Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan
Chaftes Chayim, Mishneh Berura
Rabbi Israel Meir HaCohen Kagan is commonly known as the "Chafetz Chaim", the name of his famous work regarding proper speech, whose title is based on the verse, "Whoever wishes to live "Chafetz Chaim", must be most vigilant about their speech."
He was born in Zhetel, Poland on February 6, 1838 and passed away in 1933. Until age 10, was taught by his parents. He continued his education in Vilna becoming well known and greatly respected. He shunned offers put to him to join the pulpit rabbinate, and moved and settled in Radin (Poland) subsisting on a grocery store managed by his wife. He contributed to the venture by assisting with the bookkeeping.
He spent his days learning and teaching Torah to scholars. But he was most concerned for the ordinary folk and invested considerable time preaching and compiling instructional Seforim for them.
By 1869 his house became known as the Radin Yeshiva.
He was very active for communal Jewish causes, travelling extensively (even in his 90s!) to encourage stricter observance of Mitzvos. He was one of the founders of Agudas Yisrael, the religious Jewish organizaion of Europe and later the world. He was also the father of many Yeshivos, helping them survive the financial upheavals of the interwar period.
The Chafetz Chaim left a great legacy that has already and continues to, guide and inspire; his 21 sefarim (holy books). His first work, Sefer Chafetz Chaim (1873), organizes and clarifies the laws of proper speech. He also authored many other books including the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the Chafetz Chaim wrote a work that stressed the learning of laws concerning sacrifices, the Holy Temple, and related topics. He also published seforim to strengthen certain aspects of Jewish life including kashrus, family purity, and Torah study.