I'm even hesitant to start naming each one for fear of forgetting one.
One very big heartbreak is the loss of the Kaliver Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel Taub ztz'l.
While I never had the privilege of meeting him, I was always impressed by his simchas chaim, along with the sweetness & temimus emanating from his face.
In fact, his simchas chaim, sweetness, and temimus make no sense in the face of what he suffering during the Shoah: In addition to the "standard" horrors, the Kaliver Rebbe suffered in the Auschwitz "clinic" of inhuman human experimentation.
As a result of this sadistic treatment, the Rebbe was never able to re-grow his beard. He never had children either.
May all his deeds, the Torah-true Jews he influenced and the Torah institutions he founded and nurtured, and the sefarim he composed be considered as "offspring" for him.
His success as a Rebbe on American soil is also amazing.
All he accomplished — both the exterior accomplishments of re-building Yiddishkeit in a foreign land & the inner accomplishments of his personal tzidkus — can only be the result from his profoundly pure middah of emunah.
You can read an English-language interview with him here:
The Kaliver Rebbe: "Each day is its own Yom Hashoah."
Please note the crystalline Torah hashkafah in his answers.
For example, his firm "Yes!" on whether it is important for young people today to remember and learn about the Holocaust is based on the Torah directive to remember what Amalek has done to the Jewish people AND as a way to unify the Jewish Nation, which prevents war.
His advice for preventing another Shoah & protecting the Jewish people in general can be summarized as follows:
- Solid emunah in Hashem
- Loving our fellow Jews
- Serving Hashem with joy
- Keeping Shabbat scrupulously
- Saying "Shema Yisrael"
Incredible advice from a Jew who endured unimaginable torments...all because he was a Jew.
May we please merit Rebbe Menachem Mendel ben Yehudah Yechiel as a melitz yosher for us all.