The Ponevitcher Rav, the gadol Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, zt"l, was one of the leaders of Lithuanian Torah Jewry prior to World War II. The Ponevitch yeshiva was located in Ponevez, Lithuania and was destroyed, along with almost the full student body and teaching staff, by the Nazi's (may their name be erased). The Rav together with 4 students were the sole survivors of the Holocaust.
The Rav is famous for relocating to Israel after the war and rebuilding the yeshiva at a time when everyone thought Torah Jewry was done for. He built a yeshiva for 500 on a hill in the middle of sand dunes when everyone told him he'd be lucky to get 50 torah students from the whole world.
Today the Ponevitch yeshiva sits in the middle of Bnei Brak, Israel, the city having grown up around it, and has over 5,000 students. In honor of the Rav, one of the main streets in Bnei Brak is named after him. In greater honor, thousands of torah students learn on the foundation he built, which is today the 3rd largest yeshiva in the world.
The particular style of learning / sub-sect is not my path, but none can speak but of the greatness and dedication of this holy man, who saw the ultimate destruction and was one of the few who rebuilt the Torah world. (More on him here.)
Why am I mentioning him then? I have some rare and unique photos of this holy man that I wish to share.
Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, zt"l
The Rav of Ponevez
Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, zt"l (middle)
1954, Marrying a Surviving Student
Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, zt"l (right side)
1954, Congradulating a Surviving Student
on his marriage.
On a side note, the rabbi in the middle is Rabbi Naftali Carlebach, a"h, the father of the famous Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a"h