(Oct. - Nov.)
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1 Cheshvan - Rosh
- 1512 B.C.E.:
were smitten with the (fifth) plague of Dever.
2936 - 826 B.C.E.:
Hamelech (King Solomon) finished building the first Beit Hamikdash (Holy
Temple) but waited almost 12 months for the Chanukat HaBayit / dedication ceremonies to begin on
8 Tishrei (Yalkut Shimoni Melachim 184).
Cheshvan 5031- October 18, 1270:
Christian Crusades (the seventh and last) ceased with a treaty signed by King
Louis XI and the Berbers.
Cheshvan - 1334:
Kasimir III of Poland renews Jewish privileges.
Cheshvan - 1542:
Birth of R' Chaim Vital.
5461 - October 14, 1700:
Yehuda Hachasid landed in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) with hundreds of disciples. Rav
Yehuda Hachasid died 3 days later. A shul was built on land he had purchased for that purpose,
and was named for him. The Muslims destroyed the shul in 1720. It was rebuilt in
1837 and destroyed by the Arabs again in 1948. Though it has been rebuilt and rededicated on March 15, 2010, it still retains its name as the Churva.
5694 - October 21, 1933:
Albert Einstein arrived in the US as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
5746 - October 16, 1985:
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Two milk cans containing soil and ashes from concentration camps were symbolically buried on the site. The museum was dedicated in April 1993, with speeches by President Bill Clinton, Chaim Herzog and Elie Wiesel. The museum cost approximately $168 million to build, funded with more than 200,000 private donations. The museum attracts 2 million visitors annually.
- October 14, 2001:
Israeli tourism minister Rechavam Ze’evi, Hy”d, became the first Israeli minister to be assassinated in a terrorist attack.
1 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shmuel Di Modina, the Maharashdam, zt"l, (1545).
(others 2 Cheshvan 5350 / 1589).(See 2 Cheshvan).
HaRav Menachem Mendel Krochmel, zt”l, (5421 / 1660), author of Tzemach Tzedek (the first).
HaRav Dovid Chazzan, zt”l, (5551 / 1790), author of Chikrei Lev.
HaRav Zev Wolf Frenkel, zt”l, (5609 / 1848), Rav of Pshevorsk.
HaRav Yissochor Dov Ber Hakohen Torenheim, zt”l, (5638 / 1877), the Velbrozher Rebbe, author of Avodat Yissochor.
Harav Yissochor Dov Ber Torenheim was born in 5563/1803 in Piotrkov. After he was orphaned of his father, Rav Moshe, his mother devoted herself to the chinuch of her talented son.
After his marriage to the daughter of Harav Avraham Tzvi of Volbrozh, zy”a, Rav Yissochor Ber moved to the yeshivah of Harav Shalom Tzvi of Zgierzh, zt”l, and under his influence he journeyed to Harav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, zy”a.
However, he did not become a Chassid of the Kotzker Rebbe. He was an ardent Chassid of Harav Chaim of Walbraum, Harav Yissochor Ber of Radoshitz and Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel of Mogelnitza, the latter whom he considered his Rebbe, and at whose court he stayed for about half of each year.
In 5609/1848, with the petirah of Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel of Mogelnitza, many Chassidim considered Rav Yissochor Ber as his successor, but he refused to accept leadership. Rather, he subordinated himself to Harav Elazar of Kozhnitz, zy”a.
Later, in 5622/1862, with the petirah of Rav Elazar at a young age, Rav Yissochor Ber was appointed Rebbe. For Rosh Hashanah 5623/1862, many hundreds of Chassidim flocked to his court in Volbrozh.
As Rebbe, Rav Yissochor Ber practiced many new customs. He would daven at the amud nearly all of the tefillot, even on weekdays; every Wednesday the Chassidim would recite the entire sefer Tehillim in public. In general, his leadership style was one of grandeur, much like Ruzhiner Chassidut, which was quite a novelty in Poland.
Rav Yissochor Ber refused to take money from his Chassidim; rather, he supported his family from a business that his Rebbetzin ran. He would eat very little himself. Most of his day was dedicated to learning and davening, and he would only receive his Chassidim to give advice and brachot after tikkun chatzot.
Rav Yissochor Ber spoke divrei Torah often, full of classic Chassidut, aside from his erudition in Shas and Poskim. He was also very knowledgeable in Kabbalah and would quote it often. Many of his divrei Torah are contained in Avodat Yissochor on the Torah. His son Harav Akiva Meir of Lukov also wrote down some of his father’s talks, published as Imrei Binah on the Torah and Seder Hazmanim on the zemanim.
Rav Yissochor Ber was niftar on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5638/1877 in Volbrozh. In accordance with his tzavaah, he was buried in his birthplace, Piotrokov.
HaRav Menachem Mendel Hager of Vizhnitz, zt”l, the Tzemach Tzaddik. (5590 / 1830 – 5645 / 1884). He was the son-in-law of Rebbe Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhyn. Although he became the Rebbe at the young age of 24, he attracted thousands of followers and was the most important heir of his father, and founded the Vizhnitz dynasty.
He was famous for his enthusiastic prayer, generosity for charity and love for Eretz Yisrael. In his older years he endeavored to emigrate there. He had two sons, Reb Boruch and another, Reb Yaakov Dovid, who died during his lifetime. His son-in-law was the son of Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach of Belz, Reb Shmuel of Sokal. His Torah thoughts were published under the title Tzemach Tzaddik. He is buried in Vizhnitz. His son Reb Boruch took his place becoming the second Rebbe of Vizhnitz.
HaRav Akiva Meir Turnheim of Lukeve, zt”l, (5679 / 1918), Velbrozher Rebbe, the Divrei Haam, son of the Avodat Yissachar.
Harav Akiva Meir Hakohen Turnheim was born to Harav Yissachar Berish of Velbrozh, zy”a, in 5603/1843.
He once explained the reason for his name: his father’s tefillah was that in the end (ekev, heel) he should enlighten (meir) Klal Yisrael.
Rav Akiva Meir had numerous daily shiurim with his father. He would learn 18 perakim of Mishnayot and 18 dapim of Gemara every day.
He was exalted in kedushah and taharah. He toveled three times a day, before every tefillah, for extra kedushah.
After the petirah of his father on 1 Cheshvan 5678/1877, Rav Akiva Meir journeyed to the court of Harav Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov, zy”a, as a regular Chassid, even after his Rebbe pleaded with him to accept leadership. It was only after the petirah of the Porisover Rebbe that Rav Akiva Meir acquiesced to become a Rebbe. He settled in Michov.
When a fire broke out in Michov and destroyed his house, Rav Akiva Meir moved to Lukeve, where he continued to hold court.
From the pidyonot that he received from the Chassidim, he sent tzedakah to the poor in Eretz Yisrael.
He was held in high esteem by many of the generation’s other Rebbes.
World War I and the many tribulations it caused for Klal Yisrael were too much for Rav Akiva Meir to bear. He fell ill and was niftar on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, 5679/1918 — the day of his father’s yahrtzeit and at the same age as his father, 76.
Rav Akiva Meir left a commentary on Tehillim called Divrei Haam. He wrote in his tzavaah to his children that profits from selling his sefer should be given to the poor.
HaRav Yosef Engel, zt"l, Rav of Crakow and Vienna (5619 / 1859 - 5680 / 1919). Born in Austrian Poland, (Tarnow, Galicia?), his father was Rav Yehudah Engel, the son of Rav Naftali Hertzl, a talmid of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. On his mother’s side, Rav Yehudah was the grandson of Rav Moshe David Steglitz, the son of the famed Chassid Reb Zechariah, a talmid of the Noam Elimelech.
His rebbe refused to teach him any longer when he reached the age of 12, and between that age and his marriage at 19, he wrote eleven sefarim.
At age 19 Reb Yosef married the daughter of Reb Moshe Kleiner of Bendin, Poland, a Chassid of the Avnei Nezer.
His only child, Miriam, married the heir to the leadership of the Kotzker chassidim, but he abdicated that position in order to remain near his father-in-law, Rav Yosef.
He remained in Bendin until 5665/1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, because the military government confiscated the property in which he had invested all his money, leaving him penniless.
In these difficult circumstances, Reb Yosef moved his family to Cracow, where he accepted a position as Rav.
When the Russian army invaded Galicia during World War I, Reb Yosef decided to flee rather than remain under Communist rule. He became sick on the way and was bedridden over Rosh Hashanah.
When he recovered, his friends offered him an apartment they had rented for him, and a minyan was organized in his home on Shabbat and Yom Tov. He earned a sufficient income from arbitrating disputes and devoted most of his time to learning Torah and writing sefarim.
Reb Yosef Engel authored over 100 sefarim in Halacha and Kaballah, among them Asvan D’Oraisa, Gilyonei HaShas, Beit Ha’Otzar, (a Talmudic encyclopedia), Shiv’im Panim LaTorah, Lekach Tov, and Gevurot Shemonim. During his lifetime he published only 20 of them and the rest remained in manuscript, a portion of which have been published posthumously.
On Sukkot 5680/1919, Reb Yosef caught cold sitting in the sukkah and within days it developed into pneumonia. Two weeks later, on 1 Cheshvan 5680/1919, Reb Yosef’s pure soul returned to its Creator. He was buried in the new cemetery of Vienna.
.HaRav Yisrael Shapira (Spira), zt"l, the Bluzhover Rebbe (5650 / 1889 - 5750 / 1989). He was the son of Rebbe Yehoshua Shapira, the Keren Yeshuah, (from his second marriage). Rabbi Yisrael Spira was born in the Galician town of Reischa.
From his early youth, it was obvious that he was destined for greatness. At the age of 13 he received both the crown of Torah and the crown of teaching, being given Semicha by the Maharsham, the Rav of Brezhan, who testified to the magnitude of his Torah understanding.
Rabbi Yisrael Spira was the beloved grandson of the Rav' Tzvi Elimelech, the author of Tzvi LaTzaddik, who was a grandson of the Bnei Yissaschar, Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov. When the Tzvi LaTzaddik ascended to the Torah on the Shabbat of his Bar Mitzvah and came to the verse in the Haftora, “Israel in whom I glory,” his holy grandfather turned to him and repeated it with the cantillation. Reb Yisrael had an especially close relationship with his illustrious zeide. Because of this, the Bluzhover Rebbe was chosen to edit his manuscripts. While doing so he added his own footnotes, revealing his vast Torah knowledge.
His diligence in Torah study knew no bounds, and was extremely studious in serving G-d.
After his marriage, Rabbi Yisrael Spira, the future Bluzhover Rebbe lived in Zhabne, in the home of his father-in-law. Eight years after his father’s petirah, the Rebbe assumed leadership in the city of Istrik, near Sanok. This soon became a place to which many turned to ask him questions in Halacha, as well as to seek his advice. He was crowned as Rebbe in his father's place and continued the glorious Dinov-Bluzhov dynasty.
During the Holocaust, Rabbi Yisrael Spira experienced the sufferings of hell. He lost his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. Yet it was there, precisely in the valley of tears, that his holy personality stood out. He displayed goodness and kindness to his Jewish brothers, encouraging each Jew to place his trust in the Creator of the world and to await deliverance.
The Bluzhover Rebbe miraculously survived the Holocaust. Dozens of inspiring stories are told of his experiences in the concentration camps, including the time he lit Chanukah lecht in Bergen Belsen, and when he led the tefillot of Yom Kippur in the death camp of Janowska.
During Pesach in Bergen Belsen, he refused to eat chametz. One woman, a widow, had the foresight to sell her rations, including those of her two small children, to a gentile before Pesach, and redeemed it after Yom Tov. She was extremely touched upon hearing that the Rebbe had risked his life by not eating chametz, and sent him the precious bread she had redeemed.
After the war, a shidduch was suggested to the Rebbe as a zivug sheini. Only after they were married was it discovered that it was his new wife who had saved her future husband’s life by sending him the bread in Bergen Belsen. The Rebbe adopted her two sons, treating them as his own.
After being saved from the Holocaust, he settled in Brooklyn, and it was there that he had a great influence on the religious community.
He used to say, “The reason I remained alive was so that I could continue recounting to future generations what happened to us during those times.” He was an amazing storyteller, and his accounts and expressions, emanating as they did from a pure and holy heart, entered the hearts of his listeners, who could never forget what he said.
The Bluzhover Rebbe was niftar at the age of 100 on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5750 / 1989 and was brought to kevurah on Har Hazeitim.
His divrei torah on the parashiot and Yomim Tovim were published by his talmidim in the sefer Shufra D’Yisrael in 2007.
Purim Mo'ed Katan celebrated by Jews
in Persia who escaped forced conversions.
2 Cheshvan 5542 - October 21, 1781:
Joseph II of Austria rescinds the law forcing Jews to wear a distinctive badge. The regulation had been in effect since 1267, more than 500 years.
2 Cheshvan 5666 - October 31, 1905:
Pogrom in Odessa took 300 Jewish
2 Cheshvan 5700 - October 15,
The great Yeshiva
in Mir, Poland was forced to close by the Nazis after 124 years of inspiring generations of bnei Torah. Many Mirrer Talmidim fled to Lithuania, and with great nissim survived the war years in Shanghai, China. Today, B"H, the Yeshiva is alive and
well in Yerushalayim.
2 Cheshvan 5702 - October 23,
The Nazis murdered 10,000 Jews of Vilna, Hy"d.
2 Cheshvan 5702 - October 23,
Romanian soldiers massacre 26,000
Jews of Odessa, Hy"d.
Five thousand Jews of Odessa were arrested in retaliation for an underground
operation. They were all murdered. Some were hanged in public parks. Later that
same day nineteen thousand Jews were arrested, taken to the harbor, doused with
gasoline and burned alive.
2 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shmuel Di Modina, the Maharashdam, zt"l, (5350 / 1589).
Harav Shmuel was born in Salonika in 5266/1506. His father’s name is presumed to be Moshe, as that was the name Rav Shmuel gave his son.
Orphaned of his father as a child, Rav Shmuel was brought up by his mother and eldest brother.
He learned under Harav Yosef Taitchek and Harav Levi ben Chaviv, the Ralbach.
At 25, already a talmid chacham, Rav Shmuel was appointed Dayan in Salonika. Although young, he was esteemed by many of the generation’s leading Gedolim. Many she’eilot were addressed to him from across the spectrum of the Jewish world. He carried on halachic discussions with the Beit Yosef, the Radbaz and others, and was one of the leading poskim of his day.
During his tenure as Dayan in Salonika, Rav Shmuel also headed a yeshivah. Among the more famous of his talmidim were Harav Yosef ben Ezra, the mechaber of Atzmot Yosef on Kiddushin, and Harav Avraham di Biton, the Lechem Mishneh.
Rav Shmuel suffered many tribulations. His two sons-in-law were niftar in his lifetime, and the responsibility of raising their young orphans fell on him. Later on, his elder brother, who supported the family, was also niftar, leaving Rav Shmuel with more young orphans to tend to. But Rav Shmuel still devoted himself to Torah day and night, even with all his family responsibilities.
On 2 Cheshvan 5350/1589, at the age of 84, Rav Shmuel was niftar. In his humility, he asked that no elaborate titles be written on his matzeivah.
His only son, Rav Moshe, was appointed Rav in Portugal after the petirah of his father.
(others 1 Cheshvan 1545)
HaRav Shmuel Gaon, the Maharshag, zt”l, (5427 / 1666), Rav of Salonika.
HaRav Moshe Yehudah Leib of Strizov, zt”l, (5674 / 1913).
, HaRav Mordechai Chodorov of Kolomaya, zt”l, (5691 / 1930)
HaRav Yehudah Leib Graubart of Stashov, zt”l, (5698 / 1937).
HaRav Baruch Hager, zt"l, of Seret-Viznitz, the Mekor Baruch (5656 / 1895 - 5724 / 1963). Born in Vizhnitz, Romania, on 2 Cheshvan 5656 / 1895, his father was Rav Yisrael of Vizhnitz, the Ahavat Yisrael, zy”a, and his mother was Rebbetzin Hinda, a daughter of Rav Meir Horowitz, the Imrei Noam of of Dzikov.
Rav Baruch was named after his grandfather, the Imrei Baruch of Vizhnitz, who had passed away two years earlier.
Early on, Reb Baruch gained a reputation as a sterling talmid chacham. In his younger years he learned Torah from his father, and also from Harav Yissachar Dov of Belz, zy”a, his father-in-law in his first zivug (see below). He inherited his father’s renowned middah of ahavat Yisrael.
In 1912, Rav Baruch married Henia, a daughter of Harav Yissachar Dov of Belz, zy"a. He married a second time, to Tzyril, a daughter of Rav Eliezer Nisan of Dzikov/Tsfat, in 1923.
He became rav of Polein-Riskova before he was 30, and then served as the rav of Kotzman, Romania, for nine years. He established a Talmud Torah, a Beit Yaakov school and worked extensively for Agudat Yisrael. In 1935, Rav Baruch moved to Seret, a Romanian town of about 2,000 Jews.
The Ahavat Yisrael Yisrael was niftar on 2 Sivan 5696 / 1936 and Rav Baruch became the Admor of Seret-Vizhnitz.
At the beginning of the war, the anti-Semitic Romanian government tried to force Jews to open their businesses on Shabbat. Reb Baruch’s older brother, the Damesek Eliezer, asked him to join in trying to abolish the decree. Although Reb Baruch was very ill at the time, he traveled with his brother, and together they succeeded in having the order canceled. This ultimately cost Reb Baruch dearly, as he suffered from weak lungs for the rest of his life.
It is estimated that of about 150,000 Romanian Jews exiled to Transnistria (including all those from Seret), some 90,000 perished of hunger, cold and persecution.
Rav Baruch was ransomed for a huge sum in Adar 5704 / 1944 and made his way back to Romania, where he discovered that his writings, which he had hidden, had all been destroyed.
He finally moved to Antwerp , Belgium in 5706 / 1946 together with his older brother, the Imrei Chaim, and they stayed there for close to a year.
Reb Baruch’s sole ambition was to make his way to Eretz Yisrael and rebuild the ruins of the court of Vizhnitz. Arriving in Eretz Yisrael in Sivan 5707 / 1947, he set up court in Haifa.
With little financial backing but much determination, Reb Baruch was determined to found a Torah-observant neighborhood in this secular city. He laid the Kiryah’s foundation on 3 Tammuz 5714 / 1954.
There Rav Baruch established a yeshiva, a Talmud Torah and other Torah institutions. This laid the ground for the establishment of the famous community of Ramat Vizhnitz, built on the side of Haifa‘s Mount Carmel.
The tireless efforts of Reb Baruch, along with the other pioneers of the postwar generation in Haifa, bore fruit; today, baruch Hashem, the religious community in Haifa, not just of Seret-Vizhnitz, continues to grow, thanks to their efforts at a time when no one believed religious life could exist in Haifa.
In his later years Reb Baruch suffered health complications. He was niftar on 2 Cheshvan 5724 / 1963, at the age of 68, before the culmination of his building project.
He was buried in Bnei Brak in the ohel of Vizhnitz, next to his father, the Ahavat Yisrael, whose remains had been brought up to Eretz Yisrael in 5709 / 1949..
HaRav Elazar Simcha Wasserman, zt"l, (1900 - 5753 / 1992). Rosh Yeshiva, Ohr Elchanan, LA and Yerushalayim. The oldest son to his illustrious father, Rav Elchanan Wasserman, Hy"d, who was martyred in the Holocaust, and a nephew of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, Rav Simcha learned at Novardok for several years, beginning shortly after his Bar Mitzvah, under the Alter of Novardok. He was also very close to the Chofetz Chaim. After his last visit with him, his father sent him to Strasbourg, France, where he started a yeshiva (at the time, the only yeshiva in France). He stayed until 1938, when he moved to America. He first taught at Torah Vodaas, where he became close to Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. He worked closely with Rav Aharon Kotler in the Vaad Hatzalah during WWII. In 1944, Rav Simcha established the Bait Yehuda Day School in Detroit, the first in Michigan, and appointed Rav Avraham Abba Freedman as a Rebbe.Their first Shavuot, they were the only two to learn all night in the Beit Midrash. When Rav Simcha left in 1953, he left Rav Avraham Abba, who stayed another 50 years. He then founded the West Coast Talmudic Seminary (WCTS), or Ohr Elchanan (named after his father) in Los Angeles. The school had 300 students at the height of its popularity. In 1979, he and his rebetzen (Rachel Fiege, daughter of the Novardok rav, Rav Meir Abowitz) fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to Eretz Yisrael. Together with Rav Moshe Chadash, he established Yeshiva Ohr Elchanan in Yerushalayim. Rav Simcha and his rebbetzin never had children. Yet, Rav Simcha was considered by many to be a leading authority on the subject of child-rearing. After Rav Simcha's death, his wife died 10 days later.
Rav Simcha had a sixth sense about people; the story is told of him looking to purchase a used car in Los Angeles. He went to check out one particular car, and asked the owner if he could take it for a test drive. "How do I know you're not going to steal it?" the man said. Rav Simcha then asked if he could use the telephone for a minute. He called the police and reported a stolen vehicle at that very address. The police arrived, confirmed that the car was indeed stolen, and arrested the man. "How did you know?" the police asked Rav Simcha. "Simple," he said. "When I asked to take it for a test drive, he suspected that I'd steal it. Only a thief thinks that way!"
3 Cheshvan - 579 B.C.E.:
King Cyrus of Persia formally occupied
5051 - 1290:
Jews were expelled from England in the final expulsion by King Edward I.
King Edward had banned usury and forced Jews over the age of seven to wear an identifying badge. Some Jews managed to remain in England by hiding their religious identity, but thousands were forced to leave. (Years earlier, King Henry III had forced Jews to pay half the value of their property in taxes, and ordered Jewish worship in synagogue to be held quietly so that Christians would not have to hear it.) Following the expulsion, Jews would not return to England for 350 years, when the policy was reversed by Oliver Cromwell in 1655.
3 Cheshvan - 1553:
Volumes of the Talmud were burned in Venice.
5702 - October 24, 1941:
Germany occupied Kharkov and 20,000
Jews fell into Nazi hands
3 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yitzchak, son of Rav Chaim of Volozhin, zt"l, (1780 - 5609 / 1848).
HaRav Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhin, zt"l, (1797 - 5611 / 1850). Born to Reb Shalom, the Rebbe of Prohibisht (who was a son of Reb Avraham HaMalach, the son of the Maggid of Mezeritch).
He was engaged to the daughter of the Rav of Berditchev at the age of seven; with the chasuna taking place six years later. When Reb Yisrael turned sixteen his older brother, Reb Avraham (who had succeeded their father), was niftar, leaving no children. He was then succeeded by Reb Yisrael.
When word reached the Rebbe that the Russian Czar intended to build a big church in the Old City of Yerushalayim, the Rebbe summoned Reb Nisan Bak who lived in Yerushalayim. Reb Nisan arrived there a few days ahead of the Russians and succeeded in buying the plot of land. The Czar was forced to buy a different plot of land, known today as the Russian Compound. The shul was known as the "Reb Nisan Bak Shul" and stood until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Arabs.
Following the orders of the Czar, the Rebbe was locked up in the Kiev dungeons. The Rebbe spent 22 months locked in a small dark and damp cellar. A few days after the Rebbe was freed he fled Russia and settled in the town of Sadiger.
He had six sons. The Rebbe’s oldest son, Reb Shalom Yosef, was niftar less than a year after his father and was succeeded by his son Reb Yitzchak, who became the first Bohusher Rebbe. The Ruzhiner’s second son, Reb Avraham Yaakov, took his father’s place in Sadiger. He had two sons, the eldest, Reb Yitzchak, was the first Boyaner Rebbe and the younger son, Reb Yisrael, was rebbe in Sadiger. The third son of the Ruzhiner was Reb Dov Ber who was rebbe in Lieov and the fourth son, Reb Menachem Nachum, was rebbe in Sthefanesht. The fifth son was Reb Dovid Moshe, the Chortkover Rebbe, and the sixth son was Reb Mordechai Shraga, the Husyatiner Rebbe. The Ruzhiner also had four daughters. The third daughter, Miriam, was married to Reb Menachem Mendel of Vishnitz, founder of the Vishnitzer dynasty.
HaRav Eliezer Horowitz of Dzikov, zt"l, (5621 / 1860).
Harav Eliezer was born c. 5550/1790 in the city of Duckla, the third son of the famed Rebbe Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, zy”a. Like his father, Reb Eliezer had a sense of humor and a sharp wit. It is related that as a child, he was once reprimanded by his father for some naughty act.
“But what can I do if my yetzer hara entices me?” the child asked.
“Learn from your yetzer hara,” the father replied. “Look how faithfully he performs his task.”
“True,” said the child, “but the yetzer hara has no yetzer hara to distract him!”
Reb Eliezer married the daughter of the nagid Reb Yechiel Michel Rosenfeld. For a time he was fully supported by his father-in-law, enabling him to continue to grow in Torah and avodat Hashem. The support came to an end when his father-in-law lost his fortune. Left with no source of income, Reb Eliezer tried his hand at various jobs and for a time was also a wine merchant.
When the Rabbanut of Dzikov (Tarnobrzeg), Galicia, was offered to Reb Eliezer, he initially humbly refused, but acquiesced after many requests.
He became famous and thousands flocked to his court in Dzikov. Reb Eliezer insisted that his Chassidim not only be righteous, but learn Torah as well.
In the year 5619/1859, a rumor spread that Moshiach would be coming the following year, 5620; many found hints to this in pesukim. This was taken so seriously that some people stopped working, for Moshiach would be coming the next year in any case… Sensing that if the Geulah would not actually happen, the emunah of these Yidden might be weakened, or the maskilim would use the situation to their advantage, Reb Eliezer decided to play down the rumor.
Thus, during Sukkot 5620, Reb Eliezer stood up in his sukkah and declared: “I believe in the coming of Moshiach, and I await his coming daily — but I swear that he will not come during this year, 5620!” All who heard this were shocked, but later understood the deeper intent of Reb Eliezer’s words. Many Gedolim praised him for his brave and courageous statement.
On Rosh Hashanah 5621/1860, Reb Eliezer delivered divrei Torah about petirat tzaddikim, which were received with much distress and pain. On Motzoei Yom Kippur, Reb Eliezer held his beard and said, “Now I look like Reb Yisrael Ruzhiner.” These words were later understood when Reb Eliezer was niftar on 3 Cheshvan — the yahrtzeit of the Ruzhiner.
Before his petirah, Reb Eliezer asked for a drink of water from the same glass his father had used before his petirah. He made the brachah of Shehakol, and with it his neshamah returned to its Maker.
HaRav Yosef Zundel of Salant (Lithuania) and Yerushalayim, zt"l, (5546 / 1785 - 5626 / 1865), (Others 5627 / 1866), teacher of R’ Yisrael Salanter.
Harav Yosef Zundel was born on the first day of Rosh Hashanah 5546/1785 in Salantai, Lithuania, near Zamut.
His father was Harav Binyamin Beinush, the shochet in Salant and a descendant of Harav Feivush Ashkenazi, Rav of Vilna, as well as a talmid of the Maharam of Lublin.
As a young man, Reb Yosef Zundel studied under the Vilna Gaon’s main talmidim, in particular Harav Chaim of Volozhin.
Following Reb Chaim Volozhiner’s petirah in 5681/1821, Reb Zundel made trips to learn under Harav Akiva Eiger.
He moved to Eretz Yisrael in December 1837. He was the father-in-law of Rav Shmuel Salant.
Reb Zundel and his wife, Rochel Rivkah, had three children — two daughters, and a son, Aryeh Leib.
He refused to accept a rabbinical position. He ran a small business that produced only a meager living, and spent much of his time immersed in Torah and mussar.
Reb Zundel was the spiritual inspiration for his most famous talmid, Harav Yisrael Salanter, founder of the mussar movement.
Reb Zundel, who was a talmid of the Vilna Gaon in every sense of the word, longed to settle in Eretz Yisrael. Finally, in 1838– 39, despite the hardships of the trip due to war between Turkey and Egypt, Reb Zundel took his family and made his way to Eretz Yisrael.
The Ashkenazic community in Yerushalayim at that time was governed and supported by the Kollel Vilna, with headquarters in Amsterdam. The committee was headed by a wealthy Dutch Jewish banker, Reb Avraham Zvi Hirsch Lehren. He requested that Reb Zundel serve as the first Rav of the Ashkenazic community.
Reb Zundel agreed on the condition that he would not be paid a salary for his services. All his life he had worked to support himself without benefiting from Torah, and he wanted to maintain that practice. Furthermore, he had always shunned all positions of honor and distinction. He stipulated that as soon as the committee found a suitable replacement, he would step down.
And so Reb Zundel founded the Ashkenazic beit din. With time, both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities recognized Reb Zundel’s stature and brought him their questions.
Reb Zundel’s son-in-law, Harav Shmuel Salant, was head of the beit din, a position he held for almost 70 years, until his passing in 5669/1909.
Reb Zundel was instrumental in the founding of Etz Chaim Yeshivah, the Bikur Cholim Hospital and the Chevrah Kadisha Society.
In 5620/1860, Reb Zundel and his son-in-law, founded the Rabi Meir Baal Haness tzedakah organization, which became a lifeline for poor families.
Reb Yosef Zundel was niftar on 3 Cheshvan 5627/1866 and was buried on Har Hazeitim.
HaRav Yehuda Leib of Kapust, zt"l, (5627 / 1866)
HaRav Eliyahu Horoshovsky, zt"l, (5644 / 1883), Rav of Drohbitz and author of Pnei Eliyahu and Ezor Eliyahu.
HaRav Gedalyahu Yosef Bernstein, zt”l, (5669 / 1908).
Harav Bernstein arrived in the United States in 1890 from the city of Smilowitz, in modern-day Belarus, and settled in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where he was a beacon of inspiration to his fellow Yidden in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His home was a meeting place for Gedolim and Rabbanim. He was niftar on 3 Cheshvan 5669/1908 and brought to rest at Washington Cemetery, on the outskirts of Boro Park.
His kever has become over the last several years a makom tefillah for Yidden to daven for yeshuot in these challenging times.
Harav Bernstein’s kever is located in section 3 of the cemetery, on Sacks Road between Bay Parkway and 21st Avenue, row 295, in the Chevra Machzikei Hadas Anshei Sfard Chelkah. The GPS address is 5417 21st Avenue.
HaRav Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern, zt"l, the Sokolover Rebbe (5626 / 1866 - 5700 / 1939). Harav Yitzchak Zelig was born in Kotzk in 5626 / 1866. His father was Reb Chaim Yisrael of Pilov, son of Rav Dovid of Kotzk and grandson of the Kotzker Rebbe, Harav Menachem Mendel Morgenstern. His mother was the daughter of Reb Zelig Frankel, a famous Kotzker Chassid. They were blessed with seven outstanding children, one of whom was Rav Yitzchak Zelig.
As a youth, Rav Yitzchak Zelig blossomed within the walls of the beit medrash in Kotzk under the spiritual guidance of his grandfather and father.
At a young age he was recognized for his sharp wit, quick grasp and comprehension. His memory was also remarkable, and his appetite for ruchniyut fueled his diligence and perseverance in Torah studies.
Before the age of 16 he married the daughter of Rav Mordechai Sheinfeld of Pintchov, a wealthy Gerrer Chassid. They had 11 children.
After Rav Yitzchak Zelig’s wedding, his wealthy father-in-law supported him generously so he could dedicate himself to Torah study and avodat Hashem; but he later returned to Kotzk to be near his father.
In 5648/1888, when his father moved to Pilov in the district of Lublin, Rav Yitzchak Zelig followed him and remained at his father’s side for the 11 years of his stay.
In 5659/1899, Rav Yitzchak Zelig was invited to serve as Rav in Sokolov, a city near Shedlitz. He meanwhile mastered the Russian language and received authorization from the government to be a rabbi, as was then required by the Czarist regime.
In 5660/1900, Rav Yitzchak Zelig began to lead the community in Sokolov, armed with semichot from various Rabbanim, among them Rav Chaim of Brisk, zt”l.
He established the Yeshiva Beit Yisrael in Sokolov.
Rav Yitzchak Zelig served as Rav in Sokolov for approximately 40 years.
In 1905, he succeeded his father as the Rebbe of Pilov.
After a visit to Eretz Yisrael in 1924, he exhorted his followers to leave the Diaspora and settle the land.
By the beginning of World War II, the Sokolover Rebbe was already weak and living in the Polish resort town of Otvock. When the Nazis took over, he was devastated. The death of his son at the hands of the Nazis completely broke his spirit and his condition worsened. On 3 Cheshvan 5700/1939, he returned his soul to its Maker. With much difficulty, some of his close Chassidim managed to bring his body to the cemetery in Warsaw, where he was buried.
His eldest son, the Rabbi of Wengrov was stabbed to death by the Germans, Hy'd.Although he was a prolific writer, most of his Torah chiddushim were lost in the Holocaust.
HaRav Yisrael Hager of Radowitz-America, zt"l, (5636 / 1876 - 5703 / 1942) - not be confused with Rav Yisrael Hager of Vizhnitz, the Ahavat Yisrael. Harav Yisrael Hager was born on 6 Nissan 5636 / 1876. He was the son of Rav Moshe of Radowitz, a descendant of the Torat Chaim of Kossov, founder of the Kossov-Vizhnitz dynasty. Harav Moshe was the son of Harav Yosef Alter of Radowitz, who later settled in Eretz Yisrael and was buried in Haifa. Harav Moshe also moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he settled in Tzfat.
Following his petirah, his son Harav Yisrael succeeded him as Rebbe in Radowitz.
He settled in America in 5673 / 1913 and founded Beit Midrash Bnei Yisrael and a yeshiva named Torat Chaim in honor of his illustrious grandfather.
He also worked hard to help support his father's yeshiva in Tzefat and sponsored an orphanage there. Additionally, he helped publish his father's sefer, Vayikach Moshe.
Reb Yisrael was niftar on 3 Cheshvan 5703/1942 at age 66. He was buried in the Beth David Cemetary in Long Island, where an ohel was built on his kever.
HaRav Shabsi Sheftel Weill, zt"l, Rav of Simani, Hungary (5704 / 1943).
HaRav Avraham Aba Halevi Zions, zt"l, (1911-1995). Born in Brisk, Poland. His father passed away when Rav Aba was just nine-years-old. His mother would bring him to one of the talmidei chachomim in Brisk to have him tested every week. When Rav Aba was twelve-years-old, he was sent him to learn at the yeshiva of Rav Moshe Sokolovsky, author of Imrei Moshe. Rav Aba was very close to the Imrei Moshe until the latter’s petirah in 1931, and he assisted with the publishing of the Imrei Moshe’s sefer on Masechet Beitzah, “Melechet Yom Tov.” After a few years, Rav Aba went to Kaminetz to learn by Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz. In or about the year 1936, Rav Aba returned to Brisk, starting a Talmud Torah there. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, Rav Aba escaped to Vilna. He was instrumental in the printing of Rav Baruch Ber’s sefer Birchat Shmuel. From there he joined the Mirrer Yeshiva bochurim as they traveled to Kobe, Japan, and eventually to Shanghai, China. After the war, Rav Aba came to New York and accepted a position as Rav of Congregation Knesset Israel in The Bronx, where he served for 28 years. In 1948, Rav Aba married Rivka Tellem, of Tavrig, Lithuania, whose family had settled in Newark.
HaRav Mordechai Miller, zt"l, principal of Gateshead Seminary (1920-2000); one of the closest students of Rav Eliyahu Dessler. Rav Miller held a postgraduate degree in law. He had a promising future in the professional world. His uncle had a law firm in London and with his great talents he would have been given a good position. But he gave it all up in order to spend his life al haTorah ve’al ho’avodoh.
HaRav Shimon Groner, zt"l, Mashgiach, Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin (1932-2005). Born in Brownsville, NY, Reb Shimon went to Chaim Berlin, where the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yitzchak Hutner treated Shimon like a son. Upon his marraige in 1959 to Nechama Dubba Fishbein he continued his learning in the Kollel Gur Aryeh of Chaim Berlin. He taught the seventh and ninth grades in Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael of Forest Hills and from there was called by Rav Hutner to help found the Mesivta Chaim Berlin in Flatbush. After four years, he became a maggid shiur in the beit medrash, and in 1978 was appointed mashgiach ruchni, a post he held for his remaining 27 years.
HaRav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, (5774 / 2013).
Harav Ovadia Yosef was an Iraqi-born Talmudic scholar, a posek, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983, and the founder and longtime spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas party.
4 Cheshvan 4926
The Rambam (Maimonides) reached Yerushalayim,
six months after his arrival in Eretz Yisroel. He and his family celebrated
the date as a private holiday. (Some date it on the 5th or 6th of Cheshvan).
4 Cheshvan -
180 Jews killed in Munich, Hy"d.
4 Cheshvan -
October 17, 1483:
Tomas de Torquemada, ym"s, was appointed Inquisitor General
Jews of Spain had been forced to convert to Christianity, and the Inquisition was designed to uncover those who were continuing to practice their Judaism in secret (called Conversos or Marranos). Those who never confessed were burned at the stake; those who did confess were strangled first. Torquemada believed that as long as the Jews remained in Spain, they might influence the tens of thousands of Jews who had converted to Christianity. It was on his recommendation that the remainder of the Jewish community -- 200,000 people -- was expelled from Spain in 1492. An estimated 32,000 were burned at the stake, and Torquemada's name became a byword for cruelty and fanaticism in the service of religion. The order of expulsion was not officially voided by the government of Spain until 1968.
4 Cheshvan 5302
Algerian Jews celebrate Purim
Edom, "Red Purim" in which the Jewish community in Algiers was
saved from the navy of Karl V and the Spanish Admiral Doria who tried to capture
the Algerian coast.
4 Cheshvan 5595
- November 6, 1834:
Austria's Jews were forbidden to
have the first names of Christian saints.
4 Cheshvan 5702
- October 25, 1941:
Romanian soldiers massacred 26,000
Jews in Odessa, Hy"d.
4 Cheshvan 5704 -
November 2, 1943:
The Nazis liquidated the Riga ghetto. Hy"d.
4 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shlomo Yitzchak of Tarnopol, zt”l, (5652 / 1891).
HaRav Yoav Yehoshua Weingarten of Kintzk, zt”l, (1845 - 5683 / 1922), the Chelkat Yoav. His foundation in learning was established by Rav Zev Nachum Borenstein, the Agudat Eizov, but his rav muvhak was his son, Rav Avraham Borenstein, the Avnei Nezer, who was only 6 years his elder. In 1883, Rav Yoav accepted the positions of Rav and Rosh yeshiva in Litomirsk. In 1889, he became Rav of Gustinin, and founded a yeshiva there. From 1894 until his petira, he served as Rav in Kintzk. In 1894, he published Chelkat Yoav. He also published a sefer called Kava Dekesheisa, 103 unanswered kushyot on Shas intended to whet the minds of bnei yeshiva. After the petira of the Avnei Nezer, Rav Yoav accepted the authority of his son, the Shem MiShmuel. After his own petira, his only son, Rav Meir succeeded him as Rav of Kintzk. His son held the post for 27 years until he and his entire family were murdered.
HaRav Klonimus Kalman Shapira, Piaseczner Rebbe, author of Chovot Hatalmidim and Aish Kodesh, and Tzav V'zeiruz, zt"l, Hy”d, (5649 / 1889 - 5704 / 1943).
The Piaseczner Rebbe, Harav Klonimus Kalman Shapira was born on 19 Iyar 5649/1889 to Harav Elimelech of Grodzisk, a direct descendant of the Kozhnitzer Maggid and the Noam Elimelech of Lizhensk.
He was named Kalonimus Kalman after his maternal grandfather, the Maor Vashemesh.
At the age of three he lost his father. When he was 16 years old he married Rachel Chaya Miriam, the daughter of the Kozhnitzer Rebbe, Harav Yerachmiel Moshe, zy”a. She helped him prepare his drashot and seforim, even adding pertinent insights of her own. When he had been married just four years his father-in-law passed away, so at 20 years of age he became Rebbe. Despite his youth, the chassidim, among them many elderly chassidim, accepted his leadership. He settled in the town of Piaseczne and became known as the Piaseczner Rebbe.
In the year 5683/1923, he opened a yeshivah in Piaseczne, fully dedicating himself to his talmidim.
When war broke out in 5700/1939, Reb Leibel Bein, one of his close Chassidim, managed to procure two automobiles, one for the Rebbe and his family and one for his own family. When he suggested to the Rebbe that together they flee Warsaw, the Rebbe refused, telling him, “I cannot bring myself to abandon Polish Jewry.”
The Rebbe never lost sight of his purpose. He always demanded of himself no less than he did of others
“It is not only in good times that we must follow Hashem’s paths, rising ever higher,” the Rebbe insisted. “We must pursue this course even when suffering and darkness dominate our lives. When someone is surrounded by goodness, then serving Hashem with joy, love and enthusiasm is a simple matter. When he is suffering, however, he must make the most of that situation too, serving Hashem with a broken heart and with true outpouring of the soul.”
After the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was crushed in Nissan 1943, Reb Leibel Bein related that the Rav Kalonimus Kalman was sent to Bodzin.
On 4 Cheshvan 5704/1943, the Piaseczner Rebbe was killed al kiddush Hashem, Hy"d.His famous sefer Chovat Hatalmidim is written as if the Rebbe were addressing the talmid directly, face-to-face. His sefer Aish Kodesh, which was written during WWII was discovered after the Holocaust, beneath a home in the Warsaw Ghetto. In this sefer, he strengthened and inspired his readers with emunah and bitachon, encouraging them to serve Hashem faithfully even in the throes of torment and adversity.
In his last will, which was miraculously recovered after the war, together with Aish Kodesh and some of his other manuscripts, he wrote, “I beg and plead from every one of [Klal] Yisrael to learn from my sefarim, and it is certain that the merit of my holy ancestors … will stand by him and his entire household in this world and in the world to come…”
HaRav Yaakov Yitzchak Dan Landau of Strikov-Kiniev, Hy”d, (5642 / 1882 – 5704 / 1943). Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Dan was born in Zaloshin in 5642 / 1882. The son of HaRav Elimelech Menachem Mendel Landau of Strikov, he was murdered by the Nazis..
In 5672/1912, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was appointed Rav in Kiniev, near Ostrovtza.
After the petira of his father on 19 Shevat 5696/1936, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was named Strikover Rebbe. However, he remained in Kiniev, a small town with just a few dozen Yidden, for it was close to the Rebbe Reb Meir Yechiel Halevi of Ostrovtza.
Later, when a fire broke out and burned down the entire town, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak moved to Zgerzh, the city where his father held court at the end of his life. There he founded Yeshivat Beit Aharon, where tens of outstanding bachurim learned. Reb Yaakov Yitzchak himself gave a shiur in the yeshiva. The yeshiva also published a Torah journal called Beit Aharon.
Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was active in Agudat Yisrael, and participated in the third Knessiah Gedola in Marienbad.
ith the outbreak of World War II, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak and his family fled Zgerzh after the Nazis took over the Rebbe’s home and the yeshiva building, and settled in Warsaw. Many thought then that what the Nazis did in the smaller cities they wouldn’t dare do in the large cities like Warsaw, but they were soon proven wrong. Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was taken to the Warsaw ghetto, where he was active in Ezrat Torah, the organization that tried to help the talmidei chachamim in the ghetto.
When many Yidden were transported to the death camps and only those who had jobs were allowed to remain, the Strikover Chassidim arranged for the Rebbe to work in a factory that produced uniforms. Later the accursed Nazis began to send away even those with jobs. Then the Rebbe and his family were transferred to a bunker.
This was during Pesach 5703 / 1943. He lifted the spirits of those who were in the bunker, saying that the yeshua was near. The entire Pesach Reb Yaakov Yitzchak ate only sugar powder, for there was no other food kosher for Pesach. He even brought a sefer Torah into the bunker. The others in the bunker implored Reb Yaakov Yitzchak to cut off his beard, but he refused.
On Shevi’i shel Pesach night, during Kiddush, the Rebbe broke down in tears. The next morning, the Nazis found the bunker and sent all the Yidden they found there to Lublin. There they went through a selektzia; some were sent to Maidanek and some to Warsaw to work in the Schultz factory. The Rebbe was returned to Warsaw to work, but from there they were all sent to Treblinka.
In Cheshvan 5704 / 1943, the camp was taken over by the German SS and they killed most of the Yidden. Hashem yinkom damam.
The Rebbe and his son Rav Tuviah, son-in-law of Harav Avraham of Slonim, were killed al kiddush Hashem on 4 Cheshvan. Hashem yinkom damam.
Another son, Harav Avraham Landau, zy”a, managed to make his way to Eretz Yisrael, where he rebuilt Strikover Chassidut, first in Tel Aviv and later in Bnei Brak.
HaRav Yaakov Halberstam, zt”l, (5728 / 1967), Tchakava Rav
HaRav Aryeh Leib Gurwicz (Gurwitz), zt"l, (1906 - 5743 / 1982), Rosh Yeshiva of Gateshead Yeshivah. He was born Leib Kushelevsky in the small town of Malat, Poland. After Leib had learned in the Mir for eight years, the rosh yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, and the mashgiach ruchani, Rav Yeruchom Levovitz, recommended that he travel to study under the Brisker Rav. He later married the daughter of Rav Elya Lopian, and became Rosh Yeshiva of Gateshead. He authored Roshei She’arim (a compilation of some shiruim which he delivered in the yeshiva), Arza Devei Rav (which contains hundreds of chiddushim on Shas). His sefer Meorei She’arim was printed posthumously by his talmidim, and consists of mussar and hashkafic talks that Rav Gurwicz gave over the years.
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Cheshvan 3427 - 333 B.C.E.:
Jews massacred in Beit Shean by the Greeks, Hy"d.
5 Cheshvan 4174 - 423 B.C.E.:
Pogrom against Alexandria's Jews
and their expulsion from the city by the Christian rabble incited by Bishop
5 Cheshvan - 1272:
Pope Gregory X condemns the libel of Jews for ritual murder.
5 Cheshvan - 1298:
200 Jews massacred in Germany, Hy"d.
5 Cheshvan 5228 - 1467:
Jews in Landau, Germany, were ordered to
wear the yellow badge.
5 Cheshvan 5681 - October 17, 1920:
Hebrew became one of the official
languages of the courts in Eretz Yisroel under the British Mandate.
5 Cheshvan 5704 - November 3, 1943:
Eighteen thousand Jews were murdered in the Majdanek concentration camp. Fourteen thousand were from Lublin, Poland, and the rest were inmates from various other occupied areas, H"yd.
5 Cheshvan 5736 - October 10, 1975:
Israel formally signed the Sinai disengagement pact with Egypt. The agreement called for Israel to withdraw from the Sinai passes captured in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, leaving them as a demilitarized zone monitored by American and United Nations observers. Israel had previously withdrawn from the Sinai in 1956, and would eventually withdraw permanently in 1982 following the Camp David agreement between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.
5 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Moshe Berdugo, zt"l, (5491 / 1730), son of Rav Avraham. Rav Moshe resided in western Morocco and was known as the Rosh Mashbir.
HaRav Meshulam Zalman Chassid of Frankfurt, zt”l, (5551 / 1790).
HaRav Avraham Yosef Rice, zt"l, (5623 / 1862), the first ordained Rabbi in America and pioneer of the Baltimore Jewish community and founder of one of the first Hebrew schools in the U.S.
HaRav Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer, zt"l, (5555 / 1795 - 5635 / 1874), author of Ma’aznayim L’Mishpat and other seforim.
He expressed views, from a religious perspective, in favour of the Jewish re-settlement of Eretz Yisroel, which predated Theodor Herzl and the Zionist movement. He was one of the founders of the Chovevei Tzion movement, and in his 1862 book Derishat Tziyon veHevrat Eretz Noshevet he claimed that Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisroel could be the beginning of the redemption. He frequently had to defend these views against rabbinic opponents in both Europe and Eretz Yisrael who insisted that the Jewish people would have to wait for the Messiah without taking any action to hasten its deliverance.
He was born in Lissa in the Prussian Province of Posen (now Leszno in Poland). His father was Harav Shlomo.
He received his education from Rav Yaakov of Lissa, the Chavat Daat, and Rabbi Akiva Eiger of Posen. A strong opponent of Reform Judaism, Kalischer also acquired knowledge of philosophy and other secular subjects. After his marriage he left Lissa and settled in Tohran, (his wife’s hometown), a city on the Vistula River, then in Prussia and now Toruń, in northern Poland, where he spent the rest of his life.
In Tohrań, he took an active interest in the affairs of the Jewish community, and for more than forty years held the office of Rabbinatsverweser ("acting rabbi"), serving without salary. His wife, by means of a small business, provided their meager subsistence.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh devoted himself to helping orphans and widows.He also traveled through Germany asking wealthy and influential Jews to aid Jewish settlement projects in Eretz Yisrael. His influence inspired the founding of several settlement societies, and in 1864 he was responsible for the establishment of the Central Committee for Settlement in Eretz Yisrael in Berlin. R' Kalischer first interested the Alliance Israelite Universelle in aiding agriculture in Erez Yisrael, an interest which led to the opening of the Mikve Yisrael Agricultural School in 1870. In reply to the argument from various quarters in Eretz Yisrael that conditions were not propitious for the establishment of agricultural settlements, he proposed that the settlers organize guard units whose members would combine farm work with defense against attack. Tirat Tzvi, a religious kibbutz in the Bet She'an Valley, is named for him.
In his youth he wrote Even Bochan, a commentary on several juridical themes of the Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (Krotoschin, 1842), and Sefer Moznayim LaMishpat, a commentary, in three parts on the whole Choshen Mishpat (parts i. and ii., Krotoschin and Königsberg, 1855; part iii. still in manuscript). He also wrote: Tzvi L'Tzadik, on the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah, published in the new Vilna edition of that work; the Sefer HaBrit on the Chumash; the Sefer Yetzi'at Mitzrayim on the Haggadah; Chiddushim on several Talmudical treatises; etc. He also wrote Emunah Yesharah; Even Bochen; and Pesach Hadaat. He also contributed largely to Hebrew magazines, as Ha-Maggid, Tziyyon, Ha-'Ibri, and Ha-Lebanon.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh was niftar on 5 Cheshvan 5635/1874 at the age of 80.
..HaRav Alexander Zusha Friedman, Hy”d, (5657 / 1897 - 5704 / 1943), author of Maayanah shel Torah. Harav Alexander Zusha was born on Rosh Chodesh Av, 5657/1897. His father was Harav Aharon Yehoshua Friedman. At three years old, the child was fluent in the entire sefer Bereishit. He continued to excel while learning in the local Sochatchover yeshivah.
At the age of 17, Reb Alexander Zusha married and moved to Warsaw, where he began his career of public service. Active in Zeirei Agudat Yisrael, he edited its journal, Digleinu. In 5685 / 1925 he was elected secretary of Agudat Yisrael, and a year later he was elected to the Board of the Warsaw Jewish community as a representative of the Agudah. He founded the Chorev Talmud Torah Network, which he headed, and set up training seminars for chareidi educators. He was also a board member of the flagship Beit Yaakov Seminary in Cracow.
He wrote a sefer called Kesef Tzaruf on the klalim of the Gemara. In his introduction he explains that “since foreign winds began to blow in our camp, which have tried to erase the Torah study completely … The need arises to help educate a generation which is not so knowledgeable. But if we do indeed step forward in organizing our educational institutions, we have not done anything to satisfy the biggest drawback felt in the educational world, and that is: the lack of appropriate educational literature in our spirit… So … I decided to fill this lack and have written an educational reference guide to bring the students with a proper understanding of the Torah a comprehensive knowledge of the foremost topics in Gemara.”
Reb Alexander Zusha is best known for his monumental Maayanah shel Torah (Der Torah Kvall), in which he gathered the teachings of Gedolei Yisrael on the Torah. He wrote the divrei Torah in clear language, understandable even to non-scholars.
At the beginning of the War, Reb Alexander Zusha was appointed representative of Orthodox Jewry to the Joint Distribution Committee (the “Joint”), and labored to help the Jews in Europe. He was arrested and held hostage by the Nazis along with other Jewish activists, but ultimately was released.
In those horrifying circumstances, when his own life depended on others, Reb Alexander Zusha initiated the establishment of soup kitchens and children’s “playgroups” which actually served as clandestine Talmudei Torah. Through this initiative, thousands of children managed to learn Torah. In Lublin and Cracow as well, chadarim were created along the lines he initiated in Warsaw.
In Elul 5701 / 1941, the Nazis allowed the Jews to establish schools in the ghetto. Reb Alexander Zusha’s Talmudei Torah received official recognition and was eligible for support from the Joint and the Judenrat. At that point he was able to set up and fund the famous yeshiva in the Warsaw Ghetto where more than 400 bachurim learned.
A few months later, in the summer of 5702 / 1942, deportations from the Warsaw ghetto began. The Nazis ordered the Judenrat to send to the death camps all the residents of the ghetto besides Judenrat employees and factory workers. Reb Alexander Zusha found refuge in the Schultz factory, repairing shoes and boots. However, that summer his wife and only child — a daughter, born 11 years after their marriage — were sent to Treblinka, where they were killed al Kiddush Hashem.
Losing his wife and daughter did not discourage Reb Alexander Zusha from continuing his sacred work in the Warsaw Ghetto. Most of the day he was busy repairing boots in the workshop, but in his spare time, Reb Alexander Zusha was busy working on behalf of the klal. He also dedicated many of his working hours to learning; those sitting near him heard him murmuring Gemara and Mishnayot.
Many activists worked to find a way to rescue Reb Alexander Zusha from the Warsaw ghetto. Among them was the famous Swiss askan Reb Chaim Yisrael Eis, who labored tirelessly to improve the welfare of Jews in Europe through his contacts with diplomats and the Red Cross. Reb Chaim Yisrael used his influence with the Paraguayan consul to issue a passport to Reb Alexander Zusha. It is not known whether the passport arrived but was returned to the sender, or if it was never sent, but it was among the papers confiscated by police in Zurich from the home of Reb Chaim Yisrael, and unfortunately did not reach its intended destination.
Thus, Reb Alexander Zusha was taken to the Trawniki camp, near Lublin, in Adar 5703 / 1943, and murdered there on 5 Cheshvan 5704 / 1943. Hashem yinkom damo.
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6 Cheshvan 3340 - 422 B.C.E.:
Nevuchadnetzar killed King Tzidkiyahu's sons before his eyes, subsequently blinding him. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 580:2)
6 Cheshvan 3427 - 355 B.C.E.:
The Yevanim carried out a mass slaughter of the Jews of Beit She'an.
6 Cheshvan 4174 - 413:
The Jews of Alexandria Egypt were expelled by Christian masses.
6 Cheshvan 4926 - 1165:
The Rambam arrived in Yerushalayim (6 months after arriving in Eretz Yisrael) and celebrated his arrival as a private Yom Tov. (See 4 Cheshvan).
6 Cheshvan - 1210:
By orders of King John, Jews of England were imprisoned until they paid the enormous sum of 66,000 marks as a tax. Abraham of Bristol, who refused to pay his “share” (10,000 silver marks) had a tooth pulled every day until he agreed to pay. He lost seven teeth before he was able to raise the funds.
Cheshvan 5127- 1366:
The King of Siciliy forbade decorating the outside of Shuls.
[some say this event occurred on 28 Tishrei]
6 Cheshvan 5570 - October 16, 1809:
Birth of R’ Yisrael Salanter (1809-1883)
Cheshvan 5704 - November 4, 1943:
100 Jews of Florence, Italy, were deported
to extermination camps.
Cheshvan 5709 - November 8, 1948:
First census by the State of Israel counts 712,000
Jews and 68,000 Arabs. (others 69,000).
A vigorous influx of Jews would arrive the next few years, when 750,000 Jewish refugees fled from Arab countries. Subsequently, Israel has witnessed the dramatic homecoming of Jews from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, and dozens of other lands. The population of Israel currently stands at 6.5 million, of which 18% is Arab.
6 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shmuel Chaim, zt”l, (5202 / 1441), author of Shemen Hamishcha.
HaRav Yehudah HaChasid, zt"l, (5461 / 1700), leader of a large Ashkenazi aliya, and founder of the Churva shul in Yerushalayim, 3 days after his arrival in Eretz Yisroel. The shul in the old city of Yerushalayim known as the Churva was originally named for him.(See 8 Cheshvan).
HaRav Yitzchak Eliyahu Igra of Tismenitz, zt”l, (5544 / 1784 - 5564 / 1803).
Born in 5544/1784 in Tismenitz, his father was the famed Harav Meshulam Igra, zt”l, Rav of Pressburg and author of She’eilot U’Teshuvot Igrah Ramah. His father commented about him, “He has a sharper mind than I have.”
In 5662 / 1802, Reb Yitzchak Eliyahu married the daughter of Harav Yissachar Berish Falk, the Rav of Hanover. Reb Yissachar Berish was the son of Harav Aryeh Leib Falk, the author of Pnei Aryeh on the Torah and a sefer she’eilot u’teshuvot by the same name, who was in turn the son of Harav Yaakov Yehoshua Falk, the Pnei Yehoshua, zt”l.
Although the Noda BiYehudah had been niftar some years earlier, by 17 Iyar 5553/1793 the community of Prague had not yet appointed a new Rav to succeed him. Harav Meshulam Igra told them that his son would be a worthy successor. It is astounding that Harav Meshulam Igra thought so highly of his son that he would recommend him as Rav of a city of the stature of Prague, with a predecessor like the Noda BiYehudah — especially as this son was just 18 years old at the time!
Sadly, just 14 months after his marriage, Reb Yitzchak Eliyahu was niftar at the age of 20.
HaRav Yeshaya Levy, zt"l, Rav of Kehillat Ohab Zedek, (5691 / 1930).
HaRav Shlomo Dovid Yehoshua Weinberg, Hy”d, (5763 / 1913 - 5704 / 1943), the Admor Hatzair of Slonim.
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Harav Shlomo Dovid Yehoshua was born on 18 Shevat 5673 / 1913. His father was Harav Avraham of Slonim-Baranovitch, the Beit Avraham.
Reb Shlomo Dovid Yehoshua became the son-in-law of Harav Yitzchak Menachem of Alexander, and after his chasunah he lived in Alexander for a while. When his father, Reb Avraham, was niftar in 5793 / 1933, the Chassidim asked Reb Shlomo Dovid Yehoshua to become their Rebbe, though he was just 21 years old.
Harav Avraham Weinberg, who later became the Slonimer Rebbe, personally traveled from Eretz Yisrael to Europe to crown the new Rebbe.
In addition to serving as Rebbe, he also headed the Slonimer Yeshivah, Yeshivat Torat Chessed, with its hundreds of talmidim.
The Rebbe, lovingly referred to as “the Admor Hatzair or der yinger Rebbe,” was well-known and venerated in all circles.
After WWII broke out, the Rebbe managed to conceal his identity for a while. When the ghetto was liquidated, the Rebbe was transferred together with the other residents to the Kadlitzova concentration camp where he was determined to continue his avodat Hashem.
Accompanied by 80 Yidden, the Rebbe was killed al kiddush Hashem.
HaRav Yechiel Menachem Singer, zt”l, of Alexander-America, (5579 / 1919 - 5749 / 1988).
Harav Yechiel Menachem, born in 5579/1919, was the son of Harav Yaakov Shraga Feivel, Rav of Ostrow (son of Harav Yitzchak Meir Singer, Rav in Aleksander, and son-in-law of Harav Shmuel Tzvi, the Tiferet Shmuel of Aleksander).
He was brought up and taught by his uncle, Harav Yitzchak Menachem, the son and successor of the Tiferet Shmuel. (Killed in the war, he was posthumously titled the Akeidat Yitzchak. HY"D.)
After the war, Reb Yechiel Menachem, as a grandson of the Tiferet Shmuel, was appointed Aleksander Rebbe in America by the Chassidim. He reluctantly accepted the leadership.
He was niftar on 6 Cheshvan 5749/1988, at the age of 70, and buried in New Jersey.
His son Harav Yosef Yitzchak Meir, shlita, succeeded him as Aleksander Rebbe in Boro Park.
Last Jew comes home (2nd Temple Era)
During the Second Temple Era (circa 230 BCE), Cheshvan 7 was the date on which the Jew most distant from the Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple -- who resided on the banks of the Euphrates River, a 15-day journey's distance from Yerushalayim / Jerusalem -- arrived at his homestead upon returning from the Sukkot pilgrimage. All Jews would wait for this before beginning to pray for rain.
Cheshvan 7 thus marked the return to everyday activities following the spirituality of the festival-rich month of Tishrei.
In Eretz Yisrael the verse "V'sein
Tal U'matar" is recited in the Amidah, from this day until Pesach.
Cheshvan - 1483:
Although in January, 1482, Pope Sixtus IV had denounced the Inquisition as cruel, in 1483 he gave into Ferdinand’s pressure and extended the authority of the Inquisition to Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. This consolidated the Inquisition into one central body under Torquemada, ym"s. (See 4 Cheshvan).
Cheshvan 5639 - November 3, 1878:
Jews began to prepare the ground
at Petach Tikva for a new settlement.
. 7 Cheshvan 5702 - October 28, 1941:
Dr. Erhard Wetzel, director of the Office of Racial Questions of the Ministry of Eastern Territories, suggested the introduction of gassing camps to deal with Jews in Latvia, Riga, Minsk and Belorussia.
Cheshvan 5702 - October 28, 1941:
10,000 Jews of the Kovno ghetto were taken
out for execution. The Nazis murdered them all during that day and the next. Hy'd.
Cheshvan 5704 - November 5, 1943:
Jewish children under the age of
12 were taken from Shavl, Lithuania and executed. Hy'd
7 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits.
HaRav Avraham Meiseles, zt”l, (5360 / 1599), mechutan of the Rema.
HaRav Shimon Deutsch of Dobormil, zt”l, (5562 / 1801), author of Nachlat Shimon.
HaRav Yehudah Tzvi Eichenstein of Rozdol, zt”l, (1791 - 5608 / 1847), author of Daat Kedoshim. The son of Rav Moshe of Sambor and son-in-law and successor of Rav Zvi Hirsch of Zidachov, he became the Rebbe of Rozdol and was considered one of the leading kabbalists of his generation.
HaRav Nosson Dovid Rabinowitz of Shidlovtza (Shidlova), zt”l, (5626 / 1865).
Born in 5574/1814, he was the son of Harav Yerachmiel Tzvi of Peshischa. Harav Nosson Dovid of Shidlovtza was zocheh to have his grandfather, Harav Yitzchak Yaakov of Peshischa, the Yehudi Hakadosh, zy”a, as sandak at his brit. At the brit, the Yehudi Hakadosh told the father, Harav Yerachmiel, to name his newborn son Nosson Dovid, explaining that he would be both a navi like Nosson Hanavi and a king like Dovid Hamelech.
Reb Nosson Dovid tried to keep the lofty madreigot he attained private. He worked for some time as an engraver, following the example of his father, Reb Yerachmiel Tzvi, who worked as a watchmaker for 14 years before becoming a Rebbe.
When his father was niftar on 8 Iyar 5594/1834, Reb Nosson Dovid was just 20 years old. He initially refused to succeed his father. Eventually, the Gedolei Hador, aware of his greatness, persuaded Reb Nosson Dovid to acquiesce, but he did so with one condition: he would not accept pidyonot from the Chassidim. Later, though, the Yehudi Hakadosh appeared to him in a dream and directed him to do so.
Even after he became Rebbe, despite having a following of thousands of Chassidim, Reb Nosson Dovid continued to travel to other leading Rebbes of the generation such as Tiferet Shlomo and to Harav Yissachar Dov Ber, the Saba Kaddisha of Radoshitz.
After the Sabba’s petirah, he became a devoted follower of Harav Moshe of Lelov, and traveled to many other Rebbes as well including Harav Meir of Premishlan and Harav Yechezkel of Kuzhmir, who was his mechutan.
Noteworthy was his devotion to Harav Chaim of Sanz, the Divrei Chaim, zy”a.
His close relationship with the Divrei Chaim, zy”a, began in 5615/1855, when Rav Nosson Dovid’s third son, Harav Shraga Yair of Bialabrezik, married the daughter of the father-in-law of the Sanzer Rav, Harav Yekusiel Shmelka of Sassov. Rav Chaim was so impressed with Rav Nosson Dovid that he agreed to become his Chassid. But in his humility, Rav Nosson Dovid did not agree and instead Rav Nosson Dovid traveled to Sanz.
One Shabbos in Sanz, Rav Nosson Dovid was requested by Rav Chaim to say divrei Torah at the tisch. Rav Nosson Dovid refused, but after Rav Chaim implored him to address the assembled, he finally consented. He started with the passuk (Vayikra 10:20), “And Moshe listened, and it was good in his eyes.” He explained that Moshe Rabbeinu usually was the one who told Bnei Yisrael about the mitzvot; this time, Aharon was the one speaking, and this is what the passuk is saying, that Moshe was content with Aharon in the speaking role, rather than speaking himself. All present understood that Rav Nosson Dovid was expressing his preference to listen to the Sanzer Rav saying divrei Torah than do so himself.
Many tzaddikim attested to the special powers Reb Nosson Dovid had, especially that of tikkun neshamot.
On Erev Shabbat Parashat Lech Lecha, 7 Cheshvan, 5626/1865, Reb Nosson Dovid was niftar, and was buried in Shidlovtza.
On that Leil Shabbat, Reb Chaim of Sanz came in late to the tisch. When he left his room to go to the tisch, he said, “Now that Reb Nosson Dovid is in his place, I can make Kiddush.” The Chassidim were surprised and uncomprehending until later that Shabbat, when the sad news of the petirah of Reb Nosson Dovid reached Sanz. Then the Chassidim understood the intention of the Rebbe at the beginning of the tisch.
He left four sons. His successor as Rebbe in Shidlovtza was Harav Tzemach Baruch. The others were Harav Pinchas of Kintik, Harav Shraga Yair of Bialabrezik, and Harav Yitzchak Yaakov of Biala. His son-in-law was Harav Efraim of Kuzmir, son of Harav Yechezkel of Kuzmir.
HaRav Tzvi Hersh Labl of Tomashov, zt”l, (5559 / 1799. – 5632 / 1871), (Others 5631 / 1870), talmid of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. Born in Bilgoray, his father was Reb Yisrael, one of the leaders of the kehilla.
Reb Tzvi Hersh learned in the yeshiva in Tarnigrad, together with the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, under Harav Yosef Horowitz, the brother of the Chozeh of Lublin.
He married the daughter of Reb Yaakov of Tomashov. After his marriage, Reb Tzvi Hersh resided in Tomashov, and there he got to know Harav Menachem Mendel Morgenstern, who was later Rebbe in Kotzk. Under his influence Reb Tzvi Hersh became a Peshischa chassid, and the two were among the leading chassidim of the Rebbe Reb Bunim in Peshischa.
After the petira of the Rebbe Reb Bunim in 5587 / 1827, Reb Tzvi Hersh was among those who chose Reb Menachem Mendel as his successor.
When Reb Menachem Mendel moved from Tomashov to Kotzk, Reb Tzvi Hersh moved with him, as he was one of his closest chassidim. He was the Rebbe’s right-hand man, and nothing in the court could be done without his consent.
When the Kotzker Rebbe was sick, Reb Tzvi Hersh sent out letters that the chassidim should daven on his behalf.
In 5619 / 1869, after the petira of the Kotzker Rebbe, Reb Tzvi Hersh was among the first of those who appointed Harav Yitzchak Meir, the Chiddushei Harim, as the new Rebbe. Reb Tzvi Hersh would journey to the court of the Chiddushei Harim, and later to the Rebbe Reb Henoch of Alexander, and after the latter’s petira to the Sfat Emet.
He was niftar on 7 Cheshvan 5632/1871, at the age of 72. He was zocheh to be buried near his Rebbe, Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
HaRav Yehoshua Schwartzberg, zt”l, (5666 / 1905), Rav of Zarik and author of Divrei Yehoshua.
HaRav Yerachmiel Tzvi of Biala-Shedlitz, zt”l, (1878 or 1877 - 5666 / 1905), son of the Divrei Binah (Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz of Biala). His son was Rav Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowitz, born in 1900. The Biala-Shedlitz Rebbe was niftar only five years later.
HaRav Dovid of Sevorn, zt”l, (5675 / 1914).
HaRav Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch, zt”l, (1860 - 5691 / 1930), Rosh Yeshivat Telshe. (See 9 Cheshvan).
HaRav Yehudah Meir Shapira of Lublin, zt"l, (1887 - 5694 / 1933), the founder and driving force behind the Daf Yomi movement, a program of daily Talmud study. Today, tens of thousands of Jews study the "daily daf," and every seven-and-a-half years a "siyum" (completion) of the Talmud is held with large celebrations worldwide. His father, Rav Yaakov Shimshon Katz of Shatz, Romania, was a descendent of Rav Pinchas Koretz, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. His mother, Margala, was the daughter of Rav Shmuel Yitzchak Schor, author of Minchat Shai, and a descendent of the author of Tevu’at Shor.
He was also a descendent of Rav Bechor Shor of Orleans, one of the Baalei Tosefot.
He was married in 1906 and took his first appointment, Rav of Galina, in 1911. In 1921, he became Rav of Sanok, then in 1924 Rav of Piotrkov. It was while there that he wrote his sefer Or HaMeir. In 1923, he began the first cycle of Daf Yomi, having shared this idea at the first Knessiah Gedolah of Agudath Yisrael the previous year. That first cycle began on Rosh Hashana in 1923 and was completed 2702 days later on Tu B'shvat in 1931. Rav Shapira represented the Jews in the Polish Senate, and in 1930, he built the grand Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, a building which remains standing till today. Sadly, Rav Shapira passed away at the young age of 46. His remains were later re-interred to a cemetery in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Yehudah Meir Shapira
HaRav Yisrael Weltz, zt”l, (5734 / 1973), Rav of Budapest and author of Teshuvot Divrei Yisrael. In 1927, he published a compendium of halachot and customs called Chok L'Yisrael on Shabbat Erev Pesach. His father-in-law was Rav Chaim Ephraim Baloity (b. 1877), who was a student of the Shevet Sofer and whose many responsa were printed in the rabbinical journals Tel Talpiot and Va-Yelaket Yosef.
HaRav Simcha Elberg, zt”l, (1915 - 1995), editor of HaPardes journal.
Chairman on the executive board of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis for 25 years. He was also on the executive committee of Agudat Israel of America. Born in Poland and ordained in Warsaw. During World War II, he escaped to Shanghai, where he studied at the Mir Yeshiva. He came to New York in 1947 and served as editor of HaPardes, the rabbinic law journal published by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. He also was the author of multivolume books on rabbinic law and Talmudical concepts as well as a historical bibliography of prewar Poland.
Mr Joseph Rosenberger, z”l, (5757 / 1996). Founder of all Shatnes Laboratories.
In his last will he wrote:
”Due to the fact that I spent all my years educating the Jewish public about the mitzvah of Shatnes & therefore couldn’t learn enough Torah. I am requesting the public to at least learn Torah for my neshama, which I will consider as repayment for my years of devotion.” If you are unable to learn Misnayot or Gemara, kindly say Tehillim for my Neshama – Yosef ben Moshe Halevi.
5446 - November 5, 1685:
shul in America dedicated (Surinam).
The shul of Brachah v'Shalom on the Jodensavanne (the Jews' Savannah) in the Dutch colony of Surinam was dedicated. This was the first shul in the Western Hemisphere.
5481 - November 9, 1720:
The shul of Rabbeinu
Yehudah HaChasid in Yerushalayim with its 40 Sifrei Torah was set ablaze and burned
down by Arabs, marking the tragic end of his group's ascent to Eretz Yisrael. It
was rebuilt in 1837 and
used until 1947.
The Jordanians destroyed the rebuilt shul in 5708/1948. It was rebuilt again in 2010. (Today the site is known
as the Churva.)
5683 - October 30, 1922:
Benito Mussolini becomes Premier of Italy. Though initially pro-Zionist and on good terms with the Jewish population, he is later prodded by Hitler to adopt anti-Semitic policies.
5702 - October 29, 1941:
lives were lost to Nazi mass executions of Kovno's Jewish community, Hy"d. (See 7 Cheshvan).
8 Cheshvan 5725 - October 14, 1964:
Episcopal Church cleared Jews of the charge of deicide..
8 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Meir of Narbonne (HaMeili), zt”l, (1190-1263), author of Sefer HaMeorot (halachic material on Berachot, Chullin, and Seder Moed). Niftar in Toledo, Spain.
Rabbeinu Yonah (ben Avraham) the chassid of Girondi (Gerona) France zt”l, (1200  - 5024 / 1263).
The Ramban's mother and Rabbeinu Yonah's father were siblings. Many years later, the Ramban's son, Rav Shlomo, married the daughter of Rabbeinu Yonah. Thus, the two great rishonim were mechutanim as well as first cousins.
He was a student of Rav Shlomo ben Avraham Min Ha'Har HaHar and the brothers Rabbeinu Shmuel and Rabbeinu Moshe of Ivra..
Rabbeinu Yonah was an outspoken critic of the Rambam / Maimonides' writings, particularly his Sefer Hamada and Moreh Nevuchim / Guide for the Perplexed. When King Louis XIV of France, "Saint" Louis," burnt all the copies of Maimonides' books and copies of the Talmud in Paris in the Square of the Louvre, Rabbeinu Yonah, felt that these events were a sign that he and the other opponents of the Rambam were seriously wrong. He took this tragedy as a sign of heavenly rebuke against him; and as a way to repair the damage, he undertook to write his famous work “Shaarei Teshuvah,” (Gates of Repentance), in which he outlined the methods of doing Teshuvah, and he traveled from place to place preaching about the need to back away from matters which cause division among the Jewish People.
During a speech given in the kehillah of Porish, he promised to travel to the Rambam’s kever and beg his forgiveness. Unfortunately, during one of his stops — in the city of Tolitolia, where he was begged to remain and where he founded a yeshivah — he was niftar without fulfilling this promise.
Klal Yisrael mourned his petirah, and the Ramban composed a special kinah commemorating the event.
Rabbeinu Yonah wrote numerous other sefarim, however. the most famous is Shaarei Teshuvah. Harav Chaim of Volozhin is quoted as saying that, generally, not every mussar sefer is suitable for every person. For some, the Reishit Chochmah is most appropriate; for others it might be Shevet Mussar, Chovot Halevavot or Mesillat Yesharim. An exception is Shaarei Teshuvah, by Rabbeinu Yonah. This sefer, he said, is suitable for every Yid, in every era, until the coming of Moshiach.
In 5004/1244, after the petirah of Rabbeinu Meir ben Todrot Halevi, Rabbeinu Yonahtraveled to the city of Tolitolia, where he was a great marbitz Torah. Among his talmidim were the Rashba and the Ra’ah.
[Others cite his yahrtzeit as 1, 11 or 28 Cheshvan]
HaRav Dovid, Rav of Yoglinitza, zt”l, (5541 / 1780).
HaRav Yaakov Halevi, zt”l , (5600 / 1839), Rav of Ponevezh.
HaRav Menachem Nachum Kaplan (Nachumke) of Horodna, Lithuania, zt"l, (1811 or 5572 / 1812 - 5640 / 1879). When he was nine years old, he lived in the home of Reb Yehuda Leib Ganker and learned with this wealthy man every morning. He studied in various yeshivot, including that of Volozhin. Later, he wandered through Lithuania until he came to Amshina, where he studied under Rav Avraham Kahane. Eventually, he was accepted to the Mirrer yeshiva and became close to its mashgiach, Rav Yisrael Heller. Despite poverty, severe hardship and numerous tribulations, his incredible diligence earned for him vast knowledge in both the nigleh and the nistar (the revealed and the hidden aspects of Torah).
He married the daughter of a wealthy man, but after a number of years, his father-in-law died.
At 21, Reb Nachumke, as he was called, settled in Horodna. He was already known then as a Gadol baTorah; nevertheless, in his great humility, he adamantly refused to accept a Rabbinical post. Instead, he joined the Chevrah Shas shul where he studied day and night.
Realizing that he needed an income, the townspeople, headed by the Rabbanim, offered him the job of shamash in the Chevrah Shas shul. Reb Nachumke happily accepted the position, thereby exhibiting yet another facet of being meshamesh talmidei chachamim.
However, his fame spread, and many throughout eastern Europe came to observe him and learn from him.
Among those was the Chofetz Chaim. The Chofetz Chaim considered Reb Nachumke to be his rebbi, and he kept a picture of him in his home to show to his children. The Chofetz Chaim related that when he was 15 years old, he traveled to Rav Nachumke in Horodna.
After Maariv, he hid in the shul. He watched how Reb Nachumke, believing the shul was empty, approached the bimah and placed his hand into a box reserved for sheimos, removed a sefer Kabbalah and began learning.
Suddenly, the Chofetz Chaim saw a fire surrounding Rav Nachumke. “I became very frightened and was about to yell ‘gevald,’” the Chofetz Chaim related. “Then I realized that this was not the type of fire that we are accustomed to. I remained silent and did not utter a word.
Shaking, I watched Rav Nachumke learn, the entire time thinking that my soul would leave my body. After about an hour, Rav Nachumke put back the sefer, and the fire disappeared.
He became known for collecting and distributing vast amounts of tzedakah. Initially he tried to conceal his actions, but eventually they became known, and the townspeople generously responded to his appeals.
Reb Nachumke suffered much during his life. He buried most of his many (17) children, and was weak and sickly. However, his fiery spirit was never dimmed and his fervor for avodat Hashem always remained intact.
He would deliver a drashah every Shabbat, drawing many participants to his penetrating discourses.
Thousands attended Reb Nachumke’s levayah.
It was said that he once remarked he wanted three things in Gan Eden, one of them being a copy of Chiddushei Rabbi Akiva Eiger!
HaRav Meshulam Shaltiel, zt”l, (1870-1926). Born in Sofia, he moved to Yerushalayim while still very young.
Moreinu HaRav Yaakov Rosenheim, founder of Agudat Yisrael, zt"l, (1870 - 5726 / 1965).
Moreinu Harav Yaakov Rosenheim was the only son of Rabbi Elias Rosenheim and his wife, Charlotte, née Kaufmann, who lived in Frankfurt. His parents were among the strongest supporters of Orthodoxy in Frankfurt and staunch followers of Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch, zt”l.
Harav Yaakov married Gertrude, née Strauss, whose father was the Karlsruhe banker Samuel Strauss. Rechov Strauss in Yerushalayim is named after him due to his philanthropic activities in Eretz Yisrael.
From 1906 to 1935, Rav Rosenheim was editor of The Israelite and chairman of the Jewish Religious Society in Frankfurt. He was a talented writer and gifted spokesman. As a follower of Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch, he personified Torah im derech eretz. When he was asked, as communal head in Frankfurt, to lead Agudat Yisrael, an organization created to combat secularism, he threw himself into his mission wholeheartedly, using all his talent and skill.
In later years he immigrated to England. Then, from 1941 to 1950 he lived in the United States, after which he went on to live in Bnei Brak. He was niftar on 8 Cheshvan at the age of 95.
HaRav Moshe Yosef HaKohen Tawil, zt”l, (1977), zaken rabbanei Aram Soba (Aleppo, Syria). Founded the Degel HaTorah yeshiva with Rav Shlomo Zafrani.
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Cheshvan 3828 - 67 C.E.:
The Jews totally destroyed a major legion of the Roman army of Cestius Gallus in Yerushalayim,
1 1/2 years before Churban Bayit Sheini. The day was celebrated as a Yom Tov.
9 Cheshvan 4926 - October 17, 1165:
The Rambam left Yerushalayim to visit and daven at the Meorat HaMachpelah, (the Cave of the Patriarchs), the holy Jewish burial site in Chevron / Hebron. He declares the
day a Yom Tov for his family and makes a seudat hoda'ah.
Cheshvan 5088 - 1327:
A severe earthquake
hits the Galil (Tzefat), killing hundreds.
Cheshvan 5520 - October
A severe earthquake
with hundreds of fatalities hits the Galil (Tzefat).
Cheshvan 5628 - November
A great earthquake
shook Tzefat, killing hundreds.
Cheshvan 5697 - October
The Berlin-Rome Axis is formed between the fascist governments of Germany and Italy.
Cheshvan 5755 - October
Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat, ym"s, are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Cheshvan 5755 - October
Cpl. Nachshon Wachsman was kidnapped by terrorists from Hamas on his way home from a one-day IDF training course and held hostage in Bir Naballah for a period of 6 days. He was murdered today during an IDF attempt to rescue him. Also killed was Captain Nir Poraz, commander of the squad attempting to rescue Nachshon.Hy"d.
9 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Rabbeinu Asher ben Yechiel, the Rosh, zt”l, (5010 / 1250 - 5088 / 1327). Rav Asher’s family traced its lineage to Rabbeinu Gershon. The life and influence the "Rosh", straddled the two great spheres of the Jewish diaspora of his time, the Ashkenazic (Franco-German) and the Sephardic (Spanish-Mediterranean) communities.
The Rosh was born in Western Germany. According to some Rishonim, his father, Harav Yechiel, was the son-in-law of the Raavan, Harav Eliezer ben Nosson, one of the Baalei Tosafot.
Initially the Rosh studied under his father, a well known talmid chacham. After his father was niftar, leaving him a young orphan, the Rosh learned under his older brother Harav Chaim, who is quoted by the Rosh numerous times in his works as “my teacher, my brother.” Later, the Rosh traveled to learn in Worms, then briefly part of France, under one of the leading Gedolim of the generation, he famed Tosafist Rabbeinu Meir ben Rabbeinu Baruch, the Maharam MiRottenberg, with whom he became especially close.
In 5046 / 1286, King Rudolph I (Rudolph von Hapsburg) instituted new laws of persecution of the Jews. The Maharam MiRottenberg tried to flee Germany but he was captured and imprisoned. The Rosh tirelessly worked to raise a ransom for the release of his beloved rebbi, but the Maharam MiRottenberg refused it, for fear of encouraging the imprisonment of other leading Rabbanim.
Ultimately, the Maharam MiRottenberg was niftar in confinement, on 19 Iyar 5053 / 1293. Due to the imprisonment of the Maharam, the Rosh assumed his position in Worms.
In mid-life, after 10 years as the successor of Rav Meir and the leader of German Jewry, he fled the persecutions of medieval Christian Europe, settling in Spain where Jews prospered materially and Jewish learning flourished in the Spanish Golden Age. Though a penniless exile and newcomer, Rav Asher's genius and erudition quickly earned him a position of prestige and influence. In 1304 he was invited to serve as the spiritual leader of the Jews of Toledo, where he established a Talmudic academy and transplanted the Ashkenazic Tosafists' system of Talmudic interpretation and analysis.
Many talmidim flocking to his yeshiva to learn under him. Multitudes of she’eilot were sent to the Rosh from all over the world, because he was recognized as a leading halachic authority in his generation.
The Rosh introduced the traditionalism and piety of the early Ashkenazic "Chassidim" (reversing the secularist trends in certain segments of Sephardic Jewry). The Rosh strongly opposed secular studies, especially philosophy. In Teshuvot HaRosh, he writes, “Praise to Hashem that I have been able to learn and comprehend all my learning, all from Torah-true sources, just as well as my Spanish colleagues, without having to know and learn their ‘foreign’ knowledge.” His position against these topics was clearly defined when he stated that philosophy is based on critical research, and religion on tradition, the two being incapable of harmonization.
The Rosh desired to issue an outright decree against the study of non-Jewish learning.
Together with his sons, he transplanted the Talmudic spirit from his native Germany to Spain, where it took root and turned the Spanish Jews from their scientific research to the learning of Gemara.
The Rosh is undoubtedly most famous for his work on the entire Shas. This work, like that of the Rif, was written according to the order of the Shas. It summarizes the halachot which can be deduced from each sugya, without going into the depth of the discussions; it quotes just the final conclusions. The Rosh’s style, although similar to the Rif, differs from the Rif in that he quotes other meforshim, such as Tosafot, the Rif and the Rambam. Within a short time, it became very popular, and has since been printed with almost every edition of Shas, under the title “Rabbeinu Asher,” abbreviated “Rosh.”
Rav Asher fathered eight sons, (one of whom wrote a groundbreaking work of Jewish law, "The Tur"), and authored one of the earliest codifications of Jewish law.
The Rosh’s son Harav Yaakov (the Baal HaTurim) compiled from the Rosh’s rulings Piskei HaRosh.
The Rosh was one of the three primary rishonim on whom Rav Yosef Karo relied for the “Shulchan Aruch” (Code of Jewish Law), giving great weight to the Rosh's opinions. Rabbeinu Asher was niftar on 9 Cheshvan 5088/1327, at the age of 78, in Toledo, Spain.
HaRav Avraham Moshe “Hagadol” of Pshevorsk, zt”l, (5554 / 1793).
HaRav Yitzchak Schick, Rav of Karlin, zt"l, the Keren Orah (5612 / 1851).(See 10 Cheshvan).
HaRav Shmuel Teitelbaum, Rav of Gorlitz, zt”l, (5649 / 1888).
HaRav Yosef Yehuda Leib Bloch, zt"l, (5608 /1849 [or 1860] - 5691 / 1930). Born in Rusein, (his father was Harav Mordechai), he succeeded his father-in-law, Rav Eliezer Gordon, as Rosh Yeshiva of the Telshe Yeshiva. Telz is one of the oldest towns in Lithuania, situated in the north-western part of Lithuania on the shores of Lake Mastis, and was already mentioned in the chronicles of a Crusader Order in 1320. Jews settled in Telz at the beginning of the 17th century. 2,500 people lived in Telz in 1797, of them 1,650 were Jews (66%). By 1870 Telz had 6,481 residents, including 4,399 Jews.
Reb Yosef Leib already began studying under Reb Leizer at the age of 15, in Kelm and married Reb Leizer’s daughter, Chasya, at the age of 21.
His marriage took place in 5641/1881, and three years later he moved to Telshe together with his father-in-law.
He helped shape the character of the Telshe Yeshivah that his father-in-law, Reb Leizer, had begun to build. Already in those early years, his unusual talent as an educator shone forth as he spent much time educating his young children. Indeed, all his children bore his indelible imprint and possessed a nobility passed on to them by their father.
Rav Yosef Leib’s father-in-law appointed him a Maggid Shiur in the yeshivah. In 5670/1910, while on a fundraising trip in London, England, Reb Leizer had a sudden heart attack and passed away. Rav Yosef Leib succeeded his father-in-law as Rav of Telshe and Rosh Yeshivah.
Under his leadership, Telshe became not only a yeshivah but a molder of men and hashkafot in the unique Telsher derech that Rav Yosef Leib had helped fashion. He was a living example of iron self-control and discipline. Everything he did was done with foresight; every word he spoke was measured.
Rav Yosef Leib delivered talks, which he called shiurei daat. These were not mussar shmuessen in the conventional sense; rather, they were shiurim in daat hashkafah, geared toward practical implementation of the lofty concepts espoused.
Under Rav Yosef Leib’s influence the prestige of yeshivah students was raised in the eyes of the world.
Rav Yosef Leib founded an entire network of educational institutions, including a mechinah (a preparatory yeshivah for younger talmidim), a Kollel Harabbanim and Beis Hamedrash Lemorot Yavne, a women’s teachers seminary.
Reb Yosef Leib was niftar on 7 Cheshvan 5790/1929 at the age of 80.
HaRav Shimon Shkop of Grodno, zt"l, the Shaarei Yosher (1860 - 5700 / 1939). Born in Turz, Poland, Rav Shimon studied in Mir at the age of 12, and then Volozhin at the age of 15, with Rav Chaim Soloveitchik.
He was brought to Telshe in 1885 by his uncle, Rav Leizer Gordon. Rav Shimon’s brother-in-law, Rav Shlomo Zalman Abel, was one of the three founders of the Telshe Yeshiva. He taught at Telshe for 18 years.
He succeeded Rav Alter Shmuelevicz as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Grodno, from 1920 to 1939, transforming it into one of the finest yeshivot in Poland and beyond.
In 1929, Rav Shimon Shkop came to America to raise funds for the yeshiva, and accepted R’ Dov Revel’s invitation to serve as rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York. However, at the request of the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Shkop returned to Europe after six months.
In 1939, the Soviet Red army marched into Grodno during the Asseret Yemei Teshuva. Most of the talmidim fled to Vilna,
but Rav Shimon Shkop was too old and sick to travel and remained behind with a few talmidim. He passed away a month later.
Rav Shimon Shkop was the author of Shaarei Yosher.
HaRav Chaim Mordechai Roler, zt”l, (5707/1946), Rav of Neimetz, mechaber of Be’er Chaim Mordechai.
HaRav Yehuda Horowitz, zt”l, (5742 / 1981), the Stutchiner Rebbe.
Harav Yehudah Horowitz was born on 13 Tammuz 5652/1892 to Harav Yitzchak of Stutchin, zt”l, a scion of the Ropshitzer dynasty. Rav Yehudah lost his mother as a child.
Rav Yehudah married the daughter of Harav Yehoshua Shapira of Ribtitsh-Bluzhov, zy”a. In 5696/1936 he moved to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Yerushalayim and later in Teveria.
Just two years later, in 5698/1938, he was appointed Rav in Stutchin, replacing his father who moved to Tarnow. At his father’s request, he began receiving Chassidim there.
In 5700/1940, after World War II broke out, Rav Yehudah had escaped to Lvov when he got word of his father’s passing. The Chassidim managed to anoint Rav Yehudah as their new Rebbe.
He fled to Russia, and thus was able to survive the war. After the war he moved to America, settling in Brooklyn.
The Stutchiner Rebbe visited Eretz Yisrael twice, in 5720/1960 and in 5723/1963. These visits left their mark on the tzibbur in Eretz Yisrael.
The Rebbe wrote down the divrei Torah that he delivered every week to his Chassidim, printed as Minchat Yehudah.
He was niftar on 9 Cheshvan 5742/1981 at the age of 90 and was buried in Teveria.
HaRav Dovid Tzion Laniado of Aram Soba (Aleppo, Syria), zt"l, (year??), author of LeKodshim Asher Ba'Aretz.
10 Cheshvan 1656 - 2106 B.C.E.:
Metushelach / Methuselah ben Chanoch was niftar a week before the Mabul began. (According to some he passed away on 11 Cheshvan). On this day Noach, his wife, and his sons and
their wives entered the Tayva / Ark. It wasn't until seven days later, however, that the intense rains began for 40 days and 40 nights. The delay was to allow a proper mourning period for Metushelach, the righteous grandfather of Noach who had just died at the age of 969 years, history's oldest human being. Noach and his family (and the animals) would remain on the Tayva for over a year, until the flood waters had sufficiently subsided.
10 Cheshvan 2321 - 1441 B.C. E.:
Yahrtzeit of Gad, son of Yaakov Avinu and
Zilpah, (Some say the 23rd of Cheshvan). He was born on this date in 2196 - 1566 B.C.E.
10 Cheshvan - November 17, 1278:
Six hundred and eighty Jews were
arrested and sent to the Tower of London for "coin clipping." This
was a very serious charge in the Middle Ages as it involved cutting the edges
off of a (gold or silver) coin and melting down the excess for profit. Many
prominent community leaders were among those imprisoned. Two hundred and ninety-three
of them were sentenced to death and hanged, Hy"d. The "luckier" ones had
all of their property confiscated.
10 Cheshvan 5601 - November 6, 1840:
The Sultan of Turkey forbids ritual charges
10 Cheshvan 5621 - October 26, 1860:
The Jews of Sweden are allowed to acquire
10 Cheshvan 5710 - November 2, 1949:
The Weizman Science Institute opened
its doors for the first time in Rechovot, Israel.
10 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Metushelach ben Chanoch, grandfather of Noach (1656 - 2106 B.C.E.:). Metushelach was niftar seven days before the Mabul began (according to some he was niftar on 11 Cheshvan). See above.
Gad, son of Yaakov Avinu and Zilpah, (2321 - 1441 B.C. E:) (Some say the 23rd of Cheshvan). He was born on this date in 2196 - 1566 B.C.E.
HaRav Yechiel Michel of Crakow, zt"l, author of Seder Gittin (5421 / 1660)
HaRav Aryeh Leib of Stanislov, zt"l, author of Nachlat Aryeh (5510 / 1749).
The city of Stanisławów was founded in the year 1654 by the Hetman (commander) and Starosta (County Administrator) of the Halicz region, Jedrzej Potocki, and was named after his son Stanisław. Armenians and Jews were invited and promised, in the founding charter of the city of May 7, 1654, the right to settle in the city and the right to establish a house of prayer on the land that was given to them. In a special charter from September 17, 1662, Jedrzej Potocki granted the Jews (Żydzi talmudowi) the right to settle permanently in the city and the right to engage in commerce and crafts in the same measure as "the members of the Polish, Ruthenia and Armenian nations." In 1732, the Jewish population was 1,470 souls from among a total population of 3,321
HaRav Meir, Rav of Lelov (?Lvov) and of Ostroha, zt"l, author of Meir Nesivim (5550 / 1789).
HaRav Avraham Oppenheim, zt"l, author of Eishel Avraham on Shulchan Aruch (5587 / 1826). [Not to be confused with Rav Avraham Dovid Wahrman of Butchatch, author of a sefer with the same name - see 30 Tishrei.]
HaRav Yosef Meir, zt"l, (5592 / 1831), Rav of Golina.
HaRav Yitzchak Schick, Rav of Karlin, zt"l, the Keren Orah (5612 / 1851).
Harav Yitzchak Schick was born in Minsk in 5548 / 1788. His father was Harav Aharon, a distinguished member of the Minsk kehillah, son of Harav Baruch of Shklov.
Even as youngsters, Reb Yitzchak and his brother Reb Yaakov, author of Mishkenot Yaakov and Kehillat Yaakov, were noted for their genius in learning.
Rav Yaakov was appointed Rav in Davir-Hodrok and published his first work, Mishkenot Yaakov, while young. Reb Yitzchak, however, preferred to stay out of the limelight and simply continue his own growth in Torah. Even when times were hard and he could barely support himself, Reb Yitzchak preferred not to become a Rav, but to dedicate himself to working on his sefarim.
Later on, Reb Yitzchak and his brother moved to Karlin, where they were supported by the nagid Reb Shaul of Karlin. They both lived there until the end of their days.
In Karlin, Reb Yitzchak finished his works on the entire Seder Kodashim and on Masechtot Nedarim, Nazir and Sotah. (He had written his chiddushim on the other masechtot of Seder Nashim earlier.) He prepared them for publication and they were printed after his petirah by his children.
Reb Yitzchak would rise before daybreak to learn Zohar and other sifrei Kabbalah. Later he would learn Mishnayot. At daybreak, he would don tallit and tefillin and daven Shacharit. Following Shacharit, Reb Yitzchak would deliver a Gemara shiur to the bachurim in his yeshivah. Then he would return to his private room and put on Rabbeinu Tam tefillin, and learn privately until chatzot. Whenever he came up with a chiddush, he wrote it down, and many of these were published.
After the petirah of his brother Rav Yaakov, Reb Yitzchak finally agreed to become Rav in Karlin in his place.
During his tenure as Rav in Karlin, Reb Yitzchak wrote his last sefer, Keren Orah. His wish was that his sefarim be printed and distributed for free in batei medrash for talmidei chachamim. He expended special effort on Seder Kodashim, since this seder does not have many of the regular commentaries and it is very hard to comprehend many of its sugyot.
Reb Yitzchak was niftar on 10 Cheshvan 5612/1851, at the age of 64. (Others 9 Cheshvan).
HaRav Meir Shapit of Kobrin, author of Nir L'Yerushalmi (5633 / 1872).
Harav Shmuel Zanvil Klapfish, zt”l, Rav n Warsaw, (5585 / 1825 - 5662 / 1901), (Others 5663/1902).
Born in Nemirov, as a young boy, his family moved to Warsaw. He was a talmid of Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Silberberg, the Zayit Raanan, and received semicha from Harav Chaim Davidson, Rav of Warsaw. He married the daughter of Harav Mordechai, known as Reb Mottele, Rav of Warsaw.
Reb Shmuel Zanvil married the daughter of Harav Mordechai, known as Reb Mottele, a Rav in Warsaw.
After the petira of Harav Nosson (Reb Noske) Spiegelglass of Warsaw in 5633 / 1873, Reb Shmuel Zanvil was appointed his successor.
Reb Shmuel Zanvil headed a yeshiva in Warsaw, from which many leading talmidei chachamim emerged. He delivered a daily shiur of seven hours’ duration. Later, when the responsibility of Rav took more of his time, his shiur was only (!) four hours long. Reb Shmuel Zanvil purposely located the yeshiva far from his home, so as not to be disturbed with she’eilot while saying shiur.
Many leading Gedolim addressed their she’eilot to Reb Shmuel Zanvil, among them the Chiddushei Harim, zt”l, who knew Reb Shmuel Zanvil from his days in Warsaw; Harav Yoshe Ber, the Brisker Rav, zt”l; and Harav Dov Berish Meisels (Meizlish), zt”l.
Reb Shmuel Zanvil was niftar on 10 Cheshvan 5662/1901, at the age of 76.
He wrote chiddushei Torah on many masechtot and also many halachic teshuvot, but they were never printed.
His son was Harav Mordechai, Rav in Warsaw. His sons-in-law were Harav Shlomo Dovid Kahana, Harav Chaim Yehudah Leib Yudkowski and Harav Abba Chaim Miklishanski, all of whom served as Rabbanim in Warsaw; and Harav Chaim Fein, Rav in Radzin. (Others 9 Cheshvan).
HaRav Dov Berish Weidenfeld, the Tchebiner Rav (5641 / 1881- 5726 / 1965).His maternal grandfather was the seventh link in an unbroken chain of poskim beginning with the Shach. Reb Berish's paternal grandfather was a disciple of R' Yaakov Loeberbaum, author of Nesivot HaMishpat. His father, founder of the Kochav MiYaakov Yeshiva, was his primary teacher until he was niftar in 1894, just two weeks prior to Reb Berish's Bar Mitzvah. Thereafter, he became a student of his two older brothers, Rav Yitzchak of Horimlov (where Reb Berish was also born) and Rav Nachum of Dombrova.
At the age of 19, Reb Berish married Rebbetzin Yachat, the daughter of Rav Yisrael Yosef Kluger of Tchebin. At the age of 24, he received semicha from Rav Yitzchak Shmelkish, the Beit Yitzchak. He refused many offers to serve as a Rav and made his living as a merchant, with.his wife administering a modest coal business to support him. In 1923, after 20 years of learning, he assumed the title of the Tchebiner Rav to replace the Rav when he passed away. He founded a Yeshiva to which students came from all over Poland.
Along with his wife and youngest daughter, the Rav was deported to Sverdelovsk, Siberia, in late 1940. He continued to write Torah novella even in Siberia, on scraps of paper and wood. With the dissolution of the labor camp, the Rav escaped to Buchara.
On Erev Pesach, in 1946, the Tchebiner Rav arrived in Yerushalayim, which he was to call home for the rest of his life, settling in the Shaarei Chessed neighborhood.
His responsa were collected in the sefer Doveiv Meisharim.
His son-in-law and successor as Rosh Yeshiva of Kochav MiYaakov was Rav Baruch Shimon Schneersohn.
11 Cheshvan 1656 - 2106 B.C.E.:
Yahrtzeit of Methuselach / Methuselah, (age 969) son of Chanoch / Enoch. Methuselach, the longest-lived human being of all time, died exactly seven days before the beginning of the Mabul / Great Flood. Methuselach was Adam's great-great-great-great-great-grandson and Noach's grandfather. (See 10 Cheshvan).
11 Cheshvan 2208 - 1554 B.C.E.:
Yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu, during the birth of her son Binyamin.
(According to the Vilna Gaon, she was 36 years old, according to Sefer Hayashar, 45).Rachel had previously given birth to Yosef / Joseph, following years of being childless. Yaakov Avinu buried her by the roadside in Bethlehem, where "Rachel weeps over her children, for they are gone [in exile]" (Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 31:14). Today, Kever Rachel / Rachel's Tomb serves as a place of pilgrimage and prayer, as it has for more than 35 centuries, and is regarded as Judaism third-holiest site.
11 Cheshvan 2208 - 1554 B.C.E.:
Birthday of Benyamin, born to Yaakov
Avinu and Rachel.
(Also his Yahrtzeit 2317 - 1445 B.C.E.)
11 Cheshvan 5046 - 1285:
180 Jews were killed in Munich, Germany, Hy"d.
11 Cheshvan 5734 - November 6, 1973:
New York City
elected its first Jewish Mayor, Abraham D. Beame.
11 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Metushelach ben Chanoch, grandfather of Noach (1656 - 2106 B.C.E.:)
(See above and 10 Cheshvan)
Rachel Imeinu (2208 / 1554 BCE), during the birth of her son Binyamin. According to the Vilna Gaon, she was 36 years old; according to Sefer Hayashar, 45). See above.
Binyamin ben Yaakov Avinu (2317 / 1445 B.C.E.:)
HaRav Moshe, zt”l, (5453 / 1692), Rav of Kratishin, son of the Shach.
HaRav Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl, zt"l, the Me’or Einayim, (5490 / 1730 - 5558 / 1797).
Reb Nachum of Chernobyl was born in 5490/1730 to Reb Tzvi, the son of Reb Nachum Gaon, known as Reb Adam Baal Shem.
Reb Nachum was orphaned at a very young age and went to live with an uncle. Eventually he went to learn in a yeshivah in Lithuania, where he excelled greatly. His fame spread and many predicted great things for him.
He married Rebbetzin Sarah, the daughter of Harav Nosson Nota Shapiro, zt”l, Rav of Horodna.
The Baal Shem Tov introduced Reb Nachum while still in his youth to Chassidut and took him under his wing. In time he became part of the Baal Shem Tov’s closest circle of talmidim.
Despite being an accomplished talmid chacham, he did not seek any rabbinical position. Instead, in his great humility, he chose to become a melamed of children.
Following the Baal Shem Tov’s petirah, Reb Nachum became a devoted disciple of Rav DovBer, the Maggid of Mezeritch, the Baal Shem Tov’s successor. The Maggid encouraged him to travel around the Wohlin region as a maggid meisharim,delivering drashot bringing many Jews closer to Hashem.
When he traveled to spread the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, he took advantage of opportunities to ransom prisoners, settle feuds and build mikva’ot.
Reb Nachum founded his own court after the petirah of the Maggid, first in Probhisht, then in Chernobyl. The city quickly became a center of Torah and Chassidut. Reb Nachum helped many Jews in distress, and was considered the successor of the Maggid, and many tzaddikim of his own generation saw him as their Rebbe.
He was the founder of the Chernobyl dynasty of Chassidic Rebbes.
Reb Nachum passed away on 11 Cheshvan 5558/1798 at the age of 68 and was buried in Chernobyl. His divrei Torah were published by his faithful talmid Reb Eliyahu of Yurovitch as Me’or Einayim; it became a cornerstone of writings in Chassidut.
An additional sefer, Yismach Lev, relates to various aggadot in Shas.
He was succeeded by his son, Mordechai, the descendents of which are the Skverer Chasidim, the current Rebbe of whom is Rav Dovid Twersky of New Square, NY. (Others 5548 / 1787)
HaRav Yaakov Ginzburg, zt”l, (5575 / 1814), Dayan in Prague.
HaRav Avraham Coriat of Mugador, zt”l, (5606 / 1845). The Coriat family was a famous family of Rabbis in Morocco, and Rav Avraham was one of the Torah leaders in Mugador, Morocco. He authored the Sefer Brit Avot.
HaRav Avraham Elimelech Weinberg, zt"l, founder of Slonimer Chassidut (5564 / 1804 - 5644 / 1883), a disciple of Rav Noach of Lechovitz, and author of Be'er Avraham on Mechilta, Yesod Ha'avodah, and Chessed L'Avraham. In 1815, with the guidance of Rav Chaim of Voloshin he founded a Yeshiva in Solonim called Anaf Eitz Chaim. In 1858 the Chassidim united behind him and he became the Admor. He was active in the spread of the Chasidic movement in Lithuania and was a main organizer of support for the religious communities in the Holy Land.
HaRav Avraham Mordechai Landau, zt”l, of Alik, (5645 / 1884), author of Gedulat Mordechai.
Harav Avraham Shlomo Halevi Epstein, zt”l, (5678 / 1917), the Ozhorover Rebbe.
Harav Chaim Yaakov Teitelbaum, zt”l, of Limnov, (5694 / 1933).
HaRav Yehudah Leib Chasman, zt"l, Mashgiach of Yeshivat Chevron (1869 - 5696 / 1935). He learned in Kelm under Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, in Volozhin under the Netziv as well as that of the Rabbi Chaim Halevi Soloveichik of Brisk. In 1897, he was brought to serve as the Telz yeshiva's Mashgiach. He established the independent Yeshiva in Shtutshin in 1908. In 1912, he was rabbi of Shtutsin. In his last years, he was the spiritual director of the Slabodka Yeshiva in Chevron and in Yerushalayim. In 1926, he became mashgiach at Chevron. Author of Ohel Yohel..Among his talmidim was Rav Shlomo Schwadron.
HaRav Pesach Pruskin, zt "l, Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Kobrin (5639 / 1879 - 5700 / 1939). Born to his widowed mother, he was named after his father, who died several months prior to his birth.
Not a gifted child, Pesach compensated for that with exemplary hasmadah and determination, harnessing the inspiration and toiling to satiate his thirst for Torah learning.
A chain of Providential events kept young Pesach in a Torah environment. When he was born, his mother was without any means of support. She took her five children to the home of her grandfather, Harav Pinchas Michael, Rav in Antipole, where her family provided her with minimal sustenance. The widow and her family lived in abject poverty.
The Rav of Antipole had a son who became attracted to haskalah. He ran off to Paris, where he eventually became a professor of philosophy and translated the Gemara into French. Needless to say, his parents were heartbroken and sat shivah in mourning for their once-beloved son, who had exchanged the Torah for French philosophy. They both died of heartache and the errant son came from Paris to visit their grave. The professor wept bitterly and begged forgiveness from his departed parents, impressing everyone as a genuine baal teshuvah.
Taking note of the poverty in which his niece lived, he tried to persuade the young widow to entrust him with her five children. He promised to raise them as religious Jews and provide them with a Torah education. She sent four children with him, two boys and two girls — but not Pesach, for he was too young. Later on the uncle came back asking for Pesach; but the eight-year-old boy refused to go with him, insisting that he must continue learning in cheder. Thus he was spared for a life of Torah.
Young Pesach continued learning, finding hunger and poverty no hindrance. In his teens, he joined the yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim in Radin. He later went to Slobodka, where he was inspired by the mussar of the Alter, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel.
A group of Slabodka talmidim once decided to visit the famed yeshivah in Kelm for Elul. No one was ever accepted to Kelm without prior permission, and so these boys were ordered to go back to Slabodka. But not Pesach Kobriner! With tears in his eyes, he begged the Alter of Kelm, Harav Simchah Zissel Ziv, “I’m
asking permission now. Please allow me to stay!” He alone remained — for over a year.
When the Alter of Slobodka selected Slutsk, a large city in White Russia, to place one of his yeshivot, he dispatched Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer as Rosh Yeshiva, with fourteen talmidim - among them Pesach "Kobriner." The 14 (known as the “yad hachazakah — the mighty arm” (“yad” has the numerical value of 14) served as the nucleus of the new yeshiva.
After his marriage to Tziporah Lipschutz, Reb Pesach earned his living as a night watchman in an orchard. The job afforded him opportunity for study and solitude, and he used it to complete Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim.
During this period, Reb Isser Zalman invited him to return to Slutsk as Mashgiach of the yeshivah. At first, he refused. Then one of his children became critically ill. Reb Pesach made a vow that if the child would live, he would take the post and dedicate his life to Torah. The child recovered and he kept his vow, accepting the position of mashgiach in Slutsk.
In Slutsk, Reb Pesach experienced a breakthrough in his Torah study. He began to learn with new vigor and confidence, and in a short time a noticeable change took place in him. He began to expound on difficulties in Shas with new depth and clarity that amazed all. As time went on he amassed a great amount of knowledge and eventually he combined the three attributes of hasmadah, charifut and beki’ut (diligence, sharpness, and vast knowledge).
In 1911, he became Rav of Amtsislav (also called Mistsislav) and also opened a yeshiva there. When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, and his native city of Kobrin was incorporated into Poland by the Soviet-Polish treaty of Riga, 1922, he escaped the Communist rule to Kobrin where he became Rav and opened another yeshiva. Among his talmidim was the son of the Rav of Strobin, Moshe Strobiner, who stayed in the yeshivah in Shklov for a number of years. He was later known to Klal Yisrael as the posek hador, Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l.
Reb Pesach was active in Agudat Yisrael, attending most of the Knessiot Gedolot. He was among the first to recognize the value of the Beit Yaakov movement.
In 1931, in the early years of the Great Depression, Reb Pesach visited the United States to raise funds for his yeshiva. On his visit to St. Louis he made so favorable an impression that he was offered the position of Rav Hakollel, Chief Rabbi. He refused, expressing gratitude for the offer but explaining, “I can guarantee that my children will remain Torah Yidden in America, but I can’t guarantee the same for my grandchildren.”
In 1939, the Red Army marched into Poland. Upon occupying Kobrin, they closed the yeshivah and the Beit Yaakov. Reb Pesach could not bear the pain of this twin tragedy, and on 11 Cheshvan, 5700/1939, at the age of 60, his heart stopped beating.
His son, Harav Avraham Pruskin, escaped to America with some of his father’s written shiurim, which were published posthumously by Reb Pesach’s grandson, Rav Nosson Zachovsky of Bnei Brak, under the title Shiurei Maran Rav Pesach MiKobrin.
HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Mir Yerushalayim, (1943-5772 / 2011). Rav Nosson Tzvi was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 12, 1943 to Reb Eliyahu Meir Finkel. and was named after his elte-zaida, (great-grandfather), the Alter of Slabodka, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel.
Rav Nosson Tzvi later married the daughter of Rav Beinish Finkel, who was the son of Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir. Rav Nosson Tzvi’s wife was a second cousin of his. His brother is Rav Gedaliah Finkel, a Maggid Shiur in the yeshiva.
Rav Nosson Tzvi became rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Mir-Yerushalayim in 1990 following the petira of his father-in-law, Rav Beinish. He also served as a member of the Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah in Eretz Yisroel.
In his later years, Rav Nosson Tzvi suffered from Parkinson’s disease and demonstrated inspiring levels of bitachon and strength. When once asked by a student why he never took drugs to calm the Parkinson’s disease he suffers from, he answered that when inquiring about the drugs, his doctor had told him that it would have an effect on his memory. “I’d rather be ill my whole life than to forget even one word of the holy Torah.”
Rav Nosson Tzvi was a living example of mesirut nefesh for Torah and the Ribono Shel Olam. Books have been written about Rav Nosson Tzvi’s devotion to his talmidim and to Yeshivat Mir, whose budget of millions of dollars was shouldered by Rav Nosson Tzvi, who undertook yearly trips abroad to raise funds for the yeshiva, despite his debilitating condition. There were few individuals of our dor who inspired as many people as Rav Nosson Tzvi did with his mere presence, his smile, his emunah and bitachon, and his astonishing gevurah in light of his circumstances.
Just as inspiring to many of his talmidim and others in the Torah world was Rav Nosson Tzvi’s humble upbringing. He grew up as a child in Chicago, an American kid - backpack, baseball cap, and all - and went on to become one of the most venerated roshei yeshivot of our generation, garnering the respect of the gedolei hador and the masses for his yediot haTorah, his ahavat haTorah, his hasmadah, his ahavat Hashem, his ahavat Yisroel, and his boundless love and dedication for the thousands of talmidim of Yeshivat Mir-Yerushalayim, which, under his stewardship, grew into one of the largest - if not the largest - makom Torah in the world. Also, under his leadership, Yeshivat Mir opened branches in various locations, including Brachfeld in Modiin Illit.
Rav Nosson Tzvi was survived by his mother and his children, including Rav Avrohom Yeshaya Finkel, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rav Shmaryahu Yosef Finkel, Rav Yitzchok Finkel and Rav Shmuel Finkel.
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12 Cheshvan 5059 -
The Rindfleisch massacres
claimed 2000 Jewish lives in South Germany, Hy"d. 470 in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, over 700 in Nuremberg, and over 800 in Wurzburg. Among the Jews murdered were Rav Yechiel ben Menachem HaKohen and Mordechai ben Hillel in Nuremberg.
12 Cheshvan 5526 -
October 27, 1765:
The last public Auto da Fe is held in Portugal. The ceremony, accompanied by vitriolic sermons, announces the punishments of those Christians, and Jewish converts to Christianity, who were accused of backsliding. Many victims are subsequently burned at the stake.
12 Cheshvan 5699 -
November 6, 1938:
Father Charles Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest in Detroit, begins his weekly anti-Semitic broadcasts over national radio. He also formed the Christian Front in New York City which carried out anti-Semitic street meetings and boycotted Jewish businesses.
12 Cheshvan 5736 -
October 17, 1975:
The United Nations
voted to equate Zionism with Racism. Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Chaim Herzog, noted the irony of the vote
coming (on the English calendar) exactly 37 years after Kristallnacht. The UN Secretary General at the time was Kurt Waldheim, later accused of war crimes while serving as a Nazi officer. The "Zionism is racism" canard is easily refuted by Israel's open and democratic character -- with Arabs serving in parliament, as well as Israelis of all skin colors. Upon the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, William Safire noted: "For the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country -- not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens."
This infamous proclamation was officially
retracted 16 years later in December 1991.
12 Cheshvan 5756 -
November 5, 1995:
Yitzchak Rabin, Commander-in-Chief of the IDF during the Six Day War and later Prime Minister of Israel, was assassinated after attending a rally promoting the Oslo peace process.
12 Cheshvan 5760 -
October 22, 1999:
Holocaust survivors smiled, shouted "Bravo!" and wept when France's highest court upheld the conviction of Maurice Papon, the former Vichy official (secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeauxin Vichy France), who fled the country rather than face prison for his role in sending over 1600 Jews to Nazi death camps. Papon was caught in Switzerland and deported the following day. The court ruled that Papon lost his right of appeal by failing to report to prison as required before Thursday's hearing. He was sentenced to 10 years and served just three years. He died in 2007..
12 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Moshe Kremer, zt"l, Av Beit Din in Vilna, grandfather of the Vilna Gaon.(1648). His surname, “Kremer” is derived from the Yiddish word for storekeeper. He owned a store, which his wife ran. And as a result, he always insisted on not being paid for his rabbanut (others 5448 / 1687).
HaRav Zev Wolf Kitzes, zt”l, (5548 / 1787), a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. (others 5549 / 1788).
HaRav Yisrael Dov Ber, zt”l, of Stefanesh, (5612 / 1851)
HaRav Nachum Levi of Shadik, zt"l, Yerushalayim (5571 / 1811 - 5626 / 1865).
Harav Nachum Levi was born about 5571/1811; his father was Reb Avraham.
Reb Nachum was a talmid of Harav Shlomo Zalman Lifshitz, Rav of Warsaw and author of Chemdat Shlomo, whom he quotes in his sefarim.
In 5604/1844, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and became one of the leading Rabbanim in Yerushalayim.
He was renowned for his prishut; he fasted from one Shabbat to the next and sat all day adorned in tallit and tefillin, teaching talmidim.
He never ate alone. When he wasn’t fasting, or when he broke his fast, he always brought home a poor man to eat with him.
He was niftar on 12 Cheshvan 5626/1865, in the cholera plague of 1865, which took hundreds of lives.
Reb Nachum’s chiddushim on Bava Metzia and his she’eilot u’teshuvot were published under the name Avnei Kodesh.
.His sons were Harav Shlomo Zalman Baharan and Harav Dovid Baharan (Baharan is an acronym for “ben Harav Nachum”). The Baharan family built Meah Shearim. His son-in-law was Harav Yehudah Bergman.
The Yeshivot HaRan network of 18 yeshivot and kollelim is named for him and is headed by his great-grandson, Rav Tzvi Weissfish.
Harav Aharon Singer of Mattersdorf, zt”l, (5629 / 1868), author of Tiferet Aharon.
HaRav Yaakov Chaim, zt"l, the son of Rabbi Yosef Chaim zt’’l, the “Ben Ish Chai.” ( 5681 / 1920).
HaRav Ben Tzion Hazan, zt"l, one of the founders of the Porat Yosef yeshiva, ( 5712 / 1951).
HaRav Yehuda Tzadka, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef (5670 /1910 - 5752 / 1991). Born in Yerushalayim in 5670 / 1910. His father was Rav Shaul Tzadka, the great-grandson of Rav Tzadka Chutzin, author of Tzedakah u’Mishpat. His mother, Simcha, was the Ben Ish Chai’s niece.
The Tzadka family lived in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Yerushalayim. Rav Yehuda always credited his mother for guiding him properly in Torah.
When Rav Yehuda was only five years old, he began to study in a Talmud Torah near his home. After completing Talmud Torah, 12-year-old Yehuda enrolled in the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Old City. where he became very close with the Roshei Yeshivah of Porat Yosef, Rav Yaakov Ades and Rav Ezra Attia, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.
At night he would learn in the Beer Sheva shul in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood. On Friday nights he would study in the Shoshanim LeDovid shul, in the company of such renowned Sephardic Gedolim as Rav Yaakov Chaim Sofer, zt”l, mechaber of Kaf Hachayim.
Rav Yehuda married Fahima, the daughter of Rav Selim Tzalach Batat of Baghdad, and together they built a Torah home. Fahima passed away when she was 57. Later he married Tamar Asuderi, who cared for him until his final day.
In 5697/1937, when Chacham Eliyahu Lopes, zt”l, one of the respected Rabbanim in Porat Yosef, felt too weak to continue teaching, Rav Ezra Attia declared, “From now on Rav Yehudah will teach Rav Eliyahu’s talmidim. True, Rav Yehudah is young, (27) but he possesses vast knowledge.” Among Reb Yehuda’s first students was Rav Ovadia Yosef.
During the Jordanian siege of the Old City, Porat Yosef’s talmidim continued to learn. But in the end, the Jordanians captured the Old City. Among those taken captive by the Jordanians was the Rosh Yeshivah’s son, Rav Yosef Attia.
Determined not to close the yeshivah, Rav Yehuda established learning sessions in shuls in Geulah, Katamon and the Bucharian quarter. To this day, the Porat Yosef Yeshivah in Geulah continues to flourish.
In time, Rav Yehuda became the menahel ruchani, and in 5730/1970, when Rav Ezra Attiah was niftar, all of the staff of the yeshivah agreed that only one man could replace him: Rav Yehuda Tzadka.
During the last Elul of his life, Rav Yehuda would often visit the yeshivah, urging the talmidim to increase their Torah study and to grow in yirat shamayim and avodat Hashem. On Rosh Hashanah 5752/1991, he davened in the Shaul Tzadka shul, surrounded by his family and talmidim.
On the morning of 12 Cheshvan 5752/1991, Rav Yehuda returned his pure soul to its Creator.
Rav Yehuda was buried in his family plot in the Sanhedriah cemetery in Yerushalayim.
13 Cheshvan 4971 - 1210:
English Jews were imprisoned by King
13 Cheshvan 5314 - 1553:
Cardinal Peter Caraffa, head of the
Inquisition under Pope Julius III and the future Pope Paul IV, burned Jewish
Sifrei Kodesh and many copies of the Talmud in the plaza of the city Venice, after burning Sifrei Kodesh
in Rome the previous Rosh Hashana.
13 Cheshvan 5521 - October 23, 1760:
The first Siddur was printed in the United States.
13 Cheshvan 5700 - October 26, 1939:
Anne Frank was deported from Auschwitz
to Bergen Belsen, where she was murdered by the Nazis 5 months later.
13 Cheshvan 5700 - October 26, 1939:
Nazis prohibit Shechita in Poland on “humanitarian” grounds.
13 Cheshvan 5701 - November 14, 1940:
German planes destroy most of the English town of Coventry.
13 Cheshvan 5705 - October 30, 1944:
Anne Frank was deported from Auschwitz
to Bergen Belsen, where she was murdered by the Nazis 5 months later.
13 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yehuda Hachassid, author of Sefer Chassidim, zt"l, (1150 - 4978 / 1217).
He was born in Speyer (Shapira) and died in Regensburg. His father, Shmuel, was a saintly and renowned Rosh Yeshiva in Speyer, and Rav Yehudah studied under him.
He also wrote Sefer Gimatriot and was one of the main teachers of the ‘Chassidei Ashkenaz’. Among his students were the Or Zarua and the Smag.
His contemporaries said of him: "Had he lived in the times of the prophets, he would have been a prophet; in the time of the tannaim, he would have been a tanna; in the time of the amoraim, an amora ...’
HaRav Pinchas Horowitz, zt”l, Rav of Fulda and Dayan of Prague (5414 / 1653).
A talmid of Harav Yehoshua Hakohen Falk, the author of the Sma.
His first post was as Rav and Dayan in Prague; then he served as Rav in Fulda, returning later to Prague where he lived for the rest of his life.
Rav Pinchas also headed a yeshiva, where he taught many talmidim. Among them was Harav Yosef Shamash from Wermaiza (Worms), who related that his rebbi said the Sma told him the following:
Following the churban of the first Beit Hamikdash, many Jews settled in Wermaiza. After 70 years, when many Jews began to return to Eretz Yisrael, they asked the golim of Wermaiza to return as well. The people who had settled there answered, “You can live in your Yerushalayim, the big city, while we will stay here in our small Yerushalayim.” This was the reason, said the Sma, that the inhabitants of the city of Wermaiza were subject to so much pain and tribulation over the centuries.
Rav Pinchas was niftar on 13 Cheshvan 5414/1653.
HaRav Yosef Kahana, zt"l, ( 5531 / 1770), father of the Ketzot HaChoshen.
HaRav Baruch of Kosov, zt"l, (1782). Disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch and of Rav Menachem Mendel of Premishlan; author of Yesod HaEmunah and Amud HaAvoda.(others 5542 / 1781).
His talmid Harav Aryeh Leib of Butshan relates that “hearing about his drashot is not like actually hearing [them directly], when one could see fiery sparks emanating from his mouth as he taught Torah to Bnei Yisrael.”
He settled in Kosov in order to eradicate the persistent heretic impression brought about by Shabtai Tzvi. He also traveled around the neighboring towns and villages to arouse Yidden to become closer to Hashem, and to spread Torat Hachassidut.
The moshiach of Kosov, as he was known, was a well-known figure of the time. He was a tzaddik honored in all circles, receiving glowing haskamot for his sefarim from both chassidishe and misnagdishe Rabbanim. Among those who gave haskamot were the son and son-in-law of the Pnei Yehoshua, and the son of the Chacham Tzvi.
Reb Baruch was the author of Yesod Ha’emunah and Amud Ha’avoda, actually two parts of one sefer. In them he brings divrei Torah from the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid, Reb Mendel of Premishlan, Reb Nachman of Kossov, and Reb Leib Pistiner, among others. Reb Baruch was fluent in Torat HaKabbalah, as is evident from his sefarim.
His sefarim, sifrei hayesod in Chassidut, continue to have a lasting influence.
Despite his having prepared the sefarim for publication, the sefarim were not printed until over 70 years after his petirah. They were recently republished in an enhanced format.
Reb Baruch was niftar on 13 Cheshvan of either 5542/1781 or 5543/1782. His son-in-law was Harav Avraham Katz, the Maggid Meisharim of Butshan. His sons were Harav Yosef, who began to print his father’s sefarim, and Harav Avraham, whose son Harav Moshe actually brought these sefarim to print in Chernowitz in 5614/1853.
Harav Shlomo Alter, zt”l (5695 / 1934). Father of the Sfat Emet.
Harav Shloime’le Alter was the son of Harav Avraham Mordechai Alter, son of the Chiddushei Harim. Reb Shloime’le was the youngest son, born on Pesach Sheini 5615/1865.
Zocheh to arichut yamim, he was a link to the Chassidim of old: to those who journeyed to Kotzk and Peshischa and, of course, to his grandfather, the Chiddushei Harim, where he and his brothers were brought up after the petirah of their father (27 Av 5615/1865, when Reb Shloime’le was just three months old).
Reb Shloime’le considered himself a Kotzker Chassid, although he was only four years old when the Kotzker Rebbe was niftar. He explained it was because he was sure that both his father and his grandfather wrote his name in kvitlach that they brought to the Kotzker Rebbe.
It is related in Meir Einei Hagolah that on the last day of the life of the Chiddushei Harim, he called over his grandson Reb Shloime’le and said, “You probably haven’t learned anything today. Bring a Masechet Gittin, and we will learn together.” The Chiddushei Harim’s face shone. Later that day, he called over Reb Shloime’le and warmly blessed him.
On 23 Adar 5626/1866, the Chiddushei Harim was niftar. By age 11, Reb Shloime’le had lost both his father and grandfather. He was then brought up, on the instructions of the Chiddushei Harim, by his grandmother, Rebbetzin Feige’le. In accordance with the Chiddushei Harim’s instructions, she tended to his shidduch as well.
Reb Shloime’le was married on 2 Tammuz 5630/1870, at age 15, to Esther Perel, the daughter of the famed Chassid, Rav Lipman Litmanovich, son-in-law of the Tiferet Shlomo of Radomsk.
Reb Shloime’le behaved like a simple Chassid. It is related that on the first Shavuot of the Imrei Emet’ reign, Reb Shloime’le came to Ger and stood in line waiting his turn for Shalom nemen (greeting the Rebbe).
Reb Shloime’le had 13 children, five sons and eight daughters, all of whom merited to build distinguished families. Tragically, most of his descendants were killed during the war. Hashem yinkom damam.
Reb Shloime’le was niftar on 13 Cheshvan 5695/1934. His aron was brought to Warsaw, where the levayah left from the beit medrash of the Chiddushei Harim to the Warsaw beit hakevarot. Many Chassidim participated in this levayah of the last grandchild of the Chiddushei Harim.
Reb Shloime’le was buried next to the kever of his father, Harav Avraham Mordechai.
HaRav Haim Nahum Effendi, zt"l, (1872-1960), Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Egypt (1925-1960). He was witness both to a vibrant community of 80,000 Jews living in Egypt and also to the community’s disintegration after 1948 when government hostility, violence, economic restrictions, confiscation and deportation caused most Jews to leave. Born near Izmir in Turkey, he was sent by his parents to learn in a yeshiva in Tverya and later went to a French Lycee for his secondary education, obtaining a degree in Muslim law in Constantinople. He also attended the Sorbonne’s School of Oriental Languages, where he perfected his linguistic abilities and also studied history and philosophy. In 1923, Rabbi Nahum received an invitation from Moise Cattaoui Pacha, head of the Jewish community in Cairo, to become the Chief Rabbi of Egypt and was appointed to serve as a Senator in the nation’s Legislative Assembly.
HaRav Tzvi Shraga Grossbard, zt"l, (1916-1993) was born in Visan, Lithuania. His father, Rav Aharon Zev, was an outstanding talmid of the Chafetz Chaim.
When Tzvi Shraga was still a youngster, his father was brutally beaten to death by Lithuanian thugs because he refused to inform on a fellow Jew.
At the age of nine Tzvi Shraga joined Yeshivat Sha’arei Torah in Grodna. At age 14, Rav Tzvi Shraga entered Grodna’s yeshiva gedola and formed a close bond with the famed Rav Shimon Shkop. Afterwards, he became one of Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz’s select students in Yeshivat Kaminetz.
At the beginning of the Second World War he studied for a year and a half under Rav Daniel Movshovitz in Yeshivat Kelm.
In 1941, Rav Tzvi Shraga left Europe for Eretz Yisrael. There, he joined the Lomza yeshiva in Petach Tikvah headed by his uncle, Rav Abba Grossbard. Rav Tzvi Shraga also became the head of Tel Aviv’s beit mussar and developed a strong friendship with mussar giant, Rav Eliyahu Dessler who was then spiritual mashgiach of the Ponovezh Yeshiva. The two men studied b’chavrusa each week in Rav Tzvi Shraga’s home.
In 1967 Rav Tzvi Shraga Grossbard became the director of Chinuch Atzmai and he remained at its helm for 25 years.
Rav Tzvi Shraga was niftar on 13 Cheshvan and buried in Petach Tikvah.
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14 Cheshvan 5380 - October 22, 1619:
Jews of Prague, having miraculously
escaped annihilation during the Thirty Years' War, set this day as a commemorative
fast day, concluding with a festive meal in the evening..
14 Cheshvan 5649 - October 19, 1888:
The Jewish settlement of Gederah
was attacked by its Arab neighbors.
14 Cheshvan 5678 - October 30, 1917:
Final British Government approval
for Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in historic Israel. The declaration took the form of a letter from Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild, who had once been a member of the British Parliament. In 1922, the United States Congress formally endorsed the Balfour Declaration. In the ensuing decades, the British would slowly whittle away at their commitment -- first lopping off 80 percent of the land east of the Jordan River to create the Kingdom of Transjordan (now Jordan), and then restricting Jewish immigration and rights to purchase land to the west of the Jordan River. The volatility of the situation ultimately forced the British to withdraw from the region in 1948.
14 Cheshvan 5703 - October 25,
All Jewish men from the age of sixteen years were arrested in Norway. Two hundred
and nine Jews are shipped from Oslo to Stettin to Auschwitz.
14 Cheshvan 5755 - October 19,
A Hamas suicide bomber detonates on a bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, killing 22 civilians (21 Jewsand one Dutch national), and injuring 56, Hy"d,
14 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yehuda Lowy, zt”l, of Prague, grandfather of the Maharal (5300 / 1539)
Harav Leib Baal Hayesurim, zt"l, at whose burial place in Tzefat people pray for yeshuot, as per his havtacha.(5597 / 1836). (Others 15 Cheshvan)
HaRav Aharon Weiss of Benedkwits, zt”l, (5611 / 1851 - 5693 / 1932), the Midrash Aharon. Harav Aharon Weiss was born on Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5611/1851. His father was Harav Shmuel Tzvi, Rav in Munkacs, who in his youth traveled to Reb Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, the Bnei Yissaschar; Reb Yehudah Tzvi of Rozla; and the Sar Shalom of Belz. Later he was a chasid of Reb Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchov. Reb Aharon’s maternal grandfather was Harav Tzvi Hirsh Estreicher of Drohobich, chasid of the Chozeh of Lublin.
Reb Aharon learned under the tutelage of his father, under his uncle, Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Svalyava, and under his elder brother, Harav Yosef Meir of Spinka, the Imrei Yosef. He was also a talmid of Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchov.
At the age of 17 he was taken as a chassan by Harav Yehoshua Heshel Hakohen Fried of Kapisch, one of Hungary’s leading Rabbanim.
Rav Aharon was given semichah by the Yetev Lev of Sighet; by Harav Chaim Tzvi Mannheimer, Rav of Ungvar; and by Harav Shlomo Gantzfried, author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
At the age of 20, Reb Aharon was appointed Rav of Benedkwits, near the city of Munkacs. He opened a yeshiva there and many local bachurim thronged to him.
With time, Ziditchover chasidim began to flock to his court, and Rav Aharon became known as a poel yeshuot.
In 5667 / 1907, Rav Aharon moved his court and yeshiva to the Raswigeff region of Munkacs. He was asked to serve as Dayan in Munkacs, and in 5675 / 1915 was appointed Rav of the city.
Rav Aharon was niftar on 14 Cheshvan 5693/1932, at the age of 81. He was buried in Munkacs, where an ohel was built on his kever. In 5736 / 1976, when the local authorities decided to destroy the cemetery, lo aleinu, Rav Aharon and other Rabbanim were re-interred in Krupets.
HaRav Avraham Elimelech Perlow of Stolin-Karlin, Hy”d, (5651 / 1891 - 5703 / 1942) . Born on 4 Elul 5651/1891 to Rav Yisrael "the Yenuka" of Stolin.
In Adar 5672/1912, Reb Avraham Elimelech married his cousin (on his mother’s side), a daughter of Rav Mordechai Yosef, son of Rav Dovid of Zlotipol of the Chernobyler dynasty.
After his father’s petirah in 5682/1922, Reb Avraham Elimelech was prevailed upon to succeed him as Rebbe. He settled in Karlin and most of his father’s Chassidim traveled to him, while the rest stayed with his brother, Harav Moshe, in Stolin.
In 5689/1929, Reb Avraham Elimelech founded a yeshiva in Luninetz where Harav Shach, zt”l, served as Rosh Yeshivah for a time.
Reb Avraham Elimelech had a profound attachment to Eretz Yisrael, which he visited four times. During his last visit in 1939, his Chassidim in Yerushalayim begged him to stay. He was well aware of the dangers facing Europe — in fact, the primary reason for his trip was to daven at the mekomot hakedoshim about the situation there — but nonetheless he insisted on returning to Europe to share the fate of his family and Chassidim.
When the opportunity arose to flee to Vilna, during the brief period in which it was free, the Rebbe refused and remained in Karlin with his community.
Tragically, his life and the lives of his Rebbetzin and two sons were brutally cut short. The Rebbe was killed, apparently by local Ukrainian peasants, al kiddush Hashem. The actual date is not known; today’s date was chosen as a yom zikaron.
A collection of his chidushei Torah have been recorded as “Kuntres Pri Elimelech” and printed in Yalkut Divrei Aharon and in Birchat Aharon.
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15 Cheshvan 2979 - 783 B.C.E.:
Yeravam ben Nevat ascended to Beit Keil in a pilgrimage that he invented, a month after Sukkot. Ido HaNavi warned him that his altar would be destroyed, and Yeravam’s hand will wither, and so it was.
15 Cheshvan 3622 - 139 B.C.E.:
Yahrtzeit of Matityahu, father of the Chasmonaim (Maccabees) and leader in their fight against the Syrian-Greeks, as recorded in the Chanukah story.
In the 2nd century before the common era, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) who, with the collaboration of the Jewish Hellenists, introduced pagan idols into the Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple and set about to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel.
Matityahu, the son of the Kohain Gadol / High Priest Yochanan, was already an old man when he picked up a sword and raised the flag of revolt in the village of Modiin in the Judean hills. Many rallied under his cry, "Who that is for G-d, come with me!" and resisted and battled the Greeks from their mountain hideouts.
After heading the revolt for one year, Matityahu died on the 15th of Cheshvan. His five sons -- the "Macabees" Yehudah, Yochanan, Shimon, Elazar and Yonatan -- carried on the battle to their eventual victory, which concluded with the rededication of the Beit HaMikdash and the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days, celebrated each year since by Jews the world over with the festival of Chanukah. (Others 3596 /165 B.C,E.).
15 Cheshvan - 1407:
Mobs attack Jews of Cracow, one of the first blood libels to be recorded in Poland. The Jews try to defend themselves and ultimately take refuge in a local church which is surrounded and set afire. Any children left alive are forcibly baptized.
15 Cheshvan 5685 - November 12, 1924:
Slobodka Yeshiva opened in the eternal Jewish city of Chevron. Chevron is home
of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs and therefore a natural place for a
15-16 Cheshvan 5699
- November 9-10, 1938:
Kristallnacht - (“night of broken glass,”) referring to the thousands of windows that were broken), the
planned destruction of almost all of the 1,600 synagogues and Jewish property all over Germany. Fifty
thousand Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps, ninety-one Jews were killed, five hundred synagogues
were destroyed, 7,500 Jewish shops were vandalized and the Jewish community of Germany was forced to pay one billion
reichmarks ($4,000,000) for the damage. Ostensibly, this was revenge for the assassination of the secretary of the German delegation in Paris by Herschel Grynszpan.
Similar violence was carried out in Austria. Kristallnacht ushered in a new phase of anti-Semitic decrees, and was for many the first major warning sign of what would become the Holocaust.
Cheshvan 5700 - October 28, 1939:
Census in Warsaw
listed 359,827 Jews.
15 Cheshvan 5700 - October 28, 1939:
All Jews living in Wloclawek, Poland were forced to wear a yellow badge.
15 Cheshvan 5701 - November 15/16, 1940:
Warsaw ghetto was sealed by the Nazis.
(The 1939 census in Warsaw listed 359,827 Jews.)
15 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Matityahu, father of the Chasmonaim (Maccabees) and leader in their fight against the Syrian-Greeks, as recorded in the Chanukah story. (3622 - 139 B.C.E.:)
(Others 3596 /165 B.C,E.). (See above).
HaRav Eliezer ben Yitzchak ibn Archa, zt"l, (5412 / 1651). Born in Tzefat, he moved to Chevron, where he served as Rav of the small Jewish population for most of his life. According to the Chida, he wrote many works including a commentary on Ein Yaakov and on Midrash Rabbah.
HaRav Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz of Tchortkov, zt"l, father of Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg and the Baal Haflaah (5514 / 1753).
HaRav Elazar Kalir, zt"l, Rav of Kelen, author of Ohr Chodosh.(5562 / 1801).
Harav Elazar Kalir was born in 5501/1741, in Rechnitz. He was born after the passing of his father, and was named Elazar after him. The orphan was brought up in the home of his maternal grandfather, Harav Meir Eisenstadt, the Panim Meirot.
As a young bachur, he was already fluent in the entire Shas.
He was appointed to serve as Rav in Zablodawa, where, in 5526/1766, he published his drashot together with the sefer Kosnot Ohr, from his grandfather. This sefer impressed all those who learned it with the sharpness and clarity of its young mechaber.
At age 27, Reb Elazar was appointed Rav in his home town, Rechnitz. He founded a yeshivah there, where he taught many talmidim, a number of whom became Gedolei Yisrael. Harav Betzalel Ranshbourg is one of the more famous ones.
His fame as a leading posek and Rav spread while he was in Rechnitz, and many of the generation’s leading Rabbanim addressed their she’eilot to him. This was the basis of his Sheilot U’teshuvot Cheker Halachah, which was published after his petirah by his son Harav Aleksander Ziskind.
Later, Reb Elazar was invited by three leading kehillot to serve as their Rav: Vizhnitz, Boskowitz and Kellen. He chose to settle in Kellen.
Reb Elazar was niftar on 15 Cheshvan 5562/1801, at the age of 61.
His other sefarim include Ohr Chadash, on Masechet Pesachim; Chavot Yair, a collection of drashot; and other chiddushim on many masechtot that were never printed.
Harav Leib Baal Hayesurim, zt"l, at whose burial place in Tzefat people pray for yeshuot, as per his havtacha.(5597 / 1836).(others 14 Cheshvan)
HaRav Shmuel Frenkel of Dorog, Hungary, zt"l, the Imrei Shefer (1881) [Others says 5642 / 1921] His father-in-law was the Belzer Rav. His great, great-grandson, Rav Yidel Frenkel, built the Imrei Shefer Shul and Yeshiva in the Har Nof area of Yerushalayim.
HaRav Chaim Pinto zt"l, (1855 - 1939 (Others 1937). Known as Rav Chaim Pinto Hakatan (the small) to distinguish him from his grandfather, Rabbi Chaim Pinto Hagadol (the Great), Born in Mogador (current Essaouira), Morocco to Rav Yehudah Pinto.. His grandfather, Rav Chaim the First, was the great-grandson of Rav Yosef Pinto, who fled from Spain to Rome with 26 talmidim after the 1492 expulsion. However, he had to flee to Damascus after local priests trapped him into a theological debate and soundly lost. When the Jewish population of Mogador began thinning out, Rav Chaim the Second moved to Casablanca, while his son, Rav Moshe Aharon Pinto, stayed Mogador to prevent his father's shul from closing down.
HaRav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the Chazon Ish. zt"l. (5638 / 1878 (or 5639/1879) - 5714 / 1953).
Born in in Kosova, Lithuania, near Grodno. His father was Harav Shemaryahu Yosef, the Rav of the town. A brilliant scholar, the Chazon Ish was educated by his father.
The Chazon Ish’s four brothers were Gedolei Torah, and his five sisters all married Gedolei Torah; among his brothers-in-law were Harav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the Steipler Gaon) and Harav Shmuel Greineman.
The Chofetz Chaim once asked the Chazon Ish’s mother how she had merited raising such an outstanding family. “Perhaps,” she replied, “it is because I was extremely particular concerning tzniut.”
She was also particular to keep the Chazon Ish’s head covered from the day he was born, a practice that the Gemara says leads to yirat Shamayim.
In 5666 / 1906 the Chazon Ish married Rebbetzin Batya, the daughter of Harav Mordechai Bay of Kaidan, near Kovno, but only after she agreed that he could study Torah undisturbed his whole life.
For years afterward, he lived in Kaidan, immersed in his sefarim.
After WWI, the Chazon Ish moved to Vilna, where his Rebbetzin ran a fabric shop, while he learned Torah in seclusion.
His first work on several parts of the Shulchan Aruch was published anonymously in Vilna in 5671 / 1911 under the title Chazon Ish (visionary), by which name he eventually became known. No one knew who their author was except Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, to whom the Chazon Ish was very close, and whom he would visit often to debate Torah issues.
In 5692 / 1932 Harav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld was niftar, and the Rabbanim of Yerushalayim invited Rav Chaim Ozer to succeed him. Instead, Rav Chaim Ozer recommended the Chazon Ish, thus revealing the secret of his gadlut.
As a candidate for the position, the Chazon Ish accepted a British Mandate immigration certificate; but he never intended to assume the post. As soon as he arrived in Eretz Yisrael in 5693 / 1933 he settled in Bnei Brak, which grew under his influence into the Torah center it is today.
In Bnei Brak, albeit not having any official position, the Chazon Ish stood at the forefront of Torah Jewry, waging its battles on all fronts. He was regarded as the worldwide authority on all matters relating to Jewish law and life.
He devoted vast amounts of time and energy to Seder Zeraim, which deals mainly with laws pertaining to the land, to answer the many halachic problems inherent to a life in the Holy Land consistent with Torah. He had a strong influence on religious life and institutions, despite the fact that he was not head of any yeshiva. He became a halachic authority without publishing many responsa.
He published a total of 23 volumes of Chazon Ish (I”sh is the acronym of his name in Lashon Hakodesh) that run the gamut of the entire Torah, especially the halachot pertaining to Eretz Yisrael. Masses flocked to seek his counsel and blessing. Every broken heart found comfort from the Chazon Ish.
He was niftar, childless, on Friday night, 15 Cheshvan 5614/1953, and was buried in Bnei Brak.
The Chazon Ish, Zt"l
HaRav Shlomo of Chortkov, zt"l, author of Divrei Shlomo. (5719 / 1958).
Cheshvan 5594 - October 29, 1833:
Jews, with the exception of peddlers and petty traders, are granted civil rights in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, formerly part of the kingdom of Westphalia. Emancipation is granted to the remainder of German Jews nearly 40 years later.
Cheshvan 5623 - November 9, 1862:
Ulysses S. Grant (future president of the U.S.A.) orders Jews barred from service under his command, during the civil war.
Cheshvan 5702 - November 6, 1941:
· 1500 Jews of Kolomyya, Galicia and 15,000 Jews of Rowno, Poland, , Hy"d, were massacred by the Nazis.
Cheshvan 5755 - October 21, 1994:
·Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z"l, the foremost Jewish songwriter in the 2nd half of the 20th century, passed away.
16 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Zev Auerbach, zt"I, Rav of
Prague, son-in-law of the Maharshal.
(5392 / 1631).
Harav Amram Chashida, zt"l, (1790 - 5590 / 1829).
Harav Reuven Hakohen Katz, zt"l, author of Degel Reuven, Rosh Yeshivah. Petach Tikvah, (5725 / 1964).
Rav Reuven was born in Olshany, in the Vilna region, on Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5640/1880. His father was Rav Shimon. At about age 11, he was already fluent in masechtot Shabbat and Bava Kama, and was known as the iluy of Olshany. His bar mitzvah drashah, delivered when he was a talmid at the yeshivah of Ivye, astounded the local talmidei chachamim.
From Ivye he moved on to Mir, and when he was 15, he was accepted into the yeshivah of the Chofetz Chaim in Radin. After about a year, he transferred to Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael in Slabodka.
In 5657/1897, he was among the initial 14 bachurim of the yeshivah of Slutsk, founded by Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
In 5663/1903, Reb Reuven moved to Vilna, where Harav Avraham Yitzchak, the Rav of Gicialaukia, chose him as a son-in-law. While living in his father-in-law’s house, he became thoroughly fluent in halachah, and was given semichah by the leading Gedolim of the generation.
His first rabbinate was in the town of Sulevo in the Minsk region; in 5669/1909, he was appointed Rav of Amdur (Indura) where he remained for 14 years.
In 5682/1922, Reb Reuven published his first sefer, She’eilot U’teshuvot Degel Reuven, in which he demonstrated his expertise in all areas of halachah. A short while later he was invited to serve as Rav in Stawiski in the Lomza region.
Wherever he lived, he established yeshivot for the bachurim and shiurim in the batei medrash. He was active in the Vaad Hayeshivot, founded by Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, zt”l, of Vilna.
In 5685/1925, his second sefer was published. It was called Duda’ei Reuven, and contained his chiddushim on Bereishit and Shemot.
When Reb Reuven received a request in 5692/1932 to serve as Rav in Petach Tikvah, he moved to Eretz Yisrael, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Rav Reuven disseminated Torah to his talmidim all his years. He toiled to raise the level and character of his talmidim.
In 5700/1940, he published the second volume of Degel Reuven, which includes several teshuvot regarding halachot that relate to Eretz Yisrael, such as the application of orlah, leket, shichechah and pe’ah in modern times. He published the third volume of this work nine years later.
In 5714/1954, he published the second volume of Duda’ei Reuven, with chiddushim and drashot on Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim.
Reb Reuven was niftar on 16 Cheshvan 5725/1964.
HaRav Simcha Avrohom HaKohen Sheps, zt”l, (1908-5759 / 1998), Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva Torah Vodaat for over 50 years. His Drashot and Shmuessen were published after his passing under the title 'Moreshet Simchat HaTorah.' In 5759, his Shiurim on Mesechta Bava Kama were printed by his family in a Sefer called Divrei Simcha.
HaRav Elazar Menachem Mann Shach, zt"l, (5658 / 1898 (Others 1894) - 5762 / 2001), Rosh Yeshiva of the famed Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. Born in Vaboilnick, Lithuania, on Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5658. His parents were Harav Ezriel and Rebbetzin Batsheva Shach.
Young Elazar Menachem began his chinuch under the supervision of a local melamed, who soon recognized his student’s extraordinary potential. When he turned seven, his melamed advised his family to send the youngster to a yeshivah, as he had already taught him all he knew.
The boy was sent to the yeshivah in the nearest city, Ponevezh, (38km away) where he became a ben bayit in the home of his rebbi, Harav Itzele Rabinowitz of Ponevezh.
Rav Shach learned in Ponevezh for the next six years, entirely shut off from the outside world. After a few years in Ponevezh he traveled to Slobodka. He began learning with Rav Yechezkel Bernstein, the Divrei Yechezkel, while staying in the home of a community member. He then traveled to Slutzk to try to gain admission to its well-known yeshivah, Knesset Yisrael, then headed by Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer (later Rosh Yeshivah of Etz Chaim in Yerushalayim).
When World War I broke out, only Rav Shach remained, continuing to learn with the same diligence as before, despite the lack of food and clothing.
After the war, Harav Isser Zalman arranged a shidduch for Rav Shach with his niece, Gittel, daughter of his sister, Fruma Rivka Golomovsky (Gilmuvski) and her husband, Rav Benzion Golomovsky a native of Mir. His Rebbetzin worked to support them while Rav Shach continued to learn under Harav Isser Zalman, first in Slutzk and then in Kletzk. Later, when the Kletzk yeshivah came under the direction of Harav Aharon Kotler, (1927) the latter encouraged Rav Shach to begin delivering shiurim. Soon the “Vabolniker,” as Rav Shach was called, became known as one of Lithuania’s star lamdanim.
In 1932-34, he served as Rosh Mesivta at Novardok. In 1936 he became rosh yeshiva at the Karlin yeshiva in Luninetz.
The outbreak of World War II sent Rav Shach wandering from town to town with his Rebbetzin and their two children in search of refuge. In 1939 Rav Shach first went to Vilna, where he stayed with Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski.
A relative of Rav Kotler procured visas to America, and Harav Isser Zalman, who had already moved to Yerushalayim, got him visas to Eretz Yisrael, which at that time was known as Palestine, under the British Mandate. They chose the latter, eventually leaving Lithuania for Eretz Yisrael in 1940, where after much hardship, they reached Rosh Hanikrah. They settled in the Geulah section of Yerushalayim.
In 1951, Harav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman offered Rav Shach a post as Rosh Yeshivah of his new yeshivah in Bnei Brak, Yeshivat Ponevezh, named after the city in which Rav Kahaneman had been Rav. People came from far and wide to hear his talmudic discourses and spiritual guidance. He fulfilled this role with superhuman dedication for over 50 years.
He served as head of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah, chairman of Chinuch Atzmai and Va'ad HaYeshivot. He also served as advisor of the Degel HaTorah political party.
Rav Shach published several volumes of chiddushei Torah, under the title Avi Ezri, in honor of his father, Ezriel Shach.
Rav Shach was niftar at the remarkable age of 104. Over 100,000 people attended his funeral.
HaRav Schach, Zt"l
Cheshvan 1656 - 2106 B.C.E.:
The rains of the Mabul (flood) began to fall (according
to Reb' Eliezer) flooding the earth and rising above the highest mountains. Only Noach and his family survived, in the Teyva / Ark built to that end by Divine command, and a pair of each animal species, who entered with him into the Teyva.
17 Cheshvan 2923 - 839 B.C.E.:
When Dovid Hamelech found out that King Shaul and seven members of his family weren't buried following their fall in battle, he made haste to bring them to kevurat Yisrael amid great honor and respect. After that he davened / prayed to Hashem, and the famine that has lasted for three years came to an end.
Cheshvan 5409 - November 2, 1648:
Chmielnicki's Cossacks massacred
12,000 Jews of Narol, Podolia (Poland), Hy"d. (Others 5408 / 1647).
Cheshvan 5688 - November 12, 1927:
Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.
Cheshvan 5744 - October 24, 1983:
A Hezbullah terror group truck-bombed a military barracks in Beirut, murdering 241 United States Marines, and later killing 58 French soldiers in a separate attack. The notorious Imad Mugniyah, the group’s most dangerous and barbaric operative orchestrated these operations.
17 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Avraham Rappaport, zt"l, (5357 / 1596), author of Minchah Belulah.
HaRav Yakov Kopel of Tismenitz, zt"l, (5584 / 1823), a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov, zy”a, (others of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov).
HaRav Menachem Mendel Hager of Kosov, zt"l, (1769 - 5586 / 1825), founder of the Vizhnitz and Kosov dynasties and author of Ahavat Shalom.
Harav Menachem Mendel was born c. 5529/1769 in Kolomaya. His father, Harav Yaakov Koppel Chassid, was one of the closest Chassidim of the Baal Shem Tov and was the baal tefillah in his beit medrash. His mother was Rebbetzin Chayah, daughter of Harav Zalman of Kolomaya.
He married the daughter of his uncle, Harav Shmuel Simcha Zimmel of Kosov.
Initially, Reb Menachem Mendel learned and developed under his distinguished father. Later, he traveled to other leading tzaddikim of the generation, including Harav Ze’ev Wolf of Tcharni-Ostroha, who, before leaving for Eretz Yisrael in 5558/1798, appointed Rav Menachem Mendel to serve in his stead as Rebbe.
Reb Menachem Mendel was a close Chassid of Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Nadvorna, zy”a, mechaber of Tzvi Hashem Latzaddik. Reb Menachem Mendel journeyed to Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Nadvorna for 12 years. He was also a student of Rav Moshe Leib of Sassov.
Reb Menachem Mendel was an outstanding talmid chacham. His Torah learning took priority despite living in abject poverty for most of his life. He was known as a baki in the entire Torah, but most notable was his knowledge of Choshen Mishpat.
The avodat Hashem of Reb Menachem Mendel was intense and full of hislahavut. This was especially noticeable on Shabbat sKodesh, both during davening — particularly the tefillah of Kabbalat Shabbat — and during the tischen, where he spoke divrei Torah with fervor.
Reb Menachem Mendel was famous for his gemilut chassadim. He helped any Yid, most notably the needy of Eretz Yisrael. He took many orphans under his wing to marry them off at his own expense.
Among his leading talmidim were many who later served as Rebbes: Harav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yissaschar), Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, Harav Naftali of Lizhensk, Harav Shraga Feivish of Bradshein, Harav Meshulam Nosson of Berdichev, Harav Menachem Mendel (mechaber of Derech Emunah), Harav Shmuel of Shinev (mechaber of Ramasayim Tzofim on Tanna d’vei Eliyahu) and many more.
Reb Menachem Mendel had two sons, Harav Chaim of Kosov, who wrote Torat Chaim, and Harav Dovid of Zablatov, who was the son-in-law of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, mechaber of Tzemach Dovid. Reb Menachem Mendel had an only daughter as well; her zivug sheini, Harav Gershon Ashkenazi of Kolomaya, mechaber of Avodat Hagershuni, put together and arranged his father-in-law’s sefer, Ahavat Shalom.
His grandson was Rav Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz.
Reb Menachem Mendel was niftar on 17 Cheshvan 5586/1825 in Kosov and was buried there.
HaRav Mordechai Zev Orenstein, zt"l, (5597 / 1836), Rav of Lvov
HaRav Yehoshua Rosenfeld, zt"l, (5659 / 1898), of Kaminka.
Harav Yehoshua was the son of Harav Shalom of Kaminka. He was the son-in-law of Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Drishkopoli, who was a brother-in-law of the Sar Shalom of Belz.
His first rabbinical post was in Yaritshov; later, after the petirah of his father, Reb Yehoshua was appointed Rav in Kaminka.
Unlike his father, Reb Yehoshua also served as Rebbe, not just as Rav.
During his last 15 years, Reb Yehoshua was partially paralyzed and unable to speak; and he would communicate with his Chassidim using sign language.
Reb Yehoshua was niftar on 17 Cheshvan 5659/1898.
His sons were Harav Shalom of Kaminka and Harav Elazar of Ushpitzin. His sons-in-law were Harav Shlomo Halberstam of Bobov, Harav Moshe Chaim Rabinowitz of Shidlovtza and Harav Alter Eichenstein, Rav of Yaritchov. (Others 5664 / 1903)
HaRav Reuven Katz, zt"l, (1880 - 1963), Rav of Petach Tikva and author of Degel Reuven and Dudoei Reuven. His son, Rav Leizer Katz, was a rav in Passaic, New Jersey, for many years until his petira in 2001.
HaRav Meshulam Zushe Twersky, zt"l, the Chernobyler Rebbe of Bnei Brak (5677 / 1917 - 5748 / 1987). An eighth generation direct descendent of the Rav Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, Rav Meshulam Zushe was born on Rosh Chodesh Elul 5677/1917 in Muzir, in the district of Minsk, Russia. (Belarus).
His father, Harav Chaim Yitzchak, was the Chernobyl-Loyav Rebbe. His mother, Rebbetzin Rechel Devorah, was the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Yeshayah Halberstam of Tchechov, the youngest son of the Divrei Chaim, zy”a.
His mother attested about her son that even before the age of three he recognized that there is a Creator, and never ate before making a brachah. As a young bachur, Meshulam Zusha learned under his father. He also learned in the underground yeshivot of Lubavitch, Toras Emet, in Russia, despite the danger involved. Every few months the yeshivah relocated out of fear of being caught by the authorities. Although at times they were caught they were later freed, because the talmidim were under age.
In 5694/1934, at the age of 16, he tried to obtain a permit to leave Russia and travel to Eretz Yisrael to learn. Many tried to persuade him not to try, after they themselves had failed in this quest.
But Reb Meshulam saw it as his mission to go where he could improve his avodat Hashem, and so took it upon himself to daven and ask Hashem to help. Every Wednesday, the day that the committee for exit permits met, he fasted and recited the entire sefer Tehillim.
In the end, he merited what others didn’t — Reb Meshulam Zusha was given an exit visa.
When the time came for the ship to set sail, he was again subject to a nes. The ship, from Odessa, was supposed to set out on Shabbat morning. All the other Jewish passengers boarded the ship before Shabbat, but Reb Meshulam Zusha said there was no reason they should travel on Shabbat, even if it appeared to be pikuach nefesh. He didn’t board on Shabbat but stayed in the nearby beit medrash, and again recited the entire sefer Tehillim. He was zocheh to an open yeshuah; due to a mechanical problem, the ship was not ready to depart until Motzoei Shabbat.
In Eretz Yisrael, Reb Meshulam Zusha did not ask anyone for assistance, even though he had come all alone. His reason for coming was to grow in Torah and avodat Hashem, and he searched for the environment that would be the most conducive. He found what he was looking for in the homes of the Rebbes Harav Nachum and Harav Zev of Rachmastrivka.
In 5696/1936, with the petirah of Harav Nachum of Rachmastrivka, Reb Meshulam Zusha decided to return to Galicia to be near his maternal grandfather, Harav Yeshayah of Tchechov. Although he was strongly attached to Eretz Yisrael and despite the Nazi takeover in Germany, Reb Meshulam Zusha continued on his mission to attain perfection.
Under his grandfather, Reb Meshulam Zusha continued to grow in Torah and Chassidut. Reb Meshulam Zusha preferred to stay at the side and not draw attention to himself or to his lofty ways. He never let anyone give him extra honor for being the grandson of the Rebbe.
His hasmadah was great, and he wrote many chiddushei Torah.
In 5699/1939, the Polish expelled all British-Palestinian citizens in response to other countries expelling Polish citizens. As a result, Reb Meshulam Zusha left Europe in time, and was thus saved from the war, in which most of his family was killed.
Returning to Eretz Yisrael, he was welcomed by a group of elder Sanzer and Chernobyler chassidim, as a scion of both these dynasties. This group was headed by Harav Shimshon Aharon Polansky, the Tepliker Rav, who was a Chernobyler chassid.
With the terrible news of the death of his grandfather, Harav Yeshayale of Tchechov, Hy”d, in the winter of 5705/1944, and later the petirah of his father in Siberia the same year, the chassidim decided to place the mantle of leadership of Chernobyler Chassidut on the shoulders of Reb Meshulam Zusha.
Even though he was still under 30, the chassidim said there was no one else as capable of leading the chassidim and inspiring them in avodat Hashem. The lofty manner in which he led his flock, many noted, was quite similar to that of his namesake, the Rebbe Reb Zusha of Anipoli.
Reb Meshulam Zusha held court in Bnei Brak, founding a beit medrash there, (in 1959), based on Chernobyler minhagim.
All his life Reb Meshulam Zusha fled from honor and publicity, and this did not change when he became Rebbe. Anyone who visited his beit medrash or attended his tisch was witness to a Rebbe who was withdrawn from this world; he was with his Creator 24 hours a day. “Shivisi Hashem l’negdi tamid” was visible on his countenance.
Reb Zushele, as he was fondly called, was known as a Rebbe with whom one could feel close, and many who needed support and encouragement came to him. Visitors to his home were warmly received. He instructed his attendants to let people in at any hour.
During his last years, Reb Meshulam Zusha suffered illness, but he was always in an uplifted mood.
The Rebbe was niftar on 17 Cheshvan 5748/1987 at the age of 70 and was buried in Bnei Brak’s Ponevezh cemetery.
He was succeeded by his son, Rav Menachem Nachum.
HaRav Tzvi Pruzansky, zt"l, (2005). He helped found the Toronto Kollel, and established, along with his friend, Rav Dovid Hersh Mayer zt”l, Yeshivat Beit Binyamin in Stamford, Ct., which was named after Rav Tzvi’s father and funded by Rav Tzvi’s brothers, ybl”c, Reb Yosef and Reb Moshe.
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18 Cheshvan 5429 - October 23, 1668:
Jews of Barbados forbidden to engage in retail trade.
18 Cheshvan 5474 - November 7, 1713:
Birth of HaRav Yechzkel Landau of Prague (1713-1776), the Noda BeYehuda.
18 Cheshvan 5699 - November 12, 1938:
Nazi leader Hermann Goering announced that in order to "solve the problem of the Jews," the African island of Madagascar was being considered as a giant ghetto for 4 million European Jews. The plan was seriously considered by Hitler in May 1940, in his discussions with Mussolini and Nazi officials. Hitler's idea was that the Jews would play the role of hostages, as a way to prevent the United States from entering the war. The Madagascar Plan was cancelled due to a British blockade. One year later, it was decided that the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" would mean extermination.
18 Cheshvan 5703 - October 29, 1942:
Nazis massacred 20 000 Jews in Pinsk, Byelorussia, Hy"d.
18 Cheshvan 5751 - November 6, 1990:
Rabbi Meir Kahana. Hy"d was assasinated in New York.
Born in 1932, Meir Kahane was a controversial American-Israeli rabbi and
activist. In 1968, he founded the Jewish Defense League in New York.
With the motto of "Never Again," the stated goal of the organization was to protect Jews from anti-Semitism in all its forms. In 1971, he moved his family to Israel, founding the Kach political party, and he was elected to the Knesset in 1984 (the Kach party was later outlawed in Israel). In 1990, after concluding a speech in a Manhattan hotel, Kahane was fatally shot by an Egyptian-born terrorist. While strangely acquitted of the murder, El Sayyid Nosair was later convicted in relation to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
18 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Naftali Hertz of Lvov, zt”l, (5472 / 1711).
HaRav Avraham Dovid Moshe Ashkenazi of Ruhatin, zt”l, (5510 / 1749),
HaRav Yishayah Bardaky, zt"l, (1862). R’ Bardaky was born in Pinsk and taught Torah there, but he decided to settle in Eretz Yisrael after his first wife died. When the ship carrying R’ Bardaky, his son, Shmuel Akiva, and his daughter, neared the port of Akko, it was wrecked, and all the passengers were thrown into the sea. R’ Bardaky, however, was a powerful swimmer, and, with his two children on his back, he swam ashore. Upon reaching Yerushalayim, R’ Bardaky was appointed head of the Ashkenazic community. He also was appointed vice-consul of the Austrian Empire.
HaRav Shalom Horowitz, zt”l, (5679/1908), of Chentchin.
HaRav Yecheskel Hakohen Rabinowitz, zt”l, (5671 / 1910), the Knesset Yecheskel of Radomsk.
Harav Yechezkel was the son of Harav Avraham Yissachar of Radomsk. He was born in 5623/1863.
Reb Yecheskel was Rav in Nobifolah, also known as Sdeh Chadash.
After the petirah of Reb Avraham Yissachar on 13 Elul 5652/1892, Reb Yecheskel (though he was the third son, not the oldest) was named Rebbe of Radomsk. His court attracted a huge crowd, numbering several thousands of Chassidim.
Reb Yecheskel refused to be supported by pidyonot from his Chassidim and maintained a partnership in a factory for the purpose of support.
Reb Yecheskel received Chassidim every morning after Shacharit, while still wrapped in his tallit and wearing Rabbeinu Tam tefillin.
Despite the fact that his own Chassidim numbered in the thousands, Reb Yecheskel ltraveled to other leading Rebbes of his day. He was especially close with Harav Yecheskel Shraga Halberstam of Shinev and Harav Dovid Moshe Friedman of Tchortkov.
In his great enthusiasm for avodat Hashem, Reb Yecheskel rose every day at 3:00 a.m. and learned until Shacharit.
He delivered his deep divrei Torah with fervor. They left a marked impression on all those who heard them. Everyone thought that they were directed at him specifically.
Reb Yecheskel was niftar on 18 Cheshvan 5671/1910 at 47 and buried in the ohel of the Rebbes in Radomsk.
He was succeeded as Rebbe in Radomsk by his son Harav Shlomo Chanoch, Hy”d, the last Radomsker Rebbe. His other son was Harav Elimelech Aryeh, Rav and Rebbe in Shidlov. His sons-in-law were Harav Elimelech Rabinowitz of Zhawirtzah; Harav Moshe Twersky of Krasna; Harav Dovid Halberstam of Zhemigrad; Harav Moshe Weiss; and Harav Yoel, son of Harav Yitzchak Nachum Twersky of Ravah-Ruskah.
His divrei Torah were published in the sefer Knesset Yecheskel on Torah and Yamim Tovim. The sefer was written by the Chassidim, but checked by Reb Yecheskel. He himself did not put any of his divrei Torah on paper.
(Others 20 Cheshvan)
HaRav Yaakov Friedman of Bohush-Husyatin, zt"l. (5638 / 1877 - 5717 / 1956).
Rav Yaakov was born in Bohush on 25 Cheshvan, 5638/1877. At his brit, his father Rav Yitzchak of Bohush — son of Harav Shalom Yosef, the oldest son of the Ruzhiner Rebbe — announced that the baby was being named Yaakov, after Yaakov Avinu.
When Rav Yaakov was four, he was engaged to the young daughter of his cousin Rav Yisrael, Rebbe of Husyatin. They married thirteen years later, in 5655/1895, and continue to live at the Rebbe’s court in Husyatin.
Rav Yaakov was supported by his father-in-law both materially and spiritually. He became well versed in all facets of Torah and left thousands of notes in the margins of his vast library of sefarim.
Rav Yaakov stayed with his father-in-law until his petirah. In World War I they found refuge in Frankfurt-am-Main and then in Vienna, and in 5697/1937 they moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Tel-Aviv, where Rav Yaakov eventually succeeded his father-in-law, at his request, after his petirah on 29 Kislev, 5709/1948.
At his first tisch, he humbly announced to the Chassidim that he would not be able to maintain all of his father-in-law’s customs. So, for example, he would not be able to daven with all the kavanot of the Ari, which were beyond the capabilities of his generation.
His son Rav Yitzchok related: “However, with time my father did in fact adopt almost all of my grandfather’s customs.”
During his last summer, after his heart attack, he was very weak and was ordered by his doctors to rest, and to stop exhausting himself with his excessive learning. Rav Yaakov ignored these orders completely. He even had the nurses put a desk in his hospital room so he could sit up and learn.
For years, he delivered maamarim without writing them down until, with great effort, Reb Mordechai Lichtman persuaded him to transcribe them. Even then, he preferred that they be published after his death and, with characteristic humility, wrote in his will, “If the manuscripts are found worthy of publication, they should be published.” These maamarim were published in Oholei Yaakov.
Rav Yaakov was niftar on 18 Cheshvan, 5717/1956, and buried next to his father-in-law in Teveria.
HaRav Raphael Baruch Toledano of Morocco, zt"l, (1890 - 5731 / 1970), author of Sephardic Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
Born in Mekenes, Morocco, one of the Torah leaders of North Africa and Israel, a member of a family of famous Rabbis, he served as the Head Rabbi in Mekenes. He taught Torah to the far-flung villages and established Yeshivot for them. In 1962 he came to Eretz Yisrael. He passed away in Bnei Brak. He is the author of Sephardic Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Digest of Jewish Law).
HaRav Nachum Pertzovitz (Partzovitz), zt"l, Rosh Yeshivat Mir Yerushalayim (5683 / 1923 - 5747 / 1986). Born in Trakai, Poland, on 28 Adar 5683/1923 to the Chief Rabbi Harav Aryeh Tzvi Partzovitz, who was a grandson of the posek of Vilna, Harav Shlomo Hakohen, and a son-in-law of Harav Nachum Greenhaus, after whom Reb Nachum was named.
Reb Nachum was reputed to have been so eager to learn Torah as a young boy that he would run to cheder in the morning barefoot, because putting on shoes took up too much time.
(At the age of 9, he attended Ramailles Yeshiva in Vilna, and became close to its rosh yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Heiman).
Reb Nachum learned at the famed yeshiva in Baranovitch under Harav Elchanan Wasserman and Harav Dovid Rappaport. When he reached the age of 13, the yeshivah’s administration decided that he was too advanced for their yeshiva, so he was sent to learn under Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz in Kamenitz.
When he was 15 his father, Rav Aryeh Tzvi, an alumnus of Yeshivat Mir, convinced Reb Nachum to move there and learn under the Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel. Soon after he joined the Mirrer Yeshiva it was exiled to Shanghai, where it was saved from the horrors of the Holocaust that annihilated much of European Jewry during World War II.
In Shanghai Reb Nachum continued to learn with tremendous diligence, earning the respect and admiration of the yeshiva’s Mashgiach, Harav Yechezkel Levenstein, and the acting Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Chaim Leib Shmulevitz. During this time, Reb Nachum (known as Reb Nachum Troker after his home town) is reputed to have learned daily a seder of 12 hours straight with his chavrusa, Harav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l, later Rosh Yeshivat Mir in Brooklyn.
After a brief stay in Toronto, Canada, following World War II, Reb Nachum moved to Eretz Yisrael and joined the newly-established Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. He married the daughter of Harav Chaim Shmulevitz, the Rosh Yeshiva.
From 5725 / 1965, Reb Nachum served as one of the Roshei Yeshiva in Mir, delivering daily shiurim. He was known for having close personal relationships with his talmidim, encouraging their growth in Torah.
Reb Nachum succeeded his father-in-law, Harav Chaim Shmuelevitz, when the latter was niftar in 5739 / 1979.
Often unwell in his later years, Reb Nachum still managed to come to the yeshiva and deliver his daily shiur; but sadly, he was niftar at the age of 65, on 18 Cheshvan 5747 / 1986. He was buried on Har Hamenuchot.
Reb Nachum’s shiurim are published as Chiddushei Rav Nachum and Shiurei Rav Nachum.
Reb Nachum is survived by his two sons, Harav Tzvi Partzovitz, maggid shiur in Yeshivat Mir Brachfeld; and Harav Refael Partzovitz, maggid shiur in Yeshivat Mir in Yerushalayim. His three sons-in-law are Harav Asher Arieli, Rosh Yeshiva in Mir; Harav Yitzchak Hellman, maggid shiur in Yeshivat Mir; and Harav Chaim Mendel Brodsky, Rosh Yeshiva in Toronto.
HaRav Yisrael Dov Ber Odesser, zt"l, leader of Breslover Chassidim (1888-1994). He is best known for revealing and teaching the Na Nach Nachma mantra. Born in Tverya to a family which for generations were Karliner Chassidim. Later a follower of Breslov, his revelation of the Na Nach Nachma mantra was rejected by mainstream Breslovers for many decades. In 1980, however, a group of baalei teshuva discovered him in an old-age home in Yerushalayim and were attracted to his teachings.
HaRav Nechemiah Kibel, zt"l, (1952-2005). Born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Holocaust survivors, R’ Kibel entered the newly founded Yeshiva of the South, under Rav Meir Belsky, who was one of the first talmidim of Rav Yitzchak Hutner. He served as a magid shiur at the yeshiva in Memphis, then founded and taught at RITSS (Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies), Cincinnati’s Bais Yaakov in 1989. A few years later, he played a major role in the founding of Cincinnati’s Community Kollel.
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Cheshvan 2 - 3760 B.C.E.:
to the Arizal, Hevel lived for 49 days, which indicates that his brother
Kayin killed him on this date. According to Midrash Rabbah he was killed on tomorrow's date. Other opinions in Chazal are that he was killed on Erev Pesach; or that he was killed at the age of 40.
Cheshvan 5546 - October 23, 1785:
The earliest known Yiddish letter from America was sent from Philadelphia to London. Yiddish, a colloquial mixture of German and Hebrew, came to be the spoken language of much of European Jewry. Following the influx of Jewish immigrants to America, Yiddish was a language increasingly heard on the streets of New York, and in 1925 New York alone had seven daily newspapers printed in Yiddish. According to the U.S. census of 1940, 1.75 million Jews spoke Yiddish at home. Today, Yiddish words like chutzpah, klutz, schmaltz and schlep have crept into mainstream English usage.
Cheshvan 5621 - November 4, 1860:
The first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old city wall of Yerushalayim is dedicated. The site, purchased by Sir Moses Montefiore five years earlier, is known as Mishkenot Sha’ananim. Although there was initial resistance by Jews to leaving the “security” of the old city walls, it soon led to the establishment of dozens of new neighborhoods outside of the Old City.
Cheshvan 5767 - November 7, 1906:
The Chofetz Chaim completed his monumental work, the Mishnah Berurah, marking the culmination of more than three decades of toil.
Cheshvan 5701 - November 20, 1940:
U.S.census of 1940 counted 1,750,000 Jews.
19 Cheshvan 5702 - November 9, 1941:
1500 Jews from Mir, in the Grodno district of Poland, were killed by the S.S., Hy"d.
19 Cheshvan 5728 - November 22, 1967:
UN General Assembly Resolution 242 is adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War. It called for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the “[t]ermination of all claims or states of belligerency”. It also calls for the recognition of all established states by belligerent parties (Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan) of each other and recognized boundaries for all parties.
19 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Naftali Yitzchak Segal, zt"l, author of Naftali Seva Ratzon (5316 / 1555)
HaRav Yitzchak Avraham Wallerstein of Minsk, zt"l, brother of the Shaagat Aryeh (5536 / 1775)
HaRav Shimshon Halevi Heller of Zhbarizh, zt"l, (5600 / 1839)
HaRav Eliyahu Rogler, zt"l, Rav of Slobodka and Kalisch (5554 / 1794 - 5610 / 1849). Born in 5554/1794 in Soginad, near Zamut, Lithuania, at the Prussian border. His father Reb Yaakov was a talmid chacham who managed to conceal his lofty ways. He ran a hotel; and after the guests were asleep, he would learn until the morning. The family descended from the Chacham Tzvi and Harav Mordechai Yaffe, the Levush.
In his youth, Eliyahu learned under his father. Shortly after his bar mitzvah, he was engaged to the daughter of Reb Dovid Gardomer, an affluent man, who willingly undertook to support a chassan who would devote himself to learning.
Reb Eliyahu was known for his derech halimud: beginning with the Rishonim and learning their sefarim thoroughly, then going on to the Acharonim.
Reb Eliyahu went to Volozhin, where he was a talmid of Harav Chaim Volozhiner. He grew very close with Reb Chaim, who spoke with him often. When he returned home, both Reb Eliyahu’s father and his father-in-law had come upon hard times and could no longer support him, so he was forced to seek a post as Rav.
His first rabbinic position was in Shott, near Kaidan.
Later, in 5581 / 1821, he was appointed Rav in Rogoli and he is called by the name of this city.
Three years later, in 5584 / 1824, he was offered the position of Rav in William-Pally, near Kovno. He headed a yeshiva there, attracting hundreds of bachurim. In 5600 / 1840, he was appointed Rav in Kalisch, where he remained the rest of his life.
In 5608 / 1848, Reb Eliyahu fell ill and became bedridden. He wrote a letter to the kehilla absolving them of responsibility to him and allowing them to appoint a new Rav, as he could no longer function at full capacity.
Reb Eliyahu was niftar on 19 Cheshvan 5610/1849, and was buried the next day. He was buried near the kever of the Magen Avraham.
Many of his teshuvot were published as She’eilot U’Teshuvot Yad Eliyahu.
HaRav Moshe Michel of Biala, zt"l, (5615 / 1854), born to Rav Eliezer Fishel of Strizhov, a mekubal. After his marriage, Rav Moshe Michel settled in Zamoszh, where he and his wife were supported by her father. After the passing of his father in 1812, he became a chassid of the Chozeh of Lublin, and then Rav Bunim of Peshischa. He eventually became Rav of Biala.
HaRav Yehoshua Attiah, zt"l. (year?)
HaRav Sa’asa Hakohen of Djerba, Tunisia, zt"l, (5665 / 1904)
HaRav Avraham Tzvi Hirsch Kamai, zt"l, the last Rav of Mir (1859 - 5702 / 1942). Born in the Lithuanian town of Shkod (Szkod), his family traced its ancestry back to the brother of the Vilna Gaon, Rav Avraham, author of Maalot Hatorah.
His father was Rav Eliyahu Baruch Kamai, who served as Rav of of the communities of Shkod, Karelitz and Czechnovtza, following which he served as rav of Mir and as head of the town’s yeshiva.
As a youth, Rav Tzvi Hirsch was known to be extraordinarily gifted. Because of his delicate health, his father did not send him away to learn. Rav Tzvi Hirsch was both son and talmid to his father.
At a very young age, Rav Tzvi Hirsch married Sarah Baila, the daughter of Harav Moshe Gordanski of Keidan. His father-in-law undertook to support him so he could devote all his time to learning.
When Rav Tzvi Hirsch left his father-in-law’s support, he resolved not to use his Torah as a livelihood.
Rav Tzvi Hirsch’s wife, who was a clever and highly-educated woman, opened a pharmacy in order to support the family. Rav Tzvi Hirsch assisted her from time to time when she needed help, and he would also prepare medicines for the customers according to the prescriptions that they brought.
Following the petirah of the Rav of Keidan, the community offered him the position. Rav Tzvi Hirsch turned it down to avoid using his Torah as a means of support.
In the end, the requests of both the townspeople and his family swayed him, and he accepted, on one condition: his livelihood would not be from the rabbanut. He was only prepared to serve as Rav if there were no remuneration.
When Harav Eliyahu Boruch Kamai was niftar after WWI, Rav Tzvi Hirsch replaced him as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Mir for the next 25 years.
At the outbreak of World War II, the Mirrer Yeshivah fled to Vilna. Rav Tzvi Hirsch wouldn’t abandon his flock, and stayed on in Mir.
On 19 Cheshvan 5702/1941, Rav Tzvi Hirsch, together with over 2,000 local Jews, were led to their death in a communal grave in the forest adjacent to the town.
Nearly all of Rav Tzvi Hirsch’s chiddushim were burned together with all of Mir’s batei medrash, but some were recovered by his surviving son-in-law, Harav Dov Sokolovsky; several were published as Kuntres Zchor L’Avraham in the sefer Divrei Eliezer by his brother-in-law Harav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel.
Some of his chiddushim were published in Brit Melach.
HaRav Pinchas Epstein, zt"l, Rosh Av Beit Din of the Eida Hachareidit, (5731 / 1970).
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Cheshvan - October 23, 1396:
Jews in Austria had their civil rights suspended.
Cheshvan - 1571:
Jewish community of Ferrara, Italy miraculously escaped disaster when a violent earthquake struck.
Cheshvan 5581 - October 28, 1820:
Birth of HaRav Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura, the Sadigurer Rebbe (1820-1883), son of HaRav Yisrael of Ruzhin.
Cheshvan - November 8, 1944:
Chana Senesh was executed in Budapest.
Chana Senesh, (1921-1944), was a young Israeli woman who volunteered to parachute behind Nazi lines on behalf of the British Army. She spent three months in Yugoslavia working with partisan resistance fighters, but was caught by the Germans, when she attempted to cross the border into Hungary. She was tortured for several months, but refused to divulge any information. Chana became a symbol of idealism and self-sacrifice, an image strengthened by the stirring set of poems she left behind. She was executed by firing squad in Budapest on this day, and her remains were later brought to Israel.
20 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Avraham ben Yitzchak of Narbonne, zt"l, author of Sefer HaEshkol, father-in-law of the Raavad, Rav Avraham ben Dovid.
HaRav Avraham ben Dovid (Ravad II), zt"l, (1119- 4949 / 1198). R’ Avraham lived at the time of Rabbeinu Tam and is mentioned a few times in the Tosafot. He had the merit of having Eliyahu HaNavi appear to him, as claimed by Rav Chaim Vital in his introduction to Etz HaChaim. His son was the tzaddik Rav Yitzchak Sagi Nahor. According to some sources, he is the author of Sefer HaEshkol
HaRav Shalom Halevi Rosenfeld of Kaminka, zt"l, (5612 / 1851).
Harav Shalom Halevi was born in Ravva, in 5560/1800. His father was Harav Yaakov Yosef. When he was born, many tzaddikim attested that a lofty neshamah had come to the world.
From his youth, he was noted for his sharp mind. He learned under Harav Tzvi Charif and Harav Shlomo Kluger, and finished the entire Shas before his bar mitzvah.
It is related that his father took him to Harav Ezriel Horowitz of Lublin, the Rosh Habarzel, before whom the young boy delivered a pilpul.
Reb Yaakov Yosef also took his son to receive brachot from the leading Rebbes, including the Chozeh of Lublin.
Reb Shalom married the daughter of the naggid Reb Naftali Nosson Hirsh of Kreshov.
Together with his close friend, Harav Chaim of Sanz, Reb Shalom traveled to the court of Harav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz.
After the petirah of his Rebbe, Reb Shalom traveled to the courts of other leading Rebbes, usually together with Harav Chaim of Sanz.
Among the many Rebbes Reb Shalom frequented were Harav Tzvi Hirsh of Rimanov, Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin and Harav Meir of Premishlan. Reb Shalom was held in the highest esteem by all these Rebbes.
Reb Shalom’s first rabbinic post was in Yaritchov. Later, he was appointed Rav in Kaminka, the kehillah with which his name is linked.
Many halachah sefarim quote the chiddushim of Reb Shalom, and he was often referred to by other Rabbanim in their responsa.
Reb Shalom, however, refused to serve as Rebbe. His son, Harav Yehoshua, served as Rebbe after his father’s petirah, in Kaminka.
Reb Shalom was niftar on 20 Cheshvan 5612/1851, at the age of 51.
Some of his divrei Torah and biographical highlights were published under the name Ohev Shalom.
HaRav Meshulam Yissachar Horowitz, zt"l, of Stanislav, author of Bar Levai (5648 / 1887)
HaRav Yechezkel, zt"l, the third Rebbe of Radmosk, known as the Kenesset Yechezkel of Radomsk (1864-1910) (See 18 Cheshvan)
HaRav Shlomo Zalmina Zuckerman of Rashkov, zt"l, (5681 / 1920).
Harav Shlomo Zalmina was the son of Harav Yechiel Yosef of Rashkov (son of Harav Shlomo Zalmina, son of Harav Shabsi, founder of the Rashkover dynasty). Rav Shabsi was a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov and the Mezheritzer Maggid, best known for his siddur based on the kabbalistic explanations of the Ari, known as Siddur Rav Shabsi MiRashkov.
Harav Shlomo Zalmina was the son-in-law of Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Mezhibuzh.
Following the petirah of his father, Harav Yechiel Yosef, on 7 Adar 5656/1896, Harav Shlomo Zalmina was appointed his successor as Rebbe in Rashkov.
His sons were Harav Yitzchak Meir of Rashkov; Harav Mordechai of Rezina; Harav Shalom; and Harav Yaakov.
His sons-in-law were Harav Baruch Dovid Twersky of Klinkowitz; Harav Yaakov Yisrael Rabinowitz of Charson; Harav Dovid Mordechai Twersky of Tolna; Harav Chaim Hager of Shotz; and Harav Moshe Dovid Twersky of Shpikov.
Harav Shlomo Zalmina was niftar on 20 Cheshvan 5681/1920 (some say 5676/1915).
Harav Yisrael Yitzchok Kalisch, Hy"d, of Skernevitz, (5702 / 1941).
Harav Yisrael Yitzchak was the son of Harav Shimon of Skernevitz. Reb Shimon was the youngest son of Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka, who was in turn the son of Harav Yitzchak of Vorka, the founder of the Vorka dynasty.
Reb Yisrael Yitzchak was the son-in-law of Harav Chaim of Nadarzin, also a scion of the Vorka dynasty.
Reb Yisrael Yitzchak was renowned as an outstanding lamdan who dedicated his life to learning Torah near the court of his father.
When his father, Reb Shimon, was niftar on 20 Tishrei 5687 / 1926, most of the Chassidim chose the eldest son, Harav Menachem Mendel of Otvotsk, as the new Rebbe. Reb Menachem Mendel, however, felt that the leadership belonged to his younger brother, Reb Yisrael Yitzchak, but the Chassidim were not willing to leave him. When Reb Menachem Mendel was niftar suddenly on 18 Adar 5689 / 1929, just two years after becoming Rebbe, the majority of the Chassidim flocked to Reb Yisrael Yitzchak in Skernevitz. (As Reb Mendel was childless, there was no son to succeed him.) Some went to the youngest son of Reb Shimon, Harav Dov Ber, who lived in Loivitch and was known as the Skernevitz-Loivitch Rebbe.
During World War II, when the Nazis bombed Skernevitz, Reb Yisrael Yitzchak fled the city by wagon to Raavah. But there he was caught by the Nazis and sent to a forced labor camp in Germany.
Later, Reb Yisrael Yitzchak returned to Warsaw, a broken man. He was niftar in the Warsaw Ghetto after falling ill.
Reb Yisrael Yitzchak had two sons. One, Reb Yehoshua Moshe, was niftar in his lifetime, while his son Harav Yaakov Yehudah and his son-in-law Harav Hirsch Shedrovitzki were killed in the war. Hashem yinkom damam.
HaRav Moshe Nosson Nuta Lemberger, zt"l, the Makava Rav of Kfar Ata (5743 / 1982)
HaRav Mordechai Sharabi, zt"l, (5668 / 1908 (others 1912) - 5745 / 1984) (others 5744 / 1983). Born in Taiz, Yemen; his father was niftar before he was born, and his mother passed away just 4 years later. He was raised by his grandfather, Rav Yefet Avraham, Rav in Sharab. Rav Mordechai’s other grandfather was Rav Salom Sharabi, the Rashash. In 1931, shortly after he married, Rav Mordechai moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. He later founded Yeshivat Nahar Shalom in the Machane Yehuda section of the city. Although they never had children, tens of boys of the neighborhood had their meals with them and grew to become Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel. It is related that in the week of Rav Mordechai’s petira, the Baba Sali experienced a frightening premonition that much Jewish blood would be spilled, including children. He davened the entire day and fasted despite being over 90 years of age. The next morning, he announced that the gezeira was lifted, and that one of the tzadikim gave his life away
for the generation. At the time, the Baba Sali was not aware that Rav Mordechai was ill. Indeed, Rav Sharabi was niftar that week.
HaRav Mordechai Leib Zuckerman, zt"l, author of Meir Einei Yisrael (5670 / 1910 (others 1912 ) - 5764 / 2003). Born in Samagron (Smorgon), Lithuania, in 5670/1910, a city near Vilna and grew up in a home of Torah and chessed. In his youth he learned in the yeshiva in Lida, under the tutelage of Harav Yaakov Neiman, zt”l.
In 1931, he moved to Radin to learn in the yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim for eight years. During this time he became very close to the Chofetz Chaim and was among the select talmidim who would accompany the Chofetz Chaim on his daily walks.
Harav Mordechai continued his learning in the yeshiva in Kelm, and it was there that he acquired his distinctive seder hayom, always adhering to a strict schedule for davening, learning Gemara and mussar, until his last day.
After the outbreak of World War II, Harav Mordechai came to the Kovna ghetto, where he took an active role in the chinuch of the children, teaching them Torah and instilling in them yirat Shamayim. This naturally made him a target of the Nazis, who especially sought him out for death. On one occasion he was found, but one of the daughters of the Dvar Avraham of Kovno begged the soldier to leave him alone since he was in the middle of davening. Miraculously, the Nazi agreed to spare Reb Mordechai’s life, but warned that he would kill him on the next occasion.
He also acted as shamash for Rav Avraham Grodzinsky, the mashgiach of Slabodka. As Rav Avraham’s talmid muvhak, he transcribed his mentor’s discourses and studied with him privately bechavrusa when Rav Avraham was hospitalized. Subsequently, the Nazis burned down that hospital and Rav Mordechai Leib was the last person to have seen Rav Avraham alive. When the Nazis decided to liquidate the entire ghetto, Rav Mordechai Leib was saved by a miracle when he hid in a pit with a few others.
After surviving the war, Reb Mordechai traveled to France where he married his Rebbetzin, a”h, and from there they sailed to Eretz Yisrael. Upon his arrival, Reb Mordechai visited the Chazon Ish, who recommended that he settle in Yerushalayim.
The Chazon Ish tried to place Harav Mordechai in the Brisker Rav’s kollel for exceptional avreichim, but there was no room there at the time. Eventually he attended the kollel on Shabbat.
Harav Yechezkel Sarna, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivat Chevron, offered Harav Mordechai the position of Menahel Ruchani in Yeshivat Chevron. However, Rebbetzin Zuckerman was unwilling for her husband to stop learning full-time, and so for a long period he learned in the Achva shul in Zichron Moshe, where he made great strides in Torah and mussar.
In 1948, he moved to Yerushalayim, settling in Givat Shaul and accepting the positions of rav of the Perushim shul and the head of Kollel Chevron there. He occupied those positions for over 50 years.
As an example of diligence and ameilut baTorah, Harav Mordechai attracted a group of lomdim and baalei mussar who sought to learn from his ways. For many years he had a steady mussar seder with Harav Shlomo Wolbe, zt”l.
As he was known for his exceptional yirat Shamayim, many came to him seeking his counsel and blessing. Harav Mordechai would receive all his visitors pleasantly, blessing them with all his heart. He had an accommodating, tolerant nature and was known never to hold a grudge.
From his youth, Harav Mordechai davened with much vigor and was careful always to daven k’vasikin. He lived a modest life, shunning luxuries, and was interested only in increasing his Torah knowledge and yirat Shamayim.
In his last months he became ill, but despite his extreme weakness, never stopped anticipating Hashem’s yeshua. During his final days he hinted at his desire to pass away on the day of Shabbat and thus, on Shabbat Parashat Vayeira, 20 Cheshvan 5764 / 2003, his pure neshama returned to its Maker.
He was buried on Har Hamenuchot in Yerushalayim.
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Cheshvan 5699 - November 15, 1938:
Following Kristallnacht, Jewish children were expelled from
German schools and universities.
Cheshvan 5713 - November 9, 1952:
Chaim Weizmann, Israel's
first President, died.
21 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits.
Rabbeinu David ben Zimra, zt"l, (5240 / 1480 - 5334 / 1573), known by the acronym of his name, Radbaz or Ridbaz. (Some list his birth as 5230 / 1470). He was a talmid of Rabbeinu Yosef of Saragosa, and a chaver of the Mahari Korkos.
Arriving in Tzefat as a child after the Spanish expulsion, he emigrated to Egypt in 5274 / 1514. In Egypt at that time, the living conditions were better than in Eretz Yisrael. He joined the yeshivah of the naggid Rabi Yitzchak Hakohen Sholal. There he was accepted as part of the beit din, and began his career as a marbitz Torah.
For over 40 years he taught many talmidim. Among his students in Cairo were Rav Yitzchak Luiria, (the Arizal) who went on to become the founder of modern Kabbalah, and Rav Betazelel Azhkenazi, the Shita Mekubetzet.
Subsequently, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Egypt. His income, however, came through business, from which he became quite wealthy.
The period in which he was Rav was a period of relative peace and tranquility, and his yeshivah thrived. The Radbaz instituted many takanot in the community, which he led with wisdom and compassion.
In 1553, he returned to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. However, due to his vast wealth, the Arabs demanded heavy taxes from him, so he was forced to move to Tzfat. He was accepted with open arms by that exalted community, especially by the Beit Yosef, who bestowed great honor upon him.
The Radbaz's holiness was extraordinary. In Shem Hagedolim, the Chida cites elder Rabbanim of Yerushalayim who
attested that the Radbaz exerlenced gilui Eliyahu.
As one of the elder Torah luminaries in Tzfat, he was asked to lead the esteemed kehillah, which he did until his petirah. He was niftar on 21 Cheshvan and was buried in Tzfat (the exact location of his kever is unknown; it is believed to be in the me’arah of the Alshich).
The Radbaz was a marbitz Torah on a grand scale. He issued many important decisions in Jewish law, his piskei halachah are underlying foundations of halachah to this day. He wrote over 3,000 teshuvot, including the assertion that the Ethiopian community was certainly Jewish -- a decision that gained practical application in the 20th century with the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
His Teshuvot (include 70 “Teshuvot min Hashamayim” that he said had been transmitted to him from On High, which were collected in Sifrei Radbaz.
In addition to his teshuvot, he authored Yekar Tiferet, Keser Malchut, Metzudat David, and two sifrei kabbalah: Michtav LeDavid and Magen David.
HaRav Avraham Azulai, zt"l, author of Chessed L’Avraham (1569 - 5404 / 1643), which is often quoted in the writings of the Ari HaKadosh. Rav Avraham was the great, great-grandfather of the Chida. Born in Fez, Morocco, he eventually moved to Chevron in 1609 and became the holy city’s Chief Rabbi. (Some have his yahrtzeit on 24 Cheshvan).
HaRav Yissacher Ber of Podheitz, zt"l, (5605 / 1844), son of the Pnei Yehoshua.
HaRav Elazar HaKohen of Poltusk, zt"l. (5642 / 1881).
Son of the wealthy Rav Zev Leipziger, and son-in-law of Rav Yaakov Luberbaum, Rav of Lisa and author of the Chavat Daat and Nesivot Hamishpat.
Reb Elazar was a devoted talmid of Harav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, Harav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk and the Chiddushei Harim of Ger. After the petira of the Chiddushei Harim, he was among those who did not transfer his allegiance to Harav Chanoch Henoch of Alexander, but instead followed Harav Avraham Landau of Tchechnov.
He considered Harav Zev Wolf Hakohen of Lask his main Torah teacher, and he also studied under his renowned father-in-law. Raised in great wealth, he did not accept a rabbanut until his vast business dealings failed; then he became Rav in Makov.
He served as Rav there twice; he also served in Sochotchov, and twice in Poltosk, and his chassidim referred to him by that name. Twelve years before his petira he returned to Sochotchov, where he was niftar at the age of 90.
He was eulogized by Harav Yisrael Yehoshua Trunk of Kutna and Harav Chaim Eliezer Waks of Pietrokov-Kalish.
He wrote many sefarim, including Chiddushei Maharach on the Shulchan Aruch; a commentary on Pirkei Avot; Zecher Tzaddik V’yesod Olam, a eulogy on the Chiddushei Harim; and Zichron Nifla’ot on the Haggadah.
His two sons were Harav Avraham, a Dayan in Warsaw; and Harav Tzvi Hirsch, an Av Beit Din in Zgierzh. His son-in-law was Harav Dovid Dov Meislish, Av Beit Din of Lask.
HaRav Moshe of Shitchelnik, zt"l, (5673 / 1912).
HaRav Betzalel (ben Avraham) Stern, zt"l, (1910 - 5749 / 1988), Author of Teshuvot B'Tzel Hachochma.
Born on 12 Tishrei 5671/1910, in Neihiezel, Czechoslovakia to Harav Avraham, the author of Melitzei Aish,
At the yeshivah in Tirnau, all the bachurim were tested by Rabbanim. When young Betzalel was tested, the Rabbanim were impressed both by his deep comprehension and by his devotion, as he dedicated days and nights to his learning.
He married the daughter of Harav Tzvi Kunstlicher, Rav of Seben, Transylvania.
In 5702 / 1942 he accepted his first rabbinic post in Seben, Transylvania, where he served as Rav Hatzair under his father-in-law. Rav Betzalel also headed the yeshiva there. He taught the bachurim with his unique derech halimud.
After World War II ended, Rav Betzalel received many requests to serve as Rav. When approached by the kehillah of Kashau he refused their offer, explaining that he did not want to return to his home country. He resided for a while in Budapest.
For a short while Rav Betzalel served as Rav in Pupa. Later he moved to Rome, Italy, where many survivors had gathered. He helped revitalize their Yiddishkeit.
In 5714 / 1954, he moved to Melbourne, Australia to serve as Rav of the Adat Yisrael community. The reason Rav Betzalel agreed to go so far away was, as he writes in his introduction to B’tzel Hachochmah, that he was interested in building Torah and Yiddishkeit in such a distant place.
Today the community of Melbourne, and to a lesser extent, Sydney as well, has very strong Torah and chinuch institutions, including batei medrash, yeshivot and kollelim.
Rav Betzalel assisted the local Talmud Torah, Beit Yaakov and a yeshivah ketanah, named Brit Avraham after his father who was killed in the war. He also opened a separate cemetery for the kehillah.
After 14 years, he moved, primarily because most of his family lived in Eretz Yisrael, a distance too great for him. In 5725 / 1965, he was appointed Rav in Vienna. He is remembered for his fight against the destruction of a Jewish cemetery, a campaign that paid off, as the order was rescinded.
In 5735/1975, Rav Betzalel was invited by the Eidah Hachareidit in Yerushalayim to serve as the deputy Gaavad, under Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Weiss, zt”l, the Minchat Yitzchak; but this plan did not materialize.
In 5742 / 1982, he moved to Yerushalayim, leaving his son, Chaim, as Rav of Vienna. Settling in Yerushalayim, he realized his life’s dream: to sit and learn without having to involve himself in public affairs.
Rav Betzalel was niftar on 21 Cheshvan 5749/1988, at the age of 79. He was buried on Har Hamenuchot near his father-in-law, Harav Kunstlicher, and close to the kevarim of the Belzer Rebbe and the Brisker Rav, zt”l.
He was the author of the six-volume She'eilot U'Teshuvot B'Tzel Hachochma, which covers many issues that are not mentioned in earlier sefarim.
He was also a brother of Rav Moshe Stern.
HaRav Areyeh Leib Binah, zt"l, (5755 / 1994). Rosh Yeshiva of Netiv Meir.
HaRav Yichya Halevi Alshich, zt"l, (5757 / 1996), .head of Yemenite community.
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Cheshvan 5057 - 1296:
were barred from treating Christians in Sicily.
22 Cheshvan 5516 - October 27, 1755:
A great earthquake struck Lisbon, Portugal, destroying much of the city including the courthouse of the Inquisition.
Cheshvan 5579 - November 21, 1818:
An English Missionary
to the Russian Czar proposes establishing an independent Jewish homeland in
22 Cheshvan 5678 - November 7, 1917:
England took Gaza (where Yitzchok Avinu lived for 22 years) from the Turks.
Cheshvan 5705 - November 8, 1944:
The deportation of Budapest Jews by the Nazis, was resumed on this date. During this time, 20,000 Budapest Jews were shot by the banks of the Danube by Hungarian forces. Another 70,000 Jews were forced on a death march to Austria, of which the majority were either shot or died of starvation and exposure. Raoul Wallenberg was involved in saving some of Hungary's Jews. Out of 750,000 Jews that lived in Hungary before the war, only 30 percent survived. Hy"d.
.22 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits.
Harav Shlomo Halevl.Charif, zt"l, Rav of Lvov (5398 / 1637).
Harav:Moshe Lima, zt"l, author of Chelkat Mechokek.(5417 / 1656).
Harav Moshe was the son of Harav Yitzchak Yehudah Lima and the son-in-law of Harav Zanvil of Vilna. He learned in the yeshivah of Harav Yehoshua Charif, zt”l, the Meginei Shlomo, in Cracow, and was an associate of the Rebbe Rav Heshel of Cracow, zt”l.
He served as Rav in Brisk and later in Slonim. During his tenure as Rav in Slonim, Rav Moshe would correspond with the Bach regarding matters of halachah. He was considered the highest authority in halacha in all of Lithuania. He later served as Rav in Brisk and Vilna.
Following the petirah of his father-in-law, he was appointed Rav in Vilna, where he achieved prominence for his leadership as a Rav and as a marbitz Torah. Among his talmidim were the Beit Efraim, the Shach, and the Beit Hillel.
Rav Moshe is best known for Chelkat Mechokek on Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer, which is used by Rabbanim and Poskim for psak halachah to this day.
Rav Moshe was niftar on 22 Cheshvan 5417/1656. He was survived by his sons: Rav Refael, zt”l, who oversaw the publication of Chelkat Mechokek; Rav Lima, zt”l, Rav of Kotzk, son-in-law of Harav Shmuel Duketz, zt”l, Rav of Wengrow; and Rav Yosef, zt”l, Rav of Werdiburg.
Harav Dovid Shlomo Eibeshutz of Soroka, zt"l,(5515 / 1755 - 5574 / 1813), author of Levushei Serad (on halacha) and Arvei Nachal (a Torah commentary with Chasidic philosophy) and others. Harav Dovid Shlomo was born in Ausien about 5515/1755 to a simple family. His father was Reb Yerachmiel.
In his youth, Reb Dovid Shlomo was already considered an iluy, and Harav Meir Margolies of Ostroha, the Meir Nesivim, suggested him as a fitting shidduch for the daughter of his close associate, Harav Yechiel Michel Seidman.
After his marriage, Reb Dovid Shlomo learned under his grandfather-in-law Harav Avraham Moshe Abish, the Tzlosa D’Avraham, Harav Eliezer Auerbach, Rav of Tolshin and Dubna, the author of Arbaah Turei Aven, and from Harav Moshe Tzvi Heller, author of Geon Tzvi.
Reb Dovid Shlomo was drawn to Chassidut. His Rebbes, among the leading talmidim of the Maggid of Mezeritch, included Harav Zev Wolf of Tcharni-Ostroha, Harav Meshulam Feivish Halevi of Zhabrizh and Harav Uziel Meisels of Ritshvahl, the Tiferet Uziel.
Reb Dovid Shlomo’s first position was as Rosh Yeshivah in Nadvorna in 5540 / 1780.
Then Reb Dovid Shlomo became Rav in Chorostov.
In 5550 / 1790, Reb Dovid Shlomo became Rav in Budzhanov, holding this post for about 11 years. Some of the drashot he gave there are printed in Arvei Nachal, his best-known work. He also wrote works on halachah, on Shulchan Aruch and on Shas, plus Neot Deshe, a teshuvah sefer and Megillat Setarim, a mussar work based on the first perek in Tehillim.
Finally, he was named Rav of Soroka, and is therefore known to posterity as the Soroker Rav.
In 5569 / 1809 Reb Dovid Shlomo ascended to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Tzfat. In his vast humility, he davened at the back of the beit medrash like a simple Jew, and took a job as a melamed.
Reb Dovid Shlomo was niftar on 22 Cheshvan 5574 / 1813, and buried in an ohel in Tzfat.
Harav Ezriel Halevi Horowitz of Lublin , zt"l, Rav of Lublin, known as the Rosh Habarzel, the “Eizener Kop” (5579 / 1818). He opposed the Chozeh when the latter arrived in Lublin.
Harav Ezriel Halevi was born in 5507/1747 in Zamutsch. His father was Harav Dov.
Zamutsch was famous for its many talmidei chachamim, but even there the young Ezriel shone, standing out for his sharp mind.
He married the daughter of Rav Binyamin Buska, a leading member of the Zamutsch kehillah.
Reb Ezriel’s first position as Rav was in Krashnick, a small town near Lublin. A few years later (c. 5564/1804), he was appointed to the prestigious post of Rav of Lublin, where he remained to his last day.
Reb Ezriel had a warm heart, but he could also rule with an iron hand. He could not be “bought off” with money; this trait was inscribed on his matzeivah: neki kapayim — his hands were clean. With adequate parnassah, he was able to learn as well as rule the city in ruchniyut and gashmiyut.
He headed a large yeshivah in Lublin, and although busy as Rav, he found time to deliver shiurim in the yeshivah.
Reb Ezriel was called the Rosh Habarzel or Eizener Kop. His chiddushim at times astounded those who heard them. His questions to other Gedolim were often the talk of the Torah world.
Reb Ezriel was niftar on Shabbat 22 Cheshvan 5579/1818, at the age of 62. He was buried in the Lublin cemetery near the kever of Harav Shalom Shachna of Lublin, father-in-law of the Rema.
He was survived by two sons: Harav Dovid and Harav Efraim Fishel.
Sections of his writings were published as Teshuvot v’Chiddushei Rosh Barzel.
Harav Yissaschar Dov Rokeach, zt"l, the third Belzer Rebbe, (5614 / 1854 - 5687 / 1926). He was the leader of thousands and headed the organization Machzikei Hadat. During the First World War he fled to Hungary and returned in 1921 to Galitzia.
HaRav Uriel Dovidi, zt"l, (2005). The 14th of 14 children, 9 of whom died in childhood (while 3 others died in early adulthood). His mother, Serach, “demanded” a healthy son, talmid chacham. Rav Uriel had a photographic memory and great analytic ability, despite having had only four years of structured schooling. He lived with and learned from shieks, which helped later during the Iranian revolution. Rav Uriel lost his father at 17, and married his first cousin at 18. He became an expert in Tanach & Midrash, and wrote a Hebrew-Persian dictionary. He became a mohel, a shochet, then became a teacher. He had a large library and owned one of only three sets of Shas in Iran. Rav Uriel moved to Tehran and became one of the two main rabbis of the city. He was personally responsible for keeping shops closed on Shabbat and provided kosher food for Jews in the army. When he escaped Iran in 1994, two thousand sefarim had to be left behind; only his Torah Temima was taken to Israel.
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Cheshvan 3597 - 164 B.C.E.:
Following the victory of the Maccabees, the Jews
removed stones set up in the Beit Hamikdash by gentiles during the rule of the Greeks. In Talmudic times, this day was celebrated as a holiday.
Cheshvan - 1278:
Edward I of England arrests 680 Jews for alleged counterfeiting and puts them on trial. The judges sentence 269 Jews to death by hanging, and Edward received 16,500 pounds sterling from the property of the executed Jews, Hy"d.
Cheshvan - 1526:
Following the short occupation by the Ottoman Empire of Buda, the Jews were expelled after being falsely accused of aiding the Turks against Hungary. Many Jews had left Hungary with the departing Turks with hope for a better life. Jews of Pressburg (now Bratislava) were expelled by order of Queen Maria.
Cheshvan - 1746:
During the reign of Queen Maria Theresa (1740–1780), daughter of Charles III, the Jews were expelled from Buda.
Cheshvan 5699 - November 17, 1938:
The Italian version of the Nuremberg Laws was published.
23 Cheshvan 5700 - November 5, 1939:
1800 Jews from Sierpc, Poland, were marched to Warsaw. The remaining Jews were confined in a ghetto.
23 Cheshvan 5725 - October 29, 1964:
Karmiel was founded in the Galilee in an effort to populate northern Israel.
23 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Aharon Katzenellenbogen of Brisk, zt"l, (1854), author of Minchat Aharon,published in 1772.(Others 5538 / 1777)
HaRav Refael Yosef Chazan of Izmir, zt"l, the Chikrei Lev (5501 / 1740 - 5581 / 1820).
Harav Refael Yosef Chazan was born in 5501/1740, in Izmir, Turkey. His father was Harav Chaim. The Chazan family was well known in the Sephardic community, descending from many Sephardic Gedolim, most notably the paytan (poet) Harav Avraham Chazan, zt”l, author of the piyut “Achot Ketanah” that many say on Erev Rosh Hashanah after Minchah.
Harav Chaim was the son of Harav David Chazan, zt”l, mechaber of Chozeh David, a peirush on Tehillim, and a descendant of Harav Yosef Chazan, zt”l, who was a talmid of the Ri MiTrani. It was after this grandfather that Rav Chaim named his son Yosef.
Reb Refael Yosef unfortunately lost his father at a young age. He wrote about this period in the hakdamah of his sefer Chikrei Lev, expressing gratitude to all those who cared for him during those years and making special note of the support and encouragement offered by his father-in-law and other family members.
The hasmadah of young Refael Yosef was legendary. He was able to sit for hours on end and learn without interruption. He gave his first public shiur at the age of 17.
Refael Yosef married Reina, daughter of the naggid Harav Daniel Palagi. The famed Harav Chaim Palagi, zt”l, mechaber of Kaf Hachaim and other sefarim, was their grandson.
In 5550 / 1790, Reb Refael Yosef was appointed Rav and Dayan in Izmir. Later on, in 5554 / 1794, against his wishes, Reb Refael Yosef was appointed full leader of the city’s Torah community, as well as Rosh Yeshivah.
Reb Refael Yosef delivered many fiery drashot, speaking from the heart and causing his listeners to improve themselves. His grandson, Rav Chaim Palagi, relates that his grandfather once explained to him that Chazal say that regarding one who speaks in public, Ruach Hakodesh rests on him; therefore, he was overcome with fear of the Shechinah. That is why he became so inflamed during his drashot.
Rav Refael Yosef had a steady mussar seder every morning with a local talmid chacham of the city.
Reb Refael Yosef had a strong desire to go to Eretz Yisrael. His dream finally came true, and he was zocheh to move to Eretz Yisrael in 5573 / 1813, settling first in Chevron. He was appointed Rav in Chevron almost immediately after establishing himself there.
Two years after his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, the Rishon LeTzion, Harav Yaakov Koral, zt”l, was niftar, and he was asked to succeed him. Reb Refael Yosef consented to the request.
Once appointed to this position of honor, Reb Refael Yosef became the leader of all communities, Ashkenazim and Sephardim. There is much correspondence between him and the leading talmidim of the Gra who moved to Eretz Yisrael around that time.
Despite becoming Rishon LeTzion at an advanced age, Reb Refael Yosef fearlessly initiated new takanot in Yerushalayim.
Reb Refael Yosef was niftar on 23 Cheshvan 5581 / 1820 at the age of 80. He was buried on Har Hazeitim, in the kever he had bought during his lifetime.
Reb Refael Yosef left 13 volumes of his classic, Chikrei Lev, covering thousands of teshuvot on all topics of Torah and halachah. His many drashot were published in the two-volume Maarchei Lev, which was printed in Salonika directly after his petirah, in the years 5581-82 / 1821-22.
HaRav Avrohom Chaim Horowitz of Linsk, zt"l. (5665 / 1904),
HaRav Yehosef Rottenberg of Kosson, zt"l, the Bnei Sheleishim, (1912) (Others 5672 /1911)
HaRav Moshe Midner of Slonim-Baranowitz, zt"l, (5690 / 1929), a grandson of the Yesod Ha’avodah and a talmid of Rav Chaim Brisker Soloveitchik. He was mashgiach of Yeshivat Torat Chessed. The chasidim of Slonim used to say of him "From Moshe (of Midian) up until Mosh Midner, there was none like Moshe."
Harav Yaakov Dovid Gordon, Chief Rabbi of Norfolk, Virginia, zt"l, author of Dor V'dorshov, Zichron Yaakov, (5633 / 1873 - 5708 / 1947).(Others 5709 / 1948).
HaRav Tzvi Hirsh Markowitz, Zt”l, (5767 / 2006), Rosh Yeshivah, Beit Aharon V’Yisrael of Karlin-Stolin.
Harav Tzvi Hirsch, born in 5677 / 1917, was the son of Harav Shmuel, Rav of Turetz, Lithuania.
Before his bar mitzvah, he went to learn Torah in Slonim.
He went on to Yeshivat Grodno, where he became a talmid muvhak of Harav Shimon Shkop. He also became one of the first talmidim of Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, author of Birkat Shmuel, who would recite his shiur to the young Tzvi Hirsch and two other top talmidim before delivering it to the rest of the yeshivah.
As dark clouds began to gather over Europe, Reb Tzvi Hirsch moved to Eretz Yisrael to evade the draft, narrowly escaping the Holocaust.
In Eretz Yisrael, he resumed his learning at Yeshivat Lomza in Petach Tikvah.
In 5703/1943 he married the daughter of Harav Shabsai Yogel, who appointed him Maggid Shiur at Yeshivat Slonim in Ramat Gan.
For the next six decades he taught Torah to thousands and formed close bonds with many Gedolei Hador, notably the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rav.
While serving in the Slonimer yeshivah he became Rav of Ramat Gan. He fought against Shabbat desecration and breaches in kedushah and kashrut, and wrote a sefer, Benesivot Ha’emunah, which clarified issues related to hashkafah and emunah. He showed genuine concern for all of the city’s residents and persuaded many of them to send their sons to yeshivot. Civic leaders did not make any move related to spiritual matters without consulting him.
In 5742/1982 he was appointed Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Karlin-Stolin, where he disseminated Torah for over 20 years.
When he moved to Yerushalayim, his home became a center for Torah.
In his last few years, he devoted his strength to preparing his sefarim for publication.
Rav Tzvi Hirsh was niftar on 23 Cheshvan 5767/2006 at the age of 90 and buried on Har Hamenuchot.
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24 Cheshvan 5695 - November 2, 1934:
Yahrtzeit of Baron Edmund de Rothschild (1845-1934).
A member of the Rothschild banking dynasty, he preferred to pursue artistic interests, acquiring an important collection of drawings and engravings that he bequeathed to the Louvre. In 1882, Rothschild became a leading proponent of the Zionist movement, buying land throughout Israel and subsidizing Jewish settlements. He financed the first new Jewish town, Rishon Letzion ("the first of Zion"), as well as Zichron Yaakov, Caesarea and some 30 other settlements. He also established Israel's wine industry when he helped Russian Jews flee pogroms in the 1880s and plant vineyards in Israel. In 1954, Rothschild's remains were re-interred to Israel. To honor his memory, his son paid for the construction of the Knesset building in Yerushalayim.
24 Cheshvan 5701 - November 25, 1940:
The refugee ship, the SS Patria, with 1,900 desperate immigrants from Romania aboard, blew up and sank in Haifa port. killing 267 Jewish refugees, Hy"d. The explosion was the work of the Jewish underground army, the Hagana, who had meant only to damage the ship to prevent its sailing but had miscalculated the amount of explosives needed to disable the ship. Instead, it created a large hole in the ship’s hull, and the ship sank quickly, drowning many passengers. Many say that this was no miscalculation and was deliberate murder of Jews by Jews, in an attempt to influence British immigration policy to Palestine.
24 Cheshvan 5703 - November 4, 1942:
During World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in Northern Egypt (about 66 miles west of Alexandria) back to Tunisia. This was a major victory for British forces under the leadership of Lt. General Bernard Montgomery. Of this victory, Winston Churchill said "This is not the end, this is not the beginning, nor is it even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."This miraculous turn-around may have saved the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael.
24 Cheshvan 5717 - October 29, 1956:
Israel’s eight day Sinai Campaign begins in coordination with France and England. Israel invades the Sinai in response to the increase in attacks on Israel from Gaza by the Egyptian-backed Fedayeen. Under United States and Soviet pressure Israel is forced to withdraw from the Sinai.
24 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Binyamin ben Yaakov Avinu, buried near Kfar Saba.
The youngest son of our Patriarch Yaakov,
and the youngest son of our Matriarch Rachel. When Yaakov returned to Israel, and was on his way home to his father, our Patriarch Yitzchak, Rachel passed away in the childbirth of Benyamin. She called him “Ben Oni,” meaning the son of
my pain, but Yaakov named him Benyamin, the son of the south. He had ten children and named each one after his
brother Yosef who had disappeared (he was sold into slavery by his other brothers). He was 115 years old when he passed away.
HaRav Avraham Azulai, zt"l, (5330 / 1570 - 5404 / 1643), the Chesed L’Avraham. Born in Fez, Morocco, to Rav Mordechai Azulai. Until the age of 40, Rav Avraham resided in Fez.
In 1599 / 1600, he fulfilled his life’s dream and boarded a ship for Eretz Yisrael. The only possessions he took him were the many manuscripts of his chiddushim. These were all lost at sea during a storm.
Instead of falling into despair, Reb Avraham said, “The loss of our possessions expiates our sins. If not for the miracle that occurred to us, our fate would have been the same as that of our belongings. Let us thank Hashem for rescuing us, and accept our lot with love. As soon as we reach Eretz Yisrael, I will compose new chiddushim.”
Reb Avraham’s great-great-grandson, Harav Chaim Yosef David Azulai (the Chida), relates this episode in Shem HaGedolim, adding that from then on Reb Avraham commemorated this miracle by signing his name in the form of a ship.
After the voyage, Reb Avraham settled in Chevron.
In the beit medrash in Chevron, Reb Avraham once found a number of loose pages in a sefer. They turned out to be a manuscript in the handwriting of the Arizal. After that, Reb Avraham searched through the city’s batei medrash and found many more such pages. Reb Avraham said that to some extent, the pain of losing his chiddushim was lessened by finding these previously unknown manuscripts.
However, Reb Avraham’s peaceful life in Chevron did not last long. An epidemic broke out, forcing him and his family to move to Yerushalayim. To their dismay, the plague spread to Yerushalayim, too, and they were forced to move on again, to Aza (Gaza).
Reb Avraham made a neder that if Hashem would protect him and he would return safely to Chevron, he would write a sefer of all his chiddushim over the years.
In Chevron, Rav Avraham wrote his major work on Kabbalah, entitled Kiryat Arba. It is based on the teachings of the four great kabbalists: the Ramak, the Arizal, Rav Chaim Vital and Rav Avraham Galanti. Later, in Aza (Gaza), Rav Avraham composed three more sefarim: Baalei Brit Avraham, a commentary on the twenty-four books of the Tanach, and Chesed L ’Avraham, which contains kabbalistic drashot based mainly on the works of the Ramak and the Arizal.
In addition to this, he wrote Kanaf Renanim, a summary of the kavanot of the prayers according to the Arizal; Ma’aseh Chosheiv, a summary of the kavanot of the Arizal on the mitzvot; Ahavah BaTa’anugim on the Mishnah, and Hagahot l’Sefer HaLevush on the Shulchan Aruch.
Reb Avraham lived in Chevron until his passing on 24 Cheshvan, 5404/1643. Reb Avraham was buried in the old cemetery of Chevron.
HaRav Gedaliah of Zalkah, zt"l, (5524 / 1763).
HaRav Chaim Yosef Brukstein of Pistin, zt"l, (5555 / 1795 - 5625 / 1864).
Rav Chaim Yosef Brukstein was born in Bohislov, in the Kiev region, in 5555/1795. His father was Harav Yehoshua Yitzchak.
Rav Chaim Yosef was raised by the Shepole Zeide, and until the age of 15 he lived in his home. Rav Chaim Yosef later drew close to the Baal HaTanya, the Berditchever Rav, Rav Dov Ber of Uleinov, Rav Aharon of Paviltch and Rav Aharon of Zhitomer.
Rav Chaim Yosef left Russia and moved to Poland, he was appointed Rav in Pistin, near Kossov in Galicia. There he became close to Rav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, and later to his son, Rav Chaim of Kossov.
According to his son, Rav Chaim Yosef personally knew more than 100 tzaddikim. Rav Chaim Yosef, who suffered greatly from poor health and poverty, authored Tosafot Chaim on the Torah and Nishmat Chaim on Tehillim.
He was niftar in Kleinwardein on 24 Cheshvan 5625/1864, at the age of 70.
His sons were Rav Yisrael Nosson Alter and Rav Pinchas.
HaRav Dovid Twersky of Makarov, zt"l, (5663 / 1902). Son of Rav Yaakov Yitzchak of Makarov, who in turn was the son of Rav Menachem Nochum of Makarov — the son of the Chernobler Maggid. Rav Dovid married his father’s first cousin, the daughter of the Trisker Maggid.
Rav Dovid was niftar in Kiev. His sons were Rav Menachem Nochum of Makarov, and Rav Nissen Yehudah Leib of Kiltz. His sons-in-law included Rav Shmuel Abba of Makarov, Rav Yehudah Aryeh Leib of Novominsk, Rav Avrohom Yaakov Panitz, and Rav Chaim Gershon Monzon.
Makarov is located in Kievskaya, 28 km from Kiev. The earliest known Jewish community was 1765. 1897 Hasidic population (census) was 3953. The Twersky Chasidic dynasty began in Makarov with a Nachum Twersky (1805-1851). Decimated in the Holocaust, Makarov is an offshoot of the Chernobyl dynasty).
HaRav Hillel Moshe Meshel Gelbstein, zt"l, (1834-1904 or 5668 / 1907), born in Bialystok, his mother was a 12th generation descendent of the Shlah HaKodesh. At the age of 15, he traveled to Kotzk and became of chassid of the Kotzker Rebbe. After the Kotzker passed away, Rav Meshel adopted the Chidushei HaRim as his rebbe. On the 23rd of Adar of 1867, the Chidushei HaRim was niftar, and on the 13th of Nissan that same year, the Tzemach Tzedek was niftar. Considering himself orphaned, Rav Meshel moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim - he would never again sleep outside the walls of the city. His sefarim included Mishkenot Le’abir Yaakov, Ohr Leyesharim, and Ohr Zarua Latzadik.
HarRav Raphael Dovid Auerbach, Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Shomayim, zt"l, (1869 -1945). (some have the day as 5748 / 1987)?
HaRav Gedalya Moshe Goldman of Zvhil, zt"l, (5647 / 1887 - 5710 / 1949), son of Rav Shlomo (Reb Shlomke) of Zhvil. Born on 26 Iyar 5647/1887, he was named Gedalya after his maternal grandfather, Harav Gedalya of Linitz, and Moshe after his paternal grandfather, Harav Moshe of Zhvil, founder of the dynasty.
He married the daughter of Harav Dovid Shlomo (grandson of Harav Moshe Kobriner). He lived near his father-in-law for several years, devoting himself solely to learning and receiving semicha from many of the Gedolei Hador, among them Harav Chaim of Brisk.
Like his forefathers he loved all Yidden and excelled in his devotion to the public.
In 5669/1909, when he was just 20, a delegation of the community in Zhvil asked him to be their Rav.
When the Soviets rose to power, he was sentenced to eight years in Siberia for “leading a group to undermine the government and spying on behalf of the enemy.”
Later, upon his release, he was appointed Rav in a city near Moscow.
In 5697/1937, Reb Gedalya Moshe managed to flee to Eretz Yisrael, where he lived simply in Yerushalayim concealing his greatness.
After his father’s petira in 5705/1945, Reb Gedalya Moshe accepted the mantle of leadership as Zhviller Rebbe but served for only four and a half years. Crushed by the travails of his people, he was niftar on 24 Cheshvan, 5710/1949.
He was buried in a small cemetery in Sheikh Badar. The location of his kever was not known by many for a long time, but in recent years it has become a makom tefillah.
His son Harav Mordechai succeeded him as Rebbe.
HaRav Nachum Dov HaKohen Kreisman, zt"l, (1923-2004). Born in the town of Rakishok in Lithuania’s Ponovezh District from a famous line of rabbonim who served in the Rakishok rabbinate for nine consecutive generations, ending with HaRav Betzalel Yalovetzky. As a bochur he went to Yeshivas Telz, where he studied under Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch. He settled in Baltimore and enrolled at Ner Yisrael, where he studied under Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman. When Rav Aharon Kotler came to Baltimore, Rav Ruderman sent two bochurim to the train station to meet him: Nachum Dov and Shmuel Kamenetsky. Noting the high caliber of the two young men Rav Kotler took them back with him to New York in preparation for starting Yeshivat Lakewood. In 1954, Rav Kreisman moved to Eretz Yisrael and married, and in 1967, he was chosen to serve as a dayan by Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, Rav Betzalel Zolti, the Rav of Yerushalayim, and Rav Shlomo Shimshon Karelitz.
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25 Cheshvan 3413 - 349 B.C.E.:
This date is a Yom Tov cited in Megillat Taanit. A wall was erected around the area of Yam Boste. When Jews returned from Golut Bavel, the Cuthim would not let them settle in Shomron until they recaptured the area by force. This settlement ultimately led to many other cities and towns being reoccupied by Jews, creating a strong Jewish presence in the area. This group of towns was called "Arei Nevrachta," derived from the word brachah - blessing.
25 Cheshvan - 109 B.C.E.:
The Chasmonaim / Hasmoneans (led by Yochanan Hyrcanus, (a nephew of Judah the Maccabee), defeated the Samaritans in Shomron and destroyed their temple on Har / Mt. Gerizim. They conquered Samaria, the capital city of the Samarian sect. This conquest was significant because it ended some 800 years of Samarian influence in Israel. The Samarians were a schismatic movement, comprised largely of non-Jews who practiced some Jewish traditions. The conquest may have further polarized the Jews into two distinct parties: 1) the Perushim / Pharisees ("separated ones") because they sought to retain the separation of Jewish culture from the Greek influences of Hellenization, and 2) the Tzedukim / Sadducees, Jews who embraced Greek culture.
25 Cheshvan 5168 - 1407:
Mobs attack the Jewish community of Cracow.
25 Cheshvan 5701 - November 26, 1940:
The half-million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced to live within a walled ghetto.
25 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Avraham Rogoler, zt"l, brother of the Vilna Gaon, author of Maalot Hatorah (1807) (Others 5549 / 1788).(Others April 15, 1804).
HaRav Yissachar Dov Groidtbart, zt”l, (5564 / 1803).
HaRav Yitzchak Yoel of Linitz, zt”l, (5588 / 1827).
HaRav Naftali Weissblum of Lizhensk, zt”l, (5525 / 1765 - 5599 / 1838). Son of Harav Elazar of Lizhensk, oldest son of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk.
Reb Naftali was zocheh to know his famous grandfather, the Rebbe Reb Elimelech. The Rebbe Reb Elimelech was niftar on 21 Adar 5546/1786, when Reb Naftali was 21. His son Reb Elazar, father of Reb Naftali, succeeded him as Rebbe in Lizhensk. Although most of his father’s Chassidim flocked to other talmidim of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech, Reb Elazar held court in Lizhensk.
After the petirah of Reb Elazar on 25 Tammuz 5606/1806, many Chassidim wanted Reb Naftali to be their Rebbe. Reb Naftali refused to accept this position. Only once a year was Reb Naftali willing to serve as Rebbe; at that time he would perform many mofsim.
Despite being a scion of such an illustrious family, Reb Naftali conducted himself with humility. He journeyed to courts of other famous Rebbes of his era, though he himself could have been a Rebbe. Reb Naftali was especially close with the Rebbe Reb Menachem Mendel of Kossov, the founder of the Kossov-Vizhnitz dynasty and author of Ahavat Shalom.
Reb Naftali was niftar on 25 Cheshvan 5599/1838, at the age of 73. He was survived by two sons, Harav Yaakov Yitzchak of Ziditchov and Harav Meshulam Zusha of Nadvorna. Like his father, Reb Meshulam Zusha did not conduct himself as a Rebbe.
HaRav Mordechai (ben Yissacher Dov) Rokeach, zt"l, Rav of Bilgoria (Bilgoraya) (5662 / 1902 - 5710 / 1949). Brother of Harav Aharon of Belz, the fourth Belzer Rebbe.
Harav Mordechai was born to Harav Yissochor Dov of Belz, the son of the Rebbe Harav Yehoshua of Belz, zy”a, in 5662/1902.
Rav Mordechai was one of the greatest personalities of Torah Jewry before WWII. He was a gaon and Chassid and one of the greatest Rabbanim of prewar Poland.
Rav Mordechai grew up under his father’s supervision, in the exalted atmosphere of Belz.
Rav Mordechai married the daughter of Harav Moshe Aharon of Kobrin, zy”a. After his chasunah, Rav Mordechai’s task was to repeat his father’s divrei Torah to the Chassidim. His father also appointed him to be in charge of the town’s kashrut, mikvaot,eruvin and shechitah.
After his father’s petirah in 5687/1927, he served as Rav in the town of Bilgoray, near Lublin. (His father gave him the haskamah for the rabbanut but was niftar before he actually became Rav.) As Rav, he founded talmudei Torah, and put in place many takanot for the kehillah.
At one point, he was offered the rabbanut in Lvov, but his brother would not agree since their father, Rav Yissochor Dov, had not given his haskamah to this rabbanut.
Throughout, he stood at the side of his brother, Rav Aharon of Belz, zy”a, who had succeeded their father in leading the Belzer dynasty.
During WWII, Rav Mordechai’s suffering was immeasurable. He lost his entire family, and wandered from place to place in an effort to hide from the Nazis’ wrath. He hid in the ghettoes of Vizhnitsa, Cracow and Bochnia.
By 5703/1943, the Holocaust had not yet reached Hungary, and Rav Aharon’s followers devised a daring plan to smuggle him from Galicia to Hungary. Miraculously they succeeded in reaching Budapest. The two reached Eretz Yisrael in Shvat 5704 / 1944.
Once in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Aharon and his brother Rav Mordechai undertook the tremendous task of rebuilding the ranks of Belzer Chassidut, which had been decimated by the Holocaust. Rav Mordechai, a klal person and a natural speaker, was his brother’s spokesperson.
He was concerned that the pure Torah chinuch of pre-war Jewry should continue, and in his merit, many youth who had gone astray returned to their roots.
His second wife was the daughter of Rav Tzvi Glick of Satmar, and they had one son, the current Belzer Rebbe, shlita.
In 5709/1949, Rav Mordechai traveled to Europe on a mission of chizuk to the Chassidim in Europe, but before Rosh Hashanah his father appeared to him in his dream and told him to return to Eretz Yisrael at once. Indeed, upon his return he fell ill.
He was niftar on 25 Cheshvan 5710/1949, and is buried in Teveria next to the talmidei ha’Baal Shem Tov.
HaRav Elya Yurkanski, zt"l, (1908 - 5766 / 2005). Born in Minsk, he and two brothers were smuggled over the border to Poland, on a recommendation by the Chafetz Chaim; Reb Elya was not yet a Bar Mitzvah, and he would never again see his parents. He spent almost 10 years in Baranovich with Rav Elchonon Wasserman before leaving for Mir in 1929. He traveled with the yeshiva to Shanghai and eventually joined the yeshiva in New York, where he remained his entire life. He was a Rosh Yeshiva with Mir for over 55 years. (Others 26 Cheshvan)
26 Cheshvan - 1478:
At the behest of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella, Pope Sixtus IV issued a Bill empowering the monarchs to establish an inquisitional tribunal to investigate charges of heresy. The Spanish inquisition - which spread to all Spanish and later Portuguese (1536) colonies and possessions - was only disbanded on July 15, 1834.
26 Cheshvan - 1497:
King Manuel of Portugal decrees this as the final deadline by which time members of the Portuguese Jewish community must leave the kingdom. Those staying behind were forcibly baptized.
26 Cheshvan 5621 - November 11, 1860:
First Jewish wedding in Argentina. (Spain had barred Jews from Argentina. 7 years after the Spanish regime
was overthrown, all restrictions were removed.)
26 Cheshvan 5680 - November 19, 1919:
The US Senate rejected to Treaty of Versailles with a vote of 55-39, short of the required two-thirds majority.
26 Cheshvan 5685 - November 23, 1924:
Herztliya was founded.
26 Cheshvan 5697 - Nov. 11, 1936:
The Peel Commission investigates the Arab riots, eventually concluding that all Arab claims are withough merit. Nontheless, the Commission encouraged partition into separate Arab and Jewish states in an (unsuccessful) effort to appease Arab objections to a Jewish state.
26 Cheshvan 5699 - Nov. 20, 1938:
First anti-Semitic attack over American radio by Father Caughlin. Coughlin was a Roman Catholic priest from Michigan, and one of history's first evangelists to preach via the mass media. At its peak in the early 1930s, his radio show had a listening audience estimated at one-third of the nation. Yet Coughlin's broadcasts became increasingly anti-Semitic, expressing sympathy for Hitler and promoting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was only a few weeks after Kristallnacht, when synagogues across Germany were burned, that Coughlin caused a scandal by broadcasting a diatribe in which he blamed the Jewish victims.
26 Cheshvan 5701 - Nov. 27, 1940:
The Nazis murder 12,000 Jews of Minsk, Hy"d.
26 Cheshvan 5703 - November 6, 1942:
After deporting the last of the Jews from Chelm, Poland (southeast of Lublin), the city was declared "free of Jews" by the Nazis.
26 Cheshvan 5726 - November 21, 1965:
The port of Ashdod opens for business.
26 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shlomo Charif, Rav of Lvov, zt"l, (5398 / 1637).
HaRav Shlomo Segal, zt"l, Av Beit Din Polna’ah and Lvov, he authored MiBeit Levi (1638).
HaRav Raphael Hakohen of Hamburg, zt"l, (5483 / 1723 - 5564 / 1803). Born in Liphland to Rav Yekusiel Ziskind, the Rav of the town, he was an only child.
When he was just 10 years old he was stricken with a deathly illness and the entire city gathered to daven for his refuah sheleimah. He recovered but for the next two years, fearing a relapse, his parents kept him at home. His father was his personal rebbi and also hired a private melamed who came to their house to teach young Raphael. The boy grew steadily in Torah.
Reb Raphael was taken to learn with the Shaagat Aryeh, a relative of theirs, in Minsk, at the age of 12. At the age of 19, Rav Raphael replaced his rebbi, the Shaagat Aryeh as Rosh Yeshiva in Minsk. Four years later, he was chosen as Rav of Rakow, and later of Smilowitz.
It is told that during his hachtarah, a woman burst through the crowd towards the bimah. “I am a divorcée, and I have a din Torah with the Rosh Hakahal!” she cried out.
Immediately, Reb Raphael sent his attendant to call over the Rosh Hakahal. The Rosh Hakahal refused to come. Reb Raphael sent another message: If the Rosh Hakahal wouldn’t come at once, he would put him in cherem! At that, the community leaders came up to Reb Raphael to say that they were proud to have him as their undisputed Rav. The “case” was set up to see how, being so young, he would cope with pressure from the Rosh Hakahal, and he passed the test with flying colors.
At one point his rebbi, the Shaagat Aryeh, settled in Smilowitz, the city where Reb Raphael was Rav. It was amazing to see his humility before his own talmid, as he refused to pasken or to judge any din Torah unless RebRaphael allowed it. But Reb Raphael could not tolerate such a situation, so he moved to Douckar, an hour away from Smilowitz.
In 5523 / 1763, he became Rav in Pinsk. There he wrote Torat Yekusiel on Yoreh Deah, with an appendix of halachot pertaining to agunot.
Leter he became Rav in Posen. On his way to the new post, Reb Raphael fell gravely ill. On Erev Yom Kippur the situation deteriorated further, and the doctors forbade Reb Raphael to fast. On Yom Kippur night he asked the Rabbanim to look into the shiur of water allowed. In the meantime he fell asleep and slept the entire Yom Tov. When he woke up again he was well.
Reb Raphael ruled in Posen with an iron hand, and formulated many takanot for the improvement of the city.
In 5536 / 1776, Reb Raphael was chosen to be Rav of the famous of the three kehillot of Atuna, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck (AH”U). He fought tenaciously against the Haskalah movement which had begun rearing its ugly head. He put in cherem both Moses Mendelssohn and those who used his translation on the Chumash. Reb Raphael cited the passuk in parashat Emor, “Mashchasam bahem mum bam — For their corruption is in them, a blemish is in them” (Vayikra 22:25), saying the roshei teivot are the same as those of Moshe Ben Menachem Berlin.
The maskilim were very upset with the new Rav and his acerbic comments about their leader. They set out to fight Reb Raphael with the publication of Mitzpeh Yekusiel, a so-called response to his Torat Yekusiel. Reb Raphael was not deterred, and did not even issue a reply.
In 5559 / 1799, Reb Raphael gave his last drashah in Altona, explaining that in his capacity as Rav he was sometimes forced to speak lashon hara and this he could not tolerate. After he resigned his post the Napoleonic Wars broke out, forcing Reb Raphael to settle in Hamburg. He said of that war that it may be the war of Gog and Magog, and Moshiach may be coming, with the Beit Hamikdash about to be rebuilt. Since he was a kohen he dedicated himself to learning the halachot pertaining to kohanim.
He also authored Sheilot Hakohanim Torah on the avodah of the kohanim, Sh’Ut Veshav Hakohen, Mapei Lashon on the issur of lashon harah, and Daat Kedoshim, drashot in halachah and aggadah.
Harav Aryeh Mordechai Halberstam of Shinev, zt”l, (5691 / 1930).
Harav Aryeh Mordechai was the son of Harav Moshe of Shinev, son of Harav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinev (son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz).
Reb Aryeh Mordechai married the daughter of Harav Yisrael Yaakov Teitelbaum of Volove, a descendant of the Yismach Moshe of Ujhel.
After his father was niftar on 12 Cheshvan 5679 / 1918, Reb Aryeh Mordechai succeeded him as Rebbe in Shinev. Many thousands of Chassidim flocked to his court. In 5682 / 1922 he moved to Cracow.
Reb Aryeh Mordechai was renowned for his tzidkut, his devotion to avodat Hashem, and his vast humility.
On a visit to Sanz, Reb Aryeh Mordechai was suddenly niftar. This was on 26 Cheshvan 5691 / 1930. He was buried in the ohel in Sanz near his illustrious father.
His sons were Harav Yekusiel Yehudah, who served as Rebbe of Shinev in Sanz; Harav Moshe, who replaced his father in Shinev; and Harav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinev.
His sons-in-law were Harav Yitzchak Moskowitz of Shotz and Harav Yaakov Ber Elazar Horowitz of Melitz.
HaRav Simcha Soloveitchik of Mohilev, zt"l, son of the Bait Halevi (5702 / 1941)
HaRav Mordechai Zimmerman, zt"l, renown mohel (1913-2005). Born in New York to Rav Yosef Yehoshua and Shaina Rochel Zimmerman, he attended Torah Vodaat, which his father help found. He and his two brothers were sent to Mir and Grodna in Europe. While in Europe, he met with the Chafetz Chaim. He received his ktav semicha from Rav Shimon Shkop. After his marriage, he settled in Dubuque, Iowa for 5 years, then settled in the Bronx. In the mid-1980s, he moved to Boro Park, where he became a prominent member of the Mirrer minyan. He is survived by two sons, a daughter, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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A Yom Tov is cited in Megillat Taanit due to the return of the use of Soless for Menachot. This was Rab' Yochanan Ben Zakkai's defeat of the Tzedoki tradition of bringing animals as a korban minchah.
27 Cheshvan 1657 - 2105 B.C.E.:
The earth finally became dry and
inhabitable after the 365 days of the Mabul. Noach and his family left the Tayva / Ark and set foot
on dry ground.(Bereishit / Genesis 8:14). On this day, Hashem commanded them to repopulate, settle and cultivate the earth.
27 Cheshvan 5616 - November 8, 1855:
The U.S. agrees not to protest against Swiss discrimination against American Jews, 1855.
27 Cheshvan 5717 - November 1, 1956:
During the Sinai Campaign, Rafa and Mitla Pass fall into Israeli
27 Cheshvan 5765 - November 11, 2004:
Yasser Arafat, ym”s, dies in Paris.
27 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yaakov Chaviv, zt"l, mechaber of Ein Yaakov (5270 / 1509).
HaRav David, zt"l, Rav of Lida, Magentza and
Amsterdam, mechaber of Ir Dovid, Ir Miklat and Sharvit Hazahav, (5457 / 1696).
HaRav Refael Ashkenazi of lzmir, zt"l, mechaber of Mareh Einayim (5586 / 1825).
Harav Refael was the son of Rav Yehudah, who passed away when his son was only seven years old. When Rav Refael grew up, he arranged for the publication of his father’s sefer, Machaneh Yehudah.
Rav Refael was the Chief Rabbi of Izmir, Turkey, and was known for settling disputes in the city, making peace reign in the local kehillah.
He also served as Dayan, and headed a yeshivah.
A baal yissurim, he suffered many illnesses in his lifetime.
Rav Refael was the author of many sefarim. All his sefarim begin with the name Mar’eh, an abbreviation of Moreinu Refael Ashkenazi. They include Mar’eh Einayim, a compilation of mar’ei mekomot on the entire Shas; Mar’eh Hanogah, his chiddushim on the Rambam; Mar’eh Hagadol, his drashot; and Mar’eh Adam, his she’eilot u’teshuvot.
Rav Refael was niftar on 27 Cheshvan, 5586/1825, in Izmir.
HaRav Shmuel Hayashish, zt"l, Rav of London, (5603 / 1842).
HaRav Meir Binyamin Menachem Dunin, zt"'l,mechaber of Be'er Hasadeh (5609 / 1848).
HaRav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna, zt"l, (5677 / 1916).
Also known as the Medzibuzh-Warsaw Rebbe, Harav Moshe Mordechai was born in Medzibuzh in 5633 / 1873. His father was Harav Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel of Medzibuzh, zy”a, a great-grandson of the Apter Rav, zy”a. His mother was the daughter of Rav Sholom Yosef, the oldest son of Rav Yisrael, Rebbe of Ruzhin, zy”a.
According to his grandson, Harav Moshe Mordechai, the Kopyczynitzer Rebbe, zy”a, who was named after him, Harav Moshe Mordechai was born on the seventh day of Adar, the day of the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu. His brit was on Purim, and so he was given the name Moshe Mordechai. According to another tradition, he was named after Harav Moshe of Berditchev, the father-in-law of the Ruzhiner, and Harav Mordechai of Chernobyl.
When he was eight years old his father was niftar; he was raised by his stepfather, Harav Dovid Moshe, the first Rebbe of Chortkov, who was also his great-uncle. In 5650 / 1890 he married the daughter of Harav Yaakov Perlow, the first Novominsker Rebbe. For the next 10 years he lived at the home of his father-in-law in Novominsk, where he developed a close relationship with the many Jewish soldiers encamped nearby.
In 1902, upon the passing of his father-in-law, he founded his own court in the town of Pelzovizna, a suburb of Warsaw. Two years later, on the advice of his stepfather, the Chortkover Rebbe, he decided to move to Maronowka Street in Warsaw, where he was known as the Pelzovizna Rebbe.
Reb Yechiel Hoffer, whose father was the Rebbe’s gabbai, would later recall:
“The Rebbe would take the 18-groschen donations from the poor the way he took the golden imperials of the rich, but more delicately; he would unwrap the paper in which the few coins were gathered, and lay them in his pocket, so that the poor person would see that he was taking them, that he welcomed them… The Rebbe trembled uncontrollably when poor women burst into his house…. [beseeching him for a brachah..] He would fall in front of the aron kodesh, pull the parochet aside, open the doors, weeping and wailing, he would grab the Torah scrolls, begging mercy for a desperately ill family member who was on the verge of leaving this world. Discreetly he entered the living room, sat down on the couch under the large photo of the old Chortkover Rebbe hanging there and slowly recovered his composure.”
Hoffer related that when Rebbe had heard that the local druggist, who had left the proper way, ate non-kosher meat, he began to gasp and vomit at the notion that a fellow Jew had eaten treife meat.
Rav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna’s oldest daughter married Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Kopyczynitz.
Rav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna was niftar on 27 Cheshvan.
HaRav Dovld Friedman, Hy"'d, the Rebbe of Ployesht (5701 / 1940).
HaRav Shmuel Halevi Ashlag, zt”l, (5757 / 1996).
HaRav Yaakov Leiser, zt"'l, Pshevorsker Rebbe, also known as RebYankele of Antwerp, (5666 / 1906 - 5759 / 1998). (Others 1907-1999). Born on the sixth of Tevet 5666/1906 in the small village of Roig near Riminov in Galicia, to Reb Dovid and Pessel Tirza of Vashlisk in Galicia. His parents perished together with their daughters in a forest near Dukla during the Holocaust, Hy”d.
Reb Yankele studied with his father, and as a youngster knew hundreds of blatt Gemara by heart, a result of keeping learning sedarim that often lasted for nine consecutive hours.
After his bar mitzva he joined the yeshiva of Reb Tevele Zehman of Dukla, who later conferred semichah upon him. Among those who learned there were Reb Yekusiel Halberstam (the future Klausenberger Rebbe) and Reb Pinchos Hirshprung (the future Rav of Montreal).
From Dukla, Reb Yankele moved on to Yeshivat Zera Kodesh in Koloshitz.
Staying there from 1924 to 1939, Reb Yankele regarded the Koloshitzer Rav as his Rebbe and mentor and he became a follower of the Koloshitzer Rebbe, Rav Chuna Halberstam, a descendant of the Sanzer Rebbe, in 1926.
He was zocheh to print the Koloshitzer Rebbe’s teachings and divrei Torah in the two volumes of Divrei Chuna, and often mentioned his minhagim, mofsim and tzidkut. After the petirah of his Rebbe, he would journey to Reb Yissachar Dov of Belz and later to his son, Reb Aharon, as well as to the Satmar Rebbe.
His first position was as Rav of Yashlisk, at the age of 24 (5691 / 1931).
After his marriage to the daughter of the tzaddik Reb Moshe Yitzchak (Itzikel) Gevirtzman, the Rebbe of Pshevorsk in 5695 / 1935, he lived in the shadow of his shver and did not leave his side until Reb Itzikel’s petirah on Yom Kippur 5737 / 1976. When the Germans arrived in Pshevorsk, Reb Itzikel and Reb Yankele fled to Lemberg, which was under the control of Russia.
On the 23rd of Sivan 1940, the KGB swooped down on Lemberg and arrested all those who had refused Russian citizenship, among them Reb Itzikel and Reb Yankele. The Jews were put on trains to Siberia. The Germans entered Lemberg a short while later and brutally murdered almost the whole Jewish population. Those who had been exiled to Siberia were the lucky ones.
After the war’s end, Reb Yankele took up the position of Dayan in the town of Breslau, a position he kept for two years. From Breslau, Reb Yankele moved to Paris where his shver was residing and then finally they both moved to Antwerp where Reb Itzikel opened a beit medrash in 5717 / 1957.
With Reb Itzikel’s petirah on Yom Kippur 1976, Reb Yankele was chosen as his shver’s successor. In a short time, many chassidim and admirers flocked to Antwerp from all over the world. As is customary among the descendants of the Noam Elimelech, he was stringent about leading the melaveh malkah tisch; chassidim relate many mofsim which Reb Yankele performed in the merit of these seudot.
The melaveh malkahs, during which he related sippurei tzaddikim and divrei Torah, went on for several hours every Motzoei Shabbat. He was very careful to tell each story accurately, including its complete sources. Many of these accounts have been printed in the sefer Yud Gimel Orot.
Reb Yankele said of relating these stories: “I descended to the world to remind people that there was once a Sanzer Rebbe.”
Reb Yankele was renowned as a baal mofes, and many were saved through his blessings and tefillot. He was very strict about people wearing traditional Jewish garb, and often promised a yeshuah if the person involved would don a shtreimel.
His Chumash-Rashi shiurim, in which he would deliver beautiful divrei Torah on the weekly sidrah, were very popular, and many are available on tape.
His avodah she’balev was fiery and full of holy hislahavut. During his tefillot it was obvious that he was disconnected from the physical world.
Although he was a Rebbe of hundreds of Chassidim and was respected worldwide, he never deviated even slightly from his humble and simple ways. He would often sleep on a bench in the ezrat nashim, offering his own bed to wandering beggars. He slept in his sukkah with tens of others who did not have a sukkah of their own.
He respected the lowliest Jews, comforting them with warm words and helping with their needs.
His gemilut chassadim and tzedakah were legendary. He collected funds and supported the needy and downtrodden with incomparable humility.
Reb Yankele was careful to avoid disputes. Once he said to a chassid, “If you see an argument starting, hold tight to the corners of your coat and flee!”
Seven years before his petirah he fell ill; he was niftar on 27 Cheshvan 5759 / 1998. After a huge levayah in his beit medrash in Antwerp, he was buried next to his father-in-law, Reb Itzikel, in the beit hachaim in Holland (Belgium does not permit Jewish cemeteries). He was succeeded by his only son, Rav Leibish Leizer.
28 Cheshvan - 1095:
Pope Urban II instructed Christians to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims at the Council of Claremont. This summons eventually became the First Crusade.
28 Cheshvan - 1347:
King Charles IV issued protective laws for the Jews of Strasbourg. However, just two years later 1,000 Strasbourg Jews were burned and the remainder forcibly baptized in response to well-poisoning accusations, Hy"d.
28 Cheshvan - 1532:
Solomon Molcho, Marrano mekubal, burned at the stake, Hy"d.
28 Cheshvan - 1547:
Pogrom in Asolo, Italy, killing ten of the thirty Jews of the town, Hy"d.
28 Cheshvan - 1593:
Anti-Jewish riots erupted in Bucharest, Rumania
resulting in the loss of many Jewish lives, Hy"d.
28 Cheshvan 5710 - November 20, 1949:
The Jewish population of Israel reached
Over the years, waves of aliyah from Arab countries, Russia and Ethiopia
-- combined with higher-than-average birthrates -- has pushed the
Jewish population of Israel to 5 million. It is estimated that an
additional one million Israelis live outside the country.
28 Cheshvan 5717 - November 2, 1956:
Israel liberated Gaza City. Gaza was the home of Yitzchok Avinu (Isaac the Patriarch) for 22 years. Later, when the Shevatim / tribes were allotted parcels of land, Gaza was given to Shevet / tribe of Yehuda.
28 Cheshvan 5729 - November 19, 1968:
lsrael allows thousands of refugees who fled to Jordan in the Six Day War to return.
28 Cheshvan 5735 - November 13, 1974:
Yasser Arafat, ym"s, calls for the liquidation of Israel before the General Assembly.
28 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
Rabbeinu Yonah (ben Avraham) the chassid of Girondi (Gerona) France zt”l, (1200  - 5024 / 1263). (See 8 Cheshvan).
Rabbeinu Yonah was born in Girondi (Girona), Spain.
The Ramban's mother and Rabbeinu Yonah's father were siblings. Many years later, the Ramban's son, Rav Shlomo, married the daughter of Rabbeinu Yonah. Thus, the two great rishonim were mechutanim as well as first cousins.
He traveled to France to study under the great Rishonim, and became a talmid of Rav Shlomo ben Avraham Min Ha'Har and the brothers Rabbeinu Shmuel and Rabbeinu Moshe of Ivra.
Rabbeinu Yonah was an outspoken critic of the Rambam / Maimonides' writings, particularly his Sefer Hamada and Moreh Nevuchim / Guide for the Perplexed. When King Louis XIV of France, "Saint" Louis," burnt all the copies of Maimonides' books and copies of the Talmud in Paris in the Square of the Louvre, Rabbeinu Yonah, felt that these events were a sign that he and the other opponents of the Rambam were seriously wrong. He took this tragedy as a sign of heavenly rebuke against him; and as a way to repair the damage, he undertook to write his famous work “Shaarei Teshuvah,” (Gates of Repentance), in which he outlined the methods of doing Teshuvah, and he traveled from place to place preaching about the need to back away from matters which cause division among the Jewish People.
During a speech given in the kehillah of Porish, he promised to travel to the Rambam’s kever and beg his forgiveness. Unfortunately, during one of his stops — in the city of Tolitolia, where he was begged to remain and where he founded a yeshivah — he was niftar without fulfilling this promise.
Klal Yisrael mourned his petirah, and the Ramban composed a special kinah commemorating the event.
Rabbeinu Yonah wrote numerous other sefarim, however. the most famous is Shaarei Teshuvah. Harav Chaim of Volozhin is quoted as saying that, generally, not every mussar sefer is suitable for every person. For some, the Reishit Chochmah is most appropriate; for others it might be Shevet Mussar, Chovot Halevavot or Mesillat Yesharim. An exception is Shaarei Teshuvah, by Rabbeinu Yonah. This sefer, he said, is suitable for every Yid, in every era, until the coming of Moshiach.
In 5004/1244, after the petirah of Rabbeinu Meir ben Todrot Halevi, Rabbeinu Yonahtraveled to the city of Tolitolia, where he was a great marbitz Torah. Among his talmidim were the Rashba and the Ra’ah.
His yahrtzeit is generally accepted as being 28 Cheshvan. Others, however, cite his yahrtzeit as 1, 8, or 11 Cheshvan]
HaRav Tzvi Bochtinsch, zt"l, (5353 / 1592). Rav Tzvi Bochtinsch was the son of Harav Yaakov Yitzchak.
Rav Tzvi was a renowned talmid chacham, and was an expert in the intricate halachot of Shechita, bedikot, and nikkur. It was said that he was the biggest expert in his time on these halachot.
Rav Tzvi authored Shechitot U'bedikot
Maharatz, an impressive work that was very well received and accepted by all the major poskim. He is frequently quoted in these matters by the Mahari Weill, in his own work on these halachot .
Rav Tzvi served as the leading shochet in Cracow, in the times of the Rema, and he also had many talmidim who learned from his expertise. One of his talmidim, Rav Yaakov Shorzina from Kostelitz, attested that Rav Tzvi once had a halachic dispute with the Rema, and the Rema agreed to his ruling in the end, showing how highly his opinion was regarded by the leading poskim of his time.
Rav Tzvi was niftar on 28 Cheshvan, 5353/1592.
HaRav Zev Wolf, zt"l, Rav of Salik and author of Nachlat Binyamin, (5447 / 1686).
HaRav Eliezer Lieber Hagadol of Berditchev, zt"l, (1770)
HaRav Shalom Eisen, zt"l,.(1917-1988?), Moreh Tzedek in the Beit Din of the Eida Hachareidit in Yerushalayim for over 50 years, he was a talmid of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
29 Cheshvan 4402 - 641:
With the Arab conquest of Egypt, Jews were again permitted to live in Alexandria. (The Jewish community there was already
1000 years old by that time.)
29 Cheshvan 5578 - November 8, 1817:
Birth of Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv of Volozhin.
29 Cheshvan 5717 - November 3, 1956:
Israel captured Khan Yunis, concluding
the occupation of the Gaza Strip.
29 Cheshvan 5769 - November 27, 2008:
Mumbai Terror Attacks
The city of Mumbai, India, was hit with a series of coordinated terror attacks, starting on Wednesday evening, which left close to 200 dead and scores more injured.
One of the terrorists' chosen targets was the local Chabad House, known as the "Nariman House," operated by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Gavriel Noach (Gabi) and Rivkah (Rivki) Holtzberg.
In the subsequent standoff, which continued until Friday afternoon, Gabi and Rivki and several other Jews in the Chabad House – Rabbis Bentzion Chroman and Leibish Teitelbaum, Norma Schwartzblatt-Rabinowitz and Yocheved Orpaz – were killed in cold blood. Hy"d. May G-d avenge their murders.
[Gavriel ben Nachman, Rivka Bat Shimon, Aryeh Leibush ben Nachum, Ben Zion ben Chaim Zvi, Yocheved Bat Yaakov and Norma (Nechama) Bat Avrohom]
Miraculously, the Holtzbergs' two-year-old child, Moshe, was saved by his nanny.
The only terrorist captured alive was Mohammed Ajmal Amir, a Pakistani national.
29 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Chaim Hakohen Rappaport of Ostraha, zt'l, author of Mayim Chaim (5600 / 1840)
HaRav Shloime Tzvi Berliner, zt"l, Rav of London, (5522 / 1762 - 5603 / 1842).
Harav Tzvi. Hersh :Meshares of Rimanov, zt"l, (5607 / 1846)
HaRav Yitzchak Eizik Chaver, zt"l, (5613 / 1852).
Harav Yitzchak Eizik Chaver was born in 5549 / 1789; his father was Rav Yaakov. From his earliest youth, Reb Yitzchak Eizik had no other interest but Torah study.
When he was 14, Harav Menachem Mendel of Shklov began to teach him the Kabbalah secrets of his own teacher, the Vilna Gaon. Through Rav Menachem Mendel, Reb Yitzchak Eizik came into possession of rare manuscripts of the Vilna Gaon’s teachings. Leading mekubalim of the generation used to come to Rav Yitzchak Eizik to study those manuscripts.
Rav Menachem Mendel was very close to the Vilna Gaon; he published the Gaon’s commentary on Mishlei. He was called the Gaon’s “third mouth,” expounding and spreading his Torah-teachings. His younger contemporary, Harav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector, Rav of Kovno, called him the greatest Kabbalist of his time. Many stories are told of the mofsim he performed using Kabbalah.
Aside from his knowledge of Kabbalah, Reb Yitzchak Eizik was renowned as a genius in Torat hanigleh as well, with fluency in the entire Shas and Poskim.
He held a number of Rabbinic posts, most prominently in Tiktin and Suvalk. In every community he worked hard to inspire the townsfolk and raise their spiritual level.
Since he was known as a poel yeshuot, many came to ask for his brachot and sage advice.
Even with his Rabbinic responsibilities, Reb Yitzchak Eizik’s own learning did not suffer; at the age of 60 he finished Shas for the 60th time.
Reb Yitzchak Eizik published numerous sefarim, including She’eilot U’Teshuvot Binyan Olam and Si'ach Yitzchak. In his later years, Reb Yitzchak Eizik was appointed Rav in Suvalk, where he was niftar on 29 Cheshvan 5613 / 1852, at the age of 64. He was buried in Suvalk.
One of his talmidim, Rav Yitzchak Kahane, wrote Toldot Yitzchak.
Harav Shimon Yehudah Fonfeder zt"l, Rav of Tokai, author of Maayenei Mayim (5633 / 1872).
R' Yisrael Bak (1797-1874), z"l, a pioneer of book printing in modern Israel. In the 16th century, six books had been printed in the northern town of Tzefat. It would be 245 years until another Hebrew book was published in the Holy Land, when Bak, a Ruzhiner Chassid, whose name is an acronym for "Bnei Kodesh" (children of holiness), moved from the Ukraine to Israel in 1831. He established a Hebrew press in Tzefat and published a Siddur and Vayikra (Leviticus) with commentaries. An earthquake destroyed his print shop in 1837, and a Druze revolt the following year destroyed his press once again. Bak then moved to Yerushalayim in 1841 where he established the first Hebrew press ever in the holy city. For more info, click here. and here.
HaRav Efraim Dov Ber Halevi Greenberger, zt"l, Rav in the Odesser Congregation for 30 years (1933).
HaRav Avraham Abish Kanner, zt"l, the Tchechover Rebbe of Haifa (5744 / 1983).
Harav Avraham Abish was the son of Harav Yaakov Shimshon, who was the son-in-law of Harav Moshe Halberstam of Shinev, the son of Harav Yechezkel Shraga, the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinev. He served as Rav in Tchechov after his uncle, Harav Yeshayah of Tchechov, moved to Cracow.
Reb Avraham Abish married the daughter of Harav Mordechai Yosef Moishe Moskowitz of Sulitza, a descendant of the Zlotchov dynasty.
In 5684/1924, Reb Avraham Abish was appointed Rebbe in Botashan, and later in Yassi. His father was niftar in 5701/1941 in Klausenburg.
In 5708/1948, after being forced to spend time on Cyprus, Reb Avraham Abish arrived in Eretz Yisrael and settled in Haifa, where he opened a beit medrash. He was close with many of the Rebbes of the time.
He was niftar on 29 Cheshvan 5744/1983 and buried in Teveria.
His divrei Torah were published in Ohel Kedoshim.
Rabbi Gavriel Noach (Gabi) and his 6-month-pregnant wife Rivkah (Rivki) Holtzberg, Rabbis Bentzion Chroman and Leibish Teitelbaum, Norma Schwartzblatt-Rabinowitz and Yocheved Orpaz – killed in cold blood in the Mumbai Terror Attacks. Hy"d, May G-d avenge their murders. (5769 / 2008). See above.
30 Cheshvan 5544 - Novenber 25, 1783:
American forces recaptured New York City from the British. This cleared the way for the return of Jews who had been forced to flee when the British captured New York City in 1776. Jewish leaders were in danger due to their public support of the American Revolution.
Perhaps the best-known was Haym Salomon, an immigrant from Poland, who worked as an undercover agent for George Washington. Salomon was arrested in 1778, accused of plotting to destroy British property in New York. Salomon was condemned to death for sabotage, but bribed his guard while awaiting execution, and escaped to Philadelphia. Salomon was an astute merchant and banker, and succeeded in accumulating a huge fortune which he used to finance the Revolution and later to save the new nation from financial collapse. When Salomon died at age 45 of tuberculosis, he was bankrupt and the U.S. government owed him $700,000 in unpaid loans. In 1975, the U.S. issued a postage stamp in his honor.
30 Cheshvan 5700 - November 12, 1939:
The chief of police of the Wartha district, Wihelm Koppe, ordered that Poznan (western Poland) become "free of Jews." The Jewish community in Poznan was over 700 years old at that time.
30 Cheshvan 5700 - November 12, 1939:
The Jews of Lodz, Poland, were ordered by the Nazis to wear yellow armbands on their sleeves.
30 Cheshvan Yahrtzeits
In most years Cheshvan has only 29 days. When this occurs the Yahrtzeits from the 30th are celebrated on the 29th.
HaRav Yissachar Dov Bernstein, zt”l, (5533/1773), Rav of Hanover, Germany.
HaRav Tzvi Hersh Hakohen of Rimanov, zt"l, (5538 / 1778 - 5607 / 1846).
Harav Tzvi Hersh was born in 5538 / 1778; his father was Reb Yehudah Leib Hakohen. Orphaned at the age of 10, he went to live with his uncle, who had him learn the trade of tailoring.
At about 15, the tzaddik Reb Avraham Moshe of Pshevorsk passed through the village where the youngster lived. The lad became attached to Reb Avraham Moshe and he decided to leave his trade and devote himself entirely to avodat Hashem.
After his family members rebuked him for leaving work, he decided to flee to the beit medrash of Reb Menachem Mendel Thurm of Rimanov, who at the time resided in Pristik. As soon as he arrived, he sat down to learn and for two years learned continuously while striving to attain ever-greater heights in avodat Hashem.
In time, he became the personal aide of Reb Menachem Mendel, the Rimanover Rebbe. In this way he fulfilled his desire to be close to him at all times, thus became know as Rav Tzvi Hersh Mesharet.
Harav Tzvi Hersh suffered many afflictions, and his son-in-law once asked him why. The tzaddik replied that just as Avraham Avinu did not ask questions of Hashem, so, too, did he refrain from asking questions!
When the Yeshuot Yaakov of Kutna heard this, he commented that he, too, had lost his son and he could not be consoled until he heard this vort from Reb Tzvi Hersh.
When Reb Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz came to receive a brachah from his Rebbe before his petirah, Reb Mendel of Rimanov blessed him with his left hand. “Why with the left hand?” Reb Naftali inquired. “The right hand is saved for Reb Tzvi Hersh. The same way the Arizal descended to the world only for his talmid Rav Chaim Vital, so, too, did I descend to the world only for my talmid, Reb Tzvi Hersh.”
With these words Reb Mendel made it clear that he wanted his talmid Reb Tzvi Hersh to be his successor. Despite that, while Reb Naftali of Ropshitz was alive, Reb Tzvi Hersh did not want to lead.
In 5587/1827, after the petira of Rav Naftali of Ropshitz (another of the closest chassidim of Rav Menachem Mendel), Rav Tzvi Hersh returned to Rimanov and founded his court, which drew multitudes of Chassidim.
During Sukkot of 5607 / 1846, Reb Tzvi Hersh hinted numerous times that the time of his petirah was drawing near. After Sukkot he set out on a journey to pay off all debts he had incurred while giving tzedakah. On the night of 30 Cheshvan he davened Maariv, after which he took leave of his Rebbetzin. After chatzot he recited birkat Shehakol, and with that, his lofty neshamah departed this world.
His divrei Torah were compiled and published by his son, Rav Yosef, under the name Be’eirot Hamayim. It is comprised of several sefarim, all beginning with the word Be’er. For example, the sefer Be’er Lechai Roi, contains his drushim on Chumash and the Yomim Tovim. Other teachings of his can be found in the sefer Mevasser Tov.
His yahrtzeit falls on the thirtieth of Cheshvan, but since Cheshvan more often has only 29 days, it is generally commemorated on the 29th.
HaRav Yaakov Betzalel Zolty, zt"l, (1920 - 1982), Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Yerushalayim, author of Mishnat Yaavetz.
HaRav Asher (Oscar) Fasman, zt"l, (1908-2003). Born in Chicago, he served as Rav in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ottowa, Canada, before returning to Chicago. He developed Hebrew Theological College from an afternoon only school to a full-time yeshiva, bringing gedolei Torah as Roshei Yeshiva. He was president of the yeshiva from 1946 to 1964, and also served as president of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and rav of Congregation Yehuda Moshe in Lincolnwood, Illinois. His son, Rav Chaim Fasman, is Rosh Kollel in Los Angeles.
HaRav Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, zt"l, (1914- 2006). He was born in Yerushalayim to Rav Yaakov Gedalyahu who came to Eretz Yisrael from Kovno in the early 1900s. He learned in the Eitz Chaim Yeshiva and developed a very warm bond with Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
Rav Waldenberg wrote his first sefer, Dvar Eliezer, when he was only 19. Upon the passing of his mother and later his father both in the 1960s, he published two separate sefarim on the halachot of mourning.
Rav Waldenberg got involved with medical ethics during the period that he served as rabbi of a shul adjacent to the old location of Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital in downtown Yerushalayim. Among those who attended was Professor Avraham Steinberg, a pediatric neurologist and head of the Medical Ethics Center at Sha’arei Tzedek, as well as the editor of the Talmudic Encyclopedia. “Doctors who prayed at the synagogue, myself included, started asking him questions. Eventually, he began teaching a weekly medical ethics class for doctors and nurses.”
His teshuvot were compiled in his magnum opus, a 21-volume set of responsa entitled Tzitz Eliezer. The first volume of Tzitz Eliezer was published in 1945, when he was not yet 30. In addition, he authored a book on the laws of sea travel on Shabbat called Shvisa b’Yam, a book on mourning laws called Ein Ya’acov and a book on legal issues in the modern state called Hilchot Medina.
He was also a member on the Beit Din Hagadol where he sat together for many years with Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
Rav and Rebbetzin Waldenberg merited to have one child, a son, Rav Simcha Bunim Waldenberg (1937-2005). Rav Simcha Bunim became a dayan in the Eidah Hachareidit and served as its appointed Rov of the neighborhood of Ezrat Torah. He himself was known as a posek muvhak. Tragically, Rav Simcha Bunim passed away in 2005.
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