Rav Meshulam Feivish (ben Aharon Moshe) HaLevi of Zbarazh (1794), author of Yosher Divrei Emes, a basic work on chasidic thought, and Likutim Yekarim. He studied under Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and Rav Dov Ber of Mezritch. His disciples included Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov.
Rav Nachum (ben Yaakov) Weidenfeld of Dombrova, the Chazon Nachum (1875-1939). Born in Hormilov, Galicia, to the author of Kochav MiYaakov. One of his brothers, Rav Dov Berish, became famous as the Tchebiner Rav. After the Kochav MiYaakov passed away in 1894, Rav Nachum and his elder brother, Rav Yitzchak, supervised the studies of their younger brother, Rav Dov Berish, who had just celebrated his bar-mitzvah. After marrying his wife, Taibah, he went to live with his in-laws in Yassi, Romania. A year later, he replaced his maternal grandfather, Rav Shabsi HaKohen Rappaport, as the rav of Dombrowa, Galicia. Although Dombrowa was relatively small, it was intensely Jewish, having a population of about 2,400 Jews and 600 gentiles. Jews had lived there since the end of the sixteenth century. Nazi troops seized Dumbrowa on the 8th of September, 1939, only eight days after the war started. At the last possible moment, Rav Nachum fled the town with nothing but his stick and a knapsack. He had sent dozens of manuscripts to his son-in-law in Kolbasov but not one member of that family survived and all his writings were lost.
Rav Dr. Dov (ben Nachum Shraga) Revel (1885-1940). He was born in Pren, a neighboring town of Kovno, Lithuania, a son of the town’s Rav. He studied in Telz yeshiva under Rav Yosef Leib Bloch. He was also taught by Rav Yitzchak Blazer and learned in the Kovno kollel. He became involved in the Russian revolutionary movement, and following the unsuccessful revolution of 1905, was arrested and imprisoned. Upon his release the following year, he emigrated to the United States and enrolled in New York's RIETS yeshiva. He received a master of arts degree from New York University in 1909. In 1911, he earned a doctorate of philosophy from Dropsie College, the first graduate of that school. He then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to join his in-laws’ family oil business. However, his primary occupation continued to be his Torah study. In 1915, he was appointed to serve as President and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York. He also gave the highest Gemara shiur and Yoreh Deah and Choshen Mishpat. In December 1923, he announced a five-million dollar campaign to start Yeshiva College (later Yeshiva University), a four-year liberal arts college; it opened on September 25, 1928.
Rav Tzvi Yehuda Namiot of Volozhin (1941). Founding a yeshiva ketana in Volozhin, he served as its menahel from 1935 until it was shut down by the Russians after the start of World War II. He was shot to death by the Nazis. His wife and children were later also murdered, leaving no remnant of his family.
Rav Akiva (ben Simcha Bunim) Sofer of Pressburg (1878-1959), author of Daas Sofer. Son of the Shevet Sofer, grandson of the Kesav Sofer, and great-grandson of the Chasam Sofer. He succeeded his father as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva at the tender age of 24. Interestingly, three continuous generations – the Chasam Sofer, the Kesav Sofer, and the Shevet Sofer – all served as Rav of Pressburg for 33 years. When Rav Akiva Sofer neared his 33rd year as Rav, he asked his uncle, the Erlauer Rav, what to do. Upon his uncle’s advice, the Daas Sofer moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1940. As a result of his move, he was saved from the horrors of World War II.
Rav Aharon (ben Shneur Zalman) Kotler (1892-1962), Rosh Yeshivas Bais Medrash Govoah, Lakewood. Rav Aharon was known as the "Shislovitzer iluy." At 14 he entered the Slobodka yeshiva, where he learnt under the Alter and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein. He also heard shiurim from Rav Baruch Ber, who had his own yeshiva in one of the suburbs of Slobodka. He married the daughter of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, head of the yeshiva Etz Chaim in Slutsk, and became his assistant (1914). Even before he was 25 years old, he became one of its Roshei Yeshiva. After the yeshiva's forced transfer to Kletsk in Poland – due to the Bolchevik takeover and religious persecution (1921), Rav Isser Zalman emigrated to Erez Ysrael, and Rav Kotler directed the Etz Chaim for 20 years. With the Soviet occupation of Poalnd in 1939, Rav Kotler escapied first to Kobe, Japan, then to the United States (April, 1941). Reb Aharon assumed a leading role in the operations of the Vaad Hatzoloh. Under his leadership, Beth Medrash Govoha opened in a converted house in Lakewood, New Jersey in April 1943, and the yeshiva and kollel student body increased from the original 14 to 140 in 1962, the year of Reb Aharon's petiroh. Reb Aharon also headed Chinuch Atzmai, the network of Torah day schools in Israel, founded in 1953, and he took over the leadership of Torah U'Mesorah, the American day school movement, after the death of its founder HaRav Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. He also headed Agudas Yisrael's Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah
Dayan Eliezer (ben Gershon) Posen (1892-1969). Born in Frankfurt, his father was appointed Dayan of the IRG (Jewish Religious Society) by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. As a bachur, Rav Posen learned in Pupa, Hungary, then returned to Frankfurt. After his marriage in 1923, he became magid shiur in the Breuer Yeshiva. Then he succeeded his father as Rav of the kehilla in 1932. In 1938, he escaped the growing Nazi menace to England. He was appointed Dayan of the Adas Yisrael shul in 1945. His brother was Rav Shimon Yisrael Posner, the Shoproner Rav of New York.
Rav Nosson Meir (ben Moshe Yom Tov) Wachtfogel, the Lakewood mashgiach (1910-1998). Rav Nosson was born in Kuhl, Lithuania. His father was one of the 14 original students of the yeshiva in Slutsk. (Another of these students was Rav Aharon Kotler). Rav Nosson himself began his education in the yeshiva in Kelm. When he was fifteen, he came to the United States - his father had accepted a rabbinic post in Montreal - and enrolled in Yeshivat Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchanan (forerunner of the Talmudic division of Yeshiva University). After two years there, he returned to Lithuania to study at the Mir Yeshiva. He also studied under R' Shimon Shkop, and in Kamenetz, under Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz. Beginning in 1941, R' Nosson joined with R' Aharon Kotler to develop the Lakewood Yeshiva. He left several children, including Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva Zichron Moshe in South Fallsburg, New York.
Other events on this day:
- Jews of New York were allowed to swear in court without reference to Christianity, 1727.
- Czar Nicholas I of Russia issued a decree calling for the establishment of a school for Jewish students and a seminary to train rabbis and teachers as part of his program to assimilate the Jews, 1844. The students and rabbis of these schools became the heads of Haskalah.
- The Land Transfer Committee Report reveals that Arabs in Palestine willingly continued to sell land to Zionists in the early 1940s despite the British legal prohibition (1945).
Rav Meir (ben Moshe) HaKohen Katz, father of the Shach (1642)
Rav Shimshon of Ozhiran [Ozeryani] (1839)
Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Skver (1886)
Rav Meshulam Yissaschar Dov (ben Tzvi Hersh) Ashkenazi of Stamford Hill, London (1905-1995), was active in Chevras Tiferes Bachurim in Vienna, convincing many bachurim to attend yeshiva. When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, he fled from Vienna, first to Staislav, and eventually to London. Both his parents, his brother and two sisters were murdered by the Nazis. Rav Meshulam Yisasschar became known as the Stanislav-Alesker Rebbe, helping many refugees.. He was a descendant of the Chacham Tzvi.
Rav Shilo (ben Yitzchak) Raphael, Av Bais Din of Yerushalayim, author of Mishkan Shilo.
Rav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky (1925-2000) Born in Chicago, he grew up in St. Louis and learned at Torah Vadaas in his early 20s, while serving in the army. He married Sarah Gartenhaus in 1950 and joined Yeshiva Ner Israel in 1954. He became Rosh Yeshiva and replaced Rav Yaakov Weinberg after the latter’s petira. Rav Kulefsky left two sons (Tzvi Hirsch and Nosson) and three daughters [Esther Chana (Abraham), Ettie (Rosenbaum), and Faigi (Gruman)], 40 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Other events on this day:
- The last prophecy in human history was given to Zecharia during King Darius’s reign, promising that the fast days in Tammuz and Av will turn into days of joy, 651 BCE (see Rashi Yoma 21b).
- The first public burning of Jews at the stake by the Inquisition in the Americas, Lima, Peru, 1581.
- Bogdan Chemielnicki led serfs in the Cossack attacks against the Polish aristocracy, 1648. The Polish town of Kamenetz was one of the first targets, with thousands killed in the first few days. Over the following ten years, between 100,000 and 500,00 Jews lost their lives.
- 36 Jews killed in Lemberg explosion, 1702. A miracle saved the Pnei Yehoshua.
- Teverya saved from attack, 1742.
- First Nazi mass-murder of Warsaw Jews, 1939.
- Nazis execute 1,538 Jews in Poltava, Russia, 1941.
- The Aliyah-Bet (illegal immigration) ship Kadima (sometimes called the Kedma) arrives in Haifa under British escort. All of its passengers are arrested and moved to detention camps in Cyprus (1947)
Rav Eliyahu (ben Yehudah) Kubo, Chief Rabbi and Av Beis Din of Saloniki (~1628-1688). The Kubo family had immigrated to Greece from Spain during the Spanish expulsion, the name “Kubo” given to the family after the city in Northern Spain from which they descended. He died at a young age due to a plague, which also took the lives of his two sons. He compiled Tana D’bei Eliyahu, a collection of 451 responsa, but most of it was lost. His grandsons managed to collect 26 of them and printed them as Sheilos Uteshuvos Aderes Eliyahu. He also publishjed Shnei Hame’oros Hagedolim. Among the talmidim of Rav Eliyahu was the Chacham Tzvi and Rav Shmuel Yitzchak Modiliano.
Rav Tzvi Hersh Margulies of Lublin (1805)
Rav Yaakov Dovid (ben Yisrael Yitzchak) Kalish (1803-1878 or 1877), founder of the Amshinov dynasty. Reb Yaakov Dovid’s father was a leading disciple of Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and a peer of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. When Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa passed away in 1827, his followers split into two streams, some of them following Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk whose emphasis was on fiery self-discipline, while the remainder adhered to Rav Yitzchak of Vorka whose approach was one of warmth and love. In 1848, when Rav Yitzchak of Vorka passed away, many of his followers wished to follow Rav Yaakov Dovid of Amshinov. He, too, followed the Vorka tradition of kindness and kiruv rechokim. Rav Yaakov Dovid set up court in the town of Mszczonow, Poland, which became known to Jews as Amshinov. There, he became known as the rebbe of Amshinov. Meanwhile, Rav Yaakov Dovid’s brother, Rav Menachem Mendel, continued the Vorki dynasty from their father in Vorki itself (1779-1848). Rav Menachem, the oldest of Rav Yaakov Dovid’s three sons, inherited the mantle of Amshinov from his father for 40 years.
Rav Yaakov Yehudah Tennenbaum of Nadrezin (1885)
Rav Yaakov Mordechai of Stretin (1954)
Rav Avraham Shmuel (ben Pinchas Zelig) Stern, Rosh Yeshivas Toras Chessed in London (1949-2005). Born in Miskolcz, Hungary, to the Serentcher Rav, he arrived in London with his parents in 1956. Seeing the need for a new chassidish yeshiva in London, Rav Stern founded Toras Chessed 27 years ago. During his entire life, he was close to the Rebbes of Satmar and Pshevorsk.
Other events on this day:
- Date of the last prophecy of the last prophet, Zecharia, 345 BCE – that the Jews should not mourn on Tisha B’Av during the era of the Bayis Sheini.
- Empress Maria of Hapsburg expels the Jews of Pressburg, 1526.
- Empress Elizabeth expels all 35,000 Jews from Russia, 1742.
- The Nazis moved out all 3,700 inhabitants of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovokia to create a “model” Jewish ghetto where it shipped Jews from all over Czechoslovakia, 1941. In all, 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.
Rav Shmuel Eliezer (ben Yehuda) HaLevi Eidels, the Maharsha (1631 or 1632 or 1636); born in Krakow in 1555. His father was an eminent talmid chacham who descended from Rav Yehuda Hachassid, as well as from Rav Akiva Hakohen Katz, the father-in-law of the Shela Hakadosh. His mother was the granddaughter of Rav Yehuda Loewe, the Maharal of Prague. Rebbetzin Eidel Lifschitz of Pozna, the wealthy widow of Rav Moshe Lifschitz, the rav of Brisk, made a match between her daughter and the Maharsha. She also supported her other son-in-law, Rav Moshe Ashkenazi, author of Zichron Moshe, with whom the Maharsha studied. In appreciation of his mother-in-law's efforts, the Maharsha added the name Eidels to his own name, and from then on called himself Shmuel Eliezer Eidels. Rebbetzin Eidel passed away in 5368 at the age of 100. During his years as Rosh Yeshiva in Austroha, the Maharsha compiled his monumental Chiddushei Halachos and Chiddushei Aggados on Shas.
Rav Dovid (ben Yehuda) Luria ((1798-1855) of Bichov, the Radal, was a student of the Rav of Vilna, Rav Shaul Katzenellenbogen, and the Vilna Gaon. He wrote an important commentary on Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer. He is also known for known as a commentator on Gemara and Midrash and composed halachic responsa and a commentary on Rambam's Mishneh Torah. Radal's dedication to learning was legendary. It is said that he did not sleep more than one hour during the short summer nights and three hours in the winter, in addition to an afternoon nap of precisely 12 minutes. In 1854, he was offered the rabbinate of Warsaw. He refused this position despite the encouragement of the Gerrer Rebbe that he take it. However, Rav Dovid did involve himself in communal needs, including a meeting in 1846 (together with R' Yitzchak of Volozhin) with Sir Moses Montiefore to address the needs of Russian Jewry.
Rav Asher Anshel Yungreiss (Jungreis; Jungreisz), Czenger (Chenger) Rav, the Menuchas Asher (1806-1873).
Rav Yonasan (ben Mordechai) Aleisberg (1898), author of Darchei Hora'ah.
Rav Baruch Ber (ben Shmuel Dovid) Leibowitz Rosh Yeshiva of Kamenitz (1867 [1863, according to long bio in Hamodia 2008, and 1864 according to a bio in Inyan Magazine 2014]-1940 ). He was born in Slutzk. At the age of 16, he went to Volozhin and became the talmid muvhak of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik. In 1903, he was invited to be Rosh Yeshiva of Kenesses Beis Yitzchak in Slobodka. During World War I, the yeshiva moved to Minsk, and in 1921, to Vilna. Finally, in 1926, it moved to Kamenitz. He was the father-in-law of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, who became his successor. He authored Birkas Shmuel on Shas. (4 Kislev, per Hamodia 2011, but 5 Kislev in Hamadia’s Inyan 2014)
Rav Mordechai (ben Binyamin) Rimer (1928-1999), Mashgiach Ruchni of Yeshivas Kochav M'Yaakov. Born in Munkacz to the Rosh Hakahal of the Sanz beis medrash in the city. Young Mordechai grew up in the home of his grandfather, HaRav Arye Leib Rimer, one of the most prominent Sanzer Chassidim in Kashow. In the winter of 1944, he was taken from the yeshiva of Munkacz, along with his entire family, to the ghetto, and on Rosh Chodesh Sivan of that year he was taken, along with them, to Auschwitz. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived there until its liberation. After the war, he learned at the Chevron yeshiva under Rav Meir Chodosh. After his marriage in 1950, he learned in the Chevron kollel for another twelve years. At that time, he began to deliver a shiur for baalei batim bnei Torah in the Achva shul, a shiur which he continued to deliver for forty-five years. In 1962, the gaon of Tchebin invited him to be a maggid shiur and mashgiach in his yeshiva, and for thirty- eight years Rav Mordechai assumed responsibility for the chinuch of the yeshiva's students. During the Yomim Noraim he regularly served as a ba'al tefilla at the Tchebin yeshiva.
Other events on this day:
- In Sinsig, Germany, a convert to Judaism was arrested for preaching Judaism, 1264. Although tortured, he refused to recant his belief in Judaism and was burned at the stake.
- In La Guardia, Spain, five Jews were accused by Chief Inquisitor Torquemada of murdering a child even though there are no witnesses nor was a body ever found, 1491. Three of his victims are forcibly baptized, strangled, and then burned. The two others were torn apart.
- Expulsion of Portugese Jews, 1497.
- A commission met at Whitehall to assess the possible re-admittance of the Jews to Great Britain, 1655, concluding that there was no statute which excluded the Jews from the country. But Oliver Cromwell dissolved the commission, considering it too pro-admittance.
- Romanian Jews were barred from the practice of law, 1864.
- Ghettos in Radom, Cracow, and Galicia set up by the Nazis, 1942.
- Road of valor connecting besieged Jerusalem with the rest of the Yishuv was opened, 1948.
Rav Yaakov (ben Aharon) Schick of Karlin, author of Mishkenos Yaakov (1844), one of the greatest talmidim of Rav Chaim of Volozhin. He became Av Beis Din of Karlin
Rav Menachem (ben Meir) Ash, Rav of Ungvar (now known as Uzhgorod), Ukraine (1869). He succeeded his father, known as the Maharam Ash (1780-1852), one of the early talmidim of the Chasam Sofer, and his greatest talmid in Mattersdorf.
Rav Mordechai Dovid Teitelbaum of Drohbitch (1919)
Rav Eliezer Horowitz of Grodzisk (1881-1942), Appointed Rav of Grodisk, in western Galicia (near Tarnow) in 1909, he moved to Tarnow with his family during World War I, serving as Rav and Dayan. He was murdered by the Nazis, along with 3500 other Jews, in Tarnow.
Rav Yaakov Moshe (ben Zevulun) Charlap (1883-1951) Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and Rav of Yerushalayim's Sha'arei Chessed neighborhood. He was a close disciple of Rav Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook. Author of Mei Marom and Michtavei Marom.
Rav Chaim Michoel Dov (ben Yosef) Weissmandel
Rosh Yeshiva Nitro (Mt. Kisco, NY) yeshiva, Holocaust rescue activist. Author of Min Ha Metzar (1903-1957). Born in Debrecen, Hungary, when he was still a child his family moved to Tyrnau (Trnava), where his father served as a shochet. He learned in a yeshiva in the town of Sered. As a 17-year-old bachur, Rav Weissmandl published three short volumes of chidushim he had heard from his teacher, Rav Shmuel Dovid Ungar, of Tyrnau and later Nitra. In 1931 he published a volume of his research called Hilchos Ha-chodesh. He married the daughter of his rebbi, Rav Ungar, in 1937. Rav Weissmandl’s activities during the war constitute one of the most striking examples in Jewish history of total dedication and sacrifice in order to save Jews. His activities began in 1938, shorty after the Nazis’ anschluss of Austria. The Jews Burgenland were immediately sent to Vienna without any of their properties or resources. Rav Weissmandl risked his life to travel to Vienna to support them. When the Nazis then placed 60 rabbanim on a ship and sent them to Czechoslovakia, Rav Weissmandl traveled to Oxford and convinced the Archbishop of Canterbury to grant all 60 entry-visas to England.
Rav Shlomo Abu Maaravi founder of Otzer HaTorah network (1989).
Rav Yechezkel Shraga (ben Yissacher Dov) Lipshitz the Stropkover Rebbe (1908-1994). Born in Stropkov, Czechoslovakia. His paternal grandfather was Rav Aryeh Leibush from Apta, the Yismach Tzadik, and his maternal grandfather was the Rebbe of Stropov, the Divrei Shalom, who was the son of the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinava, the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. Rav Yechezkel Shraga’s first public post was as Rav of Yablonka. After a few years there, he became dayan of Bergsas. During WW2, he was sent to Auschwitz, where his wife and five children were murdered. After the war, he moved to Eretz Yisrael. In 1954, upon the death of his uncle, Rav Menachem of Stropkov, and Rav Yechezkel was appointed Admor by the Sanz elders of Shinava and Stropkov. He authored Divrei Yechezkel Shraga.
Rav Yechezkel Shraga Landau (1996). Rav of Veretzky in pre-War Europe, he founded Khal Veretzky in Flatbush.
Rav Chaim Shmuel (ben Eliyahu) Lopian (1998) He was amongst the first students in the Gateshead Kollel under Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, in 1942. He was the author of Ravcha Shmaatsa.
Other events on this day:
- Pope Martin V reinstated old privileges of the Jews and ordered that no child under the age of twelve could be forcibly baptized without parental consent, 1420.
- The Shelah Hakadosh arrived in Yerushalayim, 1621.
- Jews barred from settling in Stockholm, Sweden, 1685.
- Recapture of Rostov by Russian forces marks the first major setback suffered by Germany in World War II, 1941.
- Yerushalayim’s new reservoir was opened, 1958, ending a long history of water problems that made Yerushalayim more vulnerable to siege.
- The United Nations passes UN Resolution 3379, which defines Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination. It passed with a vote of 72 in favor, 35 against, and 32 abstentions. Before the vote, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, warned that, "The United Nations is about to make anti-Semitism international law." He delivered a speech against the resolution, including the famous line, "The [United States] does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act … A great evil has been loosed upon the world." Sponsoring: (25) Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cuba, Dahomey (now Benin), Egypt, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Yemen Arab Republic, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. In favour: (72) The 25 sponsoring nations above, and additionally 47 nations: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Byelorussian SSR, Democratic Kampuchea, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, People's Republic of China, People's Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, East Germany, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian SSR, and Yugoslavia.
Rav Aryeh Leib of Amsterdam author of Pnei Aryeh (1709). There was a sefer named Pnei Aryeh by Rav Arye Leib of Breslau who was also Av Beis Din in Amsterdam. This sefer are ShU”T on all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch. It was published is Amsterdam in 1790. From 1781, he served as the rabbi of Rotterdam until his death in 1806. Aryeh Leib Breslau, rabbi of Emden and Rotterdam, wrote Responsa Pnei Aryeh. (1741-1809) He was among the greatest Torah scholars of his generation. Born in Breslau, he studied in Lissa and Berlin, where he was a member of the famed Beit Medrash of R. Daniel Yaffe. He became rabbi in Emden, and in 1781 he assumed the rabbinate in Rotterdam. His Sefer Pnei Aryeh records his correspondence with some of the greatest Torah scholars of his generation.
Rav Dovid (ben Yitzchak) Sinzheim of Strasbourg, France (1745-1812). He served Rav of Strasburg and also Chief Rabbi of France and Italy. as President of the “Sanhedrin” established by Napolean, the first meeting of which occurred on February 9th, 1807. He was author of Yad Dovid and Mincha Ani.
Rav Shalom Elchonon HaLevi Yaffe, Rav of Beth Medrash Hagadol of New York City (1858-1923). Born in Vabolnik, Vilna, he arrived at the Volozhiner yeshiva in to study at the age of 14. Six years later, he received smicha from Rav Yitzchok Elchanan, the Netziv, and other gaonim. He authored the sefer Pri Eshel on Meseches Yevamos at age 21. In 1890, arrived in America and served as a rabbi in St. Louis. He published the seforim Shoel Ke’inyan and Sicha Shlemah. Rav Yaffe was among the founders of both the Agudath HaRabbonim of America and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Rav Yaakov Moshe (ben Zevulun) Charlap, Rav of Shaarei Chessed neighborhood in Yerushalayim (1882-1951). He was one of the most prominent talmidim of Harav Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kook and served as the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav in Yerushalayim.
Rav Shlomo Binyamin (ben Yehuda Leib) Halevi Ashlag, son of the author of the Peirush Hasulam (1983).
Other events on this day:
- King Yehoyakim burned a Sefer Torah, 603 BCE - day was made a fast day. (Megilas Ta’anis, perek 9)
- Death of King Herod (4 BCE). His death was celebrated as a Yom Tov by Jews all over. (Megilas Taanis, Perek 9)
- Armistice Day ending World War I, 1918. It is estimated that over 1.5 million Jewish soldiers fought in all the armies and that approximately 170,000 were killed.
- The 42 victims who perished when the Egoz boat capsized off the Moroccan coast while trying to immigrate to Israel in 1962, were brought to burial in Eretz Yisrael 31 years later on this day (1992).
Rav Moshe (ben Yitzchak), the Maharsha Mahadura Basra, printed at the back of Gemara (1668)
Rav Yitzchak (ben Yehudah) Navon (1733-1786) Born in Contantinople, he was the son the author of Kiriyas Melech Rav on the Rambam’s Mishna Torah, and the grandson of Rav Ephraim Navon, author of Degel Machaneh Ephraim. Rav Yitzchak himself wrote Din Emes on the Tur and the Beis Yosef; the sefer was published in Salonika in 1803.
Rav Moshe Shapira of Slavita, son of Rav Pinchas of Koretz (1838).
Rav Avraham (ben Yitzchak) HaKohen of Tunis, author of Mishmeros Hakehuna (1864).
Rav Aharon (ben Mordechai) Twersky, the 3rd Rebbe of Chernobyl (1786-1871). Rabbi Aharon was a grandson of Rav Menachum Nachum, the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl, his childhood teacher. Rav Aharon succeeded his father after the latter’s petira in 1837. He also served as the nasi of the Rabi Meir Baal Haness maos of Eretz Yisrael fund in the Ukraine.
Rav Nachum Dov Ber Schneerson of Ovritch (Ovruch; Avruch)(1895). A grandson of the Tzemach Tzedek (Rav Menachem Mendel Sheneerson, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe) and a first cousin of the Rebbe Rashab (Rav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe). Ovruch is an historic town in the Zhytomyr province of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Ovrutsky district.
Rav Avraham Mordechai of Kamarna (1941). RavYitzchak IsaakYehudah Yechiel of Kamarna (1806- 1874). His uncle was Rav Zvi of Zhiditchov. He authored many important Chassidic works such as Heichel Habracha, Derech Emunah, Otzar Mitzvosecha, Zohar Chai, and Megillas Setarim among others.
Rav Pinchas Dovid (ben Shmuel) HaLevi Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe (1876-1941). Born in Yerushalayim, he became a devoted talmid of his uncle, Rav Dovid Tzvi Shlomo of Lelov. After his marriage, he lived in Tzfas with his wife’s parents. When his father died tragically at age 36, he was forced to move to Yerushalayim to care for his mother and younger siblings. His wife died in 1904. Her father, eager to keep his son-in-law in the family, suggested that he marry his granddaughter, who was still a child. In 1909, at the age of 16, she gave birth to a son, Moshe. During World War I, he escaped to the United States as a refugee in 1915, with the help of Rav Yaakov Meir of Salonika, the Rav of Greece. In gratitude to the Jews of Boston, who helped him procure residential rights in America, he settled in Boston.
Rav Dovid (ben Shmuel) Borenstein of Sochotchov, the Chasdei Dovid (1876-1942). Born to the Shem MiShmuel, who was the son of the Avnei Nezer, his primary teacher was his grandfather. In 1906, he became the Rav of Vishogrod, Poland. He moved to Loz in the late 1920s. He was very active with Agudas Yisrael and encouraged many to settle in Eretz Yisrael. He died of heart failure in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Sochatchov heritage continued under his brother, Rav Chanoch Henoch, who had established a beis medrash in Bayit Vegan.
Rav Eliezer (ben Eliyahu Yehoshua) Geldzahler (1958-2004). Rav Eliezer’s mother, Henna Freidel, was the daughter of Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler. As a child, he learned in his father’s yeshiva, where he made a siyum for Gemara Bava Basra before his Bar Mitzvah. As a bachur, he learned at Yeshiva Zichron Yaakov in South Fallsburg under Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel. From there, he went to Yerushalayim to learn in the yeshiva of Rav Dovid Soleveitchik. He spent several years in the Lakewood Kollel. In 1980, he married Baila, the daughter of Rav Michel and Rebbetzin Feige Twersky of Milwaukee. He opened Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael in Queens and served as its Rosh Yeshiva, developing a mesivta and a yeshiva gedola. In January of 2004, the bus he was on in Israel was involved in a crash, and he was critically injured. He never recovered from his injuries and passed away 10 months later.
Other events on this day:
- King Yehoyakim burned Megillas Eichah, written by Baruch, the talmid of Yirmiyahu HaNavi. A taanis tzadikim was eastblished commemorating this event.
- Illegal Jewish immigrants to Haifa are deported to Mauritius, 1940.
- PLO receives observer status at the UN, 1974. The UN General Assembly also approved the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state at the expense of Israel.
- Jonathan Pollard, who had worked for Naval Intelligence, is arrested in Washington and charged with spying for Israel, 1985. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Rav Dov Ber (ben Shneur Zalman) Schneuri of Lubavitch (1773-1827), Lubavitcher Rebbe, known as the Mitteler Rebbe. He was the son and successor of his father Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya (the Alter Rebbe), and uncle and father-in-law of the Tzemach Tzedek. Rav Dov Ber assumed the leadership of Chabad upon his father's passing in 1812.
Rav Moshe (ben Pinchas) Shapiro, Rav of Slavita (1837). He established the Slavita Printing Press, which printed exclusively sifrei Kodesh.
Rav Naftali Stern Rosh Yeshiva in Adelphia Yeshiva (NJ), and brother of Rav Meir Stern, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah of Passic, NJ.
Other events on this day:
- Charles VI ascends to the French throne, 1380 and announces he will not expel the Jews. Screaming “Aux Juifs” a mob plunders and commits murders in the Jewish quarter in Paris for four days. Some Jews take refuge in the royal prison. Hughes Abriot, the Provost, obtains an order for restitution of all property and the return of all infants forcibly baptized. Because of this, he was later accused of converting to Judaism and sent to jail for a year. The Jews of Paris were eventually expelled by Charles VI, 1394.
- Founding of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism) by Leopold Zuns and Eduard Gans, 1819, whose goal was to reduce Judaism to a field of study.
- The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (known the “Joint” or “JDC”) was founded in 1914. The organization campaigned on behalf of Jews and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe.
- 212 Jews from Milan and Verona, Italy were sent to Auschwitz, 1943. In all, out of a population of 35,000 before the war, approximately 8,500 Jews were killed. An estimated 2,000 Jews fought with the partisans, five of them winning medals for bravery.
- Visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Yerushalayim, 1977
Rav Moshe Mordechai Margulios, Rav and Av Beis Din Cracow and Posen, author of Chasdei Hashem, Mateh Moshe and Be’er Moshe (1616)
Rav Aryeh Leib Berlin, the Mochiach of Berlin (1742)
Rav Pinchas Menachem Elazar (ben Binyamin Eliezer) Justman of Piltz, the Siftei Tzadik (1920). He was a grandson of the Chidushei HaRim.
Rav Refael (ben Freja) Dabosh of Libya (1926), son of the famous mekkubal from Lybia, he himself was Av Bet Din in Tripoli.
Rav Moshe Mordechai (ben Tzvi Chaim) Epstein (1866-1934), Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka and Chevron yeshivot. Born in the town of Bakst in the Vilna district, he learned at Volozhin while still quite young. After his marriage in 1889, he moved to Kovno. Three years later, one of his sisters married Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. In 1894, Rav Natan Tzvi Finkel offered both of them positions at Yeshiva Keneset Yisrael of Slobodka. He authored Levush Mordechai. He wrote the nine-volume Levush Mordechai.
Rav Menachem Nachum of Husyatin-Lemberg (1942)
Rav Tzvi Hirsh Dachowitz (1953), Rav of Congregation Agudat Achim Anshei Libowitz (Lubavitch) for the last 31 years of his life. He was one of the leading Rabanim of Brownsville.
Rav Isser Zalman (ben Baruch Peretz) Meltzer (1870-1954), author of Even Ha’Ezel, Rosh Yeshiva of Slutsk and Eitz Chaim-Yerushalayim, disciple of Netziv, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, and the Chofetz Chaim. Father-in-law of Rav Aharon Kotler, and uncle of Rav Shach.
Other events on this day:
- The Fourth Lataran Council in 1215 marked the zenith of Papal power. During the papacy of Pope Innocent III (1161-1215) old anti-Jewish decrees were expanded and Jews compelled to wear a yellow “Badge of Shame” to distinguish them from Christians. It was enforced in France, England, Germany and later in Hungary.
- All Jewish wine was dumped by Arabs and heavy fines imposed on the Jewish community of Yerushalayim, 1521.The Arabs blamed the Jewish use of wine for a severe water shortage.
- King Maximilian II attempted to expel the Jews of Pressburg, stating that his edict would be recalled only if they accepted Christianity, 1572. The Jews remained in the city without abandoning their religion.
- Rav Dov Ber (the “Mittler Rebbe”) of Lubavitch was released from prison, to which he was incarcerated on charges that his teachings threatened the imperial authority of the Czar, 1826. The day is celebrated to this day by the Chabad Chasidic community as a "festival of liberation."
- 27,000 Jews of the Riga ghetto taken for execution, 1941
- Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front, 1942.
- Himmler ordered the destruction of Auschwitz’s crematoria to hide all evidence of the mass murders, 1944.
- The Knesset debates Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s announcement that Israeli troops would withdraw from Sinai following the 1956 Suez War
- One day after arriving from Egypt for his historic visit to Jerusalem, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat addresses a specially arranged sitting of the Knesset (1977)
- A five-day hijack drama began as four armed Shiite terrorists seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan, forcing it to land in Tehran; there two American officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Charles Hegna and William Stanford, were shot dead and dumped on the tarmac, 1984
Rav Yehoshua Katz, Rav in Krakow (1734)
Rav Yaakov Yitzchak (ben Yekusiel Zalman) Halevi of Pressburg, author of Imrei Ravrevei (1762).
Rav Simcha (ben Tzvi) Ashkenazi of Dessau (1785)
Rav Yechiel (ben Aharon) Heller, Rav of Sovalk. Among his sefarim are She’elot U'Teshuvot Amudei Ohr, Ohr Yesharim on the Haggadah, Oteh Ohr on Shir Ha’Shirim, and Kinah Le'David which was a hesped on Rav Dovid Luria. He was niftar at the age of 47.
Rav Yitzchak (ben Yisrael) Friedman (1924). Born in Sadigura, both of his parents were grandchildren of the Ruzhiner Rebbe. In 1903, he married, and with the passing of his father, he set up his court in Rimanov. He was niftar during a fund-raising expedition in the United States.
Rav Hershel Friedman (1973), Rosh Yeshiva of Nachalas Tzvi in Munkatch and author of Chemdat Tzvi.
Rav Yaakov Nayman, Rav of Kehilat Adat Bnei Israel of Chicago and Bet Midrash Ha’Rav in Lawrence, NY (2009)
Other events on this day:
- A Jewish community which had existed since Roman times is expelled from Naples, 1510, fifteen years after the Spanish conquest of the island.
- Death of Baruch Spinoza, a Jewish heretic who was excommunicated in Amsterdam for his philosophy of pantheism, 1677.
- Hans Frank, the Nazi Gov. of Poland, required Jews to wear a blue star, 1939.
- 7,000 Minsk Jews executed 1942.
- Liquidation of ghetto in Augustov (near Bialystok), 1943. Among those who perished during the trip was Rav Azriel Zelig Noach (ben Yitzchak Tzvi) Kushelevsky (born 1885), author of Ein Tzofim on the weekly haftarot, and Mime’onot Ha’arayot, eulogies he delivered to honor gedolim who perished during World War 1. His yahrzeit date is unknown.
Rav Shlomo (ben Yechiel) Luria Ashkenazi, the Maharshal (1510-1574). Born in Posen, his father was the Rav of Slutzk. Rav Luria studied in Lublin under Rabbi Shalom Shachna. He served as Rosh Yeshivah and Rav of several cities in Lithuania including Brisk, Ostroh, and Lublin. Author of the Yam Shel Shlomoh, a halachic commentary on 16 tractates of the Talmud.
Rav Yitzchak (ben Shmuel) Lampronti of Ferreira, Italy (1679-1756), author of Pachad Yitzchak, the first major Talmudic encyclopedia ever assembled. He was also moreh tzedek in Ferera, Italy, and the teacher of the Ramchal.
Rav Avraham Dov (ben Dovid) Auerbach of Avritch and Tzefat (1765-1840). He was a disciple of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and the first two Rebbes of Chernobyl. He served as Rebbe of Avritch from 1785, and then moved to Tzefat in 1830 at the age of 65. He is the author of Bat Ayin, a commentary on Chumash. In the deadly earthquake of 24 Tevet 5597 (January 1, 1837), 5,000 people lost their lives, of whom 4,000 were Jews. Although most of the shul of the Avritcher Rebbe collapsed, the part where the men were clustered remained upright and everyone was saved.
Rav Avraham Chaim Lapin (1912-1991). Born in Aberdeen, Eastern Cape, South Africa, his father, Barnard, was a brother of Rav Elya Lopian (1872-1970). He learned in the Telshe Yeshiva before the war, served as a prominent and outspoken Orthodox rabbi in Johannesburg and Cape Town. He established an Orthodox synagogue (Am Echad) in San Jose in 1977.
Rav Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson of Petach Tikva (1910-1993). Born in Warsaw, he was named Rabbi of Sanok in 1937. In the winter of early 1940, he was appointed to the Bet Din of Warsaw. In March 1942, he was deported to the Konin labor camp, near Chelmno. The Konin camp was liquidated in the summer of 1943. Rabbi Aharonson was taken to Hohensalza, and afterwards to Auschwitz. In 1945 he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald and then taken on a death march to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated. He subsequently moved to Eretz Israel, where he served as a rabbi in Petach Tikva and Emmanuel.
Other events on this day:
- Mohamed Ibn Farouk, the governor of Yerushalayim, was deposed, 1626. Sadly, his successors were not much friendlier to the local Jews than he.
- Shabtai Tzvi’s primary public relations figure, Nathan of Gaza, who had not followed his master into Islam, was excommunicated by the rabbinical council in Constantinople, 1666.
- Rav Avraham Dov Avritsh, author of Bas Ayin, among the last of those to perish in a plague in Tzefat which ended shortly after his passing, 1841.
Ravina berei D'rav Huna (499, 475, or 421 CE). Rosh Metivta of Sura. He, together with his teacher, Rav Ashi, collected and commented upon the Gemara of what would henceforth be known as the Talmud.
Rav Azariah (ben Moshe) min Ha’adumim, author of Meor Einayim (1577).
Rav Shlomo Zalman Yosef of Vyelpol (1857).
Rav Dov Ber of Levo, son on Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin (1875).
Rav Yisrael Aryeh of Premishlan (1890).
Rav Dov Ber Livshitz, Rav of Sardnik (1900)
Rav Yisrael (ben Shmuel Eliyahu) Taub of Modzhitz, author of Divrei Yisrael (1849-1920). He was a grandson of Rav Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir, who was one of the students of the Chozeh of Lublin. He became the first Rebbe of Modzhitz in 1891. Legend has it that in 1913 Rabbi Taub composed a 30-minute nigun while having his leg amputated without anesthesia.
Rav Yisrael (ben Dovid Moshe) Friedman, the second Tchortkover Rebbe (1934, 1933, or 1932)
Rav Yechiel Michel (ben Baruch) Hager of Horodenka (1941). One of the sons of the Imrei Baruch of Vizhnitz, he was appointed Rebbe (as were his brothers), after his father’s petirah on 20 Kislev 1892. Rav Yechiel Michel moved to Horodenka, to succeed his brother, Rav Shmuel Abba, who passed away childless in 1895. During World War I, he escaped to Chernowitz and served as Rebbe to the many Vizhnitz Chassidim there. After Sukot of 1941, he was among 5000 Jews who were deported to Transnistria, and area in southwestern Ukraine, between the Dniester River and the Bug River, north of the Black Sea. Both Rav Yechiel Michel and his son Baruch came down with typhus in the work camp in Warchovka and died there.
Rav Shalom Hadayah of Aram Tzova (1864-1944). A descendent of Rav Saadyah Gaon, Reb Shalom’s father passed away when he was only three. He married at the age of 20, and moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1888 with his father-in-law’s family. In 1891, Rav Shalom had to return to Aram Tzova. While there, he was stricken with an eye ailment and nearly lost his eyesight. Despite that, he wrote a sefer, Shalom La’Am, which focuses on the issues of tzedakah and chesed. In 1896, Rav Shalom moved to Eretz Yisrael permanently, first settling in the Bucharian Quarter, then moving to the Ohel Moshe neighborhood. In 1904, Rav Shalom was appointed moreh tzedek in the Bet Din of Rav Vidal Anjel and Rav Baruch Elnekavah. In 1930, he was appointed Rosh Av Bet Din of all the Sephardic communities in Yerushalayim.
Other events on this day:
- Mass murder of Jews of Mogilev, 1761.
- As Allied troops neared, the Germans tried to cover up their actions by killing the surviving inmates of the labor camp and destroying the camp itself in Tarasika, Romania, 1943.
- First chassidic town in the U.S., New Square, elects its first mayor, 1961.
Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu (1567 BCE-1442 BCE)
Rav Menashe ben Yisrael of Amsterdam, author of NishmaT Chaim and NishmaT Odom (1604-1656). His parents left Portugal in 1603 and moved to the Netherlands in 1610. He was a friend of Rembrandt van Rijn, who apart from making an etching of the Rabbi also illustrated his books. He wrote a sefer called, Mikveh Yisrael in which he calls on the English Parliament to let the Jews back into England. It was Rabbi Menashe, whom together with Rabbi Jacob Sasportas, pleaded with Oliver Cromwell to allow the Jews to settle in England on philosophical and theological grounds.
Rav Shmuel of Posen, author of Beis Shmuel (1806).
Rav Menachem Nachum (ben Yisrael) Friedman of Shtefanesht, Romania (1823-1869), one of the six sons of the Ruzhiner Rebbe.
Rav Elazar Lev, author of Pekudas Elazar (1917).
Rav David Abuchatzeira (1919)
Rav Betzalel Zev Shafran of Baku (1867-1929). Originally from Galicia, he settled in Romania in 1887 and became a rabbi in Sculeni; in 1889 he took a position in Ştefăneşti, and in 1905 he served as rabbi of Bacău, a position he held until the end of his life.
Rav Shaul (ben Mordechai) Rosenberg, Chief Rabbi of Rantzport, author of Chemdat Shaul (1939).
Rav Mordechai Yaakov (ben Chaim) Breish of Zurich, the Chelkat Yaakov (1895-1976). Born in Skohl, Galicia, his father was a chasid of Rav Yisachar Dov of Belz. He became Rav in Alesk, and then in 1928 of Disbourg, Germany. In 1933, he published Tikun Eruvin, a detailed examination of the halachot of eruvin involved in his project of making a community eruv to help his mitpalelim, who were carrying on Shabat. Following a life-threatening incident with the Nazis, who had just come to power, Rav Mordechai Yaakov and his wife decided to escape Germany. After a brief time in Lance, France, they settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he nurtured the Jewish community for 40 years. In 1967, he established the Kollel Le’horaah Chelkat Yaakov in Bnei Brak.
Rav Shalom (ben Shmuel Dovid) Krausz, the Udvari Rav (1914-2010). Born in Ratzfert, Hungary, he learned under the Levush Mordechai, Rav Mordechai Winkler. He served as Rav for nearly 75 years, beginning with his succession to his father’s post as Rav of Udvari, Hungary, at the age of 21. He also served as the head of the Bet Horaah of the Hitachdut Ha’Rabanim and was author of the seven-volume Divrei Shalom.
Rav Natan (ben Amram) Gestetner (1932-2010). At the age of 10, he learned at the yeshivah of the Vayechi Yosef of Pupa. After the War, Dayan Aryeh Leib Grosnass of London arranged to bring Rav Gestetner together with 500 other orphans to London. He later moved to Antwerp, Belgium, and was reconnected with his Rebbe, the Vayechi Yosef. In 1949, he moved to Eretz Yisrael, and in 1965 he was appointed Rav of the Hungarian kehillah in Bnei Brak. He established Yeshivat Panim Me’irot in Bnei Brak in 1979 and served as a dayan in the Zichron Meir Bet Din for more than 30 years.
He was a prolific author, writing among others sefer Tal Natan on the 39 melochot of Shabat, 13 volumes of teshuvot entitled Lehoros Natan, and another 50 volumes on halachah and drush entitled Me’orot Natan; there are over 100 additional manuscripts waiting to be published.
Other events on this day:
- Shah Abbasi of Persia intensifies persecution against the Jews, forcing to live clandestinely as Jews while outwardly practicing Islam, 1619.
- Mattathias Calahora, a physician in Poland, was accused by Friar Servatius of “blaspheming the mother of J.C.”, 1663. Based soley on the testimony Servatius, Calahora was tortured and burned at the stake.
- A council of rabbis met in Satanow, Poland, to ratify a cherem against the Frankists cult, 1756. According to the council, the Frankists broke fundamental Jewish laws and accepted tenets of Christianity, 1756.
- Death of Jacob Frank, 1791. His daughter became leader of the cult until her death in 1816, after which the group – primarily in Poland and Bohemia - became absorbed into the non-Jewish middle class.
- Greece grants citizenship to Jews, 1830.
- Nazis place Jews of Poland outside the law and beyond protection of the courts, 1941.
- Arrival of first plane of Operation Magic Carpet bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel, 1948.
Reb Yehuda (ben Shimon) Ha’Nasi, son of Rav Shimon ben Gamliel, and redactor of the Mishnah (120-192 CE). The Shelah Ha’Kadosh writes, “Kabalah Be’yadi, I have a personal kabbalah that a person who is a baki in Mishnayot will not see the face of Geyhinom.”
Rav Avraham Ibn Ezra (the second), author of Batei Kenesiyot (1760).
Rav Ze’ev of Zhitomer, the Ohr Hamei’ir (1799
Rav Eliezer Fishel of Brody (1811)
Rav Simcha Bunim (ben Avraham Shmuel Binyamin) Sofer of Pressburg (1842-1906), author of Shaarei Simchah and Shevet Sofer. Born in Pressburg, Hungary, he was the son of the Ketav Sofer, and the grandson of the Chatam Sofer, and a great-grandson of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He succeeded his father as Rav and Rosh Yeshivah in Presssburg in 1872. He himself was succeeded by his son, Rav Akiva Sofer, the Daat Sofer. Interestingly, three continuous generations – the Chatam Sofer, the Ketav Sofer, and the Shevet Sofer – all served as Rav of Pressburg for 33 years.
Rav Refael Even Tzur, Rav of Fez, Morocco (1916)
Rav David (ben Yitzchak) Twersky of Skver (1919). He left Skver for Kiev in 1914, following the Bolshevik Revolution. Rav Mordechai was succeeded by his son, Rav Yitzchak.
Rav Dovid Hakohen Leibowitz (1890-1941). Born in Warsaw, he studied in the yeshivah of Radin as a teenager, where he held private study sessions with his great-uncle, the Chofetz Chaim for 12 hours a day. In 1908, upon the latter’s recommendation, Rav David went to learn in the Slabodka Yeshivah, under the direction of the Alter, Rav Natan Tzvi Finkel. In 1915, Rav Leibowitz succeeded his father-in-law as Rav of Selechnik. After six years, however, he returned to Slobodka as a founding member of the Slabodka Kollel. Rav David came to America in 1926 to collect funds for the kollel. While here, he was offered the job as Rosh Yeshivah of Metivta Torah Ve’daat. Among his students were Rav Gedalya Schorr and Rav Avraham Pam.
In 1933, Rav Leibowitz founded Yeshivat Rabeinu Yisrael Meir Ha’Cohen (known today as the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva/Rabbinical Seminary of America in Forest Hills, N.Y.) There he transplanted to the United States his unique style of Talmud study as well as the Slabodka school of musar. He was succeeded as Rosh Yeshiva by his son, Rav Chanoch Leibowitz who was niftar in 2008.
Other events on this day:
- A pagan altar was set up in the Bais Hamikdosh under the Greeks, 167 BCE.
- Five hundred Jews of Nuremberg massacred during Black Death riots, 1349.
- The Second Vatican Council, under Pope Paul VI, condemns anti-Semitism, declaring after 1800 years that the Jewish people as a whole are not to be blamed for deicide, 1964.
Rav Dovid Teveli (ben Shlomo) HaKohen Shiff (1791). Chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Rav of the Great Synagogue of London from 1765 until his death. He also was head of the Beis Midrash in Worms, and later Dayan in Frankfurt.
Rav Dovid (ben Moshe) of Novhardok (1837 or 1836), author of Galya Maseches.
Rav Elimelech of Tosh, Hungary (1946). Son of the founder of the Tosher dynasty, Rav Meshulem Feivish Lowy.
Rav Shabsai (ben Aryeh) Yudelevitz, Yerushalmi maggid (1924-1996).
Other events on this day:
- Jews were coerced into confessing that they poisoned wells to cause the Black Plague in Europe. This created a wave of expulsions and pogroms against Jews throughout Europe from Poland to Spain. (1349).
- Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto, 1744.
- The desecration of a new shul in Cologne, Germany sparked a wave of anti-Jewish incidents throughout Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Africa, 1959.
Rav Avraham (ben Shmuel) Abulafia (1240-1298). Born in Saragosa, Spain, Rav Avraham spent a life of ceaseless wandering. Following times in Acco, Greece, and Italy, he settled in Barcelona, where he studied Sefer Yetzirah and its commentaries. In 1279, he wrote his first sefer, Sefer Ha'yashar, in Patras, Greece. In the late 1280s, he wrote Sefer Ha'ot in the island of Comino near Malta. Later, from Greece, he wrote Ve'zot Yehudah and Sheva Netivot Ha'torah, defending himself against the harsh criticism of the Rashba. (Indeed, many years later, Rav Chaim Vital sites Rav Avraham extensively.) He published a total of 26 sefarim, the last of which was Imrei Shefer, a peirush on Sefer Bereshit.
Rav Zecharyah Nachman of Podheitz (1794)
Rav Mordechai Zalman of Zhitomir (1865)
Rav Moshe (ben Menachem Mendel) Panneth of Dezh, Romania (1902)
Rav Chaim Chizkiyahu (ben Refael) Medini, the Sdei Chemed (1832-1904). Rav Chaim was born in Yerushalayim and was married at 18. After his father was niftar two years later, Rav Chaim’s cousins in Constantinople offered to support his learning if he moved there. After 13 years in Turkey, he took a position of Rav in the small city of Karasubazar in Crimea. He served there for 33 years, fighting the forces of the Kariites, before moving back to Yerushalayim. His sefer, Sdei Chemed, is a monumental, universally-acclaimed 18-volume Talmudic and halachic encyclopedia.
Rav Yosef Nosson of Velbrom (1914)
Rav Aharon Yehudah Leib Shteinman (1913-2017). Born and raised in Brisk, he attended shiurim by Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav. He also studied in Kletzk under Rav Aharon Kotler. Rav Shteinman was the only member of his family to survive the war. He was known for his extremely modest lifestyle. He headed the Ponevezh Kollel In Bnei Brak. Rav Shteinman stopped giving his regular shiur in 1998 and retained the title of Rosh Yeshivah. Rav Shteinman published sefarim on chumash as well as several mesechtot of Shas under the name Ayelet Ha'Shachar.
Other events on this day:
- Chanukat Ha'bayit of the Second Bet Ha'mikdash (Chaggai 2:10-23), 353 BCE
- Austrian constitution (Ausgleich ) abolished discrimination based on religious differences, 1867. It included the right to hold office, freedom of occupation, settlement and religion.
- British forces capture Yerushalayim from the Turks, 1917.
- The sinking of the Patria in Haifa, 1940. The Patria was a French ship that carried 1,771 illegal immigrants. The Hagana tried to prevent the British from deporting those aboard Mauritius, but the explosive charge destroyed the ship and it sank, drowning 257 people.
- S.S. commander of Treblinka sentenced to life imprisonment, 1970
Rav Shlomo Zalman of Vilna (1758), father of the Vilna Gaon.
Rav Uziel Meisels, author of Menorah Ha’tehorah (1785)
Rav Avraham (ben Eliyahu), son of the Vilna Gaon (1808)
Rav Baruch Yeitles, author of Taam Ha'melech (1813)
Rav Avraham (ben Yitzchak) Mizrachi Sharabi, author of Divrei Shalom (1826). A grandson of Rav Shalom Sharabi, he inherited the leadership of Bet El Yeshivah in 1802, upon the death of Rav Yom Tov Elgazi. He successfully negated a blood libel decree against a Jew in Damascus.
Rav Yaakov (ben Aharon) Ettlinger (1798-1871), son of the Rosh Yeshivah of the local metivta in Karlsruhe, Germany. In his youth, he studied under the local rabbi of Karlsruhe, Rav Asher Wallerstein, who was the son of Rav Aryeh Leib of Metz , the Shaagat Aryeh. When he was just 18 years old, he was invited to Mannheim where he became the Rosh Metivta. He authored many sefarim, including Aruch Le'Ner, Binyan Tzion, Bikurei Yaakov. He gave smichah to Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch after the latter learned with him for barely a year.
Rav Meshulem Zusya of Nadvorna, Tzefas (1889)
Rav Chaim (ben Baruch) of Antiniya, author of Tal Chaim (1931). He was the son of Rav Baruch of Zizhnitz and became Rebbe in Antiniya (eatern Galicia) and was buried in Stanislov.
Rav Yochanan (ben Dovid Mordechai) Twersky, the Tolna Rebbe (1906-1988. He was born in Tultchin, where his grandfather, Rav Menachem Nachum was Rebbe. The latter had moved there from Tolna a year earlier. When Reb Yochanan was seven, his father decided to move the family to America to avoid conscription into the Russian army. After his Bar Mitzvah, he convinced his parents to allow him to live in Eretz Yisrael; he lived and learned under Rav Yerucham Diskin for seven years. In 1934, he moved to Montreal and opened Bet Midrash Kehillat David. He pleaded the Canadian government to allow in many Holocaust survivors. In 1956, he fulfilled his dream of moving to Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Avraham Mordechai Nissim (ben Ezra) Harari-Raful (1991). Rabbi in the Syrian community in Israel. He was buried at Har Ha'menuchot.
Other events on this day:
The Mishkan was finished, 1308 B.C.E. The dedication, however, only took place on Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
- The Mizbeach was dedicated anew by the Chashmonaim, 140 B.C.E.
- Jews ordered expelled from Tennessee by General Ulysses S. Grant during Civil War in 1862. In New York City, 7000 Jews marched in protest against his decision. President Lincoln rescinded his order
- Founding of Zichron Yaakov, 1882.
- President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Strauss to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor, 1906. Strauss became the first Jewish cabinet member.
- The order to expel the Jews of Spain (carried out on Tisha B’Av 1492) was officially voided on the first day of Chanukah, 1968.
Rav Avraham ben David, Ravad III, also known as the Baal Ha'sagot (1121-1198). The 3rd of three great Jews named Avraham ben David who lived in the same era, this Rav Avraham was born in Provence in the small village of Puskeiras to a wealthy and prominent man who was close to Prince Roger. At the age of 12 he went to Lunel to study with Rav Meshulem ben Moshe, author of Hashlamah on the Rif. He married the daughter of Rav Avraham ben Yitzchak, Av Bet Din (known as Raavad II), the author of Ha’Eshkol. He then learned in the yeshivah of Narbonne, headed by Rav Yosef ben Marven Ha'levi. The Ravad's brief critical notes to the Mishnah Torah are known for their abrasive quality. He objected to the Rambam’s methodology of presenting normative rulings without indication of their sources of rationales. In his later years, he learned kabalah, and his two sons, Rav David and Rav Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, were among Provence’s first kabalists.
Rav Elazar (ben Moshe Elyakim Beriah) of Kozhnitz [Kozienice] (1863). Son of the Kozhnitzer Maggid, his thoughts are recorded in Likutei Mahara.
Rav Meshulam Roth (1875-1962). Born in Gorodenka, Galicia (now in Ukraine). For a time, Rav Roth studied with Rav Yehudah Modern of Sighet, from whom he gained a strong attachment to the works of the Chatam Sofer. After his marriage, he was elected rabbi of Chorostkiv (Ukraine). Rav Roth was eventually elected rabbi of Shatz (Suceava, Romania) and later Czernowitz (Tchernovitz), Ukraine, where he witnessed the community's destruction during the Holocaust. In 1944, he managed to escape to Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Yehoshua Zelig (ben Shimon Moshe) Diskin, Rav of Pardes Chanah (1896-1970). Born in Chislavichi, he wrote the preface to his father’s sefer, Midrash Shimoni, entitled Toldot Ha-Mechaber. He became one of the Roshei Yeshivot of Kol Torah. The Diskin family is descendant from the Maharal of Prague and the Chavot Ya'ir.
Rav Dovid Hersh (ben Yitzchak Zev) Mayer, Rosh Yeshivah, Bet Binyamin, Stamford (CT) (1947-2002). Son of the Maharsha Ha’aruch, a close friend of Rav Michael Ber Weissmandl. His mother, Leah, was the main character in the famous story of the woman who demanded a knife for her newborn son as she was being taken away to a concentration camp; she then circumcised her 8-day child. The child was Rav David Hersh’s older brother, Menasheh. The family survived and moved to America. Rav David Hersh learned at the Nitra yeshiva in Mount Kisco, NY, then at Lakewood. He was close to Rav Shneur Kotler and Rav Natan Wachtfogel and was instrumental in the founding of the Los Angeles Kollel. He founded Bet,Binyamin in 1977.
Rav Menachem Mendel (ben Yechezkel Shraga) Weinbach (1933-2012), founder and Dean of Yeshivah Ohr Sameach. Born in Galicia, Poland, he and his family escaped Europe before World War II and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He learned and received semichah at Yeshiva Torah V'daat. After his marriage, he and his wife settled in Kiryat Mattersdorf in Yerushalayim. In 1970, Rav Weinbach with Rav Noach Weinberg, Rav Nota Schiller, and Rav Yaakov Rosenberg founded Yeshivah Shema Yisrael to attract young Jewish men with little or no background in Jewish studies. After a few years, Rav Weinberg founded Aish Ha'Torah in 1974. Shema Yisrael subsequently changed its name to Ohr Sameach.
Other events on this day:
- Jews are expelled from Breslau, Silesia, 1738.
- Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island -- Congregation Yeshuat Yisrael - oldest existing shul in the U.S., was dedicated in 1763.
- Emancipation of the Jews of Hungary, 1867.
- General Edmund Allenby, head of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (of the British army) entered Yerushalayim, forcing the Turks to retreat, 1917.
- The SS Ruslam reaches Jaffa with 671 people aboard, 1919, marking the period of what is known as the “Third Aliyah,” which lasted four years, bringing 35,000 immigrants.
- The first of the Tower and Stockade settlements (Tel Amel) Nir David is erected 1936.
- Libya proclaims independence, 1951, forcing most of the Jewish community to flee.
- President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and set in motion a plan to move the US Embassy there, saying “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” Ten days later, Guatemala also announced its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Rav Tzvi Hersh (ben Yissachar Dov Beirish) Rosanish, author of Teisha Shitot (1804). He was the son of the Av Bet Din of Podhajce, and grandson of Rav Yaakov Yehoshuah of Krakow and Lvov, author of the Pnei Yehoshuah.
Rav Chaim (ben Shlomo) Tchernovitz (or Chernovitz), author of Be’er Mayim Chaim. Born near Butchatch, Galicia (now Poland), he studied under Rav Tzvi Hersh of Botchatch and became a chassid of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov, Rav Shmelke of Nikolsburg and the Maggid of Mezritch. He became Rav in Tchernovitch in the Bukovina province of Romania, in 1789, and he remained there for 23 years. In 1812, war broke out, and Bukovina was annexed by Austria. The new government issued harsh anti-semitic decrees, resulting in Rav Chaim’s departure, first to Botchan, then to Eretz Yisrael.. He settled in Tzefat, where he lived privately for the last 5 years of his life. He is buried in Tzefat.
Rav Yechiel Mechel of Galina (1866). Son-in-law of Rebbe Meir of Premishlan
Rav Shaul Margulis of Lublin (1887)
Rav Avraham Yitzchak (ben Aharon David) Kahan (Kohn; Kahn), the Toldot Aharon Rebbe (1914-1996). He and his family were forced to leave Eretz Yisrael in 1918, moving to Honiad in the Zibenbergen region of Romania. He learned in the yeshivah of Krulle, headed by Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, and he moved with the yeshivah to Satmar. He became very close to Rav Aharon (Arele) Roth, founder of Shomrei Emunim of Meah Shearim, and later married his daughter. When his mentor was niftar in 1947, Rav Avraham Yitzchak became his successor. He authored Divrei Emunah. Following his petirah, two of his sons became Rebbes. The younger son, Rav David Kahn of Monsey, a disciple of the Satmar Rebbe, became the Toldot Aharon Rebbe. The eldest son, Rav Shmuel Yaakov Kahn, a disciple of the Viznitzer Rebbe, became a Rebbe of a group that was entitled Toldot Avraham Yitzchak named after his father, whose main Bet Midrash is also in Meah Shearim, one block away from the Toldot Aharon building. Another son is a Rosh Yeshivah in Kiryat Yoel, New York.
Rav Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowitz, Rebbe of Munkatch and Chief Rabbi of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Cholon, Israel (1914-1997). One of his manuscripts was published in 2012 as Binat Nevonim by Rav Natann David Rabinowitz.
Other events on this day:
- Jews were expelled from Breslau, Silesia, 1738.
Catherine II created the Pale of Settlement, 1791. Jews were squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia.
- Associated Press correspondant Terry Anderson was released by Shiite Hezbollah terrorists after almost seven years of captivity, 1991.
Rav Avraham Ravigo (1714). Born in Modena, Italy, he became highly esteemed as both a supporter of Torah and as a great Torah scholar himself. He and a party of 25 set sail from Livorno, Italy, for Eretz Yisrael in 1702. When they arrived in Yerushalayim, his wife, daughter, and closest disciple died in a plague. He opened a yeshivah; among the ten Rabbanim who learned there was the son-in-law of Rav Yehudah Ha'Chasid. After the petirah of Rav Rav Moshe ben Chaviv, Rav Avraham was appointed Rishon Letzion. However, he passed away during one of his trips abroad trying to raise funds.
Rav Avraham Madjar (1834). Av Bet Din in Yerushalayim author of Divrei Shalom.
Rav Baruch Dovid (ben Mordechai Dov) Twersky of Klintowitz (Klenkowitz), author of Va'yevarech David (1925)
Rav Simcha Zelig Riger (1864-1942), born in Novardok, he had changed his family name from Muglinsky to avoid conscription. He was accepted to Volozhin while still a young boy and was taken under the wing of Rav Chaim Brisker. When Rav Chaim was later asked to succeed his father as Rav of the city, he agreed on condition that Rav Simcha Zelig would be posek and dayan. He thus took that position at the age of 29. Beginning on June 15, 1942, Brisk was in the crosshairs of the Nazi death machine as the first city in Russia during the start of the Barbarossa Campaign. On the 4th night of Chanukkah, 4,000 Jews, including Rav Simcha Zelig, were shot in front of their own graves.
Rav Ezra (ben Yitzchak) Hamway, Ra’avad of Aram Tzova in Syria (1859-1945). He was born in Aleppo and educated therein, and was appointed judge in 1887. He served for 45 years as Chief Judge until moving to Erez Israel in 1935.
Rav Chaim Mordechai Wainkrantz (1920-2004). Born in Popov, Poland, he studied at the Novardok branch in Polutsk, then traveled to Bialystok to learn at the Bet Yosef Yeshivah under Rav Avraham Yoffen. During WW2, he was exiled to Siberia. In 1947, he moved to America, married, and learned in Kollel for another 10 years under Rav Yoffen. He then founded a yeshiva ketana. He was also maggid shiur at Congregation Shomrei Emunah. In his later years, he became Rosh Yeshivah at Bet Yosef.
Other events on this day:
- Orville Wright of Ohio becomes the first man to fly, traveling 120 feet in 12 seconds. The plane weighed 600 pounds.
Rav Aharon Shimon Shapiro of Prague (1679)
Rav Chizkiya (ben Dovid) di Silva, author of Pri Chadash on the Shulchan Aruch (1659-1698). Born in Livorna, Italy, he traveled to Amsterdam – home to a large Sephardi community – in 1689, to raise funds for the publication of his sefer. While there, he was offered two positions, one to stay as Rav of Amsterdam and the other to lead a new yeshivah in Yerushalayim; he chose the latter. In 1693, he established the yeshivah Bet Yaakov in Yerushalayim. Three of his most prominent talmidim were Rav Shalomo Elgazi (the future Rav of Egypt), Rav Avraham Yitzchaki, and Rav Yitzchak Hakohen, author of Battei Kehunah. His sefer was unique that it focused primarily on divrei Chazal and Rishonim and was often critical of earlier Acharonim, even the Shulchan Aruch, often taking a more lenient position. As such, the sefer was quite controversial during his life.
Rav Gedalia (ben Yitzchak) Rabinowitz of Linitz, author of Teshuot Chen (1803). A disciple of the Magid of Mezritch. Rebbe Nachman said about Rav Gedalya of Linitz that he was foremost in the bringing of people to repentance in that generation, even though he never gave lectures and only sat and learned all day.
Rav Tzvi Mordechai of Plavna (1866)
Rav Shlomo of Vilna, author of Cheshek Shlomo (1905)
Rav Baruch Hager of Vishiva (1944)
Rav Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu (ben Meir Menachem) Finkler of Radoshitz (1902-1944).
Rav Yisrael (ben Mordechai Shraga Feivish) Friedman of Husyatin and Rizhin (1949). A grandson of the Rizhiner Rebbe, he married Nechamah Gitel, a grand-daughter of his uncle, Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger, when he was 14 years old. He was also the uncle of Reb Moshenu of Boyan. In 1937, he moved to Tel Aviv, along with his son-in-law, Rav Yaakov, who would succeed him 12 years later.
Rav Shlomo Dovid (ben Benzion) Kahana of Warsaw and Yerushalayim, the Avi Ha’agunot (1869-1953). During the aftermath of the first and second World Wars, he undertook to solve the plight of Agunot. It is said that he obtained some seventy thousand signed affidavits, and he permitted some fifty thousand Agunot to remarry. In 1941, Rav Kahana settled in Eretz Yisrael, where he became Rav of the old city of Yerushalayim. There, he once again dealt with the problems of thousands of Agunot whom he permitted to remarry.
Rav Zushe Waltner (1918-2002). Born in Hungary, he traveled through Cracow and Switzerland until he eventually was admitted to England in 1937. There, Rav Waltner developed a very close relationship with Rav Eliyahu Dessler. After the war, Rav Waltner and Rav Aryeh Grosnass traveled to Europe to help the shattered remnants of European Jewry and founded the yeshivah in Sunderland to accommodate some of them. Traveling to Tangiers to recruit talmidim for Sunderland, he met Rav Shmuel Toledano who soon built a yeshivah and then invited Rav Waltner to come and found it. At the advice of Rav Dessler who consulted with the Chazon Ish on the matter, Rav Waltner accepted the challenge. There he set up a yeshivah called Eitz Chaim. There are thousands of bnei Torah and religious balabatim today who freely acknowledge that he is responsible for their spiritual life. He also established Otzar Ha'torah institutions in Morocco. Among his talmidim from Tangier are Rav Shimon Pinto of Strasbourg and Rav Shlomo Farrache in Bnei Brak.
Other events on this day:
- Followers of Zechariah of Kiev were burned in Moscow, 1503, on charges of Judaizing.
- Two years after the Baal Hatanya’s previous arrest and liberation, he was arrested a second time, again on charges that his teachings were undermining the imperial authority of the Czar. He was released on this date, which Lubavitcher Chassidim mark as a yom tov, 1800.
- Jews of Tel Aviv were expelled by the Turks and sent to Egypt, 1914.
- Adolph Hitler, ym”s, became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German army, 1941.
Rav Avraham (ben David) Shisgal of Rostov, Russia (1890-1952). After learning at Slutsk and Slabodka, he served as Rav in Rostov from 1916 to 1923, before moving to the United States, where he served as Rav in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for eight years. He later served as Rav of Kehillat Anshe Marmarosh in Brooklyn and Kehillat Machzikei Torah Anshe Szeged-Vilna in downtown Manhattan.
Rav Tzvi Yehudah (Hashi) Friedman (1925-2005). Born in Pressburg, Hungary, Reb Hashi was a descendant of the Chatam Sofer, whose youngest daughter, Rechel, married Reb Tzvi Yehudah Friedman from Topolcany. Among Reb Hashi’s teachers were Rav Akiva Sofer (the Daat Sofer), Rav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer (the Cheishev Sofer), and Rav Michael Ber Weissmandel. In 1944, he was sent to Aushwitz and marched the Death March to Gleiwitz and was transported to Buchenwald. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived another 60 years. He emigrated to Montreal in 1951 and moved to Toronto in 1970. His life was filled with Torah and hachnasat orchim.