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Chapter Two:

Culture and Society

 

The Sages of the Brody Kloiz

by Rabbi I. I. Weissblum

Translated by Yocheved Klausner

 

Introduction

It has been several years that the former residents of Brody in our beautiful city, headed by my friend and relative R'Moshe Rosenblum, were pleading with me to write an article about the sages of the great Kloiz[large house of worship and study] of Brody. I kept postponing this endeavor, because I feared to approach this holy work, and more so after the book about Brody by Prof. N. M. Gelber appeared in print (chapter five, pp. 47–81: The Community and its rabbis – maggids– sages of the Kloiz– holy people). However, when I understood that there was still a great deal to say on the subject, and that, moreover, my opinion differs from his in many places, and there are some places that need correction and places where I thought there is room for more details – I feared that in time the material that I have will be lost and I shall forget many of the details. Therefore I decided to begin this work, albeit with fear and awe.

I must stress that I was able to write only about some of the Sages of the Kloiz, because in Haifa I did not have all the books and sources that I needed to consult. Therefore, my condition was that I shall bring only the details that I found their sources in my own private library or that I obtained from reliable people.[1]

As is well–known, the founder of the Brody Kloizwas the great scholar, our teacher Rabbi Chaim son of R'Avraham Segal [SEGA”L] Landa, cousin of the [author of the book] Noda Biyhuda. Earlier he served Av Beit Din[head of the religious court] in the Podkamin community and then in Brody, the place of residence of his father–in–law, our teacher Rabbi Yakov BABAD, who was great and kindhearted, an honored leader of his people and esteemed head of a respected lineage. He lived under the shield of wisdom as well as money, and founded a Beit Midrash[house of learning, synagogue] that was named after him; he supported it with his own money and money that he collected from the well–to–do and charitable people of Brody.

Great scholars of the Torah would sit days and nights in this Beit Midrashand study the Torah. They were trusted by all, simple folk and scholars alike: even the Noda Biyhudawould not pronounce a verdict or present the solution to a serious problem unless he had “the approbation of the scholars who sit in the Bet Hamidrashof the late R' Yakov BABAD z”l [of blessed memory] and the leaders of the Kloiz.[2](Noda Biyhuda141, 43). The sages of the Kloizwere wise men and great scholars, righteous and holy like angels in Heaven,[3]among them famous Kabbalists. We shall mention some of them:

* R'Eliezer Slipman of Brody, who authored the book Beit Shlomo, a commentary on the Book of Proverbs, with a long introduction on the teachings of the Kabbala (Zholkova, 5540 [ 1779/80]).

* R'Avraham son of R'Israel of Brody, a famous Kabbalist, author of the book Likutei Amarim, a commentary on poetry according to Kabbala (Zolkov, 5500 [1739/40]), and the book Divrei Hamelech, on

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the 613 mitzvot(commandments) of the Torah by way of PARDES[esoteric philosophy], as well as pilpul[sharp debate] on the teachings of the RAMBAM [Maimonides], 2 parts (Livorno 5565, [1804/5]).

* The great scholar and Kabbalist, our teacher Rabbi Menachem–Mendel Zolkover, ABD [head of the religious court] of Stcheritz, son of the rabbi, the Hassid our teacher Efraim Zalman who was the maggid meisharim[righteous preacher] of Zolkov. He was mentioned in the Responsa of R' A. Z. Margaliot: “The member of my family, the famous rabbi, Hassid and Kabbalist, the holy man our teacher Menachem Mendel Zolkover of Brody.” He wrote approbations to the books Margaliot HaTora[Pearls of the Torah] and Toldot Yosef[The history of Yosef] on the book of Shir Hashirim[Song of Songs]. In 5537 [1776/7] his signature was mentioned “signed with other great Kabbalist rabbis, the sages of the great Kloizof the Brody Community.” He was among the first ten signatories of ‘The Kliva Get[divorce]’, together with the great scholar R'Chaim Tzanser. He lived an ascetic life until the age of 70. He devoted all his time to study; he would leave the Beit Hamidrashonly to prepare himself for the Holy Sabbath. He served as Dayan[religious judge] and rabbi in Brody, after the great scholar our teacher R'Moshe of Ostraha. The Noda Biyhudamentions him in his Responsa as “a great and famous rabbi, an excellent Dayanof the holy community of Brody.” He was the grandson of the scholar Efraim Zalman Schorr.[4]

Other famous scholars among the Sages of the Kloiz:

* The scholar and Kabbalist Efraim son of the great scholar Chacham[wise] Zvi z”l. He was a great Tzadik, as can be seen in his approbation for the book Yesod Ha'emuna Veshoresh Ha'avodaby R'Baruch Kossover, written in 5525 [1764/5] while he was living in Brody.

* His brother, the scholar and Kabbalist Nathan, grandfather of the scholar and Kabbalist R'Yakov of Lissa, died in Brody at an old age on 14 of the month of Shevat 5538 [1778].

* His brother–in–law, the scholar and Kabbalist Moshe Rokach, son of the scholar the rabbi of all those living in Exile [Raban shel kol benei hagola= Exilarch] Elazar, ABD of the communities Brody and Amsterdam.[5]

* The scholar and Kabbalist Yeshayahu Halevi Ish Horowitz, the younger brother of the scholars R'Pinchas son of Zvi Halevi Horowitz, author of Ha'hafla'aand R'Shmuel (Shmelke) ABD of the holy community of Nikolsburg in Moravia, who was born to his father by his second wife at an old age; yet his father had the merit to take him to his Huppa[wedding]. He lived a long life and was the student of the great scholar R'Chaim Tzanser.

* The great scholar and Kabbalist our teacher Naftali Hirtz, ABD in the communities of Kovla and Dubno, son of the scholar our teacher Rabbi Zvi Hirsch ABD in Halberstadt.[6]According to the scholar the tzaddik our teacher Rabbi Israel Segal Landa, RABD [head of the religious court] in the community of Zlotchov, in his book Nefesh Chaya, R'Naftali Hirtz left the rabbinic position in Dubno and relocated to Brody. On the ratification of the “Kliva Divorce” his signature appears as well.

* The scholar and Kabbalist our teacher Zvi Horowitz, author of the book Machane Levi, son of the author of Ha'hafla'awas also one of the sages of the Kloiz. In 5537 [1776/7] he wrote approbation for the book Toldot Yosef, mentioned above, with the other Sages of the Brody Kloiz. His final rest is in Stanislav. My friend, the late Rabbi Fishel Horowitz HY”D [may God avenge his blood] son of the scholar Rabbi David HaLevi Ish Horowitz, ABD Stanislav, showed me his gravestone.

Some of the Sages of the Kloizalso spread the BESH”T Hassidism. Apart from those that I shall describe in detail later, I shall mention here:

* The scholar, the holy man our teacher Moshe Leib of Sassov, son of the scholar our teacher Yakov ABD Etinga and the region, was born in Brody, studied in his youth with the KloizSages and later studied seven years with the scholar, the holy man

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R'Shmelke ABD of Nikolsburg. After his teacher died he went to holy Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhansk. He became famous as one of the Tzadikimof his generation.

* The holy man R'Zelig of Brody, student of the Maggidof Miedzyrzec and the Maggidof Zlotchov and the holy Rabbi of Zalowi. He was called the Hassid of Brody.

* Our teacher Moshe Aharon of Brody, Hassid and holy man of the lineage of Zvi z”l, a student of our teacher Rabbi Yakov Yitzhak ztz”l [righteous of blessed memory] of Lublin. Toward the end of his life he went to the Holy Land.

* I had written an article about the scholar Rabbi Efraim Zalman Margaliot z”l of Brody, but as I was informed that my friend the scholar Moshe Steinberg, rabbi of Gav–Yam, is preparing an article for the book, I gave up the idea, and I shall convey here a little of the history of the scholar our teacher Shlomo Kluger, the MAHARSHAK, the Maggidof Brody. Although he was not born in Brody and was not one of the Sages of the Kloiz, his scholarship[7]and his righteousness gave him an honored place among them and his name was strongly connected with the name of the town – Brody of his time was remembered by many thanks to him.

* The scholar and Kabbalist our teacher Shlomo son of the Rabbi Aharon Yehuda RABD and Maggid Meisharimin Brody, gained fame in the world by his many books on all subjects of the Torah. It is said that he authored three hundred and seventy five books equal to the gimatriaof his name Shlomo. He was born in 5543 [1782/3] in the town Kamerov in Russia–Poland. From the age of 12 years he was educated by the great scholar our teacher Yosef Hochgelehrenter,[8]ABD of the community of Zamosc, author of Mishnat Hachamim. He was ABD in the communities of Kolikov and Yosepov, and Maggid Meisharimin Brody, by the recommendation of the scholar our teacher Rabbi E. Z. Margaliot. Later he was accepted as ABD of Brezhan and was welcomed there splendidly with music and dance. My friend the late Torah scholar our teacher Israel Ilan z”l, born in Brezhan, related that he heard from the elders of the town that the day the MAHARSHAK arrived in Brezhan he became ill and for 12 months he was confined to bed. The townspeople made every effort to restore his health: they spent a great deal of money, the women sold their jewelry, they brought the best doctors from Lvov and Vienna – all to no avail. Until one day, the holy R'Meir of Przemyslany z”l, who was one of the admirers of MAHARSHAK, sent a special envoy with the order that the MAHARSHAK immediately leave Brezhan and he will soon be fully healed. And so it happened. He was indeed healed, returned to Brody and served there over fifty years, taught Torah and issued many Takanot[regulations] in spite of the Maskilim[“enlightened”] of Brody. The regulations were accepted in other towns in Galicia as well. From the Brody elders I heard about his special abstinence and holiness. The people went to him when in need or in trouble and related about the miracles that he performed, although he was not officially part of the Hassidic movement. By the way, I shall mention here something that is not known, but it should be remembered: he wrote a book which he named Regulations for the Ritual Slaughterers [SHUV regulations] which was added to the book Torat Hazevachby the scholar our teacher Rabbi Genzfried z”l (Lwow 5608 [1847/8]) and begins “Thus said Shlomo: I was called to the great city, the holy community of Berdichev to correct the matter of the slaughterers; God helped me and I managed to introduce good regulations and good conduct, and some other communities in Russia adopted those regulations as well.” The problem was: in Berdichev there were rumors that one of the slaughterers was not performing the ritual as prescribed in the Halacha and it was decided to invite the scholar MAHARSHAK to hear the testimonies and the arguments of all sides, and so it was.

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He came, investigated and listened to the arguments of the sides and his decision was against the slaughterer: he was fired from his work. Naturally, the slaughterer and his friends did not accept this verdict quietly. They wrote to the great scholars of the generation and they wrote to our teacher rabbi Yekutiel Asher Enzil Tzuzmir z”l (he served, in his old age, as ABD of the community of Stryj, without compensation, since he was very rich), the best student of the author of Ketzot Hachoshen, and he caused a stir in the entire rabbinic world about the verdict of the MAHARSHAK, stating that it was wrong, etc. etc. In his book of Responsa, which I have in my library, there are many queries on this matter, every reply written at great length, as was his custom. He writes bitterly about the MAHARSHAK and the latter replies, as usual, very modestly and explains the reasons tor firing the slaughterer. In 1935, when I made Aliya with God's help, I heard from a great rabbi the end of the story: After several years, the slaughterer decided to leave Berdichev and make Aliya to Eretz Israel. Here he repented and printed a booklet (which the aforementioned rabbi saw with his own eyes) in which he admits that the MAHARSHAK was right and that he had brought false witnesses. Everybody realized then the greatness of the scholar the MAHARSHAK z”l. He died in Tamuz 5629 [August 1869] in Brody. The scholar our teacher I.S. Nathansohn, rabbi of Lwow, said in his eulogy that the MAHARSHAK had forty thousand pages of Torah commentaries; the MAHARSHAK wrote in 5614 [1853/4] that he had written 136 articles on the Talmud and the Poskim[a scholar who decides on Halacha issues], and every article has some 200 pages, and some eight thousand Responsa. Some 30 books appeared in print and hundreds remained as manuscripts. The first book that was published was Sefer Hachaiym, commentaries on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaiym(Zolkov, 5588 [1827/8]). This book had a great impact on the rabbinic world, although the author was quite young. In his approbation to the book, the scholar E. Z. Margaliot of Brody wrote about him: “The rabbi, the sharp scholar – his book is useful to every rabbi and teacher, a good and sensible book of Responsa.” The book includes about 6,000 responsa on the four volumes of the codex of law Shulchan Aruch. His son, the scholar our teacher Avraham Binyamin Kluger z”l served after him as Dayanand Moreh–Tzedek[a Posek– a scholar rabbi who decides on Halcha Issues] in Brody.

Concluding this Introduction, I consider it my duty to mention my brother–in–law (my wife's brother) the scholar and tzaddikMoshe Pinchas z”l, the rabbi of Ruhatin,[9]son of the scholar, the tzaddikour teacher Chaim Halevi Eisen ztz”l ABD of the community of Swiez. He was a great scholar, very erudite, served his Maker with great devotion, his followers and students admired him greatly.

The following Hassidim were famous in Brody as well: the old Hassid R'Moshe Gliener, R'Yehoshua, R'Leibush, R'Meneli the SHUV [slaughterer] and his son R'Shlomo, R'Mendel Parnas. My late friend, his teacher the slaughterer Herman of Swirz, told me that when the rabbi of Ruhatin was nine years old he knew by heart several Tractates. When the rabbis wanted to test him he hid under the bench, so they promised him sweets and asked him references from the Talmud, and he replied: this is on page…. on page…. and gave the first words of the text, etc. etc. They were astounded. He perished in the Holocaust as a young man, with his wife the RabbanitMrs. Pearl, her sister Mrs. Sara, their son Israel and their daughters Hadassa and Miriam–Rivka.

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Rabbi Moshe of Ostraha (Ostrov)

He was unique, one of the greatest of the early Sages of the Kloiz, a famous scholar, a Kabbalist and holy man, of strong opinions.[10]He was called by all R'Moshe of Ostraha, son of the rabbinic scholar our teacher Hillel of Zamozs and grandson of the scholar the Kabbalist our teacher Yakov Temirles (according to R'Moshe of Ostraha in his Introduction to the book Arugat Habosem). He wrote the very good book Arugat Habosem [The Fragrant Flowerbed] on Shir Hashirim[The Song of Songs] – commentaries by way of Kabbala. The book was first printed in 5585 [1824/5] in Zolkov and the holy Rabbi Sar–Shalom of Belz asked his son to buy it for him. When the book was brought to him he was very happy and joyous. The son asked his father “What brought on this joy? When you want to study and attain the real truth you choose only the books of the old scholars – what made you ask for this book?” The father replied: “Know, my son, that when the fragrance of the book spread over the world, the holy BESHT [Rabbi Israel Ba'al Shem Tov], may his merits protect us, said that when the author wrote the book he was united with the soul of King Shlomo [Salomon] may he rest in peace.” And he concluded by saying “Even without this knowledge, which I received from my holy teachers, I knew that Moshe is a very great man, comparable to the old sages.[11]Later, in 5626 [1865/6] his commentaries on the Pentateuch Heichal Habrachaand Otzar Chaiymwere printed, as was his book Darash Moshe, a precious commentary, by the way of Kabbalah on the Book of Psalms (Lwow 5639 [1878/9]), which was bought by our teacher E. Z. Margaliot of Brody.[12]R'Moshe was a Maggid Meisharim[righteous preacher] in Brody and was one of the loyal friends of the BESHT. Every time the BESHT came to Brody, they would spend several hours together. The holy rabbi, the MaggidBinyamin of Zlozhitz quotes many of his commentaries on the Torah.[13]He died on 11 Tevet 5545 [24 December 1784] in Brody and there he was put to eternal rest.

 

Rabbi Chaim Tzanser

A true scholar, the crown of holiness, most famous in his generation, the Kabbalist our teacher Rabbi Chaim of Tzans[14]son of the scholar, the tzaddikour teacher Rabbi Menachem Nachum (died 10 Elul 5560 [31 August 1800]). He was one of the most outstanding of the Sages of the Brody Kloiz, studied with the famous Noda Biyhudaand other great scholars of his time. He was one of the signatories on 10 Tevet 5528 [1768] of the ratification of the Get of Kliva[the Kliva Divorce]. Day and night R'Chaim studied the Torah and had special hours dedicated to charity and Free–of–Interest loans. He would say: Why do the Tractates of the Talmud begin with Page 2 and not Page 1? To teach you, that even if you turn nights into days and study the Torah day and night, do not be conceited, since it shows that you have not studied Page 1 yet, and you should start from the beginning. The scholar R'Chaim Tzanser was the head of the speakers on every holy issue, not only in Brody and surroundings but also in the entire Jewish and rabbinic world.[15]It is written on the cover of his book Ne'dar Bakodeshon Pirkei Avot[Wisdom of the Fathers], published in Lwow in 5622 [1861/2], which was in the private library of R'E. Z. Margaliot of Brody “One of the great Elder Scholars, Hassidim of the Old School, who are sitting before God in the

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Great Kloizof Brody, among the scholars known as the Sages of the Kloiz.[16]Our teacher R'Azriel Levin wrote in the Introduction that the BESHT praised him greatly, saying that his holy soul possessed a spark of the soul of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakay. He died on 6 Shevat 5543 [1783]. He left a son who was a genius and a tzaddik, our teacher Rabbi Shmuel Aharon, ABD in Matchov. Of his students we shall mention the scholar R'Elazar Rokach, father of the holy scholar Rabbi Sar–Shalom of Belz and son of the scholar our teacher Shmelke, son of the scholar Rabbi Elazar Rokach ABD Amsterdam and son–in–law of the Kabbalist the scholar Yehuda Zundel Remrezh, who was also one of the students of R'Chaim Tzanser and was a kabbalist and a tzaddik.

 

Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Horowitz

The scholar Kabbalist Yitzhak Halevi, son of the scholar Kabbalist Yakov Yukel Horowitz ABD Kharkhov, Gluga, Brody and AHW (Altona, Hamburg, Wandsbek), was one of the greatest of the Sages of the Brody Kloiz. He was born in 5475 [1714/5] in the town Bolechov when his father the scholar Yakov Yukel was ABD there. In his later years he was ABD of Kharkhov and the Ludmir district.

After the death of his father, he was appointed ABD of greater Glugau. He served there as ABD six years and in the seventh year he left the position of rabbi and returned to his town, Brody. In 5524 [1763/4], after the death of the scholar Kabbalist Nathan Neta, ABD Brody, he was appointed ABD of Brody, and in 5525 [1764/5] he was again accepted as ABD of AHW, after the death of the scholar Kabbalist Rabbi Yehonatan Eyebeschutz z”l, author of Kreiti Ufleiti, Urim Vetumim, Ye'arot Devashand more. While he lived in Brody, before he was appointed ABD, he wrote in 5511 [1750/1] approbation to the Amsterdam Talmud. In 5514 [1753/4] he wrote approbation to the books Tosefet Shabatand Ateret Rosh. His writings can be found in the book Hafla'aand Hamikne, in the Responsa of Rabbi Chaim Cohen, in the Ya'vetz Chaimqueries item 66, in Noda Biyhuda, in Pitchei Teshuva Even Ha'ezeritem 46, etc. etc. Yitzhak died on the 6thof the month of Iyar 5527 [1766/7], in Altona, at the age of 52. He was the son–in–law of R'Yakov BABED of Brody, one of the founders of the Brody Bet Hamidrash. The other data and events about our Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi are recorded in the book of the History of the Horowitz Family.

 

R'Naftali son of R'Levi [17]

The scholar, Kabbalist, our teacher Naftali son of Levi of Brody, author of the books Ateret Shlema, Bet Beit Levi, commentaries on the Talmud and RASHI (Zolkov, 5492 [1732]), was one of the Sages of the Kloiz. In 5537 [1776/7] he wrote approbation for the book Toldot Yosef(A commentary on Shir Hashirimby the way of Kabbala by R'Yosef Dov ABD Liskow) with other Sages.[18]The scholar, our teacher Efraim Z. Margaliot, in his Responsa Beit Efraim, Tractate Gittin [Divorces], wrote, in the middle of the response “I heard the same commentary on RASHI on the Torah Portion Vayeshev[concerning Yosef brothers' conspiracy to kill him] in the name of the late rabbi, our teacher Naftali ben Levi.

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Rabbi Avraham Gershon Kitover

The great scholar, the Kabbalist, the famous Hassid, our teacher Avraham Gershon Kitover, son of the scholar our teacher Efraim, who was judge and moreh tzedek in Kitov, was one of the Sages of the Kloizat the time of the Noda Biyhuda. The Noda Biyhudadescribed him as “the darling of my eye and beloved of my heart, a wise man who is superior to a prophet, beloved on earth and desirable in Heaven, the wondrous rabbi, erudite in Torah and Hassidism, wise and perfect, a holy Hassid, a luminary of the children of Israel, a supporting pillar and a strong hammer, our honored teacher Avraham Gershon, may his light shine.” The author of Pri Megadim[R' Yosef son of Meir Teomim] writes that he has heard from his father z”l that the Hassid R'Gershon Kitover said that he came to Jerusalem[19]and when he saw several nations living there in peace he wept, saying “Now I understand the verse I see every city (Jerusalem on earth) built and living peacefully, while God's city (Jerusalem in Heaven) is humiliated and ruined.” In the book Hibat Yerushalaiymit is written about him “I heard people tell that when the Rabbi R'Gershon Kitover recited Lamentations in the place where the Temple once stood, he fainted several times, and people could barely revive him. The scholar rabbi Yehonathan Eyebeshutz z”l, when he sent amulets to the Kabbalist our honored teacher Chaim Vilna, quoted the sages of Konstantina, who said about our teacher Rabbi Gershon: “How great is his wisdom in the Science of Kabbala.” The holy scholar, author of Toldot Yaakov Yosef quotes his commentaries on the Ha'azinuTorah Portion. By the request of the BESHT he met with the holy Rabbi R'Chaim Atar. It is known that the BESHT wanted to meet him, and he reached Istanbul (on his way to Eretz Israel) but, against his will, he had to return. R'Avraham Gershon wrote to the BESHT greetings from the author of Or Chaiym[Chayim Atar] and informed him that the letter was received. At the same time he ordered him not to try to set out on the journey again, since “we do it only once” [from the Passover Haggadah].[20]He set up his residence in Hebron, and used to say that living one day in Eretz Israel is valued by the Master of the Universe more than sixty years in the Diaspora. Later he relocated to Jerusalem and died after a few years. He was buried in Jerusalem and next to him his sons R'Chaim Aharon and R'Yakar, who came to Eretz Israel ten years later, and his grandson.

 

Rabbi Meir Margaliot

The scholar Kabbalist Rabbi Meir Margaliot, son of the scholar Rabbi Zvi–Hirsh Margaliot (ABD of the community of Yazlowitz and the province of Podolia), was ABD of Lwow and later ABD of Ostraha [Ostrov]. He wrote the book Meir Netivim, Part 1 Responsa and Part 2 commentaries on the Talmud and nice interpretations of the Torah Portions (Polnoy, 5551 [1790/1]). He studied with his uncle (his mother's brother), the scholar Arie Leibish Auerbach, ABD Stanislav. The BESHT used to say about him

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that he had in him a spark of Abayey [a great Amora a Talmudic sage of the Babilonian Talmud], and the great scholar author of Noda Biyhudarefused to sign the release of a “aguna” [grant a divorce to a woman of a missing husband without his approval. He was the son of the scholar Mordechai Mordush, ABD of Bamberg and the region, son of the scholar our teacher David, nephew (son of the sister) of the author of Turei Zahav. At the end of his book there are new interpretations on the Tractate Berachotfrom the great book Beer Yitzhak, written by his elder brother, the sharp scholar our teacher Yitzhak Dov ABD Yazlowitz, as well as some collections written by his father, mentioned above. He wrote also the book Derech Hatov Vehayashar[The way of goodness and honesty] (Polnoy 5555, [1794/5]), Kutonot Or[coats of light] on the 613 commandments (Berditchev, 5576 [1815/6]) and the book Sod Yachin Uvoaz[The secret of Yachin and Boaz (the two columns in the Jerusalem Temple)] (Ostrov 5554 [1793/4]). He was one of the greatest scholars of the KloizSages, and one of the loyal followers of the BESHT, as he testifies in his book Sod Yachin Uvoaz: “…The way I was taught Torah and Hassidism by my friend the rabbi and Hassid, an example for the entire generation, my teacher Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov z”l” and further “from the day I met my teacher my friend the Rav and Hassid Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, may his soul be bound in the bond of the living, I knew with certainty that he was a leader with wisdom and purity, a Hassid and a Tzaddik, who revealed secrets for me, and many wondrous things are being told about him.” He wrote in the book Shemen TovPart 2, 106 that the BESHT z”l said that there were three families who are pure generation after generation “as He made the Covenant with Abraham and His pledge to Yitzhak and Yakov”: 1. Margaliot, 2. Shapira, 3. Horowitz. He loved the author of Me'ir Netivimand the holy Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz and the holy Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Halevi Horowitz ABD Tchortkov, father of the scholars Pinchas Halevi Horowitz, author of Hafla'a Vehamikne, ABD Frankfurt am Main and the holy scholar R'Shmelke Halevi Horowitz, ABD Nikolsburg.

His sons were famous scholars – the scholar Shaul ABD Lublin, the scholar Betzalel who took his father's place as ABD and head of the Yeshiva in Ostrov and the scholar Nachman, ABD Polnoy.

 

Rabbi Yechezkel Landa

The scholar our teacher Yechezkel Landa son of Yehuda Halevi, one of the greatest rabbis of his generation, was of a much honored family of special lineage,[21]famous by the name of his book Noda Biyhuda. He was born on 18 Cheshvan 5474 [1714] in Apta [Opatov], to his father R'Yehuda son of Zvi Hirsch, one of the leaders of the town and member of the Council of the Four Lands. Until the age of 13 years he studied Torah with Rabbi Yitzhak Aizik Halevi of Ludmir. When he was 14 he went to the holy community of Brody to study with the Sages of the Kloiz, since it was known that this city was full of scholars and writers and that Torah spread from there to the entire Jewish people. He studied with a group of talented and God fearing young people – real lions in the study of the Torah. When he was 18 he married Miss Liba, the daughter of Yakov of Dubno and went to live in the house of his father–in–law [as was the custom]. He persuaded his father–in–law to move to Brody and the latter was accepted as a member of the Sages of the Kloiz. In 5494 [1733/4] he was appointed dayan[religious judge] without compensation and gained fame. All the scholars of his time would ask his advice – he possessed great knowledge, in the wisdom of the Torah, as well as in research and philosophy and reasoning. In addition to his wisdom and righteousness, he was kind hearted, charitable and always attentive to the needs of the community.

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At the age of thirty he was appointed ABD of Yampol and served there about ten years, and in 5515 [1754/5] he was appointed ABD and head of the Yeshiva in the great city of Prague[22]after Rabbi David Oppenheim. The rooms of the Yeshiva were too small to contain the many students from far and near who came to hear his teachings and they had to hold classes in the courtyard of the synagogue. Study never stopped in his house all his life, even on the Sabbath eve and on fasting days. Contrary to the custom of the heads of the Yeshiva, who began the “semesters” on the first day of the months Cheshvan and Iyar, he would open the study right after the Holidays of Sukkot and Pesach. Every day he would give a lesson on Talmud, and Fridays he would learn with his students the Weekly Portion with RASHI. He loved his students as a father loves his sons and was happy with every success in their study. Among his students were great scholars – R'Avraham Danzig author of Chayey Adamand Chochmat Adam, R'David Deutch author of Ohel David and R'Eliezer Flekless author of the Responsa Teshuva Me'ahava. R'Yechezkel was courageous, stood with pride before kings, spoke wisely and the efforts he made for his people were never rejected. During the Seven–Year–War, when the Austrian Empress Theresa fought against the king of Prussia Frederick II and the city of Prague was under siege, he did not listen to the advice of some of the elders of the community, who left Prague and asked him to join them; he remained in town and made every effort to help his people: he asked the rich to help the poor and forbade the merchants to raise prices. In 5505 [1744/5] the Jews of Prague had been expelled from the city, following a libel that they aided the Prussians in their war on Austria; this time Rabbi Yechezkel was cautious and issued a message to the Jews, stating that any Jew who will help the enemy will be declared traitor and will be excommunicated from the community. He also composed a special prayer for the welfare of the empire and royalty, to be recited in every synagogue at the morning and evening prayers. He ordered to print it in the German language and distributed thousands of copies. The Empress appreciated his activity, and when she visited Prague at the end of the war and the rabbi went to welcome her and praise her for her victory she thanked him, in front of all her ministers, for the loyalty to his country. In 5549 [1788/9], when the emperor Joseph II issued the decree ordering the Jews to recruit to the army, he encouraged the members of his community to obey the order. On 16 Iyar, he spoke to the first 25 soldiers in the presence of many of the residents of the city and army officers. He encouraged the soldiers and hoped that they will keep the Jewish mitzvoth [commandments] while in the army. R'Yechezkel died on 17 Iyar 5553 [19 April, 1793] in Prague. He asked not to be overly praised in the eulogies, and not to erect an expensive stone on his grave, only a simple stone costing no more than 18 Gulden and not to engrave on it honorary titles. So it was done, and they engraved on his tombstone only “The famous rabbi our teacher Yechezkel Halevy.” It was told that in his room he had a special cabinet that was always locked and he never let the key out of his hand. Even his family did not know what he kept in that cabinet. After he died they opened it and found the Sefer Hazoharand the writings of the ARI z”l [the great Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Luria] and some of his own notes and remarks on Kabbala. In several places in his book, he mentions Kabbala subjects.[23]He introduced several regulations, among them regulations against exaggerated luxury, which “provokes envy among the Goyim and causes the raise of taxes.” He also reproved the members of his community, not to be like the goyim [gentiles] by going to the theater.

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In the matter of the “Kliva Divorce” R'Yechezkel stood by the scholar R'Israel Lifschitz, who arranged the divorce, contrary to the opinion of the scholar R'Avraham Avish, the Rabbi of Frankfurt. As a result, the leaders of the Frankfurt Community decided, on 9 Cheshvan 5522 [6 November 1761] not to appoint as rabbi of their town neither R'Yechezkel nor any of his descendants, also not to allow them to preach in their synagogue, in case they visited their town. At the time of the great dispute between R'Yakov Emden and R'Yehonatan Eybeschutz, R'Yechezkel published, on 8 Iyar 5512 [22 April, 1752] a letter, asking the rabbis and sages of his generation, to calm down the quarrel. In his opinion, the amulets that R'Yonathan was suspected of using were fake amulets, and he complained that the religious court of justice listened to testimonies in his absence. For the sake of peace, he suggested to conceal the amulets. At the same time, he declared that the honor of R'Yonathan was restored and he can continue to teach Torah (this angered R'Yakov Emden). When he died, he was eulogized and praised (according to the book Tziyun Lenefesh Chaya) “As one cannot deny the light of the sun at noontime so one cannot deny his greatness and his good qualities.”

His sons that are known to us: 1. The scholar our teacher Rabbi Yakov'ka Landa of Brody; his commentaries were quoted in the first edition of Noda Biyhudaand given as an appendix to the second edition. In 5544 (1784) he wrote an approbation to the Pentateuch edition. He died on 13 Av [6 August July] 5583 (1823) in Brody. His son was Rabbi Yehuda Landa of Brody.[24]2. The scholar our teacher Rabbi Shmuel Landa, who inherited the position of his father in Prague. Some of his Responsa are incorporated in Noda Biyhudaand his new interpretations in Ahavat Zion. He was one of the fighters against the new movements, which aimed to introduce changes in religion and education. 3. Rabbi Israel Landa of Brody, father of the famous scholar our teacher Rabbi Elazar Landa Brod, author of the famous book Yad Hamelech, new interpretations on the RAMBAM (Maimonides) (Lwow, 5582 [1821/2]). Brody elders would spoke about his righteousness, his wisdom and his holiness. The scholar MAHARSHAK z”l related that several hours before his death he stood outside in front of his house, which was far from the house of R'Elazar, and yet he could hear him say in a very loud voice his confession [Viduy] and Ani Ma'amin. He died in 5591 [1830/1] in Brody. His grandson, the righteous scholar R'Israel Landa z”l ABD Zlotchov, had been one of the respected and rich residents of Kiev, but had to flee the town at the time of the Beilis trial, because he was Zeitzov's [a witness in Beilis trial] brother–in–law. In the introduction of his book Nefesh Chayaon the Tractate Beitzahe writes at length about the history of this precious family – the Landa family – and its pedigree.

 

Rabbi David Tevil

The scholar Kabbalist our teacher David Tevil,[25]born in Brody, was one of the greatest Sages of the Kloiz. He was known as a great genius, most brilliant in Talmudic debate. At first he served as ABD in Kharkov and later was accepted as ABD and Head of Yeshiva in Lissa. He studied with all great scholars of his time, as the author of Noda Biyhuda, the author of Beit Meirand the author of Or Israel. He wrote the book Michtav LeDavid. His signature is on the ratification of the Kliva Divorce, with the signatures of R'Chaim Tzanser and others. On 13 Sivan 5505 [13 June 1745] he wrote approbation to the book Arugat Habosemby R'Moshe of Ostraha [Ostrov]. He wrote approbation to the book Divrei Shalom Ve'emetby R'Naftali Hirtz Wiesel as well, but

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after he understood the intentions of the author and the devastating results of the new changes in education, he went openly against them. In his sermon on Shabat before Passover [Shabat Hagadol] 5542 [1782] he severely criticized the supporters modifications. Following his sermon, Wiesel wrote his booklet Rechovot. He died on 16 Tevet 5552 [11 January, 1792] in Lissa and the scholar R'Eliezer Flekeles eulogized him; the eulogy appears in his book Olat Chodesh.

 

Rabbi Noach Avraham Halevi Heller The holy scholar our teacher Noach Avraham Halevi Heller[26]son of the holy scholar Moshe Aharon[27]ABD Sniatyn, son of the scholar our teacher R'Meir[28]ABD Bradshyn, son of the scholar R'Avraham[29]Head of the Yeshiva in the community of Skalia (near Stryj), son of the holy scholar, Head of the Dispora Jews Yom–Tov Lipman Heller. He authored great books: a. on the Talmud, b. Reponsa, c. New interpretations, legends and morals. “He intended to print them, but on Sunday 13 Tamuz 5519 [8 July 1759][30]robbers attacked the town Bolochov, robbed and killed several Jews and burned the town etc. etc., and he was miraculously saved since he hid under the bed.” All his books burned down, so he wrote a new book on the Torah Zerizuta DeAvraham(Lwow 5660 [1900]). He was one of the great Sages of the Kloiz, “from the den of lions” and he revealed his secrets to his loyal student the holy Man of God Rabbi Shmuel of Ostrov.[31]R'Noach Avraham was the student of the maggid of Miedzyrzec. At the death of the scholar Moshe Shoham son of R'Dan, he was appointed ABD of the community of Dalina. He died on 18 Elul 5546 [11 September 1786] in Bradschein and was buried there. His sons:
  1. Our teacher Rabbi Meir,[32]Maggid Meisharimin Brody, died on 25 Iyar 5540 [30 May 1780].
  2. The scholar our teacher Rabbi Avraham Yehuda ABD Toms, is buried in the holy city of Tzfat [Safed].
  3. The rabbi and Hassid our teacher Shmuel Zvi, died 3 Nisan 5547 [22 March 1787] and was buried in Brody.[33]

 

Rabbi Meshulam Igra

The scholar Kabbalist R'Meshulam Igra lived several years in Brody and studied in the Great Kloiz. The Sages of the Kloizmuch appreciated his greatness and wrote about him “all the sages of the generation are not comparable to him.” R'Meshulam was born in 5510 [1749/50] in Butchatch, the son of the great rabbi our teacher Shimshon. He was raised and educated by his grandfather, the scholar Kabbalist Efraim Fishel, ABD Kolomea, son of the scholar Meshulam, son of the scholar Yeshayahu, judge and head of the Yeshiva in Lwow, son of the scholar Kabbalist Aharon Meshulam of Lowicz, grandson of the scholar author of Meginei Shlomoand the scholar our teacher Meshulam son of Avraham Salzburg ABD Lwow, who died there on 2 Iyar 5405 [18 April 1645] and was laid there to eternal rest. The scholar Rabbi Meshulam Igra was very talented – he was “like a cemented cistern that never loses a drop” [from Pirkei Avot– Ethics of the Fathers].

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It was said about him that it was his custom to study Talmud without the commentaries of RASHI and Tosfot, and explain the passage according to his own reasoning. Later he would read RASHI, and seeing that his interpretation and the Tossfotinterpretation were different from his own, he would try to explain why RASHI did not explain as he did, and why the Tosfot differs from RASHI. From all these deliberations he wrote his great book Igra Rama.[34]The BESHT, when he once saw him on his father's shoulders, took him in his arms and said to all present in the room: You see, this child's fresh soul emanates directly from Heaven, and it was never in this world in a former incarnation.[35]When he was ten years old, he spoke in the great synagogue in Brody, in front of scholars and sages, in the presence of ABD Brody the famous scholar R'Yitzhak Halevi Ish–Horowitz, also known as R'Itzik'l Hamburger. The child argued with him publicly about a certain issue and won.[36]When he was 13 he married the daughter of the respected rich man, our teacher R'Shmuel Bik of Brody and continued his perpetual study of the Torah at the Kloiz. Several years later, his wife asked for a divorce, based on the argument “Can one live with a Torah Scroll?” He accepted, and confessed that he was punished because he did not marry the daughter of one of the great rabbis of the generation. Then he married Miss Rivka Ester, the daughter of the aforementioned scholar R'Itzik'l. When he was seventeen he was appointed ABD of Tisminetz, one of the outstanding and important communities in the world of study. He had many students, who later became famous scholars: the scholar our teacher Rabbi Yakov of Lissa, author of Chavat Da'atand Netivot Hamishpat, the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Mordechai Banet ABD Nikolsburg, the son of his brother–in–law the scholar Kabbalist Arie Leibush Halevi Ish Horowitz ABD Stanislav, the scholar Arie Leib author of Ketzot Hachoshen, the scholar Kabbalist Naftali Hirtz Hakohen of Tisminetz, who was called R'Hertzele Katchiger (his responsum was printed in the Responsa book of Rabbi Meshulam Igra, Choshen Mishpat 24), the scholar Kabbalist Nathan Neta ABD Podhajce, the son of his brother–in–law the holy scholar our teacher Rabbi Naftali Zvi Horowitz, ABD of the community Rufshitz, the scholar Kabbalist Baruch Frenkel ABD Leipnik, author of the book Baruch Ta'am, the scholar Kabbalist Moshe Mintz ABD of Old Buda, author of the book MAHARAM Mintz, the scholar Kabbalist Shlomo, one of the great sages of Tisminetz, who was appointed in 5554 [1793/4] ABD of Pressburg, died on the second day of Hol Hamoed[intermediate days] of the Holiday of Sukkot 5563 [1803] in Pressburg and was laid there to eternal rest.

 

Rabbi Moshe Mintz

The scholar Kabbalist R'Moshe Mintz, dayanand moreh tzedek[religious judge and posek] in Brody, was born in Podolia.[37]He was an in–law of the great scholar the KHATAM Sofer and is mentioned in his Responsa Even Ha'ezer 122. He studied with the scholar author of the book Hemdat Shlomo. The scholar author of Noda Biyhudamentioned him in his Responsa. Noda Biyhudawrote about him, that he was the exemplary scholar of the entire generation, and according to his recommendation he was appointed in 5550 [1789/90] ABD of Budapest (Old Oboda), after the position of rabbi in that city was not filled for the duration of nine years, from the day of the death of the scholar Kabbalist Nathan Ginsburg, who was so great in Torah and in wisdom that the members of the community could not find a suitable replacement, until they found R'Moshe Mintz. He was respected by all people in town and vicinity, and rabbis from far and near turned to him with questions. As ordained rabbi in the community of

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Brody, he arranged in 5540 [1779/80] the get [divorce] for the community leader R'Elyakim Getzl of Lebertov.[38]For 41 years he served as ABD in Old Oboda, Budapest and died there in 5591 [1830/1]. He was buried in the old cemetery there, and his gravestone, as well as the gravestone of the rabbi who preceded him, are standing there to this day. Some of his Responsa are printed, titled Responsa of MAHARAM Mintz.

 

Rabbi Meir Kristianpoller

He was one of the greatest scholars of his generation, ABD and Head of the Yeshiva in Brody, at the time of the scholar author of the book Beit Efraim. Of the many responsa and interpretations in all subjects of the Torah that he has written, only one book was printed, titled Yad Meir, about some of the subjects of the Talmud. In the Responsa Noda BiyhudaRabbi Meir was praised, while he was still ABD in Kristianpol (this was the origin of his name Kristianpoller). He was the son of the scholar Kabbalist Zvi Hirsch, ABD Bylkamin, who also left many manuscripts, but only one book was printed, Meorot Zvi, on the Talmud. The scholar Kabbalist R'Meir was one of the best students of the holy scholar our teacher R'Shmelke Horowitz ABD Nikolsburg. Rabbi Meir died 15 Nissan 5575 [25 April, 1815]. It was told that Rabbi Meir married his second wife and she bore him every year a son, but, God help us, no one survived. Once, after she had a son again, the Brody Hassidim gave her the advice, that if she wants her son to survive and live a long life, she should invite the holy R'Moshe Leib of Sassov to the Brit [circumcision ceremony]. When her husband R'Meir returned from the synagogue she said that she wished to invite Rabbi Moshe Leib to the Brit, but he refused. She swore that she will not allow the baby to be circumcised unless R'Moshe Leib will be present, and he did not have a choice but to invite R'Moshe Leib. Before the Morning Prayer he went to the river, as was his custom, to perform the ritual immersion [tevila]. It was winter and very cold. After immersion he washed his hands and went to the synagogue, where no stove was burning, and prayed, with only his lips moving, as was his custom. When he reached the passage Vayevarech David, the people in the synagogue saw drops of sweat bubbling on his shoes. The newborn boy survived and lived a long life; he was the scholar Kabbalist Yechiel Michel Kristianpoller, who became ABD Brody and vicinity.


Notes

    Introduction

  1. The books that I used, besides the books of Halakhaand Midrashmentioned in the detailed sections about the great rabbis, are: Shem Hagdolim, A and B, Ne'dar Bakodesh, History of the Poskim, Toldot Yosef, Or Hayashar(the Kliva divorce), Dvar Yom Beyomo, Encyclopedia of the History of Great Jewish Scholars, Writings of the Geonim, Israel Encyclopedia(Eshkol), Otzar Israel, Arim Ve'Imahot BeIsrael(Brody) and more. At times I quoted word by word; at times I related the contents, in short. Return
  2. The son–in–law of R'Chaim, the great Kabbalist scholar our teacher R'Shmuel of Brody was one of the greatest sages of the Kloiz. He was the youngest son of the scholar R'Pini Yehoshua, who mentions him as the “head of Bava Metzi'aand my wise son,
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    the honored teacher Shmuel Hirtz.” He died in Brody in 5521 [1760/1] without offspring. Return
  1. In the words of the scholar, the tzadikRabbi S. Halberstam ztz”l, ABD of the community of Lwow, in his approbation to the book Zrizuta DeAvraham. Return
  2. The father of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Alexander Sender Schorr, author of Tevu'at Shorand Simla Hadashamentions him often in his books, see section 10. He was teacher in Lwow, and because of the war with Sweden he moved to Brody. He became famous among the sages and leaders of the community as a holy man and great scholar. The book Ma'a lot Hayochasinrelates that “Once a group of Jesuit seminary students who used to rob people spread through the Lwow streets and began a riot, stealing everything and beating all those who were in their way. While he was trying to escape, one of the robbers caught him and saw a golden earring on his ear (as was the custom with a young child). The robber caught the earring and tore it off his ear. The earring was unbroken, and when the robber looked at the ear he saw that it was whole as well. He was terrified and said to him: “you are a holy man, a man of god. Come with me and I'll hide you in my house”. Three days he hid him in his stables and supplied him with only dry bread. When the riots subsided, he went to the holy community of Brody and prayed the Ne'ilaprayer. Next day he said that he was shown that “the people of Lwow were saved.” He died on the 4thof the month of Iyar 5497 [5 May 1737]. Return
  3. The scholar Kabbalist our teacher Elazar Rokach, who was called also Margaliot from Krakow, son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Shmuel Shmelke Margaliot, ABD of the holy community of Elkish, son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Eliezer Margaliot ABD of the holy community of Lovmela (mentioned in the Responsa Beit Efraimsection Orach Chaiymitem 23 and section Sha'arei Tshuva, item 551), son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Menachem Mendel Margaliot Stengen, ABD of the holy community of Przemyslany, son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Shmuel Margaliot ABD of the holy community of Pozen (mentioned in the book Vikuach Maiym Chaiym), son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Moshe Margaliot, leader in the community of Prague, son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Yitzhak Aizik Margaliot ABD if the holy community of Nuerenberg, author of Seder Gitin, son of the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Moshe Marmonda of the leaders of Livorno; the name of his wife was Margala and their sons called themselves Margaliot in her name (see details in the book Anaf Etz Avot, item 202 and following and from 134 and following – about the lives of the scholars of that lineage, described at length). Among his descendants were the sages of the Kloiz of the famed Belz dynasty. The scholar Kabbalist our teacher Elazar Rokach was ABD of the holy community of Brody. In 5474 [1713/4] he wrote an approbation to the book Zera Baruch(Zera Baruch3, Frankfurt am Oder), in 5481 [1720/1] to the book Ateret Zvion Choshen Mishpatand in 5491 [1730/1] to the book Simla Chadashaand Tvuat Shcorr. He was ABD in several communities in Poland before he was appointed ABD in Brody, and in 5468 [1707/8] he was ABD in Rakov, Lithuaia (as can be seen in his book Arba'a Turei Even, item 19). On 27 Elul 5495 [14 September 1735]) he was accepted as Rav of the Ashkenazi holy community in Amsterdam. In honor of his arrival they issued a silver memorial coin, on the obverse was his image and the inscription “Our teacher Rabbi Elazar son of our teacher Rabbi Shmuel ABD of the holy community of Brody” (in Amsterdam, he was called R'Elazar of Brody). On the reverse – “Was welcomed here on Wednesday 27 Elul 5495 for long and good days. Pray for the well–being of the rulers”. R'Yakov Emden wrote about this coin in his book She'ilat Ya'vetzPart 1 item 170 (Altona 5509 [1749]) “It happened in our time that when the rabbi our teacher Elazar z”l of Brody was appointed as ABD of the holy community of Amsterdam, one person wanted to publicized the Rabbi's name by issuing
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    a silver coin in his honor. When the coin was shown to me, I was taken aback and I wondered, and asked myself whether this was done according to the wish of the rabbi and with his approval, since he was known as a great Hassid in his generation. I looked at the coin and I saw the shape of his head and chest with his exact face. In my opinion this is totally and absolutely forbidden, whether he made it for himself or others, made it for him, particularly if they were Jewish. I knew with certainty (and said so) that the rabbi did not know and did not agree since God ensures that no injustice would happen to a righteous man. As I heard, the authorities ordered to conceal it so that “it would not be seen” (my friend and relative, the late R'Naftali Donner z”l, told me that he also has seen the coin). In 5496 [1735/6] in Amsterdam he wrote approbation to the book Zera Israelon the tractates Rosh Hashanaand Megilaby the scholar Kabbalist our teacher Yakov, author of Rosh Yosef, as well as to the books Reshit Chochma(Amsterdam 5497 [1736/7]) and Ohel Yaakovby our teacher Rabbi I. Sasporto and the book Tashbetz(Amsterdam printing), in 5499 [1738/9] on the books by Maimonides that were printed in Yesnitz and the Responsa book by Rabbi Elazar. In that period he was admitted as Nasi[head of the Sanhedrin] in Eretz Israel and on the 10thof the month of Sivan he left Amsterdam to go to the Holy Land. While passing through Trier, on 24 Sivan he wrote approbation to the book Beit Hillelon the Torah Portions, by Rabbi Hillel son of Rabbi Mordechai from Tisminetz. On Hol Hamoed[intermediate days] Sukkot 5501 [1741] he arrived in Tzefat (Safed), may it be built and renewed soon in our days Amen. When he realized that many of the respected people of Tzefat study the book Hemdat Hayamimattributed by some people to Nathan Ha'azati[a follower of the Massiah pretender – Shabtai Tzvi], he protested fiercely. As a consequence of the dispute, his days were shortened. He planned to go abroad, but before he could realize that he died in 5502 [1742] in Tzefat and was put there to eternal rest (according to the book Tevu'ot Ha'aretzit was on Hol HamoedSukkot, but according to the book She'erit Israelit was on Shabat Bereshit[the first Shabat after Sukkot]), although in his will he asked to be buried in Hebron. His books: Sefer Ma'ase Rokeach, a commentary on the Torah with an additional booklet about the Mishkan[Tabernacle] and commentaries on the Mishna; Turei Evenin four volumes, which includes 24 responsa and new commentaries on some Tractates and on the RAMBAM [Maimonides]. Added are the teachings of his son in 5499 [1738/9] in Amsterdam and some commentaries by Rabbi Yehuda Leib, son of Rabbi Moshe mentioned above, ABD in the community of Zbarov, published by Rabbi Naftali Hirtz of Brody son of Rabbi Moshe (Lemberg 5549 [1788/9]). He left two sons: 1. The scholar Kabbalist Shalom, ABD Tiktin, who was the son–in–law of his uncle the scholar Kabbalist Yehoshua Horowitz, ABD Horodna (his mother, wife of R'Elazar, was the daughter of the scholar Kabbalist Shmelke HaLevi Horowiitz and the sister of R'Yehoshua). 2. The scholar Kabbalist Moshe ABD Zlotchov (his first wife was the daughter of our teacher Rabbi Naftali Margaliot of Brody and his second wife was the daughter of the Cacham Zvi). In his approbation to the book Birkat Yosefby Rabbi Moshe Teomim, father of the author of Pri Megadim(Zolkov 5507 [1746/7]) he signed: Moshe son of the scholar and Hassid rabbi of Eretz Israel, our teacher Elazar, lived in the communities of Zlotchov and surroundings. The scholar Kabbalist R'Elazar had a brother, a great scholar and a famous Tzadikby the name of R'Aharon Rokach, who was the father–in–law of the holy TzadikR'Elimelech of Lizhansk. Rabbi Aharon had a son, a scholar and Tzadikwho was ABD in the holy community of Bendin; the holy great scholar R'Yitzhak Aizik of Komarno z”l wrote in his book Atzei Edenthat he served 30 years in Bendin and in his time there were no questions on unpleasant subjects,
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    and there was never a fire in town, because he protected the town against such events. Return
  1. His mother was the sister of the scholar Rabbi Chaim Cohen Rappaport, ABD Lwow. Return
  2. The scholar R' Leibush Nathansohn, father of the scholar R'Yosef Shaul, was one of his great admirers. It is told that the scholar R'Tzadok HaKohen said about him that the world could not grasp his greatness. Return
  3. The father–in–law of the scholar Kabbalist R'Moshe (son of the scholar Kabbalist Zvi, ABD of the AHW [Altona, Hamburg, Wandsbek] communities), who was in his youth ABD of Tomashov and later resided in Brody. He died there in 5609 [1848/9] at the age of 84. His commentaries were printed in the booklet Chut Hameshulashas an appendix to the book Mishnat Hassidim. Return
  4. He filled the place of his father–in–law and uncle the scholar our teacher Israel z”l, the ADMOR of Ruhatin. Return
  5. Rabbi Moshe of Ostraha

  6. [1] Probably refers to the subject of the amulets of R'Eyebeschutz. Return
  7. [2] Publisher's introduction to the book Darash Mosheon the book of Psalms. Return
  8. [3] In his introduction to the above. Return
  9. [4] In the book Torei Zahav. Return
  10. Rabbi Chaim Tzanser

  11. [1] This is the origin of the name Tzans (beginning with Tz), and not in the days of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam z”l, as was claimed by one author. On the approbation of the Kliva Divorce in 5528 [1767/8] the signature is Chaim of Tzans. Return
  12. [2] The scholar R'Yakob'ka Landa, son of the scholar author of Noda Biyhudawrites about him in the Introduction to that book, saying that his father had a good friend, erudite in Kabbala. Return
  13. [3] His editing notes on the four parts of the Shulchan Aruchhave been printed by the Publishing House El Hamekorot. The notes were written on his own copy of the Shulchan Aruchand copied by the scholar E. Z. Margaliot, according to the testimony of the MAHARSHAK of Brody. Return
  14. R' Naftali son of R'Levi

  15. [1] I thought it was worth mentioning, that what Dr. Gelber wrote in his book “The History of the Jews of Brody” about the book Hatzorefaccording to the testimony of the teachers of the Perl School in Tarnopol – these teachers were known deliberate falsifiers, as was their rabbi Yosef Perl. To defame and insult the Hassidim and Kabbalists every means was justified. Their end, as was the end of the followers of R'Moses Mendelsohn, confirmed their beginning. When bringing a testimony by RAZA”M [Rabbi Efraim Zalman Margaliot] he states that it seems that he was “under the influence of outsiders”. Therefore the author and his writings are valid. I wrote about that to Dr. Z. Rabinowitz. Return
  16. [2] The approbation of the scholars R'Mendel Zolkover and R'Zvi Horowitz. In the approbation to the book Toldot Yosefit is written “These three are great rabbis, Hassidim Kabbalists, and Sages of the Great Kloiz of Brody. Return
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    Rabbi Avraham Gershon Kitover

  1. [1] Influenced by his brother–in–law the BESHT at the beginning of 5500 [1739/40], since his letter to the BESHT from Tzfat [Safed] is from 5502 [1741/2]. He was the founder of the BESHT Hassidism in Eretz Israel. Return
  2. [2] However, as is known, he came to Eretz Israel only in 5507 [1746/7] and in 5508 [174/7/8] he wrote his famous letter to his brother–in–law the BESHT. According to this missive, he did not meet R'Chaim Atar z”l, the author of Or Hachaiym. There are some who doubt the trustworthiness of these letters. Return
  3. Rabbi Yechezkel Landa

  4. [1] He was of the dynasty of RASHI, and wrote “since I am a descendant of RASHI, I tried to resolve correctly his words. Return
  5. [2] According to the “census” held by Rabbi Dr. Pargez of Leipzig, that was published by Prof. David Koifman. Return
  6. [3] The scholar and Kabbalist R'Chaim Tzanzer of Brody asserted that “he had mystic visions”. Return
  7. [4] Publisher of Tziun Lenefesh Chaia, Tractate Beitza, Prague 5556 [1795/6]. Return
  8. Rabbi David Tevil

  9. The son of the scholar Kabbalist Nathan Neta, who served as ABD in Brody from 5504 [1743/4] until 5516 1755/6. Under the pressure of the government he was forced to leave his post, because he convened a great assembly of rabbis and scholars in Brody and the assembly announced the excommunication of Yakov Frank and his followers. Return
  10. Rabbi Noach Avraham Halevi Heller

  11. [1] Son–in–law of the famous scholar, our teacher Nachman of Bolokhov, also called Nachman Lisivitcher ztz”l, and brother of the holy scholar our teacher Meshulam Feibish from Zabriza (and not Zbaraz as stated by Dr. Gelber). Return
  12. [2] Son–in–law of the scholar our teacher Israel Moshe Yerushalmi ABD Tisminetz; was nicknamed Yerushalmi because he came to Tisminetz from a Sephardic family in Jerusalem. Return
  13. [3] Son–in–law of the scholar our teacher author of Yedei Moshe, commentary on Midrash Raba. Return
  14. [4] Son–in–law of the scholar our teacher Yechiel Luria, son of the famous scholar our teacher Shlomo, physician in the holy community of Lublin, grandson of the MAHARSHAL. Return
  15. [5] In the words of his grandson, who published the book Zerizuta DeAvraham. Return
  16. [6] Grandson of the holy R'Moshe of Ostraha [Ostrov]. The scholar R'Avraham Binyamin Kluger, RABD Brody, related that the holy scholar our teacher Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov once visited his town of birth Brody, and when he walked through the Lemberg Street he said that there was a pleasant fragrance in the air – probably a Tzadik was living in the neighborhood. He asked the people of Brody who accompanied him and they said that there was a God–fearing young man, a great learner and his name was R'Shmuel of Ostrov. They showed him his house, and when the rabbi entered his house,
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    he ran toward the young man and checked his Tzitzit, to see whether it was made according to Law, then he said “This is the man who spread the fragrance.” Return
  1. [7] Author of the book Pri Etz Chaiym(on the book Etz Chaiym) and the book Divrei Mosheon the Torah. He was father–in–law of the holy scholar our teacher Yitzhak of Radwil son of the holy scholar our teacher Yechiel Michel, the Maggid of Zlotchov. Return
  2. [8] The members of the Heller family of the holy community of Kolomea, owners of the factory of Talitot[Prayer Shawls] were grandchildren of R'Meir mentioned above and perished in the Holocaust together with all townspeople. May God avenge their blood! Return
  3. Rabbi Meshulam Igra

  4. [1] The scholar Kabbalist our teacher Moshe Steinberg, may he live long and good years, ABD Brody, in his Introduction to the book Machaze Avraham, Part 2 by his grandfather the scholar ABD Brody. Return
  5. [2] Zikaron Larishonim, Kolomea 1914, 47. Return
  6. [3] His grandson, my in–law and friend, the rabbinic scholar our teacher Rabbi Yeshayahu Halevi Ish–Horowitz, the grandson of the scholar R'Meshulam Horowitz ABD Stanislav, author of the book Bar Levai, son–in–law of the Torah scholar, the respected ancestor of our teacher Zvi Mandelsberg of Kuzmir, told me that he was the son–in–law of the scholar R'Meshulam Igra, and that the following fact was known in the family: When he was ABD in Pressburg, two persons came before him with a very complicated Din Torah [trial according to the Jewish Law]. He listened, then said that he will give the verdict in a month's time, since the requireddetailed study. The two persons were rich merchants, their business spread over all Galicia. It was a harsh winter, and on their way they stopped for the night in a small town by the name of Zablow. It was late, and only from one house light was seen. They knocked on the door and the local rabbi opened, our teacher Avraham, grandfather of the holy R'Yehuda Zvi of Stretin. He took them in, gave them supper and a place to sleep and he remained awake all night and studied . The two merchants thought that they should pay the rabbi for his hospitality, but since they could not humiliate him by offering money for the food and shelter, they decided to present to him the Din–Torahthat was pending in the court of the Pressburg's rabbi and they would pay him for that, honorably. So they did. After they put the entire matter before him, he went to the other room and returned after a few minutes with a verdict that was acceptable to both of them. When they returned to R'Meshulam Igra in Pressburg and received his verdict, they were surprised to find that it was exactly the same as they had received from the Zablow rabbi who took only a few minutes to come up with the verdict. Seeing their surprise, R'Meshulam asked “Are you not satisfied with my verdict?” They replied: “Of course, it is a good verdict” and they told him about the rabbi of Zablow who issued the verdict in a very short time. Said R'Meshulam: This is beyond the ability of the regular human mind. Immediately he wrote to the Zablow rabbi saying that since he had some business in the vicinity of the town, he would like to visit him in his house. When he arrived, the rabbi of Zablow asked “What was my merit, that I am privileged to receive such a visit by you, the honorable scholar? R'Meshulam replied: “Last winter you issued a verdict to a complicated Din Torahin a very short time, which is very surprising, so I wanted to meet you, the honorable great scholar. The Zablow rabbi replied: “I shall tell you the truth: when I realized that the Din–Torahis a very complicated one and I could not find a solution, I went into the other room and prayed and wept, asking not to be humiliated
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    in front of my guests. Shortly the SHACH [Rabbi Shabtay Cohen, author of Siftei Kohen] appeared before me and enlightened my eyes.” Hearing this, R'Meshulam got up and said: “If so, I have nothing more to do here. I thought that you knew how to study.” Return

    Rabbi Moshe Mintz

  1. [1] Brother–un–law of the scholar Kabbalist R'Moshe Yehoshua Heshl Orenstein ABD Ruhatyin, author of Yam Hatalmud, brother of the scholar author of Yeshuot Yaakov, ABD Lwow. Return
  2. [2] The scholar Kabbalist R'Yosef ABD Snyatin (mentioned in the approbation to the book Ahavat Dodim, Sunday 11 Tamuz 5552 [1 July, 1792], signed by Yosef of Zolkov ABD Snyatin) who happened to be in Brody during several days and resided in the house of his father–in–law, was among those who nullified the divorce, against the opinion of the great scholars of the time, as the Noda Biyhuda, Meshulam Igra (who was at the time ABD Tisminetz), Sender Margaliot ABD Satanov (uncle and teacher of the scholar E.Z. Margaliot of Brody), Meir Kristianpoller ABD Brody and others – all approved the divorce, as was related by R'Moshe Mintz. Return

 

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