Birth and yahrtzeit of Yosef ben Yaakov Avinu (1561-1451 BCE). According to some opinion, the actual date was 27 Tammuz.
Rav Kalonymus Kalman ben Aharon Ha’Levi Epstein of Cracow, the Maor Va’Shemesh (1823). One of the most celebrated of the followers of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, he started heading the Jewish community of Cracow in 1785. At the end of his life he moved to Eretz Yisrael and is buried in the old cemetery of Tzefas.
Rav Yisrael ben Moshe Najara (1555-1625). Born in Damascus, Syria, he served as secretary of that community in which his father was a rabbi. Later, he served as Rav in Gaza where upon his death his son succeeded him. He was the author of Lekach Tov. Although his works were attacked by Rav Chaim Vital, Rav Yitzchak Luria declared that Najara's hymns were listened to with delight in heaven. He wrote hundreds of piyutim, hymns, and poems. Many of Najara's piyutim and hymns have been taken into the rituals and machzorim of Jews in different countries, especially in Italy and Palestine. He was the author of the famous Shabat Zemirah, Kah Ribbon Olam.
Rav Shlomoh ben Meir Natan Halberstam (1847 or 1848-1906). The first Bobover Rebbe, grandson of Rav Chaim of Sanz. He married in 1861, and moved to Sanz in 1863, where he became a close disciple of the Sanzer Rav. In 1866, at the age of 19, he was appointed Rav of Bukovsk. He was appointed Av Bet Din in Ushpitzin in 1879, then in 1880 Chief Rabbi of Wisnicz, near Krakow for 13 years. In 1893, due to a heart condition, he was obliged to leave the city and move to the city of Bobowa, near Tarnow, a city endowed with fresh air, and there he founded the Chasidic dynasty of Bobov. After his petirah, his son, Rav Benzion, succeeded him as the leader of thousands of Bobover Chasidim.
Rav David Grossman (1940-2005). Born in London, he moved with his family to Toronto in 1949. He learned in the Telshe Yeshivah in Cleveland for 5 years and, in 1960, became a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein at Metivta Tiferet Yerushalayim. After his marriage, he moved to Washington Heights, where Rav David became a sixth grade Rebbe in MTJ, and later in Breuers, also serving as the principal of Viener Bet Yaakov in Williamsburg. In 1974, the Grossmans moved to Boro Park, where Rav David became active in numerous chesed organizations. In 1987, Rav David accepted the position of Chaplain at the Metropolitan Geriatric Center, a nursing home affiliated with Maimonides Hospital.
Other events on this day:
- The pope entered Rome and spurned the sifrei Torah offered to him by the Jewish community, 1295.
- Many Jews were killed by a riotous mob in Seville, 1391. The riots spread throughout Spain.
- 5000 Jews of Kovno executed by Nazis, 1940.
- Lithuanian fascists massacred 2300 Jews in Kovno, 1941.
- Bialystok, Poland fell to the Germans, 1941.
- Massacre of 2300 Lithuanian Jews by Lithuanians, 1941
- Dr. Israel Kastner (1906-1957), a Hungarian Jew, was found guilty by a district court of collaboration with the Nazis, 1955. one of the leaders of the Va'adat Ezrah Vehatzalah —the Aid and Rescue Committee, or Vaada— a small Jewish group in Budapest who helped Jewish refugees escape from Nazi Europe into Hungary, then helped them escape from Hungary after the Nazis invaded that country too on March 19, 1944. Kastner negotiated with Adolf Eichmann to allow 1,685 of them to leave for Switzerland on what became known as the Kastner train, in exchange for money, gold, and diamonds. The Israeli Supreme Court overturned most of the judgment in January 1958. However, he was shot on March 3, 1957 by Zeev Eckstein, and died of his injuries twelve days later.
Rav Shmuel ben Yechiel of Cologne, killed by Crusaders (1096)
Rav Nachman ben Yitzchak of Horodenka, one of the first close colleagues of the Baal Shem Tov, whose mechutan he later became. His grandson was Rav Nachman of Breslav. In 1764, he emigrated to the Holy Land, and settled in Tiveria. The following year (1765), he passed away and was buried there.
Rav Mordechai Zeev Itinger (1805-1863). Learned under his uncle, Rav Mordechai Zev Orenstein. Among his writings are Maamar Mordechai, his correspondence with other gedolim of the time, Magen Giborim on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, and Mefarshei Hayam, notes co-written with his brother-in-law Rav Shaul Natansohn.
Rav Avraham ben Mordechai Twersky, the Trisker Magid (1802-1889), whose drashot are recorded in his sefer, Magen Avraham. He was one of eight sons of Rav Mordechai of Chernobyl and was Rebbe for 50 years.
Rav Eliezer Nisan ben Naftali Chaim Horowitz of Dzikov/Tzefat (1918). He was a mechutan of the Sanzer Rav.
Reb Elimelech Gavriel (Mike) Tress (1909-1967). Joining Zeirei Agudat Yisrael was a watershed in his life, as he quickly became close to Rav Gedaliah Schorr. He soon headed it, and established Pirchei Agudat Yisrael and Camp Agudah. He was at the forefront of raising money to save Europe’s Jews. In a life full of unceasing work on behalf of the Klal, the war years and their aftermath seemed to bring out the qualities that made Mike the most unique askan, public servant and ohev Yisrael. Mike was part of the US Army at the end of WW2 and returned from the DP camps determined to arouse others to do everything possible to relieve the terrible suffering – both spiritual and physical – he had witnessed. Over the next five years, no one did as much to publicize the plight of the she’erit hapleitah in the Orthodox world.
Rav Paltiel Friend (1916-2003). Rav Friend grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended Metivta Torah V’daat, becoming a talmid of Rav David Leibowitz. When Rav David left to form Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim, Rav Paltiel left with him. In the late 1960s, the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim, Rav Henoch Leibowitz, helped start a yeshivah for the Torah community in Montreal and appointed Rav Paltiel to be a Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Merkaz Ha’Torah. In the 1970s, he was again approached by Rav Henoch Leibowitz to assume the role of masmich of Chafetz Chaim. In his later years, together with Rav Avraham Ginzberg, he formed a Senior Kollel of talmidim of the yeshiva.
Other events on this day:
- The sun stood still in Givon and the moon in Emek Ayalon for Yehoshua in the war against the kings from the south, 1270 B.C.E.
- 12 Jews of Cologne martyred, 1266.
- First printed edition of the Sefer Hachinuch, 1523. (Hamodia 2008 says 13 Tammuz)
- Rabbi Menashe b. Yisrael petitioned for permission to practice Judaism in England, 1656. Permission was debated by the Council of State who couldn’t reach a final decision. Nevertheless, the authorities closed their eyes to Jewish immigration which began to trickle into the country.
- An Auto da Fe was held in honor of the marriage of Carlos II to Louis Marie d'Orleans, 1680. It lasted 14 hours and was the last time that a "royal" Auto da Fe was held. The king himself set light to the quemadero (burning place).
Rav Yisachar Dov Illowy (1814-1871). Born in Kolin, Bohemia. He learned in Pressburg under the Chatam Sofer. He later enrolled in the University in Budapest where he earned a doctorate. Rabbi Illowy arrived in America in 1853. In the 1840s, leading exponents of German Reform had begun to immigrate to the United States, and active opponents of Torah Judaism such as Isaac Mayer Weiss and Max Lilienthal emerged as important factors on the American Jewish scene. As a talmid chacham and an educated university graduate, Rabbi Illowy was especially qualified to debunk Reform mythologies. He soon accepted the position of Rav of Shaarei Zedek in New York. However, his zealous speeches and writings against Reform resulted in several changes in employment. After a short tenure in New York, Rabbi Illowy moved on to Philadelphia (Congregation Rodef Shalom), followed by service in St. Louis, Syracuse, Baltimore, New Orleans (1860 until 1865), and finally Cincinnati.
Rav Yaakov Ha’Levi Sapir (1822–1886), a Lithuanian Jew who served as a rabbinical emissary sent from Yerushalayim in 1856 and spent five years visiting Egypt, Yemen, India, Australia and New Zealand. He wrote Even Sapir (A Journey to Yemen), a collection of stories of his travels. He also served as Rav of Sanaa, Yemen.
Rav Yosef Chaim Shneur ben Aharon Kotler, Rosh Yeshivah of Lakewood (1982). Rav Schneur passed away on the nineteenth year, seventh month and second day after assuming his Rosh Yeshivah position; equal to the day to the tenure of his father as Rosh Yeshivah of Lakewood. This extraordinary phenomenon was spoken of throughout the Torah world as a sign that in shamayim he was considered a worthy son, disciple and successor who carried on his father’s mission to build Torah with total devotion.
Rav Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, Lubavitcher Rebbe (1902-1994). Born in Nikolaev, Russia on 11 Nissan. He first met his predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson in 1923 and married his second daughter Chaya Mushkah (1901-88) in 1928. He became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1950. He is best remembered for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew. His emissaries around the globe, dedicated to strengthening Judaism, number in the thousands.
Rav Shlomoh Eiger of Lublin (1872-1940). His father, Rav Avraham of Lublin, the Shevet Yehudah, was the son of the first Lubliner Rebbe, Rav Yehudah Leib Eiger (1816-1884), Rav Akiva Eiger's grandson and a close talmid of the Izhbitzer, Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner. Rav Shlomoh married the daughter of the gevir, Rav Alter Wallerstein of Krushnik (45 miles east of Lublin), in 1887. When his father was niftar in 1914, he became Rebbe. Lublin was the main city of Eastern Poland. Jews had lived there since the 15th century, and perhaps earlier. In 1921, Lublin had a population of 37,337 Jews, comprising over a third of its population. The Lubliner heritage was continued by Rav Shlomoh's cousin, Rav Avraham Eiger, who established his court in Bnei Brak and passed away in 2000.
Other events on this day:
- The Haidamak (the paramilitary bands) Massacres in the Ukraine, 1768. The peasant serfs and Cossacks rioted much in the same vein as Chmielnicki 120 years earlier. At Uman, the Poles and Jews defended the city together under the Polish commander, Ivan Gonta. The next day, convinced by the Polish revolutionary Zheleznyak that only the Jews would be attacked, Gonta allowed the fortified city to be entered without a fight. Approximately 8,000 Jews were killed, many of them trying to defend themselves near the shul. As soon as the Jews were all massacred, the Haidamaks began to kill the Poles. Although they killed about 20,000 Jews, the Haidamaks were Ukrainian nationalists who are still celebrated in folklore and literature.
- Emperor Alexander II of Russia gave the Jews permission to print sefarim and Jewish books, 1871.
- 1500 Jews of Kovno and 11,000 Jews in Kishinev were killed, 1941.
- When Bus 405 passed a ravine near Jerusalem, a Palestinian terrorist seized control of the wheel, and ran the bus over the cliff, killing 16 passengers, 1989.
Rav Yaakov ben Meir (Rabeinu Tam). (1100-1171) The most famous of Rav Meir ben Shmuel’s sons, one of Rashi’s grandsons. He studied under his father and his older brother, Shmuel (the Rashbam), who was 15 years his senior. His other older brother Yitzchak (Rivam) was 10 years older than Rav Yaakov. Born in Ramerupt, Reb Yaakov was only 5 when Rashi was niftar, and thus was not zocheh to learn with him. He succeeded his father as Rosh Yeshivah in the Ramerupt. He was quite wealthy as a wine merchant and financier.
On the 2nd day of Shavuot of 1146, Crusaders entered and pillaged the city of Ramerupt, taking all of his possessions and inflicting five knife wounds in his head. He was saved by a nobleman, who promised the mob that he would convert the rabbi. After this incident, Rabeinu Tam moved to Troyes and opened a yeshivah. On 20 Sivan,1171, the Jews of Blois, France were subject to a blood libel, the first in Jewish history. And 32 Jews were killed. Rabeinu Tam established that day as a fast day. Some of Rabeinu Tam’s responsa are collected in Sefer Ha’yashar.
Rav Yaakov Reinman, Rav of Narol, a town in western Galicia (1778-1814). A disciple of Rav Shlomoh of Skohl and Rav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham Reinman (1796-1841).
Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer, Rav of Berlin and Eisenstadt; talmid of the Aruch La’ner (1820-1899) In 1873, he founded the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary and served as its first Rosh Yeshivah. The Berlin Seminary continued in existence until the late 1930s under the leadership of such figures as Rav David Zvi Hoffman, Rav Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan and Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg. The Seminary had many opponents, both on the right and the left. The Reform saw the Seminary as a threat because its graduates would be equipped to defend Orthodoxy against Reform's inroads. On the opposite extreme, many Orthodox, particularly in Hungary, opposed the institution because of its superficial similarity to non-Orthodox seminaries.
Rav Eliyahu Lupas (1938). A Rav in Yeshivah Porat Yosef, he wrote Sefer Imrei Pi and Ben Avichayal.
Rav Nisim Chaim Moshe Mizrachi, Rishon Le’Tzion of Yerushalayim and author of Admat Kodesh (1949)
Rav Chaim Moshe Mandel, mekubal in Bnei Brak (1996)
Rav Mordechai ben Naftali Ha‘Kohen Shakovitzky, Rav in Leeds (England), Rosh Kollel in Johannesburg where he was one of the founders of the South African Kiruv Movement, and later Rosh Yeshivat Pischei Teshuvah Yerushalayim. He was the son of Rav Naftali Ha’Kohen Shakovitzky, the Gateshead Rav, and son-in-law of Rav Zalman Yosef Aloni Dubow (Rav and Av Bet Din of Dublin, Ireland).
Other events on this day:
- 24 wagonloads of sifrei kodesh were burned by the church in France, 1242.
- Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg was imprisoned and 40 Jews killed on charges of ritual murder, 1286.
- Chumash with Ramban first published in 1490.
- 1000 Jews of Tulchin (Tulczyn), Poland, along with local Poles, were tortured and massacred by Cossacks, 1648. . An agreement between the 2,000 Jews and 600 Christians of Tulczyn to defend their town at all costs succeeded in preventing the Cossacks from capturing it. Kryvonos, the Cossack leader, contacted the local governor and offered to leave the Poles alone if he handed over the Jews. The Jews found out about the plan and only through the intervention of their leader Rabbi Aharon (who feared reprisals) persuaded them not to kill the local leaders. Instead, Rabbi Aharon convinced the governor to take a high ransom and give it to the Cossacks. Kryvonos accepted the ransom, entered the town, killed most of the Jews and then killed the Poles for betraying the Jews.
- The Jewish quarter in Prague was destroyed by French troops who shelled the area, 1689. In one shul the roof caved in, killing the 100 people who had sought refuge there. Most of the population was taken in by their Christian neighbors until new shelters were built.
- Austria declares war on Serbia, 1914.
- Numerous Jews were killed in a pogrom at Jassy, Romania, 1941. At the outbreak of the war, Jassy had a population of slightly over 100,000 inhabitants, approximately 50,000 of whom were Jews. On the morning of 29 June, 1941, thousands of Jews were herded into the courtyard of the Jassy police headquarters. At about 2:00 p.m., the German and Romanian soldiers began to fire directly into the crowds. The massacre continued intermittently until 6:00 p.m. Four trucks and 24 carts transported the corpses; it took two whole days to move them. Approximately 2,500 Jews survived the massacre in the police headquarters courtyard. Two death trains left Jassy between 3:30 and 4:15 a.m. on Monday, June 30, 1941. The first one consisted of from 33 to 38 sealed freight cars and contained between 2,430 and 2,530 Jews. The Skverer Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Yosef, was miraculously saved
- Nazis murdered the male Jews of Drobian, Lithuania, 1941.
- Yerushalayim bombed for the first time in its history, 1948.
Rav Ezriel Meir of Lublin (1873-1941). Born to Rav Avraham Eiger of Lublin, a descendent of Rav Akiva Eiger. He reluctantly took the reigns of the Lublin Chasidim after his father’s petirah in 1914. In 1913, Rav Ezriel Meir and his brother founded Yeshivat Ahavat Torah in Lublin, moving it to Warsaw a few years after WWI. Warsaw had the largest Chassidic community in the world at that time. Jews had first settled there during the 14th century, after the reign of King Kasimierz, and was then inundated by the Chasidic movement at the end of the 18th century. By 1939, Warsaw had a population of about 393,950 Jews, which was approximately one-third of the city's total population.
Rav Avraham Zvi Beck, Rav of Melbourne’s Adat Yisrael community (1932-2018). Born in Nir-Bagad, Hungary. After the war, he joined Yeshivat Maor Hagolah in Rome. In 1948, he moved to Eretz Yisrael where he cleaved to the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, the Imrei Chaim. In 1964, Rav Beck was appointed Rav of Khal Adat Yereim in Montivedio, Uruguay, and in 1988, Rav Beck was asked to take the position of Rav in Melbourne’s Adat Yisrael community. He served in this capacity for 30 years.
Other events on this day:
- Galut Yehoyochin occurred on this day, 7 years after Yehoyokim was taken into galut, 433 BCE. Yehoyochin, king of Yehudah, was taken to Bavel together with the leading talmidei chachamim of his time.
- Yechezkel ben Buzi Hakohen gave his prophecy by the Kvar River, 5 years after Galut Yehoyochin, mentioned in the beginning of Sefer Yechezkel, 428 BCE
- Massacre of the Jews of Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, 1298.
- Pope allows Jews accused by the Inquisition the right to know who their accusers were, 1299.
- Rav Yom Tov Lipmann Heller, the Tosfot Yom Tov, was imprisoned, 1629.
- Passing of Daniel Mendoza, a Sephardi Jew who was known as the "father of scientific boxing", 1876. Billing himself as "Mendoza the Jew", he became one of England's greatest boxing champions and the first boxer to win the patronage of the Prince of Wales.
- Mass killings of Jews in Auschwitz began by the Nazis, 1942.
- Adolf Eichmann’s Central Office for Jewish Emigration dispatched notices to 4,000 Jews informing them that they had been selected for “labor service” in Germany. In truth, the selection was for deportation to death camps.
- At the 1944 Republican Party National Convention, New York Senator Thomas Dewey’s strong support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine captured the attention of Zionists in Palestine and, more notably, American Jewry, 1944.
- A postwar pogrom in Kielce, Poland, left 42 people, mostly Jews, dead and 50 wounded, 1946. Army and security officers took part in the attack that was sparked by the false story spread by Walenty Blaszcyk that his son had been kidnapped by Jews. The event is considered Europe's last pogrom.
- Mohammed Bouyeri, a Muslim extremist on trial in the slaying of Dutch film-maker Thei van Gogh, unexpectedly confessed in court, saying he was driven by religious conviction. He was sentenced to life in prison. 2005
Rav Yisrael Yaakov Algazi (1680-1756), grandson of Rav Shlomoh Algazi. He served the Sefardic community of Yerushalayim, replacing the Batei Kehuna and served as Rosh Yeshivah of Neveh Sholom Brit Avraham and Bet El. His sefarim included Yavin Shemuah, Ar’a Derabanan, Emet Le’Yaakov, Neos Yaakov, and Sheirit Yaakov.
Rav Chaim De la Rosa, talmid of the Rashash, great mekubal and author of Torat Chacham (1786)
Rav Shmuel ben David Madjar, Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim, and Rosh Yeshivah of Chasidei Bet El (1848).
Rav Moshe ben Yaakov Hager of Kossov, author of Leket Ani (1860-1926). The Kossov dynasty began with Rav Menachem Mendel, the Ohev Yisrael of Kossov (1768-1826), the son of Rav Koppel Chasid, a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov. It was Rav Menachem Mendel who first adopted the family name, “Hager,” which still prevails in the Vizhnitz dynasty, an offshoot of the Kossov court. Kossov is a town that lies at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, in East Galicia, near the confluence of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Jews had lived there since the fifteenth century at least. Rav Menachem Mendel’s grandson, Rav Yaakov Shimshon, married at the age of 15, but had remained childless for about thirty-two years, remarrying twice during that time.
Then, Rav Moshe born. Rav Yaakov Shimshon passed in 1880, when his son, Moshe, was only 20. One year later, he took his post as Rebbe. Rav Moshe was succeeded by his son, Rav Chaim, who ultimately was murdered in the Holocaust. After the war, the Kossov dynasty was continued in Boro Park by a son of Rav Moshe’s daughter, Rav Avraham Yehoshuah Heschel.
Rav Aharon Levin, Rav of of Reisha-Sambur (1940)
Rav Yitzchak Chaim Krisnetzky, Rosh Yeshivah Metzuyanim, Yerushalayim (1996).
Other events on this day:
- Crusaders massacred Jews of Mehr, 1096
- 24 wagonloads of Sifrei Kodesh burned in Paris, 1242
- Massacre of the Jews of Ifhauben, Austria, 1298
- Solomon de Media became the first professing Jew to receive a knighthood in England, 1700. Medina had helped finance what became known as the "glorious revolution" which installed William of Orange and Mary (the daughter of James II) on the throne. Their rule ended any hope for a restoration of Catholic rule in England.
- Jews of Ostroha established this day as Purim Ostroha, to commemorate their community being saved during the Russian-Polish war, 1792.
- Catherine II of Russia restricted the area where Jews were permitted to trade, 1794.
- Nazis capture Levov (Lemberg), in present-day Ukraine, home to over 100,000 Jews, over 5000 of whom were murdered within a matter of days, with the assistance of local citizens, 1941
- American forces completed their capture of the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans, 1944
- German-born conductor Otto Klemperer, 1973
- Raid at Entebbe, saving 265 Jews from Palestinian and Ugandan terrorists, 1976
Rav Pinchas Ha’Levi Horowitz of Nikelsburg (1730-1805), Rav of Frankfurt, the Baal Hafla'ah. His father was the Rav of Tchortkov. His brother, Reb Shmuel Shmelke, became a talmid of the Magid of Mezeritch; in Chasidic circles, Rav Pinchas Ha’Levi is also said to be a talmid of the Magid, but this has been argued and is likely not true. As a youth, the Chatam Sofer learned with Rav Pinchas Ha’Levi, whom he considered his Rav Muvhak. His son, Rav Tzvi Hirsch, followed him as Rav of Frankfurt. Toward the end of his life, the enlightenment and reform movements began their entries into Frankfurt. In 1805, a Reform school was established there, despite the firm opposition of its Rabanim. He authored, Hafla'ah and Ha’Mikneh on Gemara and halachah and Panim Yafot on Chumash.
Rav Baruch ben Yehoshuah Yechezkel Feivel Frankel-Teumim lived in Oshpitzin, author of Baruch Ta'am and Tuv Ta’am (1760-1828). He was the father-in-law of Rav Chaim of Sanz and a great grandfather of Rav Shlomoh Halberstam, the first Bobover Rebbe.
Rav Yechiel Yehudah Isacsohn (1922-1977). After marrying the youngest daughter of the Sigheter Rebbe (the Atzei Chaim), Rav Yechiel Yehudah served as Rav of Sighet, then moved to Eretz Yisrael where he became Rav of the Achuza-Haifa community. However, when his health weakened him, he was urged to move to Los Angeles. There, in the 1950s, together with a handful of Rabanim and baalei batim, he founded Yeshivat Torat Emet. (After his petirah, his name was added to the yeshivah.) He was also Mara D’atra of the Magen Avraham shul (today known as Bet Yehudah, in his memory). In 1989, a Chasidishe Kollel was founded in Los Angeles and was called Kollel Yechiel Yehudah, to mark the import that the Rav had on the community. Today, his grandson, Rav Shlomoh Klein, serves as Rav of Kehillat Ohr Ha’Chayim in Los Angeles.
Rav Gedalyah ben Avraham Ha’Levi Schorr (1911-1979). Born in the town of Istrik to Rizhiner chasidim, Rav Gedalyah moved to America with his family at the age of 10 and was one of the first students of Metivta Torah V’daat under Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. He joined the first group of the Daf Yomi cycle when he was 12 years old, and started delivering shiur on the Daf when he was 15. At Torah V’daat, he studied with Rav David Leibowitz, grandson of the Chafetz Chaim’s brother. When he was 20, he began giving shiur at the Metivta.
After he was married, he left for Europe to study under Rav Aharon Kotler at Kletsk. However, one year later, he was told by the American consul in Warsaw to return home because of the imminent danger. He worked closely with Agudat Yisrael’s rescue efforts during the war. In 1946, he was appointed menahel ruchni, along with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, of Metivta Torah V’daat, a post he maintained for 33 years. In 1956, after the death of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, he also became Rosh Yeshivah of Bet Midrash Elyon, the post-graduate division of Torah V’daat. His discourses have been collected in the sefer Ohr Gedalyahu.
Rav Yechiel Chaim ben Moshe Labin, the Makava Rebbe (1888-1983). He was a scion of the Ziditchover dynasty. Buried on Har Ha’Menuchot.
Rav Simchah Bunim ben Avraham Mordechai Alter (1898-1992), the Gerrer Rebbe from 1977-1992; also known as the Lev Simchah. A son of the Imrei Emet, he was born in the town of Gora Kalwaria (Ger) in Poland and emigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1934. He originated the Daf Yomi for the Talmud Yerushalmi. He became Rebbe in 1977, after the petirah of his brother, Rav Yisrael (the Bet Yisrael).
Rebbetzin Raizel bat Menachem Zev Portugal, the Skulener Rebbetzin (1925-2005). Born in Yapa, Romania, a city near Sighet, Romania. Her father, Rav Menachem Zev Stern, one of the talmidim of the Satmar Rebbe, was the Rav of Vishava, Romania, and later of Givat Shaul. Her mother was the daughter of Rav Meir Barnet, the Baal Divrei Meir.
Rav Yitzchak Kleiman, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Iyun Ha’Talmud of Lakewood, NJ. (2012). He was formerly the Rosh Yeshivah of the Yeshivah of St. Louis. As a bachur he studied in the Mirrer Yeshivah in Flatbush under Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, and was considered one of his prized talmidim.
Other events on this day:
- Jews of Cologne were massacred by the Crusaders, 1096.
- 130 Jews were killed al kidush Hashem in Willitza, 1370
- Jewish quarter of Prague was burned and looted, 1559.
- Jews of Ostroha established this day as Purim Ostroha, to commemorate their community being saved during the Russian-Polish war when Russian troops attacked the shul, mistaking it for a fortress, 1792.
- Alexander II issued a decree returning Cantonists under the age of 20 to their parents and ordering that they be exempt from service until they had reached that age, 1859.
- Ukrainian Petliura pogrom kills many Jews, 1919.
- President Roosevelt called for an international conference to consider the “displaced persons” problem, 1938. The negligible results highlighted the passive role of the Western world and emboldened the Nazis to continue with their genocidal plans.
- Hundreds of Jews of Yurburg, Lithuania executed by the Nazis, 1941.
Rav Shlomoh ben Yehudah Ha’Kohen (1827), a great mekubal who wrote Yafeh Sha’ah.
Rav Meir ben Eliezer Horowitz of Dzikov (Tarnobrzeg) (1819-1877), author of Imrei Noam, grandson of Rav Naftali, the Ropshitzer Rav. One of his sons, Rav Tuvia Horowitz, was Rav of Majdan. Another son, Rav Aharon Horowitz, married Fradel, a daughter of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz in 1878.
Rav Chaim Mashash, author of the Nishmat Chaim. Born in Meknès (Morocco). His piskei halachah can be found in Shu”t Mayim Chaim Mashash.
Rav Eliyahu ben Suleiman Mani of Chevron (1899). An associate of the Ben Ish Chai in Baghdad, Rav Eliyahu moved to Eretz Yisrael and became the Head Rabbi of the Jewish community in Chevron and wrote Zichronot Eliyahu.
Rav Mordechai ben Avraham of Kozhmir, son of the Magid of Trisk (1907)
Rav Chaim Mordechai Yaakov ben Avraham Gottlieb of Mishkoltz, author of Yagel Yaakov (1936).
Rav Asher Yeshayah ben Isamar Leifer, the Nadvorna-Chadera Rebbe (1916-2012). The Rebbe lived for many years in the United States and in 1971 immigrated to Eretz Yisrael, where he opened a Bet Midrash in Chederah. He later opened a Bet Midrash in Bnei Brak on Rechov Uziel. He was buried at Har Ha’Zeitim.
Other events on this day:
- Jews expelled from Genoa, 1567.
- Pogrom in Bialystok, 1903.
- The United States declared war against Britain, 1812
- Six months after his historic visit to Jerusalem, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat invited Israel’s Foreign Minister Ezer Weizmann to meet with him in Salzburg, Austria (1978)
- Camp David Summit where Prime Minister Barak was pressured by the U.S. to give the Old City to the Palestinians, 2000. President Clinton and PM Barak blame Arafat for the failure to strike a deal.
- Queen-Mother of Spain, Maria Christina, abolished the Inquisition, 1834
Rav Yaakov Tamerlesh, author of Safra Detzeniusa (1678)
Rav Zalman ben Benzion Sorotzkin, the Lutzker Rav and author of Oznaim Le'Torah (1881-1966). After learning at Volozhin and Slabodka, he married the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshivah of Telshe, and moved to Telshe to help run the yeshivah. He was appointed Rav of Voronova at the age 30, then served as Rav of Zhetel for 18 years. In 1914, he fled to Minsk and became a close friend of the Chazon Ish. He moved to Lutsk in 1930 to accept a position as Rav and stayed there until WW II (he is known until today as the Lutsker Rav). He moved to Eretz Yisrael during the War. Led by Rav Aaron Kotler and the members of the Israeli Moetzet Gedolei Ha’Torah, Chinuch Atzmai was formed in 1953. Rav Zalman Sorotzkin was chosen to head it.
Rav Moshe ben Aharon Rokeach (1941). Burned alive in a shul by the Nazis.
Rav Dovid ben Yaakov Aryeh Lipschitz, president of Ezrat Torah welfare program in the US, and Dean of Yeshivat Rabeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (1906-1993). Known as the "Suvalker Rav," he was born in Minsk, but moved to Grodno as a child, where he later studied in Yeshivat Shaar Ha’Torah of Rav Shimon Shkop. He transferred to the Mir Yeshivah where he studied under R' Eliezer Yehudah Finkel and Rav Yerucham Levovitz. At age 24, he married Tziporah Chavah Yoselewitz and two years later, in 1935, he succeeded his father-in-law as rabbi of Suvalk, a title he carried for the rest of his life. One-half of Suvalk's 6,000 Jews (including the Lifshitz family) escaped to Lithuania.
In June 1941, Rav Lifschitz arrived in San Francisco on a boat that carried several other leading sages. Rav Lifschitz's first position was in the USA was in Chicago, but he soon moved to Yeshivat Rabeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (the rabbinical school of what later became Yeshivah University), where he remained for the rest of his life. A small number of his shmusen were printed posthumously under the title Tehilah Le'David.
Rav Yosef Shlomo Dayan, (1985) a talmid of Rav Mordechai Sharabi.
Rav Yekutiel Yehudah ben Tzvi Hirsch Halberstam, the Klausenberger Rebbe (1905-1994). Known as the Sheva-Chaim of Sanz, he was a great-grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He spent most of World War II in concentration camps. During his last 15 years of life, he founded Kollelei Shas in Eretz Yisrael and America. These Kollelei Shas were intended for premier avreichim who were already known for their sharp intellect and hatmadah. The goal of the kollel was that in the course of three years, the members had to complete the entire Shas. Every member had to obligate himself to be tested on 75 blatt Gemara with Tosafot each month and know them by heart!
Then, in 1983, at his house in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya, he laid the cornerstone for what would ultimately become Mifal Ha’Shas, where avreichim would learn 30 blatt of Gemara with Tosafot with a built-in review program and be tested monthly on the material learned. In addition to his tremendous efforts on behalf of Torah learning, the Rebbe also used his experiences from the war to stimulate him in another area. Having survived the horror of witnessing the murder of his wife and their 11 children, Reb Yekutiel vowed to dedicate his life to welfare and good health of all Jewish children. He founded Laniado Hospital in Netanya in 1975 after 15 years of fund-raising. His vision of a proper Jewish hospital was confirmed in 1990, as it was one of the only hospitals in Israel to have every employee working during the 127-day doctors’ strike. After his petirah, his eldest surviving son, Rav Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, became the new Sanz Rebbe in Israel, as well as President of the Hospital.
Rav Gershon ben Avraham Cahen, director of the Chachmei Tsorfat institutions in Aix-les-Bains, France (1923-2001). After learning under Rav Nosson Weil and Rav Mordechai Pogremanskyin France, he was drafted into the liberation army. Thereafter, in 1950, he assumed the burden of directing the Chachmei Tsorfat institutions in Aix-les- Bains.
Rav Mendel Falik (2007). Born in Paterson, New Jersey, his family moved to Brooklyn when he was eleven years old so that he could have a proper chinuch. He attended Yeshivat Torah V’daat until the age of 15, when his parents sent their ben yachid to the Yeshivah of Philadelphia. He then went to Bet Midrash Gavoha. After several years, he moved to St. Louis, to begin his career as a marbitz Torah. For close to forty years, Rav Mendel was a mechanech par excellence. For most of those years, he was a rebbi in Yeshivat Torah Temimah.
Other events on this day:
- Nevuchadnezer's army breached the walls of Jerusalem, 586 BCE
- Pompey captured Jerusalem and killed 12,000 Jews, 63 BCE
- Anti-Jewish riots in Austria, 1230.
- At least 20 wagons loaded with gemaras and commentaries were burned in France, 1244. There were no printing presses in those days, and many writings of the Baalei Tosafot were lost forever. The incident occurred on Friday of Parashat Chukat, and since that day, many tzadikim fast on the Friday of that Parashah (but not on the ninth of Tammuz). Many kinnos were written to commemorate the event, including “Shaalei Serufah Ba’eish” by the Maharam mi’Rottenberg.
- 4,000 Jews were killed in Toledo, Spain, 1391
Rav Binyamin Levy of Smyrna (1721)
Rav Eliezer ben Tzvi Ha’Levi Horowitz of Neustadt (1843) grandson of the Chozeh of Lublin.
Shlomoh Aharon ben Yaakov Wertheimer (1866-1935) of Yerushalayim. Born in Bösing, Hungary, he traveled with his parents to Yerushalayim in 1871. By 1890, he was residing in Cairo, Egypt, where he made a living as a rare bookseller and a collector and seller of Cairo Genizah documents. He is best known for Batei Midrashot and Leket Midrash with notes and commentary, but her also published Darkei Shel Torah (a guide to the theory of the Talmud and to the fundamental principles of the Halakah and Hagadah), Leshon Chasidim (notes and introduction to the Sefer Chasidim), Avodat Ha’Lev (a commentary on the prayers), and other works.
Rebetzin Sheinah Chayah Elyashiv, daughter of Rav Aryeh Levin and wife of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (1994)
Other events on this day:
- Tzidkiyahu Ha’Melech was captured by the Babylonians after fleeing through a subterranean tunnel to Yericho, 586 BCE
- 12 Jews of Cologne were martyred, 1266.
- Fast observed by the Jewish community of Frankfurt on Main to mark the escape of the Jewish quarter from a major fire, 1720.
- Tzefat was saved from an attack by murderous Arab felajin, 1834.
- Turkey announces an official position of “armed neutrality” in the developing international war, 1914. The practical application of its position was the closing of the Straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles to Russian, French, and British ships, while strengthening ties with Germany and Austria.
- Death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938). Born in New York City to Albert and Rebecca Nathan Cardozo. His ancestors were Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the United States in the 1740s and 1750s from the Iberian peninsula via the Netherlands and England. Of the six children born to Albert and Rebecca Cardozo, only Emily, married, and she and her husband did not have any children. As an adult, Cardozo no longer practiced his faith, but remained proud of his Sefardic Jewish heritage
- Beginning of the Korean War, 1950, as North Korean forces invaded South Korea. This was the first significant conflict of the Cold War.
- The 50-year old Jewish community of the Belgian Congo, consisting of 2500 Jews, fled in the wake of riots which followed independence, 1960
- Petirah of Rabbi Levi Meier, Jewish Chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for almost 30 years, and author of “Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives” and “Moses – The Prince, the Prophet.” (1946-2008).
Rav Yitzchak ben Avraham Chiyut (1616). Rav in Prosnitz and Prague. Author of Pnei Yitzchak (a halachic work which sets Yoreh Deah to rhyme), Siach Yitzchak (which sets Hilchot Pesach to rhyme), and Pachad Yitzchak, a commentary on the passage in Tractate Gittin which deals with the destruction of the Temple, as well as Kiryat Arba. His son Avraham was the mechaber of Holech Tamim, and his son Eliezer was the grandfather of the Bet Ha’Levi.
Rav Tzvi Hirsch ben Yitzchak Isaac Eichenstein of Zhidatchov (Zidichoiv) (1785-1831), founder of the Zhidachov dynasty and author of Ateret Tzvi and Tzvi La’Tzadik. He was also known as the Sar Bet Ha’Zohar and Rebbe Hershele of Ziditchov. A close disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin, he championed the position that the practice of Chasidism had to be firmly based on the study of the Kabbalah of the Ari Hakadosh.
Rav Avraham Eliezer ben Yosef Damesek of Krakow, author of Avnei Kodesh (1841).
Rav Yehudah Leib ben Moshe Chaim Tzirelson (1859-1941). In 1908, he became Rav and Av Bet Din in Kishinev. He was appointed Rav of Pirluki at the age 19, and became Rav of Kishinec in 1908. In 1912 he was among core Jewish leaders and rabbis who laid the foundation to Agudat Israel movement. In 1918 Bessarabia became part of Romania and R. Tsirelson was nominated Chief Rabbi of the whole Bessarabia. In 1920 having enough knowledge of Romanian language he was elected to represent Jews of Bessarabia in the Parliament of Romania in Bucharest. In 1922 he became the only Bessarabian Jewish representative in the parliament. He wrote Shu”t Atzei Levanon on all 4 sections of the Shulchan Aruch, Hegyon Lev, Maarchei Lev, and Lev Yehudah on his chidushim on halachah.
Rav Elchanan Bunim Wasserman (1875-1941), author of Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz Heorot, Kovetz Maamarim and Ikvesa D'Meshicha. Born in the town of Birz, Lithuania, he learned at Telshe under Rav Eliezer Gordon and Rav Shimon Shkop, then lived with and learned from R’ Chaim Soleveitchik from 1897 to 1899. He learned from the Chafetz Chaim 1907-1910, becoming his closest disciple, then went to Brisk to be Rosh Yeshivah. Became Rosh Yeshivah of Brananovich after WW1 in 1920 and grew it from 60 to 500 bachurim.
Rav Shmuel (“Shmelke”) ben Chaim Pinter, the Bukovsker Rebbe (1919-1994). Born in Vienna, he moved to London after the Anschluss in 1938. He was appointed as Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Merkaz Ha’Torah and later taught at Yeshivat Chayei Olam. He ran the Yesodei Ha’Torah school system for over 50 years. He also served as Rav of Bet Midrash Kahal Yeshuot Chaim.
Other events on this day:
- King Louis IX of France decreed that all Jews must wear the distinctive yellow badge, 1269.
- The expulsion of all Marranos in Ghent, Belgium, 1549.
- “Red Purim” in Algiers, 1774. The Spanish armada under O’Reilly tried to capture the city, and the Jews were in danger, but were finally saved.
- Earthquake in environs of Yerushalayim, 1927. The Kaf Ha’Chaim notes that although many Arabs died, miraculously not a single Jew was injured.
- Death of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, 1935
Rabeinu Yaakov ben Asher, the Baal Haturim (1268-1348), son of the Rosh. When his father fled Germany with his entire family to Spain in 1303, Reb Yaakov first lived with his brother Rav Yechiel, in Barcelona, then moved to Toledo, where his father was Rav. His younger brother, Rav Yehuda, who would marry Rav Yaakov’s daughter, succeeded the Rosh as Rav of Toledo, while Rav Yaakov himself preferred to take a position on the Bet Din. His monumental halachic work, the Arba’ah Turim included virtually all opinions available to Rav Yaakov, as well as a wealth of customs.
The many commentators on the Tur include those of Rav Yosef Karo (the Bet Yosef), Rav Moshe Isserles (Darkei Moshe), Rav Yoel Sirkes (The Bet Chadash), Rav Yehoshuah Falk (Derishah u’Perishah), and Rav Yosef Escapa (the Rosh Yosef), who deals with only a part of the work. The Chida comments that without a proper study of the Tur and its commentaries, one cannot begin to determine halachah. Rav Yaakov also authored Sefer Ha’Remazim (also known as Kitzur Piskei Ha’Rosh), an abridged version of his father's compendium of the Talmud, quoted in Sefer Mesharim. Rav Yaakov died in Toledo.
Rav Eliyahu Yosef ben Aryeh Leib Rivlin (1805-1865). Taught Chabad Chasidut in Yerushalayim, wrote Ohalei Yosef.
Rav Eliyahu Baruch ben Avraham Kamai, Mirrer Rosh Yeshivah (1840-1917). A descendant of Rav Avraham, the brother of the Vilna Gaon, Rav Elya was born in Telz. His father died when the boy was only two, and the boy's teacher was his stepfather and future father-in-law, Rav Chaim Zev Jaffe. Beginning in 1868, Rav Elya Baruch also succeeded Rav Chaim Zev as rabbi of the town of Shkod, Lithuania. In 1899, Rav Elya Baruch was called to serve as Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir Yeshivah. In 1901, Rav Elya Baruch also became Rav of the town of Mir. When his co-Rosh Yeshivah, Rav Avraham Tiktinsky, retired in 1907, Rav Elya Baruch named his own son-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, to the faculty of the yeshivah. Some of Rav Elya Baruch's lectures were published under the title Zichron Eliyahu. He was succeeded as Rav of Mir by his son, Rav Avraham Zvi Kamai, who was massacred with 2300 of his congregants on 18 Cheshvan in 1942.
Other events on this day:
- Massacre of the Jews of Weiner-Neustadt and Morgentheim, Austria, 1298.
- Jews denounced to the Inquisition received the right to face their accusers, 1298.
- Equal rights for Jews of Romania, 1878.
- Release of Rav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson of Lubavitch from Soviet prison, 1927
- Lithuanian Nazis executed 5000 Jews in the Ninth Fort of Kovno, among them Rav Elchanan Wasserman, Rav Yosef Chaim Zaks, a Rosh Yeshivah at Ohel Moshe in Slobodka, and Reb Velvel Grodzensky (son of Rav Avraham, the Mashgiach of Slobodka),1941.
- The FBI announced the arrests of eight Nazi saboteurs who had put ashore in Florida and Long Island, NY, 1942. All were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Six were put to death, the other two being spared for cooperating with authorities.
- American forces liberated the French port city of Cherbourg from the Germans, 1944.
In the peak of pogroms, over 150 Egyptian Jews were 150 killed, 1948
Rav Moshe ben Naftali Hirsch Rivkash, author of Be’er Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch (1684 or 1673). He was one of four great tzadikim of Vilna who lived at the tragic time of the massacres at the hands of the Cossacks in 1655, along with Rav Efraim, Rav Shabtai Cohen (the Shach), and Rav Shmuel Koidenaver. Approximately 25,000 Jews were killed in and around Vilna.
Rav Chaim Ha’Kohen Rappaport (1771). The son of the Rav of Lublin following the Chacham Tzvi, Rav Chaim was appointed Rav first in Shlutsk then in Zhittel, where he authored She’elot U’teshuvot Rabeinu Chaim Kohen. A few years later, he was appointed Rav in Lutsk, then in 1741, in Levov (Lemberg), where he remained for 30 years. He also authored Zecher Ha’Chaim.
Rav Aryeh Leib ben Mordechai Ha’Levi Epstein, the author of Ha’Pardes (1775)
Rav Mordechai ben Yechiel Michel of Kremnitz (1820). Youngest of the five sons of the Zlotchover Magid, who were referred to as my “Chamishah Chumshei Torah." One of Rav Mordechai’s brothers was Rav Moshe of Zvhil, the first Zvhiller Rebbe. Rav Mordechai was also the father-in-law of Rav Aharon II of Karlin (the Bet Aharon).
Rav Chanoch Henoch Dov ben Elazer Rubin (1920), Sassover Rebbe of London.
Rav Yoel Planer, Rav of Uhel, Hungary (1925)
Rav David of Rachmistrivka (1950)
Rav Yitzchak Eizik Rosenbaum of Zutchka (1906-2000). Born in Romania to Rav Isamar Rosenbaum of Nadvorna, he was named after his mother's ancestor, Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Komarna. At an early age, his family moved to Chernovitz, whose 45,000 Jews constituted about 45% of the city's population. The first maskilim settled in Chernovitz at the start of the 19th century, and their influence had grown so fast that, by 1849, they controlled the Board of the Jewish community. It was in Chernowitz that secular Yidishism held a major convocation and proclaimed Yidish as the Jewish national language in 1908.
After Rav Yitzchak Eizik married his wife, Chanah, his father asked him to preside as Rav and Admor in the town of Vashkowitz. Two years later, he moved to Zutchka where he remained until World War II. Soon after the war, Rav Yitzchak Eizik moved to Boro Park. After Rav Yitzchak Eizik's father passed away, he settled in Tel Aviv to take over his father's Bet Midrash, in 1973. In 1981, he relocated to Bnei Brak. One of the Rebbe's sons, Rav Natan David, took over the Zutchka Bet Midrash in Bnei Brak.
Other events on this day:
- Wearing of the yellow star was decreed mandatory for all Jews in the Baltic States, 1941
- Minsk (Russia) was captured by the Germans, 1942 trapping about 40,000 Jews
- The Germany army command led by Erwin Rommel reached El Alamein in Northern Egypt, 96km west of Alexandria. After Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael held massive tefillah rallies, the Germans retreated.
Rav Yosef Trani, the Maharit (1568-1639). The son of the Mabit, Reb Yosef was born in Tzefat and married a descendant of Rav Yosef Caro, but fled Tzefat due to plague outbreak. Returned to Tzefat to head a yeshivah in 1594. Moved to Constantinople in 1604, becoming Rabbi of the city and leader of Turkish Jewry a few years later. Best known for his teshuvot.
Rav Shmuel Shatin, the Kos Ha’Yeshuot (1719).
Rav Yehoshuah Heshel ben Baruch Frankel-Teumim (1843). The son of the Baruch Ta’am. He lived in Komarna and was a devoted chasid of the Chozeh of Lublin but refused the Chozeh’s suggestion that he led the Chasidim of eastern Galicia (a position that went to the Sar Shalom of Belz instead).
Rav Yaakov Yitzhak ben Yehudah Ha’Levi Ruderman, (1901-1987) Rosh Yeshivah of Ner Israel, Baltimore. Born on Shushan Purim in 1901 in Dolhinov, Russia; studied in Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael in Slobodka, then headed by Rav Natan Zvi Finkel (the Alter) and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein. Among his colleagues in Slobodka were Rav Reuven Grozovsky; Rav Ruderman's first cousin, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky; Rav Aharon Kotler; Rav Yitzchak Hutner; In 1926, Rav Ruderman published his only written work, Avodat Levi.
In 1930, Rav Ruderman joined his father-in-law, Rav Sheftel Kramer, at the latter's yeshivah in Cleveland. In 1933, Rav Ruderman moved to Baltimore and founded the Ner Israel yeshivah, leading that yeshivah for 54 years until his passing. His death in 1987 followed less than one-and-a-half years after the passing of Rav Kaminetzky and Rav Moshe Feinstein. Posthumously, Rav Ruderman's students have published two volumes of his teachings: Sichot Levi contains musar/ethical insights based on the weekly parashah, while Mas'as Levi contains lectures on the 19th century work Minchat Chinuch and other Tamudic and halachic insights.
Rav Mordechai Attiah, Sefardic Rosh Yeshivah in Yerushalayim (1898-1978). Born in in Syria, he moved to Mexico City to lead the Jewish community there, before making aliyah with his wife and nine children in 1936. He founded the Ha’Chayim Ve’ha’Shalom yeshivah of kabalah. He wrote a sefer called, Lecha Lecha on the kabbalistic significance of living in Eretz Yisrael.
Other events on this day:
- Nicholas Winton (1909-2015) died. In December of 1938, two months after the Nazis annexed a large part of western Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland. Winton was convinced that the German occupation of the rest of the country would soon follow. He decided to save as many children of refugees from Sudentanland – all Jews – by arranging their delivery to foster families in England. In all, he saved 669 such children. Until 1988, he told not a soul. His heroism was discovered by his wife when she cleaned out their attic and found records.
Rav Chaim ben Atar, the Ohr HaChaim Hakadosh, (1696-1743). Born into a well-respected family in Sali, Morocco, Rav Chaim spent his early years learning with his grandfather, whose name he shared. Rav Chaim's dream was to go to Israel. With 30 followers he arrived in Israel, four days before Rosh Ha’Shanah in 1742 and settled in Acco. Rav Chaim and his students spent Yom Kipur in the cave of Eliyahu Ha’Navi on Mount Carmel. Purim was spent in Tzefat and Miron, where a great deal of time was spent studying the holy Zohar.
On the 15th of Elul of 1742, Rav Chaim finally arrived in Jerusalem with his group. He immediately established a yeshiva called Kneset Yisrael and second secretive yeshiva for the study of Kabbalah. One of his new students was Rav Chaim Yosef David Azulai, the Chida, who at that time was only 18 years old
Rav Elazar ben Elimelech Weissblum of Reisha, author of Mishneh Le'Melech (1830-1910).
Rav Yaakov Moshe ben Eliezer Tzvi of Kamorna (1929)
Rav David Moshe ben Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum of Kretshnif (1923-1969), son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim Mordechai of Nadvorna. After liberation from Auschwitz, he married in Bucharest, Romania, and at the age of 21, took his father’s place as the leader of the Kretchnif dynasty. In 1948, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Rechovot.
Rav Mordechai Weinberg, Rosh Yeshivah of Montreal (1992).
Rav Amram ben Yosef Shlomoh Blau, head of Neturei Karta in Yerushalayim (1894-1974). He was close with the Brisker Rav and the Chazon Ish and earned their respect. Neturei Karta movement broke off from Agudat Israel in 1935 because of their insistence on total separation from the Zionist Jewish community. In 1938, Rav Blau and Aharon Katzenellenbogen seceded from the Edah Charedit. For the most part, the members of Neturei Karta are descended from Hungarian Jews that settled in Yerushalayim's Old City in the early nineteenth century and currently number about 5000. Rav Blau was forced to surrender leadership of Neturei Karta in 1965, after he married Ruth Ben-Dovid, who was a divorced woman and a convert from Catholicism, two years after his first wife, Hinda, passed. In December 2006, Satmar leaders condemned six Neturei Karta adherents as "reckless outcasts" for attending the Holocaust denial conference hosted by Iran. Rav Amram Blau, as well as his successor Rav Aharon Katzenelenbogen, were vehemently opposed to activities of this sort.
Other events on this day:
- Ezra leaves Bavel on the 15-day trip to Yerushalayim, 346 BCE
- Two years after Miguel Rodrigues was discovered holding Jewish rites and accused of destroying a crucifix, a great Auto da Fe was held in Madrid in the presence of the King, Queen, and foreign ambassadors, 1632. Rodrigues, his wife Isabel, and five others were burned alive. Their house was razed and a convent called La Paciencia was built on the site.
- Druze Arabs attacked the Jews of Tzefat, 1838.
Chur, son of Kalev and Miriam, killed by the erev rav for his protest against making the Egel. (1309 or 1312 BCE)
Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin (1932-1999), son of Rav Yoshuah Zelig Diskin, rav of Periaslov (Ukraine) and Pardes Chana, and grandson of Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin. He learned at Ponevezh and the Kaminetz-Knesses Bet Yitzchak Kollel. He served for 26 years as one of the Rashei yeshivah of Yeshivat Kol Torah.
Rav Aharon Yosef Bakst, Rav of Shavel (1867-1941). Born in Ivye, as a young man in Volozhin, he caught the eye of Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer. He eventually moved to Kelm where he became attached to Reb Simchah Zissel Ziv. He served in no less than thirteen cities, including Baisagola, Semiatitz, Tzaritzin, Poltave, Seduva, Lomza, and Suwalk. He came to Shavel in 1930. He was killed in the Holocaust together with his son-in-law, Rav Aizik Rabinowitz of Telz. He was the last Rav of Shavel.
Rav Avraham Yehoshua ben Yitzchak Meir Heschel, the Kapischnitzer Rebbe (1888-1967). Named after the Apta Rov, the Ohev Yisrael, of whom he was a direct descendant, he was born in Husyatin. His maternal grandfather was Rav Mordechai Shraga of Husyatin, son of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin. When he was six years old, the family moved to Kapitshnitz, where his father, Rav Yitzchak Meir, opened a Bet Midrash. He moved with his father to Vienna at the outbreak of World War I, and succeeded his father on the first day of Rosh Hashanah 1936, his father’s petirah.
Only two years after Reb Avraham Yehoshuah became Rebbe, Yidishe life was shattered by the German occupation of Vienna. The Rebbe was seized and forced to clean the streets to the amusement of the jeering Germans. On his arrival in America, the Rebbe settled in the Lower East Side of New York. The Rebbe was among the founding members of Chinuch Atzmai (semi-private religious school system in Israel), together with Reb Aharon Kotler. One of his most faithful followers was the Ponovezher Rov, Reb Yosef Kahaneman.
Rav Yitzchak Leonini ben Refael Yeshayah Azulai (1767-1840), a grandson of the Chida (Leonini was the family name of his mother). He was born in Leghorn, Tuscany, Italy, and died in London.
Other events on this day:
- The Pope confiscated all manuscripts of the Talmud, 1239.
- Jews expelled from Little Russia, 1740.
- The city of Cleveland was founded by General Moses Cleaveland
- Less than two months after the French, under Napoleon, captured Venice, the ghetto gates were torn down, 1797. A tree of liberty was erected while the local populace danced and celebrated. Then, with the active participation of the newly formed civic guard and some of the local priests, the gates were burned in a bonfire. The ghetto was in existence for 281 years and 3 months.
- Sir Herbert Samuel became first British High-Commissioner of Palestine, 1920.
- A series of terror attacks, perpetrated by a Wahhabi organization, at Naama Bay in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Eighty-eight people were killed, and over 200 were wounded, 2005.
Rav Yitzchak ben Aryeh Grodzinski of Vilna (1866)
Rav Yitzchak Kolitz (1922-2003). Born in Elita, Lithuania, to Rav Eliyahu David Nachman Kolitz, Rav of the town and a chavrutah of the Chazon Ish for many years. His father passed away when he was 3 years old. After spending several years in the public school, Rav Yitzchak went to Slobodka when he was 10 years old. In 1935, he moved to Eretz Yisrael with his mother and older brother. At the age of 14, he met Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, with whom he developed a close relationship for life. He learned at Chevron and became close to Rav Yechezkel Sarna. After the 1948 war, he became a Magid Shiur in a yeshivah in Rechovot; during that time, he became a ben bayit of the Chazon Ish. In 1955, he was appointed a Dayan in Tel Aviv, then Av Bet Din, then Chief Rabbi following Rav Bezalel Zolti.
Rav Yaakov Yosef ben Dov (1840-1902). Born in Krozhe, a province of Kovno, he studied in the Volozhin yeshivah under the Netziv, where he was known as "Rav Yaakov Charif" because of his sharp mind. He was one of the foremost students of Rav Yisrael Salanter. In 1888, he accepted an invitation and became the first and only Chief Rabbi of New York, as elected by the Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. He also took an active role in establishing the Etz Chaim Yeshivah, founded in 1866. He authored Le'Bet Yaakov.
Rav Yehudah Kravitz (1995), talmid of the Chafetz Chaim, R”M in Tiferet Tzvi. He established the Gemach Merkazi in Yerushalayim
Other events on this day:
- Crusaders under Godfrey de Bouillon massacred (by gathering them in a shul and setting it on fire) and sold as slaves 20,000 to 30,000 Jews of Yerushalayim and barred them from the city for 88 years, 1099
- The Inquisition was established by Pope Clement IV, 1267. Last victim of the Inquisition was executed in Valencia, Spain, 1826 - 559 years later, to the day
- Death of Behrend Lehmann, German philanthropist, court financier and supporter of Torah, 1730. Appointed as court financier to Frederick of Saxony, Lehmann not only helped finance his extravagant lifestyle and military campaigns, but also succeeded in procuring for his royal master the Crown of Poland which in those days was awarded by the Polish nobility to the highest bidder. Lehmann raised the astronomical sum of 10 million thaler and in August 1697, was crowned king of Poland. The king fulfilled Lehmann’s three wishes: 1) the rebuilding of the shul in Halberstadt, Lehmann’s native town; 2) the reprinting of the Babylonian Talmud of which practically no more copies could be found; and 3) the establishing of the Klaus - in modern terms, a kollel. All three wishes became the greatest blessings of the time. The magnificent shul in Halberstadt in Central Germany stood until 1938 when it was destroyed during Kristallnacht.
- The Lehmann Talmud was a magnificent edition which was praised profusely by the rabbinical leaders of the time and greatly facilitated the study of Gemara. The Klaus, which imported great Polish Torah scholars to Germany, was a seminal institution of learning which produced many leading rabbinical scholars for Germany and provided a powerful bulwark against the burgeoning Reform movement. (One scholar of the Klaus was Gershon Yehoshafat, who later became rav of Frankfurt on Main. His brother Yissachar Ber Yehoshafat, was a book dealer who decided that conversion to Christianity was necessary to advance. He changed his name to Reuter, was knighted as “von Reuter” and moved to England where he founded the famous news empire of Reuters.
- Military tribunal opened proceedings against several dozen Jews, including the Duyanevetzer Rav and the Rizhiner Rebbe, who were alleged to know about the murder of two Jewish informers, 1837. These informers from the Oshitzer province revealed to the authorities the existence of Jews who were evading the Cantonist draft. They demanded exorbitant bribes from the Jewish community to keep silent. After informing on a number of Jews and putting them in grave danger, the Rabbonim ruled that they had a din of rodef and should be dealt with accordingly.
- Tsar Nicholas demanded a thorough investigation. Fifty Jews in the district were arrested and after psychological and physical torture, the authorities pieced the story together. In 1840 the court decided in that 6 of the Jews (two of who were aged 70) were sentenced to 1000-2000 lashes, running the gauntlet and 500 beatings. Of the 9 who knew of the killings and were involved, 7 received 1000 lashes. (Most of those lashed died on the spot.) Many others were sentenced to life imprisonment or Siberia. Eight people who knew the story but didn’t inform the government were given 300-500 lashes. The Duyanevetzer Rav was sent to Siberia but the Rizhiner Rebbe, who had already spent several years in jail was released.
Rav Yosef Yitzchak Rottenberg, head of Belgian community
Rav Aharon Berachia ben Moshe of Modina (1639). A student of the Rema. He was the author of Maavar Yabok, a collection of mitzvot related to Bikur Cholim and everything having to do with the dead until burial.
Rav Aryeh Leib ben Asher Ginzberg, the Shaagat Aryeh (1695-1785). Born in Pinsk, where his father was Av Bet Din, he moved with his family to Minsk when he was still young. A widow in the city had a complete set of the Shas in her home and would loan masechtot to any talmid chacham who needed them. When Aryeh Leib was still a child, he borrowed masechtot from her. Thus, every day, he would complete one masechet, and then ask her to exchange it for a different one.
In 1725, when he was only thirty, Rav Aryeh Leib was invited to serve as the Rosh Yeshivah of Minsk, but the laypersons forced him out, since he was unashamed to rebuke them when he felt that it was necessary. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to serve as Rav of Volozhin (where he authored Shaagat Aryeh), and later in Metz, Germany. Prior to his petirah, the Shaagat Aryeh made a siyum of Shas, which he had reviewed one thousand times during his lifetime.
Rav Meir ben Shmuel Ha’Levi Segal of Apta, the Ohr La’shamayim (1831 or 1827). He was the Rav of Apta after the Ohev Yisrael, who moved to Mezhibuz, after sensing that Rav Meir was supposed to become Rav of Apta. Rav Meir was a talmid muvhak of the Chozeh of Lublin. One of his most famous talmidim was the Tiferet Shlomoh of Radomsk.
Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshua Trunk (1821-1893). Born in Plotsk, he received most of his teaching from his father, who was niftar when the boy was just 11. As a teenager, he spent 3 months with the Kotzker Rebbe, whose direction he followed for the remainder of his life. When he was twenty, Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshuah founded a yeshivah and served as rav in Shrensk for seven years. Later in Vorka, his fame as a posek grew.
In 1860, he moved to Kutna, which lies near Gustenin and Zichlin. The first record of Jews in Kutna is a document from 1513, in which King Zigmund of Poland grants a year’s moratorium to the gentile debtors of three Kutna Jews - Moshe, Shlomoh and Liebke. Rav Yisrael Eliyahu Yehoshuah published several sefarim, including Yeshuat Yisrael, on Choshen Mishpat, Yeshuot Malko, and Yavin Daat. His only son, Rav Moshe Pinchas, succeeded him as Rav in Kutno. The demise of the Kutnah kehillah came when the Nazis finished liquidating its remaining Jews on March 26, 1942.
Rav Simcha Shmuel Shulman (1913).
Rav Yeshaya ben David Yehudah Leib Zilberstein of Veitzen, author of Maasei La’melech (1857-1930).
Rav Yitzchak Kolitz, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and later of Yerushalayim (2003).
Other events on this day:
- Jews of Lithuania received a Charter of Privilege, 1388.
- Anti-Jewish rioters attacked the funeral procession of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef in New York City, resulting in the hospitalization of over 300 Jews, 1902
Rav Nachum ben Zelig Trivitch (1842), Chief Rabbi of Nikolsburg, author of Shalom Yerushalayim.
Rav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinev. (1870-1941) Rav Chaim of Sanz especially treasured his fourth son, Rav Baruch of Gorlitz, saying that a lofty soul such as his had not descended to the world for the past three hundred years. When he was fourteen, Rav Baruch married the daughter of Rav Yekutiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, the Yitav Lev of Sighet and a talmid of Rav Chaim Sanzer, and in 1870, Rav Sinai was born to the couple, in Rudnik.
After reaching adulthood, Rav Sinai served as rav for several years in Gorlitz and Koloshitz, before taking over a permanent position in Zmigród, a scenic mountain town about 150 kilometers from Cracow, where Jews had lived since at least 1410. Zmigród had a relatively small community - a 1900 census records it having 1,240 Jews out of a total population of 2,249. Nowadays, this region of Austrian-controlled Galicia is part of Poland. He escaped the Nazis by fleeing to Lemberg, Galicia, but was exiled to Siberia by the Soviets. He did not survive the trip.
Rav Menachem Shabtai Attas (1942), leader of Greek Jewry, who suffered a fatal heart attack during the round-up and humiliation of the city’s Jews by the Nazis.
Rav Nachman Bulman (1925-2002). Born in New York, he attended Yeshivat Yitzchak Elchanan and then studied in its rabbinical program. He received semichah and a B.A. (in Philosophy) from Yeshivah College. In 1950, Reb Nachman married and found a position in the town of Danville, Virginia, a community of about 30 families, holding the position for 3 years. From 1953-1954, Rabbi Bulman served as mashgiach in Yeshivat Yitzchak Elchanan.
In 1954, he became a Rav in South Fallsburg, N.Y. During this time, he co-founded the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY). His next position was as head of Adat Jeshurun synagogue in Newport News, Virginia, beginning in 1957. Rabbi Bulman then returned to his position as mashgiach in Yeshivah University from 1962-1963, and then worked for Torah U’mesorah from 1963-1967. In 1967, he took his next rabbinical position as the Rav of the Young Israel of Far Rockaway. During this time, he founded Sarah Schenirer High School and Seminary in 1968, and the Yeshivah of Far Rockaway (Yeshivat Derech Eitan). After he made aliyah, he founded a community in Migdal Ha’Emek, and later served as mashgiach ruchani at Yeshivat Ohr Sameach in Yerushalayim.
Other events on this day:
- Saladin’s army defeats Crusader army at Karnei Chittin, and signals beginning of the end for Crusader kingdom, 1187.
- A pope (Clement V?) banned forced baptism of Jews, 1345. This decree was overturned by subsequent popes in 1597 and 1747.
- The Baal Shem Tov and Rav Chaim Ha’Cohen Rappaport, the Rav of Lemberg (Lvov), overcame the Frankist cult in a public dispute, 1759.
- Napoleon decreed that all Jews of the French Empire must adopt family names, 1808.
- Adolf Hitler (y”s), published his personal manifesto, Mein Kampf, 1925.
- Jews of Upina, Lithuania were executed by the Nazis, 1941.
- The Jews of Salonika (Thessaloniki) were rounded up to be deported to the German camps, 1942. Although 2.5 billion drachmas were raised for the release of 4,000 young men, this only managed to delay the deportation until the following March, when 46,061 of Salonika’s 54,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz, most of them gassed on arrival.
- The Iraqi army overthrew the monarchy, 1958. However, a dictatorship was set up by Abdelkarim Kassem. On February 8th 1963, the armed militia of the Arab Ba’th Socialist Party, with the loyal support of the people, overthrew the Kassim government.
Birth and yahrtzeit of Yosef ben Yaakov Avinu (1561-1451 BCE). According to most opinion, however, the actual date was 1 Tammuz.
Rav Yitzchak Charif of Sambur (1833), author of She’elot U’teshuvot Pnei Yitzchak and Ha’elef Lecha Shlomoh. He was the son of Rav Moshe of Dregatchin, author of Magid Mishneh on Mishnat Chasidim.
Rav Nachum Tarbitch, author of Kovetz Ha’Rambam (1848).
Rav Yaakov Shaul Elisher of Yerushalayim, author of Yisa Ish, Yisa Bracha, and other sefarim (1906).
Rav Yaakov Adess, born in Yerushalayim (1898-1963), the youngest of his father's four sons. He received his early education from his father, Rav Avraham Chaim Adess. In 1910, his father placed him in Yeshivat Ohel Moed, where he learned under Rav Raphael Shlomo Laniado and Rav Yosef Yedid Ha’Levi. There, he stayed as magid shiur from 1920-1923, when the yeshiva closed. He moved with Rav Laniado to Porat Yosef, first as magid shiur and later as Rosh Yeshivah. Most of his writings on Shas were destroyed when the Jordanians captured the Old City in 1948. At the end of 1945, Rav Adess was appointed as Av Bet Din in Yerushalayim. In 1955, he was chosen to serve on the Chief Rabbinate's Bet Din Ha’gadol.
Rav Shmuel ben Michel David Rozovsky (1913-1979), born in Grodna to Rav Michel Dovid (Rav of Grodna for 40 years) and Sarah Pearl, daughter of Rav Avraham Gelburd, who had served as Grodna's previous rav for almost 50 years. At a very young age, he began to study in the Shaar Ha’Torah Yeshivah of Grodna, under Rav Shimon Shkop, eventually becoming his talmid muvhak. In 1935, his father was niftar, and the gedolei Torah urged Rav Shmuel to succeed him. However, he was drafted into the Russian army and moved to Eretz Yisrael. There he began studying in the Lomza Yeshivah in Petach Tikvah.
In 1944, Rav Yosef Shlomoh Kahaneman opened the Ponovezh Yeshivah and chose Rav Shmuel, only 30 at the time, to head the yeshivah. Later on, he was joined by Rav David Povarsky and Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach. Subsequently, he was asked by Rav Kahaneman to head the newly founded Grodna Yeshivah in Ashdod.
Rav Elimelech Yom Tov Ehrlich (1914-1989), a seventh generation Karlin chasid, was born in the town of Kodznahorodok, next to Stolin, not far from the border of Poland and Russia. During WW II, his family moved to Samarkand. There, he composed Yiddish nigunim for the many Jewish refugees, cheering their broken hearts. His role in life was thus fixed. After the war, in Paris, Rav Yom Tov discovered a new brand of fire which began to kindle in his heart: Novardok. He later moved to New York, and then to Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Mordechai ben Yitzchak Twersky, Skverer Rebbe of Flatbush (1924-2007). Born in Kishinev, he moved with his family to America when he was four months old. When his father was niftar in 1941, Rav Mordechai and his brother, Rav David, ran their father’s Bet Midrash in Boro Park. Rav Mordechai opened the Skverer Bet Midrash in 1970.
Other events on this day:
- Pope Innocent III promulgated a Church doctrine that the Jews were doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation because they had killed J.C., 1205. (The charge of deicide against the Jews was not officially removed from Church doctrine until 1963. There are still many Christians who believe in the guilt of the Jews, and who act upon that belief.)
- Pope Paul IV issued the papal decree, Cum Nimis Absurdum, which subjected Jews under his dominion (in Rome) to a myriad of restrictions and humiliations, most notably forcing them to live in ghettos, 1555.
- Baruch Laibov and Alexander Voznitzin were burned alive in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the approval of Empress Anna Johanova, 1738. Voznitzin, a Russian naval captain, was guilty of the crime of converting to Judaism and Laibov was guilty of helping him.
- Jews of Holstein, Germany were granted equality, 1893.
- President Eisenhower ordered U.S. Marines to Lebanon, at the request of that country’s president, Camille Chamoun, in the face of a perceived threat by Muslim rebels, 1958. Pan-Arabists, with considerable support in Lebanon's Muslim (particularly Sunni) community, attempted to overthrow Chamoun's government in June 1958 after Chamoun tried to illegally seek another term as president. The Marines withdrew in August, as the revolt was squashed. But to appease Muslim anger, Gen. Fuad Chehab was elected to succeed Chamoun.
- The first and only successful hijacking of an El Al aircraft - - heading from Rome to Israel - took place when a Boeing 707 jet carrying 10 crew members and 38 passengers was taken over by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, 1968. The terrorists diverted the plane to Algiers. Most of the passengers were released quickly. Seven crew members and five Israeli male passengers were held hostage for five weeks and released after 40 days of negotiation.
Rav Elazar ben Elimelech of Lizhensk (1806). He was the oldest son of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. He put together his father's sefer, Noam Elimelech, which contains several letters of Rav Elazar in the back. His sons were Rav Naftali of Lizhensk and Rav Mendel Ber of Pshevorsk; his son-in-law was Rav Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapira of Moglenitz
Rav Moshe ben Tzvi Hirsch Teitelbaum, Av Bet Din of Ujhely, Hungary (1759-1841), author of Yismach Moshe on Chumash and Nach, founder of Satmar and Sighet dynasties. Born in Przemysl, he was a direct descendent of the Rema. Married at the age of 13, he served as Rav and Av Bet Din of Shinev at the age of 26. He made a shiduch with his only daughter to a chasid of the Chozeh of Lublin, and shortly thereafter became a follower himself. In 1808, he accepted the yolk of Rabanut of Ujhely, where he served for 33 years. He was among the first to introduce Chasidut to Hungary. Among his other written works are Heishiv Moshe and Tefilah Le’Moshe on Tehillim.
Rav Yeshayahu Meshulam Zusha ben Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1881). Father of Rav Shlomoh Bentzion of Chernobyl.
Rav Shlomoh ben Yosef Ganzfried (1804-1886), born in Ungwar, Hungary. His father died while he was still young, and he was raised by the Rav of Ungwar, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Heller. He is the author of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
Rav Nachman ben Chaim Aryeh Ha’Kohen Kahana (1904). He was the Av Bet Din of Spinka. He was the son-in-law of the first Spinka Rebbe, the Imrei Yosef. He wrote sefer Orchot Chaim on Shulchan Aruch.
Rav Yaakov Shaul Elyashar (1817-1906). Born to Rav Eliezer Yerucham Elyashar in Tzefat, young Yaakov Shaul moved with his mother at the age of six to Yerushalayim; his father dies a year later. His mother’s second husband, Rav Benyamin Mordechai Navon, took the boy under his wing. In 1883, Rav Yaakov Shaul accepted to become Rishon Le’tzion. At the inauguration, he also received the title of Chacham Bashi by the Turkish rulers. Rav Yaakov Shaul authored the sefer Yisa Berachah. His son, Rav Nisim Elyashar, founded a charedi community in Yerushalayim and named it Givat Shaul, in his father’s honor.
Rav Chaim ben Moshe Friedlander (1923-1986), mashgiach in Ponovezh. Born in Breslau, Germany, he moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael before the war broke out. He was among those in the first group of seven talmidim when Yeshivat Ponevezh opened in Bnai Brak in 1943. He is considered one of the closest disciples of Rav Dessler. Author of Siftei Chaim, Siach Chaim, Rinas Chaim (on the tefillot of Yamim Noraim) and Mesilot Chaim B'Chinuch.
Rav Amram ben Shmuel David Taub, the Brider Rebbe of Baltimore (2007). For over 50 years, he was the Rav of Bet Midrash Arugat Ha’bosem after being sent to Baltimore by the Satmar Rav, with whom he was very close.
Rav Yosef Shalom ben Avraham Elyashiv (1910-2012). Born in Gomol, Lithuania, the only child of a woman who descended from the renowned kabbalist, Rav Shlomo Elyashiv, after 17 years of childlessness. He moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael in 1922, settling in Meah Shearim. Rav Elyashiv married Rebbetzen Sheina Chayah Levin, daughter of Rav Aryeh Levin. The couple had five sons and seven daughters. Rav Elyashiv learned for 20 hours a day for a period of 90 years and was considered the posek hador. He merited to have all of his living grandchildren marry during his lifetime, the last one having married several months prior to his petira. In 2009, one of Rav Elyashiv’s great-great-grandchildren had a son. The child represented the sixth generation of living Elyashivs. In all, the Rav is survived by about 1,000 descendants.
Rav Moshe Mordechai ben Meir Chadash (1940-2016), Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Ohr Elchanan in Yerushalayim. He assumed the leadership of the Yeshivah after the petirah of Rav Simchah Wasserman, who founded the Yeshivah. Rav Simchah headed the yeshivah but asked Rav Meir Chadash, the mashgiach of the Chevron Yeshivah, to serve as mashgiach, and his son, Rav Moshe Mordechai, to serve as Rosh Yeshivah. The yeshivah expanded to include its main branch in Yerushalayim, and three other branches, in Tiveria, in Rishon Le’tzion, and in Kiryat Brachfeld in Modiin Illit.
Other events on this day:
- The Catholic Church burned 41 Jews at the stake in Breslau, Germany, then expels the remaining Jews, 1453.
- The ghetto in Florence, Italy was established, 1571.
- Jews of Brussels were ordered expelled, 1716.
- Soon after the colony of Georgia was settled by General James Oglethorpe, the first group of Jews arrived in Savanna from England, 1733. The approximately 40 Jews included Dr. Samuel Nunez, a former court physician, and Abraham de Leon, who introduced viniculture to the colony. Later that same month a group of 12 indigent German Jewish families also arrived. Oglethorpe was originally against allowing the Jews to remain, until the doctor helped stop an epidemic. (In the 1700’s, Sephardic Jews were considered richer, more educated and more aristocratic than the poorer and more primitive German Jews. One hundred and fifty years later, the German Jews looked down on Eastern European Jews as more primitive, and 100 years after that, the Askenazic German and East European Jews looked down on the Sephardic Jews.)
- Jews of Chevron were attacked by Arabs, 1835 (1834?). The peasants' revolt of 1834 was a popular uprising against conscription and disarmament measures applied by Ibrahim Pasha that took five months to quell. Peasants formed the core of the insurgency. They also engaged in extensive plundering and assaults on local Jewish and Christian minorities, and fellow Muslims. Egyptian gunners blew up the castle defenses, and, on entering the city, they did not distinguish between local Muslims and Jews—the latter played no role in the rebellion—but set about massacring indiscriminately, having been given six hours to enjoy the fruits of their victory. Ibraham Pasha "unleashed his troops to loot, pillage, murder, and rape in revenge.
- German elections resulted in the reactionary element having a dominant voice in the Reichstag, 1878. This date is considered the birthday of modern German anti- Semitism.
- Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The dispute led to World War I.
- League of Nations confirmed Britain's mandate to administer Palestine, 1922.
- The Spanish Civil War began, 1936, which ended April 1st, 1939, with the victory of the rebels and the founding of a dictatorship led by the Nationalist General Francisco Franco.
- Nazis kill 5,000 Jews in Rovno, western Ukraine, 1942. The majority of the Jews of town, around 23,000 people, had been murdered shortly after the Germans invaded in June 1941. Between 5,000 and 7,000 Jews remained in the ghetto that was established there.
Rav Yochanan Ha’Sandler
Rav Shlomoh Yitzchaki (Rashi) (1040-1105). He traced his ancestry to the Tanna'im - Rav Yochanan Ha’Sandlar and Hillel the Elder back to King David. He received his early talmudic training from his father, Rav Yitzchak. At a young age he went to Worms, Germany, to broaden his knowledge under Rav Yaakov ben Yakar. At the age of 25 he returned to his native Troyes. Amazingly, Rashi accomplished all his work during the Period of the Crusades, when life was extremely dangerous for the Jews. Rashi had three daughters, who were great scholars in their own right, but also were married to men of greatness, and had children known as the "Baalei Tosafot," the most famous of whom, Rav Yaakov ben Meir, was known as Rabeinu Tam.
Rav Avraham ben David of Portaleone, the Shiltei Hagibborim, Italian commentator to Rif (1612). The Portaleone family included an impressive number of physicians, going back to the 15th century. He himself was the personal doctor of the Duke of Mantua and the Monferrato, Guglielmo Gonzaga; he wrote several treatises on general medical matters, on drugs and on surgery. At the age of 65 he had a stroke which left paralyzed the left part of his body. From this time on, he was immobile except for his right hand. He was convinced that that terrible illness was caused by a long negligence of the study of the Torah. It was following that realization that he wrote the encyclopedic treatise for which he is famous.
Other events on this day:
- Jews of Frankfurt killed in the Black Death massacres, 1349.
- Jews of Chevron were attacked by Arabs, 1835.
- Nazis murder the entire Jewish male population of Grodz, Lithuania, 1941.