to future generations what happened to us during those [dark] times." Story #1240-- see Archives

Rebbe Yissachar-Dov (Rokeach) of Belz [5612 - 22 Cheshvan 5687 (1851 - October 1926)] was the third Rebbe of the Belz chasidic dynasty, from 1894 until 1926. He was renowned as a miracle worker, and attracted thousands of devoted followers. A prominent leader of Galician Jewry, he strongly opposed the fledgling Zionist movement, which he saw as a threat to Jewish continuity. (based on Wiki)
Story 1207 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yissachar Dov [1765-18 Sivan 1843], the "Sabba Kadisha" (holy grandfather) of Radoshitz, was a disciple of the Seer of Lublin and of the Holy Yid of Peshischa. Famed as a miracle maker, he lived in poverty as a simple tutor. Story #218, 258, 312, 705, 1378-- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Alpheya [5638 - 26 Elul 5715 (1878 - Sept.1955)], born in Aleppo, Syria, became a leading rabbinical judge and Kabbalist in Jerusalem. Former Chief Rabbi of Israel, R. Mordechai Eliyahu, testified of him that he was one of the 36 tzadikim upon whom the continued existence of the world depends.Story #1254-- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Chai-Taieb [5504-19 Cheshvan 5596[3] (1743 to 1836). He was one of the great tzadikim of Tunisia . He was a great Torah scholar who knew both the revealed and the concealed matters of Torah, and a man of wonders and miracles-a major Kabbalist. He also served as chief rabbi of Tunisia, all the while remaining humble, discreet, and modest about his attainments.
Rabbi Taib's writings and Torah novelties were destroyed by fire while he was still alive, and only a small part of his works remain. His book Cheilev Chitim on the Talmud was published in 1896, sixty years after he passed away. A note on the cover page explains that the Hebrew letters spelling "Cheilav Chitim" are an anagram of the initials of the phrase, "Chacham Yitzchak Chai Taib B'siluko (when he passed away) lo met (didn't die)." (based on and
Stoy #1277 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak of Drohovitch--a leading kabbalist in his generation and father of R. Yechiel Michel Zlotchov (1731-1786), a major disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, who first went to the Besht as a boy with his father.Story #107, 331, 356 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria [5294 - 5 Av 5332 (1534-1572 C.E.)], Known as "the holy Ari," revolutionized the study of Kabbalah and its integration into mainstream Judaism during the two years he spent in Zefat before his death at 38. Much of Chasidic thought is based on the Ari's kabbalah teachings, as recorded by his main disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital. Story #134, 143, 197, 212, 247, 301, 350, 400, 404, 407, 439, 446, 453, 547, 558, 608, 714, 751, 765, 815, 850, 871, 889, 976, 1024, 1180, 1220, 1231-- see Archives
(For a fuller biography) (For teachings of the Ari translated into English)

Rabbi Yitschok Twerski [1812 -17 Nissan 1885], also known as Reb Itzikl, the first Rebbe of Skver, was one of the eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. (Today, the Skverer Chasidim are famous for the entire town of their own, New Square, which they incorporated in upstate New York.

Rabbi Yitzchak Vinograd [5611> 15 Kislev 5673 (1851 - Nov. 1912)] moved to the Holy Land from Pinsk in 1886. His reputation as a great Talmudic scholar preceded him. Soon thereafter he founded the Torat Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. In 1894 he financed the construction of a building for the yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter from the funds he had raised in Europe for that purpose before making Aliya. He is the author of the book. "Torat Chaim on Kodeshim." (Hebrew). One of the suburbs of Jerusalem, "Neve Yaakov," Is named for him. Story #1327 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak-Isaac Taub of Kaliv [5504 - 7 Adar II 5581 (1744 - March 1821 C.E.)] was an orphan goatherd in his youth until he was "discovered by Reb Leib Sarah's and brought to study under Rebbi Shmelke of Nicholsburg. Subsequently he also studied under Rebbi Elimelech of Lizhinsk. Known as "the Sweet Singer of Israel," he became a seminal figure in the spreading of chasidism in Hungary. Story #558 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Zhidachov (1804 - 30 Adar A, 1872) was descendent of the Tosfos Yomtov and the nephew and successor of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch of Zhidachov. He was a major scholar and Kabbalist as well as a chassidic rebbe, who authored commentaries on Talmud, Midrash and Kabbalah. His thousands of followers included some of the leading scholars and rabbis of the generation. His four sons were all considered tsadikim, including the first rebbe of the Komarna dynasty. Story #288, 366, 731, 887-- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Yehuda Yechiel Safrin ben Alexander Sender of Komarno [25 Shvat 5566 - 10 Iyar 5634 (Feb. 1806 - May 1874 C.E.)], was one of the most prolific and respected expounders of the Kabbalah teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. He insisted that every Jew should study the Zohar and the Writings of the Arizal, and emphasized the importance of Kabbalistic meditation. A close disciple of his uncle, Rebbe Tvi Hersh from Zhiditchov (the Komarno dynasty is considered a branch of Zhiditchov), he was a hidden ascetic for many years, only later known for his genius, piety and ability to work wonders when he became the Rebbe of thousands of chasidim. He authored volumes of deep insights on Jewish mysticism, as well as on Mishnah and Jewish Law. His commentaries include Heichal HaBrachah on the Torah, Otzar HaChaim on the commandments, and Zohar Chai on the Zohar.

Rabbi Yitzchak-Isaac of Homil [1780-1857], author of Chanah Ariel, was such an outstanding disciple of Rabbi Shnuer Zalman and Rabbi DovBer, the first and second Rebbes of Chabad-Lubavitch, that when the latter passed away in 1827, Reb Isaac was seriously considered as a candidate for the succession. He refused, instead becoming the chasid of the eventual third rebbe, the Tzemech Tzedek, who was twenty years his junior. Story #159, 461, 731, 733 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Rothenberg/Alter (1789-23 Adar 1866) of Gur was the successor to Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk and the founder of the Gur dynasty. He was popularly known as the Chiddushei HaRim, the title of his classic work of Torah analysis and interpretation. His charisma and concern for the masses resulted in Gerrer chasidus having a very large following. Story #279, 363 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak-Meir of Kapichnitz (21 Kislev 1862 - 2 Tishrei 1936), the first in the dynasty, was a direct descendant of Rabbi Avraham-Yehoshua Heshel, the Apter Rebbe, for whom his son and successor was named. Story #656

Rabbi Yitzchak-Meir of Zinkov (5535- 1 Adar 5615), became the Rebbe of thousands of chasidim after the passing of his illustrious father, Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, in 5585. It is said that his life was a constant stream of Tzedakah and chesed ('charity' and deeds of kindness).Story #521, 1124 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yitzchak-Yaakov Weiss [1902-1989], a Central European miraculous survivor of the Holocaust, was the chief rabbinical judge of the Manchester Rabbinical Court for nearly three decades. Upon the death of the Satmar Rebbe in 1979, he moved to Israel to serve head of the Bedatz Eidah Chareidis Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem from 1979-1989. He is the author of Minchas Yitzchak, a ten-volume set of his responsa, of which it is said that in modern times most rabbinic courts and works of Jewish law quote or rely on Rabbi Weiss's verdicts applying to modern conditions, particularly in the field of medical ethics. (Based on // #1039 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yochanan Twersky, (1816 - 4 Nisan 1895) the first Rachmastivka Rebbe was known for his humility. He was the last to pass away of the eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl and was highly respected among the righteous of the generation. Story #799 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yochanan Twersky of Rachmastrivka (1903 - 20 Kislev 1981) became the 5th Rebbe in the Rachmastrivka dynasty in 1950, after having immigrated to Israel together with his father and grandfather in 1926. He rebuilt this branch of Chernobyl Chasidut almost from scratch, including founding the Meor Einayim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, after years of suffering and exile. His two sons, Yisrael-Mordechai and Chaim-Yitzchak, became the Rebbes after him, each with thousands of followers, in Jerusalem and Brooklyn respectively.

Rabbi Yoel Baal Shem of Zamostch (1613-1688?) studied five years with great success under Rabbi Joel Sirkes (the "Bach") and another five years under Rabbi Eliyahu Baal Shem of Wurms, the great kabbalist and founder of the "hidden tzadikim" movement, whom he eventually succeeded. He in turn passed the mantle to Adam Baal Shem, who designated Israel Baal Shem Tov as his successor, under whom the movement became revealed in 1734 and known as the "Chasidim." Story #794 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum [5648 - 26 Av 5739 (1888 - August 1979 C.E.)], was part of an extraordinary escape from Bergen-Belsen in 1944, after which he went to the Holy Land. In 1947 he moved to the USA, where he established himself as the Satmar Rebbe, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, doing extensive work in establishing Torah education networks. Famed as the leader of Hungarian Jewry and the largest Chassidic group in the world, and as the spiritual leader of the opposition to a secular-based Jewish government in Israel, he was also one of the greatest Torah scholars of his generation. Story #21, 1027, 1075-- see Archives

Rabbi Yomtov Lippman Heller [1579-1654], is known as the "Tosefos Yomtov," after his major commentary on the Mishna, the most famous of his many scholarly works. As a young man, he studied in Prague under the Maharal and subsequently under Rabbi Eliyahu Baal Shem, a predecessor of the Baal Shem Tov. In Cracow, he succeeded Rabbi Yoel Sirkis, the "Bach" as chief rabbi, and Yaakov Yehoshua, the Sema, as rosh yeshiva. Story #264 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yonasan Eibeshitz (1660 - 21 Elul 1764) was chief rabbi of many cities, including Posen, Prague and Altuna. He died in Metz at over one hundred years old. He authored many important books on Jewish law, scripture and thought. Story #611, 818 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488-1575) was the chief rabbi of Tsfat from 1546. Author of several major works, including Shulchan Aruch ("The Prepared Table"--Code of Jewish Law), a compendium of the laws of the Torah governing a Jew's entire life: personal, social, family, business, and religious. Notwithstanding subsequent revisions, it remains the foremost authoritative work on Jewish law and practice and is universally accepted by Jews the world over. Story #227, 239, 284, 301, 404, 437, 975 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Saragosi (14xx-?) First chief rabbi in Tsfat's recorded history. Laid groundwork in 1490's-early 1500's for Zefat to subsequently become a major center of Torah scholarship. Sometimes known as "Tzadik HaLavan" because of a miracle that occurred in his name. Story #513 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Bagdad, the Ben Ish Hai (27 Av 1834 - 13 Elul 1909), is one of the most important Sephardic Jewish sages in the last two centuries. At the age of 25, he succeeded to his father's rabbinical position and continued in it for 50 years. In 1869 he visited the Holy Land and was offered the position of Rishon LeZion (Sephardic Chief Rabbi), but he did not accept. A great scholar and Kabbalist and highly regarded as a pure and holy man, is rulings are adhered to still today by many Sephardim world-wide. He published many important books on Jewish law, Midrash, Kabbalah and Ethics. Story #1290 -- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Rosen, known as the Rogatchover Gaon [of blessed memory: 5618 - 11 Adar, 5696 (1858 - March 1936 C.E.)], was an unparalleled genius, whose in-depth understanding of all Talmudic literature left the greatest of scholars awestruck. He authored tens of thousands of responsa on the Talmud and Jewish law, of which many have been compiled in the numerous volumes of Tzafnat Paneach. He served for decades as the chief rabbi of the chasidic congregations of the Latvian city of Dvinsk (Daugavpils). Story #1003, 1246-- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld [19 Adar A 5692 (1848 - March 1932 C.E.)] studied under the Katav Sofer at the renowned Pressburg Yeshiva in Austria-Hungary. He was a Torah leader of the Ashkenazi community in the Old City of Jerusalem for nearly sixty years, and became its official head after the death of Rabbi Shmuel Salant in 1909. Story #145, 700, 715-- see Archives

Rabbi Yosef Meir (ben Rabbi Samuel Tzvi) Weiss [18 Adar 5598 - 6 Iyar 5669 (1838 - 1909 C.E.)], founder of the Spinker dynasty, attended the Chasidic masters of Belz, Vizhnitz, Zhidichov and Sanz, and studied under several prominent rabbinical sages in his native Hungary. In 1876 he became a Rebbe in his own right, eventually attracting many thousands of followers including prominent Torah scholars. He authored a number of important books, of which the most well-known is Imrei Yosef on the Torah readings and the festivals. He was also famous as a miracle worker. After many years of being buried abroad, his remains were brought to Israel in 1972 and reinterred in Petach Tikvah; his body was completely intact!

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn [12 Tammuz 5640 - 10 Shvat 5710 (Jan. 1880-June 1950 C.E.)], known as the Rebbe Rayatz, was the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, from 1920 to 1950. He established a network of Jewish educational institutions and Chassidim that was the single most significant factor for the preservation of Judaism during the dread reign of the communist Soviets. In 1940 he moved to the USA, established Chabad world-wide headquarters in Brooklyn and launched the global campaign to renew and spread Judaism in all languages and in every corner of the world, the campaign continued and expanded so remarkably successfully by his son-in-law and successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Story #119, 159, 165, 174, 176, 198, 223, 270, 347, 412, 413, 429, 501, 505, 555, 570, 584, 637, 656, 673, 762, 787, 866, 893, 918, 947, 969, 1001, 1021, 1033, 1050, 1101, 1156, 1157, 1206, 1257, 1268, 1312, 1362-- see Archives

Rabbi Yossel of Torchin (1782-1818) was the son of the Chozeh of Lublin, and some say that the Seer viewed him as his successor. All respected him as a man of great piousness. Story #667, 705-- see Archives

Rabbi Zalman Leib ("Yekutiel Yehuda" in Hebrew) Teitelbaum, the Sigheter Rav (? - 6 Elul 1883) and author of Yetiv Lev, was a chasid of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. He was a grandson of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujheley, the author of Yismach Moshe, who was the forerunner of the Satmar and Sighet dynasties. The present Satmar Rebbe in Williamsberg, NY is his great-grandson and is named after him. Story #552 -- see Archives

Rabbi Zalman -Shimon Dworkin [1901 - Saturday night, Adar 17, 1985] received semicha, rabbinic ordination, the world-famous Rogotchover Gaon, Reb Yosef Rozin. In 1953, Reb Zalman Shimon and his wife arrived in the United States and lived in Pittsburgh, In 1960, they moved to Brooklyn, where he subsequently served as the sole official rabbinical authority of the Crown Heights Chabad community for nearly twenty-five years, until his passing. Still today, many Lubavitcher rabbis throughout the world guide themselves with the halachic (Jewish Law) decisions that Reb Zalman Shimon issued. The Lubavitcher Rebbe would refer people with complicated halachic questions, as well as those with personal dilemmas that needed a bright and caring individual to assist them, to Reb Zalman Shimon. The Rebbe once declared in public, "He is my Moro D'Asra" (my Rav). A significant amount of his writings were published in "Kovetz Razash," including some of his stories of Chabad history in addition to a sampling of his halachic decisions and correspondence. Story #1212 -- see Archives

Rabbi Ze'ev-Wolf Kitzis [c. 5460 - 12 Mar-Cheshvan 5548 (c. 1700 - Oct. 1788)]. served as Rabbi of the community in Toltzin, and later held the position of Av Beis Din (chief rabbinical judge) in the town of Medzibuzh, even before the town had become the founding center of the Baal Shem Tov's chasidic movement. When the Baal Shem Tov moved there,his initial reaction was one of great opposition, although after a short while he became one of his greatest followers. Rabbi Ze'ev-Wolf Kitzis was well-known as a highest level Torah scholar, and as extremely meticulous in all areas of mitzvah observance. He is buried in Medzibuzh, immediately to the right of the Baal Shem Tov.    Story #152, 255, 1016, 1038-- see Archives

Rabbi Ze'ev Wolf of Zhitomir [?-(Purim) 14 Adar 1800] was one of the inner circle of disciples of the Maggid of Mizritch. He is the author of Ohr Hameir, one of the early foundation texts of general Chassidut.

Rabbi Ze'ev-Wolf of Strikov. [5566 - 11 Elul 5651 (1806 - Sept. 1891)], the oldest son of Rabbi Avraham Landau of Chekhanov, was considered one of the wisest and most learned of Menac?em Mendel of Kotsk's disciples, Upon the death of the Kotsker in 1859, many of the chasidim accepted R. Ze'ev Wolf as their Rebbe, although he himself became a follower of the Chidushei HaRim of Ger. In 1878, upon the death of his father, R. Wolf succeeded him as Rebbe in Chekhanov. His discourses on the Torah and festivals were published in Zer Zahav-Keter Torah (1901). A collection of his correspondence, discourses and poems (in Hebrew] was published in 1926. Story #1011 -- see Archives

Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky [1914 - 27 Nissan 1984] was a first cousin of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, with whom she frequently corresponded. Born in Ukraine, at age 14 she immigrated with her family to Israel and settled in Jerusalem. Her six volumes of award-winning poems, all in Hebrew, are now widely translated in numerous languages. One of her poems, L'khol Ish Yesh Shem ("Each Person Has a Name") is recited annually throughout the world on 27 Nissan, the date designated by the Israel government as Holocaust Memorial Day. Story #1324- see Archives

Rabbi Zushya of Anapoli [? - 2 Shvat 5560 (?-Jan. 1800 C.E.)], was a major disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov. The seemingly unsophisticated but clearly inspired "Reb Zusha" is one of the best known and most beloved Chassidic personalities. He and his famous brother, Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk, spent many years wandering in exile, for esoteric reasons. Story #148, 178, 241, 422, 478, 529, 578, 790, 999, 1056, 1100, 1108-- see Archives

Zvi (see Tzvi)

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