Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein (1866-1933) from Bakst, Lithuania, was the son of Rav Tzvi Chaim, who served as the Rav of that village. At the age of sixteen he began learning in the Volozhin Yeshiva under the guidance of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik. After his marriage to Menucha Frank, daughter of the prominent Rav Shraga Feivel Frank, he moved to his wife’s hometown in Kovno, Lithuania. Along with his brother-in-law, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, he contributed to the founding of the city of Hadera by purchasing land for an etrog orchard. In 1897, Rav Epstein was asked by Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the mashgiach ruchani of the Slabodka Yeshiva, to become rosh yeshiva. Under the joint guidance of Rav Epstein and Rav Finkel, the yeshiva flourished, producing many notable students who raised the spiritual level of the Jewish community. In 1924, the yeshiva relocated to Hebron in Palestine, which was then under the British Mandate. The yeshiva was attacked by rioting Arabs in the 1929 Hebron massacre, in which 68 Jews were killed. In later years the yeshiva moved to Jerusalem and then to Givat Mordechai, its current location. Rav Epstein authored the Levush Mordechai , his interpretation of the Talmud, notably the tractate Baba Kama, which earned him recognition in the Torah world.