Click on any date for a list of yahrtzeits
Yitzchak Avinu (1713-1533 BCE)
Yehuda ben Yaakov Avinu
Rav Yona Teumim Frankel (1595-1669), Av Bet Din in Metz. He was the son of Reb Yeshia Teumim. He is the author of Kikayon De’Yona. In it, he explains the commentaries of Rashi , Tosafot , the Maharsha and the Maharshal on Gemara.
Rav Shmuel Ha’Levi Wosner, author of Shevet Halevi (1913-2015). Born in 1913 in Vienna, Austro-Hungary, Rav Wosner studied in Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin under Rav Meir Shapiro. Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael before WWII, Rav Wosner studied in Yerushalayim. Gedolim of the generation including the Chazon Ish, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, and the Tchebiner Rov urged Rav Wosner to relocate to Bnei Brak and establish his Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin, which he did.
Other events on this day:
- Hashem made Brit Ben Habetarim with Avraham, c. 1730.
- Sarah was kidnapped to the house of Paroh, 1716 (or 1740) BCE.
- The malachim appeared to inform Avraham that a son would be born to Sarah, 1716 BCE.
Birth of Yitzchak, 1715 BCE.
- Yitzchak summoned Esav and requested that he prepare a tasty meal for him and receive his brachah, 1592 BCE.
- Moshe saw the burning bush, 1311 BCE.
- The Egyptian first-born were slain, 1310 BCE.
- First Korban Pesach and Pesach celebrated by Bnei Yisrael, 1310 BCE.
- Bnei Yisrael left Egypt, led by Moshe Rabeinu, 1310 BCE
- The Assyrian army of Sancherev, which had threatened Yerushalayim, was destroyed, 546 BCE.
- Vashti was executed by order of Achashverosh, 367 BCE.
- Esther appeared before Achashverosh to plead for the Jewish people, 356 BCE.
- The last pocket of Jewish resistance of the Churban Bayit Sheini, Massada, fell to the Romans, 73 CE.
- An order to seize all Portuguese Jewish children, ages 4-14 for forced conversion, 1497.
- Massacre of Marranos of Lisbon, 1506.
- Napoleon "promised" the Jews of Eretz Yisrael the "reestablishment of ancient Yerushalayim", coupled with a plea for their support, 1799. This was the first promise by a modern government to establish a Jewish state.
- Twenty-eight people are killed and 134 injured when a suicide bomber blows himself up at a Pesach Seder in a Netanya hotel, 2002.
Levi ben Yaakov Avinu , 1567 BCE
Rav Mordechai Dov Ber Twerski of Tomashpol, son of Rav Nachum, son of the Mitteler Rebbe, 1920.
Rav Chaim ben Eliezer Ha’Kohen Charif (1864-1932). Rav in Greiding and of Adat Yeshurun, Izyaslav (Podalia Province), Russia before arriving in the United States.
Rav Natan Ordman, Rosh Yeshivas Etz Chaim London for more than 50 years. Born in Tavrik, Lithuania and educated in Telz, he came to London in 1936 (1906-1996)
Rav Simchah Zissel Brodie, Rosh Yeshiva of Chevron, 2000.
Other events on this day:
- Bnei Yisrael crossed the Yarden into Eretz Yisrael, 1270 BCE
- The two sons and five grandchildren of Shaul Hamelech were killed and hanged to avenge the Givonim (Yerushalmi Kidushin 4:1), 916 BCE
- Chizkiyahu Hamelech completed the rededication of the Bet Hamikdash, c. 550 BCE
- Haman is hanged, 356 BCE
- First blood libel, following the death of William of Norwich, 1144.
- Anti-Jewish violence broke out in Budapest, Hungary, 1848.
- The first pogrom against Jewish communities that swept through southwestern Russia occurs in Elisavetgrad (today Kirovohrad, Ukraine), 1881.
- Arabs killed nine and wounded hundreds of Jews in Yerushalayim, 1920. The events are referred to as the Nebi Musa Riots, based on the Muslim pilgrimage festival of the day.
- Operation Defensive Shield is Launched, 2002. In September 2000, following the breakdown of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians at Camp David, the Palestinians launched the Second Intifada. Thirty thousand reserve troops were called up and, within a few days, Israel had gained control of most West Bank cities and had killed or captured many responsible for planning the terror attacks.
Rav Avraham Reuven Ha’Kohen Katz of Prague (1673), author of Yalkut Reuveni, a collection of kabalistic material, arranged according to the verses in the Torah.
Rav Yitzchak of Skver (1885) Born to Rav Binyamin Zev Lev (the Shaarei Torah), he received smicha from Rav Mordechai Banet, the Rav of Nicholsburg, at the age of 17. He served as Rav of Magendorf from 1844 to 1851, then succeeded his father in Verbau. Finally, he took a position in Ujhel (Hungary).
Rav Meir Abuchatzeira of Ashdod, son of Baba Sali (1983)
Rav Shlomoh Wolbe, Mashgiach of Yeshivat Givat Shaul in Yerushalayim Sanhedria neighborhood (1916-2005). Born in Berlin, Rav Wolbe's early education was in the Yeshiva of Frankfurt and in Rav Botchko's yeshiva in Montreux, Switzerland. In the 1930s, he spent several years in Mir, where he became a close talmid Rav Yerucham Levovitz and Rav Chatzkal Levenstein. Rav Wolbe spent the war years in Sweden. After the war, Rav Wolbe moved to Petach Tikvah, where he married the daughter of Rav Avraham Grodzinsky, hy"d, the last Mashgiach of Slobodka. Through her, he became a nephew of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, and a brother-in-law of Rav Chaim Kreisworth. In 1948, Rav Wolbe became Mashgiach at Yeshiva Gedolah of Be'er Yaakov, a position he held for over 35 years. Later, he served as Mashgiach in the Lakewood Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael and he opened Yeshivas Givat Shaul. Rav Wolbe published his first Hebrew work, Alei Shur, to provide today's yeshiva student with a basic guide to assist him to become a ben Torah.
Other events on this day:
- Solomon Etting, prominent businessman of Lancaster, PA., was the first native American Jew to receive a limited authorization to function as a Shochet, 1782.
- The world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine). An explosion and fire killed at least 31 people and sent a plume of radioactive fallout over Scandinavia, the British Isles, and the eastern United States. The disaster was ten times more powerful than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 1986 (April 26).
Rav Meir ben Todrot Ha’Levi Abulafia (1180-1244). Known by the acronym "Ramah," his halachic opinions were sought even by Ramban. Rav Meir's Talmud commentary, Pratei Pratin, has been lost, except for tractates Sanhedrin and Bava Basra. These two have been published under the name Yad Ramah. After his father's death, Rav Meir succeeded him as Rav of Toledo, Spain. He strongly opposed the study of philosophy, and he attempted to convince the sages of Lunel, in the Provence region of France, to ban the study of certain works of Rambam (Maimonides). In addition to his Talmud commentary, Rav Meir composed a kabalistic commentary on Bereishit. Rav Meir's work on mesorah is cited by Rav Ovadyah Yosef regarding a word which is spelled differently between Ashkenazic and Sephardic Torah scrolls. Rav Yosef writes: "I say we hold like Ramah, for we follow this sage in all his words, for he is bar samcha/reliable."
Rav Meir Berlin, later Hebraized to Meir Bar-Ilan (1880-1949). Born in Volozhin, Lithuania, he joined the Mizrachi movement in 1905, representing it at the Seventh Zionist Congress, voting against the "Uganda Proposal" to create a "temporary" Jewish "homeland" in Uganda in East Africa, as suggested by Great Britain. In 1911 he was appointed secretary of the world Mizrachi movement. In 1913 he came to the United States and in 1915 became president of the U.S. Mizrachi, holding the position until 1928. He founded the Mizrachi Teachers Institute in 1917. In 1925 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish National Fund devoted to financing the rebuilding of the Jewish homeland in the then British Mandate of Palestine. In 1923 he moved to Jerusalem. He opposed the Palestine partition plan in 1937, and of the British White Paper of 1939. He was the founder and editor of Hatzofeh in 1939. He authored: Fun Volozhin biz Yerushalayim (an autobiography), Bishvil ha-Techiah. Along with Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin, he was also the editor of the Talmudical Encyclopedia. He wrote articles on Talmudic subjects for various periodicals. He inspired the founding of Bar Ilan University in Israel which is named for him.
Rav Yosef Dov ben Moshe Soloveichik (1903-1993). A great-grandson of Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, the Bet Ha’Levy (1820- 1892), and nephew of the Brisker Rav, Rav Velvel, he was the older brother of Rav Ahron Soloveichik. Born in Pruzhan, Poland, on 30 Shevat. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, and then settled in Boston in the early 1930’s. He became Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, and gave weekly shiurim to senior students, while delivering philosophy lectures to graduate students. His limitless expertise in and appreciation of secular disciplines never lessened his total devotion to Torah study. His teachings and shiurim are responsible for literally thousands of men and women in the educational and academic community today.
Rav Moshe Ellinson, Rav Ohel Torah Manchester [after Jan. 2001]
Other events on this day:
- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Seville, Spain, 1464.
- Purim of the Bomb was celebrated by the Jews of Fossano, south of the Alps, to commemorate their escape from massacre, 1796.
Rav Yehoshua Falk Katz, author of Meirat Einayim, the Derishah and Perishah on the Tur, the Sema on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (1614). As a youth, he learned under the Rema (to whom he was related) and the Maharshal. He later served as Rosh Yeshivah in Lemberg. He is the grandfather of the Pnei Yehoshua.
Rav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin (1736-1772). Student of the Magid of Mezritch, founder of Chasidut in Belarus and the Karlin-Stolin dynasty. Rav Aharon left behind a son, Rav Asher of Stolin who was the father of Rav Aharon Karlin II (1808-1872)
Rav Menachem Ziemba (1883-1943). Born in Praga, a small neighborhood of Warsaw along the right bank of the Wisla River, Rav Menachem was only nine years old when his father, R’ Elazar Ziemba died. He then lived and learned with his grandfather, R’ Avraham Ziemba. He married Mindel, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, R’ Chaim Yeshaya Tzederboim, when he was 18. When his father-in-law died, he wrote a treatise on carrying on Shabat and entitled it Totza’at Chaim in his honor. He became a chasid of the Imrei Emet Gur. He was appointed Chief Rabbi of Warsaw in 1935. He became close to Rav Meir Simchah of Dvinsk, and through him, his son-in-law, Rav Avrame’le Luftbir of Warsaw. When the latter died childless in 1919 Rav Menachem published his sefer Zera Avraham, based on their many correspondences. He died in the Warsaw ghetto.
Rav Shlomo Leib of Lentche, 1843.
Rav Yaakov Yosef ben Yisrael Chaim Weiss of Spinka (1916-1988). The grandson of Rav Yitzchak Isaac Weiss (1875-1944), Spinka Rebbe and author of Chakal Yitzchak, Rav Yaakov Yosef survived the Holocaust and established Spinka institutions in America and in Israel. He is the author of Siach Yaakov Yosef
Rav Shmuel Alexander ben Shlomo Zalman Unsdorfer of Montreal and Petach Tikva (1920-2002). Born in Pressburg, he learned under Rav Akiva Sofer and the Nitra Rav, Rav Shmuel David Ha’Levi Ungar in his youth. He settled in Manchester, England in 1938-9, and served as Rosh Metivta of the Yeshivah in the city of Staines. He served as Rosh Yeshiva of the first Metivta of Canada, founded in 1948 by the Klausenberger Rebbe. In 1956, he was sent by the Canadian Rescue Committee in Montreal to Vienna to help refugees from Hungary. He later moved to Eretz Yisrael and served as Rav of the Chasidei Tzanz Bet Hamidrash in Petach Tikvah.
Other events on this day:
- The directors of the Dutch West India Co., in 1655, denied permission to Governor Peter Stuyvesant to exclude Jews from New Amsterdam. This put an end to official efforts to bar Jews from North America. The Dutch West India Co. also specified that no restriction of trade be imposed upon the Jewish settlers. Thus it guaranteed not only the physical inviolability of the Jews but also their economic development and progress. The only condition contained in the directive provided that "the poor among them shall be supported by their own nation." This gave further impetus to the growth of the Jewish population in the New World.
- The Polish army occupied Vilna and attacked its Jewish community, 1919.
- Israel-PLO agreement on Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) is reached, 1994. 160 observers (35 Danish, 35 Italian, 90 Norwegian) are deployed to Hebron, have their mandate renewed every year and two years ago found to be helping terrorists.
Rav Chai bar Sherirah Gaon , Rosh Yeshiva in Pompedisa, last of the Gaonim of Pumpedisa (1038)
Rav Yitzchak Chori, Dayan in Djerba, author of B’nei Shloshim (1868)
Rav Yechezkel ben Yosef Panet of Karlsberg, author of Mareh Yechezkel, 1845.
Rav Yitzchak Dov Ber ben Chaim Schneur Zalman of Liadi, grandson of the Tzemach Tzedek, author of Sidur MaHaRiD (1835-1910). He also served as Rebbe in Liadi around the time of the Rebbe Rashab.
Other events on this day:
- The first Jewish settlers arrived in Amsterdam, Holland, 1593.
- A blood libel began when a servant girl went missing in Tiza-Eszlar (Hungary), 1882. Although no evidence was found that Jews were involved, the young son of the janitor of the shul was interrogated - whereby he described full details of the “murder.” The Jews were accused of having the girl kidnapped for ritual murder purposes. Fifteen people were brought to trial despite the protests of the non-Jewish leader of the Hungarian Independence Movement and the fact that the girl’s body was found in the river. A year later all of them were acquitted.
- Rumania barred Jews from professional and agricultural schools, 1899.
- Sixty-six families gathered on the sand dunes outside of Jaffa and selected lots for property in a new neighborhood called Ahuzat Bayit (“Homestead”) that later became Tel Aviv, 1909.
- Death of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (1874-1949). The most prominent (Reform) leader of the American Jewish community during the 1930s and 1940s, he advised President Franklin Roosevelt not to meet with the 400 Orthodox Rabbis that marched on Washington in 1943. To protect their self-interests, Dr. Zohar Segev of Haifa University says Wise and his colleagues “worked actively to tone down any Jewish criticism of the Roosevelt administration.” They “used their influence to restrain, limit, and control any efforts towards greater activism.” Rabbi Wise worked against all efforts of Jewish activists who did all they could to raise awareness of the millions being killed in Europe. Wise claimed that raising awareness over the fate of Jews in Europe would increase Anti-Semitism in America. He even called activists (including Rabbi David Kestenbaum) to tell them that they should stop putting so much pressure on the American government to save European Jews.
Rav Shmuel Shapiro, elder Breslav chasid
Rav Shimon Yisrael Posen, the Shoproner Rav, author of Torat Alef 1969.
Rav Chaim Shaul ben Shmuel Greineman (1925-2015). His father was a close talmid of the Chafetz Chaim and brother-in-law with both the Chazon Ish and the Steipler Gaon. Born in Vilna, Rav Chaim Shaul Greineman was a talmid muvhak of his uncle the Chazon Ish. The family moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1935, following the Chazon Ish (who arrived in 1933) and settled in Bnei Brak. He grew to become a world-renowned expert in medical Halachah and the laws Shviit. At the age of 17 years, he published his first volume of his series Chidushim u’Biurim on Shas. Followers of Rav Greinemann established kehilot in Zichron Yaakov, Tifrach and Modiin Illit. He was buried near the Chazon Ish in the Shomrei Shabat Cemetery in Zichron Meir Bnei Brak.
Other events on this day:
- After crossing the Yam Suf during the night, Bnei Yisrael escaped their enemies, sang Shira and entered the Shur desert, 1310 BCE.
- Bnei Yisrael couldn't find water to drink at the end of the 40 years in the desert. They gathered and complained to Moshe Rabeinu, 1270 BCE.
- In Worms, 600 of the town’s burghers burst into shul, temporarily threw the Jews out of town, destroyed the shul and public buildings, and desecrated the cemetery.
- The first transport of Jews of Athens, Greece, left for Auschwitz, 1944.