5508/1747, Harav Tzvi Hirsch Halberstadt, the Kos Hayeshuos, zt”l
5581/1820, Harav Avraham Danzig, mechaber of Chayei Adam and Chachmas Adam, zt”l
5608/1847, Harav Yitzchok Aryeh, the Baal Shem of Michelstadt, Zt”l
Harav Yitzchok Aryeh, known as Reb Zekel Leib, was born in 5527/1767 to Harav Matisyahu in Michelstadt, Germany. His family traced their lineage from Harav Eliyahu Baal Shem, stretching all the way back to Dovid Hamelech. From his earliest youth, Reb Yitzchok Aryeh purified himself, and he reached exalted madreigos through self-deprivation.
At the age of fifteen, he went to learn under the aegis of Harav Nosson Hakohen Adler, zt”l.
By the time he was eighteen, Rav Yitzchok Aryeh was fluent in chachmas haKabbalah. He continued learning under Rav Nosson Adler until 5549/1789, when he married, returned to his hometown and founded a yeshivah.
Hundreds of talmidim thronged to his yeshivah. Rav Yitzchok Aryeh took care of all their needs with care and warmth.
Due to persecution by kehillah members who opposed his ways, as well as his frequent forays into chachmas hanistar, he was not accepted as Rav in Michelstadt. In fact, once the community even had him thrown into jail. As these events detracted from his ability to continue his rigorous avodas Hashem, he moved to Mannheim, where he remained for a short while.
In 5582/1822, Rav Yitzchok Aryeh moved back to Michelstadt, where he was finally accepted as Rav of the city and its surrounding environs.
He was known as a baal mofes, performing many wondrous miracles in order to help Yidden. People flocked to him from all over the continent. Gedolim such as the Chiddushei Harim and the Chasam Sofer told their petitioners to seek his brachah.
Rav Yitzchak Aryeh suffered much during his lifetime. He lost his Rebbetzin at a young age and a number of his children died in his lifetime. As mentioned above, he suffered persecution and his home burned down with his entire collection of precious sefarim and unpublished manuscripts.
What remained of his writings was gathered and published by Machon Yerushalayim in The Baal Shem of Michelstadt.
Rav Yitzchok Aryeh was niftar on Motzoei Tzom Gedaliah, and is buried in the beis hachaim in Worms.
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