Rabbi Menachem Zemba of Poland

The light of the gaon Rabbi Menachem Zemba Zatzal began to shine in 5644. Born in the Polish capital of Warsaw, he was known as a child prodigy from his earliest years, surpassing by far the other children of the cheder. His renown was such that the greatest Torah scholars of the generation came to see his father in order to discuss Torah with the boy. After his marriage, Rabbi Menachem Zemba continued to devote himself to Torah and Chassidut, as the light of his Torah spread to all corners of Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. The Torah greats of the generation also wanted to see him, including the Avnei Nezer of Sochatchov, the Brisker Rav, and the Rebbe of Ostrova. Whoever was knowledgeable in Torah knew that during that time, the citadel of Torah was found in the home of Rabbi Menachem.

Rabbi Menachem Zemba was a Ger chassid, and he clung to his holy Rebbe the Sefat Emet of Ger, and later to his son the Imrei Emet. Along with his friend the gaon Rabbi Avraham Luftbir (the son-in-law of the gaon Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk), Rabbi Menachem wrote Zera Avraham, which created a great stir upon its publication. At the same time, he was constantly corresponding with the Torah greats of the generation.

Rabbi Menachem Zemba later devoted himself to community matters, and he helped as many people as he could. He was among the Jews in the community of Warsaw, suffering greatly when the Nazis took the city. He was arrested several times under various pretexts, yet immediately released. On Nissan 19, 5703, during Chol HaMoed, he escaped from his home when a fire broke out in the Warsaw ghetto. It was then that a bullet struck him in the street, and there he died for the sanctification of the Divine Name. May Hashem avenge his blood, which was shed before our very eyes. May the memory of the tzaddik be blessed for life in the World to Come.





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