> Day in Jewish History

Shevat 5

January 4, 2010 | by

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter (1847-1905), leader of the Ger chassidic dynasty. Rabbi Alter is better known as the "Sfas Emes," the title of his book of insights into the Bible, Jewish thought and holidays. Sfas Emes was orphaned as a baby and raised by his grandfather, the saintly Chiddushei HaRim. At age 23, Sfas Emes was selected by the chassidim to become their "rebbe," or spiritual leader. He built up Ger as the largest chassidic group in Poland prior to the Holocaust, numbering 250,000. The son of Sfas Emes escaped the Nazis, and came to Israel, where he oversaw the rebuilding of the Ger community, which remains vibrant till today.

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