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Kislev (Nov. - Dec.)


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1 Kislev
1 Kislev - Rosh Chodesh Kislev

The month of Kislev marks the onset of the winter season in the Holy Land and is the third month of the "Season of the Rains." (Talmud)

1 Kislev - 1512 B.C.E.:

Egyptian plague of SH'CHIN (boils).

1 Kislev - 1394:

Jews of Paris expelled.

1 Kislev 5518 - November 13, 1757:

Around 1,000 volumes of the Talmud were burned in Kamenetz-Podolsk, Russia. The instigators were followers of Jacob Frank, a Jewish merchant who claimed to be the messiah and successor of the false messiah, Shabbatai Tzvi. Frank's followers broke away from Judaism and created a new religion known as the Frankists, a quasi-Jewish, quasi-Christian religion. The local bishop, Nicholas Dembowski, held a debate between the rabbis and the Frankists; when the bishop decided that the rabbis lost the debate, he ordered them to pay a fine and to burn all copies of the Talmud in the district.

1 Kislev 5548 - November 12, 1787:

Emperor Joseph II of Austria-Hungaria forces Jews to adopt Christian family names.

1 Kislev 5600 - November 8, 1839:

Sultan Abd al-Majid of Turkey issues his declaration of rights. The new reforms guaranteed equality of rights, security and military service for all non- Muslim citizens. However, its implementation was sparse.

1 Kislev 5678 - November 16, 1917:

The British occupied Tel Aviv.

1 Kislev 5769 - November 28, 2008:

Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, Hy"d, were among 200 people killed when terrorists attacked Mumbai, India. The Holtzbergs selflessly ran the Chabad house, a beacon of hope and kindness in a city filled with poverty and despair. See 29 Cheshvan.

1 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Efraim Alankava, zt”l, Rav of Telmisan, Algeria, (on the border with Morocco) author of Shaar Kevod Hashem (5202 / 1441). (Others 21 Shvat)

HaRav Trlvash of Mantova, Italy, zt”l (5312 / 1551).

HaRav Shalom Shachna,.Rav of Lublin,.zt:"l, (1490 - 5319 / 1558), teacher and father-in-law of the Rema. His grandfather and namesake was Rav of Neustadt and the Gadol Hador in Austria, who along with the Maharil founded the minhagei Ashkenaz that are still prevalent until today. He established the Lublin Yeshiva in 1515 and was succeeded by Rav Shlomo Luria, the Maharshal.

HaRav Yosef Shmuel of Cracow, zt”l, the Mesoret HaShas (5464 / 1703).
Harav Shmuel (the name Yosef was added later) was born in Kremnitz. His father, Harav Tzvi Hirsch, was his main Torah teacher.
Rav Shmuel settled in Cracow after marrying the daughter of Reb Chaim Yeshayah the blacksmith, who generously supported his son-in-law.
The Gedolim in Cracow at that time, among them the Maginei Shlomo and the Tosfot Yom Tov, realized the greatness of Reb Shmuel and appointed him to the city’s beit din.
When Harav Yeshayah Horowitz, grandson of the Shelah Hakadosh, was appointed Rav in Posen, the kehillah of Frankfurt sent a delegation to Cracow to ask Reb Shmuel to be their new Rav. He refused, and the delegation left Cracow heavyhearted. 
Soon after they left the city, Reb Shmuel became deathly ill. Doctors could find neither cause nor cure for his disease. Many tefillot were said on his behalf, and the name Yosef was added to his name. At that time, Reb Shmuel promised that if he overcame the illness, he would accept the position of Rav in Frankfurt, since he understood his refusal to be the reason for his illness.
As soon as he was healthy enough, he moved to Frankfurt and assumed the Rabbanut. This was in Tammuz 5450 / 1690.
In Frankfurt, Reb Shmuel established a yeshiva and taught hundreds of talmidim, many of whom became Gedolei Yisrael. Reb Shmuel elevated the prestige of the Torah and those who toiled over it.
His soft and gracious ways were his trademark, and his care for orphans and poor families was legendary.
Reb Shmuel was niftar on 1 Kislev, 5464/1703, after serving as Rav in Frankfurt for 14 years (and in Cracow for the previous 26 years).
Reb Shmuel was survived by one son, Harav Aryeh Leib, Rav in Mattersdorf and two sons-in-law: Harav Aharon and Harav Pinchas Auerbach, the mechaber of Halachah Berurah on Orach Chaim.
The Chidah, in his biography of Rav Yosef Shmuel, wrote that he learned all of Shas 42 times, fulfilling the commandment “Vedibarto ‘bom’,” (the numerical value of ‘bom’ being 42). He also added that for 25 years he learned standing on his feet and all his learning was "Torah lishmah."
HaRav Moshe Chafetz, zt"l, author of Melechet Shabbat and Melechet Machshevet, (5472 / 1711).

HaRav Avraham Eiger of Posen, zt”l, (5614 / 1853).

HaRav Chaim. Nosson Dembitzer, :zt”l, (1820 - 5653 / 1892). Born in Crakow, he did historical research and critical work in the field of Talmudic and rabbinic literature, and wrote about its leading personalities. His sefer, KlilatYofi, included biographies of rabbis of Lvov, Crakow, and other cities in Poland and Lithuania. His student, Feivel HirschWettstein, wrote his biography, Toldot Maharchan.

HaRav Moshe Hager of Radovitz,.zt"l, author of Vayikach Moshe (5665 / 1904).

HaRav Yitzchak Leveton (Levitan), zt"l, Chacham in Aram Tzova (Aleppo), (5672 / 1911).

HaRav Naftali Hertz (Hertzel) Krezmer, zt"l, (1912). He was born in Bialystok to Rav Avraham, a textile merchant, and a grandson of Rav Osher (ben Tzvi) Hakohen, who wrote the Birchat Rosh on Brachot and Nazir. He got married in Ponevezh and remained there, serving as the Rov of Yanova and other places. He wrote Noam Hamitzvot.

HaRav Avraham Eiger of Posen, zt"l, (1846 - 1914), son of Rav Yehuda Leib Eiger, the first Lubliner Rebbe, grandson of Rav Shlomo Eiger and great-grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger. He succeeded his father as leader of his chasidim from 1882 to 1914. He was the author of a work on Chassidut, Shevet miYehuda. He was also a member of the Vaad Haruchani of the Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin.

HaRav Yisrael Uugar of Zavna,.zt” l (5697 / 1936).

HaRav Tzadok Shaingarten, zt"l, (1912-2005), Rav of Ohr Torah in Boro Park. Born in Warsaw to staunch Gerrer Chasidim, he learned for two zmanim at Baranovitch before attending Kletzk under Rav Aharon Kotler. Later, her learned at Mir under Rav Yerucham Levovitz from 1932 to 1938, then returned to Warsaw. When the Nazis conquered Poland, he fled to Vilna. He traveled with the Mir Yeshiva to Japan and Shanghai. After the war, he moved to New York, and married Rebbetzin Ruth.

Reb Yaakov Kasirer, z"l, founder and long-time president of Bait Yaakov of Los Angeles (2005). Born in Bistra, Hungary, he lost his parents and many siblings during World War II. In 1946, he married Reizi, a childhood friend of the family, and moved to Bregenz, Austria, on the Swiss border.Two of their three children, Robert and Gabi, were born there. In 1954, they moved to Los Angeles, where their youngest child, Hindy, was born. They were involved in the creation of yeshiva Rav Isacsohn (Torat Emet), then founded Bait Yaakov in 1968, in order to assure that their daughters received a local Torah education. Even after both daughters graduated, however, Mr and Mrs Kasirer assured the ongoing growth and success of Bait Yaakov by supporting the institution over the next 37 years.



















2 Kislev
2 Kislev

2 Kislev 5488 - November 15, 1727:

Jews of New York were allowed to take an official oath (swear) without reference to Christianity.

2 Kislev 5605 - November 17, 1844:

Czar Nicholas I of Russia issued a decree calling for the establishment of a school for Jewish students and a seminary to train rabbis and teachers as part of his program to assimilate the Jews. The students and rabbis of these schools became the heads of the Haskalah movement.

2 Kislev 5703 - November 11, 1942:

5,000 Jews were murdered in the ghetto of Slutsk, Byelorussia, Hy"d.The Jewish community was established there in the 13th century.

2 Kislev 5704 - November 29, 1943:

Hitler's soldiers were chased out of Casablanca, prompting the celebration of "Purim of Casablanca."

2 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Shmaryahu Varchovker, zt”l, (5536 / 1775), talmid of the Baal Shem Tov.

HaRav Meshulam Feish Halevi Heller of Zhabrizh, the Yosher Divrei Emet, zt”l, (5555 / 1794).
Harav Meshulam Feivish Heller was the son of Harav Aharon Moshe of Sniatin, zt”l, a fifth-generation ben achar ben of the Tosfot Yom Tov.
He learned Torah and chassidut under the Maggid of Mezeritch, Harav Menachem Mendel of Premishlan and Harav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov, zechusam yagein aleinu, all of whom he quotes in his sefer.
Rav Meshulam Feivish is best known for his classic Chassidic work, Yosher Divrei Emes. It consists of two kuntreisim, the first written in 5537/1777 and the second, Kuntres Derech Emet, written after 5541/1781. (We know this because the Zlotchover Maggid was niftar on 25 Elul 5541/1781, and the kuntres mentions that he was already deceased.) Some of his drashot were also published in the sefer Likutim Yekarim.
A Rebbe and Chassidic leader, Rav Meshulam Feivish was also renowned for his knowledge of Shas and Poskim. Unfortunately, not many of his halachic rulings have survived. Rav Meshulam Feivish had a unique mehudar sefer Torah that is quoted by the sefer Mishnat Avraham on hilchot Stam as a source and proof for certain halachot in tzuras ha’osiyot, the forms and shapes of the letters.
Rav Meshulam Feivish had many talmidim. Some of the more famous include Harav Dovid Shlomo Eibshitz, the Arvei Nachal; Harav Yosef Dovid Hakohen, Rav in Zhvaliv and Yassi and mechaber of Derech Emunah; Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov-Vizhnitz; and Harav Chaim of Tchernowitz, the Be’er Mayim Chaim, who is considered a talmid chaver, zechusam yagein aleinu.
Rav Meshulam Feivish was niftar on 2 Kislev 5555/1894 and buried in Zhabrizh. (Some give the day of his petirah as 20 Kislev.)
His sons were Harav Moshe Aharon, Harav Baruch Yitzchak, and Harav Shimshon of Ozhiran, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.
After Rav Meshulam Feivish’s petirah, most of his followers flocked to the court of his close talmid, Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, founder of the Vizhnitz dynasty.

Harav Yisrael Yitzchak Baron of Radoshitz, zt”l, (5570 / 1810 -5618 / 1857). Born in 5570/1810, Harav Yisrael Yitzchak Baron was the son of Harav Yissachar Dov, the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz.
While he was a talmid and a chassid of his father, he also traveled to Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin, Harav Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel of Mogelnitza and Harav Eliezer of Dzikov.
He married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Leib Horowitz, son of Harav Reuven of Zharnovtza, author of Duda’im BaSadeh.
Following the petira of his father on 18 Sivan 5603 / 1843, the chassidim compelled him to serve as their Rebbe. In his humility, Reb Yisrael Yitzchak refused to don the garment of a Rebbe, and his conduct continued to be simple.
Many stories of mofsim were related about Reb Yisrael Yitzchak, as they were about his father.
He was close with many of the generation’s other Rebbes, among them the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, the Chiddushei Harim of Ger, and Harav Yitzchak of Vorka.
At the age of 48, Reb Yisrael Yitzchak got sick and was sent to a hospital in Warsaw. He was niftar there on 2 Kislev 5618 / 1857.
Of his sons, Harav Yaakov Dovid of Radoshitz and Harav Eliezer Yerucham (son-in-law of Harav Chaim of Sanz) served as Rebbes.

HaRav Avraham Hakohen of Salonika, zt”l, (5646 / 1885), author of Taharat Mayim.

HaRav Nachum Weidenfeld of Dombrova, the Chazon Nachum, zt"l, (1875 - 5700 / 1939). Born in Hormilov, Galicia, to Rav Yaakov (the Kochav MiYaakov) and Rebbetzin Rachel, a direct descendant of the Shach. One of his brothers, Rav Dov Berish, became famous as the Tchebiner Rav. After the Kochav MiYaakov passed away in 1894, Rav Nachum and his elder brother, Rav Yitzchak, supervised the studies of their younger brother, Rav Dov Berish, who had just celebrated his bar-mitzvah. After marrying his wife, Taibah, he went to live with his in-laws in Yassi, Romania. A year later, he replaced his maternal grandfather, Rav Shabsi HaKohen Rappaport, as the rav of Dombrowa, Galicia. Although Dombrowa was relatively small, it was intensely Jewish, having a population of about 2,400 Jews and 600 gentiles. Jews had lived there since the end of the sixteenth century. Nazi troops seized Dumbrowa on the 8th of September, 1939, only eight days after the war started. At the last possible moment, Rav Nachum fled the town with nothing but his stick and a knapsack. He had sent dozens of manuscripts to his son-in-law in Kolbasov but not one member of that family survived and all his writings were lost.

HaRav Dr. Dov Revel, zt"l, (1885-1940). He was born in Pren, a neighboring town of Kovno, Lithuania, a son of the town’s Rav, Nachum Shraga Revel.He briefly studied in Telz yeshiva, attending the lectures of its Rosh Yeshiva Rav Yosef Leib Bloch. He was also taught by Rav Yitzchak Blazer and learned in the Kovno kollel. He became involved in the Russian revolutionary movement, and following the unsuccessful revolution of 1905, was arrested and imprisoned. Upon his release the following year, he emigrated to the United States. Immediately after his arrival, Rav Revel enrolled in New York’s RIETS yeshiva. He received a master of arts degree from New York University in 1909. In 1911, he earned a doctorate of philosophy from Dropsie College, the first graduate of that school; his thesis was entitled “The Karaite Halakhah and Its Relation to Sadducean, Samaritan, and Philonian Halakhah”. After his doctorate, he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to join his in-laws’ family oil business. However, his primary occupation continued to be his Torah study. In 1915, he was appointed to serve as President and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York. In this capacity, he headed both the religious and secular departments of the Yeshiva, teaching the highest Gemara shiur and also lecturing on Yoreh Deah and Choshen Mishpat. From 1920 to 1923, R’ Revel left the Yeshiva for long periods to return to Tulsa, Oklahoma and his in-laws’ troubled oil business. In December 1923, he announced a five-million dollar campaign to start Yeshiva College, a four-year liberal arts college. That college, which later changed its name to Yeshiva University, opened on September 25, 1928.

HaRav Akiva Sofer of Pressburg, zt"l, (1878 - 5720 / 1959), author of Daat Sofer. Son of Rav Simcha Bunim Sofer (The Shevet Sofer), grandson of the Ketav Sofer (Rav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer) and the great-grandson of the Chasam Sofer (Rav Moshe Sofer). He succeeded his father as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva at the tender age of 24.
Interestingly, three continuous generations - the Chasam Sofer, the Ketav Sofer, and the Shevet Sofer - all served as Rav of Pressburg for 33 years. When Rav Akiva Sofer neared his 33rd year as Rav, he asked his uncle, the Erlauer Rav, what to do. Upon his uncle’s advice, the Daat Sofer moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1940, thus saving himself from the horrors of World War II.

HaRav Aharon Kotler, zt"l, (1892 - 5723 / 1962), founder  and Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood, NJ. The son of Rav Shneur Zalman Pines, Rav Aharon was known as the “Shislovitzer iluy.” At 14 he entered the Slobodka yeshiva, where he learned under the Alter and HaRav Moshe Mordechai Epstein. He also heard shiurim from Rav Baruch Ber, who had his own yeshiva in one of the suburbs of Slobodka.
He married the daughter of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, head of the yeshiva Etz Chaim in Slutsk, and became his assistant (1914). Even before he was 25 years old, he became one of its roshei yeshiva. After the yeshiva’s forced transfer to Kletsk in Poland - due to the Bolshevik takeover and religious persecution (1921), Rav Isser Zalman emigrated to Eretz Ysrael, and Rav Aharon led the Etz Chaim yeshiva for 20 years. With the Soviet occupation of Poland in 1939, Rav Aharon escapied, first to Kobe, Japan, then to the United States (April, 1941). Rav Aharon assumed a leading role in the operations of the Vaad Hatzoloh’s efforts to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He was instrumental in persuading Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Treasury Secretary, to risk his political career in order to help save Jews.
Under his leadership, Beth Medrash Govoha opened in a converted house in Lakewood, New Jersey in April 1943, and the yeshiva and kollel student body increased from the original 14 to 140 in 1962, the year of Rav Aharon’s petirah. Today, Lakewood has grown into the largest institution of its kind in America with over 6,400 advanced-level students.
Rav Aharon also headed Chinuch Atzmai, the network of Torah day schools in Israel, founded in 1953, and he took over the leadership of Torah U’Mesorah, the American day school movement, after the death of its founder HaRav Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. He also headed Agudat Yisrael’s  Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah.

R' Aharon Kotler
HaRav Aharon Kotler, Zt"l

Dayan Eliezer Posen, zt"l, (1892-1969), born in Frankfurt to Rav Gershon, who was appointed Dayan of the IRG (Jewish Religious Society) by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. As a bachur, he learned in Pupa, Hungary, then returned to Frankfurt and married Chulda Falk in 1923. After his marriage,he became magid shiur in the Breuer Yeshiva; he then succeeded his father as Rav of the kehilla in 1932. In 1938, he escaped the growing Nazi menace to England. He was appointed Dayan of the Adat Yisrael shul in 1945. His brother was Rav Shimon Yisrael Posner, the Shoproner Rav of New York.

HaRav Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, Mashgiach of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, NJ, zt"l, (5670 / 1910 - 5759 / 1998). Rav Nosson was born on 9 Adar 5670/1910 in Kuhl, Lithuania. His father, Harav Moshe Yom Tov, was a talmid of the Slabodka Yeshivah and one of the 14 original talmidim of the yeshiva in Slutsk. (Another of those students was HaRav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, later Rosh Yeshivah of Beth Medrash Govoha.)
Rav Nosson himself began his education in the yeshiva in Kelm. When he was fifteen, he came to the United States - his father had accepted a rabbinic post in Montreal - and enrolled in Yeshivat Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchanan (forerunner of the Talmudic division of Yeshiva University). After two years there, he returned to Lithuania to study at the Mir Yeshiva. He also studied in Grodno under Harav Shimon Shkop, zt"l, who gave him semicha, and in Kamenetz, under Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz, zt"l.
It is said that before Rav Nosson left Kamenitz, Rav Baruch Ber asked to see the semichah from Harav Shimon Shkop. Reviewing it, Reb Baruch Ber decided that it was not effusive enough in its praise of Rav Nosson, and he replaced it with a new semicha.
As a Canadian citizen, Rav Nosson was able to flee Europe when World War II broke out. Now married, after a circuitous journey he reached America once more and settled in New York.
Beginning in 5701 / 1941, R’ Nosson joined with R’ Aharon Kotler to develop the Lakewood Yeshiva, which grew into one of the largest and most influential yeshivot in the world. Taking the position of Mashgiach, Rav Nosson’s role was to supervise the ruach of the yeshivah, including delivering mussar shmuessen. Rav Nosson was also the force behind the establishment of community kollelim around the world, where young married men learn and make themselves available to teach the local baalei batim.
Rav Nosson was known for his yearning for Moshiach. Like the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, Rav Nosson kept a suit ready to put on when greeting Moshiach.
After Harav Aharon Kotler’s petirah in 5723/1962, Rav Nosson continued to lead the yeshivah with the Rosh Yeshivah’s son, Harav Shneur, zt”l.
In his last years, Rav Nosson brought Harav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, from Gateshead, England, to be his successor.
Rav Nosson was niftar on 2 Kislev, 5759/1998, on the day of Harav Aharon Kotler’s yahrtzeit.
He left several children, including R’ Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Zichron Moshe in South Fallsburg, New York.






















3 Kislev
3 Kislev

3 Kislev circa 3622 - 140 B.C.E.:

The Chashmona'im removed all the idols from the Beit HaMikdash. The day is cited as a Yom Tov in Megillat Taanit.

3 Kislev 5342 - 1581:

Spanish Inquisition brings the auto-da-fe (burning at the stake of those condemned by the Inquisition) to the New World for the first time: Jews in Lima, Peru were burned at the stake, Hy"d.

3 Kislev 5409 - November 18, 1648:

Bogdan Chemielnicki led serfs in the Cossack attacks against the Polish aristocracy. The Polish town of Kaminetz was one of the first targets, with thousands killed in the first few days. Over the following ten years, between 100,000 and 500,00 Jews lost their lives, Hy"d.

3 Kislev 5463 - November 23, 1702:

36 Jews killed in Lemberg explosion.

3 Kislev 5463 - November 23, 1702:

Rav Yehoshua Pollack, the Pnei Yehoshua, of Frankfurt, while trapped under fallen rubble during the great fire in Lvov (Lemberg) in which 36 Jews were killed, vowed that he would write a sefer and disseminate Torah if he lived. He was miraculously saved and wrote his famous sefer, Pnei Yehoshua.

3 Kislev 5503 - November 30, 1742:

Teverya saved from attack .

3 Kislev 5700 - November 15, 1939:

Two Jewish cemeteries were destroyed in Rypin, Poland. The Nazis resettled the Jews and moved them to Warsaw. Some Jews managed to escape to the Soviet Union where they were deported to Siberia.

3 Kislev 5700 - November 15, 1939:

Nazis carried out the first mass-murder of Warsaw Jews, Hy"d.

3 Kislev 5702 - Nov. 23, 1941:

The Nazis murdered 1,538 Jews in Poltava, Russia, Hy"d.

3 Kislev 5702 - November 23, 1941:

995 Jews were deported from their homes in Vienna, Austria to Riga, Latvia.

3 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Meir Katz, zt”l, (5403 / 1642), the father of the Shach

HaRav Shimshon of Ozhiran, zt”l, (5600 / 1839).

HaRav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Twersky, Rebbe of Skver, zt”l, (5647 / 1886).
Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel was born in Radvil in 5586/1826. His father was Harav Yitzchok, Rebbe of Skver, zy”a. His mother was the daughter of Harav Dan, Rebbe of Radvil, zy”a, who was the grandson of the Zlotchover Maggid and the son-in-law of the Apter Rav, zechusam yagein aleinu.
According to tradition, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel was the first in the family to be named after his great-grandfather, the Apter Rav. It’s interesting to note that Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Skver was only 14 years younger than his father. It is said in Skver that his father, Rav Yitzchak, married at the age of 12 and wore a tallit before he needed to put on tefillin.
Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel had many of the attributes of his great-grandfather, the Apter Rav, who was known as the Ohev Yisrael.
For instance, according to the minhag in Skver, boys would be brought to the Rebbe 30 days before their bar mitzvah so that the Rebbe could put tefillin on them for the first time. The Rebbe was very makpid that this should take place exactly 30 days before the bar mitzvah; if someone came even one day late (29 days before his bar mitzvah), the Rebbe would not agree to be the one to put on the tefillin.
Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel would often travel to various towns to give chizuk to the Chassidim living there. He was so beloved in these towns that when his father Rav Yitzchak once came to one of them, the Chassidim were heard to exclaim, “The Rebbe’s father has come!” Sadly, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel passed away less than two years after his father.
Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel married the daughter of Harav Shmuel Ashkenazy, who was a son-in-law of his great-uncle, Harav Yitzchok Meir, Zinkover Rebbe, a son of the Apter Rav. His children from this marriage were Harav Yoseph Meir, Machnovka Rebbe, Harav Moshe Dan, Skverer Rebbe, and Harav Yaakov, Linitz-Skverer Rebbe, as well as two daughters, the wives of Rav Mordechai of Skver and Harav Mordechai Yosef, Zlatapoler Rebbe, zechusam yagein aleinu.
After his first wife’s passing, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel married the daughter of Rav Yosef Zilberfarb.

HaRav Shilo Raphael, zt"l, (5755 / 1994), Av Bait Din of Yerushalayim..

HaRav Meshulam Yissaschar Ashkenazi of Stamford Hill, London, zt"l, the Stanislaver Rebbe (5755 / 1994).(Others 1995).
Born on 4 Tammuz, 5662 / 1902, to Harav Zvi Hirsch, Hy”d, the Stanislaver Rebbe in Vienna.
The father, Harav Zvi Hirsch, was a son of Harav Asher Anshel of Alesk, son-in-law of Harav Chanoch Henich, the Lev Same’ach of Alesk. Harav Chanoch Henich was a son of Harav Yoel Ashkenazi, Rav in Zlotchov, who in turn was the son of Harav Dovid Moshe Ashkenazi, the Toltchover Rav and author of Be’er Sheva.
Harav Meshulam Yissaschar’s mother, Rebbetzin Gittel, was the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Yehoshua Klieger, Rav of Graidung (near Lvov). This grandfather gave Harav Meshulam Yissaschar semichah in 5677 / 1917, when he was just 15 years old.
Harav Meshulam Yissaschar also learned under Harav Ben-Zion Katz, Rav of Dorostov, and Harav Chaim Yitzchak Yerucham of Altstadt.
He was close to the Rebbes Harav Yissachar Dov of Belz, who was his relative, and Harav Yisrael of Tchortkov, who resided at that time (after World War I) in Vienna.
Harav Meshulam Yissaschar took part in the Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna, Elul 5683 / 1923. He was active in Chevrat Tiferet Bachurim in Vienna, convincing many bachurim to go to yeshiva.
He married Rebbetzin Esther, daughter of Harav Klonimus Kalman Ules, the Sambur Rebbe.
When the Nazis annexed Austria in 5698 / 1938, Reb Meshulam Yissaschar fled from Vienna to Stanislav and thus was saved from near-certain death. The plan was to bring the whole family to Stanislav, but his parents, brother Harav Asher, and two sisters were all killed al kiddush Hashem. Hy”d.
Reb Meshulam Yissaschar ended up in London, where he cared for the many refugees and helped others escape the Nazi inferno.
His reputation as a scion of the dynasties of Alesk and Stanislav and an oved Hashem attracted large numbers of Chassidim to his beit medrash in London. He was known for his ahavat Yisrael and the yeshuot he was able to effect. London’s Torah leaders, including Harav Yechezkel Abramsky and the Shotzer Rebbe, honored him.
Reb Meshulam Yissaschar was zocheh to arichut yamim. His mind was clear to his last day, and there was no change in his seder hayom or avodat Hashem
He was niftar on Motzoei Shabbat Parashat Toldot, 3 Kislev 5755 / 1994, at the age of 92, and was buried in London.
In accordance with his tzavaah, his oldest son, Harav Uri, was named Stanislaver Rebbe. Another son is Harav Zvi Hirsch, and his sons-in-law are Harav Moshe Sofer, son of the Erlauer Rav; Harav Yitzchak Babad, son of Harav Aleksander, Rav in Stropkov; and Harav Naftali Horowitz, grandson of Harav Shlomo Zalman Friedman of Rachov, zt”l, Rav of Lugano.

HaRav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, zt"l, (1921-2000). Born in St. Louis, he learned at Torah Vadaat in his early 20s, while serving in the army. He married Sarah Gartenhaus in 1950 and joined Yeshiva Ner Israel in 1954. He became Rosh yeshiva after Rav Yaakov Weinberg’s petira. Rav Kulefsky left two sons (Tzvi Hirsch and Nosson) and three daughters [Esther Chana (Abraham), Ettie (Rosenbaum), and Faigi (Gruman)], 40 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

























4 Kislev
4 Kislev

4 Kislev 3411 - 351 B.C.E.:

The last prophecy of the Last Navi, Zecharia, (see Rashi Yoma 21b), was that the Jews should not mourn on Tisha B'Av during the second Beit Hamikdash.

A delegation of Babylonian Jews arrived in Yerushalayim to ask the prophet Zecharia if the fast of Tisha B'Av should be discontinued (Zecharia ch. 7). Tisha B'Av is a commemoration of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, and at the time, the Second Beit Hamikdash had just been constructed. The answer, as recorded in the Talmud, is that if Israel remains under foreign control, then the fast remains -- even if the Beit Hamikdash is built. But if the Beit Hamikdash is built and Israel is self-governed, then the fast turns into a day of celebration. In this case, since the Second Beit Hamikdash was eventually destroyed (also on Tisha B'Av, 420 years later), it is commemorated till today as a Jewish national day of mourning.

4 Kislev 5287 - November 9, 1526:

The Jews of Pressburg, (Bratislava) Hungary were expelled by order of Empress Maria of the Hapsburg dynasty.

4 Kislev 5503 - December 1, 1742:

Empress Elizabeth ordered the expulsion of all the Jews (35,000) from Great Russia.

4 Kislev 5702 - November 24, 1941:

The Nazis moved out all 3,700 inhabitants of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovokia to create a “model” Jewish ghetto where it shipped Jews from all over Czechoslovakia. In all, 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.

4 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Eliyahu Kubo, zt"l, Av Beit Din of Salonika, author of Aderet Eliyahu and Shnei Hame’orot Hagedolim (halachic responsa),.(~5388 / 1628 - 5449 / 1688). His father Harav Yehudah was killed al Kiddush Hashem in Salonika on Shabbat, 15 Elul 5397 / 1637, after fighting a decree of the government.
The Kubo family was well known among Salonika Jewry for disseminating Torah in the city for many hundreds of years. The family emigrated from Spain to Greece during Geirush Spharad (the Spanish expulsion). They were called “Kubo” after the city in northern Spain where they originated.
Harav Eliyahu married the daughter of Harav Moshe ben Harav Chaim Shabsi, the Maharchash. The Maharchash had become Chief Rabbi in Salonika in 5443 / 1683; during his tenure as Rav, many hundreds unfortunately converted to Islam together with Shabsai Tzvi, shem reshaim yirkav.
After his father-in-law, the Maharchash’s, petira, Harav Eliyahu was appointed Rav of Salonika and Rosh Yeshivah of the local yeshiva gedola. He taught hundreds of talmidim, notably Harav Tzvi Ashkenazi (the Chacham Tzvi) and Harav Shmuel Yitzchak Modielano.
Harav Eliyahu suffered greatly in his lifetime. Two of his sons were niftar in the epidemic in 5444 / 1685; a third son, Reb Yehudah, was niftar the same year that he was.
His daughter was married to Harav Yehoshua Chandali.
Harav Eliyahu was author of Aderet Eliyahu and Shnei Hameorot HaGedolim (halachic responsa).
He was niftar on 4 Kislev 5449/1688 and buried in Salonika, Greece.

HaRav Tzvi Hersh Margulies, zt"l, of Lublin (5566 / 1805).

HaRav Yaakov Dovid Kalish, zt"l, (1803-1878), founder of the Amshinov dynasty.
Harav Yaakov Dovid was born in Zarik in 5574 / 1814. His father was Harav Yisrael Yitzchak, zt”l, the Alter Rebbe of Vorka, a leading disciple of Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and a peer of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. He was named Yaakov after the Chozeh of Lublin and the Yehudi Hakadosh, and Dovid after Reb Dovid of Lelov, zechusam yagein aleinu.  
When Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa passed away in 1827, his followers split into two streams, some of them following Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk whose emphasis was on fiery self-discipline, while the remainder adhered to Rav Yitzchak of Vorka whose approach was one of warmth and love.
When Reb Yaakov Dovid was about 15, they moved to Vorka from Lelov.
Reb Yaakov Dovid was already known in his youth for his diligence and brilliance. He was erudite in all aspects of the Torah, especially in hilchot Shabbat.
He became the son-in-law of Reb Shmuel Partzover, one of his father’s Chassidim. After his chasunah, with the support of his father-in-law, he was able to toil in Torah and reach great heights.
Eventually he was appointed Rav in the town of Gorbachov. After a short while he moved to Peshischa, and then, after only a year and a half, he became Rav in Amshinov.
Reb Yaakov Dovid’s Rebbetzin, Sarah Leah, passed away just after marrying off their daughter, Feige.
He remarried; his second Rebbetzin was the daughter of Reb Yaakov of Zarnavtza, a devoted Vorker Chassid.
In 5608 / 1848, when Rav Yitzchak of Vorka passed away, many of his followers wished to follow Rav Yaakov Dovid of Amshinov. He, too, followed the Vorka tradition of kindness and kiruv rechokim. Rav Yaakov Dovid set up court in the town of Mszczonow, Poland, which became known to Jews as Amshinov. There, he became known as the rebbe of Amshinov. Meanwhile, Rav Yaakov Dovid’s brother, Rav Menachem Mendel, continued the Vorki dynasty from their father in Vorki itself (1779-1848). Rav Menachem, the oldest of Rav Yaakov Dovid’s three sons, inherited the mantle of Amshinov from his father for 40 years.
Like his father, Rav Yaakov Dovid knew no rest when it came to klal matters. In 5611/1851, when the infamous gezeirat halevush of the Russian authorities went into effect (it obligated every Jew to cut his beard and change his age-old Jewish appearance), Rav Yaakov Dovid together with the Chiddushei Harim, zy”a, worked tirelessly to annul the harsh decree.
The Rebbe commented that he saw his father at his side urging him to continue to plead on behalf of Klal Yisrael.
The Amshinover Rebbe also invested great efforts in the mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim.
He was revered by all contemporary Rebbes and Rabbanim, who cherished him for his unique personality and tzidkut.
During the last years of his life, when he experienced severe weakness, he traveled to Meran, Italy, seeking a cure. On 4 Kislev he was niftar in Italy and was brought back to Amshinov for kevurah.
His divrei Torah were collected and published in Beit Yitzchak, Niflaot Yitzchak and in Ohalei Tzaddikim.
(Others 5683 / 1877).

HaRav Yaakov Mordechai of Stretin, zt"l, (5715 / 1954).

HaRav Avraham Shmuel Stern, zt"l, Rosh Yeshivat Torat Chessed in London (1949-2005). Born in Miskolcz, Hungary, to Rav Pinchas Zelig Stern, the Serentcher Rav, he arrived in London with his parents in 1956. Seeing the need for a new chassidish yeshiva in London, Rav Stern founded Torat Chessed. During his entire life, he was close to the Rebbes of Satmar and Pshevorsk.






























5 Kislev
5 Kislev

5 Kislev - 1264:

In Sinsig, Germany, a convert to Judaism was arrested for preaching Judaism. Although tortured, he refused to recant his belief in Judaism and was burned at the stake, Hy"d.

5 Kislev - 1491:

In La Guardia, Spain, five Jews were accused by Chief Inquisitor Torquemada of murdering a child even though there are no witnesses nor was a body ever found. Three of his victims are forcibly baptized, strangled, and then burned. The two others were torn apart, Hy"d.

5 Kislev 5258 - October 31, 1497:

The Jews were expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I. (This was the very last day that Jews were allowed to be in Portugal. The actual decree of expulsion was announced earlier, but the grace period ended today.)

4 Kislev 5416 - December 3, 1655:

A commission met at Whitehall to assess the possible re-admittance of the Jews to Great Britain, concluding that there was no statute which excluded the Jews from the country. But Oliver Cromwell dissolved the commission, considering it too pro-admittance.

5 Kislev 5625 - December 4, 1864:

Rumanian Jews were barred from the practice of law.

5 Kislev 5703 - November 14, 1942:

Ghettos in Radom, Cracow, and Galicia set up by the Nazis.

5 Kislev 5709 - December 7, 1948:

Road of valor connecting besieged Yerushalayim with the rest of the Yishuv was opened.

5 Kislev 5740 - November 25, 1979:

The I.D.F. liberate the Alma oilfields in the Gulf of Suez from Egypt.

5 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Shmuel Eliezer HaLevi Eidels (Eidelis), zt"l, (5315 / 1555 - 5392 / 1631), (1632 or 1636), a renowned Talmudic commentator, known by the acronym Maharsha. He was born in Cracow, Poland. His father, Rav Yehuda, was an eminent talmid chacham who descended from Rav Yehuda Hachassid, as well as from Rav Akiva Hakohen Katz Me’uban, the father-in-law of the Shela Hakadosh. His mother was the granddaughter of Rav Yehuda Loewe, the Maharal of Prague.
Rebbetzin Eidel Lifschitz of Pozna, the wealthy widow of Rav Moshe Lifschitz, the rav of Brisk, made a match between her daughter and the Maharsha. She also supported her other son-in-law, Rav Moshe Ashkenazi, author of Zichron Moshe, with whom the Maharsha studied. When he turned 30, she established a yeshiva for him to head, supporting it in full and taking care of every bachur’s needs. In appreciation of his mother-in-law’s efforts, the Maharsha added the name Eidels to his own name, and from then on called himself Shmuel Eliezer Eidels.
The Maharsha headed the yeshiva in Posen for 24 years, until Rebbetzin Eidel passed away in 5368 (others 5365 / 1605), at the age of 100. Then he was forced to accept a rabbinical post in Chelm, where he served for 10 years. From there he became Rav and Rosh Mesivta in Lublin, after which he served as Rav in Tiktin.
The Maharsha’s next and most prestigious position was as Rav of Ostra’a, (Austroha), a city with a great number of talmidei chachamim. There he set up a yeshiva that attracted thousands of talmidim.
In Ostra’a the Maharasha was seen as a Gadol Hador. He was the main speaker at the conventions of the Vaad Arbaah Aratzot, the governing body of the Jewish communities of Poland. In this capacity he promulgated takanot to improve religious life in Poland. During his years as rosh yeshiva in Ostra’a, the Maharsha compiled his monumental Chiddushei Halachot and Chiddushei Aggadot on Shas. This masterful commentary, encompassing Jewish law, philosophy and ethics, fundamental texts for understanding pshat in the Gemara, is printed in all standard editions of the Talmud.
His son-in-law was R. Moshe ben Yitzchok Bonems of Lublin, who authored his own peirush on the Talmud, published with the Chiddushei Halachot, as (Mahdura Batra).

HaRav Dovid Luria of Bichov, zt"l, (1798-5616 / 1855), the Radal, was a student of the Rav of Vilna, Rav Shaul Katzenellenbogen. He wrote an important commentary on Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer. He is also known for known as a commentator on Gemara and Midrash. He also composed halachic responsa and a commentary on Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. Radal’s dedication to learning was legendary. It is said that he did not sleep more than one hour during the short summer nights and three hours in the winter, in addition to an afternoon nap of precisely 12 minutes. In 1854, he was offered the rabbinate of Warsaw. He refused this position despite the encouragement of the Gerrer Rebbe that he take it. However, R’ Dovid did involve himself in communal needs, including a meeting in 1846 (together with R’ Yitzchak of Volozhin) with Sir Moses Montiefore to address the needs of Russian Jewry.

HaRav Asher Anshel Yungreis , zt"l, (Jungreis; Jungreisz), Czenger (Chenger) Rav, the Menuchat Asher (1806 - 5634 / 1873). 
Born in Secze, Hungary, into a family of Rabbinic aristocracy, Reb Asher Anshel quickly earned a name in his own merit. He studied for two years under the Maharam Ash and under R’ Meir Eisenstadter and R’ Yaakov Koppel Altenkundstadt (Kunstadt) of Verbo. At the tender age of 28, Harav Jungreis was accepted as Rav of the city of Czenger where he served for 40 years
During his early years in Czenger he suffered from poverty. Somehow, though, the tzaddik still managed to find money to support numerous widows and to marry off orphans. He also sent large sums of money to the Hungarian Kolel in Eretz Yisrael.
After his death, a receipt for the unbelievable amount of 25,000 gold coins was found in his possession. In appreciation, the people of Yerushalayim sent Rav Jungreis a fine garment of the type worn in their city. The Rav made a point of wearing it all the time, and it can be seen in the famous photo of the Czenger Rav.
By the time the Czenger Rav was 36 years old, his reputation had spread throughout Hungary and beyond. People streamed to him from all over to receive his blessings and advice, for amulets and cures from ailments, and everyone knew that whoever followed the tzaddik’s advice would have success.
Among the many tzaddikim who expressed their highest regard for Harav Asher Anshel Jungreis was Harav Meir of Premishlan. He sent the Czenger Rav an invaluable gift: a handwritten siddur prepared by a G-d-fearing scribe. Rav Jungreis treasured this gift, which remains in the possession of his descendants to this day, and he made it his practice to daven specifically from this siddur.
On the night of 5 Kislev in 5634 / 1873, Rav Asher Anshel Halevi Jungreis finished Maariv as he usually did and sat down to deliver a Gemara shiur. Later that night, the Czenger Rav lay down in his bed and passed away in his sleep. He had led for over 40 years.
Ever since, the kever of the tzaddik in Czenger has been known as a place where tefillot are accepted.
After his petira his children published his Menuchat Asher in two parts (1876–1908). In addition to his seminal work, Menuchat Asher, Rav Jungreis’s history is recorded in Niflaot Asher andToldot Anshei Mofes.
His legacy has been carried on by his many descendants, who for generations have provided guidance and leadership to Jews all over in their positions as Rabbanim and Torah leaders. (Over 80 of his descendants who were killed during the Holocaust, Hy”d, were leading Rabbanim and teachers in Hungary.)

HaRav Yaakov Yehudah Tennenbaum of Nadrezin, zt”l. (5646 / 1885).
Harav Yaakov Yehudah was the son of Rav Nosson Nota, a respected Vorka Chassid from Warsaw.
In his younger years, Reb Yaakov Yehudah traveled to the court of Reb Yitzchak of Vorka, the founder of the Vorka dynasty, and was counted among the most devoted Chassidim there. He was also known as an outstanding lamdan.
When he reached the age of shidduchim he received many offers; but ultimately, he married the daughter of his Rebbe, Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka.
After the petirah of his Rebbe and father-in-law, Reb Yaakov Yehudah traveled to the court of Reb Dov Berish of Biale. Following the petirah of Reb Dov Ber, on 25 Sivan 5636/1876, Reb Yaakov Yehudah was appointed Rebbe in Nadrezin.
Reb Yaakov Yehudah often advised that everyone should accept upon himself one mitzvat aseh and one mitzvat lo saaseh to fulfill with all their respective chumrot. The mitzvot that Reb Yaakov Yehudah accepted upon himself were tzedakah and bassar v’chalav.
Reb Yaakov Yehudah was remarkable in that he would distribute to tzedakah vast sums of money that could not in any normal way reach such a small town as Nadrezin.
About his stringencies in the mitzvah of bassar v’chalav, it is related that Reb Yaakov Yehudah had different sets of clothing for eating milchigs and for eating fleishigs. He would also wait 24 hours between eating meat and milk. Another chumrah that he had was that a bottle that was used at the table while eating milchig foods was not used while eating meat. All his chumrot were based on the Shulchan Aruch.
Reb Yaakov Yehudah was close with many of the Rebbes of his generation. His brother-in-law Rav Shimon of Skrenowitz attested that he had seen many tzaddikim, but the likes of Reb Yaakov Yehudah he never saw.
In his later years, Reb Yaakov Yehudah became very weak and was niftar on 5 Kislev 5646/1885 after a short illness. He was succeeded by his son Reb Chaim.
The divrei Torah of Reb Yaakov Yehudah, Yashresh Yaakov, were printed as an appendix to Maggid Dvarav L’Yaakov, the divrei Torah of his Rebbe, Reb Dov Ber of Biale.

HaRav Yonassan Aleishberg , zt"l, author of Darchei Horaah, (5659 / 1898).

HaRav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Kamenitz (5623 / 1863 - 5700 / 1939). He was born in Slutzk to Reb Shmuel Dovid Leibowitz, who was a close follower of the Rav of Slutzk, Rav Yosef Ber Soleveitchik.
At the age of 16, he went to Volozhin and became the talmid muvhak of Rav Chaim Brisker, who was teaching there at the time. Rav Chaim recognized this talmid’s special qualities and would often involve him when preparing his lessons. In this way Rav Baruch Ber absorbed his Rebbi’s intensely focused way of limud Torah. Rav Chaim cherished his outstanding student Rav Baruch Ber, and treated him with great affection.
During his time in Volozhin, Rav Baruch Ber fulfilled the dictum “Your eyes shall behold your Rebbi.” Throughout his life he kept his Rebbi’s image in his mind’s eye and acted in accordance with Rav Chaim’s principles. Almost every chapter of Rav Baruch Ber’s sefer, Birchat Shmuel, cites Rav Chaim.
Rav Baruch Ber married the daughter of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Halevi Zimmerman, zt”l, the Rav of Halosk. He was supported by his father-in-law for a number of years until Reb Avraham Yitzchak was accepted as Rav of Krementchug. Then, with the haskamah of Rav Chaim, he succeeded his father-in-law as Halosk’s Rav.
In 5663 / 1903,with Rav Chaim’s consent, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of Kenesset Beit Yitzchak in Slobodka. During World War I, the yeshiva moved to Minsk, where once again he was near Rav Chaim. Later, when his father-in-law was niftar in Krementchug, he moved there to succeed him as Rav, taking the yeshivah with him.
In 5681/1921, after many hardships and wanderings, Rav Baruch Ber and his yeshivah arrived in Vilna, where he settled the yeshivah in a local beit medrash. With the support of Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, zt”l, he became one of Vilna’s Dayanim and disseminated Torah there for over five years.
In 5686/1926, upon the advice of the Chofetz Chaim, he transferred his yeshivah to Kamenetz.
He was the father-in-law of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, who later became his successor.
In 5698/1938 he traveled to America with his son-in-law Rav Reuven Grozovsky to collect funds for the yeshivah. His travels, despite their taking place before the end of the Great Depression, were very successful and created a great kiddush Hashem.
In 5699/1939 Germany invaded Kamenetz on Erev Rosh Hashanah. On Yom Kippur the Russians arrived. After Sukkot, Rav Baruch Ber decided that he should take refuge in Vilna with the yeshivah, but once there he came to the conclusion that, ultimately, the yeshivah should move to Eretz Yisrael. He gave only a few shiurim in Vilna before his petirah on 5 Kislev 5700/1939 after a brief illness. A vacant plot was discovered near the grave of his father in the old cemetery in Vilna, where he was buried.
He authored Birchat Shmuel on Shas.

HaRav Mordechai Rimer, zt"l, (1928-1999), Mashgiach Ruchni of Yeshivat Kochav M’Yaakov. Born in Munkacz to Rav Binyamin, one of the most prominent Kalushitz Chassidim who was the rosh hakahal of the Sanz beis medrash in the city. Young Mordechai grew up in the home of his grandfather, HaRav Arye Leib Rimer, one of the most prominent Sanzer Chassidim in Kashow. In the winter of 1944, he was taken from the yeshiva of Munkacz, along with his entire family, to the ghetto, and on rosh chodesh Sivan of that year he was taken, along with them, to Auschwitz. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived there until its liberation. After the war, he learned at the Chevron yeshiva under Rav Meir Chodosh. After his marriage in 1950, he learned in the Chevron kollel for another twelve years. At that time, he began to deliver a shiur for baalei batim bnei Torah in the Achva shul, a shiur which he continued to deliver for forty-five years. In 1962, the gaon of Tchebin invited him to be a maggid shiur and mashgiach in his yeshiva, and for thirty- eight years HaRav Mordechai assumed responsibility for the chinuch of the yeshiva’s students. During the Yomim Noraim he regularly served as a ba’al tefilla at the Tchebin yeshiva.

































6 Kislev
6 Kislev

6 Kislev - 1420:

Pope Martin V reinstated old privileges of the Jews and ordered that no child under the age of twelve could be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

6 Kislev 5382 - November 19, 1621:

The Shelah Hakadosh, Harav Yeshayahu ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz, author of Shnei Luchot HaBrit, arrived in Yerushalayim. When he came to Eretz Yisroel he first visited Tzefat, but on this date he reached Yerushalayim, where he served as Rav and Rosh Yeshivah of the Ashkenazic community. (As a result of the harsh decrees of the Pasha, he was forced to move to the Galil where he was niftar. He is buried in Teveria.)

6 Kislev 5446 - December 3, 1685:

Jews were barred from settling in Stockholm, Sweden.

6 Kislev 5709 - December 8, 1948:

Jordan occupied those portions of Mandatory Palestine not held by Israel. The old city of Yerushalayim and the Jordanian occupied territories remained under Jordanian control until 1967.
Transjordan had been given to a British client Arab family, the Hashemites (led by King Hussein's grandfather), who had been run out of Mecca by the Saudis.

6 Kislev 5719 - November 18, 1958:

The city of Yerushalayim / Jerusalem inaugurated a new water reservoir, thus assuring the holy city of an adequate water supply for the first time in its 3,000-year history. Yerushalayim's shortage of water was long its weakness in time of military siege. Back in the days of King David, a tunnel had been dug from the Old City to a neighboring valley, to channel water inside the Old City Walls. In modern times, the problem was exacerbated in 1948 when the Arab blockade of Yerushalayim left its residents without a water supply.

6 Kislev 5736 - November 10, 1975:

That bastion of impartiality - the UN General Assembly approves resolution equating Zionism with racism.

6 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Yakov Schick of Karlin, zt"l, (5605 / 1844), author of Mishkenot Yakov, one of the greatest talmidim of Rav Chaim of Volozhin. He became Av Beit Din of Karlin.

HaRav Menachem Ash, zt"l, Rav of Ungvar (now known as Uzhgorod), Ukraine (5630 / 1869). He succeeded his father, known as the Maharam Ash (1780-1852), one of the early talmidim of the Chasam Sofer, and his greatest talmid in Mattersdorf.

HaRav Mordechai Dovid Teitelbaum of Drohbitch, zt"l, (5680 / 1919).

HaRav Eliezer Horowitz of Grodzisk, Hy”d, (5641 / 1881 - 5703 / 1942).
Harav Eliezer Horowitz was born in 5641/1881.
His father, Harav Avraham Chaim of Plantch, lived in Radomishl, in western Galicia, but was still known after the city in which he first held court after the petirah of his own father.
At the age of 16, Reb Eliezer married the daughter of Harav Meir Yehudah Shapira of Bukovsk. He lived near his father-in-law, who supported him. After Rav Meir Yehudah was niftar in 5669/1909, his son-in-law Reb Eliezer was appointed Rav in Grodzisk, in western Galicia, near Tarnow.
At the outbreak of World War I, Reb Eliezer moved on to Tarnow. He served as Rav and Dayan in the city and headed a yeshivah in his beit medrash, where he delivered shiurim on a regular basis.
During WWI, Reb Avraham Chaim and his family lived in Budapest, and after the war, in Reisha, where he held court until his petirah on 29 Tishrei 5679/1918. Following the petirah of his father, Reb Eliezer became Rebbe in Grodzisk; many Chassidim traveled to his court.
During WWII, when the Germans entered Tarnow, they enforced a list of increasingly difficult decrees against the Jews.
One of the strategies of the Nazis was to first kill off the leaders of the Jews, making it easier to send the rest of them to Auschwitz. Reb Eliezer and other Rebbes went into hiding. Reb Eliezer hid in the bunker of his cousin, Harav Eliezer Ungar, the Rebbe of Zhavneh. When the Germans were made aware of this bunker, they threw a grenade at it, forcing the people inside to evacuate.
Reb Eliezer came out. Unlike most of the other Jews, he still had a full beard and peyot, in spite of the Germans’ decree. The Nazis stood him against the wall and offered him one last request before killing him. Reb Eliezer asked that they bring him the kapote he had from his father, and his tallit. Enveloped in his tallit, Reb Eliezer called out a resounding “Shema Yisrael” as the shots of the Nazis sprayed him. On that day, the Nazis killed some 3,500 other Jews in Tarnow as well, Hy"d.
When they transported all the bodies to the cemetery, a devoted Chassid identified the body of Reb Eliezer and brought it to kever Yisrael.

HaRav Yaakov Moshe Charlap, zt"l, (5643 / 1883 - 5712 / 1951). Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and Rav of Yerushalayim’s Sha’arei Chessed neighborhood.
Harav Yaakov Moshe was born in 5643/1883 in Yerushalayim to Harav Zevulun Charlap, a Dayan in the beit din of Harav Yehoshua Leib Diskin. He studied in the famous Etz Chaim cheder and under the tutelage of his father.
In 5658 / 1898, when he was 15, his father and his rebbi, Reb Yehoshua Leib, were both niftar, leaving him doubly orphaned. He wrote at that time, “It seemed as if the world has gone dark for me. …”
He acquired a new Rebbi, Harav Tzvi Michel Shapiro, zt”l, who was known as a great tzaddik and lamdan. Then, when Rav Yehoshua Leib’s son, Harav Yitzchok Yerucham Diskin, zt”l, arrived in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Yaakov Moshe immediately attached himself to him, arranging a shiur with him in the kesavim of his father. Eventually the sefer Teshuvot Maharil Diskin was published with his assistance.
In 5668 / 1908, the neighborhood of Sha'arei Chessed was founded as a suburb of Yerushalayim, and Reb Yaakov Moshe, despite being only 25, became its Rav. His home turned into a center for Torah, where members of the community constantly gathered. On Shabbatot and Yamim Tovim the Rav’s house was packed, especially the night of Shevi’i shel Pesach, when the Rav would sit in his white kapota and recite the Shirah.
For many years, he gave a shiur in Yeshivah Etz Chaim. Eventually, Reb Yaakov Moshe was asked to become Rav of Rechavya, a newer area in Yerushalayim. He attempted to transfer the Torah atmosphere of Sha'arei Chessed to Rechavia, despite its being a more diverse and modern neighborhood.
He joined many Rabbanim on missions to strengthen Yiddishkeit in the yishuvim that dotted the country, and was successful in many cases.
Reb Yaakov Moshe’s teshuvot are published in the 10-volume She’eilot U’teshuvot Beit Zevul. He also authored Mei MaromMichtavei Marom, Tzvi Latzaddik, and Igrot Larav. He was niftar on 6 Kislev and buried on Har Hazeitim.
He was a close disciple of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook.

Rav Chaim Michoel Dov Weissmandel, zt"l, (1903 - 5718 / 1957), Nitra Rav, Rosh Yeshiva Nitra (Mt. Kisco, NY) yeshiva, Holocaust rescue activist. Author of Min Ha Metzar.
Born in Debrecen, Hungary. When he was still a child his family moved to Tyrnau (Trnava), where his father served as a shochet. He learned in a yeshiva in the town of Sered. As a 17-year-old bachur, Rav Weissmandl published three short volumes of chidushim he had heard from his teacher, Rav Shmuel Dovid Ungar, of Tyrnau and later Nitra. In 1931 he published a volume of his research called Hilchot Ha-chodesh. He married the daughter of his rebbi, Rav Ungar, in 1937.
Rav Weissmandl's activities during the war constitute one of the most striking examples in Jewish history of total dedication and sacrifice in order to save Jews. His activities began in 1938, shorty after the Nazis' anschluss of Austria. The Jews Burgenland were immediately sent to Vienna without any of their properties or resources. Rav Weissmandl risked his life to travel to Vienna to support them. When the Nazis then placed 60 rabbanim on a ship and sent them to Czechoslovakia, Rav Weissmandl traveled to Oxford and convinced the Archbishop of Canterbury to grant all 60 entry-visas to England. Over the next few years, Rav Weissmandl was instrumental in savings tens of thousands of Jews.
HaRav Shlomo Abu Maaravi, zt"l, (5750 / 1989), founder of Otzer HaTorah network.

HaRav Yechezkel Shraga Lipshitz-Halberstam, zt"l, the Stropkover Rebbe (1908 - 5755 / 1994), author of Divrei Yechezkel Shraga.
Born on 4 Nisan 5668/1908 in Stropkov, Czechoslovakia, to Rav Yissacher Dov Lifshitz of Ungvar, who was a direct descendant of the Aryeh D’bei Ilayi.  His paternal grandfather was Rav Aryeh Leibush from Apta, the Yismach Tzadik, and his maternal grandfather was the Rebbe of Stropkov, the Divrei Shalom, who was the son of the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinava, the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
While still a child he lost his mother, and was raised by her father, Harav Avraham Shalom Halberstam of Stropkov. Later, Reb Yechezkel Shraga would adopt his grandfather’s surname.
Rav Yechezkel Shraga’s first public post was as Rav of Yablonka. After a few years there, he became dayan of Bergsas.
During World War II, Reb Yechezkel Shraga and his family were sent to Auschwitz.
Despite his indescribable suffering and anguish during those tragic years, including the loss of his wife and five children, Hy”d, his dedication to Hashem and His Torah was prodigious.
A miracle that occurred on the first day that he arrived at Auschwitz prompted his self-imposed obligation to build a mikveh in the future. He was standing in line, waiting to be examined by the ruthless butcher Dr. Mengele. An SS officer appeared and asked the new arrivals if any of them had any expertise in construction, plumbing or electrical work. Obviously, whoever could convince the Nazis that he was a skilled craftsman would buy time for his life.
Determined to stay alive as long as possible, Reb Yechezkel Shraga decided to claim that he had achieved proficiency in construction. He convinced a young man standing next to him, who was actually a skilled construction worker, to teach him any simple concept concerning construction. The man was happy to oblige, teaching Reb Yechezkel Shraga the basics of constructing a 90-degree angle.
In a clear sign of hashgachah pratis, the SS officer posed that very question to Reb Yechezkel Shraga. The ruse worked, and the officer assigned him to a work brigade. He believed Reb Yechezkel Shraga to the extent that he rebuked the other members of the group, saying “This Jew is the only honest member of the group. He is an experienced craftsman.”
At that very moment Reb Yechezkel Shraga made a promise that if he were to survive, he would employ his “professional construction skills” to construct a mikveh.
After the war, in 5709 / 1949, Reb Yechezkel Shraga arrived in Eretz Yisrael, settling temporarily in Ramleh, a city not known for a large observant population. Reb Yechezkel Shraga’s warm personality and keen mind served as a magnet for those who were alienated from Torah. There he fulfilled his promise to build a mikveh.
In 5713/1953, Reb Yechezkel Shraga moved to Yerushalayim, where he founded a beit medrash and also served as a Dayan.
Following the petirah of his uncle, Harav Menachem Mendel of Stropkov, on 6 Iyar 5704 / 1954, Reb Yechezkel Shraga was appointed Admor by the Sanz elders of Shinava and Stropkov and became Stropkover Rebbe.
He wrote many sefarim on a wide array of topics, all under the title Divrei Yechezkel Shraga.
Reb Yechezkel Shraga was niftar on 6 Kislev 5755/1994, at age 86.

HaRav Yechezkel Shraga Landau, zt"l, (5757 / 1996). Rav of Veretzky in pre-War Europe, he founded Khal Veretzky in Flatbush.

HaRav Chaim Shmuel Lopian, zt"l, author of Ravcha Shmaatsa (5759 / 1998). The son of Rav Eliyahu Lopian, he was amongst the first students in the Gateshead Kollel under Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, in 1942.

























7 Kislev
7 Kislev

7 Kislev - 442 B.C.E.:

King Yehoyakim burned a Sefer Torah, - the day was made a fast day. (Megillat Taanit, Chap. 9)

7 Kislev 3758 - 4 B.C.E.:

The death of the wicked King Herod (Hordos) is remembered in Megillat Taanit (Chap. 9) as a Yom Tov.

7 Kislev - 1918:

Armistice Day ending World War I . It is estimated that over 1.5 million Jewish soldiers fought in all the armies and that approximately 170,000 were killed..

7 Kislev 5753 - December 2, 1992:

The 42 victims who perished when the Egoz boat capsized off the Moroccan coast while trying to immigrate to Israel in 1962 (5722), were brought to burial in Eretz Yisroel 31 years later.

7 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Aryeh Leib of Amsterdam, zt”l, (5470 / 1709), author of Pnei Aryeh.

HaRav Aron Epstein of Cracow, zt”l, (5542 / 1781).

HaRav Yosef Dovid Sinzheim of Strasbourg, France, zt"l, (5505 / 1745 - 5573 / 1812). Harav Yosef Dovid Sinzheim was born in 5505/1745. His father, Rav Yitzchak, served as Rav in Batrid. In his youth, Rav Dovid learned under the tutelage of his father.
Rav Dovid’s first rabbinic appointment was as Rav of Strasbourg, the first Rav the city ever had; later he was appointed Chief Rabbi of France and Italy.
When Napoleon established a Sanhedrin on which the leading Rabbanim were forced to serve, Rav Dovid was appointed Rosh Sanhedrin. The first meeting of this Sanhedrin took place on February 9th, 1807 (5567).
The task of answering the questions laid before the Sanhedrin by the imperial commissioner was entrusted to Rav Dovid, who fulfilled his duties to the satisfaction of the Rabbanim, the commissioner, and even of Napoleon himself.
The German sermon which Rav Dovid delivered in the main shul of Paris in honor of the emperor’s birthday strengthened Napoleon’s favorable opinion of the Jews, who received the imperial promise that their rights as French citizens would not be withdrawn.
The Chatam Sofer writes of Rav Dovid that he was totally dedicated to learning Torah. He was fluent in the entire Shas and in the works of the Rishonim.
Rav Dovid was regarded as the foremost French Talmudist of his time, and was the author of Yad Dovid, on many mesechtot in Shas, and Minchat Ani.
He was niftar in Paris on 7 Kislev 5573/1812, at the age of 68.

Harav Shalom Elchonon Halevi Yaffe, zt”l, (5608 / 1858 - 5684 / 1923), Rav of Beth Medrash HaGadol in New York City.
Harav Shalom Elchanan Halevi Yaffe was born in the town of Vabolnick, Lithuania, just outside Vilna. His father was Rav Shimon Peretz.
His primary teacher was his father, a noted talmid chacham and a descendant of Rav Mordechai Yaffe, the Baal Halevushim.
At the age of 14 he was sent to the Volozhiner yeshivah, where he studied diligently for six years. At the age of 18 he was married and at the age of 20 he received semichah from Harav Naftali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin, the Netziv, and from Harav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector, Rav of Kovna. Soon afterwards he began to serve as the Rav in the town of Upyna, and thereafter served in Zeimelis.
In 1887, Rav Shalom Elchanan traveled to New York to visit with relatives and accepted a temporary position as the acting Mara d’Asra of Congregation Sh’eirit Sefard in St. Louis, Missouri. A few months later he returned to Europe to serve in his home town of Vobolnick.
In 1891 he returned to St. Louis, where he was offered the positions of Av Beit Din and Mara d’Asra of the Beth Medrash HaGadol.
In 1897 he moved to New York. Rav Shalom Elchanan spent the next five years as the Mara d’Asra of Congregation Beth Hamedrash of Brooklyn. In 1902, soon after the passing of Chief Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, he was appointed Rav of the prestigious Beth Medrash HaGadol of Norfolk Street, where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Rav Yaffe was niftar after a prolonged illness on 7 Kislev 5684 / 1923, at the age of 65, and was buried in the Mount Judah Cemetery in Glenwood, Queens.
Rav Shalom Elchanan wrote many sefarim. Among those printed are Pri Eshelon masechta Yevamot; Siddur Tefillah Sheleimah; Shoel K’Inyan, his halachic responsa; Sichah Sheleimah; and She’eilat Shalom.

HaRav Yaakov Moshe Charlop, zt”l, (5712 / 1951), Rav of Shaarei Chessed. (See 6 Kislev)

HaRav Shlomo Binyamin Halevi Ashlag, zt"l, (5744 / 1983), known as the Ateret Shlomo, son of the famous Mekubal and Rebbe HaRav Yehuda Leib Ashlag, zt"l, the Ba'al HaSulam on the Zohar. Rav Shlomo is credited with being the one who urged his father to write his famous HaSulam commentary on the Zohar. Rav Shlomo was the author of the Peirush HaSulam.





























8 Kislev
8 Kislev

8 Kislev 3320 (circa) - 442 B.C.E.:

A taanit tzaddikim was established commemorating the day King Yehoyakim burned Megillat Eicha, (Lamentations), written by Baruch ben Neriyah, the talmid of Yirmiyahu Hanavi. (Megillat Taanit, Chap. 9)
As recorded in the Book of Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah (ch. 36), 18 years prior to the destruction of the First Beit HaMikdash, King Yehoyakim burned the scroll containing Megillat Eicha, (Lamentations). The idea of a Jewish king taking such an un-Jewish approach was viewed by the community as a great tragedy, and this date was proclaimed as a fast day. The prophet Yirmiyahu later re-wrote Megillat Eicha.

8 Kislev 5735 - November 22, 1974:

The United Nations passed a resolution granting observer status to the PLO. This was the first recognition of the PLO by a major political body, and was seen by many as opening the door to eventual Palestinian statehood at the expense of Israel. The UN decision came nine days after Yasser Arafat addressed the UN plenary in New York. In the speech, with a gun holster strapped to his hip, Arafat compared himself to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. By 1980, the PLO has been recognized by European nations, and by Israel in 1994.

8 Kislev 5739 - December 8, 1978:

Golda Meir (898-1978), prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974,
died in Jerusalem. Born in Kiev, Russia, she was subjected to brutal pogroms and moved with her family to Milwaukee at age of eight. It was 10 years later, while organizing an American protest march against these Russian pogroms, that Meir decided to make aliyah. Meir became involved in politics at age 24 and was among the signers of Israel's Declaration of Independence. Meir became Israel's first Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and served as Prime Minister during the tense time of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. She once said: "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us."

8 Kislev 5746 - November 21, 1985:

Jonathan Pollard, who had worked for Naval Intelligence, is arrested in Washington and charged with spying for Israel, 1985. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and is still serving his sentence, while other spies for "real" enemy countries have been released after serving 10 years.
He was B"H finally released on Parole 8 Kislev 5776 - November 20 2015, exactly 30 years, to the very day, after he was first arrested. though a legal battle continues to be waged against the unfair and restrictive nature of his parole conditions.

8 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Moshe, zt"l, author of Mahadura Basra, printed at the back of the Talmud (5429 / 1668).
HaRav Eliyahu (ben Yehuda) Kovo, zt"l, (1630-1688). The son-in-law of Rav Moshe Chaim, who was the son of Rav Chaim Shabsai and the Chief Rabbi of Salonica. After the death of his father-in-law in 1685, he was appointed to be Chief rabbi. He died at a young age due to a plague, which also took the lives of his two sons. He compiled Tana D'bei Eliyahu, a collection of 451 responsa, but most of it was lost. His grandsons managed to collect 26 of them and printed them as Sheilot Uteshuvot Aderet Eliyahu.
HaRav Yitzchak (ben Yehudah) Navon, zt"l, (1733 - 5547 / 1786). Born in Contantinople, he was the son the author of Kiriyat Melech Rav on the Rambam's Mishna Torah, and the grandson of Rav Ephraim Navon, author of Machaneh Ephraim. Rav Yitzchak himself wrote Din Emet on the Tur and the Beit Yosef; the sefer was published in Salonika in 1803.
HaRav Moshe Shapira of Slavita, zt"l, son of Rav Pinchas of Koretz (1838).
HaRav Avraham Yitzchak of Tunis, zt"l, author of Mishmerot Kehunah (5625 / 1864).
HaRav Aharon (ben Mordechai) Twersky, zt"l, the 3rd Rebbe of Chernobyl (1786 - 5632 / 1871). Rav Aharon was a grandson of Rav Menachum Nachum, the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl, his childhood teacher. Rav Aharon succeeded his father after the latter's petira in 1837. He also served as the nasi of the Rabi Meir Baal Haness of Eretz Yisrael fund in the Ukraine.

HaRav Nachum Dov Schneerson of Ovritch (Ovruch), zt"l, (5656 / 1895). Uncle of Rav Yosef Yitzchak, son of the Rebbe Rashab. Ovruch is an historic town in the Zhytomyr province of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Ovrutsky district.
HaRav Avraham Mordechai of Kamarna, zt"l, (5702 / 1941). His uncle was Rav Zvi of Zhiditchov. He authored many important Chassidic works such as Heichel Habracha, Derech Emunah, Otzar Mitzvotecha, Zohar Chai, and Megillat Setarim among others.

HaRav Pinchas Dovid Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe, zt"l, (5636 / 1876 - 5702 / 1941). His father, Harav Shmuel Shmelke Horowitz, was a direct descendant and namesake of the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg.
Born in Yerushalayim in Elul 5636/1876, as a young boy he was very close to his maternal grandfather, Reb Elazar Menachem Mendel of Lelov, until the latter’s passing in 5643 / 1883. He then he became a devoted talmid of his uncle, Rav Dovid Tzvi Shlomo of Lelov. He also was part of a small group of boys who learned Mishnayot in depth with Harav Shneur Zalman of Lublin.
After his marriage to Rivka, the daughter of Harav Aharon Brandwein, he lived in Tzefat near his in-laws.
When his father died tragically at age 36, he was forced to move back to Yerushalayim to care for his mother and younger siblings. His wife died in 5664 / 1904. Her father, eager to keep his son-in-law in the family, suggested that he marry his granddaughter, Sarah Sosha Brandwein, (daughter of his son Rav Yechiel Michel), who was still a child. In 1909, at the age of 16, she gave birth to a son, Moshe.
In 5673 / 1913, Rav Pinchas Dovid was sent overseas on behalf of the Yerushalmi Kollel Galicia.During World War I, he he managed to escape and find refuge in the United States as a refugee in 1915, with the help of Rav Yaakov Meir of Salonika, the Rav of Greece. In gratitude to the Jews of Boston, who helped him procure residential rights in America, he settled in Boston. He founded a large beit medrash in the city and became known as the Bostoner Rebbe.
Despite living in Chutz laAretz, Harav Pinchas Dovid yearned for Eretz Yisrael. He visited in 5685 / 1925 and in 5694 / 1934. He would also send funds on behalf of aniyei Eretz Yisrael.
In 5700 / 1940, Harav Pinchas Dovid relocated from Boston to New York, where he was niftar at the age of 65. In fulfillment of his request, the aron of Harav Pinchas Dovid was brought to Eretz Yisrael for re-burial in 5706 / 1946, when the war was finally over and it became possible to do so.

HaRav Dovid (ben Shmuel) Borenstein of Sochotchov, the Chasdei Dovid, zt"l, (1876-5703 / 1942). Born to the Shem MiShmuel, who was the son of the Avnei Nezer, his primary teacher was his grandfather. In 1906, he became the Rav of Vishogrod, Poland. He moved to Loz in the late 1920s. He was very active with Agudat Yisrael and encouraged many to settle in Eretz Yisrael. He died of heart failure in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Sochatchov heritage continued under his brother, Rav Chanoch Henoch, who had established a beit medrash in Bayit Vegan.

HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Twersky of Chernobyl, zt"l, (5744 / 1983).
Harav Yaakov Yisrael was born in 5662 / 1902. He was the son of Harav Shlomo Shmuel of Chernobyl.
Reb Shlomo Shmuel was named Chernobyler Rebbe after the petirah of his father, Harav Baruch Asher of Chernobyl, in 5665 / 1905. At the outbreak of the Communist Revolution in 1917, Reb Shlomo Shmuel settled in Kiev. In 5693 / 1933 he moved to Riga and from there to Brooklyn, New York, where he was niftar on 28 Adar II, 5695 / 1935.
Rav Yaakov Yisrael married the daughter of Harav Yaakov Yosef Mandel of Aurzhshtetshev, from the dynasty of Ostrohah.
In 5697 / 1937, Rav Yaakov Yisrael managed to escape from Soviet Russia to Eretz Yisrael. From Eretz Yisrael he went on to America in 5699 / 1939, to succeed his father as Rebbe.
Rav Yaakov Yisrael set up a beit medrash in Boro Park. He became known for his outstanding middah of hachnassat orchim. His house was open to all.
The Rebbe had several thousand followers in the New York area and thousands more elsewhere, especially in Chicago, where many Jews from Chernobyl had immigrated before World War I.
Rav Yaakov Yisrael was active in communal affairs, and held an honored place among the American Rebbes.
On 8 Kislev 5744 / 1983, the Rebbe had just finished conducting a yahrtzeit tisch for his forebear, the Chernobyler Maggid, Harav Aharon of Chernobyl, when he suddenly felt ill. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he passed away a few hours later.
The Rebbe was laid to rest in the Beth David Cemetery on the Queens-Long Island border alongside his father, Rebbe Shlomo Shmuel Twersky. A large ohel marks his grave.
HaRav Eliezer (ben Eliyahu Yehoshua) Geldzahler, zt"l, (1958- 5755 / 2004).His father, Rav Eliyahu Yehoshua Geldzahler, was founder of Mosdot Ohr Yisrael of Queens and a talmid of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, Rav Reuven Grozovsky, and Rav Gedaliah Schorr.
Rav Eliezer's
mother, Henna Freidel, was the daughter of Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, Mashgiach of the Ponevezer Yeshiva, great-grandson of the founder of the mussar movement, Harav Yisrael Salanter, zt”l, and a scion of the great baalei mussar of Kelm.

As a child, he learned in his father's yeshiva, where he made a siyum for Gemara Bava Basra before his Bar Mitzvah. As a bachur, he learned at Yeshiva Zichron Yaakov in South Fallsburg under Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel. From there, he went to Yerushalayim to learn in the yeshiva of Rav Dovid Soleveitchik. He spent several years in the Lakewood Kollel.
In 1980, he married Baila, the daughter of Rav Michel Twersky, the Hornesteipler Rebbe of Milwaukee. Together he and, tbl”c, his wife, Rebbetzin Baila, ran a home of Torah and chessed. Countless people looked to him for guidance and chizuk.
In 5755/1995 he opened Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael in Brooklyn and served as its Rosh yeshiva, developing a mesivta and a yeshiva gedola.
Rav Geldzahler was concerned for each talmid, striving to ensure that each would succeed to the best of his abilities and beyond.
Even after bachurim left his yeshivah, he stayed in touch with them and visited them annually in the yeshivot where they were learning in Eretz Yisrael. It was on one of those visits, in January of 2004, that he was badly injured in an accident. For 10 months, Jews , worldwide davened for his recovery.
Rav Eliezer was niftar on 8 Kislev 5765/2004, at the age of 46, and buried in Monsey in the Vizhnitz beit hachaim. His parents, parents-in-law, wife, children and siblings survived him.
























9 Kislev
9 Kislev

The Chessed LeAvraham (of Slonim) brings from the Brit Menucha that the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month is the "channel of all shefa."

9 Kislev 5155 - 1394:

The Jews of Paris were expelled by King Charles VI.
Charles VI ascended to the French throne in 1380 and announced he will not expel the Jews. Screaming “Aux Juifs” a mob plunders and commits murders in the Jewish quarter in Paris for four days. Some Jews take refuge in the royal prison. Hughes Abriot, the Provost, obtained an order for restitution of all property and the return of all infants forcibly baptized. Because of this, he was later accused of converting to Judaism and sent to jail for a year.

9 Kislev 5580 - November 27, 1819:

Founding of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism) by Leopold Zuns and Eduard Gans, whose goal was to reduce Judaism to a field of study.

9 Kislev 5675 - November 27, 1914:

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (known the “Joint” or “JDC”) was founded. The organization campaigned on behalf of Jews and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe.

9 Kislev 5701 - December 9, 1940:

A boatload of 1,600 Jewish immigrants fleeing Hitler's ovens was denied entry by the British into the port of Haifa; deporting them to the island of Mauritius. This was part of the British enforcement of the White Paper that effectively ended Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel. The British had acceded to Arab demands and restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine. The urgent plight of European Jewry generated an "illegal" immigration movement, but the British were vigilant in denying entry. Some ships, such as the Struma, sunk and their hundreds of passengers killed. When you consider how strapped the British were for resources in fighting Hitler, it is amazing that the government in London could find the resources to intercept vessels sailing to Palestine..

9 Kislev 5704 - December 6, 1943:

In one of the last major Italian deportations, 212 Jews from Milan and Verona were sent to Auschwitz. In all, out of a population of 35,000 before the war, approximately 8500 Jews were killed, Hy"d. An estimated 2000 Jews fought with the partisans, five of them winning Italy's highest medals for bravery.

9 Kislev 5738 - November 19, 1977:

Visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Yerushalayim. See 10 Kislev.

9 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

Harav Avraham Chassid of Brodi, zt”l. (5574 / 1813).

HaRav Dov Ber Schneerson of Lubavitch, zt"l, (1773 - 5588 / 1827), 2nd Lubavitcher Rebbe, known as the Mitteler Rebbe. He was the son and successor of his father Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya (the Alter Rebbe), and uncle and father-in-law of the Tzemach Tzedek. Rav Dov Ber assumed the leadership of Chabad upon his father’s passing in 1812. In 1813 he settled in the town of Lubavitch, which was to serve as the movement’s headquarters for the next 102 years. In 1826, Rav Dov Ber was arrested by the Czarist government on slanderous charges. His day of release, 10 Kislev is celebrated to this day as a “festival of liberation” among Lubavitch chassidim.

HaRav Moshe Shapiro, Rav of Slavita, zt"l, (c. 5519 / 1759 - 5560 / 1839). His father was Harav Pinchas of Koritz, zy”a, a close disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, zy”a.
Reb Moshe married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak, Dayan in Polnoah (father of Harav Gedaliah of Linz, mechaber of Teshuot Chen).
When he was asked to become Rav of Slavita, Reb Moshe accepted, but only with the condition that he would not be paid a salary.
A tzaddik and a talmid chacham, Reb Moshe was close to the Baal HaTanya of Chabad as well as many other Rebbes of the generation.
He supported himself by writing sifrei Torah, a trade he taught himself when he was young. Later he started making the iron molds for printers to use. Eventually Reb Moshe founded his own press, with the most up-to-date machines available at the time.
This was the beginning of the world-renowned Slavita Press, which printed only sifrei kodesh. It is said that the machines were immersed in the mikveh before use. Many tzaddikim chose to daven and learn Torah from sefarim published by this press, which was best-known for the Slavita Shas.
Reb Moshe took two of his sons, Reb Shmuel Abba and Reb Pinchas, into the business (another son, Reb Mordechai, lived in Shpitikova), and they helped their father print the new Shas. It was a very beautiful edition, according to requests of the Gedolei Hador.
Preparation and printing of the Shas took five years. Because of the extensive work and vast amount of money invested in the project, the Gedolim announced that the Shas was under copyright for the next 10 years, during which it would be forbidden for any press to print Shas. But when the entire stock of Shas was sold out in a relatively short time, the Vilna Press requested that the copyright expire, even though fewer than 10 years had passed. This caused a a difference of opinion among the Rabbanim, some siding with Slavita Press, others with the Vilna.
The end of the Slavita Press was a sad one. One of the non-Jewish binders in their business hanged himself to death in the factory while drunk. Word spread quickly that the Jewish owners killed him. Due to this slander, the brothers Reb Shmuel Abba and Reb Pinchas were exiled to Kiev.
The inquiry into the case was drawn out over three years, during which the brothers were subjected to much pain and suffering. In the end, the verdict was for them to walk between two rows of policemen who would strike them with their sticks.
After this punishment was carried out (observers were amazed at the serenity of the Shapira brothers during their ordeal), they were sent off to exile in Siberia. When their father, Reb Moshe, heard this, he died of a broken heart.
After much tribulation and a heavy bribe, Czar Nicholas agreed to transmute their sentence to life imprisonment in Moscow. They were in jail in Moscow for 17 years. It was only after Nicholas’s demise, when Alexander II became czar, that they were finally freed, broken in body and spirit. They returned home to Slavita only to find that the press, in which they had invested so much money and energy, was totally destroyed. (others 1837)

HaRav Dovid Dov Berish Meisels, zt”l, Rav of Lask, (5636 / 1875)
Harav Dovid Dov Meisels was born in 5574/1814 in Kilakov, Galicia. His father was Harav Aharon Aryeh Yehudah Yaakov, Rav in Kilakov, Zamosh and Piotrkov.
At 11 years of age he left home to learn under Harav Yaakov Lorberbaum of Lisa, the Nesivot Hamishpat.
As one of the foremost bachurim in the yeshivah, he was suggested to Harav Elazar Hakohen,son-in-law of the Nesivot Hamishpat, as a shidduch for his daughter. Harav Lorberbaum warmly welcomed the idea.
At 18, Reb Dovid Dov was appointed Rav in Dobri. Later he was Rav in Nashelsk and in Lask, after which town he is called.
Wherever he lived, Reb Dovid Dov headed a yeshivah and taught many talmidim.
Reb Dovid Dov journeyed to the Kotzker Rebbe, and was close with the Chiddushei Harim of Ger, who said of him that whatever he learns stays in his memory and he doesn’t have to review.
He was a prolific writer on all facets of the Torah. His published sefarim were Ahavat Dovid on halachah; Ohr Dovid on Megillat Esther; Chiddushei HaRadad on Masechet Pesachim; Reiach Duda’im on Haggadah shel Pesach; She’eilot U’teshuvot HaRadad; and Binyan Dovid on Megillat Eichah.
Reb Dovid Dov was niftar on 9 Kislev 5636/1875 at the age of 62.
His sons were Harav Tzvi Aryeh Yehudah Yaakov, his successor in Lask; Harav Pinchas Eliyahu, Rav of Rakow and Vierishov; and Harav Mordechai Zev of Tarna.

Harav Meir Chaim Auerbach of Manostreshitz zt"l, (5662 / 1901).

HaravYaakov Aryeh Shapiro of Neshchiz, zt”l, (5668 / 1907)

   Harav Yechiel Mechel.of Mezhibuzh, zt"l, (5680 / 1919).



























10 Kislev
10 Kislev

10 Kislev - 1215:

The Fourth Lataran Council marked the zenith of Papal power. During the papacy of Pope Innocent III (1161-1215) old anti-Jewish decrees were expanded and Jews compelled to wear a yellow “Badge of Shame” to distinguish them from Christians. It was enforced in France, England, Germany and later in Hungary.
10 Kislev - 1521:

All Jewish wine was dumped by Arabs and heavy fines imposed on the Jewish community of Yerushalayim. The Arabs blamed the Jewish use of wine for a severe water shortage.

·10 Kislev - 1572:

King Maximilian II attempted to expel the Jews of Pressburg, stating that his edict would be recalled only if they accepted Christianity. The Jews remained in the city without abandoning their religion.

10 Kislev 5587 - December 10, 1826:

Harav Dov Ber of Lubavitch, the 'Mittler Rebbe', ('Admor Ha'emtzai'), was released from prison. The date of his release is celebrated by Lubavitcher Chassidim. (See 9 Kislev)

10 Kislev 5702 - November 30, 1941:

27,000 Jews of the Riga Ghetto were executed by the Nazis, Hy"d.

10 Kislev 5704 - December 7, 1943:

661 French Jews from occupied France were sent to the gas
chambers of Auschwitz., Hy"d.

10 Kislev 5705 - November 26, 1944:

Himmler ordered the destruction of Auschwitz’s crematoria to hide all evidence of the mass murders.

10 Kislev 5738 - November 20, 1977:

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem. Sadat was the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, after receiving an invitation from Menachem Begin. Sadat had orchestrated the Egyptian attack on Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but after suffering defeat became resigned to the existence of the State of Israel. Much of the Arab world was outraged by Sadat's visit and his change of strategy. One year later, Sadat and Begin signed the Camp David Peace Agreement, for which they received the Nobel Peace Prize. As part of the deal, Israel withdrew from the Sinai peninsula in phases, returning the entire area to Egypt by 1983.

10 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Moshe Mordechai Margulies, zt"l, Rav and Av Beit Din Cracow, author of Chasdei Hashem, Mateh Moshe and Be’er Moshe, (5377 / 1616)

HaRav Aryeh Leib Berlin, zt”l, (5503 / 1742), the Mochiach of Berlin.

HaRav Pinchas Menachem Elazar Justman (Yustman) of Piltz, zt"l, the Sifsei Tzadik (5608 / 1848 - 5681 / 1920).
Harav Pinchas Menachem Elazar was born to his father, Rav Binyamin Eliezer, and his mother, Rebbetzin Tzina Pessa, the daughter of the Chidushei HaRim, in 5608/1848.
Because his mother was niftar when he was quite young, he grew up in the home of his grandfather the Chidushei HaRim, together with his cousin, also an orphan — and later his brother-in-law — the Sfat Emetzy”a.
Already at the age of seven, young Pinchas Menachem was outstanding in both his learning and the middah of kedushah, walking in the streets with his eyes closed.
In 5624/1864, Rav Pinchas Menachem married his first cousin, Hendel Leah, who was the daughter of Harav Avraham Mordechai, zt”l, the son of the Chidushei HaRim, becoming the brother-in-law of the Sfat Emet.
After the petirah of the Chidushei HaRim in 5626/1866, the chassidim traveled to the Rebbe Harav Henoch of Aleksander, zy”a, and Rav Pinchas Menachem traveled to him as well. When the Rebbe Rav Henoch was niftar after just four years, the leadership was passed on to the Sfat Emet.
Rav Pinchas Menachem was one of the only chassidim who understood the deep shmuessen of the Sfat Emet, and thus after every tisch, many congregated around him to hear him repeat the Rebbe’s words.
He never wanted to lead his own court, until a talmid chacham came and told him that he should let others bask in the light of Torah and yirat Shamayim. (Some say that this was Eliyahu Hanavi.)
The Sifsei Tzaddik was both a masmid and an outstanding lamdan, and his greatness in Torah was renowned. Many teshuvot from the Avnei Nezer are addressed to him, some of which the Avnei Nezer signs with his mother’s name, as a chassid to a Rebbe. The Sifsei Tzaddik was always seen reviewing Mishnayot to himself, not wasting a second.
The Sifsei Tzaddik stressed many times, both in his sefer and personally to his children and grandchildren, the importance and the significance of learning Torah on Shabbat.
His first zivug, Rebbetzin Hendel Leah, was niftar during his lifetime, and in 5675/1915 he married Chaya Yuta, a granddaughter of the brother of the Chidushei HaRim. In 5679/1919 he moved to Chenstechov, where he resided for the last two years of his life.
The Sifsei Tzaddik was niftar on 10 Kislev in Chenstechov. He was not buried until three days later, due to an argument between the cities of Piltz and Chenstechov over which should have the zechut of having him buried in their city.
According to his will, an ohel was not put up on his kever.
His sefer Sifsei Tzaddik on Torah somehow reached Eretz Yisrael, where it was later reprinted.

HaRav Refael Dabosh of Libya, zt"l, (5687 / 1926), son of the famous mekubal from Lybia, Rabbi Frija Dabush. He was Av Beit Din in Tripoli.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, zt"l, (5626 / 1866 - 5694/1933), the Levush Mordechai, Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka and Chevron yeshivot. Born on 20 Adar 5626/1866 in the town of Bakst in the Vilna district of Lithuania.
His parents were Rav Tzvi Chaim and Baila Chana Epstein. His father, who served as Rav of Bakst, had been affectionately referred to during his days in Yeshivat Volozhin as “the black iluy,” perhaps due to his jet-black hair and beard.
A child prodigy, Reb Moshe Mordechai began learning in Volozhin at the age of 16 under Harav Chaim Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav. There he met his future brother-in-law, Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
Perhaps one of the most influential and illustrious Torah families of that era was that of Reb Shraga Feivel Frank, a wealthy fur merchant in Kovno, Lithuania, and a devoted supporter of Torah. It was in his attic that Rav Yisrael Salanter began teaching mussar to Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel and Rav Yitzchak Blazer.
Reb Shraga Feivel passed away from pneumonia at age 43, leaving four unmarried daughters; in his will he asked his wife to marry off the daughters to young men who showed signs of becoming Gedolim b’Yisrael. Rebbetzin Frank took this mission very seriously and she investigated every candidate thoroughly. In 5649/1889, Reb Moshe Mordechai was chosen as the chassan for her daughter Menuchah.
Reb Shraga Feivel’s hopes were realized. His sons-in-law became the pillars of Torah Jewry for the next generation, and its guides following the devastation of the Holocaust. The European strongholds of Torah were replanted in America and Israel by his sons-in-law and grandsons: Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer of Slabodka and Kletzk, Harav Baruch Horowitz of Slabodka, Harav Sheftel Kramer of Slutsk and later New Haven, Connecticut, and Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein.
After his marriage in 1889, Reb Moshe Mordechai moved to his wife’s hometown, Kovno. Three years later, one of his sisters married Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, one of the greatest of Rav Chaim Soleveitchik’s students. The two developed a close relationship.
In Kovno, the two studied under the renowned mussar master Harav Yitzchak Blazer (Reb Itzele Peterburger), one of Harav Yisrael Salanter’s foremost talmidim. They became intrigued with the study of mussar.
In 5654/1894, the brothers-in-law started teaching in the famed Slabodka yeshivah, not far from Kovno. In 5657/1897 the Alter of Slabodka, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, offered both of them positions at Yeshiva Kenesset Yisrael of Slobodka.
Reb Moshe Mordechai accepted, while Reb Isser Zalman moved to the town of Slutsk to lead the Ridvaz’s yeshivah there. The Slabodka yeshivah flourished under the joint leadership of the Alter and Reb Moshe Mordechai, and many of its talmidim were crucial in nurturing the spiritual level of the Jewish people in subsequent generations.
In 5684 / 1924, Reb Moshe Mordechai, the Alter, and most talmidei hayeshivah relocated to Chevron. The yeshivah thrived for five years in Chevron as it had in Europe. But in Av 5689 / 1929, Arab mobs, incited by the anti-Semitic mufti of Yerushalayim, swarmed into the yeshivah, killing 68 people and wounding many more. Hashem yinkom damam.
In the aftermath, the British authorities evacuated the rest of the Jewish community. The yeshivah relocated to the Geulah section of Yerushalayim; in 5735 / 1975 it moved to its current location in Givat Mordechai.
Reb Moshe Mordechai had a warm relationship with Reb Nosson Tzvi, the Alter, and later became his mechutan when his daughter married the Alter’s son, Harav Moshe Finkel. His other daughter married Harav Yechezkel Sarna, who succeeded his father-in-law as Rosh Yeshivah of Chevron after his petirah.
Reb Moshe Mordechai had only one son, Harav Chaim Shraga Feivel, whom he named after his father-in-law.
Reb Moshe Mordechai was the mechaber of Levush Mordechai, which contains his chiddushim on Shas.
He was niftar on 10 Kislev 5694/1933, at the age of 68.

HaRav Menachem Nachum of Husyatin-Lemberg, zt”l (5703 / 1942).

HaRav Tzvi Hirsh Dachowitz, zt”l, (5714 / 1953), Rav of Congregation Agudath Achim Anshei Libowitz (Lubavitch)

HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt"l, (5630 / 1870 - 5714 / 1953), author of Even HaEzel, rosh yeshiva of Slutsk and Eitz Chaim -Yerushalayim, disciple of the Netziv, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, and the Chafetz Chaim. Father-in-law of Rav Aharon Kotler, and uncle of Rav Shach.His wife was descended from Rav Meir Eisenstadt, author of Ponim Meirot. Both Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein married daughters of Reb Shraga Frank, one of the wealthiest men in Kovno, and in whose attic Rav Yisrael Salanter began teaching mussar to Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel and Rav Yitzchak Blazer.
(See above - Reb Moshe Mordechai)

























11 Kislev
11 Kislev

11 Kislev - 1510:

A Jewish community which had existed since Roman times is expelled from Naples, fifteen years after the Spanish conquest of the island.

11 Kislev 5438 - December 6, 1677:

Death of Baruch Spinoza, a Jewish heretic who was excommunicated in Amsterdam for his philosophy of pantheism.

11 Kislev 5700 - November 23, 1939:

Hans Frank, the Nazi Gov. of Poland, required Jews to wear a blue star.

11 Kislev 5703 - December 8, 1942:

7,000 Jews of Minsk executed by the Nazis, Hy"d.

11 Kislev 5706 - November 16, 1945:

The charter of Yeshiva College (later Yeshiva University) was amended by the New York State Board of Regents, making it the first American university under Jewish auspices. Through the first half of the 20th century, many American universities maintained a regional quota system, whereby spaces for Jewish students was often limited. (This was, however, better than the situation in the Middle Ages, when universities were entirely closed to Jewish students.) Yeshiva University helped alleviate that strain, and today is regarded as one of America's leading academic institutions, offering advanced degrees in rabbinics, business, medicine, law, and Jewish education.

11 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Yehoshua Katz, zt"l, Rav in Cracow (5495 / 1734)
HaRav Yaakov Yitzchak Halevi of Pressburg, zt"l, author of Imrei Ravrevei (5523 / 1762).
HaRav Simcha Ashkenazi of Dessau [Dasseau], zt"l, (5546 / 1785).
HaRav Yechiel Heller, zt"l, Rav of Sovalk [Suvalk]. Among his sefarim are Shailot U'Teshuvot Amudei Ohr, Ohr Yesharim on the Haggadah, Oteh Ohr on Shir HaShirim, and Kinah L'Dovid which was a hesped on Rav Dovid Luria. He was niftar at the age of 47. (5622 / 1861; according to some, 1867)

HaRav Yitzchak Friedman zt"l, (5685 / 1924). Born in Sadigura, both of his parents were grandchildren of Harav Yisrael, the Holy Ruzhiner Rebbe. The Rebbe was also a great-grandson of Harav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin, and a fifth-generation descendant of Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta.
In 5663 / 1903, he married the daughter of Harav Asher Yeshayah Horowitz of Rimanov, a descendant of Harav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, and settled in Rimanov, where they were blessed with two children.
In 5663 / 1903, with the passing of his father, all the brothers became Rebbes in various towns. The Rebbe himself established his chassidic court in the town of Rimanov.
During World War I, the Rebbe and his family, along with many of the other Ruzhiner Rebbes, fled to Vienna.
In 5684 / 1924 the Rebbe sailed to the United States to be mechazek his Chassidim in New York and to raise money for the Sadigura mosdot in Europe. He was niftar several months later, on 11 Kislev. It is reported that, after going to the mikveh in the morning, he came down with pneumonia and was immediately hospitalized. As the illness progressed, the Rebbe felt that his life was coming to an end. He started singing the naanuim melody of Ruzhiner Chassidim, and with that he passed away.
Over 20,000 mourners followed his aron to his final resting place at the Mount Zion Cemetery on the Queens-Brooklyn border. A large ohel marks his grave. Throughout the years, many followers of the different Ruzhiner dynasties have frequented the Rebbe’s grave.

The Nazis murdered Rav Yitzchak’s widow in the town of Rimanov in Elul 1941, but the Rebbe’s children were able to relocate to the United States after World War II.

Posthumously, a close friend and relative, Reb Yosef Rappaport, published Akeidat Yitzchak (New York, c. 1925), containing the hespedim / eulogies delivered for the Rebbe.

HaRav Tzvi Hersch (Hershel) Friedman of Munkacs, zt”l, (5655 / 1895 - 5734 / 1973), Rosh Yeshiva of Nachlat Tzvi, author of Chemdat Tzvi. Born in Beregsazs, Hungary in 5655/1895. Following his marriage, he moved to the nearby city of Munkacs.
In the early 1930s, he founded Yeshivat Nachlat Tzvi for young bachurim, which prepared them to learn in the famed Munkatcher Yeshiva, headed at the time by the Minchat Elazar. Reb Herschel’s main focus was to teach the talmidim how to learn a blatt Gemara on their own and to understand each sugya. However, he also put strong emphasis on middot tovot and yirat Shamayim.
Many of Reb Herschel’s chiddushim on sugyot haShas were lost during the Holocaust. However, upon arriving in America after World War II, Reb Herschel was determined to save at least some of his divrei Torah from being forgotten. He wanted to have the opportunity to instill Torah and yirat Shamayim into the next generation, and was indeed successful in publishing his new chiddushim al haTorah in his sefer Chemdat Tzvi.
For many years he would give a daily shiur in the Shomer Shabbat shul of Boro Park. This shiur was established for baalei batim who had the fire of Torah burning within them; they called themselves “Chevrah Lomdei Torah B’rabbim.” In three hours they would cover a blatt Gemara, Chumash/Rashi, Midrash and Shulchan Aruch.
Reb Herschel was also known for the unique niggunim that he composed. They have inspired many people, including Gedolei Yisrael. It is told that the Satmar Rebbe, zy”a, would particularly enjoy singing Reb Herschel’s niggunim, and that for many years he would sing one of them for the naanu’im on Sukkot. Reb Herschel’s niggunim are still sung today at many Rebbishe tischen.
Reb Herschel was niftar on 11 Kislev 5734/1973.


































12 Kislev
12 Kislev

12 Kislev 5387 - December 1, 1626:

Mohamed Ibn Farouk, the governor of Yerushalayim, was deposed. Sadly, his successors were not much friendlier to the local Jews than he.

12 Kislev 5427 - December 9, 1666:

Shabtsai Tzvi's primary public relations figure, Nathan of Gaza, who had not followed his master into Islam, was excommunicated by the rabbinical council in Constantinople.

12 Kislev 5602 - November 16, 1841:

HaRav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch, author of Bat Ayin, among the last of those to perish in a plague in Tzefat which ended shortly after his passing. (See below)

12 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Shlomo Luria Ashkenazi, zt"l, (1510 - 5334 / 1573), known by the acronym of his name, Maharshal. His ancestry was traced back to the great Jewish commentator, Rashi, and he was a cousin of Rav Moshe Isserles, who wrote the Ashkenazi portion of the Code of Jewish Law. Rav Luria wrote Yam Shel Shlomo, a halachic commentary on 16 tractates of the Talmud (only 7 of which are still extant), and a commentary on the Talmud, Chachmat Shlomo (an abridged version appears in nearly all editions of the Talmud today). He was rav of the city of Brisk, and head of the famed Lublin Yeshiva, which attracted students from across Europe.(Others 1574).

HaRav Yitzchak Shmuel Lampronti, zt”l, (5349 / 1679 - 5517 / 1756), author of Pachad Yitzchak, the first major Talmudic encyclopedia ever assembled.
He was the teacher of the Ramchal.
Harav Yitzchak Shmuel was born in the Italian city of Ferrara on 21 Shvat 5439/1679. His father, Rav Shmuel, was a successful businessman there. Realizing that the child was gifted, Rav Shmuel hired a private melamed when he was just three years old.
Rav Shmuel was niftar when Yitzchak was six. Subsequently, his mother supervised his chinuch. At eight years old, she took him to the yeshivah of the Rav of the town, Harav Shabbattai Elchanan Recanati, where Yitzchak excelled in his studies.
At 14 he was sent to the yeshivah of Harav Manoach Provencal, in Lugo. Later he attended the yeshivah in Padua, where he also studied medicine, becoming an excellent physician.
At age 22, Rav Yitzchak returned to his native Ferrara, where he was appointed Chaver, a title of honor given at the time, in the local yeshivah.
Meanwhile, he gained fame as a physician; many prominent Italian noblemen were among his patients.
Rav Yitzchak married Rachel, the daughter of Harav Moshe Yisrael Nurtzi of Ferrara.
Many Rabbanim sent questions in halachah or Gemara to Rav Yitzchak. He was also an inspirational darshan.
When Harav Shabbattai Elchanan Recanati was niftar, Rav Yitzchak was chosen as his successor. Shortly afterwards he was appointed Rosh Yeshivah of the Yeshivah of Ferrara.
Rav Yitzchak lived a modest life and gave most of his earnings to tzedakah. He supported the yeshivot in his community and provided for many needy talmidei chachamim.
He was also largely responsible for the building of the famed Sephardic shul in Ferrara and donated a beautiful marble aron kodesh.
Rav Yitzchak is best known for Pachad Yitzchak, a Talmudic encyclopedia which deals with all Talmudic subjects in alphabetical order. Included are the decisions of the great rabbinical authorities of previous generations and of his generation as well. He also collected and included many maamarei Chazal and other Midrashic material.
Rav Yitzchak was niftar on 12 Kislev 5517/1756. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery of Ferrara, but no matzeivah marks his resting place. This was because half a year earlier, the pope had issued an order forbidding Jews to erect matzeivot, at the same time ordering the already standing ones to be destroyed.
Over a century later, in 5632/1872, the citizens of Ferrara, Jews and non-Jews, took up a collection to set up a plaque on the house where he had lived. Some of the inscription on this memorial tablet reads (in Italian): “In this house lived Yitzchak Lampronti, born in 1679, died in 1756. He was a most celebrated physician and theologian…”

HaRav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch and Tzefat, author of Bat Ayin, zt”l, (5525 or 6 / 1765 - 5602 / 1841), (others 5601 / 1840). His father was Rav Dovid, a maggid in the Ukrainian town of Chmielnick. Little is known of Rav Avraham Dov’s childhood other than that he was brilliant from his youngest years.
He was a disciple of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev and the first two Rebbes of Chernobyl. He became a talmid of Harav Nachum of Chernobyl, whom he considered the main influence in his life. He was the son-in-law of Harav Nassan Nota, the Rav of Avritch, who was a talmid of the Baal Shem.
At the age of just 20, Rav Avraham Dov was appointed Rav in Chmielnick, but a short while later, after his father-in-law’s petira, (1785), he became the Rav of Avritch and served in that capacity for 40 years.
Afterwards, he became Rav in the much larger Ukrainian town of Zhitomir, where he attracted many chassidim.
Finally, in 5590 / 1830 or 5591/1831, at the advanced age of 65, Rav Avraham Dov decided that the best way to further his spiritual advancement was to leave all his Chassidim and begin life anew in Eretz Yisrael. Upon arrival in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Avraham Dov almost immediately proceeded to Tzefat, even before visiting Yerushalayim.
Rav Avraham Dov soon became the leader of the Chassidim of Tzefat. His beit medrash was right next to that of Harav Yisrael of Shklov, the Pe’at Hashulchan, talmid of the Vilna Gaon. Despite their ideological differences, a close friendship developed between the two. In addition, Harav Avraham Dov was revered by the local Arabs as a holy man.
On 24 Tevet 5597 / (January 1, 1837), a deadly earthquake struck between Minchah and Maariv while Harav Avraham Dov was in his beit medrash. He shouted to everyone present to stand close to the aron kodesh, promising that if they did so they would be saved. A moment later the ceiling fell in — except for the place where Harav Avraham Dov had warned everyone to take shelter. In gratitude, a seudat hodaah took place at that spot every year. (5,000 people lost their lives in that earthquake, of whom 4,000 were Jews).
A year later, on the earthquake’s first anniversary, Harav Avraham Dov announced that no earthquake would ever shake Tzefat again.
In 5601/1840, a terrible plague broke out in Tzefat. When Harav Avraham Dov fell ill, he announced that his petira would be atonement for the town; he would be the plague’s last victim.
Harav Avraham Dov was niftar on 12 Kislev, and as he had predicted, the plague stopped immediately. He was buried in the old cemetery of Tzefat, in a me’arah of great Chassidic leaders that lies not far from the kevarim of the Beit Yosef and the Alshich. Many people daven there today.
Although Harav Avraham Dov wrote his famous sefer, Bat Ayin, while he was still in Europe, he refused to print it until it was exposed to and refined by the air of the Holy Land. This sefer is built on the tenets of Chassidut as taught by the Chernobyl dynasty, and is considered a basic Chassidic work.

HaRav Naftali Schwartz of Mahd, zt”l, (5657 / 1896), author of sefer Beit Naftali.

HaRav Chaim Leibush Horowitz of Cracow, zt”l, (5665 / 1904).

HaRav Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson of Petach Tikva, zt”l, (1910 - 5754 / 1993). Born in Warsaw, he was was named rabbi of Sanok in 1937. In the winter of early 1940, he was appointed to the Beit Din of Warsaw. In March 1942, he was deported to the Konin labor camp, near Chelmno. The Konin camp was liquidated in the summer of 1943. Rabbi Aharonson was taken to Hohensalza, and afterwards to Auschwitz 3 (Buna). In 1945 he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald and then taken on a death march to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated. He subsequently moved to Eretz Israel, where he served as a Rav in Petach Tikva and Emmanuel. Author of Yeshuat Moshe and Alei Merorot.







































13 Kislev
13 Kislev

13 Kislev 5522 - December 9, 1761:

The Jews of Mogilev perished in a mass murder, Hy"d.

13 Kislev 5704 - December 10, 1943:

As Allied troops neared, the Germans tried to cover up their actions by killing the surviving inmates of the labor camp and destroying the camp itself in Tarasika, Romania, Hy"d.

13 Kislev 5722 - November 21, 1961:

First chassidic town in the U.S., New Square, elects its first mayor.

13 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

Ravina II, berei D'rav (the son of Rav) Huna, zy”a, Rosh Metivta of Sura, (4260 / 499, 475, or 421 C.E.).(co-author of Talmud Bavli, (the Babylonian Talmud). Ravina's father, Rav Huna, died when he was young, he was educated by his mother. Ravina and his teacher Rav Ashi collected and commented on the rabbinic discussions that would henceforth be known as the Babylonian Talmud. After Ravina, no further additions were made to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savurai. This date thus marks the point at which the Talmud was “closed,” and the end of the Tekufat HaAmora'im, (the Talmudic period of Amora'im).(Others 12 Kislev).

HaRav Azariah min Ha'adumim, zt”l, author of Meor Einayim (5338 / 1577).
HaRav Shlomo Zalman Yosef of Vyelpol, zt”l, (5618 / 1857).
Harav Shlomo Zalman Yosef Frankel was born in 5564 / 1804. He was a talmid of his father. He journeyed to Harav Meir of Apta (the Ohr Lashamayim), Harav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz and, later, to the Ropshitzer Rebbe’s son-in-law, Harav Asher Yeshayah.
Harav Shimon of Yaroslav, one of the elder and foremost Rebbes of the generation, “anointed” Reb Shlomo Zalman as Rebbe.
Harav Meir of Premishlan publicized the greatness of Reb Shlomo Zalman and his mofsim, for which many traveled to see him. Reb Shlomo Zalman considered doing these mofsim to be a kiddush Hashem, a way of demonstrating Hashem’s Presence and hashgachah pratis. He wanted to travel from place to place to make mofsim, but his health did not allow it.
He was close with Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin and the Sar Shalom of Belz.
In his last year, Reb Shlomo Zalman gave many clear hints that his end was near. He was niftar on 13 Kislev 5618/1857 in Cracow, at the age of 53; his kever is next to that of the Maor Vashemesh.
Reb Shlomo Zalman was survived by his son, Harav Avraham, who succeeded him as Rebbe in Vyelepol. His sons-in-law were Harav Nosson Nota Dov Lifschitz, a grandson of the Aryeh Dbei Ila’i; Harav Yitzchak Tzvi Hirsh Schiff, Rav in Vyelepol; and Harav Moshe Thurm, a grandson of Harav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov.

HaRav Dov Ber of Levo, zt”l, son on Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin (5636 / 1875).
HaRav Yisrael Aryeh of Premishlan (5651 / 1890).
HaRav Dov Ber Livshitz, Rav of Sardnik (5661 / 1900).
HaRav Yisrael (ben Shmuel Eliyahu) Taub of Modzhitz, author of Divrei Yisrael (5709 / 1849- 5681 / 1920). The Divrei Yisrael was born in 5709/1849 in the town of Ratcoinz, Poland. His father was Harav Shmuel Eliyahu, the Rebbe of Zvallin, son of the esteemed Rav Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir, who was one of the students of the Chozeh of Lublin.
He became the first Rebbe of Modzhitz in 1891.
Reb Yisrael displayed excellence in Torah study as well as sensitivity to others. However, his musical talent became one of the focal points of his dynasty. Indeed, Modzhitz is famous for its niggunim that promote dveikut to Hashem.
With his soul-stirring tefillot and stunning musical compositions, Reb Yisrael captivated the hearts and minds of his Chassidim. Modzhitzer Chassidut soon became well-known.
The Rebbe would say, “The power of a niggun is great in that it awakens Jews to teshuvah and brings their hearts closer to their Father in Heaven.”
His most famous niggun is “Ezkera,” composed in 5673 / 1913. The well-known story of the niggun is as follows: In 5670 / 1910, the Rebbe was forced to seek medical treatment. For many months he was in Karlsbad, where he composed the first version of “Ezkera.” Eventually he had to consult with doctors in Berlin.
His doctor, Professor Israels, said his life could be saved only by amputating a leg. The Rebbe agreed on one condition — that no form of anesthesia be used.
During the surgery, a great sense of longing for Yerushalayim struck the Rebbe, inspiring him to compose the tune to the words of the liturgical poem, “Ezkera Elokim,” recited during Ne’ilah on Yom Kippur. This majestic and lengthy niggun comprised of 36 contrasting sections, which takes approximately a half hour to sing, is sung with great dveikut by Modzhitzer Chassidim every year on the yahrtzeit.
The Rebbe’s divrei Torah are published in Divrei Yisrael on sefer BereishitShemot and Vayikra. Additionally, his divrei Torah are found in Klalei Oraysa and Haggadah shel Pesach Ishei Yisrael.
He was suceeded by his son, Rav Shaul Yedidya Elazer.

HaRav Yisrael Friedman, the second Tchortkover Rebbe (5614 / 1854 - 5694 / 1933).
Reb Yisrael was born on 10 Iyar 5614 / 1854 to Reb Dovid Moshe of Chortkov. Young Yisrael delved into Torah with great intensity. He would often “speak in learning” with Rabbanim who came to his father in Chortkov. Reb Yisrael grew especially close to Reb Shlomo Dreimar of Skolya, mechaber of Yashresh Yaakov, and every time the Skolya Rav came to Chortkov they learned together. Reb Yisrael, who was only 14 years old at the time, wrote two lengthy responsa on the topic of bitul b’rov, which the Skolya Rav published in his classic work Beit Shlomo.
In 5631 / 1871 he married Ruchama Bas-Sheva, daughter of his uncle Reb Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura.
Even in his father’s lifetime Reb Yisrael was very active in the court. He succeeded to the leadership of Chortkov upon his father’s passing, on Hoshana Rabbah 5664 / 1903. During World War I he moved his court to Vienna, and there it remained. Reb Yisrael refused to move back to Chortkov after the war, in part because he felt that many people had been strengthened in Yiddishkeit by his presence, and they would regress if he were to leave.
Reb Yisrael was among the founders of Agudat Yisrael, and participated in the two Knessiyot Gedolot that took place before the war. When he entered the main hall of the first Knessiah Gedolah, Reb Chaim Ozer Grodzenski stood up in his honor, and the entire assemblage followed suit. One of the Gedolim sitting next to Reb Chaim Ozer was eager to hear what unusual distinction he saw in the Rebbe of Chortkov.
Reb Chaim Ozer explained, “Shas is divided according to certain mitzvotPesachim is about Pesach, Sukkah is about Sukkot, and so on. But there is one mitzvah that includes them all, and this is the mitzvahof ahavat Yisrael. The Chortkover Rebbe is an expert in this masechta, for which he is worthy of such honor.”
Reb Yisrael was niftar on 13 Kislev 5694/1933 and was buried in Vienna.
(Others 1932 or 1934).
HaRav Yechiel Michel (ben Baruch) Hager of Horodenka, and his son Harav Baruch, Hy”d, (5702 / 1941). One of the sons of Harav Baruch of Vizhnitz, zy”a, the Imrei Baruch, he was appointed Rebbe (as were his brothers), after his father's petira on 20 Kislev 5653/1892. Rav Yechiel Michel moved to Horodenka, to succeed his brother, Rav Shmuel Abba, who passed away childless in 1895. He married the daughter of his older brother, Rav Chaim (Rebbe in Antiniya).
During World War I, Rav Yechiel Michel fled to Vienna and from there to Chernowitz and served as Rebbe to the many Vizhnitz Chassidim there.
He had one son, Baruch, who was the son-in-law of his uncle Harav Shraga Feivish Hager, zy”a, Rebbe in Zalscizki. Rav Baruch served as Rav in Kitzman, Bukovina, and later was appointed Dayan in Chernowitz.
During Sukkot 5702/1941, Rav Yechiel Michel was sent to the ghetto in Chernowitz. He was staying at the home of his brother-in-law’s widow, the Rebbetzin of Zalschizki, and her son Rav Avraham Yehoshua. The beit medrash was in their home, and Rav Yechiel Michel conducted the hakafot of Simchat Torah there.
Right after Sukkot, all the Jews were deported. More than five thousand people — men, women and children — were crammed into cattle cars and sent off to Transnistria, and area in southwestern Ukraine, between the Dniester River ("Nistru" in Romanian) and the Bug River, north of the Black Sea. Also on that transport was Rav Aharon Friedman of Boyan, who came down with typhus and was niftar on 13 or 14 Cheshvan; and Harav Chaim, the Antiniyah Rebbe, zecher tzaddikim livrachah, a brother-in-law of Rav Yechiel Michel.
From Obodovka, the remaining Jews were sent to Warchovka, where they were held initially in the local shul. Rav Yechiel Michel and his son Rav Baruch were among the group that were sent to Warchovka, to a work camp there, where they came down with typhus. There was no medicine available, so nothing could be done for them.
Rav Baruch was niftar on 13 Kislev 5702/1941, and only eight hours later his father, Rav Yechiel Michel, was also niftar. Although hunger was rampant in the camp, the Jews gave their money to a local gentile for a few pitchers of water in order to do a proper taharah for Rav Yechiel Michel. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery of Warchovka, and a matzeivah was erected on his kever.
Four days later, on 17 Kislev, Rav Yechiel Michel’s wife, Rebbetzin Bluma Reizel, passed away. Hy”d.
HaRav Shalom Hadayah of Aram Tzova (1864-1944). A descendent of Rav Saadyah Gaon, Reb Shalom's father passed away when he was only three. He married at the age of 20, and moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1888 with his father-in-law's family. In 1891, Rav Shalom had to return to Aram Tzova. While there, he was stricken with an eye ailment and nearly lost his eyesight. Despite that, he wrote a sefer, Shalom LaAm, which focuses on the issues of doing tzedakah and chessed, particularly on behalf of Torah students and scholars. In 1896, Rav Shalom moved to Eretz Yisrael permanently, first settling in the Bucharian Quarter, then moving to the Ohel Moshe neighborhood. In 1904, Rav Shalom was appointed moreh tzedek in the beit din of Rav Vidal Anjel and Rav Baruch Elnekavah. In 1930, he was appointed Rosh Av Beit Din of all the Sephardic communities in Yerushalayim. In 1927, Yerushalayim's chief kabbalist, and rosh yeshivah of Beit Keil, Rav Mas'ud HaKohen Elchaded, passed away and Rav Shalom was appointed his successor. Besides Shalom LaAm, the other sefarim Rav Shalom wrote were: Dover Shalom, responsa on the Arba Turim; HaChaim v'HaShalom, a series of Torah extrapolations; and Shalom v'Tzedek. His son, Rav Ovadyah, was a prominent Rosh Mesivta in the Porat Yosef yeshiva. When the Jordanians conquered the Old City, Yeshivat Bais Keil was destroyed and Rav Ovadyah reestablished it in his own home in the new city. After the Six-Day War, he reestablished the yeshiva in the Old City.





























14 Kislev
14 Kislev

14 Kislev 2194 - 1568 B.C.E.:

Birth of Reuven - b'chor (first born son) of Yaakov Avinu and Leah.

Birth of Reuven, Yaakov's first son and the first of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Bereishit / Genesis 29:32). Yaakov had originally worked for seven years in order to marry Rachel, but at the last minute Leah appeared under the chuppah instead. On their wedding night, Reuven was conceived. Though he was first-born, he eventually lost his leadership role, due to a reputation for impetuousness.

His Yahrtzeit is also on this date 14 Kislev. (2317 / 1445 B.C.E.)

14 Kislev 5380 - November 21, 1619:

Shah Abbasi of Persia intensifies persecution against the Jews, forcing to live clandestantly as Jews while outwardly practicing Islam.

14 Kislev 5424 - December 13, 1663:

Mattathias Calahora, a physician in Poland, was accused by Friar Servatius of "blaspheming the mother of J.C." Based soley on the testimony Servatius, Calahora was tortured and burned at the stake, Hy"d.

14 Kislev 5517 - December 7, 1756:

A council of rabbis met in Satanow, Poland, to ratify a cherem against the Frankists cult. According to the council, the Frankists broke fundamental Jewish laws and accepted tenets of Christianity.

14 Kislev 5552 - December 7, 1791:

Death of Jacob Frank. His daughter became leader of the cult until her death in 1816, after which the group - primarily in Poland and Bohemia - became absorbed into the non-Jewish middle class.

14 Kislev 5591 - November 30, 1830:

Greece grants citizenship to Jews.

14 Kislev 5605 - November 25, 1844:

The Czar of Russia provided for the establishment of Jewish schools and seminaries. He sought to aid the Haskalah in its nefarious efforts to undermine Torah-true Yiddishkeit. Therefore the educational agenda of the schools, which included both Jewish and secular studies, was crafted with that objective in mind.

14 Kislev 5702 - December 4, 1941:

The Nazis placed the Jews of Poland outside the law and beyond protection of the courts.

14 Kislev 5709 - December 16, 1948:

First plane of Operation Magic Carpet brings Yemenite Jews to Eretz Yisroel..

14 Kislev Yahrtzeits:
Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu (2317 BCE-1445 BCE) See above.

HaRav Menashe ben Yisrael of Amsterdam, zt”l, author of Nishmat Chaim (5364 / 1604 - 5417 / 1656).
Harav Menashe ben Yisrael was born in 5364/1604 to a family of conversos (originally from Lisbon), a year after his parents left Portugal due to the Inquisition. The family, descendant of Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, soon moved to the Netherlands, in 1610, where young Menashe learned under Harav Yitzchak Uziel Hakohen of Spain, one of the Dayanim and leading Rabbanim in Amsterdam.
Menashe was a gifted child, and his linguistic abilities were amazing; he became proficient in more languages than most people ever know even superficially. This allowed him to read a great variety of works from many countries, and his broad knowledge, together with an amazing ability to recall much of what he read, eventually earned him a reputation as one of Europe’s leading talmidei chachamim. It was with the idea of getting his writings into print that he set up a small printing press, the first Hebrew press in Holland, at the young age of 22, in 1626. The Amsterdam press was named Emet Me’eretz Titzmach.
He was a friend of Rembrandt van Rijn, who apart from making an etching of the Rabbi also illustrated his books.
Rav Menashe was convinced that the Geulah still needed as its certain precursor the settling of Jews in all parts of the world. With this in mind, he turned his attention to England, from where Edward I, in 1290, had expelled the Jews in the first of the great general expulsions of the Middle Ages. He printed a sefer called Mikveh Yisrael, both in Spanish and in Latin, in which he calls on the English parliament to let the Jews back into England.
Together with Rav Jacob Sasportas, Rav Menashe wrote a letter to Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, requesting that Jews be allowed to reside in England again on philosophical and theological grounds. There was no official presence of Jews in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales. It was thanks to Rav Menashe’s efforts that the ban on Jewish residence in Great Britain finally loosened. The Jews who began arriving in England as a result of Rav Menashe’s intercession were of Spanish and Portuguese origin, descendants of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1496. In an ironic twist of history, England, the first country to expel its Jewish population, became a refuge for those Jews who were the victims of the last and most devastating expulsions of Jews from European lands.
He was niftar in 5417/1656, in Amsterdam.
Many of his sefarim have been printed. Notable among them are Nishmat Chaim, about gilgulimTeshuat Yisrael, in which he refutes libels against the Jews; and the aforementioned Mikveh Yisrael..

HaRav Matisyahu Kalahari (Apteker) of Cracow, Hy”d, (5424 / 1663).
Harav Matisyahu Kalahari lived in Cracow and was one of its foremost talmidei chachamim and parnassim. He was descended from a prestigious family. He owned a pharmacy and therefore was called “der apteiker,” German-Yiddish for chemist.
During a fight that broke out between the Catholics and the Protestants, they demanded that Reb Matisyahu come and publicly represent the Jewish religion in a debate with a Dominican priest.
Reb Matisyahu refused to attend a public debate, but offered to send his responses to the priest by letter. The priest agreed.
In the meantime, the priest found a letter in the church that spoke out sharply against Catholicism. Without investigating, he assumed it was written by Reb Matisyahu.
The priest complained to the local court, and Reb Matisyahu was taken to jail that same day. Under questioning, Reb Matisyahu was subjected to torture; he was unwavering in his beliefs and didn’t give in to their demand that he abandon his religion, chas v’shalom.
. A number of prominent priests testified that the note couldn’t have been written by Reb Matisyahu because it was in German, a language with which Reb Matisyahu, born in Italy, was unfamiliar. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism prevailed and judgment was handed down: death at the stake.
The Jewish community appealed this outrageous ruling to the high court in Piotrkov, but the judge refused to overturn the ruling.
Thus, on 14 Kislev 5424 / 1663, the sentence was carried out in the city square in Piotrkov. Reb Matisyahu’s body was mutilated and then burnt. Hashem yinkom damo. The kehillah of Cracow sent a letter to the pope in Rome, who replied with a letter calling for all Christians to stop their persecution of the Jews. This letter helped calm the bloodthirsty Christians, but, as always, not for too long.
A kinah was written to commemorate this event, which was recited in Cracow.
HaRav Shmuel of Pozen, zt”l, author of Beit Shmuel, (5567 / 1806).

HaRav Menachem Nachum (ben Yisrael) of Stefinesht, Romania, zt”l, (1823 - 5269 / 1868 or 9), one of the five sons of the Ruzhiner Rebbe. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham Matisyahu, when the latter was 21 years old.

HaRav Yaakov Yitzchak of Zavna. zt”l, (5652 / 1891). 

HaRav Mordechai Twersky of Layev, zt”l, (5666 / 1905)

HaRav Elazar Lev, zt”l, Rav in Ungvar, author of Pekudat Eliezer, (5678 / 1917).

HaRav Yaakov Moshe of Velbroz, zt”l, ????

HaRav Matisyahu Garjei, zt”l, author of Oneg L’Shabbat, ????

HaRav Dovid Abuchatzeira, zt”l, (5680 / 1919).
HaRav Betzalel  Zev Shafran of Baku, zt”l, (5690 / 1929).

HaRav Shaul Rosenberg, zt”l, Rav of Ratzfert, author of Chemdat Shaul, (5700 / 1939)

HaRav Mordechai Yaakov Breish of Zurich, zt”l, the Chelkat Yaakov (1895 – 5737 / 1976). Born in Skohl, Galicia, his father was a chassid of Rav Yissachar Dov of Belz. He married in 1920, and the couple lived in Lvov. He became Rav in Alesk, and then in 1928 of Disbourg, Germany. In 1933, he published Tikun Eruvin, a detailed examination of the halachot of eruvin involved in his project of making a community eruv to help his mispalelim, who were otherwise carrying on Shabbat. Following a life-threatening incident with the Nazis, who had just come to power, Rav Mordechai Yaakov and his wife decided to escape Germany. After a brief time in Lance, France, they settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he nurtured the Jewish community for 40 years. In 1967, he established the Kollel Le'horaah Chelkat Yaakov in Bnai Brak.

































15 Kislev
15 Kislev

15 Kislev - 167 B.C.E.:

A pagan altar was set up in the Beit Hamikdash under the Greeks.

15 Kislev - 1349:

Five hundred Jews of Nuremberg were massacred during the Black Death riots, Hy"d.

15 Kislev 5725 - November 20, 1964:

The Second Vatican Council, under Pope Paul VI, condemns anti-Semitism, declaring after 1800 years that the Jewish people as a whole are not to be blamed for deicide.

15 Kislev 5737 - December 7, 1976:

That bastion of impartiality - the UN Security Council, endorsed Nazi Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General for his second 5 year term.

15 Kislev 5748 - December 6, 1987:

More than 200,000 American Jews marched on Washington to demand that Soviet Jews be allowed to emigrate and practice their faith. The rally was timed to coincide with a meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Russian Jews like Natan Sharansky, Yosef Mendelovich and hundreds of others were imprisoned for the mere act of applying for an exit visa. Their plight, met with indifference by much of the Western world, spawned a massive activist effort on behalf of Soviet Jewry. In the 1970s, when the Soviet Bolshoi Ballet performed in the U.S., they were greeted by Jewish pickets demanding rights for Soviet Jews. In 1974, the U.S. Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which linked trade with Russia to freedom of emigration for Soviet Jews. The struggle for Soviet Jewry continued throughout the 1980s, and it was not until the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, that the gates opened to the emigration of some one million Jews.

15 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

Rab' Yehudah HaNasi, zy"a / Rabbi Judah the Prince, son of Rabi Shimon ben Gamliel. (3954 - 193 C.E.). Also known as Rabbeinu HaKadosh ("our holy master"), or simply as "Rebbi." He was elected Nasi -- spiritual and civil head of the Jewish community at large -- after the death of his father, Rabi Shimon ben Gamliel. He was the leader of the Jewish people during the period following the destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash. Foreseeing that due to the tribulations of the Exile which the Jewish nation was about to endure it was likely that many of the sacred laws would be forgotten, Rab' Yehudah decided to gather, record, edit, and organize the statements of the earlier sages, setting the Oral Law down in writing for very the first time, in the form of the Mishnah.
Rab' Yehudah developed a close friendship with the ruling Roman authorities, and was able to secure various benefits for the Jewish community. Although he was extremely wealthy and on friendly terms with the Emperor Antoninus, in his dying hour he lifted both his hands to Heaven, swearing that he had not benefited from his wealth even with his little finger. Instead he had labored in the study of Torah with all his strength. On the day that Rab' Yehudah died, a heavenly voice went forth and announced: "Whosoever has been present at the death of Rebbi is destined to enjoy the life of the World to Come." The Talmud (Ketubot 103a) relates that even after his passing, for a time, Rab' Yehudah would still visit his home every Friday evening at dusk. Wearing Shabbat clothes, he would recite the Kiddush, and thereby discharge his family members from their obligation to hear Kiddush. He is credited with the wise and humble saying: "I learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most of all I learned from my students."
The Shelah HaKadosh writes, "Kabbalah BiYadi--I have a personal Kabbalah--that a person who is a baki--well-versed--in Mishnayot will not ‘roeh penei Gehenom'--will not see the face of Gehenom."

HaRav Avraham Ibn Ezra (the second), zt”l, author of Batei Kenesiyot (5521 / 1760).
HaRav Ze'ev of Zhitomer,zt”l, the Ohr Hamei'ir (1799)
HaRav Eliezer Fishel of Brodi, zt”l, (5572 / 1811)
HaRav Yisrael Efraim Fishel Sofer of Nanash, zt”l, the Afsei Aretz (5582 / 1822 - 5659 / 1898).
Harav Yisrael Efraim Fishel Sofer, , born in 5582/1822, was the son of Harav Tzvi.
In his youth he learned in the yeshivah of Harav Yitzchak Perels in Bonihad. From there he went on to the yeshivah of the Chatam Sofer, where he learned for several zmanim. For the rest of his life, the Chatam Sofer remained his foremost Rebbi; he would quote the words of the Chatam Sofer only after calling him “Der heiliger Rebbi.”
Following the petirah of the Chatam Sofer, he stayed on in the yeshivah, learning under the Ktav Sofer.
When Reb Yisrael Efraim Fishel married, he settled in his hometown, Potok. He continued his avodat Hashem, utilizing all his time for learning.
Rav Yisrael Efraim Fishel would travel to Harav Tzvi Hersh of Liska, zy”a, the Ach Pri Tevuah, with whom he was very close. He was also close with many of the Gedolim of his time, notably the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
In 5621 / 1861, he was appointed Rav of Nanash. He was considered one of the foremost Rabbanim in Hungary.
His avodat Hashem was performed with mesirut nefesh. He would fast for most of the week — he didn’t eat from Motzoei Shabbat after havdalah until Tuesday night, and from then he would fast straight till the following Shabbat.
He was also renowned for his hasmadah. He would learn all night by the light of a small lantern, but since he couldn’t afford much oil, he would leave it on a very small flame. Because the light was so weak, it wasn’t seen from outside his house, causing some members of the kehillah to think that their Rav wasn’t learning at night. But, in fact, the opposite was true…
In his old age the Rav became ill and weak from fasting, but he wasn’t willing to forgo this minhag despite the pleas of his family. Only after Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, zy”a, the Kedushat Yom Tov, implored him to give up his fasting did he agree to do so.

On 14 Kislev 5659 / 1898, Reb Yisrael Efraim Fishel officiated at a brit, serving as sandak. After davening Minchah and Maariv, he turned to the kehillah and bade them all farewell. He also mentioned that it is better to bury a niftar in his weekday tallit and not in his Shabbat tallit, for the weekday tallit had soaked in many more tefillot. This left the kehillah with a great deal of anxiety.
That night he still learned with a grandson, delving into a sugya, working through the Tosafot and a complex Rambam. Near midnight, Reb Yisrael Efraim Fishel told his grandson that it was time for him to go to sleep, while he would continue learning on his own. After he recited Kriat Shema, his neshamah left him. He was 77 years old.
After Reb Yisrael Efraim Fishel was already wrapped in his tachrichim, someone recalled that he had specifically asked to be buried in his weekday tallit, and the chevrah kaddisha asked the Rabbanim what to do. The psak was that in accordance with the halachah to fulfill the words of a niftar, they would have to take off the Shabbat tallit and exchange it for the weekday one.
He was buried in Nanash. More than 40 Rabbanim from across Hungary came to participate in the levayah.
Reb Yisrael Efraim Fishel wrote Afsei Aretz on the Torah and she’eilot u’teshuvot by the same name.

HaRav Simcha Bunim (ben Avraham Shmuel Binyamin) Sofer of Pressburg (5603 / 1852 (others1842) – 5667 / 1906), the Shevet Sofer. Author of Shaarei Simcha and Shevet Sofer. Born on the first day of Chanukah, 25 Kislev, 5603/1852, in Pressburg, Hungary (now Bratslava, Slovakia), he was the son of Harav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the Ktav Sofer, and his wife Rebbetzin Chava Leah. He was the grandson of the Chatam Sofer, and a great-grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger and a descendant of Harav Mordechai Yaffe, the Levush.
When the other children were playing, young Simchah Bunim, mature beyond his years, was sitting and learning. In his father’s yeshivah, among 400 talmidim, he stood out. His chavrusa was Harav Akiva Yosef Schlesinger, later the mechaber of Lev HaIvri.
Harav Yehudah Assad, one of the Gedolei Hador, heaped much praise upon Reb Simchah Bunim when writing to him.
In Sivan 5625 / 1865, Reb Simchah Bunim married Rebbetzin Rachel, daughter of the naggid Reb Peretz Neiman of Vienna, who promised to support his son-in-law so he could continue learning. After three years in Pressburg, his father-in-law requested that he come to live in his city of Vienna. Reb Simchah Bunim acquiesced. His father-in-law asked that he join his business, a silk factory, hoping that his zechut would profit the company. Reb Simchah Bunim spent little time there, and even when he was there, he was busy answering Torah-related questions from those who came to ask. To one talmid chacham who asked how business was going, he said that business was very good that day — he had been able to answer a question on Rambam!
As Reb Simchah Bunim’s fame spread through the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he became close to many leading Rabbanim. Many kehillot wanted him for a Rav, but he refused their offers.
In 5632/1871, when Reb Simchah Bunim heard of his father’s illness, he set out immediately for Pressburg. By the time he arrived, the situation was already critical. In all the shuls, tefillot were said for the refuah sheleimah of the Ktav Sofer.
The Ktav Sofer called in the community leaders of Pressburg and instructed them not to leave the flock without a shepherd. With this, he said Shema Yisrael and was niftar.
The community leaders understood they should appoint Reb Simchah Bunim as Rav and Rosh Yeshivah. Since this was his father’s last request, Reb Simchah Bunim couldn’t refuse.
Reb Simchah Bunim was just 29 years old when he was named Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Pressburg. He answered she’eilot and judged dinei Torah, besides running the yeshivah which had over 400 talmidim.
Reb Simchah Bunim was involved in the struggle against the maskilim, strengthening all the kehillot in their efforts not to deviate from the ways of the Torah and the mesora.
He was admired by all the Gedolim of that era. He signed his name first on every kol korei of that time, as all deferred to him.
Reb Simchah Bunim was in Frankfurt am Main (the city in which his grandfather, the Chatam Sofer, was born and grew up) to see a doctor when he was niftar on 15 Kislev, 5667 / 1906. He was just under 64 years old. The kehillah in Frankfurt wanted him to be buried there, but the Pressburg kehillah would not agree, and he was buried in the family chelkah in Pressburg near his father and grandfather.
He himself was succeeded by his son, Rav Akiva Sofer, the Daat Sofer.
Interestingly, the Chatam Sofer was Rav in Pressburg for 33 years, 5567–5600; his son the Ktav Sofer was also Rav for 33 years, 5600–5632; and the Shevet Sofer was Rav for the same amount of time. When Reb Simchah Bunim’s son, the Daat Sofer, neared his 33rd year as Rav, he was very worried, and asked his uncle, the Erlauer Rav, what to do. He was advised to leave Pressburg and move to Eretz Yisrael. He did so in 5700 / 1940, and thus was spared the horrors of the War.
Reb Simchah Bunim wrote numerous sefarim, the most famous of which is She’eilot U’Teshuvot Shevet Sofer on all parts of the Shulchan Aruch. He also wrote chiddushim on sugyot of Shas, printed together with his drashot on Torah as Shaarei Simchah. The many hespeidim on him were compiled as Ohel Rachel, printed in the back of Shaarei Simchah. (16 Kislev according to others).

HaRav Raphael Even Tzur, zt”l, Rav of Fez, Morocco (5677 / 1916)
HaRav Dovid Twersky of Skver, zt”l, (5608 / 1848 - 5680 / 1919).

Reb Dovid was born on 14 Nisan 5608 / 1848. His father, Reb Yitzchak of Skver, was a son of the Maggid of Chernobyl. Reb Dovid’s mother was a great-great-granddaughter of the Baal Shem Tov through his son Reb Tzvi, after whom her father, Reb Tzvi of Skver, son of Reb Uren of Titiov, was named.
Reb Dovid married the daughter of Reb Shlomo of Savran, son of Reb Moshe of Savran. When she was niftar, he married the daughter of Reb Elyakim Getzel of Ostroah.
Reb Dovid would sit in his room most of the day, occupied with avodat Hashem. Once a month he made a siyum on the six sidrei Mishnah.
When his father, Reb Yitzchak, was niftar, in 5645 / 1885, Reb Dovid began to lead his father’s flock in Skver. His influence soon spread throughout the Ukraine, Podolia and Bessarabia, and even to far-off Lithuania, where he would frequently journey.
After his home in Skver was devastated by a fire early in 5658/1898, he settled temporarily in Chmielnik. A year later he returned to Skver.
In the summer of 5679 / 1919, bands of peasants terrorized the town, murdering many Jews and pillaging their homes. Reb Dovid’s family urged him to leave Skver and move to Kiev. At first he hesitated to leave his hometown. However, the situation soon deteriorated, so he relented and made the move.
Reb Dovid fared no better in Kiev. Terrible poverty and rampant epidemics claimed the lives of many of his children and grandchildren. He himself grew extremely weak, and on Motzoei Shabbat, the eve of 15 Kislev 5680 / 1919, he returned his pure soul to Heaven. He was brought to kevurah in the old Kiev cemetery. But in 5682 / 1922 the Russians began to destroy the old cemetery, and a group of Chassidim reburied him in the new cemetery in Kiev called the Berkavtza Beit Almin.
At that time, due to fear of the communists, no ohel was erected over his kever. Only recently, in 5749 / 1989, did Skverer Chassidim build a beautiful ohel at the site.

HaRav Chaim Dovid Hakohen Leibowitz, zt”l, (1890 - 5702 / 1941). Born in Warsaw,  he studied in the yeshiva of Radin as a teenager, where he held private study sessions with his great-uncle, the Chafetz Chaim for 12 hours a day. In 1908, upon the latter's recommendation, Rav Dovid went to learn in the Slabodka Yeshiva, under the direction of the Alter, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In 1915, Rav Leibowitz succeeded his father-in-law as Rav of Selechnik. After six years, however, he returned to Slobodka as a founding member of the Slabodka Kollel. Every member of the Kovno Kollel had to commit himself to one year of traveling abroad and raising funds for the Kollel. That is what brought Rav Dovid to America in 1926. While there, he was offered the job as rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Torah Vodaat. Among his students were Rav Gedalya Schorr and Rav Avraham Pam. In 1933, Rav Leibowitz founded Yeshivat Rabbenu Yisrael Meir Hacohen (better known today as the Chafetz Chaim Yeshiva/Rabbinical Seminary of America in Forest Hills, N.Y.) There he transplanted to the United States his unique style of Talmud study as well as the Slabodka school of mussar. The yeshiva has been headed for the past half-century by his son, Rav Henoch Leibowitz zt”l, who was niftar in 2008. It is now headed by Rav Dovid Harris and by Rav Akiva Grunblatt.





























16 Kislev
16 Kislev

16 Kislev

According to the opinion of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Yehoshua, who maintains that the Flood began on 17 Iyar, the bottom of Noach’s Tayva / Ark, submerged 11 cubits beneath the water's surface, touched down and came to rest on the top of Mount Ararat on this day (2104 BCE?) .

16 Kislev 5564 - Dec. 1, 1803:

The author of the halachic works Chayei Adam and Chochmat Adam, HaRav Avraham Danzig, (1748-1820), survived a blast and fire on the eve of the 16th of Kislev. The inferno engulfed many homes, including his own home and the very room where all of his family members were, causing some of the walls to collapse. Rav Avraham Danzig then established the day as a Yom Tov (Pulver Purim) for himself and all of his future descendants to mark the miraculous escape.

16 Kislev 5653 - December 5, 1892:

Hermann Ahlwardt elected to the German Reichstag, marking the beginning of political anti-Semitism in Germany.

16 Kislev 5700 - November 28, 1939:

In order to comply with German wishes to be "free of Jews," the newly annexed town of Suvalki, Poland deported its 6,000 Jewish residents.

16 Kislev 5700 - November 28, 1939:

The Judenrat was established by the Nazi governor-general of Poland.

16 Kislev 5704 - December 13, 1943:

The SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimir-Volynski, Poland. They were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force.

16 Kislev 5707 - November 9, 1946:

The 22nd World Zionist Congress met in Basle, Switzerland. In the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, Zionist leaders had lost all patience with British stonewalling about the creation of a Jewish state. Thus the Zionists decided to forcibly resist British policy, and Jewish underground movements redoubled their campaign to damage British installations such as rail lines, police stations and army bases. In one night in 1946, Ben Gurion's Hagana blew up 12 critical bridges. The efforts were largely successful, and by 1947 Britain declared its intention to withdraw, thus leading to the UN Partition Plan of November 1947.

16 Kislev Yahrtzeits:     
HaRav Yaakov of Lublin, zt”l, (5404 / 1643 or 1644), father of Rav Herschel of Cracow

HaRav Menachem (ben Yaakov Dovid) Kalish of Amshinov, zt”l, (5620 / 1860 - 5678 / 1917).
Rav Menachem was the son of Harav Yaakov Dovid of Amshinov, the first Rebbe of Amshinov, who in turn was the son of Harav Yitzchak of Vorka, and of Rebbetzin Esther Golda, the daughter of the Chassid Reb Shmuel Moshe Alberstein of Biala.
In 5638 / 1878, at the age of 18, Reb Menachem succeeded his father as Rebbe.
The Chassidim accepted him wholeheartedly and he dedicated himself completely to their wellbeing. Reb Menachem was moser nefesh for tzorchei hatzibbur. He led his flock with the unique Vorka style of ahavat Yisrael.
Every Shabbat evening, before Kiddush, Reb Menachem would cover his eyes for a while, and when he removed his hand, his eyes would be full of tears. Reb Yitzchak of Amshinov, zy”a, explained that Reb Menachem had been doing teshuvah in preparation for saying Vayechulu, which is called eidut (testimony). He wanted to be a kosher witness.
When Reb Moshe Wishkovski was due to be drafted into the Russian army, his father took him to the Amshinover Rebbe, Reb Menachem, for a yeshuah that he be exempted. Reb Menachem called Reb Moshe over to his desk and asked him to read from a Chumash that was lying there. But before Reb Moshe could begin to read, the Rebbe closed the sefer and declared, “You can’t see anything — so why are you afraid of them?”
Reb Moshe and his father trusted the Rebbe completely, believing that this very peculiar exchange would help them somehow.
Shortly afterward, Reb Moshe dutifully appeared at the draft office for enlistment and was examined by the army doctor, as required. The doctor barely laid eyes on him before shouting, “Get out of here, fast! The glorious army of the Russian czar has no use for blind people!”
Reb Moshe was hustled out of the enlistment office with an exemption notice and a clear understanding of the Rebbe’s miraculous words.
During World War I, he moved to the relative safety of Warsaw, where he worked tirelessly for the many Jewish refugees who filled the city.
Reb Menachem of Amshinov was niftar Friday night, 16 Kislev 5678 / 1917, and was buried in Warsaw. At his levayah, the Imrei Emet was heard to say, “He was of the shiyurei Knesset Hagedolah (remnants of the Great Assembly).”
One of his sons, Rav Yosef, became Rebbe in Amshinov, while his second son, Rav Shimon Shalom, became a Rebbe in Otvotsk. When Rav Yosef passed away, in 1935, his son, Rav Yaakov Dovid (1906-1942), was immediately appointed as his successor. His uncle, Rav Shimon Shalom, had fled to Shanghai where he helped the Mir yeshiva escape and, after the war, he went to America. Upon his passing in 1954, he was succeeded by his son, Rav Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir, who set up court in the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Bayit Vegan. Rav Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir's grandson, Rav Yaakov Aryeh Milikowski, succeeded him in 1976. Rav Yitzchak Kalish, the son of Rav Yosef, became the Rebbe of Amshinover chassidim in America. Of Amshinov itself, nothing remained.
HaRav Shaul Yedidya Elazar (ben Yisrael)
Taub (the Imrei Shaul), zt”l, the second Modzitzer Rebbe. (5647 / 1886 - 5708 / 1947). Born on Hoshana Rabbah, 21 Tishrei 5647/1886, in Osherov, (in the Radom district of Poland). His father was Harav Yisrael, the Divrei Yisrael of Modzhitz.
Great in Torah, he was also talented in music like the rest of the Modzhitzer dynasty. As a composer, his niggunim were not the folk-style melodies of many of his predecessors but intricate, musically structured and quite lengthy. He thought in terms of instruments, and often suggested an accompaniment of strings, winds and horns to enhance his niggunim.
Reb Shaul Yedidyah married the daughter of Harav Avraham Eiger of Lublin. He remarried following her passing.
All his life his soul was drawn to Eretz Yisrael. He visited three times from Poland, and always planned to settle there.
He assumed the leadership of Modzitz upon the passing of his father, the Divrei Yisrael, on 13 Kislev 5681 / 1920. He led his Chassidim in Otwock, Poland, where he built his beit medrash.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Rebbe was one of those who fled to the Russian border. For Rosh Hashanah 5700 / 1939 the Rebbe was in Chelm, but later he escaped to Vilna, Lithuania. From there he rode through Russia to Japan. Eventually, with the help of some Modzhitzer Chassidim, he and some family members reached San Francisco, California, moving to Brooklyn, New York, in 1940, where he resided until 1947 rebuilding Modzhitzer Chassidut.

His fourth and last trip to Eretz Yisrael was from the United States in 5708 / 1947; he went fully intending to settle there, but Hashem had other plans. He became very ill and was niftar on Shabbat Parashat Vayishlach, 16 Kislev 5708 / 1947. (This was the very day that the U.N. passed its partition plan for “Palestine.”)
The Rebbe was the last person buried on Har Hazeitim until after the Six-Day War. A matzeiva was first erected on his kever in 1967, 20 years after his petira.
Reb Shaul was probably the most prolific chassidic composer of all time with the total output numbering close to 1000 compositions.
His teachings have been collected in the volumes of Imrei Shaul and Yisa Bracha. He was succeeded by his oldest son, Reb Shmuel Eliyahu Taub. His other sons were Harav Yechezkel, Harav Yitzchak, Harav Yisrael and Harav Dovid. He also had two daughters.

HaRav Dovid Leib Schwartz, zt”l, "Der Heiliger Tzadik" of Bnei Brak, (5760 / 1999)

































17 Kislev
17 Kislev

17 Kislev 3414 - 348 B.C.E.:

The Navi (prophet) Ezra HaSofer (the Scribe), after his arrival in Eretz Yisroel, went to the Beit Hamikdash, fasted, prayed and cried in public, due to the intermarriage which was rampant in Eretz Yisrael at that time. A large following gathered around him and joined his prayers. The kohanim and Israelites swore to send away their non-Jewish wives. Ezra then issued a proclamation that all Jews residing in Eretz Yisroel should assemble in three days' time in Yerushalayim. (See 20 Kislev).

17 Kislev 5110 - 1349:
The Jews of Ausburg, Germany were massacred, Hy"d.

17 Kislev 5141 - 1380:

Many Jewish moneylenders were killed as French nobles rioted in Paris after Charles VI ascended to the throne and said he would not expel the Jews. The murderers hoped to relieve themselves of their debt, Hy"d.

17 Kislev 5357 - December 8, 1596:

The first Jewish author in America, Luis de Carvajal el Mozo, his mother, and three sisters were burned at the stake in Mexico City by the Inquisition, together with five other Crypto-Jews who were also accused of Judaizing, Hy"d.

17 Kislev 5609 - December 12, 1848:

The Jews of Nassau, Germany were granted legal equality.

17 Kislev 5658 - December 12, 1897:

Anti-Jewish violence erupted in Bucharest, Romania.

17 Kislev 5679 - November 21, 1918:

Polish soldiers organized a pogrom against Jews of Galicia, Poland.

17 Kislev 5705 - December 3, 1944:

· End of the Hungarian death march of Jews.

17 Kislev 5708 - November 30, 1947:

The United Nations, by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions voted in favor of the partition of Palestine. This vote enabled the establishment of the State of Israel as a national homeland for the Jewish People.
The Jewish area was split into three non-contiguous plots, with no consideration of security: the eastern Galilee, the coastal plain from Haifa down to Tel Aviv, and the majority being the uncultivable Negev desert. The other half of the land was to form a new Arab state. Jerusalem and its 100,000 Jews was to be completely surrounded on four sides by the Arab state, and administered as an international zone. Despite these unfavorable terms, the Jewish Agency immediately accepted the Partition Plan; the Arabs immediately rejected it. Fighting began soon after, leading to a full-scale assault in 1948 by troops from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi and Yemen.
17 Kislev 5708 - November 30, 1947:

A day after the United Nations vote, the Israeli War of Independence began when a bus near Lod is attacked and five of its passengers killed. The Arabs proclaim a general strike and attack the Jewish commercial quarter near the Old City of Yerushalayim.

17 Kislev 17, 5748 - December 8, 1987:

The first "intifadah" (Arabic for uprising) by Palestinians in the Israeli-administered areas of the West Bank and Gaza began.

17 Kislev Yahrtzeits:

HaRav Dovid Teveli of Volna, zt”l, (5327 / 1566), son-in-law of the Maharshal.

HaRav Shlomo Shapiro, Hy”d, (5408 / 1647), a son of the Megaleh Amukot, killed al kiddush Hashem during Gezeirot Tach v’Tat.

Harav Dovid of Podheitz, Hy”d, (5413 / 1652), burned al kiddush Hashem.

HaRav Chai Taib of Tunisia, zt"l, author of HaLev Hitin (1835).

HaRav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, The Alter of Novardok, zt"l, (5608 / 1848 [or1849 or 1858] - 5680 / 1919). Harav Yosef Yoizel was born in the Lithuanian town of Plongian to Rav Shlomo Zalman, Rav and Dayan of the town. He had a tremendous amount of energy, which he utilized for avodat Haborei, learning and davening with vigor. At his father’s behest, at the young age of 16, he became a Maggid Shiur for the young bachurim of the town.
He married the daughter of Harav Yaakov Stein, a highly respected layman and talmid chacham, who promised to support the couple. Unfortunately, his future father-in-law was niftar before the chasunah, leaving behind a widow and many orphans without means of support. With no choice, after his chasunah, Rav Yosef Yoizel involved himself in his late father-in-law’s business.
Rav Yosef Yoizel’s business deals took him to various countries, some of them quite far. Once in Memel, he met Harav Yisrael Salanter, zt”l. Rav Salanter explained to Rav Yosef Yoizel the principles of mussar. From that point on, Rav Yosef Yoizel removed himself from all things materialistic. Giving up his business, he devoted himself totally to the study of Torah.
On the advice of Rav Salanter, Rav Yosef Yoizel joined Kovno’s Kollel Perushim where he studied under Rav Itzele Blazer, Rav Naftali Amsterdam and Rav Avraham Shenker. During that period he spent at least 18 hours a day studying Shas and Poskim — standing most of the time.
He also spent two lengthy periods learning in solitude - first, he secluded himself in a small room for a year and a half after tragically losing his first wife during childbirth; later, learning in a room in a forest for 12 years, leaving only to visit his family for Shabbatot.
In 5654 / 1894, Rav Yosef Yoizel began to visit the Alter of Kelm, Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv, in Kelm’s beit hamussar. Rav Simcha Zissel persuaded Rav Yosef Yoizel that all those capable of influencing others should make an all-out effort to counteract the destructive influences of the haskalah movement.
The first kollel Rav Yosef Yoizel founded was in Lubatch, a city near Novardok. He then went on to establish a network of kollelim in 20 Polish and Russian towns.
Later, he established the famed Yeshivat Novardok and served as its Rosh Yeshivah and Mashgiach. He also established many branches of the yeshivah, including yeshivot ketanot and kollelim.
During the War, in 1914, he moved the yeshiva - with its bachurim - to Hommel in the Ukraine, as the Germans advanced on Novardok.
Following Shavuot 5679/1919, Rav Yosef Yoizel moved to Kiev. A typhoid epidemic broke out and many of his talmidim contracted the disease and passed away. Rav Yosef Yoizel tended to the sick talmidim until he himself contracted the illness, from which he was niftar.
To this day, Harav Yosef Yoizel is respectfully referred to in the Torah world as Der Alter fun Novardok.

HaRav Shlomo Heiman, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Medrash Elyon, Tora Vodaath (1893 - 5705 / 1944). Born in Parenz, near Minsk, (White Russia), His father was Harav Michel Heiman. Reb Shlomo entered the yeshiva in Halusk (Kamenitz) at age 12, where he learned under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, with whom he was very close. He remained there until 1917, (others 5678 / 1918), when he married Chaya Feiga Rudensky, the daughter of Rav Yochanon Rudensky of Volozhin.
That year, he was appointed by Rav Baruch Ber to serve as Rosh Yeshiva in Knesset Beit Yitzchak which was fleeing from Slabodka to Krementchug.
It was at this time that Reb Shlomo developed the reputation of being one of Lithuania’s most outstanding talmidei chachamim.
When anti-Semitic harassment forced him to leave the area, the Chafetz Chaim asked Rav Shlomo to teach in his yeshiva. When WW I ended, Rav Elchonon Wasserman asked Rav Shlomo to be a Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivat Ohel Torah of Baranovitch. In 1927 Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzenski invited Rav Shlomo to be Rosh Yeshiva of the Ramailles Yeshiva in Vilna, a position he held for almost eight years.
In 5695 / 1935, with Rav Chaim Ozer’s approval, Rav Shlomo accepted an invitation by Harav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz to head Mesivta Torah Vodaath in America. Thus he was spared, through hashgacha pratis, the horrors of WW II. Since he arrived in America a few years before the onset of the Holocaust, he was able to aid in the rescue of Bnei Torah and Rebbeim.
During the years of Reb Shlomo’s tenure at Torah Vodaath the yeshivah experienced significant growth and expansion.
Reb Shlomo gave shiurim for 10 years in Torah Vodaath, and did not leave the “tent of Torah” until a few short days before his passing. He merited teaching hundreds of talmidim, many of whom went on to become leading Torah personalities in America. His refined personality was a beacon of light and a living example to all his talmidim.
He was niftar on 17 Kislev 5705 / 1944 at the age of 52 and laid to rest at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens. To this day people visit his kever to be mispallel.
Two volumes were printed after his petirah based on some of his published work and his notes, as well as notes of his talmidim, under the name Chiddushei Rebbi Shlomo.

HaRav Avraham Yochanan Blumenthal, zt"l, (1877-1966). Born to his parents one year after they made aliyah from Hungary, he married in 1895, and - despite the death of three of his children and his wife’s becoming hard of hearing - he began an orphanage for the destitute of Yerushalayim during World War I. Beit Zion Blumenthal has been continued by his grandson, Rav Eliezer Rakovsky (d. 1996) and his great grandson, Rav Baruch Rakovsky.

HaRav Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum of Rachov (Rackov), zt”l, (5689 / 1929 - 5759 / 1998). Son of Harav Yitzchak of Rachov, a scion of the Nadvorna dynasty. He was born in Rachov in 5689/1929.
As a young child, his melamed — seeing his amazing potential — called him “Rosh Yeshivah.”
At 15 he went through the horrors of World War II, losing his entire family except for one sister.
He himself had a close escape from death; as he was being taken out to be shot, along with 500 other Jews, he managed to run away.
Following the end of the War, Reb Eliezer Zev remained in Europe for another year and then reached Eretz Yisrael.
He married the daughter of his cousin Harav Chaim Mordechai of Nadvorna.
At the instruction of Harav Aharon of Belz, zy”a, in 5711 / 1951 Reb Eliezer Zev began to lead Rachover Chassidut, initially in Ramle and later in Ramat Gan. Reb Eliezer Zev was renowned for his avodah in tefillah and for his acts of chessed.
He was succeeded by his son Harav Yechiel Meir Rosenbaum, shlita, the Rachover Rebbe. Another son is Harav Yitzchak Rosenbaum.
His sons-in-law are Harav Shlomo Kahana of Spinka; Harav Yehudah Rosenbaum, Linsker Rebbe; Harav Gedaliah Moshe Roth, son of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, shlita; and Harav Yitzchak Eizik Kahana, son of Harav Moshe Nachman of Spinka.
(Others 18 Kislev)
































18 Kislev
18 Kislev

18 Kislev 5408 - December 15, 1647:

Isaac De Castro Tartas was burned at the stake in Lisbon at the age of 21, Hy"d. Although he was a Dutch citizen, he was condemned when he refused to accept Christianity.

18 Kislev 5523 - December 4, 1762:

Catherine II of Russia permitted all foreigners except Jews to settle and travel in Russia.

18 Kislev 5554 - November 22, 1793:

During the French Revolution, antireligious fervor peaked. Laws were published in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, France that prohibited religious circumcision, and the wearing of beards. It also ordered the burning of books written in Hebrew. The French Revolution, born of the ideals of Enlightenment, had become the first society to emancipate the Jews, permitting them to enter the highest levels of government and finance. Yet all the talk of "equality" did not stop Voltaire from singling out the Jews as "the most abominable people in the world." The invective gained expression in the 1940s when the French Vichy regime took the initiative to round up and hand over 61,000 Jews to the Nazis.

18 Kislev 5670 - December 1, 1909:

The first Kibbutz Degania Aleph was founded in Palestine (pre-state Israel) by Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), who was considered the visionary of the militantly secular kibbutz movement. In 2005, breaking with its lengthy secular tradition, Degania opened its first synagogue.

18 Kislev 5679 - November 22, 1918:

Polish forces attack the Jews of Lvov.

18 Kislev 5699 - December 11, 1938:

Hermann Goering announced consideration of Madagascar as a home for European Jewry.

18 Kislev 5702 - December 8, 1941:

The Chelmno extermination camp opened in Poland.

18 Kislev 5702 - December 8, 1941:

All Jewish females and children were ordered to register with the Police of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

18 Kislev 5702 - December 8, 1941:

Fifteen hundred "old and weak" Jews from the Riga ghetto were murdered by the S.S. in a forest near Bikerneku. Some of the Jews were shot to death while others were asphyxiated in experimental death trucks. These events were later recalled in the book "Endless Miracles," by survivor Jack Ratz, who was 14 at the time, Hy"d.

18 Kislev Yahrtzeits

Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam, zt"l, (1186 - 4998 / 1237 or 8). The only son of the Rambam, born to him by his second wife in Fostat, Egypt . Author of Hamaspik L’ovdei Hashem.

HaRav Aryeh Leib Darshan of Posen, zt"l, (5497 / 1736).

HaRav Baruch of Mezhbizh, zt"l, (1756 [or 1753] - 5572 / 1811), son of Rav Yechiel Ashkenazi and Adel (Hudel), the only daughter of the Baal Shem Tov. Educated by Rav Pinchas of Koritz and the Maggid of Mezritch, he began serving as Rebbe in Tulchin. After the passing of his older brother, the Degel Machane Efraim in 1798, Rav Baruch settled in Mezhibizh.

HaRav Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke of Sassov, zt"l, (5622 / 1861).
Harav Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke was the son of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, zy”a.
He was born in Sassov in 5560/1800.
Orphaned at just seven years of age, Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke was brought up in the home of Harav Avraham Chaim of Zlotchov, zy”a, the Orach Lechaim. After the petirah of the latter, the boy lived in the home of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, zy”a, the Ahavat Shalom, who took care of the shidduch and marriage of Reb Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke as a father would tend to his son.
He married the daughter of Rav Reuven Yaffe of Chuttin.
Reb Shmuel Shmelke was a Chassid of Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, the Ohev Yisrael, Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin and Harav Moshe Tzvi of Savran, zechusam yagein aleinu.
With Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura he opened a sugar factory in Salamatch. When this venture failed, he accepted the order of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin that he serve as Rebbe in Sassov in place of his father. In 5609/1849 he was appointed Rav of the city as well.
As the son of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, he was very close with many of the generation’s Rebbes. He was the one who decided, after the petirah of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, zy”a, which of his sons would lead the Chassidim in Kossov, and who would have to establish a court outside of Kossov.
Reb Shmuel Shmelke was niftar on 18 Kislev 5622/1861, at the age of 61, and buried in Yaglanitza on the same day. It was his explicit wish to be buried on the day of his petirah. Interestingly, years earlier, when his father Reb Moshe Leib Sassover had visited Yaglanitza, he predicted that one of his descendants would be buried there.
Reb Shmuel Shmelke had two sons, Rav Alter and Rav Yaakov, neither of whom became a Rebbe after their father’s petirah. His sons-in-law were Harav Shlomo Shapiro of Munkacs; Harav Betzalel of Bichov; and Harav Shraga Yair of Bialobrazig.

HaRav Yosef Yitzchak of Ovritch, zt"l, son of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch, and father of Rebbitzen Shterna Sarah who was the wife of the Rebbe RaShaB (1877) (others 5636 / 1875).

HaRav Mordechai Alishberg of Boisk, zt"l, (5650 / 1889).

HaRav Chaim Tzvi Ehrenreich, zt"l, author of She’eilot U’teshuvot Kav Chaim (5635 / 1875 - 5697 / 1936). Born in Savrantz to Harav Yaakov Ehrenreich, his grandfather was Rav Avraham Yehuda Schwartz, the Kol Aryeh. Chaim Zvi was nine years old when his grandfather was niftar.
From his earliest years, Rav Chaim Zvi loved Torah and studied it constantly.
His primary teacher was his brother, Rav Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, Rav of Shamlau and author of Lechem Shlomo.
When Rav Chaim Zvi was of marriageable age, he was well known for his knowledge of Shas and poskim, and particularly of halachah. His maternal uncle, Harav Naftali Schwartz, author of Beit Naftali, took him as his daughter’s chassan.
Preparations for the wedding began, but before it could take place, Rav Naftali suddenly passed away. The family postponed the wedding for half a year. After the wedding finally took place, the couple settled near Rav Naftali’s widow in Mahd.
The Mahd community was anxious to appoint Rav Chaim Zvi to fill his late father-in-law’s position as Rav of the town. Though he was eminently qualified, he was too modest to assume the position. Finally, after many entreaties, he acquiesced instead to being made Dayan and Moreh Tzedek, and the community looked elsewhere for a Rav.

Rav Chaim Zvi was Dayan in Mahd for over 30 years.
At age 57 he finally accepted the Rabbinate of Mahd, but to the grief of family, students, townspeople and followers, he fell critically ill just four years later. He lay on his deathbed for an entire year before succumbing on 18 Kislev 5697 / 1936, at 62.
In 1923, he published Ketzeit Hamateh on the Mateh Efraim (by Rav Efraim Zalman Margulies of Brodt) on the halachot of Chodesh Elul and Chodesh Tishrei. In 1932, he published Shaarei Chaim on Shaarei Efarim, dealing with halachot of kriat Hatorah.
After his passing, his son Harav Moshe Yehudah Ehrenreich began collecting his teshuvot for publication. It took six years, but in 5703 / 1943, in the middle of the war, he had the merit of publishing She’eilot U’teshuvot Kav Chaim, comprising 102 (gematria of kavteshuvot in practical halachah.
Although Kav Chaim was published and appreciated, it could hardly be distributed under the tragic circumstances of the day. When the war was over, nothing remained but a single copy which had been tenaciously preserved against all odds by Rav Chaim Zvi’s younger son, Harav Eliezer Ehrenreich, the Mahder Rav. In 5731 / 1971, he republished it in an expanded version.

HaRav Moshe Dovid Steinwurzel, zt"l, (1934 – 1991), Rosh Yeshiva of the Bobover Yeshiva in N.Y.  Rav of Khal Beit Ephraim, Midwood, Flatbush, NY.
The Shul was established in 1967 when Flatbush was an area devoid of Yiddishkeit, and its establishment helped make Flatbush the vibrant makom Torah it is today.
The Shul is currently headed by his son, Harav Yitzchok.
Reb Baruch Meir Yaakov Shochet, Karlin-Stolin Rebbe in Givat Ze'ev, is his son-in-law.

HaRav Tzvi Menachem Teller, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva at the Bait Medrash L’Torah (Skokie Yeshiva) (1951-2007). His parents were Gerrer Chasidim from distinguished lineage, descended from Rav Yitzchok of Vorki. Upon advice of the Gerrer Rebbe, the Bait Yisrael, young Tzvi Teller went to a Lithuanian style Yeshiva. He learned at the Ponovezh Yeshiva for seven years as a talmid of Rav Dovid Povarsky and Rav Shmuel Rozovsky. After marrying, the couple moved to Seattle where Rav Tzvi became a principal for 3 years. In 1975, they moved to Skokie.

HaRav Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, zt”l, (5770 / 2009), Bostoner Rebbe of Boston and Yerushalayim.

























19 Kislev
19 Kislev

19 Kislev 5559 - November 27, 1798:

The Baal HaTanya and founder of the Lubavitch dynasty, HaRav Shneur Zalman of Liadi, was released from his imprisonment in the Peter-Paul Fortress in Petersburg, where he had been held for 52 (62)? days on charges that his teachings threatened the imperial authority of the Czar. Yud-Tet Kislev and the following day are celebrated by Lubavitcher Chabad chasidim as a Yom Tov.

19 Kislev 5700 - December 1, 1939:

Reichfuhrer Heinrich Himmler ordered deportation of Polish Jews.

19 Kislev 5724 - December 5, 1963:

Herbert H. Lehman, the first Jewish Governor of New York, died.

19 Kislev Yahrtzeits

Harav Dov Ber, zt"l, the Maggid of Mezeritch (c. 5464 / 1704?1710 - 5533 / 1772), the disciple of, and successor to the founder of Chassidism, Rab Yisroel Baal Shem Tov. Born in Lukatch to Reb Avraham, he was descended from Rav Hai Gaon and Rav Yochanan Hasandler, a descendent of Dovid Hamelech.
It is told that when Reb Dov Ber was five years old, his home was destroyed by fire. His mother stood by the charred remains and wept bitterly. “It is not for the house that I weep,” she explained to the child, “but for the records of our yichus that have been consumed by flames.” The young child comforted her. “The yichus will start again from me,” he said.
A brilliant student, he went to Lvov to learn under the great Pnei Yehoshua and under his son-in-law, Harav Shlomo Dov Ber of Lukatch.
In 5512 / 1752 he became the Baal Shem Tov’s closest disciple, eventually succeeding him. He was known to be a great gaon, a truly astounding Torah scholar
At first he earned a livelihood by teaching children; eventually he became a Maggid in various towns, including Turtchin, Koritz, Dubna, and later Mezeritch.
Reportedly, the first time the Maggid met the Baal Shem Tov was when he traveled to him to obtain a brachah for a refuah. Indeed, the Baal Shem Tov’s brachah helped, and it resulted in Reb Dov Ber becoming one of his closest talmidim.
After the Baal Shem Tov’s petirah, the authority of Harav Dov Ber was recognized by one and all.
Initially, the Baal Shem Tov’s son, Reb Tzvi, succeeded his father, but he gave over the mantle of leadership after having been commanded to do so by his father, who appeared to him in a dream. The Maggid of Mezeritch, often referred to as “Hamaggid Hagadol,” established his court in Mezeritch and expanded the movement of Chassidut.
Among his students were the Rebbe Reb Shmuel Shmelke HaLevi Horowitz and his brother, Reb Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz, the Baal HaFlaah, the Rebbe Reb Zushia and his brother, Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Rav Nachum of Chernobyl, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi.
His son was Rav Avraham HaMalach (1740-1776).
The classic anthologies of his teachings are Likutei Amarim, Torah Ohr, Ohr HaEmmet,
Maggid Devarav L’Yaakov; Ohr Torah; Likutim Yekarim; and Torat Hamaggid.
Harav Dov Ber led the Chassidic movement from 1761 until his passing on Kislev 19, 5533 / 1772. He is buried in Anipoli.
He consolidated chassidic teachings into a structured, cohesive movement. Among the ideas he emphasized was the importance of clinging to Hashem in all actions -- business, social and religious. The Maggid also taught of perfecting one's soul in order to bring about the redemption of the world. Today, tens of thousands of chassidim trace their spiritual roots back to the Maggid of Mezeritch.

Harav  Shmuel Yehudah Leib, zt”l,, author of Teshuot Chen (5578 / 1817).   

Harav Yitzchak Chai Teib, zt”l, Rav of Tunisia and author of Cheilev Chitim, (5596 / 1835).

HaRav Yeshaya Banet of Calev (Kalov), zt”l, (5625 / 1864), son of Harav Mordechai Banet of Nikolsburg, the famed Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Nikolsburg. His father named him after the Shela Hakadosh, Harav Yeshaya Horowitz, to whom they were related. Reb Mordechai felt very close to the Shelah; he always davened and bentched from the Siddur HaShelah.
Reb Yeshaya learned under his father. He married the daughter of Harav Elazar Lev, Rav of Santov and author of Shemen Rokeach. Reb Yeshaya was appointed Rav of Calev. In this capacity, he fought all those who wished to do away with authentic Yiddishkeit.
Reb Yeshayah was known as an outstanding masmid; he barely slept at night, due to his extreme love of Torah. Harav Yechezkel Banet attested that Reb Yeshayah would not sleep more than two hours a night, and even that not lying down.
Reb Yeshayah couldn’t tolerate anything less than the truth. This was plain in his rulings as Rav, in which he showed no fear of any member of the kehillah.
A few months before his petira, Reb Yeshaya was chosen to be a member of a delegation to Vienna on behalf of his brethren. Among the other delegates were Harav Yehuda Assad and Harav Menachem Eisenstadt.
Reb Yeshaya was niftar on 19 Kislev 5625/1864 in Calev, and brought to kevurah there.

Harav  Pinchas HaKohen
Steiner, zt”l, Rav of Eiluk, author of Briti Shalom, (5673 / 1902).  

Harav Menachem Nachum Twersky of Tolna, zt”l. (5629 / 1869 - 5676 / 1905),
Harav Menachem Nachum was born on 16 Iyar 5629 / 1869. His father was Harav Mordechai, the only son of Harav Dovid of Tolna to survive childhood.
His father died when he was eight years old, and Rav Menachem Nachum became Rebbe of Tolna at his bar mitzvah, a few days after the petirah of his grandfather on 10 Iyar 5642 / 1882.
He became the son-in-law of Harav Moshe of Tshitshelnik, a scion of the Savran dynasty.
Initially, Reb Menachem Nachum held court in Tolna; later he moved to Toltshin. He was beloved by the public, not just his Chassidim.
He was niftar on 19 Kislev 5676 / 1905 in Kiev, at age 46.
Many of his divrei Torah have been collected and compiled in Matmonei Menachem Nachum.
His sons were Harav Dovid Mordechai of Tolna-New York; Harav Yochanan of Sabin; Harav Yitzchak; Harav Moshe Tzvi of Tolna-Philadelphia; Harav Meshulam Zusha of Tolna-Boston; Harav Avraham; and Harav Aharon.

Harav Avraham Aharon Borstein (Bursztyn), zt”l, author of Ner Aharon (5686 / 1915).  

HaRav Chaim Halberstam, zt"l, Dayan in Satmar and son of HaRav Shalom Eliezer of Ratzfert, zy’a (5645 / 1885 - 5702 / 1941).
Harav Chaim Halberstam, the oldest son of Harav Shalom Eliezer of Ratzfert, was born in 5645 / 1885. He was named after his grandfather, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
In his youth, Reb Chaim had a speech defect, and the family considered surgery. His grandfather, Harav Mordechai Dov Twersky of Hornisteipel, zy”a, dismissed the idea, saying that his impediment would not affect his future. His uncle, Harav Yechezkel of Shinev, added that Moshe Rabbeinu also had a speech impediment…
shidduch was suggested for Reb Chaim: the daughter of Harav Avraham Shalom Pinchas Halevi Rottenberg. Initially, Reb Shalom Eliezer did not consent. A year later he agreed to the shidduch, and it was finalized.
Reb Chaim was an outstanding masmid, renowned as a talmid chacham and posek. Many Torah letters to and from him were published in a wide array of She’eilot U’teshuvot. Some of these letters were correspondence with his grandfather, Harav Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipel.
His tefillot were fiery. He was especially renowned for his hanachat tefillin which he did with much hislahavut.
After his first wife passed away, leaving him in charge of his young orphans, Reb Chaim married Rebbetzin Chavah, the daughter of Harav Baruch Rubin of Brizdowitz.
Unfortunately, Reb Chaim took ill not long after and was niftar on 19 Kislev 5702 / 1941, at the age of 57.
When Reb Shalom Eliezer was told of his son’s petirah, he put on his coat and left the house. This kabbalat hadin was astounding; as close and beloved as Reb Chaim had been to him, the bereaved father was yet able to accept Hashem’s decree with love.
Reb Shalom Eliezer journeyed to the levayah in Satmar and delivered an emotional and heart-rending hesped, following that of Harav Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar, zy”a. Reb Chaim was buried in Satmar.

Harav Nissan Chaim of Brodshin, zt"'l (5703 / 1942).

HaRav Shaul Mekiketz Shelai, zt"'l, born in Djerba, one of the two main cities in Tunisia, son of Rav Matuk Sali, and grandson of Emmanuel Shelai. At an early age, he leaned under Rav Dovid HaKohen, and at age 20, he began to teach in the yeshiva of Rav Yosef Bereibi, the Ben Porat Yosef. With the latter’s passing, Rav Shaul became the Rosh Yeshiva. Rav Shaul edited and annotated many sefarim by previous gedolim of Djerba, including Kisei Rachamim by Rav Rachamim Mazuz and Ben Porat Yosef by Rav Yosef Bereibi. Later in life, he and his wife moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Shlomi, near Nahariya. In Israel, he wrote Midrasho shel Shlomo in 1948 and Karmi Sheli (on Kiddushin) and Medrash Avot (on Avot) in 1963, as well as other writings. His final work, Bayit Va’Shem was published posthumously in 1975. Appended to it is Va’Yatek Mi’Sham, offering guidelines and insights on raising children.

HaRav Moshe Tzvi Neriyeh, Beit Midrash Lamed Daat (1995).



















20 Kislev
20 Kislev

20 Kislev 3414 - 348 B.C.E.:

The Navi (prophet) Ezra HaSofer (the Scribe), head of the Sanhedrin and the leader of the Jewish people at the time of the building of the Second Beit HaMikdash, addressed a three-day assemblage in Yerushalayim, urging the people to adhere to the teachings of the Torah and to dissolve their marraiges to non-jews. (The Jewish people were on the verge of complete assimilation at the time, following their 70-year exile in Babylonia). Ezra established many batei din for this purpose. He also urges them to purge the Jewish community of foreign elements and influence. (Ezra 10:9-13) (See 17 Kislev).

20 Kislev - 1095:

First Crusade proclaimed by the Council of Clermont.

20 Kislev 5557 - December 20, 1796:

The first edition of the Tanya was printed.

20 Kislev Yahrtzeits

Harav Meshulam (ben Dov Berish) Feivish, zt"l, Rav of Kremenitz (Kreminch), author of Mishnat Chachamim (5535 / 1774).

Harav Meshulam Feivish HaLevi of Zhbarezh, zt"l, (5555 / 1794), author of the Yosher Divrei Emet, a basic work on chasidic thought. He studied under Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and Rav Dov Ber of Mezritch. His teachings appear in Likutim Yekarim. His disciples included Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov.

Harav Binyamin Zev Wolf of Belta, zt"l, (5586 / 1825).

Harav Dov Beirish of Ushpitzin, zt"l, author of Divrei Tzaddikim, (5598 / 1837).

Harav Baruch Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz, zt"l, the Imrei Baruch, (5605 / 1845 - 5653 / 1892).
Harav Baruch was born in 5605 / 1845. His parents were Reb Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz, the Tzemach Tzaddik, and his Rebbetzin, the daughter of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin.
He was named after Harav Baruch of Mezibuzh, zy”a, at the request of his grandfather, the Ruzhiner.
Reb Baruch succeeded his father as Rebbe early in 5645 / 1884, acceding to many requests that he do so. Despite his greatness in Torah, Reb Baruch limited his speaking and would not say Torah at his tischen.
On one occasion, the Imrei Baruch visited Strozinitz, where Rav Simchah Ginzburg was Rav. As the crowd joyfully greeted the Rebbe with a great display of honor he turned to Rav Simchah, who had joined him in his carriage at his invitation, and  said, “I’ll describe for you how I feel right now  with a story.
“There is a widow in Vizhnitz with a sick daughter whom my father, zt”l, used to support. I undertook to continue supporting them.
“One day, I heard a carriage clattering into my courtyard. “I sent my gabbai to see who it was, and he came back saying that it was the widow, coming to get her stipend. I was astonished that a poor widow would permit herself the luxury of a carriage, but my gabbai explained that she was very ill and could not walk. That was why she had hired a carriage.
“Imagine how that widow felt riding in that carriage. Did she feel proud in any way? So it is with me. I spend Shabbat in various towns because I have a large family, ken ayin hara, and many expenses. My riding in a carriage is just like that widow’s — out of necessity, and not for honor or pleasure.”
One year, when Rosh Hashanah began on a Thursday, the Rebbe entered Shabbat thoroughly exhausted. Those close to him suggested that he not hold a tisch on Shabbat evening but make Kiddush privately instead.
The Rebbe replied, “Any Rebbe for whom it makes a difference whether he makes Kiddush for three people or for three thousand people is not worth traveling to.”
Rav Baruch was Rebbe for only eight years, and was niftar at a young age. He passed away on Leil Shabbat, 20 Kislev 5653 / 1892, at the age of 48. That evening, he led the davening from his sickbed. When he reached the words “Tzaddik katamar yifrach,” he drew them out longer and longer until his neshamah left him.
Rav Yisrael Hager, the Ahavat Yisrael, his son and successor as Vizhnitzer Rebbe, made it a strict habit to visit his father’s grave every year on the yahrtzeit or during the Yamim Nora’im. Even when traveling was extremely dangerous, he would not forgo the trip. “The world doesn’t appreciate my father, zt”l, properly,” he would explain, “because he didn’t live very long. That is why I must visit his kever, even with mesirut nefesh, so that my father’s holy memory will be preserved and engraved forever in the hearts of the Chassidim.”
Rav Yisrael Hager was born when Rav Baruch was only 15 years old. (2 Kislev according to others)

Harav Prag'i Alush of Jerba, author of Ohev Mishpat (5681 / 1920).

Harav Chaim Moshe Tzvi Twersky of Rachmistrivka, zt"l, (5694 / 1933).

HaRav Yitzchak Hutner, zt"l, (5666 / 1906 - 5741 / 1980), Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, New York, and author of the seven-volume, Pachad Yitzchak, discourses on Shabbat and the Yomim Tovim, influenced largely by the Maharal of Prague.
Harav Yitzchak Hutner was born in Adar 5666 / 1906, in Warsaw; his father was Rav Chaim Yoel.
His uncle, R' Benzion Ostrover, had been a disciple of Rav Mendel of Kotzk, and was instrumental in providing his young nephew with a direct link to the world of Chasidut.
A child prodigy, he was taught by private tutors until age 15, when he enrolled in the Slobodka Yeshiva, headed by Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Alter of Slabodka. In 5685/1925, Reb Yitzchak was sent to help start a branch of the Slabodka Yeshiva in Chevron, where he also met and learned from Rav A. I. Kook. He remained until 5689 / 1929,
narrowly missing the Chevron massacre; he was away from yeshivah that Shabbat.
He returned to his parents in Warsaw. He became a personal tutor for Rav Moshe Solevetchik's son, Aharon. In 1932, he published his Torat HaNazir, a commentary on the Rambam's Hilchot Nazir.
In 5693 / 1933, he married Masha Lipshitz in Warsaw Poland, and moved to Eretz Yisrael. Despite his great attachment to the Land, they left for America one year later, not to return for 30 years.
In 5694/1934, he acquired the manuscript of Rabbeinu Hillel’s commentary on Torat Kohanim (Safra) from Vienna and, with the encouragement of Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l, wrote Kovetz He’arot, an elaborate commentary on Rabbeinu Hillel.
In 5695 / 1935, Rav Hutner immigrated to the United States, settling in Brooklyn. Initially he did not seek a formal position; however, he soon joined the faculty of Yeshivat Rabbi Jacob Joseph (RJJ), and was later appointed first a teacher and then principal of the newly-established high school division of Yeshivat Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, known as Mesivta Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin.
In 1939-1940, Rav Hutner established the post-high school beit medrash division of the mesivta, becoming the Rosh Hayeshivah. Under Rav Hutner’s leadership, Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin grew from relative obscurity to prominence, and with it grew his reputation in the world of Torah scholarship. He built Yeshivat Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin to his specifications with his famous blend of Torah philosophies.
Among his talmidim were Rav Yitzchak Shurin, grandson of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky. Two of his talmidim, Rav Shlomo Freifeld and Rav Noach Weinberg, founded the first baal teshuva yeshivot. Among his colleagues at Slobodka were R' Yitzchak HaLevi Ruderman, R' Reuven Grozovsky; R' Yaakov Kamenetsky; and R' Aharon Kotler.
In 1949 he began publishing his discourses on morals and ethics which he subtitled, Divrei Torah B'inyanei Hilchot Deot V'Chovot Halevovot.
There are seven volumes of his maamarim on the Yamim Tovim, titled Pachad Yitzchak. Their style is highly original, combining logic and passion with poetic prose. In addition, there is another volume of letters and writings. One of his students published two volumes of his notes on other talks, titled Reshimot Lev.
In 1970, Harav Hutner was on an airplane which was hijacked by Palestinian "Black September" terrorists, and was held hostage on a runway in Amman, Jordan. (After all the hostages were removed, the planes were blown up in front of TV cameras.)
In 5739 / 1979, Yeshivat Pachad Yitzchak, named for his magnum opus, opened in Har Nof, Yerushalayim, where Rav Hutner settled. A kollel called Ohr Eliyahu was also on the premises.
During his last few years in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Hutner served as Nasi of Machon Yerushalayim, and he was among the editors of the Otzar Meforshei HaTalmud.
In Cheshvan 5741 / 1980, Rav Hutner was partially paralyzed by a stroke; he was niftar a few weeks later, on 20 Kislev, at the age of 84. His kever is on Har Hazeitim in Chelkat Hanevi’im.

R' Hutner
HaRav Yitzchok Hutner, Zt"l

Harav Yochanan Twersky of Rachmistrivka, zt"l, (5663 / 1903 - 5742 / 1981).
Born in Rachmastrivka in 5663/1903, Harav Yochanan was the son of Harav Dovid of Rachmastrivka. He was named after his great-grandfather, the first Reb Yochanan of Rachmastrivka, son of the Chernobyler Maggid.
Reb Yochanan learned Torah with great mesirut nefesh under the Communist regime. He was once taken out to be killed — and was actually hanged — but miraculously survived.
During World War I, he fled with his family to the town of Mikolayev. Despite his youth, Reb Yochanan founded a cheder to ensure that Jewish children would be able to study Torah. Years later, a Russian Jew related that he was present when the Russian authorities attempted to interrogate Reb Yochanan about the cheder. Since he did not speak Russian, this Jew was asked to interpret. “Tell them,” Reb Yochanan declared, “that I have no connection with them. I do not interfere in their affairs, and they should not interfere with mine.” To the amazement of everyone present, the authorities simply walked away.
In another incident, a Russian officer came over to the Rebbe and told him, “You should know I can shoot you!” The Rebbe opened his shirt button and replied, “You may shoot — I am not the least afraid!”
In 5686/1926, together with his father and grandfather Harav Menachem Nachum, Reb Yochanan escaped from Russia and ascended to Eretz Yisrael. After the petirah of his father in 5710 / 1950, he succeeded him as Rachmastrivka Rebbe.
Reb Yochanan founded Yeshivat Meor Einayim in Yerushalayim and soon attracted many adherents. He was revered for his great hasmadah and for his dveikut during davening.

On 20 Kislev 5742/1981, Reb Yochanan returned his pure soul to its Maker.

Harav Tzvi Hirsh Ze'ev Paley, zt"!, Mashgiach of Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael Chevron (5671 / 1911 - 5656 / 2005).
Born in 5671/1911 in Shklov, Lithuania, (Belarus), to Rav Avraham Noach Paley, one of the talmidim of the Alter of Slabodka and a close talmid of Rav Baruch Ber Leibovitz. The family immigrated to Eretz Yisrael when Rav Hirsh was fourteen. His father became the mashgiach in Yeshivat Chevron.

 As a bachur he was very close to the Roshei Yeshivah Harav Isaac Sher, Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, the Alter of Slabodka, Harav Yechezkel Sarna, and the mashgiach, Harav Leib Chasman. He was particularly drawn to the mussar shmuessen given by Harav Elya Lopian and was considered Reb Elya’s talmid muvhak.
When Reb Elya moved on to the new yeshivah in Kfar Chassidim, Harav Paley traveled north once a week with his lifelong friend and chavrusa, Harav Shalom Schwadron, to hear Reb Elya’s mussar shiur. Later he took his sons before they became bar mitzvah to get a brachah from Reb Elya.
Rav Hirsh was the last surviving member of the Chevron community following the 5689 / 1929 riots. The Paley family was miraculously spared when an Arab hid them in a cellar under the house of Harav Yechezkel Sarna, zt”l, who was in Yerushalayim at the time. When the murderers came to the house, the Arab told them no one was there, and they moved on.
The few survivors of the pogrom moved to Yerushalayim, where they re-established Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael Chevron in the Geulah neighborhood. Harav Paley was one of the last surviving talmidim who had learned in the yeshivah in Chevron.

In 1965, he married Menuchah, the daughter of Rav Shlomo Zalman Pines. She had been one of the first talmidot of Sara Schenirer and served as a mechanechet in Bait Yaakov Schools for over six decades, both in Tel Aviv and in Yerushalayim. They moved to Tel Aviv, where Rav Hirsh studied in Kollel Heichal HaTalmud, founded by his father. He later became mashgiach at Chevron Yeshiva, teaching mussar to thousands of talmidim for over 55 years. In addition, he gave mussar shiurim and chizuk at the Hisachdut Chanichei Yeshivat Chevron in Bnei Brak, especially during the Elul zman.
Harav Paley was totally devoted to his students, and his house was open to them at all times. Harav Paley was famed as a ba'al tefilla, and for many years he was the shaliach tzibbur for Shacharit during the Yamim Nora’im. The mashgiach also ran a one-man tzedaka operation. He distributed funds to thousands of families before Pesach, without their ever discovering who had helped them. Rav Paley moved to Bnei Brak in his old age, where he lived with his son.
Harav Paley was niftar on 20 Kislev 5756 / 2005, at the age of 95. He was buried on Har Hazeitim near the kever of Harav Meir Chodosh.
Some of his shmuessen have been compiled and published as Nachalas Tzvi.
(Others 18 Kislev).





























21 Kislev
21 Kislev

21 Kislev 3442 - 320 B.C.E.:

A historic meeting occurred between Shimon HaTzaddik and Alexander ('the Great") of Macedonia. The Cuthim (Samarians), bitter enemies of the Jews, had convinced Alexander that the Jews' refusal to place his image in their Beit HaMikdash was a sign of rebellion against his sovereignty, and that the Beit HaMikdash should be destroyed. The Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") at the time was Shimon HaTzaddik, the last of the "Men of the Great Assembly" who rebuilt the Beit HaMikdash and revitalized Judaism under Ezra.
On the 21st of Kislev, Alexander marched on Yerushalayim at the head of his army. Shimon HaTzaddik, garbed in the bigdei kehunah, (vestments of the High Priest), and accompanied by a delegation of Jewish dignitaries, went forth to greet him. The two groups walked towards each other all night; meeting at the crack of dawn.
When Alexander beheld the visage of Shimon HaTzaddik , the Kohen Gadol, he made the rare move of dismounting from his horse and bowing respectfully; to his men he explained that he often had dreams and visions of Shimon HaTzaddik leading him into battle. Shimon HaTzaddik brought the emperor to the Beit HaMikdash and explained to the king how concerned the Jews were for his safety and prosperity. He also explained that Judaism prohibits the display of any graven image; he offered to name all the male children born to priests that year "Alexander" as a demonstration of loyalty to the emperor (which is how "Alexander" became a common Jewish name).The king retreated, and the Cuthim’s (Samarians) plot was rebuffed. The Jews destroyed the Cuthian temple and 21 Kislev was declared a Yom Tov. (Talmud Yoma 69a).
According to an alternative version, this episode occurred on 25 Tevet. Called Yom Har Gerizim (in Megillat Taanit) to celebrate the victory over the Samarians (Shomronim).

21 Kislev 5505 - November 26, 1744:

Austrian forces massacred many Jews in Prague, Hy"d.

21 Kislev 5678 - December 6, 1917:

Finland became independent of Moscow and finally granted Jews civil rights. The original law though passed in 1909 had its implementation delayed by the Russian government.

21 Kislev 5705 - December 7, 1944:

HaRav Yoel Teitelbaum, zt"l, the Divrei Yoel of Satmar, (1887-1979), was rescued from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, along with 1,368 other Jews, through the efforts of Rudolf Kastner, head of the Zionist rescue operation in Hungary (an earlier transport of 1,686 Jews had been rescued on Av 29). The Satmar kehillah celebrates this day as a Yom Tov.
The 1300+ people rescued were transported out of Bergen-Belsen to safe haven in Switzerland, settled in a camp at Beatenberg where they spent the last few months of the war.

21 Kislev Yahrtzeits

Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (1566-1446 B.C.E.)[others have it as 24 Kislev)

Harav Binyamin Rappaport, zt”l, Rav of Kalisch (5531 / 1770).

Harav Yaakov Kopel Charif, zt”l, Rav of Verbau (5596 / 1835).

Harav Yaakov Meir Padwa of Brisk, zt"l, author of Mekor Mayim Chayim on Yoreh Deah (5615 / 1854).

HaRav Yaakov Meir (ben Chaim) Padwa, Av Bet Din of Brisk from 1840 until his petirah, author of Mekor Mayim Chaim, a commentary on Shulchan Aruch. (1797-1855).

Harav Naftali Halberstam of Tcherkas (Cherkass), zt”l, (5624 / 1863), author of Ayalah Sheluchah.
Harav Naftali was the oldest son of Harav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinev. He was born on 14 Cheshvan 5598 / 1837 in Ujhel, hometown of his maternal grandfather, the Yismach Moshe. The Divrei Chaim of Sanz traveled to Hungary to attend the brit of his first grandson; he was honored with sandaka’ut. The mohel was Harav Yechezkel Shraga (the father) himself. The other grandfather, the Yismach Moshe, was honored with the brachot and giving the name.
The minhag of the Yismach Moshe at a brit was to announce the child’s name without consulting the father first. Harav Yechezkel Shraga hoped that his father-in-law would give the name Naftali to the child, after Harav Naftali of Ropshitz. To the surprise of all, when he was about to give the name, the Yismach Moshe turned to his son-in-law to ask what he wanted to call the boy, to which he answered “Naftali.” After the brit, the Yismach Moshe told Harav Yechezkel Shraga that he had intended to give the name Naftali, but he wanted to honor him with saying it first.
Reb Naftali married the daughter of Harav Aharon Horowitz, the son of Harav Asher of Ropshitz. In his zivug sheini, he married the daughter of Harav Noach Shmayah, son-in-law of Harav Yaakov Yisrael of Cherkass, son of Harav Mordechai of Chernobyl. Reb Naftali settled in Cherkass near his new wife’s grandfather. There, he learned bchavrusa with his uncle, Harav Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipel.
Reb Naftali was niftar when he was just 26 years old. A day before his sudden petirah, he had finished learning a sugya with his chavrusa and was feeling weak; he wanted to go home to rest. Reb Mordechai Dov told Reb Naftali that he could leave, but tomorrow they would begin the new sugya. Reb Naftali replied, eerily prophetic, that tomorrow he will already be in Gan Eden 
Reb Naftali was niftar on 21 Kislev 5624 / 1863, during Tachanun of Minchah. He was buried in Cherkass.
Since he was niftar childless, his brother Reb Moshe of Shinev came to Cherkass to perform chalitzah, thus enabling the almanah to remarry.
Reb Yechezkel Shraga published the chiddushim of his son under the name Ayalah Sheluchah, based on the passuk “Naftali ayalah sheluchah.”

Harav Yosef Pressburger, zt"l, author of Tiferet Yosef, Rav of Mattersdorf (5684 / 1923).

Harav Moshe Shmuel Brisk of Budapest, zt"l, (5701 / 1940)

Rav Yochanan Perlow, the seventh Rebbe of the Stolin-Karlin dynasty (1899 - 5717 / 1956). Born in Stolin, a suburb of Pinsk, White Russia, to Rav Yisrael, the “Yanuka” of Stolin. After his father was niftar in 1921, his six sons split the succession: Rav Moshe became rebbe in Stolin; Rav Avraham Elimelech took over in Karlin; Rav Yaakov moved to the U.S. in 1923 to lead the Karlin community that already had four shuls in New York and one shtiebel in Detroit. He became known as the Detroiter Rebbe. Rav Yochanan moved to Poland where he became a rebbe in Lutsk, capital of the Volhynia district.
Among the 41,000 people in Lutsk were 18,000 Jews. After the Nazis entered Lutsk on June 25, 1941, they herded the Jews into a ghetto in December, and the following August, they dragged 17,500 of them outside the town and murderously gunned them down. The last survivors, Jewish workers in the local labor camp, mounted a heroic but hopeless revolt on December 11, after learning that they, too, were about to be liquidated. Only about 150 Lutsk Jews survived the war. Rav Yochanan, his wife and two daughters fled into the surrounding forests and made their way deep into Russia with groups of partisans. After being deported to Siberia and personally burying his wife and elder daughter there on the same day, Rav Yochanan somehow survived the war. He lost almost his entire family; only one daughter, Faige, survived. He moved to Haifa in 1946, then to America two years later.
While in New York, he founded the Karlin-Stolin Torah Institutions and published the new Siddur Beit Aharon v’Yisrael, comprising Karlin-Stolin minhagim. Rav Yochanan’s grandson, Rav Baruch Yaakov Meir Shochet, became the next Stolin-Karlin Rebbe.
He composed the poem “Kah Echsof Noam Shabbat” that is printed in most editions of Shabbat Zemirot.(Others 5716 / 1955)

Harav Tzvi Pesach Frank, zt"l, Rav of Yerushalayim and author of Har Tzvi (5633 / 1873 - 5721 / 1960). Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 5633/1873. His father was Harav Yehudah Leib, a talmid chacham.
His mother related that once she gave her son some pocket money. When she asked him what he had done with it, he replied that he put it in the tzedakah pushka in the shul, with a tefillah that he succeed in learning.
His father chose an especially capable melamed for his gifted son. To his surprise, even this melamed returned the bright boy to his father. “I have nothing more to teach him. He surpasses my understanding in Gemara. How can I take money for such a job?” he said.
Rav Tzvi Pesach learned under Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshivah of Telshe Yeshiva, Rav Moshe Yehoshua Bezhilianski (the Tepliker Rav), and in other top Lithuanian yeshivot.
In 5653 / 1893, he immigrated to Eretz Yisrael together with his parents and continued his studies in yeshivot in Yerushalayim. He learned under Harav Yehoshua Leib Diskin in Yeshivat Torat Chaim, and was also close with Harav Shmuel Salant, Rav of Yerushalayim, and Harav Shlomo Eliezer Alfandari, the Sabba Kaddisha.
Rav Tzvi Pesach married Rebbetzin Gittel Malkah, the daughter of Harav Dovid Shapira.
Rav Tzvi Pesach’s abilities were soon recognized. In 5667 / 1907 he was appointed Dayan in the Yerushalayim beit din, which was headed by his teacher Harav Shmuel Salant.
As a leading posek, Rav Tzvi Pesach rendered many halachic decisions. He was the mechaber of Har Tzvi, a compendium of responsa; Har Tzvi on the Torah; Har Tzvi on Shas; and Mikra’ei Kodesh  on the Yamim Tovim. Other works of his are still being published today.

Rav Tzvi Pesach was a much beloved Rav, due to his many acts of chessed and his deep and thoughtful consideration for all Yerushalayim’s citizens.
He was niftar on 21 Kislev 5721/1960, at the age of 87, after serving for more than 50 years as Rav in Yerushalayim.
He was the father-in-law of Rav Menachem Ben-Tzion Sacks, the Menachem Tzion, and also the father-in-law of Rav Shmuel Rozovsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh.

























22 Kislev
22 Kislev

22 Kislev - 1265:

Avraham the Ger, born in Bavaria, was burned at the stake in Zeintzach, Germany for converting to Judaism, Hy"d.

22 Kislev 5118 - 1357:

Charles IV issued letters of protection for the Jews of Strasbourg. Two years later, mobs burned 1000 Jews, Hy"d, and forced many others to convert, R"l.

22 Kislev - 1489:

Abudraham's Siddur first published in Lisbon.

22 Kislev 5383 - November 25, 1622:

In an effort to attract enterprising merchants with disposable capital, King Christian IV of Denmark wrote a formal letter to the Amsterdam Jewish council, inviting Jews of Portuguese descent to settle in Norway. King Christian promised religious freedom for the Jews -- an attractive safe haven as the Thirty Year War raged in central Europe.

22 Kislev 5702 - December 12, 1941:

A house to house search for Jews was conducted by the German occupation army in Paris. The purpose of the search was to arrest the Jewish intellectuals, celebrities and politicians. 1,000 Jews, including the brother of a Senator, the brother of the former Prime Minister and Jean Bernard, the son of writer Tristan Bernard, were imprisoned.

22 Kislev 5702 - December 12, 1941:

Hundreds of Jews were executed by the municipal police for running food to starving people in the ghetto of Chmielnik, Poland, Hy"d.

22 Kislev 5713 - December 10, 1952:

The people of Israel elected their second President - Yitzchak Ben-Zvi.

22 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Eliezer (or Elazar) Ashkenazi, zt"l, author of Maasei Hashem, (5272 / 1512 - 5346 / 1585). Born in Turkey, (Others say he was born in Italy in 5273/1513). His father was Harav Eliyahu Harofei, son-in-law of Harav Yosef Kolon (mechaber of She’eilot U’Teshuvot Maharik).
As a youth, Rav Eliezer learned in the yeshivah of Harav Yosef Taitazak (1465-1546) in Salonika. Rav Yosef (the “MahaRITaTS”) was a Talmudic authority and mekubal.
Some say that from there, Rav Eliezer moved to Yerushalayim or Tzfat.
Rav Eliezer was known as a leading Rav in his time, even in the generation of the Beit Yosef, the Rema and the Maharal, to name just a few. He served as Rav in a wide array of kehillot, across the spectrum.
He served as Rav in Egypt in 1538, (or 5299/1539), probably in Fostat, where he was soon widely known for his learning and his wealth. For unknown reasons, he was compelled to leaved, serving in Famagusta, Cyprus, then to Venice, Italy (5324 / 1563), returning to Cyprus some two years later.
Due to a disagreement with Harav Meir Padua, Rav Eliezer moved on to Cremona in northern Italy. There, he printed his first sefer, Yosef Lekach, on Megillat Esther, in 5336/1576. It was named for Don Yosef Nasi, the Jewish “duke” of Naxos.
Due to a disagreement with Rav Shmuel Yehudah Katzenellengogen, he moved to Prague, where he helped develop the chevra kadisha, on which others are based. After a year, he moved back to Italy and lived in Cremona. In 1578, he moved to Posen, Poland. In 5344 / 1584, he moved to Cracow, where he was named Rav of Poland, and lived his last few years.
Rav Eliezer was niftar on 22 Kislev 5346 / 1585 and buried in Cracow.
His sefarim include Maasei Hashem, a commentary on the historical portions of the Tanach, written for the instruction of his son Rav Eliyahu; it contains a complete commentary on the Haggadah, which has frequently been published separately.

Harav Meshulem Mirels, zt"l, father-in-law of the Chacham Tzvi (5447 / 1686).

Harav Pinchas of Ostroha, Ukraine, zt"l, (5566 / 1805). Son of Harav Yaakov Yosef, better known as Harav Yeivai of Ostroha, an acronym of Yaakov Yosef ben Yehudah. Harav Yeivai was a talmid of the Mezritcher Maggid, and close with other talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov. He served as Maggid in Ostroha after the petira of his father, Harav Yehudah Leib.
Reb Pinchas was best known for his ascetic life and his tzidkut.
All his life, he secluded himself in the attic of the shul, doing his avodat Hashem.
In Ostroha, Reb Pinchas was known to merit seeing Eliyahu Hanavi from a young age. Following the petira of his father on 20 Tishrei, 5551 / 1790, Reb Pinchas became Rebbe in Ostroha.
He was niftar on 22 Kislev 5566/1805, in Ostroha.
His sons were Harav Yaakov Yosef (the second) of Ostroha and Harav Moshe, founder of the Ohrzshishtcheb dynasty. He also had a son-in-law, Harav Pinchas of Ostroha, the grandfather of Harav Pinchas of Ostillah.

. Harav Yoel Ashkenazi of Zlotchov, zt"l, (5667 / 1906), brother-in-law of Rav Yosef Yoel Deutsch of Kretchinef, Hungary, author of Yad Yosef (1859).

Harav Yechezkel Panet (Paneth), Av Beit Din of De'esh (Dezh; Dezhe), zt"l, Chief Rabbi of Transylvania and author of Mar'eh Yechezkel and Kenesset Yechezkel. (5690 / 1929).
Harav Yechezkel Panet was born on the last day of Chanukah 5630/1870. His father was Harav Moshe of Dezh, zy”a.
At the age of just seven years, Yechezkel was already formulating chiddushei Torah; his grandfather, Harav Menachem Mendel of Dezh, zy”a, allowed him to begin wearing tefillin at this age.
He went on to the yeshivah in Munkacs, where he learned with Harav Chaim Elazar Shapira, zy”a, later the Minchat Elazar of Munkacs. He was fluent in Toras hanistar in addition to Shas and Poskim.
He married the daughter of Harav Shmuel Yehudah Pollack from Oiber-Vishiva.
In 5655/1895 Rav Yechezkel was appointed Rav of Harishar; from there, in 5658/1898, he moved to Marosh-Auvauher.
Rav Yechezkel was active and influential in klal issues. He took part in an asifah of Rabbanim in Budapest in 5646/1886, when he was just 16 years old.
Following the petirah of his father in Kislev 5663/1902, Rav Yechezkel was appointed Rav and Rebbe in Dezh, becoming the third generation of his family to serve as Rav there. During his tenure as Rav, the local yeshivah grew.
He was also Chief Rabbi of Transylvania as well as the Rosh Kollel of Zibinbergen, which he helped found.
Rav Yechezkel was niftar on 22 Kislev 5690/1929.
His sons were Harav Yaakov Elimelech of Dezh, Harav Yosef of Dezh and Harav Moshe of Dezh-Shatz.
His sons-in-law were Harav Yehoshua Grunwald and Harav Dovid Yehudah Freund of Sasregen. 
After his petirah, manuscripts he wrote covering many Torah topics, including ChassidutGemara and halachah, were discovered; they were later published as Knesset Yechezkel.

Harav Shabsai Yudelevitz, zt"l, maggid in Yerushalayim, (1924 - 5757 / 1996). (others 23 Kislev).

Harav Chaim Kesar (Chassar), zt"l, zekan Rabbanei Teiman (the Yemenite community in Israel), (5758 / 1997).

HaRav Shalom Mordechai Schwadron, zt"l, Maggid of Yerushalayim (5672 / 1912 - 5758 / 1997), brother-in-law of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
Harav Shalom was born in Yerushalayim in 5672/1912. His father, Reb Yitzchak, was a son of the esteemed Marasham of Brezhan, the leading posek in Galicia before World War I, for whom the child was named.
When he was just eight, his mother was left a widow with six orphans, and for a time he lived in an orphanage. Times were extremely hard in Yerushalayim between the two World Wars.
Reb Shalom attended Talmud Torah Meah Shearim, and at the age of 11 began learning in Yeshivat Tzion.
From there he went on to the Lomza Yeshivah in Petach Tikvah, where he was one of the top talmidim. He wanted to learn in Chevron, but the Rosh Yeshivah of Lomza, Harav Reuven Katz, could not bear to part from him. Only after the Chevron riots in 5790 / 1929, when the yeshivah moved to Yerushalayim, did Reb Shalom succeed in transferring.
In Chevron Yeshiva he excelled greatly, learning up to 18 hours a day with intense hasmadah. He completed the amazing feat of learning 500 daf in one zman! He was a talmid muvhak of Harav Leib Chasman and much later, Harav Eliyahu Lopian.
In 5696 / 1936 he married the daughter of Harav Chaim Leib Auerbach, Rosh Yeshivah of Shaar Hashamayim and father of Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l. He settled in the Shaarei Chessed area in Yerushalayim, where he devoted himself totally to Torah study and avodat Hashem. He learned in the Chevrah Zichru Torat Moshe, where his chavrusot included Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, with whom he would learn for six hours at a time, and Harav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, with whom he covered the entire Shulchan Aruch with meforshim.
In 5712 / 1952, being an eloquent and gifted speaker, he became known as a Maggid. His riveting speeches eventually inspired thousands all over the world. His unique and original style drew large crowds to his weekly shiurim in Yerushalayim’s Beit Medrash Zichron Moshe. He imbued his audiences with his pure words, “devarim hayotzim min halev,” inspiring them with his first-hand experiences gained from being close to many great luminaries of the previous generation.
In his capacity as a Maggid, he often served as the spokesperson for the Gedolei Yisrael of that time, such as the Brisker Rav and others, conveying their words and their daat Torah to the wider public.
He was also active in numerous yeshivot, and served as Rosh Yeshivah in Yeshivah Mekor Chaim.
Harav Shalom was niftar on 22 Kislev, just a few days before Chanukah.
In addition to his renown as a maggid, he published approximately 25 of his grandfather, the Maharsham's works, as well as Lev Eliyahu (of Rav Elya Lopian), and the writings of Rav Chasman, Ohr Yohel.

HaRav Yosef Chaim Klein, zt"l, (1922-2004). Born in New York, he learned at Torah Vodaat. His rebbe muvhack was Rav Shlomo Heiman. He subsequently learned under Rav Reuven Grozovsky at Beit Midrash Elyon in Monsey. His last 40 years were spent as menahel of the mesivta of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn.
















23 Kislev
23 Kislev

23 Kislev 5109 - November 15, 1348:

As the “Black Death” plague decimated Europe, (25 million dead) Christians accused the Jews of causing the plague by poisoning the wells in an effort to wipe out the Gentile population. On the 23rd of Kislev 5109 (Nov. 15, 1348), Rudolph of Oron, bailiff of Lausanne, Switzerland, sent a letter to the mayor of Strasburg informing him that certain Jews of Lausanne had “confessed” under torture that they together with their coreligionists had poisoned all the wells in the Rhine valley, as part of an international Jewish conspiracy. (He was later proven to have lied). The report was readily accepted by nobles who resented the Jews as economic competitors and to whom they were indebted for loans. This resulted in the masses persecuting and killing tens of thousands of Jews throughout Europe, from Poland to Spain, over the following years. Hy"d.

23 Kislev 5110 - December 5, 1349:

Five hundred Jews were killed in Nuremberg, Germany during the Black Death Persecutions. Some Jews were tortured before being killed while others were burned at the stake, Hy"d.

23 Kislev 5465 - December 20, 1704:

Death of Johann Andreas Eisenmenger, the most dangerous libeler of the Talmud. He wrote a two-volume, two thousand page book on the “wickedness of the Talmud” entitled “Endecktes Judenthum” (Unveiled Judaism). While negotiations were going on between the Jews of Frankfurt-on-Maine, Eisenmenger, and the banker involved with the publication, Eisenmenger suddenly died of apoplexy.

23 Kislev 5505 - November 28, 1744:

Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto.

23 Kislev 5539 - December 12, 1778:

The “Jewish Free School” was established by Isaac Daniel Itzig and his brother in law, David Friedlander in Germany, a milestone in the spread of Haskalah.

23 Kislev 5720 - December 24, 1959:

The desecration of a new shul in Cologne, Germany sparked a wave of anti-Jewish incidents throughout Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Africa.

23 Kislev 5763 - November 28, 2002:

In twin attacks in Kenya, three suicide bombers killed 14 people at an Israeli-owned hotel, while at least two missiles were fired at (but missed) an Israeli airline taking off from Mombassa airport.

23 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Avraham Oppenheim, zt”l, (5453 / 1692).

HaRav Mordechai Heilpren of Ostraha, zt”l, (5516 / 1755).

HaRav Dovid Teveli Shiff, zt"l, (1791), the son of Rav Shlomo Zalman HaKohen Shiff. Rav Dovid was the Chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Rav of the Great Synagogue of London from 1765 until his petira. He also was head of the Beit Midrash in Worms, and later dayan in Frankfurt. His son, Moshe Schiff, published his teshuvot and drashot under the title Lashon Zahav.

HaRav Avraham of Oleinov, zt”l, (5575 / 1814).

HaRav Dovid of Novhardok, zt"l, author of Galya Masechet, (5597 / 1836).
(Others 1837).

Harav Dovid Twersky of Yass, zt”l, (5698 / 1937). Reb Dovid was the son of Harav Mordechai Zusya of Hotzalas, a descendant of the Chernobyl dynasty.
Reb Dovid married the daughter of his uncle Harav Yisrael Shalom Yosef Friedman of Bohush (Reb Mordechai Zusya was a son-in-law of Harav Yitzchak of Bohush).
After his marriage, Reb Dovid settled in Bohush near his father-in-law. There he founded a yeshiva in 5668/1908, appointing as Roshei Yeshiva Harav Shimshon Aharon Derbaremdiger and Harav Yoel Zimmerman.
He appointed his sons-in-law, Harav Menachem Mendel Friedman, son of Harav Dovid of Bohush, and Reb Dovid as the hanhala of the yeshiva. This was the only functioning yeshiva in Romania proper.
Following the petira of his father-in-law on 23 Nissan 5683 / 1923, his two sons-in-law were appointed Rebbes in his place.
From Bohush, Reb Dovid moved to Yass.
He was revered for his exemplary middot, and his home was open to all at all times of day and night.
Reb Dovid was niftar on 23 Kislev 5698/1937.

HaRav Elimelech Lowy of Tosh (now Nytass), Hungary, zt"l. (1865 - 5703 / 1942).
Son of the founder of the Tosher dynasty, Rav Meshulem Feish Lowy.
Harav Meshulem Feish was a great tzaddik and attracted a devoted following in Tosh (Nyirtass), Hungary. He did not have a son for many years. When already quite elderly, he decided to make the arduous trip to distant Lizhensk, to the kever of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech, where he davened for a son. His tefillot were answered; within a year a son was born to him.
On the day of his son’s brit, he named the child Elimelech after the holy Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, in whose merit he was zocheh to this son.
Harav Elimelech Lowy became the Rav and Rebbe in Tosh after his brother-in-law, Harav Yosef Rottenberg, zt”l, left the post to become Rav in Kosoni. Continuing the tradition of his father, he led his court with great devotion and diligence. Many people were blessed through his brachot, and many miracles were told of people who were helped by his tefillot.
Even though Reb Elimelech founded a court and attracted many Chassidim of his own, he considered himself a Chassid of his Rebbe, Harav Tzvi Elimelech Shapiro of Bluzhev, and continued traveling to him, much as his father traveled to Reb Tzvi Elimelech’s father, Reb Dovid of Dinov.
Purim in Tosh was the highlight of the year. The Rebbe’s avodat hakodesh was filled with a special intense inspiration. Interestingly, a special sefer about Purim in Tosh was published under the name Purim Hameshulash b’Tosh.
The Tosher dynasty continues to thrive under the guidance of the current Tosher Rebbe, Harav Elimelech, shlita, (a great-grandson), who resides in Kiryat Tosh, a small town outside of Montreal.
Harav Elimelech Segal-Loewy, succeeded his late father Rav Meshulem Feish Loewy upon the latter's petira on 27 Av 5775 (12 August 2015).
Rav Meshulem Feish, was a grandson of Harav Elimelech, son of his son Harav Mordechai, Hy”d, who was killed in the Holocaust. 
(Others 1946).






















24 Kislev
24 Kislev

Chanukah begins tonight; kindle one light this evening.

24 Kislev 3409 - 358 B.C.E.:

The cornerstone for the Second Beit HaMikdash was laid.
In the first year of the rule of Cyrus, the King of Persia, Jews were given permission to return to Eretz Yisroel, and rebuild the Beit HaMikdash. A group of Jews led by Zerubavel set out for Yerushalayim and began working on the second Beit HaMikdash. However, the Cutheans falsely accused the Jews of plotting a rebellion against King Cyrus and were successful in halting the construction of the Beit HaMikdash for the remainder of his reign and throughout the reign of Ahasuerus, his successor. Construction resumed in the second year of the reign of Darius, Ahasuerus's son, on the 24th of Kislev. (Chaggai 2:10-23)

24 Kislev 3413 - 354 B.C.E.:

Chaggai prophesied the downfall of Persia and the salvation of the Jews.
In 354 BCE, the prophet Chaggai encouraged the Jews to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash -- a construction project which had begun 18 years earlier, but was halted due to political pressure. The Beit HaMikdash would stand for 420 years, before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. On this same day, Chaggai prophesied the downfall of the great Persian empire, which would ultimately lead to the salvation of the Jews. This is recorded in the Book of Chaggai, chapter 2.

24 Kislev 5628 - December 21, 1867:

Austrian constitution (Ausgleich) abolished discrimination based on religious differences. It included the right to hold office, freedom of occupation, settlement and religion.

24 Kislev 5678 - December 9, 1917:

The British captured Yerushalayim from the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

24 Kislev 5701 - December 24, 1940:

The sinking of the Patria in Haifa. The Patria was a French ship which carried 1,771 illegal immigrants. The Hagana tried to prevent the British from deporting those aboard to Mauritius, but the explosive charge destroyed the ship and it sank, drowning 257 people.

24 Kislev 5731 - December 22, 1970:

The commander of Treblinka, Franz Stangl, was sentenced to life in prison. More than 400,000 Jews were murdered in just 15 months, in Treblinka, Hy"d.

24 Kislev Yahrtzeits   

Harav Avraham Abulafia, zt”l, (5059 / 1298). Rav Avraham was born in Saragossa, Spain, in 5000 / 1240. The family moved to Tudela in Navarre, Spain, where his father, Harav Shmuel, was his teacher. When Reb Avraham was 18 years old his father was niftar, and two years later he began a life of ceaseless wandering.
His first journey was to Eretz Yisrael, where he intended to search for the legendary river Sambatyon and the 10 lost Shevatim. He got no further than Acco, however, because of the desolation, chaos and lawlessness in Eretz Yisrael following the last of the Crusades and the Battle of Ain Jalut between the Egyptian Mamelukes and the Mongols.
On his way home he stopped in Greece, where he got married. Later he spent time in Capua, Italy, studying philosophy, particularly the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim, under the well-known philosopher and physician Harav Hillel of Verona. Dissatisfied with this branch of learning, he turned instead to Kabbala.
Returning to Spain in 5031 / 1271, he settled in Barcelona and applied himself to Sefer Yetzirah and its commentaries, especially that of Harav Elazar of Worms, whose kabbalistic doctrine he accepted.
The alef-beit, numerals and vowel-points became symbols of existence to him. Their combinations and permutations elevated his degree of perception and his ability to explore the riddles of the mind and the problems and purpose of human life. His most important talmid, the one who carried on his style, was the mekubal Harav Yosef Gikatilla.
Harav Avraham soon left Spain again, and in 5039 / 1279 he wrote the first of his sefarim, Sefer HaYashar, in Patras, Greece.
In 5040 / 1280, he went to Rome to meet Pope Nicholas III. The pope, then in Suriano, issued orders to burn the fanatic as soon as he reached town.
The very night Harav Avraham arrived in Suriano, Erev Rosh Hashana 5041, the pope suddenly died. Returning to Rome, Harav Avraham was thrown into prison by the Minorites, but was released after four weeks.
He was next heard from in Sicily, where he appeared as a navi. The local Jewish kehilla in Palermo queried Rashba (Rabbeinu Shlomo ben Aderet), who subsequently wrote a letter against Harav Avraham. He had to pick up his wanderer’s staff again, and compiled Sefer HaOt on the little island of Comino, near Malta, in 5045–48 / 1285–88, under distressing conditions.
Rashba’s condemnation compelled Harav Avraham to seek a new base. He went to Greece, where he wrote V’Zot L’Yehuda and Sheva Netivot HaTorah, defending himself against the Rashba’s attacks; he claimed that Rashba did not know him personally, but judged him from hearsay. Indeed, in a later generation, Harav Chaim Vital cites him extensively in his Shaarei Kedusha.
Harav Avraham authored a total of 26 sefarim, plus 22 works containing descriptions of his visions. His sefarim include Sefer HaYashar, Sefer HaOt, Chayei Olam HaBa, Ohr HaSechel, Gematria HaSheimot, Gan Na’ul, a commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, Otzar Eden Ganuz, another commentary on Sefer Yetzira, and Sefer HaCheshek.
His last known work, Imrei Shefer, a commentary on Bereishit, was written in 5051 / 1291. He was niftar on 24 Kislev, 5059 / 1298, in Comino, a Maltese archipelago, at the age of 58.

  HaRav Zecharyah Nachman of Podheitz, zt”l (5555 / 1794).

HaRav Mordechai Zalman of Zhitomir, zt”l, (5626 / 1865).

HaRav Moshe of Dezh, zt”l, (5663 / 1902).

HaRav Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini, zt"l, the Sdei Chemed (5665 / 1904). Rav Chaim was born in 5595 / 1835 (others 1832), in Yerushalayim. His father was Harav Rafael Eliyahu Medini.
He had already earned a reputation as a talmid chacham when still a boy. His main rebbi was his father, but he learned from the many great chachmei Yerushalayim as well. His father supported him, and he was able to study Torah in peace. But his father passed away when Reb Chaim Chizkiyahu was only 18 years old, and married, leaving him with no means of support. Upon the advice of his rebbeim, he immigrated to Constantinople, (Kushta) Turkey, where his relatives supported him gracefully.
After 13 years in Turkey, he took a position of Rav in the small city of Karasubazar in Crimea, a Russian province. Even though he received only a meager stipend, he declined offers of more prestigious positions since he saw it as his mission to help this small community grow in ruchniyut. He served there for 33 years, fighting the forces of the Kariites, before moving  back to Yerushalayim. He lived there for 2 years, then moved to Chevron, where he was appointed Rav of the city in 1880.
Harav Chaim Chizkiyahu was known for his geonut from a very young age. He was the author of the monumental, universally-acclaimed, 18-volume Talmudic and halachic encyclopedia, Sdei Chemed, from which we can get a glimpse of his wide-ranging bekiut in all aspects of the Torah.

He was extremely humble and tried not to cause people any trouble. It is told that he walked into a shul at times when people were standing anyway, at Baruch She’amar or Vayevarech Dovid, so people would not have to get up especially for him.
In 5659/1899 he returned to Eretz Yisrael to be able to finish his chibbur in peace. Initially he rejected all offers to serve as a Rav; but when the Rav of Chevron was niftar he accepted the post. It was there that he spent the last few years of his life. He initiated many tzedakot and inyanei chessed while serving as Rav.
Before his petirah, he asked that whoever knew of any sin he committed should tell him before he ascended to the Olam Ha’emet, because he must repent for each and every “sin.”
He was niftar at a ripe old age on 24 Kislev 5665/1904.
Aside from Sdei Chemed, Reb Chaim Chizkiyahu authored a number of other sefarim, among them Ohr Li, Pekuot HaSadeh and Michtav LeChizkiyahu.

It was told that about a year after his burial, vandals tried to open his kever and remove his body. They were so shocked to find his holy body as fresh as the day he was buried that they fled.

Harav Yosef Nosson of Velbrom, zt”l, (5675 / 1914).






































25 Kislev
25 Kislev - First day of Chanukah

25 Kislev - 3631 B.C.E.:

Cain killed his younger brother, Hevel (Abel). The first murder of history occurred on the 25th of Kislev in the year 41 from creation, as recounted in the 4th chapter of Bereishit / Genesis.

25 Kislev 2450 - 1312 B.C.E.:

Preparation of the Mishkan completed in the desert.

The vessels, tapestries, wall sections and other components of the Mishkan (the portable sanctuary or "Tabernacle" built under Moshe Rabbeinu's direction to house the Shechina / Divine Presence during the Israelites' journeys through the desert) were completed on the 25th of Kislev in the year 2450 from creation (1312 BCE). The Mishkan was not assembled, however, until 3 months later, when, beginning on 25 Adar of that year, it was erected and taken down daily for a 7-day "training" period prior to its dedication on the 1st of Nissan. Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was “compensated” 12 centuries later, when the Maccabees rededicated the Beit HaMikdash on 25 Kislev 3622 (140 BCE -- see below).

25 Kislev 3622 - 140 B.C.E.:

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

25 Kislev 4856 - November 26, 1095:

Proclamation of the first Crusade.

25 Kislev 5623 - December 17, 1862:

General Ulysses S. Grant, in issuing his infamous Order 11, ordered all "Jews as a class" expelled from Tennessee during the Civil War. In New York City, 7000 Jews marched in protest against his decision. President Lincoln rescinded his order.

25 Kislev 5643 - December 6, 1882:

Founding of the city Zichron Yaakov.

25 Kislev 5667 - December 12, 1906:

President Roosevelt nominated Oscar Strauss to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor. Strauss thus became the first Jewish cabinet member. (He served from 12/17/1906 to 3/5/1909).

25 Kislev 5729 - December 16, 1968:

The order of the expulsion of the Jews of Spain (associated with Tish'a B'Av 1492) was officially voided on the first day of Chanukah.

25 Kislev Yahrtzeits  

HaRav Shlomo Zalman of Vilna, zt”l, father of the Gra, the Gaon of Vilna, (5519 / 1758). Harav Shlomo Zalman Kremer was born c. 5455 / 1695 in Vilna, Lithuania, the son of Harav Yissachar Ber. On his father’s side he was a descendant of Harav Eliyahu Chassid, the son of Harav Moshe Kremer, Rav of Vilna; on his mother’s side, of the Be’er HaGolah, Harav Moshe Ravkash.
Reb Shlomo Zalman, a talmid chacham, was renowned for his piety.
He married Treina, the daughter of Harav Meir, who was the son of Harav Benyamin Wolf of Seltz (near Grodno), Byelorussia (Belarus).
Reb Shlomo Zalman dedicated his life to learning Torah. He was supported from the earnings of the estates of his maternal grandfather, the Be’er HaGolah, who appreciated his talents and goals, and allocated him this part of the inheritance.
On the first day of Pesach, 5480 / 1720, the home of Reb Shlomo Zalman was filled with simcha; a baby boy was born. This boy, named Eliyahu, went on to become one of the foremost leaders of Jewry of all time who enlightens Klal Yisrael to this very day — the Gaon of Vilna.
Reb Shlomo Zalman was active in klal work in Vilna, and was a community leader.
In his humility he asked that no elaborate titles be written on his matzeiva.
He was niftar in Vilna on 25 Kislev, the first day of Chanukah 5519/1758.

HaRav Uziel Meisels, zt”l, (5546 / 1785), author of Menora HaTehora.

HaRav Avraham, zt"l, son of the Vilna Gaon (1808).

HaRav Baruch Yitteles, zt”l, (5574 / 1813), author of Taam Hamelech.

HaRav Avraham Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, zt”l, (5587 / 1826), author of Divrei Shalom.

HaRav Yaakov Yokel Ettlinger, zt"l, (5558 / 1798 - 5632 / 1871), the Aruch La'Ner, son of Rav Aharon, rosh yeshiva of the local mesivta in Karlsruhe, Germany and grandson of the Shaagat Aryeh. His childhood years were spent learning from his father, whom he considered his “rebbi muvhak.” Later he studied under Harav Asher, the son of the Shaagat Aryeh. He married into the famous Warmzer family.
He gained a reputation as a great gaon and baki, and after returning to his hometown, many talmidim flocked to him. In 5584 / 1824, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of the Beit Midrash in Mannheim. Some of his many famous talmidim in Mannheim were Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch; his brother, the Maadanei Melech; and many others.
12 years later (5596 / 1836) he became Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Altona. He led the kehillah with a strong hand, and his beit din not only enjoyed legislative recognition but even the police implemented his piskei din.
The city of Altona was also extraordinary because it was the only German city at that time that did not have a Reform presence.
He authored many sefarim, including Aruch La'Ner on many masechtot of Shas, Binyan Tzion, and Bikurei Yaakov. He gave smicha to Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch after the latter learned with him for barely a year.
Harav Yaakov was niftar in Altona at the age of 74 on the first night of Chanukah.

HaRav Meshulam Zusya of Nadvorna-Tzfat, zt”l, (5650 / 1889).

HaRav Raphael Avraham Sharabi, zt"l, (1875-1927). Son of Rav Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, he was active in helping the victims of the Damascus blood libel. He authored Divrei Shalom.

HaRav Chaim of Antiniya, zt"l, the Tal Chaim (5623 / 1863 - 5692 / 1931)
Harav Chaim Hager, son of Rav Baruch, Rebbe of Vizhnitz, zy”a, was born on 23 Iyar 5623/1863 in Vizhnitz and named after his paternal grandfather, Rav Chaim of Kossov, son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchak of Bohush, grandson of Rabbi Yisrael of Kozin.
At just thirteen he was given semichah by the Gedolim of his generation: Harav Shloime Drimmer, the Beit Shlomo, Harav Yaakov Weidenfeld, and Harav Yitzchak Shmelkish.
He married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Friedman of Bohush. (After the passing of his first wife Rav Chaim married the daughter of Rav Shraga Yair of Bialobrzhig, a descendant of the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa, and after her passing he married the daughter of Harav Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz of Rozvedov.)
After the petirah of his father on 20 Kislev 5653/1892, Rav Chaim was appointed Rebbe in Antiniya, near Stanislav. Many of the Vizhnitzer Chassidim in the region accepted him as their Rebbe. He built a large beit medrash with room for thousands of Chassidim.
Rav Chaim would learn day and night, with great hasmadah.
In 5655/1895, Rav Chaim was appointed Nasi of Kollel Bukovina in Eretz Yisrael.
He wrote many chiddushei Torah, and in 5672/1912, he turned over the manuscripts of his works to Reb Yosef Friedman of Gvodzhitz for printing. These included Ot Chaim on the works of the Rishonim and AcharonimMatza Chaim on Shulchan AruchZecher Chaim on Shas; and Tiv Chaim, on Kabbalah. Unfortunately, these manuscripts were lost during World War I and were never published.
During that war Rav Chaim fled to Vienna, where he lived for nearly four years. Returning to Romania, he settled in Stanislav because Antiniya was totally destroyed.
At the beginning of 5692/1931, Rav Chaim became sick with a fatal disease. He traveled to doctors in Vienna, who sent him for surgery to Krakow; but the operation was not successful, and Rav Chaim was niftar the first night of Chanukah, 25 Kislev 5692/1931.
After World War II, Reb Chaim Waltzer published Nimukei Chaim, a part of Rav Chaim’s works on halachah, and Tal Chaim, his divrei Torah and chassidut.

HaRav Avraham Mordechai Nissim Harari Raful, zt"l, (5752 / 1991), Zkan Rabbanei Sefard .

HaRav Yochanan Twersky, the Tolna Rebbe, zt"l, (5666 / 1906 - 5759 / 1998).
Harav Yochanan was born on 10 Elul 5666 / 1906 in Tultchin, Russia. When Reb Yochanan turned seven, his father, Harav Dovid Mordechai, was forced to flee to America, taking his family with him.
At his bar mitzvah, he asked that his parents allow him to ascend to Eretz Yisrael as his bar mitzvah gift. Hesitant to send him so far away at such a young age, his parents refused his request. A short while later Reb Dovid Mordechai finally gave in and sent Yochanan to learn in Eretz Yisrael.
When Reb Yochanan returned to New York after seven years, he married the daughter of Harav Moshe Langner, the Strettiner Rebbe of Toronto.
After their chasunah, the couple lived in Toronto, where Reb Yochanan took upon himself to do all he could to increase public awareness of Torah and mitzvot.
In 5694/1934, the Rebbe moved to Montreal.
With the outbreak of World War II, the British government erected a number of large detention camps in Canada for Jewish refugees who had fled to England from Germany and Austria. The Rebbe was instrumental in freeing hundreds of Yidden from the camps by accepting them as part of his family and agreeing to be responsible for their support.
After the end of the war, the Rebbe campaigned for the Canadian authorities to admit the survivors of the Holocaust. His efforts bore fruit and a large number of survivors were granted entry.
Although the Rebbe was beloved by all in Montreal, and his home and beit medrash were a hub of activity day and night, the Rebbe longed to return to Yerushalayim and to settle there.
In 5706 / 1956, the Rebbe’s dream became a reality when he left Montreal for Yerushalayim.
The night before he was niftar, the first night of Chanukah, 25 Kislev 5759 / 1998, he recited the three brachot over the lighting of the Chanukah lights. Those were his last words.
The next morning, he returned his holy soul to its Creator. He was 92 years old.
He was buried on Har Hazeitim.


































26 Kislev
26 Kislev - Second day of Chanukah

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

26 Kislev 4856 -
November 27, 1095:

The First Crusade was proclaimed. As they trekked thru Europe on their way to Eretz Yisrael, the Crusaders killed tens of thousands of Jews, Hy"d.

26 Kislev 5499 - December 8, 1738:

Jews are expelled from Breslau, Silesia.

26 Kislev 5524 - December 2, 1763:

The cornerstone for the 'Touro Synagogue', Congregation Yeshuat Yisrael -- in Newport, Rhode Island, was laid on this day. The synagogue is the oldest American synagogue still standing in its original structure. It was founded by Spanish Portuguese families who came from Curacao, in the West Indies. The magnificent synagogue is built of brick imported from England, and stands at an acute angle to the street -- so that the Holy Ark faces toward Yerushalayim / Jerusalem. It is named after Isaac Touro, its first officiating rabbi, who also left money in his will for the ongoing care of the synagogue.
George Washington had issued a famous letter to the congregation promising religious freedom, and in 1982 the United States Postal Service issued a stamp featuring Touro Synagogue, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Washington's birth. For more information, click here.

26 Kislev 5628 - December 23, 1867:

Emancipation of the Jews of Hungary.

26 Kislev 5678 - December 11, 1917:

General Allenby, head of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (of the British army) entered Yerushalayim, forcing the Turks to retreat.

26 Kislev 5680 - December 18, 1919:

The SS Ruslam reaches Jaffa with 671 people aboard, marking the period of what is known as the "Third Aliya," which lasted four years, bringing 35,000 immigrants.

26 Kislev 5697 - December 10, 1936:

The first of the Tower and Stockade settlements (Tel Amel) Nir David is erected.

26 Kislev 5712 - December 25, 1951:

Libya proclaims independence, forcing most of the Jewish community to flee.
The last Jew in Libya, Esmeralda Meghnagi, died in February of 2002.

26 Kislev Yahrtzeits           
HaRav Avraham ben Dovid, known as the Ravad (III), zt”l, also known as the Baal Hasagot on the Rambam, (1121- 4959 / 1198). The 3rd of three great Jews named Avraham ben Dovid who lived in the same era, this Rav Avraham was born in Provence in the small village of Puskeiras (Posquières) to a wealthy and prominent man who was close to Prince Roger. (According to others he was born in Narbonne, France, in 4875/1115 or 4885/1125).
At the age of 12 he went to Lunel to study with Rav Meshulem ben Moshe, author of Hashlama on the Rif. He married the daughter of Rav Avraham ben Yitzchak, Av Beit Din (known as Raavad II), the author of Ha'Eshkol. He then learned in the yeshiva of Narbonne, headed by Rav Yosef ben Marven Halevi.
The city of Narbonne was well known for its talmidei chachamim. It was one of the main cities of Torah learning after the baalei Tosafot and the talmidim of Rashi and Rabbeinu Gershom Me’or Hagolah moved from northern France and settled there.
The Raavad’s main rebbeim included his father-in-law, whom he mentions and quotes many times in his sefarim; Rabbeinu Meshulam MiLunel, at whose behest the Raavad translated Chovot Halevavot from Arabic to Lashon Hakodesh; and Rabbeinu Moshe ben Yosef ben Meron Levi, who was the Rosh Yeshivah in Narbonne.
The Raavad’s foremost desire was to be able to teach and spread Torah in all the cities across Provence (southern France). In order to do so, he moved from time to time, settling in different cities. In each city, the first thing he did was establish a yeshivah to teach the many talmidim who gathered to hear Torah from him. He first settled in Lunelle, where he was appointed Rav. Later, he moved on to Montepelier, where he remained for a short time, and then to Nîmes, where he lived for a longer period. Rabbeinu Moshe ben Yehudah (Temim De’imsiman 7) refers to the yeshivah in Nîmes, then under the Raavad’s direction, as the chief seat of Talmudic learning in Provence.
The center of the Raavad’s Torah activity was the city of Posquières; he is often called  Harav Avraham ben David of Posquières. He moved to Posquières in 4924/1164.
The Raavad lived in Posquières for eight years. Elzéar, the lord of Posquières, had him cast into prison. He might have perished there if not for Count Roger II of Carcassonne, who was friendly to the Jews, who intervened. Thereupon, the Raavad returned to Posquières, where he remained until his petirah.
The Raavad was a prolific author. He wrote teshuvot to hundreds of she’eilot; many of these responsa are still preserved in the sefarim Temim De’im, Orot Chaim and Shibbolei Haleket. He also wrote a commentary on many masechtot, including Bava Kama, Avodah Zarah, Eduyot and Kinnim.
The Raavad is probably best known for his comments on the Rif and on the Razah, Rabbeinu Zerachyah Halevi, and his notes and comments on the Rambam, which are printed in the margin of the text.

The Ravad's brief critical notes to the Mishneh Torah are known for their abrasive quality. He objected to the Rambam's methodology of presenting normative rulings without indication of their sources of rationales.
In his later years, he learned kabala, and his two sons, Rav Dovid and Rav Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, were among Provence's first kabalists.
The Raavad was niftar on 26 Kislev 4959/1198.
Among the Ravad III's greatest students were Rav Yitzchak Hacohen of Narbonne (the first commentator of the Yerushalmi), Rav Avraham ben Natan HaYarchi (author of HaManhig), Rav Meir Ben Yitzchak (author of HaEzer), and Rav Asher ben Meshulem of Lunel. (Others have the date as 4958 / 1197).

HaRav Elazar Hopstein of Kozhnitz [Kozienice] , zt”l, (5624 / 1863). He was the son of Harav Moshe Elyakim Beriya and his second Rebbetzin, Sheina Perel. His paternal grandfather was the Maggid Harav Yisrael of Kozhnitz (the Avodat Yisrael), and his maternal grandfather was Harav Elazar (son of Harav Elimelech of Lizhensk), after whom he was named.
He married the daughter of Harav Yaakov of Melitz, son of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, who supported him. When Harav Naftali was niftar in 5587 / 1827, Harav Elazar returned to his father in Kozhnitz; unfortunately, a year later his father was niftar.
The Kozhnitzer chassidim asked his cousin, Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel, the Saraf of Moglinitza, to lead them. But instead, Reb Elazar chose Reb Yeshayah of Pshedburz as his Rebbe, at the behest of his father, according to tradition, who came to him in a dream.
When Reb Elazar arrived in Pshedburz, the tzaddik was waiting to greet him dressed in Shabbat attire. Joyfully, Reb Yeshayah said, “Let me tell you why you were sent to me. The way of the world is that when people plant trees, they support the tender saplings by tying them to sticks until the trees grow strong enough to stand on their own. Then people take the sticks away.”
He was a chassid of Harav Yeshayah for four years, until Harav Yeshayah’s petirah in 5592, after which Reb Elazar considered the Saraf of Moglinitza his Rebbe. Only after the Saraf was niftar did Reb Elazar lead Kozhnitz Chassidut.
This he did with the Saraf’s blessing. On the last Shabbat of the Saraf’s life, he was serving as baal korei and honored Reb Elazar with the third aliyah. The parashah was Miketz, and one of the pesukim of the third aliyah is Pharaoh’s statement to Yosef, “You shall be over my house, and at your word shall all of my people be provided for.” His eyes streaming with tears, the Saraf read this verse three times, loudly and directly to Reb Elazar, before continuing with the aliyah. When the Saraf was niftar later that week, the chassidim knew just whom he had chosen to succeed him.
Harav Elazar was physically weak, but this did not deter him from traveling to visit his chassidim. Once when his wife tried to hold him back, he said, “What can I do? If I have the merit that Yidden who look at me gain benefit from it, how can I withhold this benefit from them? I must go!”
His ahavat Yisrael was profound, and he always found good in all. He was famous for promoting shalom and achdut in Klal Yisrael, and he urged his Chassidim to distance themselves from any machloket.
He was niftar on 26 Kislev 5624/1863.
Thirty-two years after his petirah, Likutei Mahara was published from notes of his divrei Torah
. One of his disciples was Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib HaLevi Epstein (1837-1914), "Rebbe Leibush the Second," author of Birkat Tov.

HaRav Binyamin Shlomo Zalman Spitzer of Vienna, zt”l, (5581 / 1721 - 5654 / 1893).
Harav Binyamin Shlomo Zalman Spitzer was born in 5581/1821, to Harav Yaakov Dovid Halevi.
A top bachur and a budding talmid chacham, Rav Shlomo Zalman became a son-in-law to the Chasam Sofer.
Later, Rav Shlomo Zalman served as Rav of Vienna. Initially he was Rav of all of Vienna’s kehillot, but in the year 5608/1847, when the Reform movement tried to impose innovations in the traditional nusach of davening, he fought against them as did the Chasam Sofer, who waged a valiant and mighty battle against the maskilim, using every means available.
When Rav Shlomo Zalman realized that they were not going to obey him, he gathered together all the men, women and children in the main shul, took out a sefer Torah and announced, “Mi laHashem eilai!” as did Moshe Rabbeinu thousands of years earlier. And like Eliyahu Hanavi on Har HaCarmel, he called out, “Ad masai atem pos’chim al shnei hase’ifim — how long will you waver between two opinions?”; and, like Bnei Yisrael at the time of Eliyahu, they all cried out together “Hashem Hu HaElokim!”
At this point, Rav Shlomo Zalman dropped the Rabbinate in Vienna, and opened his private shul and kehillah, the famous Schiffshul.
His financial situation deteriorated quite quickly, as the new kehillah did not have the means to pay his wages. During this difficult period, Rav Shlomo Zalman’s maid was about to marry off her daughter, and she asked the Rav for assistance. Amazingly, he opened the desk drawer, took out a 50-gulden note and gave it to her.
The Rebbetzin later related the story of the 50-gulden note. One Shabbat they had no money for even minimal Shabbat needs. Rav Shlomo Zalman told her to pawn her Shabbat candlesticks and use that money. In the meantime, the mailman arrived with a letter for Rav Shlomo Zalman from a childhood friend, asking for him to daven for his son who was very sick; enclosed was a 50-gulden note.
The Rebbetzin wanted to use that money, but Rav Shlomo Zalman told her, “Do you want, chas v’shalom, that the next time we need money another Yiddishe child will become sick, so that we will have what to spend? It is better that we spend this money on tzedakah, and for Shabbat expenses we will borrow.”
Rav Shlomo Zalman wrote Tikkun Shlomo, a compilation of his drashot around the year; and Simlat Binyamin, his chiddushim on the Shev Shmatsa and sugyot in Shas.
Reb Shlomo Zalman was niftar on 26 Kislev, the second day of Chanukah, 5654/1893.

HaRav Yosef Perlow of Koidenov, zt”l, (5674 / 1913).
Harav Yosef Perlow was the son of Harav Aharon of Koidenov, zy”a.
Rav Yosef married the daughter of his uncle, Harav Noach of Horodishtz.
After the petirah of his father on 26 Elul 5657/1894, Reb Yosef was named Rebbe in Koidenov. During his time, the Chassidut grew as Chassidim flocked to his court.
Rav Yosef founded Yeshivat Tomchei Tzedek in Koidenov that attracted many bachurim; at its peak, the yeshivah had 150 talmidim.
As Rebbe, Rav Yosef changed a number of the minhagim in Koidenov Chassidut.Shacharit was scheduled at an early hour, and the davening did not take long. Also, since his forebears were descendants of the Karlin dynasty, davening for them was an avodah with much fervor, whereas for him, while it was intense, it was quieter.
After World War I, Koidenov was transferred to Soviet Russian control, and thus the connection between Rav Yosef and the Chassidim became a problem, as he was now across the border.
Rav Yosef was niftar on 26 Kislev, the second day of Chanukah, 5676/1915.
His son Harav Alter Chaim Shlomo, who succeeded him as Rebbe in Koidenov, was niftar just a few months later, on 17 Iyar 5676/1916. At that time, most of the Chassidim transferred to Harav Nechemiah, the younger brother of Rav Yosef. One group, though, crowned Rav Yaakov, the son of Rav Yosef from his zivug sheini, appointing him Rebbe at his wedding.
The sons-in-law of Rav Yosef were Harav Moshe Chaim of Tomashpol and later New York; Harav Menachem Nachum Rabinowitz of Kantikozvah and later of Haifa; Harav Shlomo Chaim Artinberg; and Harav Shmuel Epstein of Vilna, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.
Many of Rav Yosef’s divrei Torah were published by his son-in-law, Harav Menachem Nachum Rabinowitz, while more is quoted in the sefer of Harav Menachem Nachum, Machshevet Nachum.
(Others 5674 / 1913).

HaRav Meshulam Roth (1875-1962). Born in Gorodenka, Galicia (now in Ukraine), his teachers in Talmud and halachah were Rav Yaakov Weidenfeld (rabbi of Grimaylov and father of the Tschebiner Rav, Dov Berish Weidenfeld), Rav Avraham Mendel Steinberg (rabbi of Brody) and Rav Meir Arik (rabbi of Bucach, and perhaps the leading Galician sage of the period). For a time, Rav Roth also studied with Rav Yehuda Modern of Sighet, from whom he gained a strong attachment to the works of the Chatam Sofer. After his marriage, he was elected rabbi of Chorostkiv (Ukraine). Rav Roth was eventually elected rabbi of Shatz (Suceava, Romania) and later Czernowitz (Tchernovitz), Ukraine, where he witnessed the community's destruction during the Holocaust. In 1944, Rav Roth managed to escape to Eretz Yisrael. [16 Kislev, according to others.]
HaRav Yehoshua Zelig (ben Shimon Moshe) Diskin,  zt”l, Rav of Pardes Chana (1896 - 5731 / 1970). Born in Chislavichi, he wrote the preface to his father's sefer, Midrash Shimoni, entitled Toldot Ha-Mechaber. His son, named for his father, Rav Shimon Diskin (1932-1999), was born in the town of Periaslov in the Kiev region of the Ukraine where Rav Yehoshua Zelig was Rav. He became one of the Roshei Yeshivot of Kol Torah. The Diskin family is descendant from the Maharal MiPrague and the Chavot Ya'ir.
HaRav Dovid Hersh Mayer, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva, Beit Binyamin, Stamford (CT) (1947-2002). Son of Rav Yitzchak Zev Mayer (Nitra, Czechoslovakia), author of Maharsha Ha'aruch, a close friend of Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandl. His mother, Leah, was the main character in the famous story of the woman who demanded a knife for her newborn son as she was being taken away to a concentration camp; she then circumcised her 8-day child. The child was Rav Dovid Hersh's older brother, Menashe. The family survived and moved to America. Rav Dovid Hersh learned at the Nitra yeshiva in Mount Kisco, NY, then at Lakewood. He was close to Rav Shneur Kotler and Rav Nosson Wachtfogel and was instrumental in the founding of the Los Angeles Kollel. He founded Beit Binyamin in 1977.


























27 Kislev
27 Kislev - Third day of Chanukah

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

27 Kislev 1657 - 2105 B.C.E.:

The forty days and nights of rainfall that covered the face of earth with water during the Mabul / Flood in Noach's time ended on this date. (According to Rav Eliezer). The flood itself lasted a full year, as related in Bereishit / Genesis 6-8). According to others - 29 Kislev).

27 Kislev - December 12, 1479:

The Jews were expelled from Schlettstadt, Alsace by Fredrick III.

27 Kislev 5552 - December 23, 1791:

Catherine II created the Pale of Settlement. Jews were squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia.

27 Kislev 5727 - December 10, 1966:

Israeli writer, Shmuel Yosef (Shay) Agnon (1888-1970), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Agnon's writings deal with the conflict between traditional Jewish life and language, and the modern world. Agnon, a religious Jew, also attempted to capture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). Agnon was born in Ukraine, the son of an ordained rabbi. At age 20 he moved to Eretz Yisroel. In his speech at the Nobel Prize ceremony, Agnon spoke in Hebrew: "As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Yerushalayim and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Yerushalayim." Today, Agnon's image is featured on the Israeli 50-shekel bills.

27 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Chizkiyahu Da Silva, zt"l, (1659- 5459 / 1698), commonly known as the Pri Chadash, the name of the commentary he authored on the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch). He was born in Livorna, Italy and at age 20 traveled to Yerushalayim to further his studies. He died in 1698 at the age of 39, and is buried on Har Hazeitim / the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. (Two centuries later, the illustrious Ohr HaChaim asked to be buried next to him.) Till today, "Pri Chadash" is printed in the standard edition of the Shulchan Aruch - Code of Jewish Law and is widely studied by rabbinic scholars. (Some have the Yahrtzeit as 28 or 29 Kislev 5458 - 1697).

HaRav Shaul Margulis of Lublin, zt"l, (5548 / 1787).

HaRav Tzvi Hersh Rosanes (Rosanish), zt"l, author of Tesha Shitot (5493 / 1733 - 5565 / 1804). He was the son of Rav Yissachar Ber, Av Beit Din and Rav of Podheitz (Podhajce), and grandson of Rav Yaakov Yehoshua, the Pnei Yehoshua.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh served as Rav of Bolchov and later of Zholkov.
With the petirah of Harav Mordechai Zev Orenstein, Rav of Lvov, Reb Tzvi Hirsh was appointed to succeed him. He did not take a salary, since his Rebbetzin supported them by managing a printing press.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh led the city with a firm hand. He taught many talmidim in his yeshivah. His home was an open house, both for talmidei chachamim and for Yidden looking for a place to eat or sleep.
In 5560/1800, Reb Tzvi Hirsh published Tesha Shitot on many sugyot in Shas. In this sefer his powerful pilpul was on display. At the end of the sefer Reb Tzvi Hirsh included a kuntres of his father’s chiddushim under the name Chezkat De’Avhasa.
Many of the mechabrim of sefarim at the time sought the haskamah of Reb Tzvi Hirsh.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh was niftar on 27 Kislev, the third day of Chanukah, 5565/1804, at the age of 72. He left no children.

HaRav Chaim of Tchernovitz (or Chernovitzer), zt"l, (1760-1816), author of Be'er Mayim Chaim. Born near Butchatch, Galicia (now Poland),  he studied under Rav Tzvi Hersh of Botchatch and became a chassid of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov, Rav Shmelke of  Nikolsburg and the Maggid of Mezritch. He became Rav in Tchernovitz in the Bukovina province of Romania, in 1789, and he remained there for 23 years. In 1812, war broke out, and Bukovina was annexed by Austria. The new government issues harsh anti-semitic decrees, resulting in Rav Chaim's departure, first to Botchan, then to Eretz Yisrael.. He settled in Tzefat, where he lived privately for the last 5 years of his life. He is buried in Tzefat. (according to others 5578 / 1817).

HaRav Yechiel Mechel of Galina, zt"l, (5627 / 1866). Son-in-law of Rebbe Meir of Premishlan.

HaRav Menachem Mendel Leib
Rubin, zt”l, (5675 / 1914), Rav of Congregation Agudath Achim Anshei Libowitz.
Harav Menachem Mendel Leib Rubin arrived in America in 1903 from the town of Jakobstadt in southeastern Latvia and settled in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, where he served as Mara d’Asra of Cong. Agudath Achim Anshei Libowitz, a Lubavitcher kehillah.
He was greatly esteemed by all who knew him and spoken well of by the Yidden of Brownsville. He himself bequeathed yakar v’kavod, glory and honor, as his matzeivah attests, to the people of his community, which seems to indicate that he excelled in treating his mispallelim and other fellow Yidden with dignity, and can mean as well that his being bespoke nobility of character as befits a talmid chacham. Rav Rubin dedicated his days and nights to Torah study; people would come from far and near to listen to his words of Torah and chochmah.
He was a daka ushfal ruach, a subdued, humble individual, as his matzeivah attests, who lived a life fraught with difficulty. Such a person merits Hashem’s special attention, as the Navi says (Yeshayah 57:15): “Ki choh amar ram v’nisa shochein ad v’kadosh shemo marom v’kadosh eshkon v’es daka ushfal ruach l’hachayot ruach shefalim ul’hachayot lev nidka’im — For so says the High and Exalted One, Who dwells forever and Whose Name is Holy: ‘While I dwell on High and in holiness, [still and all] I am with the crushed and humble-spirited, to receive the spirit of the holy ones and to revive the heart of the crushed.’
Rav Rubin’s accomplishments in Torah and ruchniyut took place, as mentioned before, against a backdrop of a life filled, unfortunately, with hardship. He fell ill three weeks before his untimely petirah on 27 Kislev 5675/1914, and brought to rest at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. Rav Rubin was survived by his wife and eight children. 

HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kohn, zt"l, the Toldot Aharon Rebbe (5675 / 1914 - 5757 / 1996). Born in Tzefat on 6 Tevet in 5675/1914. His parents were Reb Aharon Dovid Kohn, zt”l, and Shaindel Brachah, a”h, daughter of Reb Moshe Deutsch of Sighet. He was named for his great-granfather, Rav Yitzchak Avraham Heller of Tzefat.  
Even as a young boy, most of his days were spent in Torah and tefillah. He was drawn to the company of elderly talmidei chachamim, with whom he would spend hours at a time.
When he was seven years old, the fledgling Zionist movement was starting to make itself felt in Tzefat, and therefore Reb Aharon Dovid left Eretz Yisrael with his family. They traveled to Siebenbürgen and settled in the city of Honiad, in the Zibenbergen region of Romania, where young Avraham Yitzchak continued his studies in the local Talmud Torah.
At bar-mitzvah age, he joined the elite group of students of Harav Pinchas Gutterer, zt”l, in the city of Honiad, and later attended the yeshivah of Harav Yisrael Freund, whose son Harav Moshe Aryeh Freund (later to become Gaavad of the Eidah Hachareidit in Yerushalayim) served as one of the maggidei shiur. The Rosh Yeshivah, Reb Yisrael Freund, was quick to recognize the unique talents of his young talmid, who soon became one of his most beloved students.
Later he went on to Seckelheid to the famous yeshivah of Harav Yehudah Segal Rosner, Hy”d. It was in this yeshivah that he began a precedent that lasted the rest of his life, a fierce adherence to chumrot regarded as extraneous by most Jews.
After learning in Seckelheid, he took leave of his beloved Rebbe and moved on to the famous yeshivah headed by Harav Yoel Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, zy”a, and he moved with the yeshiva to Satmar.
At that time in Satmar, Harav Aharon (Arele) Roth, author of Shomer Emunim, had founded a group of Chassidim, (later to be known as Shomrei Emunim of Meah Shearim). One day Reb Avraham Yitzchak got hold of a copy of Reb Aharon Roth’s seferTaharat Hakodesh, and joined them.
He became very close to Rav Aharon Roth, and in 5694/1934, Reb Aharon Roth chose Reb Avraham Yitzchak as a chassan for his daughter.
During World War II, after much wandering, Reb Aharon Roth, with his family and new son-in-law, reached the shores of Eretz Yisrael. The Shomer Emunim set up a yeshivah in Yerushalayim and appointed his son-in-law, Reb Avraham Yitzchak, as Rosh Yeshivah.
When Reb Aharon Roth was niftar in 1947, Rav Avraham Yitzchak assumed leadership of the Chassidim (later to become known as Toldot Aharon, after his father-in-law, or the “Reb Ahrelach”). He led for 50 years.
In 5755 / 1995, Rav Avraham Yitzchak slipped down the stairs of his home on his way to the mikveh and suffered a concussion. For many months he was homebound, but he eventually returned to the beit medrash. However, not long afterwards, the Rebbe was niftar on 27 Kislev, the third day of Chanukah, 5757 / 1996. He was buried on Har Hazeitim.
He authored Divrei Emunah.
Following his petira, two of his sons became Rebbes. The younger son, Rav Duvid Kahn of Monsey, a disciple of the Satmar Rebbe, became the Toldot Aharon Rebbe. The eldest son, Rav Shmuel Yaakov Kahn, a disciple of the Viznitzer Rebbe, became a Rebbe of a group that was entitled Toldot Avraham Yitzchak named after his father, whose main Beit Medrash is also in Meah Shearim, one block away from the Toldot Aharon building. Another son is a Rosh Yeshiva in Kiryat Yoel, New York. Rav Avraham Yitzchak was said to have instructed his followers to learn the works of Rav Aharon HaLevi of Staroselye (Strashelye), which include "Shaarei HaYichud VeHaEmunah," "Shaarei Avoda," and "Avodat HaLevi."
HaRav Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowicz (Rabinowitz), zt"l, (1914 - 5758 / 1997).Rebbe of Munkatch (Munkacs) (1937 – 1944) and Chief Rabbi of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Cholon, Israel. Father of the current Munkatcher Rebbi, Harav Moshe Leib Rabinovich, Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY, and the Dinover Rebbe, Harav Moshe Leib Rabinovich, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY.
Rav Boruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel was born in Russia in 1914 to his parents, Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinowicz (1868–1930), the Partzever Rebbe, and Yitta Spira. His father was the eldest son of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov of Biala (1847–1905). His mother was the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Leib Spira of Stryzow (1850–1916), of the Munkatch dynasty. He was engaged to his intended bride at the age of 11. When he was 13, his father-in-law-to-be, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira of Munkatch, took him on a visit to the Holy Land.
In 1933 Rabbi Boruch married Frima Chaya Rivka, the only daughter of his mother's first cousin, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira (1872–1937), Munkatcher Rebbe and Chief Rabbi of Munkatch, also known as the Minchat Elazar.
This union set him on course to succeed his father-in-law as rabbi and Admor of Munkatch. His wedding – attended by some 20-30,000 guests - was one of the grandest and most celebrated chassidic weddings of 1933 and film footage of the wedding, shot by news teams who were there to record the event, was seen widely across the world. It is also searchable on the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.
Rabbi Boruch's elevation to the position as rav and rebbe of Munkatch in 1937 following the death of his father-in-law was rudely disrupted by the beginning of World War II, when in 1944, he was unceremoniously deported to Poland. He was miraculously released soon afterwards and he promptly moved with his family from Munkatch to Budapest. There he was heavily involved in efforts to rescue Jews from the clutches of the Nazis. Eventually he managed to obtain visas and escape to Palestine. There he endeavoured to rebuild his shattered life having to deal with the tragedy of the Holocaust and the deaths and disruption it had caused.
Shortly after they arrived in Palestine, in April 1945, Rabinovich and his siblings were orphaned with the death of their mother, Chaya Frima Rivka Rabinovich.
In 1946, Rabbi Boruch tried to become the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, but retired from the race, not wanting to compete against the other contenders. Shortly thereafter he moved to São Paulo, Brazil, together with his second wife, Yehudit, in this way totally cutting himself off from his surviving chasidim and from his position as head of one of pre-war Hungary's pre-eminent chasidic dynasties. In addition, as a result of a change of theological direction, Rabbi Boruch had become sympathetic to Zionism and the State of Israel, concepts that had been anathema to his father-in-law and most of pre-War Hungarian charedi orthodoxy. The Munkatcher chasidim who had survived the war did not like the fact that he was too "modern" for them so, in 1965, they crowned his son Reb Moshe Leib, the current Munkatcher Rebbe, in his place.
Rabbi Boruch returned to Israel in 1963 to become Chief Rabbi of Cholon. He later moved to Petach Tikva where he headed a small Beit Hamedrash until his death in 1997. His third son, Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinovich is the Rebbe of Munkatch and resides in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, New York. His fourth son, Rabbi Yizchok Yakov Rabinovich is the Rebbe of Dinov and resides in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. His second son, Chaim Rabinovich, lived in Jerusalem after spending most of his life in Vienna and South America, and died in 2013.
Rabbi Boruch was known as a great scholar of Talmud and halacha and his encyclopedic knowledge of traditional Jewish sources was widely reputed. In addition to this, he was also a gifted orator, although his relative obscurity and personal desire to remain out of the limelight meant that he rarely spoke outside of his own immediate vicinity. In 1996, he published his works entitled Divrei Nevonim and Binat Nevonim.
Today’s Munkatcer Rebbe is the grandson of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, zt’l (1872–1937), Munkatcher Rebbe and prolific author of Minchat Elazar; son of Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Shapiro, zt’l (1840–1913), Munkatcher Rebbe and author of Darkei Teshuvah; son of Rabbi Shlomo Shapiro, zt’l (1831–1893), Munkatcher Rebbe and author of Shem Shlomo; son of Rabbi Eliezer Shapiro, zt’l (1808–1864), Lantzuter Rebbe and author of Yodei Bina; son of Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro, zt’l (1784–1841) revered Dinover Rebbe and author of Bnei Yisoschor.


























28 Kislev
28 Kislev - Forth day of Chanukah.

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today..

28 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Avraham Ravigo, zt”l, (1714). Born in Modena, Italy, he became highly esteemed as both a supporter of Torah and as a great Torah scholar himself. He and a party of 25 set sail from Livorno, Italy, for Eretz Yisrael in 1702. When they arrived in Yerushalayim, his wife, daughter, and closest disciple died in a plague. He opened a yeshiva; among the ten Rabbanim who learned there was the son-in-law of Rav Yehudah HaChasid. After the petirah of Rav Moshe ben Chaviv, Rav Avraham was appointed Rishon Letzion. However, he passed away during one of his trips abroad trying to raise funds. His talmid, Rav Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi, wrote Eshel Avraham on the Zohar and other Kabalistic teachings that he received from Rav Avraham.

HaRav Mordechai Tzhalon of Livorno, zt”l, (5509 / 1748).

HaRav Uziel Meizlish, zt”l, (5546 / 1785).

HaRav Avraham Madjar, zt”l, (1834). Av Beit Din in Yerushalayim author of Divrei Shalom.

HaRav Avraham Dov of Avritz, zt”l, (1840),19th century leader of the Ashkenazi community in Tzefat. Legend says that he was once captured and held for ransom. The captors placed a sword at his throat and threatened to use it if payment was not immediately forthcoming. The Rav asked to make one last request: water to wash his hands so he could recite his final prayers. The captors were so impressed with his faith and courage that they promptly released him. He was the author of Bat Ayin, a commentary on the Chumash.

HaRav Anshel Lichtenstein of Starnard, zt”l, (5645 / 1885).

HaRav Yaakov Tennenbaum, zt”l, Rav of Putnack and author of She’eilot U’tshuvot Naharei Afarsemon, Shemen Afarsemon on the Torah, (5657 / 1896).
Harav Yaakov Tennenbaum was born on 17 Tammuz, 5592 / 1832. His father was Harav Zev Wolf, Rav of Werfeled, author of Rechovot Hanahar on the Torah; his mother was the daughter of Harav Shraga Feivel Frenkel, Rav of Ruska.
In 5618/1858, Reb Yaakov was appointed Rav in Talia, and in 5629/1869 in Tshata.
In 5633/1873 he became Rav of Putnack, Hungary, where he served for the rest of his life, and he is called by the name of that city.
Reb Yaakov, considered a gaon, headed a large yeshivah in the city, disseminating Torah to a great number of bachurim. Many of his talmidim went on to become Gedolim in their own right.
He fought all his life on behalf of the Torah community and its principles, and against the changes of the times.
Reb Yaakov wrote She’eilot U’teshuvot Naharei Afarsemon, and Shemen Afarsemon on the Torah.
He was niftar on 28 Kislev, the fourth day of Chanukah 5657/1896, at the age of 64.
Reb Yaakov had two sons: Rav Meir, who succeeded him as Rav of Putnack, and Rav Menachem Mendel, Rav of Turna.

HaRav Baruch Dovid Twersky of Klinkowitz, zt”l, author of Vayevarech Dovid (5686 / 1925).
Harav Baruch David was born in Hornisteipel in 5635/1875. His father was Harav Mordechai Dov Twersky, zy”a, the Hornisteipler Rebbe.
He married Rebbetzin Chayah Sarah, daughter of Harav Shlomo Zalman Zuckerman, Rebbe of Rashkov.
A great lamdan like his father, Reb Baruch David was known for his gadlut in Torah. He was a devoted talmid of his father as well as of other Gedolei hador.
In 5663/1903, he became Rebbe in Hornisteipel in his father’s place; a year later, he moved to Klinkowitz, a town in Reisen (Eastern Galicia), where he led his Chassidim.
In 5682/1922 he fled from the Russians and settled in Vienna. After four years, on 28 Kislev, Reb Baruch David was niftar. He was buried in Vienna. In his tzavaah, he asked that no titles should be written on his matzeivah and that no one should come to his kever. Despite the last request, Chassidim used to go to his kever to daven anyway.
Reb Baruch David was the author of Vayevarech David on Torah and She’eilot U’teshuvot in Halachah.

HaRav Ezra Hamway, zt”l, Ra’avad of Aram Tzova in Syria (1945).

HaRav Eliyahu Meir Bloch, zt”l, (5655/1894 - 5715/1955). Born on Simchat Torah in the small Lithuanian city of Telshe to Rav Yosef Leib, Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe, having assumed the helm of the yeshiva from his father-in-law, Rav Eliezer Gordon, the founder of the Yeshiva.
After his marriage, he spent 12 years as a Rosh Yeshiva at Telshe. When it became clear that the Yeshiva could not continue under the Soviets, the administration sent Reb Elya Meir and his brother-in-law, the late Rosh Yeshiva Reb Chaim Mordechai Katz on a mission to the United States, to raise funds to move the Yeshiva to either America or Eretz Yisrael. When they arrived, they learned of the Nazi invasion. They decided to restart the Yeshiva in Cleveland.

Rebbetzin Tzivia Walkin o”h, (5760 / 1999), wife of Harav Shmuel Dovid Walkin, zt”l, the son of the Beit Aharon. and mother of HaRav Chaim Walkin, the menahel ruchani of Yeshivat Ateret Yisroel, Rebbetzin Walkin was born in Radin. Her father was R' Avrohom Sachrof, the son-in-law of HaRav Moshe Landinski, the rosh yeshiva of Radin, founded by the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l. For more details about her life, see

HaRav Chaim Mordechai Wainkrantz, zt”l, (1920-2004). Born in Popov, Poland, he studied at the Novardok branch in Polutsk, then traveled to Bialystok to learn at the Bait Yosef Yeshiva under Rav Avraham Yoffen. During WW2, he was exiled to Siberia. In 1947, he moved to America, married, and learned in Kollel for another 10 years under Rav Yoffen. He then founded a yeshiva ketana. He was also maggid shiur at Congregation Shomrei Emunah. In his later years, he became Rosh Yeshiva at Bait Yosef.





























29 Kislev
29 Kislev - Fifth day of Chanukah.

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

29 Kislev 1656 - 2104 B.C.E.:

The Flood rains stopped. (According to other - 27 Kislev).

29 Kislev 5257 - December 5, 1496:

Manuel I ordered the expulsion of the Jews of Portugal.

29 Kislev - 1503:

Followers of Zechariah of Kiev were burned in Moscow, on charges of Judaizing, Hy"d.

29 Kislev 5561 - December 16, 1800:

Two years after the Baal HaTanya's previous arrest and liberation in 1798, Rab' Schneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of Chabad, 1745-1812), was arrested a second time; again, the charges were that his teachings undermined the imperial authority of the Czar. His second incarceration was less severe than the first, and he was released on this date. Lubavitcher Chassidim mark this day, the "fifte lechtel," as a Yom Tov.
According to other versions of the story, the liberation occurred on the third day of Chanukah. Apparently the liberation happened in two stages.

29 Kislev 5580 - December 17, 1819:

The Turkish deported the Jews from Tel-Aviv to Egypt.

29 Kislev 5675 - December 17, 1914:

In 1914, Jews of Tel Aviv were expelled by the Turkish authorities and sent to Egypt. Just three years later, the Turks would order the remaining 9,000 Jews out of Jaffa, in advance of the British military offensive. The Jews fled north, where they suffered from disease and starvation. They were allowed to return with the British ousting of the Turks in 1917.

29 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Aharon Shimon Shapiro of Prague, zt"l, (5440 / 1679).

HaRav Chizkiya ben Dovid di Silva, zt"l, (1659- 5459 / 1698), author of the Pri Chadash on the Shulchan Aruch (1659-1698). Born in Livorna, Italy, he traveled to Amsterdam - home a large Sephardi community - in 1689, to raise funds for the publication of his sefer. While there, he was offered two positions, one to stay as Rav of Amsterdam and the other to lead a new yeshiva in Yerushalayim; he chose the latter. In 1693, he established the yeshiva - Bait Yaakov - in Yerushalayim.
Three of his most prominent talmidim were Rav Shalomo Elgazi (the future Rav of Egypt), Rav Avraham Yitzchaki, and Rav Yitzchak Hakohen, author of Battei Kehuna. His sefer was unique that it focused primarily on divrei Chazal and Rishonim and was often critical of earlier Acharonim, even the Shulchan Aruch, often taking a more lenient position. As such, the sefer was quite controversial during his life.(Some have the Yahrtzeit as 27 or 29 Kislev 5458 - 1697) .

HaRav Gedalia of Linitz, zt"l, author of Teshuot Chein (1803). Son of Rav Yitzchak, he was a disciple of the Magid of Mezritch. Rebbe Nachman said about Rav Gedalya of Linitz that he was foremost in the bringing of people to repentance in that generation, even though he never gave lectures and only sat and learned all day.

HaRav Tzvi Mordechai of Plavna, zt"l, (5627 / 1866).

HaRav Shlomo HaKohen of Vilna, zt"l,author of Cheshek Shlomo (5666 / 1905). Born in Vilna in 5588 / 1828, his father, Harav Yisrael Meir Hakohen, served as a Dayan on the Vilna Beit Din.
Reb Shlomo learned under his older brother, Harav Betzalel, whom he mentions in his sefarim, and later under Harav Yitzchak Shirvaniter.
At 16, Reb Shlomo had already finished the entire Shas.
Reb Shlomo’s glosses on the Gemara were published in the Vilna Edition Shas under the name Cheshek Shlomo.
His halachic responsa were published under the title She’eilot U’teshuvot Binyan Shlomo.
Reb Shlomo was a Dayan in Vilna for nearly 40 years.
It is related that when thieves once broke into his house, he ran home and checked to see if his copy of Rabbeinu Yerucham was still there. (Rabbeinu Yerucham was an expensive and rare sefer at the time). Upon seeing that it was untouched, he declared, “Baruch Hashem, nothing was stolen.”
The Chofetz Chaim said that Reb Shlomo, who was a kohen, was ready for Moshiach’s arrival and was fluent in all halachot pertaining to kohanim and the avodah in the Beit Hamikdash.
Reb Shlomo was niftar on 29 Kislev, the fifth day of Chanukah, 5666/1905, at the age of 77.

. HaRav Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu Finkler of Radoshitz (Radoszyce), zt"l, (1892 or 1902 - 5705 / 1944). Harav Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was born in Radoshitz on 19 Adar 5652/1892. His father was Harav Meir Menachem of Radoshitz-Piotrikov. (1862-1912).
In his youth, he was a talmid of his brother-in-law Harav Yaakov Horowitz, a descendant of the Ropshitzer dynasty. He was already noted for his outstanding abilities and middot at a young age.
Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was taken as a chassan by Harav Menachem Dovid Taub of Kuzmir. After his marriage, living near his father-in-law in a small village near Warsaw, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu became close with some of Warsaw’s leading Rabbanim and Torah personalities, including Harav Menachem Ziemba, Hy”d, and Harav Nosson Spiegelglas.
In 5672/1912, when Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was 20 years old, his father was niftar; Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was asked to succeed him as Rebbe in Piotrikov. With much hesitation he undertook this position. Within a very short time he became a leading Rebbe, and the number of Chassidim who traveled to his court grew from day to day.
In keeping with the minhag of the Radoshitzer Rebbes, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu would tovel in the mikveh numerous times a day. His Shacharit was very lengthy, at times lasting until the early afternoon hours. He slept very little, dedicating his nights to Torah and avodat Hashem.
On the Yamim Tovim, when Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu would daven at the amud, the beit medrash and the surrounding streets were full of people who came to listen to his sweet and soothing voice.
When the Nazis entered Poland, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu went into hiding in a bunker in Piotrikov. Many others also used this bunker. When it was discovered and Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was taken to the camps, he continued to be mekadesh Shem Shamayim, refusing to allow even a morsel of non-kosher food into his mouth.
He spent time in a number of camps, among them Buchenwald and Shliven. Thanks to the intervention of one of the prisoners, he was transferred from Shliven back to Buchenwald, where the conditions were somewhat easier. From there Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was transferred to Felsenberg, where he was niftar of starvation on 29 Kislev, the fifth day of Chanukah, 5705/1944.
His only son, Reb Hillel, was niftar just before liberation, on 27 Nisan 5705/1945.
Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu’s two daughters managed to survive the War. His daughter Sarah married Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Eichenstein of Ziditchov, zt”l, and his daughter Malkah married Rabbi Yechiel Granatstein, z”l, a writer at Hamodia.

HaRav Baruch Hager of Vishiva, zt"l, (5705 / 1944).
Harav Baruch Hager was born on 29 Nisan, 5668 / 1908. His father was Harav Menachem Mendel, a scion of the Vizhnitz-Kossov dynasties.
From his earliest years, he was known for his sensitivity and extending help.
He married the daughter of Harav Tzvi Hirsh Rubin of Mishelnitz, son of Harav Yitzchak Tuviah of Sanz (a son-in-law of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz).
On 2 Sivan 5696 / 1936, the Ahavat Yisrael of Vizhnitz was niftar and his son Harav Menachem Mendel was named Rebbe in Vishiva. He founded a yeshivah there.
In 1940, with the assistance of the Germans, Vishiva fell into the hands of the Hungarians, who immediately began systematically killing the Jews.
Already in the first weeks, many Jews, notably the Rabbanim — including Reb Menachem Mendel — were taken for humiliating interrogations. He got sick as a result and left for Klausenburg. He was niftar in Klausenburg on 13 Tevet 5701/1941. His mittah was returned to Vishiva, where many attended the emotional levayah. Following the hespeidim, his oldest son, Reb Baruch, was named Rebbe.
During World War I, many of the city’s records had been burned. Reb Baruch began to arrange the printing of false birth certificates certifying that the subject was born in Hungary, offering temporary salvation.
When the Nazis found out, Reb Baruch was taken in for questioning. The next day he was taken to the Talanz Has camp, then sent on to Kanizhah.
When Hitler took over Hungary, the Rebbe was moved into the Jewish hospital in Budapest. After bribing the guard, the Rebbetzin arranged for Reb Baruch’s escape. He managed to reach his uncle, the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, who was then in Grossvardein.
Along with a group of about 100 others, Reb Baruch tried to cross the Romanian border. The group was caught and taken back to the ghetto in Grossvardein. In the meantime, the Imrei Chaim and others had already escaped.
Reb Baruch hid in a bunker in the ghetto with eight others, but the bunker was exposed and they were all sent to Auschwitz.
Reb Baruch was killed on 29 Kislev, the fifth day of Chanukah, 5705/1944. He was 36. Hashem yinkom damo.
The Rebbetzin, one son, Harav Naftali Tzvi, and one daughter lived through the war.

HaRav Yisrael of Husyatin and Rizhin, zt"l,(5710 / 1949). The son of Rav Mordechai Shraga and grandson of the Rizhiner Rebbe, he married Nechama Gitel, a grand-daughter of his uncle, Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger, when he was 14 years old. He was also the uncle of Reb Moshenu of Boyan. In 1937, he moved to Tel Aviv, along with his son-in-law, Rav Yaakov, who would succeed him 12 years later.(Others have the date as 5709 / 1948).

HaRav Shlomo Dovid Kahana of Warsaw and Yerushalayim, zt”l, the Av  Ha’agunot after WWII. (1869 - 5714 / 1953). During the aftermath of the first and second World Wars, he undertook to solve the plight of Agunot. It is said that he obtained some seventy thousand signed affidavits, and he permitted some fifty thousand Agunot to remarry. In 1941, Rav Kahana settled in Eretz Yisrael, where he became Rav of the old city of Yerushalayim. There, he once again dealt with the problems of thousands of Agunot whom he permitted to remarry.

HaRav Zushe Waltner, zt"l,(1918 - 5763 / 2002). Born in Hungary, he traveled through Cracow and Switzerland until he eventually was admitted to England in 1937. There, Rav Waltner developed a very close relationship with Rav Eliahu Dessler. After the war, Rav Waltner and Rav Aryeh Grosnass traveled to Europe to help the shattered remnants of European Jewry, and founded the yeshiva in Sunderland, UK, to accommodate some of them. Traveling to Tangiers, Morocco,  to recruit talmidim for Sunderland, he met R’ Shmuel Toledano who soon built a yeshiva building and then invited Rav Waltner to come and found a yeshiva. At the advice of Rav Dessler who consulted with the Chazon Ish on the matter, Rav Waltner accepted the challenge. There he set up a yeshiva called Eitz Chaim. There are thousands of bnei Torah and religious balabatim today who freely acknowledge that he is responsible for their spiritual life. He also established Otzar Hatorah institutions in Morocco. Among his talmidim from Tangier are Rav Shimon Pinto of Strasbourg and Rav Shlomo Farrache in Bnai Brak.

























30 Kislev
30 Kislev - Sixth day of Chanukah.
Sometimes Rosh Chodesh Tevet is only one day, namely the sixth day of Chanukah. This makes the last three days of Chanukah the first, second and third of Tevet. Other times, however, Rosh Chodesh Tevet is two days: the sixth and seventh days of Chanukah. In that case, the seventh day of Chanukah is 1 Tevet and the eighth day is 2 Tevet.

Chanukah from 140 B.C.E. and on
In 140 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Yiddishkeit / Judaism from Klal Yisroel / the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem. All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months; Our Sages tell us that the day of 25 Kislev was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

30 Kislev 5109 - 1348:

When the Black Death raged, Jews of Augsburg, (south-central) Germany were killed al Kiddush Hashem, Hy"d. For many more years Jews were severely persecuted in Augsburg.

30 Kislev 5731 - December 28, 1970

Nine Soviet Jews were convicted in Leningrad of hijacking a civilian airplane six months earlier. The hijackers were a group of Soviet refuseniks (one was a former military pilot) who tried to escape to the West, in order to avoid harsh Soviet discrimination against Jews. Even though the attempt was unsuccessful, and was followed immediately by crackdown on Jewish and dissident movement throughout the USSR, it drew international attention to human rights violations in the USSR and resulted in a temporary loosening of emigration restrictions. The accused were charged with high treason, punishable by the death sentence. Included in this group was Yosef Mendelevitch, who in 1981 was released and joined his family in Israel, where he became an inspiring figure in the movement for traditional Jewish values.

30 Kislev Yahrtzeits

HaRav Zeligman Gantz, zt”l, (5373 / 1612).   Rav Gantz served as a Dayan in Prague at the time that the Maharal was Rav of Prague. He was a gaon, fluent in all parts of Torah. He was a brother of the Tzemach Dovid who is well known for his sefer Tzemach Dovid on Toldot Am Yisrael.

HaRav Dov Oppenheim, zt”l, (5620 / 1859), Rav of Dresnitz.

HaRav Dovid Halberstam, zt”l, (5700 / 1939), the Sokolover Rav.
Harav Dovid Halberstam was the son and grandson, respectively, of Reb Moshe and Reb Yecheskel of Shinova (author of Divrei Yecheskel) and great-grandson of Reb Chaim of Sanz, zt”l, (the Divrei Chaim), zecher tzaddikim livrachah.
Reb Dovid came to the United States in the early part of the 20th century, from Galicia, bringing with him the great legacy bequeathed to him by his distinguished forebears.
The Sokolover Rav was known for his ahavat Yisrael and was mashpia on other Yidden, drawing them close to Torah and mitzvot. He sought their well-being and garnered assistance for families in need. He was known as a baal madreiga and for his sublime middot and qualities. Yet, as his matzeivah testifies, he was a nistar, indicating that much of his greatness was hidden and not apparent to those around him.
Although Reb Dovid greatly longed to return to his family and community back in Europe, Hashgachah willed otherwise and he was niftar on these shores in 5700/1939 on the sixth night of Chanukah at the age of 64. Due to the unrest engendered by World War II, it was impossible to bring him to kever avot in Europe and he was buried the next day in Union Field Cemetery in Queens. Many visit his kever till this day.

HaRrav Avrohom Yitzchok Shisgal, zt”l, (5713 / 1952),
Harav Shisgal was born in the city of Rostov, Russia, in 1890, to his father Reb Dovid and his Rebbetzin, a family of greatly esteemed bnei Torah.
He learned in the Slutsk and Slabodka Yeshivot under Gedolim such as Yaakov Dovid Wilovsky, zt”l (known as the Ridvaz), Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, zt”l, Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, and Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l. He received semichah from the Ridvaz, Harav Epstein and Harav Isser Zalman.
He married his Rebbetzin, Charna, daughter of Reb Elimelech, circa 1914.
From 1916 to 1923 he served as Rav in his native Rostov. In 1925 he and his family arrived in the United States; initially he accepted a rabbinical position in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Eight years later the family moved to New York where he became Rav at Kehillat Vizhnitz Anshei Marmarush in Brooklyn. Other shuls he served included Kehillat Anshei Yedvavna, and Kehillat Machzikei Torah Anshei Szeged-Vilna in downtown Manhattan, which he headed for 13 years.
Rav Shisgal was active in Agudat Harabbanim, Agudath Israel of America and the Vaad Harabbanim of New York. He was active in many Torah causes, and especially for Chinuch Atzmai. He was also active in girls’ chinuch and helped build a Bait Yaakov. He was recognized for his gadlut in Torah, his wisdom and for his speaking talents.
His matzeivah tells us that he “dedicated his kochot to being marbitz Torah b’rabbim and bringing Yidden closer to avodat Hashem.
The Shisgals had several sons and daughters, including Harav Eliyahu Moshe, zt”l, who served as a Maggid Shiur in Yeshiva Torah Vodaat and was a much beloved son-in-law of Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l,making Rav Avrohom Yitzchok a mechutan of the Gadol Hador. Another son, Harav Dovid, was considered one of the leading members of the Kollel of Beit Medrash Elyon in Spring Valley.
Rav Shisgal was niftar on 30 Kislev, 5713/1952, and brought to rest at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens.

HaRav Tzvi Yehuda (Hashi) Friedman, z"l, (1925 - 2005). Born in Pressburg, Hungary, Reb Hashi was a descendant of the Chatam Sofer, whose youngest daughter, Rechel, married Reb Tzvi Yehuda Friedman from Topolcany. Their youngest son, Yeshaya, married Yehudit Link and had a son, Moshe, who married Malka Hochhauser. Reb Moshe had three sons, Nissan, Hashi, and Pinchas. Among Hashi's teachers were Rav Akiva Sofer (the Daat Sofer), Rav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer (the Cheishev Sofer), and Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandel. In 1944, he was sent to Aushwitz and marched the Death March to Gleiwitz and was transported to Buchenwald. Although his entire family was murdered, he lived another 60 years. He emigrated to Montreal in 1951 and moved to Toronto in 1970. His life was filled with Torah and hachnasat orchim.


























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