Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Zev Gustman (1908-1991), a modern talmudic genius. As a young man, Rabbi Gustman married the daughter of a top rabbi in Vilna, the center of Jewish life in the early 20th century. Rabbi Gustman's father-in-law died shortly before the wedding, and thus as a young 20-year-old he inherited a seat on the illustrious rabbinical court of Rabbi Chaim Ozer. When the Nazis invaded Vilna, Rabbi Gustman was brutally beaten, but managed to escape with his family. They hid in the forest for three years, subsisting on vegetation; years earlier, Rabbi Gustman's own rabbi had prophetically instructed him on techniques of wilderness survival. Rabbi Gustman's most tragic moment was seeing the Nazis shoot his only son dead. Rabbi Gustman lived in America, and eventually made his way to Jerusalem where he headed a prominent yeshiva. In gratitude for having been spared in the forest, he personally served as gardener for the yeshiva building.
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