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R. Yom-Tov Lipman Ha-Cohen Baslavsky

 

 

 

 

R. Yom-Tov Lipman (Lippele) Ha-Cohen Baslavsky (1821-1893), the author of "Malbushei Yom Tov" was born in the town of Slutzk. His father, R. Yehuda Zeev was a son of R. Shabtai Ha-Cohen, dayan and MoZ in Slutzk, whose father Noah Ha-Cohen left behind him one important work on Torah. Unfortunately, the manuscript burned down in the house of his grandson R. Yom-Tov in Chislavichi when a big fire was there in 1874. R. Noah was a son of R. Shabtai who was a son of "R. Noah Hen" (he was nicknamed so because he said when he was dieing that when asked in the Better World "Did you deal with Torah?" he would answer "Hen" (Yes), because he passed through 6 tractates of Mishna 54 ("HeN") times. And he was a descendant of R. Shlomo Ha-Cohen, MaHaRShaCH (died in 1602). The mother of R. Lippele was a daughter of the famous R. Bezalel, a son of R. Yom-Tov Lipman, ABD of Kapulya, the author of "Kdushat Yom Tom" who was close to Vilna Gaon.

R. Lippele began to learn early, and very soon was known as illui. When he went to Volozhin to study Torah, he was not accepted under pretext that "he just was an expert in Mishna". At the age of 17 he married a daughter of R. Shimon Zeimel, a prominent resident of Slutzk. His first position of a rabbi he got in Shumyachi, and occupied it there for 11 years. He was also the head of the yeshiva which was the biggest in the whole region. From there he moved to Chislavichi and lived there for about 9 years (1865-1874). In this period his wife died, and after a while he married Chana, a daughter of R. Yakov Leib of Molestoyka. In the third time he married Esther Blume, a Mother-in-Law of R. Chaim Leib of Stawisk and R. Zundel Hutner of Moishishok.

After Chislavichi's fire he took position of the rabbi of Mir. His expertise in Torah and Halacha was well known in the Jewish world, so were his communal activities. And it was not incidental that we was invited to take part in Rabbinical Conference in St. Petersburg which was headed by the famous R. Yitzhak Elchanan and R. Eliyahu Chaim Meizel from Lodz, tha author of ""Beit Ha-Levi". The discussion at the Conference centered on the general needs of the Jewish People and the problems of the modern generation. It was told that when he was Rabbi of Chislavichi, R. Zelig Minkes got sick, and in the day of Yom Kippur R. Lippele was heating a teapot for him, an was cutting trees and burn them for for that.


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