Aharon ben Amram Ha’Kohen (1395-1272 BCE) [the only yahrtzeit mentioned in the Torah]
Elazar ben Aharon Ha’Kohen
Rav Eliezer Isserlish, brother of the Rema (1623)
Rav Yosef, Rav of Dubna and author of Yesod Yosef (1700)
Rav Yisrael Avraham Zev of Chevron, author of Orim Gedolim (1731)
Rav Asher Ginsburg, Rav of Wallerstein and son of the Shaagas Aryeh (1742)
Rav Chaim ben Tzvi Hirsch of Krasna (1793) span>
Rav Shmuel ben (1805-1883), author of Chasan Sofer, and Rav in Matersdorf.
Rav Aharon Halberstam (1826-1903). Born in Rudnick to Rav Chaim, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, he was appointed Rav of Sanz in 1857, during the lifetime of his famous father. After his father’s petirah in 1876, Rav Aharon was the only one of the sons who did not become a Rebbe, refusing to accept the chasidim who came to his house. Some of his Divrei Torah were published in Meged Eretz by a grand-nephew, Rav Aharon Halberstam of Biale-Bilitz.
Rav Yaakov Moshe Shurkin, Rosh Metivta Chaim Berlin, student of the Chafetz Chaim (1963)
Rav Shlomoh ben Ben Zion Halberstam (1908-2000), grandson of Rav Shlomoh, the founder of the Bobov dynasty. At the outbreak of World War II, he and his father escaped to Lemberg. On the fourth of Av 1942 his father was killed, and Rav Shlomoh escaped to the Bochnia Ghetto. In Bochnia, the Rav lost his Rebetzin and two children. He managed to escape with his only surviving child, Naftali, to Budapest, and then to Bucharest. Rav Shlomoh is believed to have been the last remaining Chasidic Rabbi to survive the Holocaust. Born in the Galicia region of central Europe, Rav Halberstam arrived in the United States in 1946, alone and indigent after his group was largely obliterated by the Nazis. During the war, Rav Halberstam dressed up as a nun in order to rescue other Jews, hiding them in the false bottom of a coal truck. The Rebbe is widely credited with rebuilding the Bobover community in the United States. His Divrei Torah were recorded in Likutei Kerem Shlomoh.
Rav Shmuel Naftali ben David Genger (1926-2016). In 1956, when the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe founded Kiryat Sanz in Netanyah, Rav Genger was among the original Magidei Shiur, who eventually became Rosh Yeshivah.
Other events on this day:
- The prophet Ezra arrives in Yerushalayim, 347 BCE. 1,496 men chose to come with him (this was in the days before subsidies), and Ezra had to persuade 38 Leviim with their 200 servants (the Leviim did not want to come, and it was only because they were essential for the Temple service that Ezra managed to get them to join him).
- In Poland at the Nazis’ Treblinka concentration camp - located 60 miles northeast of Warsaw, some 600 prisoners staged an uprising and fled into the woods, 1943. On a Monday at about 4:00 p.m., before the resistance leaders could gain full control of the arms cache, a suspicious SS officer was killed by a shot that alerted the camp guards and prematurely signaled the inmates to revolt. During exchanges of gunfire, some prisoners torched parts of the camp. As the escapees ran for their lives, most were gunned down from the camp's watchtowers or caught and killed later. On the day of the uprising, the camp held approximately 850 prisoners. Some 750 tried to escape. Only 70 survived.
- The S.S. Exodus with 4,000 illegal Jewish immigrants on board was seized by the British and forced to sail back to Germany, 1947. The negative public relations which this generated for the British contributed to their final decision to leave the Middle East in 1948.
- Raoul Wallenberg was reported by Russia to have died in prison, 1947
- Egyptian military officers, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, launced a successful coup against King Farouk I, 1952
- President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law, 1965, effective the following year.
Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon. 1969.
Rav Aharon Tumim (1630-1690). A Rav in Prague from 1659 to 1672, Rav Aharon became Rosh Yeshivah in Worms in 1672. He wrote Mateh Aharon on the Hagadah. In 1687, he accepted a position of Rav of Krakow, but because of political circumstances, he delayed his departure until 1690. Shortly after he left Worms, the city was destroyed by the troops of King Louis XIV. He served in Krakow four months before a Polish nobleman had him arrested; he died as a result of torture. Hashem yimkom damo.
Rav Aharon Yosef ben Yeshayahu Bakst, known in musar circles as Reb Archik (1869-1941). Born in Iyola, Lithuania (near Vilna), he left home to study in Volozhin when he was 14. After studying under Rav Yitzchak Blazer for three years, he learned in Bet Ha’Talmud in Kelm and became one of Rav Shimchah Zissel’s most outstanding talmidim. After his marriage, he took his first rabbinical post in Bisgola, near Shavli. Thereafter, he served at Simiatitz (1896-1901), Volgograd (later known as Stalingrad), Shadova, Suvalk, and eventually (in 1926) in Lomza, where he also founded a Kollel. In 1937, he moved to Shavli to replace Rav Meir Atlas and founded a yeshivah. He was shot and murdered by the Nazis (HY”D). Sadly, most of his chidushim and commentary on the Yerushalmi were also destroyed. A halachic work, Torat Aharon, has been published, as has Lev Aharon, a volume containing musar discourses.
Rav Gedaliah Silverstone (1871-1944). Born in Eastern Europe in 1871, he studied in the yeshivah of Telshe under Rav Eliezer Gordon. In 1901, Rav Silverstone became Chief Rabbi of Belfast (Ireland). In 1906, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he served several congregations, including Tiferet Israel (which was then Orthodox) and Ohev Shalom. During the 1930s he settled in Eretz Yisrael. His works include Bet Meir, Yeshuah Gedolah, Pirchei Aviv, Sukat Shalom and a Hagadah commentary entitled Korban Pesach.
Rav Binyomin ben Yitzchak Leib Bomrind (1907-1973). Born in Galicia in Berzhan, Rav Bomrind immigrated to America in 1921. He was a Director and Rebbe at Yeshivat Rabbi Jacob Joseph school and he also was the Rav of the Horodetzer Shul on the lower east side for many years. He also practiced law and was thereby able to help hundreds of fellow Jews with their legal issues.
Rav Moshe ben Avraham Stern, the Debrecziner Rav, author of Be’er Moshe (1914-1997). Born in Neuhaizal, Slovakia, he studied in Yeshivat Pressburg, headed by Rav Akiva Sofer, the Daat Sofer. After his marriage, he moved to Debrecen, Hungary's second largest city, where Jews had been barred from living until 1840. In Debrecen, he was appointed a posek and dayan. By 1941, Jews lived in Debrecen and comprised about 7% of its population. After the war, 4,640 Jews returned to Debrecen making it the largest Jewish community in the area. Rav Moshe restructured the kehillah. Together with the Admor of Erlau, he founded a yeshivah in Budapest. In the early 1950s, Rav Moshe moved to New York and established his Kahal Yesodei Ha’Torah whose congregants were mostly immigrants from Hungary. He also authored "Kunterus Ha'Electric" where he discusses the dozens of she’elot involved with electricity, such as accepting testimony over the phone and setting up alarms to work on Shabbos.
Other events on this day:
- Roman general Titus commenced battering the walls of the courtyard of the Beis Hamikdash, 70 CE
- Pope Clement IV establishes the Inquisition in Rome, 1267
- Pope Gregory X banned blood-ritual charges against the Jews, 1274. This was neither the first nor the last time a pope tried to ban charges of ritual murder against the Jews. None were very successful.
- King Edward I of England issued the proclamation to expel the Jews, 1290. England’s Jews were allowed to take only personal possessions with them; their property was confiscated. After returning from his Crusade, Edward was deeply in debt. He summoned his knights to impose a steep tax and to make the tax more palatable, he offered to expel all the Jews. The heavy tax legislation was passed, and the widely popular expulsion order which was issued, met with little resistance, and was quickly carried out. Approximately 4,000 Jews were expelled, and most went to France or Germanic lands. Jews were not readmitted to England until 1656.
- 38 Jews were burned at the stake in Berlin, (Prussia), 1510.
- Last execution of the Inquisition in Peru took place in 1806.
- The first train with Jews from Holland left for a death camp, 1942
- French police arrested 13,152 innocent Jews, 4,000 of whom were children, 1942. They were held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver in extremely crowded conditions, almost without food and water, and with no sanitary facilities, as well as at the Drancy, Pithiviers, and Beaune-la-Rolande internment camps, before being shipped in rail cattle cars to Auschwitz to be gassed. Only 30 adults are known to have survived the round up. The day is referred to as “Black Thursday.”
Rav Shimshon ben Pesach of Astropolia, along with 10,000 Jews of Polana, died al Kidush Hashem, in the Chmielnicki massacres (1648). He was the author of Yad Yadin.
Rav Shimshon Bachrach of Nicholsburg, son of the Chavot Yair (1721)
Rav Yaakov Landau, son of the Noda Be’Yehudah (1822)
Rav Pesachyah Hornblass, Rav of Warsaw, and author of Pitchei She’arim (1914).
Rav Yitzchak ben Mordechai Twersky, the first Skverer Rebbe in America (1888-1941). Known as Reb Itzikel Skverer, he left Bessararabia in the Ukraine and settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. He came to America in 1923. Eventually he established a Bet Midrash in Boro Park.
Rav Eliyahu Moshe Shisgal (1973). Learned with Rav Shlomo Heiman at Yeshivat Torah V'Daat. He married Faye Gittel Feinstein, daughter of Rav Moshe Feinstein, and was a Magid Shiur in Torah V’daat
Other events on this day:
- Anti-Jewish riots in Breslau resulted in many deaths and the expulsion of those that remained alive, 1360.
- 10,000 Jews of Polannoe (today in the Ukraine) perished in the Chmielnicki massacres, 1648.
- Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Mesilat Yesharim) was forced to swear that he would stop writing down his heavenly revelations by a heavenly Maggid. These writings were seen by Rav Y. Chagiz of Altona, a gadol of his era, and aroused suspicions that the Ramchal was a possible follower of Shabsi Tzvi.
- First shipload of Russian Jews arrived in New York on this date in 1881. This was the beginning of the mass immigration of Russian Jews to the United States after the 1881 pogroms all over Russia.
- Liberation of Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin by the Soviets, 1944. They found less than 1000 surviving prisoners, nmostly non-Jews, as the Jews had been evacuated or murdered. The soldiers also found a storage house containing hundreds of thousands of shoes, a hint of the degree of the massacre that had taken place.
Rav Menachem Azariah Yitzchak Berachyah deFano (from Pano), Italian mekubal (1548-1620). Author of Shu’T Rama Mi’Pano and Asarah Ma'amarot.
Rav Tzvi Meir ben Shlomoh Ha’Kohen Rabinowitz (1901). Chief Rabbi of Radomsk, son of the Tiferet Shlomoh.
Rav Meir Mordechai Chadash, Rosh Yeshivat Ohr Elchanan (1940-2016)
Rav Raphael ben Mordechai Ankawa (1848-1935). Born in Salé, Morocco, he became President of Bet Din in Sale and founded a yeshivah in 1880. In 1918, he was appointed the first President of the High Rabbinical Court of Rabat, Morocco. He published numerous works on Choshen Mishpat, including Karne Reem, Hadad Vetema, Paamone Zahav, and Paamon Ve-Rimon.
Rav Benzion ben Shlomoh Halberstam of Bobov (1874-1942). Born in Bokovosk, Galicia, he was a great- grandson of Rav Chaim of Sanz. In 1893, his father moved to Bobov and appointed his son, Rav Benzion, Rav of the town. His father died suddenly in 1905, at the age of 58. On the following Shabat, Rav Shlomoh’s brothers appointed Rav Benzion the Bobover Rebbe. He was murdered with 20,000 Jews after being forced to dig a mass grave in a forest outside of Levov (Lemberg). Rav Benzion was survived by two sons – Rav Shlomoh Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe (d. 2000), and Rav Yechezkel David (d. 1978), as well as 7 daughters, the oldest of whom was Devorah Leah Twerski, of Milwaukee.
Rav Eliyahu Glucksman, dayan of the Washington Heights (New York) community, teacher at Bet Yaakov and Rika Breuers Teachers Seminary (1921-2004). Born in Berlin, he escaped to England in 1938, where he studied under Rav Eliyahu Dessler. He later emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, where he learned at Bet Yosef, Petach Tikvah, and then 10 years in Bnei Brak at Kollel Chazon Ish.
Other events on this day:
- Nechemia starts building the wall around Yerushalayim, 444 BCE
- Anti-Jewish riots in Arnstadt, Germany, 1264
- Rashba proclaimed a ban on the study of metaphysics and philosophy by students under the age of 30, 1305. The Cherem was both famous and controversial
- Jewish males of Aniksht and the Jews of Vilkovishk, both in Lithuania, were killed by the Nazis, 1941
- Russians liberate Lublin concentration camp, 1944
Rav Yitzchak ben Shlomoh Luria Ashkenazi from Tzefat, the Arizal Ha’Kadosh (1534-1572), born in Yerushalayim. His father passed away shortly after his birth, and Rav Klominus taught him. He and his family moved to Egypt when Ran Klominus died. There he learned with Rav David ben Zimra, the Radvaz from age 14. Among the other talmidim was Rav Betzaelel Ashkenazi, author of Shitat Mekubetzet. He moved to Tzefat at age 36, in the same year that the Ramak, Rav Moshe Cordovero, was niftar. He was niftar 2 years later.
Rav Aharon Baal Ruach Hakodesh, Rav of Zlotchov (1659)
Rav Gedalyah Chiyun (1750). Born in Turkey, he founded Yeshivat Bet Kel (in 1732), which studied Kabalah according to the approach of the Ari Ha’kadosh. His teacher was the great mekubal, Rav Chaim Alfandari. His greatest student was Rav Shalom Sharabi (Rashash) of Yemen.
Rav Meir Berabi, Rav of Pressburg and author of Chidushei Maharam Be’Rabi (1789).
Rav Zev Lichtenstein, Rav of Broistitz and author of Kedushat Yisrael (1807)
Rav Shimon Isserlish, Rav of Slutzk and son of the Rema (1811)
Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky of Vilna (1863-1940). Born in Ivye, a small town near Vilna where his father (a talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter) was Rav for forty years, preceded by his grandfather who had also served as Rav there for forty years, Rav Chaim Ozer was gifted with an infallible memory - never experiencing "forgetting," as he himself remarked, until his old age.
At the age of 15, he went to the yeshivah of Volozhin and was immediately accepted in Reb Chaim Brisker's select group. He married the daughter of the Vilna Dayan, Reb Lazer, son-in-law of Reb Yisrael Salanter at the age of 20. Two years later, his father-in-law died, and he took the position of Dayan in Vilna, and over the next 55 years, he became the unofficial Rav of Vilna. His only child, a girl of seventeen, died at twenty. Reb Chaim Ozer was one of the founders of Agudat Israel and the pillar of the movement throughout his life. He authored ShU”T Achi’ezer. With his petirah, the Jewish people lost three giants in 10 months: Rav Shimon Shkop, Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe for 25 years, and in Grodno (9 Cheshvan), and Rav Baruch Ber Levovitz of Kamenitz (5 Kislev)
Rav Ezriel (Azriel) Hildesheimer, Rav of Adat Yisrael of Berlin (1820-1899). He learned in the yeshivah of Rav Yaakov Ettlinger, the Aruch Laner, in Altoona. In 1851, he became the Rav of Eisenstadt, Hungary, and moved to Berlin in 1869 to serve as Rav there. The founded and served as the first Rosh Yeshivah of the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary, in response to the growth of Reform in Germany. He authored Sheilot U’teshuvot Rav Azriel and Chidushei Rav Azriel. The Seminary continued in existence until the late 1930s under the leadership of such figures as R' David Zvi Hoffman (until 1921), R' Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan (until 1924) and R' Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg.
Rav Benyamin Paler (1908-2000), a talmid muvhak of the Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzchak Zev Ha’Levi Soloveitchik. His mother was a direct descendent of the Rema. Born in Brisk, Rav Binyamin studied in Torat Chesed of Rav Moshe Sokolovski, author of the Imrei Moshe. In 1931, he transferred to the yeshivah of Rav Velvel Soloveitchik, the rav of Brisk. He traveled with the Mir yeshivah to Shanghai, where he drew close to the Mashgiach, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein. After the war, he arrived in the United Sates and founded the Bet Ha’Talmud yeshivah in Brooklyn. Soon afterward he married the daughter of Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf. In 1967, he founded the Mekor Chaim Yeshivah, where he taught for over thirty years.
Rav Shimon Natan Nota Biederman. Born in Tiveria to Rav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Admor of Lelov, a descendent of the first Lelover Rebbe, Rav David, who himself was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. When his father was niftar in 1981, Rav Shimon Natan Nota became Admor and opened Mosdot Ohr Yaakov in his father’s memory; these included kollelim and chessed organizations. (1930-2004)
Rav Aharon Shakovitzky (1911-2005). Born to Rav Benyamin Shakovitzky, the Magid of Minsk, Reb Aharon traveled alone to Eretz Yisrael at the age of 12 to study under Rav Leib Chasman at Yeshivat Chevron. He survived the Chevron Massacre of 1929 and later he lived in the home of Rav Yechezkel Sarna. After marrying, he and his wife lived in Tel Aviv and later in Bnei Brak. He studied with hatmadoh and yegiyah his entire life, never wanting to take on the burden of the rabbinate.
Other events on this day:
- Pope Clement VI forbade forcible baptism of Jews, 1345 (a papal order that was not followed seriously).
- The Russians took Vilna as part of the peace settlement between Chmielnicki and Czar Alexis, in 1655. The Jews of Vilna were once again subject to expulsion and murder.
- Anti-Jewish riots in Posen, 1716.
- Death of physician and zoologist Marcus Eliezer Bloch of Germany, 1799. A member of Moshe Mendelsohn’s circle of German maskilim, he became famous as the first modern fish naturalist (ichthyologist). He classified 1500 species in his 12 volume work Allegemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische. His collection of about 1500 specimens is today preserved at the Museum for Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum) of the Humboldt University of Berlin.
- Anti-Jewish riots in Budapest following the acquittal of Jews on ritual murder charges, 1883.
- World War I officially began, as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, 1914.
Rav Yosef ben Yisrael Kitzingen (1584-1607). Born in the city of Kuzel, he became the son-in-law of Rav David Altschuler of Prague, where he settled after his marriage. When the widespread halachic controversy of the chalitzah of Rav Avraham Wallerstein, the son-in-law of the Maharal, Rav Yosef sided with the Maharsha and the Levush in invalidating the chalitzah. Following the machloket, Rav Yosef was niftar at a very early age.
Rav Yehudah Briel of Montova, (1643-1722), author of Shemesh Tzedakah and Pachad Yitzchak.
Rav Natan ben Shlomoh Ma’az, Rosh Yeshivah and Av Bet Din in Frankfurt-am Main (1796), He was the author of Binyan Shlomoh and was one of the Chatam Sofer's teachers in Franfurt.
Rav Dr. Salomon ben Mordechai Breuer (1850-1926), son-in-law and successor of Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch. In his teens, Rav Breuer learned in Pressburg under the Ketav Sofer. His first position was Rav of Papa in 1876, a position he held until 1889. He replaced his father-in-law in 1890, two years after the latter’s petirah. Through his efforts, a yeshivah was founded in 1893, the first yeshivah in Germany since the Manheim Yeshivah of the Aruch LaNer in 1836. His family posthumously published his drashot on Chumash in German, subsequently translated into English and Hebrew as Chochmah U’Musar.
Rav Yehoshua ben Avraham Yosef Greenwald, Av Bet Din of Chust, author of Chasdei Yehoshuah (1969). After suffering the horrors of World War II, he followed the Rambam’s advice and wrote that “strolling in beautiful gardens, looking at pleasing works of architecture, and being surrounded by beautiful objects, alleviate depression and expand one's mind.”
Other events on this day:
- The Jews of Wurzburg were massacred, 1298.
- Baruch Spinoza (born 1632) was excommunicated by the Jewish community of Amsterdam for advocating apikorsus (1656). Particuarly egregious to the communal leaders were Spinoza’s questioning the divine origin of the Torah, his denial of the immortality of the soul and his rejection of a providential G-d, R”L.
- The first of the three partitions of Poland (that occurred in 1772, 1794 and 1795) which created huge changes in the Jewish world. Ukraine went to Russia, Galicia to Austria (whose Jewish population now doubled), and Lithuania to Prussia. Catherine II inherited many of the same Jews she was trying to be rid of. Each monarch made an effort to integrate and assimilate its Jews into the “State of Order” and central administration, expediting the advance of Haskalah throughout these countries.
- The British House of Commons voted in favor of the emancipation of the Jews of England, 1833. The House of Lords rejected the proposal until 1845.
- The Second Battle of the Marne – also called Battle of Reims - resulting in an Allied victory, began, 1918. The battle was the last major German Spring Offensive on the Western Front during World War I. It failed when an Allied counterattack led by French forces overwhelmed the Germans, inflicting severe casualties.
- Egypt proclaimed Republic, 1953.
Rav Moshe ben Amram Greenwald of Chust, the Arugat Ha’Bosem (1915). A disciple of Rebbe Yushah Rokeach of Belz. His son, Rav Rav Yaakov Yechezkiyah, became the Pupa Rebbe.
Rav Simcha Bunim ben Shmuel Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf, Rosh Yeshivah of the Chatam Sofer Yeshivah and author of Ma'aneh Simchah (1926)
Don Yosef Ha’Nasi
Rav Shmuel, son of Rav Yitzchak Isaac Yankowitz, Rishon Le’Zion Rebbe (1999)
Rav Shalom Noach ben Moshe Avraham Brazovsky, the Slonimer Rebbe (1911-2000). Born in Baranovich, he studied in Yeshivat Torat Chesed. Shortly before his own passing in 1933, the Bet Avraham recommended to his cousin, Rav Avraham Weinberg of Tiveria that he take Rav Brazovsky as a son-in-law. (Rav Avraham's brother was the father of Rav Yaakov Weinberg, the late Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, and Rav Noach Weinberg, founder of Aish Ha’Torah.)
In 1941, Rav Brazovsky opened the Slonimer Yeshivah in Yerushalayim. With the exception of the Yesod Ha'Avodah, none of the Slonimer Rebbes or their predecessors, the rebbes of Lechovitch and Kobrin, committed their teachings to writing. As part of his effort to rejuvenate Slonimer chasidut, Rav Brazovsky was responsible for collecting the oral traditions ascribed to these leaders in works such as Divrei Shmuel and Torat Avot. Rav Brazovsky also authored many volumes of his own teachings, including the seven-volume Netivot Shalom.
Other events on this day:
- Nevuzaradan enters the city of Yerushalayim to conquer it, 420 BCE
- Pope Nicholas III ordered Jews to attend sermons on conversion, 1278.
- Jews of Valencia, Spain were massacred, 1391
- Don Yosef Nasi, Duke of Naxos, dies in 1579, putting an end to plans to resettle Teveria. A nephew and son-in-law of Donna Gracia, this rich merchant fled Portugal and re-established himself in Turkey. Among his efforts to help fleeing Marranos was a plan to resettle Tiveria.
- The execution of Czar Nicholas II, 1918 by the Bolshevik revolutionaries, among whom were many Jews, brought an end to the Romanov dynasty. The Romanov dynasty had hatched scheme after scheme in the preceeding 70 years to deJudaize and convert the Jews in Russia, and achieved success particularly among the Jews in the large Russian cities. But instead of turning the deJudaized Jews into faithful Russian Orthodox believers, the secularized Jews joined revolutionary anti-Czarist groups — particularly the Bolsheviks -- and ended up murdering the Czar and his family, sealing the fate of the entire Romanov dynasty.
- The Final Solution was officially undertaken by the Nazis, under orders of Goering, 1941.
- The U.S. exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico, 1945. Code named “Trinity,” the detonation produced an explosive power equivalent to about 20 kilotons of TNT. This date is usually considered to be the beginning of the Atomic Age.
Rav Shlomo Zalman Levi, Rav of Zlotchov (1831).
Rav Shmuel Shmelke Toibish, Rav of Yas (Jassi), author of Chayei Olam, Milchamot Hashem, and Mitzvat Chalitzah
Rav Yehudah Ha’Levy of Ragoza, founder of the Jewish yishuv in Yafo (1878).
Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv ben Yisrael, the Alter from Kelm (1824-1898). After his marriage, he moved from Kelm to Kovno where he became a talmid muvhak of Rav Yisrael Salanter. In 1862, he opened the Talmud Torah of Kelm, in order to combat the growing influence of haskalah. 15 years later, he and his yeshivah were denounced as “anti-government, and Rav Simcha Zissel had to change his last name from Broide to Ziv. His talmidim included Rav Natan Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slobodka), Rav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz (the Alter of Novardok), Rav Aharon Bakst, Rav Reuven Dessler, and his son Rav Nachum Ziv. The yeshivah was always highly restricted and at most it held 30 to 35 talmidim.
Rav Shmuel Luvtzar, author of Olat Shmuel (1898).
Rav Shimon ben Aharon Agasi was born in Baghdad (1852-1914). At the age of eleven, Rav Shimon began to study in Baghdad's Midrash Talmud Torah and proceeded to its adult division, Bet Zilcha, where he became one of its finest students. At the age of 17, Rav Shimon began to study Kabalah from Rav Chaim Vital's Etz Chaim. A number of years later, he joined the Chacham Yitzchak Yeshivah. Rav Agasi was the author of Shem Mi’Shimon.
Rav Meilech Silber, menahel of the Yeshivah of Eastern Parkway (1970). Born in Nuremberg, Germany, his lifetime of serving his fellow Jews began at the age of 7: Rav Avraham Yitzchak Klein, leader of the Adat Yisrael community in Nuremberg, would send him on secret missions in the early morning hours, going to the houses of poor families, leaving an envelope full of money on the step, knocking on the door, and then running away as fast as he could. With the advent of World War II, the Silber family moved to America, settling in the Bronx.
He learned in RJJ, Torah V’daat and Yeshivat Chaim Berlin. He also served as National Director of Pirchei Agudat Yisrael. In 1946, Reb Meilech was sent by Rav Hutner to a new yeshivah in the Crown Heights neighborhood which was searching for a principal. At the time, the yeshivah consisted of 10 kindergartners and two teachers. From this humble beginning grew the renowned Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway. Throughout the next 25 years, Reb Meilech built the yeshivah into a dynamic force in Torah education. Today, the yeshivah is known as Yeshiva Zichron Meilech.
Rav Chanoch Henich Dov ben Meshulam Zalman Yosef Zilberfarb, the Koidenover Rebbe (1978).
Rav Moshe Dov Chait, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim in Yerushalayim (1921-2009). Born in Philadelphia, Rav Chait – a talmid of Rav David Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills - was a long-time Rav of the Young Israel of Wavecrest and Bayswater and a rebbi at Yeshivah University, before moving to Eretz Yisrael in 1970 to found the Yerushalayim branch of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim. Rav Chait was well-known to have “a dazzling smile and a twinkle in his eye that lit up your soul as he spoke to your soul.”
Other events on this day:
- Jews in Frankfort, Germany were murdered in the Black Death massacres of 1349.
- Expulsion of the Jewish community of Vienna, 1670.
- Jews of Austria were required to take family names, 1787.
- The Jewish Agency (Sochnut) for Palestine was founded, 1929
- The mass deportation of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto was announced and commenced, 1942. Over the next 53 days, over 300,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps, primarily to Treblinka.
- A jury in Washington DC convicted twelve Hanafi Mulsims on charges stemming from a hostage siege at three buildings the previous March, 1977.
- Israel released 334 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Abu Mazen, the Palestinian Prime Minister, as a confidence building measure. However, Yasser Arafat dismissed the release as "an act of fraud and deceit.”