4th of Tamuz

Rav Yaakov ben Meir (Rabbeinu Tam). (1100-1171)

He was the most famous of Rav Meir ben Shmuel’s sons, one of Rashi’s grandsons.

He studied under his father and his older brother, Shmuel (the Rashbam), who was 15 years his senior. His other older brother Yitzchak (the Rivam) was 10 years older than Rav Yaakov. Born in Ramerupt, Reb Yaakov was only 5 when Rashi was niftar, and thus did not merit to learn with him. He succeeded his father as Rosh Yeshiva in the Ramerupt.

He was quite wealthy as a wine merchant and financier. On the 2nd day of Shavuos of 1146, Crusaders entered and pillaged the city of Ramerupt, taking all of his possessions. He was saved by a nobleman, who promised the mob that he would convert the rabbi.

After this incident, Rabbeinu Tam moved to Troyes and opened a yeshiva there. Some of Rabbeinu Tam’s responsa are collected in Sefer Hayashar.

7th of Tamuz

Rav Gedalia HaLevi Schorr (1911-1979).

Born in the town of Istrik to Rizhiner chasiddim, Rav Gedalia moved to America with his family at the age of 10 and was one of the first students at Mesivta Torah Vadaas uner Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz.

He joined the first group of the Daf Yomi cycle when he was 12 years old and started delivering a shiur on the Daf when he was 15. At Torah Vadaas, he studied with Rav Dovid Leibowitz, grandson of the brother of the Chofetz Chaim.

When he was 20, he began giving a shiur at the Mesivta. After he was married, he left for Europe to study under Rav Aharon Kotler at Kletsk. However, one year later, he was told by the American consul in Warsaw to return home because of the imminent danger posed by the Nazis.

In 1946, he was appointed as menahel ruchni of Mesivta Torah Vadaas, along with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky. In 1956, after the death of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, he became Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash Elyon, the post-graduate division of Torah Vadaas.

His discourses have been collected in the sefer Ohr Gedalyahu.

Rav Simcha Bunim Alter, the Lev Simcha (1898-1992).

The Lev Simcha was the son of the Imrei Emes. He was born in the town of Gora Kalwaria (Ger) in Poland and made Aliya to Eretz Yisrael in 1934. He became the Gerrer Rebbe in 1977, after the petira of his brother, Rav Yisrael (the Bais Yisrael). He originated the Daf Yomi for the Talmud Yerushalmi.

The following story is told of Rav Simcha Bunim: A young man came to the Rebbe with a kvittel that his wife was sick and needed to be healed. Seemingly shocked, the Lev Simcha told him to quickly return to his home. He did not give a reason for this. As the young man walked into his house, he noticed a broken glass tea cup lying on the floor. His one year old toddler was playing with the broken glass.