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THE GAON RABBI YECHEZKEL
Chief Rabbi of Prague
A NOTE ABOUT THE ORIGINAL WEBSITE: In 1999, my mother, Libby Warren, decided to transfer the many years she had spent researching our ancestry onto this website. In particular, she wanted to create a site that would show the lineage and family tree of the Noda B'Yehuda, our ancestor. This was a very personal quest for her, wanting her children and family, to know our ancestry, and to appreciate where we come from. (To get an idea of how her interest in genealogy all started, click here.) Her work on documenting our yichus had started many years before with interviews of her mother and aunts (direct descendants of the Noda B'Yehuda on their father's side), trips to historical societies and museums, and research at libraries. Through the website she hoped she would be able to post all of the information she had so that she could find missing links, provide information for others, and preserve the knowledge of our yichus for posterity. Over time, she networked and communicated with other members of the Landau family or their extended branches, and she not only learned more about our ancestry, but helped others to make connections and find out information about their own family roots. She also began to find more and more branches of the family tree, and was driven to continue to research and document that research on her website. Her work was cut short when my mother passed away on the 9th of Kislev 5768 / December 5, 2008. This website is the result of her years of persistence and hard work. It is worth noting that my mother, named for her paternal grandmother Libe, also carried the name of the Noda B'Yehuda's wife.
Other than for formatting or technical issues, all of the writing on this site is in her words and and voice.This website is currently under construction as the pages are being moved to a new web host, and therefore much of the work is not visible yet.
Welcome to THE OFFICIAL NODA B'YEHUDA WEBSITE dedicated to the Zaddik RABBI YECHEZKEL LANDAU Zt"l.
I have created this site in honor of the Noda B'Yehuda, so that all those who seek knowledge and insight may read about the life and lineage of a man who was known for his brilliance, his devotion to G-d, and his compassion for his fellow human being. The story is told through photographs, historical accounts, individual pages with detailed information pertaining to Rabbi Landau's ancestors and descendants, pedigree charts, a compilation of titles and dates of the first printings of all his seforim, as well titles of biographies written about his life, the NOTEBOOK pages where descendants, researchers, and visitors post their messages, and many other sources of information.
As for the message herein ( after all, there is always a message, isn't there? ), it is worthwhile to note that while Rabbi Yechezkel Landau had a vast and impressive royal lineage leading directly up to King David and beyond, the existence of this beautiful and lengthy record is what it is because he and his ancestors recognized the awesome powers of G-d and His laws, valued their Jewish heritage, and sought to lead lives of such magnitude that their names continue to live on.
Perhaps, we ought to take a moment to reflect upon this and consider the direction taken in our own lives. Perhaps.
Sources for all data listed on this site may be found at the bottom of that particular page.
THE AVOTAYNU GENEALOGY BI-WEEKLY INTERNET MAGAZINE Vol. 2, No. 4 - February 25, 2001 stated the following:If you are descended from a famous rabbi, there is a good chance you can trace your ancestry back for centuries, and some claim, even millennia. Many Jewish genealogists can trace a portion of their ancestry back to the 11th century because they can demonstrate descendancy from the great rabbi Shlomo ben Isaac, known as Rashi, who lived in France from 1040-1105. An example of such a genealogy can be found at http://www.nodabyehuda.com
Reproduced from"Nu? What's New?"with permission of the publisher
IMPORTANT NOTE: WHY MANY RELIGIOUS JEWS DID NOT ACQUIRE CIVIL MARRIAGE LICENCES:
Throughout the centuries, life for the Jews was tumultuous. Pogroms, burning Jews at the stake, blood libels, expulsions, the crusades, mass murders, and other horrific events forced Jews to seek means by which they could avoid their oppressors.
Bearing this in mind, many Jews did not register their marriages, thereby avoiding contact with the imposing governments and churches. Nor did they record the births of their sons until such time as the boys were grown and much too to be drafted into the army.
Religious Jews were married in accordance with HALACHA (Jewish law), in the presence of a Rabbi, and under a canopy, but did not always register their union with the authorities. It is further understood that many traditional and secular Jews were married by a Rabbi, and they too did not acquire civil marriage licences.
To see my family tree please click here
This site is dedicated to the memory of the NODA B'YEHUDA - Rabbi YECHEZKEL HaLevi LANDAU ben R' YEHUDA HaLevi LANDAU and CHAYA.
My Father - R' MENACHEM MENDEL HAMER (d. 11th of Tishrei Motzei Yom Kippur, 1987, U.S.)
ben R' CHAIM YEHUDA HaLevi HAMER (Nowy Sacz) and LIBE BAUMAN (Nowy Sacz). R' Mendel was born and raised in Alt Sanz (Stary Sacz).
In 1939, at the tender age of 16, while learning at the yeshiva, he suddenly noticed his father entering the building. His father had come to take the two oldest sons out of Poland, as war was about to break out, and there was concern that the boys would be drafted. His father was accompanied by his own two brothers who were in their 20s and unmarried.
R' Mendel, though very young, became fearful and wanted to join the five men. Instead, he was told by his father to hurry home to his mother and younger siblings.
Although he had always been a very obedient and quiet boy, R' Mendel felt the need to follow them. Shortly, his two brothers realized he was trailing them. They threw pebbles in his direction to dissuade him. It was then that he decided to pretend to turn back, then hid behind bushes and sheds, thereby following them throughout the journey at a cautious distance.
Late at night, while the five men rested, R' Mendel appeared before them. Shocked, not only by his unusual behavior, but that he had managed to walk so many miles, and through rough terrain, they grew quiet. For he had always been a frail boy and would easily fall ill. Sensing there had to be a deeper meaning to his son's behavior, R' Mendel's father mentioned this to the others. Interestingly enough, during the remaining part of their long and arduous journey, R' Mendel reverted back to his delicate state. His two older brothers and two uncles took turns carrying him.
In 1946, seven long years later, the impact of what had transpired on that memorable day in 1939 became painfuly clear. Contact had been lost over the years during their stay in Siberia, and so they did not know of the extent of the destruction the Holocaust had visited upon the Jews throughout Europe.
When they returned to their hometown, excited and eager, anticipating to be welcomed home by their loving family, they discovered the horrifying facts: Their father and oldest brother who had returned home several weeks after escorting the others, had been murdered along with their mother and three younger siblings (the youngest being only 11 years old).
Nearly one hundred of their relatives died during the Holocaust. Only R' Mendel, one older brother, and one uncle R' Ephraim (d. 19th of Teves 1953, Israel) had survived. The other uncle R' Yosef Hamer (d. 3rd of Av 1940s Siberia) ben R' Moshe Hamer had died in Siberia after numerous imprisonments due his refusal to work on Shabbos.
Whenever R' Mendel recalled those difficult times, he would grow silent, unable to explain the changes in his character and physical strength on that memorable day. He would sigh, then simply say that G-d had wanted him to survive, and so he had.
R' Mendel was a soft, kind, and warm man who wore his heart on his sleeve, easily touching those he met with his ever-present smile. While working in his shoe store during the 1960s-1980s, he discreetly gave away money and shoes to many, many families who were in need. Oftentimes, he personally brought the shoes to their homes. He studied Torah each and every evening until he fell ill and passed away.
For information about the shtetl of SACZ (SANZ), you may go to the JEWISHGEN SHTETLINKS WEBSITE by clicking here
To join the Nowy Sacz Group for free and have a dialog with other researchers go to:
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My Paternal Great-Great Grandfather R' Moshe Hamer b. 1830s - d. 25th Shevat 1930s, Sacz. He lived to a ripe old age of well over 100 years old.
My father spent many a Shabbos at R' Moshe's home as a young boy. R' Moshe lived in Nowy Sanz and had the honor of being close with the Sanzer Rav during the 19th century. R' Moshe died sometime during the 1930's. His daughter, Frimit Hamer married a distant cousin who happened to have the exact name as her father, Moshe Hamer. Frimit and her husband Moshe were the parents of my father's father, Chaim Yehuda Hamer.
My Paternal Grandfather - R' CHAIM YEHUDA HAMER (b. 1890s - d. 4th of Elul 1942) ben R' MOSHE HaLevi HAMER of Sanz/Sacz (d. 2nd of Iyar) and FRIMIT HAMER (d. 25th of Tammuz). My father's father, R' Chaim Yehuda Hamer, was the son of Frimit Hamer and R' Moshe Hamer who was the son of R' Meir Ezra Hamer (d. 2nd of Nisan). R' Chaim Yehuda was a very quiet, gentle man. He had been in business with his brothers, but gave it up due to poor health when he was still very young. Instead, he sat and learned Torah.
During the Holocaust, as the shtetl of Alt-Sacz was in the midst of being cleansed of all Jews, R' Chaim was placed on a wagon filled with the elderly and sick. He was shot in a forest along with several hundred other Jews, then buried in a mass grave. His wife Libe and 4 of their 6 children were killed in a concentration camp a week-and-a-half later. His children's names were: Meir Ezra (who had originally journeyed to Siberia, but returned to Poland shortly because he worried about his parents and younger siblings), Avraham, Shimon, and Frimit (age 11). R' Chaim Yehuda's siblings were: Yosef (d. 3rd of Av 1940s Siberia), Ephraim (d. 19th of Teves 1953 Israel), and Binyamin (d. 1942).
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My Paternal Grandmother - LIBE HAMER (d. 16th of Elul 1942) bas R' YEKUSIEL BAUMAN HALEVI (d. Tishrei) and SARA HINDA (d. Tishrei).
Libe was born in Neu Sanz (Nowy Sacz), and lived in Alt-Sanz (Stary Sacz) Poland. When she married R' Chaim Yehuda Hamer, she immediately took his two orphaned younger brothers into her home. Those two young boys grew up and later went to Siberia (see story above about R' Mendel Hamer). On Shabbos, the women in Alt-Sanz came to Libe's home to listen to her recite the Tzena Rena. She was murdered along with her husband, and 4 of their 6 children during the Holocaust. Libe's father R' Yekusiel was killed in Tishrei many years prior to the holocaust. Her mother Sara Hinda was the daughter of R' Mendel. Libe's siblings were: Mendel (d. 1942), and Raizel who married Pinchus. Raizel, Pinchus, and their children died in the Holocaust in 1942.
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My Maternal Grandfather - R' ASHER LEMEL LANDAU (d. 13th of Av 1950, U.S.)
ben R' YITZCHOK SHMUEL HaLevi LANDAU of Sanok and BLIMA. R' Asher Lemel was ben-achar-ben a direct descendant of the Noda B'Yehuda. He had a small business in Hamburg but spent most of his time studying the Torah. He and the family lived on Brunenstrasse. He was very close with Chief Rabbi Yosef Carlebach and often reviewed the latter's speeches prior to the lectures. My mother and her siblings went to the school at 17 Palmaille. Her siblings then went on to higher grades at 35 Carolinenstrasse (Karolinenstrasse).
Weeks prior to Kistalnacht, the deportation of Jews of Polish nationality occurred. Friday, October 10th, 1938, a knock at the door of my maternal grandparents home changed their lives forever. Informed that they had only a few hours to pack their belongings and leave with thousands of other from Hamburg, Germany, R' Asher Lemel immediately filled a suitcase with seforim. He removed nearly all of them when his wife, my grandmother, Chaya, expressed concern about the heavy suitcase and that they could not determine when they would return and needed warm clothes for the coming winter. They traveled by train over the German-Polish border to await their fate outside the Polish town of Zbaszyn (pronounced: Sponsheen). Many weeks went by as they and thousands of others remained on the German-Polish border, hungry and cold, while Poland refusing to allow entry. This happened nearly 1 year prior to the Holocaust!
In 1946, eight long years later, R' Asher Lemel and the family returned to Germany. Although they had begun to apply for entrance to the USA in 1933, due to the quoto system they were not allowed entry until December 1949. R' Asher Lemel passed away seven months later.
NOTE: My grandfather's cousin, Dr. Leib Landau of Przemysl served as one of the defense attorneys in the blood-libel case of 1924, where a young university student, a Jew named Steiger, had been falsely accused in the attempted assassination of President Stanislaw Wojciechowski of Poland. A bomb had been tossed at the president's carriage, and Steiger was sentenced to death without trial. A turn of events brought the case to court. The historic case received masssive attention for its blatant anti-Semitism. STEIGER'S PROCESS (Steiger's Trial) had four judges preciding over the case, while Steiger had six defense attorneys. Miraculously, Steiger was acquitted.
In December 1939, Attorney Leib Landau was on a mission to help save Jews, but was caught and murdered together with his family. Earlier, his wife generously handed over the keys to their summer home to my grandfather so the family would have a place to live during their stay in Poland in 1939.
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My Maternal Grandmother - CHAYA (d. 9th of Elul 1984, U.S.) bas R' PINCHUS MEIR STIMLER (b. 1875 - d. 18th of Av 1941) and BREINDEL SZEREL PISTRONG (d. 2nd day Rosh Hashanah 1942) of Radomysl. Chaya's father R' Pinchus Meir Stimler was the son of R' Zvi Asher (of Brzesko/Briegel) and Zipora. Chaya's mother Breindel was the daughter of R' Yaakov Hacohen Pistrong (of Radomysl) and Fraida Yita Eisland (of Radomysl).
Breindel Szerel and R' Pinchus - Hamburg, Germany 1930
R' Pinchus arrived in Germany from Poland during the early 1900's (approx 1908) with his wife and young family. He met his close friend Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt who encouraged him to remain in Germany rather than move on to the U.S. because religious life was difficult there. R' Pinchas settled on General-Litzmann Strasse in Altona, Hamburg. He built a synagogue on Adolfehoff Strasse know as the "Poylisher Shtiebel". He was rav of the shul until October 1938 when all Polish Jews were expelled.
R' Pinchas hosted and donated large funds to R' Meir Shapiro of Lublin (the Chochmei Lublin) when the latter arrived for a visit. R' Pinchus also accompanied R' Meir Shapiro to collect donations. R' Meir Shapiro returned to Poland and soon after built the Yeshivas Chochmei Lublin. Many other great leaders stayed at the home of R' Pinchus. R' Pinchus was very close with the Bobover Rebbe - Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam. They spent time together at a health resort whenever the Bobover Rabbi needed a rest. It had been R' Halberstam who'd advised R' Pinchus to leave Poland.
Of the 10 children R' Pinchus and his wife Breindel Szerel had, 4 sons were murdered during the Holocaust along with Breindel Szerel. R' Pinchus passed away in 1939 in Poland due to an illness just at the start of the Holocaust and was spared the horrors of the war. Their daughter Chaya, who was my grandmother, survived with her husband R' Asher Lemel Landau and their 3 children.
Chaya was a true Eishes Chayil. Though she was a quiet person, she made several momentous decisions during the Holocaust that ulimately, with G-d's blessings, saved her family from harm. Chaya's husband R' Asher Lemel Landau died in 1950 in the U.S.; Chaya had intended to be buried in a different cemetery, yet in 1984, shortly before her death, she expressed a desire to be buried beside her husband. Amazingly, 34 years after her husband's death, when the family went to purchase a burial plot for her, one empty place remained directly in front of her husband's. And so, Chaya had her last wish fulfilled. Chaya loved giving tzedaka (charity) and donated whatever monies she could to Israel and to those who were in need. She was a lifetime member of the Mizrachi and proudly attended the society meetings.
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My Maternal Great Aunt ZARA - SARA (d. 11th of Tishrei 1988, U.S.) bas R' PINCHUS MEIR STIMLER and BREINDEL SZEREL PISTRONG. She was my very dearest Tanta Zara, and was like a grandmother to me. She lost all four of her children: Fraida age 15, Molly (Malka) age 12, Paula (Perel) age 8, and Yoachim age 5 in the Holocaust along with her husband R' Herschel Keller son of R' Meir Keller. Her husband had a brother, R' Aaron Keller, Rav of Danzig. Although my Great-Aunt Zara carried the pain and loneliness with her for the rest of her life, she loved to laugh, and enjoyed spending time with our family. Her faith in Hashem remained steadfast, and her love for her fellow human being was extraordinary. She lived to a ripe old age and was truly loved by us all.
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My Maternal Aunt Toni - TOBA (d. 20th of Nissan 2002, U.S.) bas R' ASHER LEMEL LANDAU and CHAYA STIMLER. Toni was a direct descendant of the Noda B'Yehuda. Toni's husband, a very special man, was R' Naftali Zvi son of R' Moshe Aryeh Trencher (Trenczer) and Chava. R' Naftali was born in Krosno, Poland.
This is difficult to write because my aunt Toni, my very peaceful, content, and full-of-life aunt, passed away rather suddenly on Chol Hamoed Pesach.
Toni's enthusiasm for life, and her deep love of people, was so amazing and so beautiful and so very rare.
She had a personal motto that she felt encompassed all one required to serve G-d. She would say: "You have to always ask yourself, IS HASHEM PROUD OF ME? HAVE I MADE HASHEM PROUD?" She asked herself those questions all the time, and she most certainly achieved it.
Her joy was a constant, and it had a profound affect on everyone who met her or knew her. Just seeing her, gave one an immediate high. Just speaking with her, made one's day.
There are so many wonderful memories: Her ecstatic Helllooo !! Hiiiii !! Her world of music, in which she excelled; playing the piano as a young child at concerts; over 40 years of private lessons to students who adored her; her laughter; her vast knowledge of nutrition and her willingness to share it; her super-positive attitude and love for her family.
These memories along with so many other wonderful recollections, and the lively conversations I had with her, will bring a smile to my face and a teardrop deep within my heart whenever I pause to think of her, forever more.
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Copyright © 1999 - 2008 Libby Warren. All rights reserved.