I am Rabbi Binyomin Adler and I am originally from Chicago and now live in Oak Park, Michigan with my wife and nine children. A graduate of Telshe Yeshiva, Chicago, I later studied under the Gaon HaRav Tzvi Kushilevsky, Shlita, in Yerushalayim. I studied in kollel in Mir, Yerushalayim, and taught in various Yeshivos for post-high-school students in Eretz Yisroel. In 1998 I founded a yeshiva for post-high-school students in Yerushalayim. Upon returning to the United States in 2000, I was involved in fund raising and in community development. Now self-employed in the business of imprinted promotional products, I currently offer one-on-one learning in Michigan, along with well-attended Lunch and learns preceding the Yomim Tovim. I am currently writing a Sefer on Perek Chelek, the last Perek of Sanhedrin that deals mainly with Agadata. To date I have published a Sefer on Purim, entitled Parashas Hakesef. Additionally, I publish a weekly online Shabbos page entitled Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim – Shabbos Taste of Life.

2 Responses to About

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Dear Rabbi Adler – I see that you mention Rav Leibele Kovner. Can you tell me the dates of his life? I ask because our family tradition says that our ancestor was his disciple–our ancestor being Meir Lefkofsky (Lewkowski), known as the Tzaddik of Grayeve (Grajewo). I don’t know any more about him than that, or why he was called a tzaddik. Do you have any suggestions? Many thanks,

    • doreishtov says:

      Hi. Thanks for visiting. check out this site http://www.davidicdynasty.org/shapiro_art.php

      Many Lithuanian rabbonim (as well as the wife of Rav Nachum of Tshernobl) are descended from Rav Yitzchok (uncle of the Megale Amukot). Among them Rav Shmuel “Druyer” Shapiro, rav of Druya and Telz and author of Me’il Shmuel, Rav Shaul Shapiro, rav of Panevezys and Seduva and author of Chemdat Shaul (his descendants include Rav Pinchas Teitz of Elizabeth, N.J. and Rav Yitzchok Silber, rav of the Russian community in Jerusalem), and Rav Aryeh Leib Shapiro of Kovna, known as “Reb Leibele Kovner”. This last was a Shapiro through his mother. His family is one of the best known Shapiro families in rabbinical circles today and includes the wives of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, Rav Aryeh Levin, and Rav Zvi Pesach Frank. Rav Shmuel Shapiro, a leader of the Breslav community in Jerusalem was also a descendant of Reb Leibele.

      In central Europe there was another rabbinical Shapiro family. This family included the descendants of Rav Binyomin Wolf Shapiro of Prague. The early lineage of this family was published in Monatschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (MGWJ) 1912 (nr.3) pp. 334-358. (The article can be viewed at . The earliest name mentioned in this lineage is Rav Michel son of Rav Shimon Shapiro av beth din Posen. Some researchers have identified this Rav Shimon with Rav Shimshon Shapiro of Posen, father of Rav Noson Notte of Grodna (Mevo Shearim). Whether or not that is true, it is interesting that both families originated in Posen, which suggests that they were indeed one family. It should be noted that in the lineage in MGWJ is states that Rav Man Shapiro (rav of Brisk deKoi (Brzecz)), son of Rav Michel had a book of his lineage “which included 1100 rabbanim from the Shapiro family who held the title “Morenu” and that lineage reached to Rav Yehuda Hachosid author of Sefer Chassidim and to the author of Imrei Shefer, Rav Noson [of Grodna]”. This probably does not mean that Rav Man was a direct descendant of Rav Noson, but rather that he also appears on the lineage. In any case, it certainly seems to corraborate that both families are related. (This would seem to be further corroborated by comments attributed to the Baal Shem Tov concerning the honored lineage of the Shapiro family, and to a statement in Bnei Yissochar by Rav Zvi Elimelech Shapiro that all Shapiros are descended from one person). Descendants of the Prague Shapiro family include Rav Eliyahu Shapiro author of Eliyahu Rabba, the wife of Rav Yaakov Reisher author of Shvut Yaakov, the wife of Rav Yonatan Eibshutz, and Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch of Frankfurt, as well the Fränkel family and the Porges family. (The lineage in MGWJ also differentiates between two Shapiro families, one ending with an aleph and the other with a hei, but personally, I have never seen the name spelled with a hei).

      There is also a family of Cohanim known as Kahana Shapiro. The best known member of this family was Rav Yitzchok Kahana Shapiro of Krakau, father in law of Maharam Lublin (who refers to his father in law as Hamelech [the king]). This reflects the practice of taking one’s mother’s family name, especially when that name was associated with a family of rabbonim. (See Chevel Hakesef by Rav Menachem Nachum Kahana Shapiro for the lineage of one such family.) We have already seen how Reb Leibele Kovner took his mother’s family name. Rav Meshel Shapiro of Ragova, grandson of Rav Shaul Shapiro writes in the introduction to Chemdat Shaul that his grandfather was from a family of “true” Shapiros. Presumably this means that it was a purely patrolineal line. Rav Meshel writes that he had composed a pamphlet with the history of the Shapiro family, however my efforts to find this pamphlet have been unsuccessful.

      Today the Shapiro clan is widespread among Ashkenazy Jews and it would be difficult to find a rav who could not somehow connect to the Shapiros (or Lurias or Katzenellenbogen).


      Rabbi Adler

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