THE DAY YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
Return to TimeCapsule page
1 Sivan - Rosh Chodesh Sivan
According to Rav Yehudah (Bava Metzia 106:2) today is the start of the summer season.
1 Sivan - 2103 B.C.E.:
The raging flood waters which covered the face of the earth in the Great Flood of Noach's time, calmed and began to subside at the rate of one cubit every four days, 150 days after the rain stopped falling.(See Bereishit / Genesis 8:3; Rashi, ibid).
1 Sivan - 1522 B.C.E.:
Yaakov Avinu /Jacob departs from Chevron / Hebron (where his father Yitzchok / Isaac and his grandfather Avrohom / Abraham lived) for Mitzrayim / Egypt to see his son Yosef / Joseph.
1 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
Six weeks after their exodus from Mitzrayim / Egypt, Bnei Yisrael arrived at Har / Mount Sinai and camped at the foot of the mountain "k'ish echad beleiv echad — as one man, with one heart," in preparation for receiving the Torah from Hashem. On this day, however, Moshe did not give them any mitzvot because of their exhaustion from the journey.
1 Sivan 2449 - 1312 B.C.E.:
Korach met his end when he was miraculously swallowed up by the earth after leading a rebellion against Moshe Rabbeinu and his brother Aaron.
"The ground split beneath them... And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained to Korach, and all their possessions" (Bamidbar / Numbers 16:31-32).
1 Sivan 3440 - 321 B.C.E.:
Yechezkel Hanavi recounted the nevuah delivered to him regarding the haughtiness of Mitzrayim / Egypt. (See Yechezkel / Ezekiel 31).
1 Sivan 4856 - May 25, 1096:
Crusaders massacre the remainder of the Jews of Worms while they recite Hallel, as related in
the Kinah recited on Tisha B'Av, "Mi Yiten Roshi Mayim" by Rav Kalonymus ben Yehuda.
Three hundred Jews take refuge in the castle of the Bishop of Worms on the Rhine, Germany. Soldiers of the First Crusade besiege the castle. The Jews are warned to become baptized or die. Many commit suicide because word of the tactics of the crusaders has preceded them. Those who remain faithful are murdered, including Simcha ben-Isaac haKohen, Alexandri ben-Moshe and.lsaac ben-Elyakim, Hy"d.
1 Sivan 4856 - May 25, 1096:
Crusaders reached Cologne and found the gate to the city closed by order of the bishop. Of all the Jewish communities in the path of the Crusaders, Cologne’s Jews were the only ones to escape total destruction.
1 Sivan - 1147:
Crusaders dragged Rabbeinu Tam from his home in Ramerupt, France, and left him critically wounded in a field.
1 Sivan - 1393:
Jews of Sicily were forbidden to display any funeral decorations in public.
1 Sivan - 1421:
A great number of Jews of Styria, Austria, were burned and the rest were expelled from the country, Hy"d.
1 Sivan - 1474:
Anusim of Segovia, Spain, were massacred, Hy"d.
1 Sivan - 1593:
Jews barred from living in Riga and Livonia.
1 Sivan 5397 - May 24, 1637:
Rabbi Abraham b. Isaac and six other Jews were martyred in Cracow, Hy"d.
1 Sivan 5727 - June 9, 1967:
Day Five of the Six Day War.
Israel, Egypt, and Syria accept the cease-fire ordered by the Security Council,
The Syrians immedialtely break the cease fire agreemerit
1 Sivan 5754 - May 11, 1994:
Knesset approves Gaza-Jericho Agreement by a vote of 52-0. In a speech in a mosque in Johannesburg, Yasser Arafat, ym"s, calls for a jihad to liberate Yerushalayim; compares Gaza-Jericho Agreement to a temporary agreement made by Mohammed with the tribe of Kuraish. After Israel protests, Arafat says he had referred to a religious jihad, which has no military significance.
1 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Meir Halevi Horowitz, the Maharam Titkin, zt"l, (5506 / 1746), (Others 5503 / 1743). Titkin was founded in 1437. In 1522, ten Jews from Grodno, Lithuania, became the first Jews to settle there. At that time, Lithuania was three times the size of Poland, stretching from the Baltic almost to the Black Sea, including areas known today as White Russia and Ukraine. Titkin’s first Rav was Reb Mordechai (1538),
Rav Meir Halevi Horowitz was the son of Harav Shmuel Shmelke, who served as Rav of Turna, who in turn was the son of Harav Yehoshua, who was the son of Harav Pinchas, the brother-in-law of the Rema.
For seven years he learned nigleh, and only afterwards did he learn nistar for seven years, not wishing to jumble the separate topics.
Reb Meir was appointed Rav of Tiktin, and therefore became known as Maharam Tiktin.
Reb Meir was known for his vast kedushah, and many mofsim are related about him. One year on Motzoei Yom Kippur, Reb Meir went outside after Maariv, with his beit din, and they were waiting for many hours to make Kiddush Levanah, since the sky was covered with clouds. Reb Meir raised his hands heavenwards, and exclaimed: “Meir and his beit din are waiting to fulfill Kiddush Levanah. Let the clouds disperse and the moon appear, allowing us to fulfill our mitzvah.” As he finished speaking, a strong wind blew away the clouds, and a nice clear moon was seen, enabling them to fulfill the mitzvah.
Reb Meir was renowned for his humility. One time he listened to a drashah that a passing maggid delivered in Tiktin. The maggid elaborated on many aveirot that most simple Jews aren’t wary of. Following the drashah, Reb Meir approached the maggid and asked why he had embarrassed him publicly by enumerating his aveirot in front of the entire kehillah. The maggid explained that he had been referring to the kehillah, not the Rav — to which Reb Meir replied that the kehillah does not have any aveirot, so he must have meant Reb Meir.
The Baal Shem Tov once commented about Reb Meir that he was worthy of having the Shechinah rest on him, but the generation wasn’t worthy.
His sons were the talmidei chachamim Harav Yokel, Rav of Glona and Broide; Harav Yitzchak, Rav of Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck (known as Ahu); and Harav Tzvi Hirsh, Rav of Tchortkov, who was the father of the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg and Harav Pinchas of Frankfurt, the Haflaah, and Harav Nachum.
HaRav Yosef Nissim Burlah, zt"l, (1828 – 1903). A great scholar of Yerushalayim, he was an emissary to collect funds for the poor of Yerushalayim. In 1859 he went to Morocco and raised funds to build Mishkenot Shananim, the first neighborhood outside of the Old City’s walls, and dwelled there himself. In 1863 he traveled to North Africa, Western Europe, and Turkey to raise funds for the Kehillah of Batei Machseh in the Old City and to build the library “Torah V’Malachah.” He authored Leket Yosef and Yosef Chai, and other seforim.
HaRav Avraham Menachem Halevi Steinberg, zt”l, the Machazeh Avraham, Rav of Broide (Brody; Brod) (5607 / 1847 - 5688 / 1928). He was a Sadigerer chassid, and was one of the leading poskim of his day.
He was born in 5607/1847 in Seret, Bukovina. His father was Rav Meir.
In 5629/1869, at age 22, he was appointed Rav in Shniatin, eastern Galicia, where he served for nearly 30 years.
In 5667/1907 he was appointed Rav of Brody, a city full of talmidei chachamim. He was noted for his clarity in psak halachah, and his name was revered across the Jewish world.
With the outbreak of World War I in 5674/1914, Reb Avraham Mendel moved to Vienna, Austria. Vienna was at the time full of Rebbes and Rabbanim who fled there from across Europe. He forged a close connection with many of them.
After the war Reb Avraham Mendel returned to his kehillah in Brody. He began to work on the publication of his teshuvot entitled Machazeh Avraham; the first volume, on Orach Chaim, was published in 5687/1927.
He planned to print thousands more of his teshuvot; he had made it halachically possible for more than 4,000 agunot (due to the war) to remarry, and he had much material fit for publication. But alas, he was niftar just one year after the first volume came out.
Reb Avraham Mendel was niftar on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5688/1928 at the age of 82. His rich legacy was perpetuated by his sons, who served as Rabbanim in various kehillot.
Although Reb Avraham Mendel left close to 30 manuscripts on all facets of Torah ready for publication, most of them were lost or destroyed during World War II, and were never printed. Three were salvaged and later published by his grandson, Harav Moshe Steinberg, zt”l.
HaRav Eliezer Dovid Greenwald of Satmar, zt”l, the Keren L’Dovid, (1867 - 5688 / 1928). Born in Tcharna, Hungary, to Rav Amram Greenwald, the son of Rav Yosef, Rav of Tchechowitz. The family traced its roots to the Panim Meirot, the Chacham Tzvi, and the Maharal. As a youth, Eliezer Dovid was a disciple of his brother, Rav Moshe, the Rav of Chust and author of Arugat Habosem. He founded a large yeshiva in Satmar, Romania, in 1921.
HaRav Aharon Rubin, zt"l, one of the great Chassidim of Zevhil. (5757 / 1997).
HaRav Mordechai Shapiro of Kaminka-Koritz, zt”l, (5707 / 1947).
HaRav Chaim Mendel Rozenberg, zt"l, (5757 / 1997). A great Torah educator in Yerushalayim..
HaRav Aharon Yechiel Leifer, zt”l, the Nadvorna-Banya Rebbe of Tzefat. (5672 / 1912 - 5760 / 2000).
Harav Aharon Yechiel Leifer was born in 5672 / 1912 in Nadvorna, Galicia. The oldest son of Rav Dovid of Banya, he was a scion of the Premishlan-Nadvorna dynasty, which began with Harav Mordechai of Nadvorna.
In his youth, he spent several years learning in Sakmir (Satmar) under the tutelage of his uncle, Harav Meir Rosenbaum, zt”l. There he was influenced by the tzaddikim of Nadvorna, although his major inspiration came from his father, Harav Dovid, the son of Harav Yissachar Ber of Sakmir, son of the Nadvorna Rebbe.
After losing his wife and children during World War II, Reb Aharon Yechiel came to Eretz Yisrael, a few years after the war and settled in Tzefat, where he lived for over 50 years. He set up the Nezer Hakodesh shul in Tzefat, and it became the spiritual center of the district, a place of Torah and avodat Hashem. Many benefited from his influence, caring and wisdom, and he helped many people return to the life of Torah.
The Rebbe was known particularly for his hospitality. His home was reminiscent of the tent of Avraham Avinu — open to all at any hour of the day or night. There, guests would find food, drink and accommodations. Anyone in physical, spiritual or psychological need was made welcome in his home, given a smile and a warm greeting.
His own needs were very modest. He was known for his humility and his patience with everyone, old or young, great or simple. Many people regarded a brachah from him as a special privilege. Other people’s joys were his joys; their pain was his pain.
Reb Aharon Yechiel was soft-spoken and friendly. People in trouble went in to Reb Aharon Yechiel frowning and came out smiling.
The tzaddikim of the generation spoke of him as being outstanding in the attributes of Aharon Hakohen — whose name he carried — who loved peace and pursued peace. Throughout his life he fled from anything that smacked of machloket; his aim was always to maintain peace.
In Eretz Yisrael, Reb Aharon Yechiel became a Chassid of the Sanz-Klausenburger Rebbe, zy”a. He often spent Shabbat with him and discussed his halachic teshuvot with him. (Some of these were then printed in Divrei Yatziv.) He sent his sons to learn at the Rebbe’s yeshivah in Netanya’s Kiryat Sanz neighborhood.
Reb Aharon Yechiel was niftar on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5760 / 2000, at the age of 88, and buried in Tzefat.
Reb Aharon Yechiel was succeeded as Rebbe by his sons: Harav Dovid, Haifa; Harav Mordechai Yitzchak, Yerushalayim; Harav Pinchas Yissachar Ber, Yerushalayim; Harav Moshe Meir, Yerushalayim; and Harav Yisrael Yaakov Tzvi, Bnei Brak.
HaRav Mordechai Don Waldman of Yeshivat Beit Dovid, Monsey, zt"l, (5760 / 2000).
Yom Hameyuchas - Day of Distinction:
On this day, when Moshe Rabbeinu ascended Har / Mt.
Sinai for the first time -- Hashem told Moshe -- to tell the Bnei Yisroel (people of Israel): "You shall be My chosen treasure (segulah) from among all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Shmot / Exodus 19:4-6). Because of this monumental pronouncement, today is known as Yom Hameyuchas - The Day of Distinction.
2 Sivan 2449 - 1312 B.C.E.:
Moshe Rabbeinu ascended Har / Mt. Sinai - see above
2 Sivan - 576:
Over 500 Jews were forcibly baptized in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2 Sivan 4856 - 1096:
Crusaders massacre the Jewish community of Neuss, Prussia, Hy"d.
2 Sivan - 1349:
60 Jews were murdered in Breslau, Silesia riots following a disastrous fire which destroyed part of the city, Hy"d.
2 Sivan - 1415:
The Talmud was condemned in a bill issued by Pope Benedict XIII.
2 Sivan 5706 - June 1, 1946:
Rumanian leader Ion Antonescu was executed for his role in World War II. Antonescu passed dozens of anti-Jewish laws, and directly ordered pogroms and deportations to concentration camps. Antonescu, whose stepmother and wife were both Jewish, said: "I give the mob complete license to massacre [the Jews]. I will withdraw to my fortress, and after the slaughter, I will restore order." Under his governance, approximately 300,000 Jews were killed in Romania and Transnistria, where many had been deported. Toward the end of the war, Antonescu was arrested and put on trial by the Communist government in Bucharest -- on the primary charge of having supported the German invasion of the USSR. He was sentenced to death and executed.
2 Sivan 5727 - June 10, 1967:
Day Six of the Six Day War.
Israeli defense Forces liberate EI-Quneitra and capture the Golan Heights from Syrian control. Until the Six-Day War, the Syrian army was deployed in strong fortifications on the Golan Heights, from which they repeatedly shelled the Israeli settlements below. On the fifth day of the war, the Israeli Army broke through the Syrian front. Facing very difficult topographical conditions, they scaled the steep and rugged heights. The Engineering Corps cleared the way of mines, followed by bulldozers which leveled a route for the tanks on the rocky face. After more than 24 hours of heavy fighting, the Syrian deployment collapsed and the Syrian forces fled in retreat.
USSR and other East European nations, except Romania, sever diplomatic ties with Israel.
· Official end of the Six Day War, as Syria and Israel agree to a UN-mandated cease-fire
Meanwhile, BOAC resumed normal service with flight #BA317 for London leaving at 515PM from Lod Airport
2 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Ovadia of Bartenura, zt"l, (1445 [or 1450] - 5260 / 1500 [or 5270 / 1520 or 1510]). He lived in Italy in the second half of the 15th century. He was well known for his role as a Rav in Bartenura, Italy, and for his illuminating Peirush (commentary) on the Mishnah. He also wrote Omer Nekeh, a supercommentary on Rashi’s peirush on Chumash. He was considered one of the wealthiest men in all of Italy, and eventually settled in Yerushalayim in 1488. He is buried on Har Hazeitim.
HaRav Yedidyah Shlomo, zt"l. He served as the Head of the Beit Din of Na Amon. (5591 / 1831).
HaRav Yaakov Davik HaCohen, zt"l, (5679 / 1919). He served as a head of a Beit Din in Eretz Yisrael, and authored Derech Emunah.
HaRav Yisrael Hager of Vizhnitz, the Ahavat Yisrael, zt"l, (5620 / 1860 - 5696 / 1936). He was born on the second day of Elul 5620/1860. He was the son of Harav Baruch (the Imrei Baruch) of Vizhnitz, and the grandson of Rav Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz (the Tzemach Tzaddik). He was named Yisrael after his great-grandfather Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin.
Rav Yisrael grew up under the supervision of his illustrious grandfather, the Tzemach Tzaddik. By the age of 14, together with his brother Harav Chaim of Antiniya, he had already received semichah from Harav Yosef Shaul Nathanson, the Shoel U’meishiv, and from the Kochav MiYaakov, and others.
Rav Baruch (Rav Yisrael’s father) sent Rav Yisrael to serve as Rav in the village of Bidvala, in the Marmorosh section of Romania. There he fought the haskalah movement and established chadarim.
After a short while, the maskilim deemed him too successful against their efforts, so they slandered him to government authorities, which compelled him to flee. He returned to Vizhnitz, where he served as a Dayan until his father’s petirah in 5653 / 1893.
Rav Yisrael succeeded his father, greatly expanding the Chassidut.
He was a dominant figure in his generation as he was Admor for over 40 years, during which time, Vizhnitz grew to several tens of thousands of Chasidim.
The title of his works embodies his outstanding middah — Ahavat Yisrael. The Rebbe was the epitome of kindheartedness and love for each and every Jew.
The Rebbe was niftar in the middle of Kabbalat Shabbat, and was buried in the cemetery in Grossvardein. His remains were moved to Bnei Brak in 5709 / 1949, where an ohel was built on his kever.
Rav Yisrael had four sons, Rav Menachem Mendel of Vishav, Rav Chaim Meir (the Imrei Chaim), Rav Eliezer, and Rav Baruch.
HaRav Chaim Elazar Shapira of Munkacz, the Minchat Elazar, zt"l, (1871 - 5697 / 1937). A 5th generation descendent of the founder of Dinov dynasty, Rav Tzvi Elimelech (the Bnei Yisasschar).
He learned under his father, Rav Tzvi Hirsch, author of Darkei Teshuvah on Yoreh De’ah. He succeeded his father as Rav of Munkacz in 1914.
Munkacz, for centuries the capital of Carpathian Russia, belonged to Hungary before World War I and to Czechoslovakia when that country was created after World War I.
He had no children with his first wife, and they decided to divorce. His second wife bore him one daughter, Frimet.
From his youth and on, he completed the entire Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi every two years. He was a prolific author. In addition to Minchat Elazar, he wrote Nimukei Orach Chaim, Ot VeShalom on the laws of tefillin and milah, and many other sefarim.
In 1930, he fulfilled a lifelong desire and visited Eretz Yisrael.
Sadly the Munkatcher died only 3 years after his daughters wedding. Soon after his petira, most of the 15,000 Munkatch Jews perished in the Holocaust.
The son-in-law of the Minchat Elazar, Rav Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowitz, was the son of the the Partzever Rebbe. He made aliyah with his first wife, who fell ill and passed away there. In 1947, he remarried, moved to the United States, and then established a kehilla in Sao Paulo, Brazil, remaining for fifteen years. He then returned to Israel, where he became the Rabbi of Cholon.
The Munkatch dynasty was reestablished in Brooklyn and is presently led by two grandsons of the Minchat Elazar, the Munkatcher Rebbe, Rav Moshe Leib Rabinowitz of Boro Park, and his brother, the Dinover Rebbe, Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz of Flatbush (now relocated to Williamsburg)..
HaRav Mordechai Yechezkiahu ben Shimon, zt"l, (1994).
HaRav Yaakov Wehl, zt"l, (1937-2007). Born in Germany in 1937, and in early 1939, the Wehls left Germany, settling in Boro Park. Yaakov learned at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ). In 1959, he married Hadassah Galinsky.
Rabbi Wehl began learning in the kollel of Yeshiva Ohr HaTorah, under Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, in Bensonhurst. At the time, he attended law school at night but eventually decided to leave law school and go into chinuch, spending his years at Allentown, Pennsylvania; Monsey; Hebrew Academy of Nassau County for 27 years; and Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Elementary School, where he served as principal for 12 years.
Rabbi Wehl authored the very popular Haggadah “Ki Yeshalcha Bincha” in lashon kodesh, which was later translated into English and published by ArtScroll as “The Haggadah with Answers.” He was Daf Yomi maggid shiur for many years. He authored seforim on various mesechtot, include Shekalim, Moed Katan, Chagiga, Horiot, Me’ilah and Kerisut. He also wrote a weekly Daf Yomi column in the Yated on Seder Nashim.
In 1987, Rabbi and Mrs. Wehl authored the book “House Calls to Eternity” about the life story of their mother, Dr. Selma Wehl, who was a pediatrician in Boro Park for over sixty years, helping people until she was in her nineties. In 2001, Rabbi and Mrs. Wehl moved to Lakewood, enabling them to be near their children. A shul was founded at the home of his son, Rabbi Moshe Wehl, on Sharon Court, and named for his father, R’ Aharon Wehl — Beit Medrash Ohel Aharon.
3 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
First of the Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah, the three days of preparation, in which Klal Yisroel prepared themselves to receive the Torah. Hashem instructed Moshe Rabbeinu to "set boundaries for the people around, saying, 'Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge...'" (Shmot / Exodus 19:10-12) in preparation for the Giving of the Torah on Har / Mt. Sinai three days later. Moshe teaches Bnei Yisroel about the mitzvot of hagbala and how to prepare for Mattan Torah. To this day, we mark the "Three Days of Hagbalah ('Boundaries')" leading to the Giving of the Torah on 6 Sivan.
Moshe Rabbeinu returns the people's reply to Hashem that they are willing to
accept the Torah.
3 Sivan - 391 B. C. E.:
The first deportation of Jews from Eretz Yisrael to Bavel / Babylonia took place. A large proportion of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael’s followed them to Babylonia 11 years later, in 380 B.C.E. The first return of some Babylonian Jews to Eretz Yisrael took place in c. 360 B.C.E. The majority, however, remained in Babylonia, where they were led by a Jewish Exilarch and the Jewish sages who presided over large yeshivot there - the Amoraim, Rabbanon Savorai, and Gaonim. It was not until 1951, close to 2,350 years after the arrival of the first Jewish deportees in Babylonia, that this ancient Jewish community began its own liquidation through aliya to Eretz Yisrael.
3 Sivan 3828 - 68 C. E.:
In his advance towards the destruction of Yerushalayim, Rome Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus ("Vespasian Caesar"), father of Titus, captured Yericho / Jericho and massacred all its inhabitants.
3 Sivan 4856 - 1096:
Crusaders massacre the Jews of Magentze (Mayence, Mainz) Germany, commemorated
in the Tisha B'Av Kinah “Mi Yitein Roshi Mayim” by Rav Kalonymus ben Yehuda. See 1 Sivan.
Mainz Jewish community massacred during First Crusades twice - on this date
and 6 Sivan.
3 Sivan 4925 - May 16, 1165:
The Rambam (Maimonides) reaches Acco in Eretz Yisrael safely after a turbulent journey fleeing from Spain and Morocco. He designated
this day as a personal Yom Tov, a day of seudat hoda'ah and matanot l'evyonim for descendants.
3 Sivan 5550 - May 16, 1790:
· Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Warsaw, Poland.
3 Sivan 5708 - June 10, 1948:
Yahrtzeit of David "Mickey" Marcus (1902-1948), an American Jew who volunteered to fight for the Israeli army in the 1948 War of Independence. Marcus was a tough Brooklyn street kid who attended West Point and then law school. In World War II, Marcus rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army, where he helped draw up surrender terms for Italy and Germany. While serving in the occupation government in Berlin, he was responsible for clearing out the Nazi death camps, and then as chief of the War Crimes Division, where he helped arrange the Nuremberg trials. Seeing the Jewish suffering first-hand, Marcus became a committed Zionist, and in 1947 he volunteered to help secure the Jewish settlements which were under attack from hostile Arabs. Marcus designed a command structure for Israel's new army and wrote manuals to train it. His most famous achievement was ordering the construction of the "Burma Road," a winding mountainous path which allowed Jewish convoys to reach Yerushalayim and relieve the Arab siege. Tragically, six hours before the war's cease-fire was to go into effect, Marcus was mistakenly shot by a Jewish guard at Abu Ghosh.
His story became the subject of a movie, "Cast a Giant Shadow," starring Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and Yul Brynner.
3 Sivan 5710 - May 19, 1950:
Operation Ezra and Nechemia brings Iraqi Jews to Israel.
3 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yosef Irgas, zt"l, of Livorno, Italy, Kabbalist, author of Divrei Yosef, and Shomer Emunim, (5490 / 1730).
Harav Yosef was born in 5445 / 1685 In Livorno, Italy to Harav
He learned in the yeshivah of Harav Shmuel de Pas in Livorno, excelling in Torah.
At the age of 18 he married his cousin (his mother's niece).
At that time, Harav :Binyanim Hakohen, a famous mekubal from Reggio, began expounding Kabbalah. Rav Yosef had a strong wish to learn Kabbalah, so he went to Reggio.
After learning Kabbalah for several years, he traveled from city to city, encouraging others to learn it as well. For a while he lived in Pisa, where he founded
and headed Yeshivat Neveh Shalom.
Later he returned to his home town of Livorno, where he was
While serving as Rav, Rav Yosef still found time to teach talmidim, and was also in contact with many other Rabbanim concerning halachic she’elot.
At the height of his career, at the age of 45, Rav Yoaef was niftar on 3
Sivan 5490 /1730.
He is best known as the author of Shomer Emunim, a famous introduction to the study of Kabbalah written in a form of a debate between Shaltiel. who stresses the study of nigleh, and Yehoyadah, who stresses the study of Kabbalah. He also wrote Mfnchat Yose!,. a Kabbalistic work; She'elot U'Teshuvot Divrei Yosef; and Pri Megadim. (Not to be confused with the Pri Megadim on Shulchan Aruch, by HaRav Joseph ben Meir Teomim (1727–1792) (according to some, his yahrtzeit is 20 Sivan)
HaRav Mantzur of Rajok, zt"l, (5549 / 1789), author of Ben Pedahtzur.
HaRav Yaakov Shimshon of Shipitovka, zt"l, (5561 / 1801). He was a disciple of the Maggid of Mezhrech and a close friend of Rav Baruch of Mezhbez. He succeeded his father as rav in Shipitovka, but in 1799 he settled in Teverya / Tiberias where he met Rav Nachman of Breslav. He was niftar in Teverya / Tiberias.
HaRav Mordechai Avadi, zt"l, (1883). Author of Divrei Mordechai Mayin Ganim.
HaRav Shneur Zalman Hirshowitz, zt"l, (5664 / 1904), a talmid of
Harav Yisrael Salanter.
HaRav Yisrael Tzvi Rottenberg of Kosson, Hy"d, the Ohr Moleh (5704 / 1944).
Harav Yisrael Tzvi was born on Sukkot 5650 / 1890. His father, Harav Yehosef of Kosson, author ofBnei Shileishim, was the founder of the Kosson dynasty.
Rav Yosef settled in Kosson (Kossyny, Ukraine, on the southern border with Hungary, south of the Carpathian Mountains) in 5657 / 1897. There he served as Rav and Rebbe and enhanced Yiddishkeitto a great degree. He had five sons: Harav Chaim Shlomo of Kosson; Harav Moshe Shmuel of Kleinvardein; Harav Yisrael Tzvi of Kosson; Harav Meir Shalom; and Harav Yom Tov Menachem of Nafkur-Kaliv.
Rav Yisrael Tzvi married the daughter of his oldest brother, Harav Chaim Shlomo. After her untimely petirah,he married her younger sister. Later yet, he married the daughter of Harav Shalom Eliezer Halberstam of Ratzfert, from the Sanzer dynasty.
After the petirahof his brother Harav Chaim Shlomo in 5680 / 1920, Rav Yisrael Tzvi was called upon, as his brother and son-in-law, to succeed him. The Rebbe established a thriving yeshivah in which over 100 bachurim studied and refined themselves to higher spiritual levels under his fatherly guidance.
During WWII, when thousands of Polish Jews fled to Hungary and other areas, Rav Yisrael Tzvi sheltered over 40 refugees in his own home.
When the Nazis invaded that area, he and all his children and grandchildren were transported to Auschwitz, where they were killed al kiddush Hashem. His brother, Rav Yom Tov Menachem, had been killed a few days earlier.Hashem yinkom damam. Only his son-in-law, Harav Chananya Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum of Nirbater, survived the war.
Rav Yisrael Tzvi’s Torah thoughts were published as Or Malei (New York: 5718 / 1958). The current Kossoner dynasty is descended from Harav Chaim Shlomo, whose son, Harav Moshe Shmuel, moved to New York before the war. He later ascended to Eretz Yisrael, in 5721 / 1961.
HaRav Eliyahu Munk of Paris, zt"l, (1949). Author of The Call of the Torah, The World of Prayer, and The Seven Days of the Beginning. In the latter book, in which he cites Rav Dovid Zvi Hoffmann, and explains Creation as taking longer than six literal days. He also wrote The Just Lives By His Faith, a collection of essays written to explain difficult concepts in Judaism. One of his daughters, Amalie, married Rav Immanuel Jakobovits (the future Chief Rabbi in England) in 1949. Another married Rav Chaim Fasman, Rosh Kollel in Los Angeles.
HaRav Chaim Yitzchok Korb, zt"l, (1870 - 1957). Born in the small Latvian town of Piltin, Courland, he entered the Telshe Yeshiva at the young age of 16. He married Leah Miriam, daughter of Rav Moshe Yitzchok Rabin (author of Miluim l’Moshe on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah and Rosh Yeshiva and dayan in Ponovezh). After his wedding, he remained in Ponovezh near his father-in-law. In 1909, Rav Chaim Yitzchok assumed his father-in-law’s position as dayan in the community. Eventually he left Ponovezh and became Rav in the city of Palangin, Lithuania. From there he became Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Pavlograd, Ukraine, and then in Zager. In 1926, Rav Chaim Yitzchok immigrated to the United States, assuming the position of Rav at the Beit Medrash Hagadol of Harlem. His sefer Nesivot Chaim was published at this period in his life. Two years later, he accepted the position of Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Medrash L’Torah of Chicago. For over 20 years, Rav Korb delivered intensive shiurim in Talmud and halacha. Every day he would arrive at 3:00am to learn. He would remain in the yeshiva the entire day until 10:00pm when he would return home, having spent 17 hours in the yeshiva. In 1947, Rav Chaim Yitzchok sustained a difficult blow with the passing of his wife of 51 years, Rebbetzin Leah Miriam. Two years later, Rav Chaim Yitzchok moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he stayed until his petira.
RETURN TO TOP
4 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
Second of the Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah, the three days of preparation, in which Klal Yisroel prepared themselves to receive the Torah - two days before the revelation at Mount Sinai - Moshe Rabbeinu explained to Bnei Yisrael the mitzvot of hagbalah and perishah. According to Rab' Yosi (Shabbat 86b) there were three days of hagbalah, and the Torah was given on 7 Sivan; according to the Chachamim there were two days of hagbalah and the Torah was given on 6 Sivan.
Moshe wrote down the first 68 chapters of the Torah, from Bereishit / Genesis 1:1 ("In the Beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth") to the Giving of the Torah in Shmot / Exodus 19, and the mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah, (Shmot 24:4; Rashi ibid.) He also taught the seven mitzvot of Bnei Noach.
By the end of his life, Moshe had written 13 Torah scrolls -- one for each tribe, and one more to place in the Aron / Ark of the Covenant. The existence of multiple scrolls in multiple locations ensured the integrity of the Torah text, as scrolls could be checked against one another for accuracy. Indeed, this method has continued for millennia, and Torah scrolls from Morocco to Russia, Australia to Iraq, all contain the same letter-for-letter text.
4 Sivan 4336 - 576 C.E.:
A mob, accompanied by the bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, France, razed the
local synagogue to the ground. The bishop then informed the Jews that
he, as bishop, could have but one flock, and unless they were willing to
embrace Christianity, they must leave the city. Over five hundred Jews were
forced to be baptized and the remainder fled to Marseilles.
4 Sivan 5241 - 1481:
Pope Sixtus IV instructed his local bishops that all Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition should be sent back to Spain.
4 Sivan 5408 - May 25, 1648:
The Cossack rebellion against Polish rule in Ukraine, under the leadership of Bogdan Chmielnicki, ym"s, began. In their bloody march through the Ukraine, Volhynia, Podolia, Poland proper and Lithuania, Chmielnicki's peasant army massacred more than 300,000 Jews during the infamous riots of tach v’tat, and destroyed three hundred Jewish communities, Hy"d. See 20 Sivan.
4 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yeshayah Naftali Hertz of Dinov, zt”l, author of Hanosen Imrei Shefer, (c. 5598 / 1838 - 5648 / 1888).
The son of Harav David of Dinov, the Tzemach David, who in turn was the son of Harav Tzvi Elimelech, the Bnei Yissaschar, zt”l. His mother was the daughter of the naggid Reb Yeshayah Naftali Hertz of Tarka, after whom he was named.
He married Rebbetzin Udel Rivkah, the daughter of his uncle, Harav Elazar Shapiro of Lantzuht, zt”l, the Yodei Binah. After his father’s petirah in 5634/1874, he succeeded him as Rav and Rebbe in Dinov.
Before the Tzemach David was niftar, he likened his three sons to the three pillars of Torah, avodah and gemilut chassadim. Harav Tzvi Elimelech of Bluzhev was the pillar of Torah; Harav Meir Yehudah of Bikovsk the pillar of gemilut chassadim; while his oldest son, Reb Yeshayah Naftali Hertz, was a pillar of avodah. Indeed, Chassidim related that his tallit was wet from perspiration after every single tefillah.
When the Divrei Chaim of Sanz gave his daughter in marriage to Harav Aharon of Beitch, he honored Reb Yeshayah Naftali Hertz with siddur kiddushin, although he was but a yungerman at the time. The Divrei Chaim explained his choice by saying that a mesader kiddushin needs to be a yerei Shamayim, and this yungerman was totally a yerei Shamayim!
Reb Yeshayah Naftali Hertz was niftar very young, at the age of 47. His brother-in-law, the Shem Shlomo of Munkacz, zt”l, remarked that his body could no longer retain his holy neshamah!
His son-in-law and successor, Harav Yosef Shapiro of Dinov, zt”l, published his divrei Torah in the sefer Hanosen Imrei Shefer.
HaRav Moshe Halevi Jungreis, zt”l, Rav of Kashua, (5686 / 1926).
Harav Jungreis was born in 5604 / 1844. His father, Rav Shraga Feivish, was Rav in Setshe.
Reb Moshe learned under Harav Aharon Dovid Deutsch, the Goren Dovid, and then in the yeshivah of the Ksav Sofer in Pressburg. His brother Reb Shmuel Dovid, later Rav in Yarmat, was in Pressburg at the same time as he.
Reb Moshe married the daughter of the naggid Reb Noach Yaakov, who supported him while he dedicated himself to learning Torah in Yarmat.
Reb Moshe was later appointed Rav of Kashau. When he left Yarmat for Kashau, in 5634 / 1874, his Rebbi said that the city had lost its finest talmid chacham.
Reb Moshe served as Rav in Kashau for the next 34 years. He founded a new kehillah to counter the attempts to uproot traditional Yiddishkeit which were so prevalent then in Hungary. He led the fight against the Haskalah movement in the region with mesirut nefesh.
Reb Moshe was niftar on 4 Sivan 5686 / 1926 at 82. His son Rav Yitzchak Tzvi succeeded him as Rav of Kashau.
Reb Moshe wrote chiddushim on many masechtot of Shas, as well as drashot, all of which have remained in manuscript form.
HaRav Yosef Avrohom Wolf, zt"l, Dean of Wolf’s Seminary in Bnei Brak (1979 / 5740).
Harav Yosef Avrohom Wolf was born in 1911/5671 to Rav Pinchos Wolf and Helena (Hinda) Auerbach, daughter of Harav Aviezri Zelig Auerbach, Rav of Halberstadt. Rav Wolf studied in Germany. He married Liesl Klein, daughter of Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Klein, the Rav of Nuremberg. In 1939/5699 they immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Tel Aviv.
Rav Wolf first taught in the Bait Yaakov Seminaries in Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. Later, the Chazon Ish, zt”l, invited him to oversee the Bait Yaakov Seminary in Bnei Brak. Besides expanding the seminary, he planned and implemented the curriculum. He did not allow the secular education system to influence the religious content of the seminary. He believed that material written by secular writers lacking yirat Shamayim usually includes false assumptions.
Rav Wolf was respected by all Orthodox Jewish circles in Bnei Brak. When opponents lashed out against his approach, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Harav Chaim Meir Hager, zt”l, defended him.
After Rav Wolf’s petirah on 4 Sivan 1979 / 5740, his son, Rav Zev Wolf, took over leadership of the seminary.
Rav Yosef Avrohom Wolf wrote several sefarim and kuntresim, such as Torah Umada, Hachinuch L’or Hatekufah, Neviei Emet, Torat Hanefesh and Hatekufah U’baayoseha (4 parts).
RETURN TO TOP
5 Sivan 2197 - 1568 B.C.E.:
Reuven, the eldest son of Yaakov, found mandrakes (duda'im) in the field "during the time of the wheat harvest" - (Bereishit / Genesis 30:14-18).
5 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
Moshe Rabbeinu built a Mizbeiach (Altar) and erected 12 monuments at the foot of Har / Mt. Sinai,
made a brit / covenant with the Jewish people at which the people declared, "All that Hashem has spoken, we shall do and hear" (Shmot / Exodus s 24:7) pledging to observe the Torah's commandments ("naaseh / do") and strive to comprehend them ("Nishma / hear"), while pledging to "do" also before they "hear."
R’ Yehuda b. Dama, one of the Asara Harugei Malchut, was executed by the Romans.
5 Sivan 5488 - May 13, 1728:
The righteous brothers, R' Chaim and Yehoshua Reitzes of Lemberg, Hy"d, who were renowned talmidei chachamim, were tortured and executed al kiddush Hashem, in Lvov, Poland, on charges of influencing the apostate Jan Filipowicz to return to Judaism.
5 Sivan 5544 - June 7, 1784:
The Jews of Warsaw and its environs were expelled.
5 Sivan - 1917:
Minsk, Russia, recognized Yiddish as a second official language.
5 Sivan - 1933:
Representative Louis T. McFadden (PA) delivered a Nazi-type attack on Jews. It was the first anti-Semitic speech in Congress.
5 Sivan - 1951:
Oswald Pohl, chief of the economic office of the SS, Otto Ohlendorf, responsible for the murder of 90,000 Ukrainian Jews, and Colonel Paul Blobel, organizer of the massacre of the Jews of Kiev, were hanged.
5 Sivan 5741 - June 7, 1981:
The Israel Air Force bombed and destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad, just before it was to become operative. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had pronounced himself as the reincarnation of Babylonian tyrant Nevuchadnetzar, and named the nuclear reactor "Tammuz" -- the name of the calamitous Jewish month when Nevuchadnetzar's troops laid siege on Yerushalayim 2,500 years earlier. Ilan Ramon (later to become Israel's first astronaut, who died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia) and seven other pilots executed the daring raid -- flying over enemy Arab territory for hours, and avoiding detection with their tight formation that emitted a radar signal resembling a commercial airliner. However, even as Israel celebrated the successful raid, condemnation was nearly universal. One prominent U.S. senator called it "one of the most provocative, ill-timed and internationally illegal actions taken in that nation's history." In the following days, the U.S. suspended arms deliveries to Israel and the UN Security Council condemned Israel for the raid.
Two decades later, as the world feared Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, the Israeli action was vindicated, as Americans and Saudis begrudgingly admit that this move saved the lives of many of their citizens.
5 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomir, zt”l, the Ohr Hameir, (5557 / 1797), one of the closest talmidim of the Maggid of Mezeritch, zy”a.
Like many other Gedolim of his era, early biographical details are sketchy.
He was drawn to the ways of Chassidut in his younger years and traveled to the court of the Maggid in Mezeritch. From then on, he was totally devoted to the ways and avodat Hashem he learned from his Rebbe. Among the Chassidim of the Maggid who were close with Reb Ze’ev Wolf were Harav Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and Harav Aharon of Karlin.
Initially, Reb Ze’ev Wolf did not wish to support himself through Torah, so he opened a wine business.
The Mezeritcher Maggid, seeing the greatness of his talmid Reb Ze’ev Wolf, and noting how he spoke to the other Chassidim, instilling in them middot tovot, avodat Hashem and Chassidut, appointed Reb Ze’ev Wolf as a maggid in his home town of Zhitomir to expound on Torah and teach the public.
Besides serving as maggid, Reb Ze’ev Wolf was noted for his exalted ways, and many talmidim and Chassidim gathered to hear his pearls of wisdom. He founded a beit medrash in Zhitomir.
Reb Ze’ev Wolf was close to Harav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoa, the Toldot Yaakov Yosef, from the time they were both in the court of the Maggid of Mezeritch; and to Harav Zushe of Anipoli, who became his mechutan when his son Rav Yosef married Reb Zushe’s granddaughter.
The many divrei Torah and drashot of Reb Ze’ev Wolf were written down by his talmid Harav Eliezer, the shochet of Zhitomir. Reb Zev Wolf’s sefer, Ohr HaMeir, has been accepted as one of the fundamental Chassidic works, and it was one of the earliest to be printed. Many of the divrei Torah are from the Mezeritcher Maggid.
Reb Ze’ev Wolf was niftar on 5 Sivan, Erev Shavuot, 5557/1797.
Some say he was niftar on 15 Adar; however, according to a witness, his petirah was on Erev Shavuot.
His sons from his first zivug were Harav Yisrael Dov Ber, the son-in-law of Harav Chaim of Krasna, who succeeded his father in Zhitomir; Harav Menachem Mendel; Harav Tzvi Hirsh; and Harav Yosef.
From his second zivug, Reb Ze’ev Wolf had three young children at his petirah: Harav Dovid, Harav Yechiel Michel and Harav Pinchas.
HaRav Gershon Ashkenazi, zt”l, mechaber of Avodat Hagershuni, (5623 / 1863).
HaRav Eliyahu Eichenstein of Ziditchoiv, zt”l, (5635 / 1875).
Harav Eliyahu Eichenstein, born in 5597/1837, was a talmid of his father, Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchoiv.
Reb Eliyahu married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Leibish Erblich of Rozdohl, who was the son-in-law of Harav Tzvi Hirsh of Rimanov.
As his father’s “right-hand man,” Reb Eliyahu was in charge of the court in Ziditchoiv.
When his father was niftar on 9 Sivan 5633/1873, Reb Eliyahu delivered a fiery hesped which surprised and impressed the people, since he was not yet known as a speaker.
Most of the Chassidim accepted Reb Eliyahu as their new Rebbe, and he stayed on in Ziditchoiv. Reb Eliyahu suffered much persecution as Rebbe, but withstood it all.
In 5638/1878, returning from a visit to Dolina, Reb Eliyahu took ill. He was rushed to Lvov to seek medical help, but to no avail. On Erev Shavuot, 5 Sivan 5638/1878, at age 41, Reb Eliyahu was niftar.
In his tzavaah he requested that his Chassidim follow his brother, Harav Yissachar Berish.
Some of his divrei Torah were written down by his talmidim and published as Zichron Eliyahu.
Reb Eliyahu’s sons-in-law were Harav Moshe, who served as Rav in Ziditchoiv, and Harav Asher Rubin of Kratshin.
HaRav Chaim Yaakov Safran, zt”l, Kamorna Admor (1892 – 1969). He survived the Holocaust by moving to America in 1938, and in 1962 served a the Kamorna Rebbe in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Uri Shraga Kellerman, zt"l, Ram in Knesset Chizkiyahu - Kfar Chassidim (1993).
RETURN TO TOP
In remembrance of the aliya l'regel to the Beit HaMikdash, many people walk to the Kotel. Those who cannot go on Yom Tov observe the custom by visiting the Kotel until 12 Sivan.
6 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
The Torah was given to the Jews on Har / Mt. Sinai.
Seven weeks after the Exodus from Egypt, Hashem revealed Himself on Har Sinai. The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of ALL future generations of Jews, heard Hashem declare the first two of the Aseret HaDibrot / Ten Commandments and witnessed Hashem's communication of the other eight through Moshe Rabbeinu. Following the revelation, Moshe ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from Hashem.
The name of this holiday, Shavuot, means "weeks," in recognition of the weeks of anticipation leading up to the Sinai experience. The Torah's ideas of monotheism, justice and peace have changed mankind forever. Today we celebrate Shavuot by staying up the entire night learning Torah -- eager to receive it anew.
6 Sivan Shavuot:
Birthday (907 BCE) & Yahrtzeit (837 BCE) of Dovid Hamelech (King David) (ca. 907-837 BCE).(Talmud Shabbat 30a, Yerushalmi, Chagiga 2:3)
David, a humble shepherd, was a descendent of Yehudah / Judah the son of Yaakov / Jacob as well as of Rus / Ruth, a Moabite convert to Judaism. He became the second king of Israel, when he was anointed King of Israel by Shmuel HaNavi / the Prophet Samuel in 878 BCE.
As a youngster, he courageously battled the Philistine giant Golyat / Goliath, killing him with a slingshot. David was famous as a warrior, scholar and psalmist. He fought many wars, defeating Israel's enemies and securing and expanding its borders. He reigned for 40 years, during which he conquered Yerushalayim, and made it the Jewish capital. He purchased the Temple Mount, the future site of the Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple from its Yebusite owner, and made preparations for the Beit HaMikdash's construction (which was built by his son, Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon). David served as the head of the Sanhedrin and was the foremost Torah authority of his generation. He is also the "sweet singer of Israel" who composed Sefer Tehillim / the Book of Psalms that for 28 centuries has embodied the joys, sorrows and yearnings of the Jewish people. King David passed away on the 6th of Sivan of the year 837 BCE, at age 70.
David was promised an eternal dynasty of Jewish kingship. All future legitimate kings of Israel were David's descendents, as will be Moshiach (the messiah), who will "restore the kingdom of David to its glory of old." He was succeeded by his son Shlomo / Solomon. His life story is recorded in the Book of Shmuel / Samuel.
Pictured is the traditional gravesite of Dovid Hamelech in the Old City of Yerushalayim on Mount Zion.
6 Sivan 4856 - 1096:
During the first crusade, the Jews of Cologne, Germany chose to be killed rather than convert to Christianity. This was the case, during the first crusades, for many of the Jews who were given the choice between being killed or being baptized. Most of those who converted continued to practice Judaism in secrecy and, one year later, were permitted by Henry IV to openly return to Judaism.
6 Sivan 5520 - May 21, 1760:
Yahrtzeit of the Baal Shem Tov
Yisrael ben Eliezer, zt”l, known as the Baal Shem Tov, (5458 / 1698-1760), the founder of the Chassidic movement. When he was thirty-six years old in 1734, Rav Yisrael revealed himself to the world. He was also known as the "BeSHT." He believed that one should worship Hashem with joy and that simple prayers said with intent were more valuable than intellectualization. He was succeeded (one year later, on the first anniversary of his passing) by his disciple, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch. He wrote no books, although many claim to contain his teachings. One available in English is the annotated translation of Tzava’at Harivash, published by Kehot. He was said to have traced his lineage back to King David; appropriately, he died on the yahrtzeit of King David.
6 Sivan 5533 - May 28, 1773:
The first Jewish sermon preached and published in America was delivered by Rabbi Chaim Isaac Carigal in the Newport Synagogue.
6 Sivan 5701 - June 1, 1941:
Muslims of Baghdad went on a rampage against the Jewish residents. According to government records, 187 Jews were killed and hundreds were wounded. Other sources say these figures were deflated to minimize the event in which the government was complicit - those sources estimate up to 400 killed and 2,000 wounded, Hy"d.
6 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Dovid Hamelech (King David). See above.
HaRav Chaim ben Betzalel, zt”l, an older brother of the Maharal and a talmid of the Rema in Crakow (1588).
HaRav Yisrael ben Eliezer, zt”l, the Baal Shem Tov (5458 / 1698-1760). See above.
HaRav Avraham Shalom Halberstam, zt”l, of Stropkov (1856-1940). The son of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, he became Rav and Av Beit Din of Stropkov in 1897. He was called The “miracle rabbi of Stropkov.” His sefer, Divrei Shalom, contains Torah wisdom, and relates the miracles that he wrought.
HaRav Yehuda Rosner, zt”l, the Imrei Yehuda (1879-1944). Rav Rosner opened a yeshiva in Szekelheid, which he headed throughout his years there. Although he was offered rabbinical positions in larger towns, he refused them on account of his yeshiva. Szekelheid had only 120 Jewish families, and that allowed the Rav to dedicate most of his time and attention to the yeshiva, which ultimately grew until, in the 1930’s, it housed over 300 bachurim.
HaRav Avraham Mordechai Alter, the Imrei Emet of Ger, (1866- 5708 / 1948). The son of Rav Yehuda Leib (Sefat Emet) and a great-grandson of the Chidushei Harim, he was the third Rebbe in the Gur dynasty, the leader of over 250,000 chassidim in pre-WW II Poland. In 1940, he managed to escape with three of his sons to Eretz Yisrael, where. he began to rebuild the Ger community, but he died during the siege of Yerushalayim on Shavuot, 1948.
HaRav Mordechai Kamus Cohen, zt"l, (5734 / 1974). One of the Torah scholars of Djerba, author of Gedulat Mordechai.
Rebbetzin Devorah Margulies, A”H, (1924-2005), wife of of Rav Lipa Margulies, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn. Born in the town of Marashvarshehl, Hungary, Rebbetzin Margulies was the daughter of Rav Binyamin Alter and Chaya Rochel Ruttner. Her mother was a direct descendant of the Mareh Yechezkel.
RETURN TO TOP
Isru Chag in Eretz Yisroel - Second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora.
Yahrtzeit of HaNavi Hoshea ben Beeri - the first of the group of Prophets known as the "Trei-Asar," the "Twelve;" Hoshea prophesied in the time of Achaz, Yotam, Achaz and Yechizkiyahu, Kings of Yehudah, and in the time of Yeravam ben Yoash, King of Israel (Hoshea 1:1).
There is an interesting anecdote concerning the burial of Hoshea. The Prophet passed away in Bavel / Babylonia. But, since the roads to Palestine were dangerous, he did not want to burden anyone with the task of burying him in the Holy Land. He therefore instructed his disciples as follows: When he passed away, immediately insert his body into an aron / a casket, and tie it onto a camel. Then let the camel go unguided. Wherever the camel would stop, let the Jewish community there bury him, as per a letter that he would write. The camel left and traveled, undisturbed, to the Galil area in Eretz Yisrael, where it stopped. There the Jewish community found the casket, read the letter and buried the Prophet, in accordance with his wishes.
7 Sivan 1563 - 1147:
Rabbeinu Tam is stabbed five times during a pogrom in Ramerupt, France; and was miraculously saved by a passing knight who had had business dealings with him.
7 Sivan - 1536:
The Inquisition was introduced into Mexico.
7 Sivan 5592 - June 5, 1832:
Jews of Canada were accorded equal political rights with Christians.
7 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaNavi Hoshea ben Beeri see above.
HaRav Yosef Irgas, zt”l, (1685 – 1730). A Torah scholar of Italy, and a Kabbalist, he traveled throughout Italy and gave lectures to arouse the public to repentance. He was the Rav in Pisa and Laverne. He was famous for his pamphlet that attacked the Shabbetian Nechemiah Chayun.
The Ger Tzedek Avraham ben Avraham, Count Valentine Potozki killed Al Kiddush Hashem in Vilna, Hy'd. (5509 / 1749)
Avraham ben Avraham, the famed "Ger Tzedek" (Righteous Convert) of Vilna, was born as Valentin Potocki, the son of Count Potocki, one of the richest landowners in Poland. As a student in Vilna he discovered Judaism and decided to convert -- a capital offense in most countries in Christian Europe at the time. He fled to Amsterdam where he secretly converted to Judaism, assuming the name Avraham ben Avraham ("Abraham the son of Abraham"). His conversion was a source of embarrassment to the Roman Catholic Church and the Polish noble class from which he came.
Years later he returned to Vilna, where he was eventually recognized as the missing son of Count Potozki and arrested by the church. He refused to renounce his faith and after a long imprisonment and trial for heresy by an Inquisition court, he was sentenced to death. He was burned alive at the stake in Vilna on the 2nd day of Shavuot of 1749.
Potozki was so well-respected that his ashes are buried in the same gravesite as the revered Jewish sage, the Vilna Gaon, and prior to the Holocaust, all the synagogues of Vilna commemorated his yahrtzeit.
HaRav Aharon Tzvi Landau of Biala , zt"l, (1910).
HaRav Zelig Reuven Bengis, zt"l, author of Liflugot Reuven, Av beit din Yerushalayim (1864-1953). His father, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Bengis, was the rav of the town of Shnippishok, Russia. At the age of 17, Reb Zelig Reuven went to learn at Volozhin under the Netziv. There, he learned bechavrusa with both Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. After several years in Volozhin, he married the daughter of Rav Chaim Tzvi Broide, the rav of a town called Shverkina-Zhager and spent eight years in his in-laws’ Home. Afterward, Reb Zelig Reuven became the rav of Bodki, Lithuania. In 1937, Reb Zelig Reuven was asked to fill the position of av beit din of Yerushalayim’s Eida Chareidit. When Reb Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky passed away in 1948, Reb Zelig Reuven succeeded him as rav of the Eida Chareidit in Yerushalayim. He also served as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Ohel Moshe in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Eliyahu Ramm, zt”l, (1959). Head of a Beit Din in Yerushalayim.
HaRav David HaLevy Dra’ah, zt”l, one of the great Kabbalists of Moroccan Jewry. Thousands visit his gravesite each year.
HaRav Shmuel Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf , zt"l, (1891-1980).
HaRav Salimon David Sasoon, zt"l, (1985). One of the scholars of Bavel (Babylon) and a supporter of Torah study.
HaRav Shaul Brus , zt"l, (1919-2008). Born in Savin, Poland, he learned at Kamenitz under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz. After spending the War years in Siberia, he moved to New York, and was invited to deliver a shiur at Yeshivas Beit Hatalmud. He also gave a daily shiur in the Kopyczynitzer Beit Midrash and became very close to the Rebbe. He eventually became Rosh Yeshiva at Beit Hatalmud.
RETURN TO TOP
Isru Chag in the
8 Sivan 1563 - 1147:
Rav Yaakov ben Meir Tam, known as the "Rabbeinu Tam," was one of Rashi's illustrious grandsons. During the Second Crusade, on the second day of the holiday of Shavuot, the Crusaders entered his hometown of Ramerupt, France, and pillaged and massacred many Jews.
They broke into Rabbeinu Tam's house, plundered all his wealth, and seriously wounded Rabbeinu Tam. On the next day, the 8th of Sivan, Rabbeinu Tam escaped Ramerupt and the clutches of the Crusaders.
Two years later he completed his famous treatise on Jewish ritual and ethics, Sefer Hayashar.
8 Sivan 5522 - May 30, 1762:
Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Emden, Prussia.
8 Sivan 5594 - June 15, 1834:
Druze rioters attacked and killed many Jews in the northern Israeli town of Tzefat and in other communities throughout Israel, Hy"d.
They also burned a number of shuls and destroyed sifrei Torah. At the time, Tzefat, with a population of about 2,000 Jews, was the largest community in the entire land of Israel.
Only three years later, Tzefat was practically wiped out by an earthquake. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, many prominent scholars settled in Tzefat, and the standard Code of Jewish Law ("Shulchan Aruch") was written there. Tzefat also became the center of Jewish mysticism, bolstered by the presence of the great Arizal. Tzefat is one of the four holy cities in Israel, and today remains a popular center of Jewish learning and mysticism.
8 Sivan 5666 - June 1, 1906:
pogrom broke out in Bialystok, Russia.
8 Sivan 5700 - June 14, 1940:
Auschwitz was opened. Approx. 2.5 million people were killed and another 500,000 died of starvation and disease there, Hy"d.
8 Sivan 5700 - June 14, 1940:
The German army conquered Paris.
8 Sivan 5703 - June 11, 1943:
Himmler, ym"s, ordered the liquidation of all Polish ghettos.
8 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Chaim Moshe, zt"l, The grandfather of the Ben Ish Chai.
HaRav Yehoshua Heshel Efrati of Cholyov, zt”l, (5612 / 1852). He was a devoted talmid of the Ohev Yisrael of Apta. He would often trek the long way from his home to his Rebbe by foot, since he had no means to hire a driver. His devotion to his Rebbe was exemplary. In his sefer, he frequently quotes his Rebbe and expounds on his words.
He authored Nachlat Yehoshua on Chumash, which was printed in Lemberg in 5612/1852. Among the haskamot in the sefer, Harav Yosef of Helitch writes about its mechaber: “His vast wisdom and knowledge is indescribable and hard to grasp.”
He first served as Rav in Pamorn, then in Tartikov and later the town of Cholyov, where he eventually became a Rebbe. He drew substantial numbers of chassidim seeking to enrich their spiritual being with the Rebbe’s guidance.
He was survived by his son, Harav Reuven Dovid Efraim. His sons-in-law were Harav Aryeh Leibush Heilprin of Sokolovka, mechaber of Kol Yehudah, and Harav Shlomo Langerman, Rav of Seret and Turka.
The legacy of Cholyov continued to thrive until World War II, when most members of the family were killed al kiddush Hashem. Hy”d.
HaRav Moshe Nechemiah Kahanov, zt”l, (1817 – 5647 / 1887). served as the Rav in Chasalvitz before ascending to Yerushalayim in 1863, where he became the Rosh Yeshiva of Eitz Chaim Yeshiva. He encouraged settlement outside the wall of the Old City of Yerushalayim and built his home in Nachalat Shiva. Author of Chukot Olam and Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim.
Rav Yehoshua Monsonigo (5652/1892). Rav of Fez in Morocco, and author of Shevilei HaMishpat.
HaRav Moshe Blau, zt”l, (1885 - 5706 / 1946), noted Agudat Yisrael activist and a 6th generation of the Old Yishuv. He was the editor of Agudah’s local weekly, Kol Yisrael, and was the brother of Rav Amram Blau of Neturei Karta. From 1933-1945, Rav Blau headed the chareidi community in Yerushalayim, working with Yishuv leaders in its dealings with the British Mandate authorities. He died while rescuing Jewish survivors. In 1946, Rabbi Moshe Blau suddenly died in a very dramatic way, at the age of 61: He was on a boat on his way to Europe and the U.S. and died on the Mediterranean island of Messina, Sicily, where he had been taken off the boat in an effort to perform an emergency operation. His body was flown to Eretz Yisrael.
HaRav Shmuel Yitzchok Helman (Hillman), zt”l, author of Ohr Hayashar on Tanach, (5713 / 1953).
HaRav Ezra Chosni, zt"l, (5716 / 1956). One of the Roshei Yeshivot of Porat Yosef in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Yissochor Dov Goldstein, zt”l, The head of Kollel Shomrei Hachomot, author of Likutei He’arot on the teshuvot Chasam Sofer. (5748 / 1988).
HaRav Menachem Munish Safrin, zt"l, the Komarna Rebbe of Bnel. Brak, (5750/1990). Harav Safrin was born in Ungvar on 3 Nisan 5678 / 1918. His father was Harav Chaim Yaakov of Komarna.
As a bachur, Reb Menachem Manish learned under Harav Yehoshua Greenwald in Chust and under Harav Shlomo Zalman Friedman in Rackov.
Reb Menachem Manish was taken as chassan by Rav Shalom Wagschal, and in his zivug sheini he was the son-in-law of Rav Yehoshua Ehrenreich.
In 5699 / 1939, Reb Menachem Manish learned under Harav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, Rav of Yerushalayim.
Following the petirah of his father, the Komarna Rebbe, in Yerushalayim on 5 Sivan (Erev Shavuot) 5729 / 1969, Reb Menachem Manish became Komarna Rebbe, building his beit medrash and mosdot in Bnei Brak.
Reb Menachem Manish compiled the Siddur Heichal Habrachah from the works of the previous Komarna Rebbes.
He was niftar on 8 Sivan, Erev Shabbat Parashat Naso, 5750 / 1990, in Bnei Brak, at the age of 72 and buried on Har Hamenuchot in Yerushalayim.
He was succeeded as Rebbe by his two sons: Harav Yitzchak Shloime of Yerushalayim and Harav Eliezer Tzvi of Bnei Brak.
HaRav Zalman Rotberg, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivat Beit Meir, Bnei Brak (1913-2002). Born in Lepnishock, Lithuania, to Rav Tuvia Rotberg, a close student of the Chofetz Chaim. Even before he was thirteen, Reb Zalman began to study in the Grodno yeshiva under Rav Moshe Mordechai Shkop, the son of HaRav Shimon Shkop. When he was fifteen he went to the Mirrer Yeshiva, where he became close to Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and Rav Yeruchom Lebowitz.
In 5696/1936, because of the Russian draft decrees, Rav Zalman decided to flee Russia for Eretz Yisrael. He arrived on the 18th of Sivan, along with his close friend Harav Shmuel Rozovsky, who later became Rosh Yeshivah of Ponevez. In 5714 / 1954, Rav Zalman moved to Bnei Brak where he began to serve as a ram in the Tiferet Tzion yeshiva.
Following the petirah of his father-in-law Rav Meir Karelitz in 5715 / 1955, Rav Zalman established the Beit Meir yeshiva in his memory. The Beit Meir yeshiva opened in 1958 with six students, and slowly developed into a large yeshiva. The sichot and maamarei machshavah which Rav Zalman delivered and wrote were compiled into a sefer called Tuv Daat. These sichot gained fame throughout the Torah world.
In addition to his activities in Beit Meir, he was also a member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Degel Hatorah.
He taught Torah for over sixty years to thousands of students, and produced legions of talmidei chachomim who themselves became gedolim in Torah and mussar.
RETURN TO TOP
9 Sivan - 1529:
30 Jews of Posing, Hungary, were charged with a blood libel and burned, Hy"d.
9 Sivan 5701 - June 4, 1941:
The republic of Croatia issued an order depriving all Jews of their property and compelling them to wear a yellow badge with the letter Z. Croatia was occupied by Nazi forces and with its Moslem allies, some 700,000 Serbs and 75,000 Jews and Gypsies were killed. The Independent State of Croatia was set up after the German and Italian invasions and run by the fascist Ustashe regime as a puppet state. The central Ustashe aim was to cleanse Croatia of “foreign” elements and to turn Croatia into a “100% Roman Catholic state.” Jasenovac was the site of the largest Ustashe death camp, and some estimates claim as many as several hundred thousand dead. Ante Pavelic was the leader of the Ustashe regime. The Herzegovina region of Bosnia became a stronghold of the Croatian Ustashe movement allied to the Nazis. Local clergy was seen condoning and supporting Ustashe mass slayings of ethnic Serbs. One in six of Croatia’s prewar population died.
9 Sivan 5704 - May 31, 1944:
Jewish community of Khonia, Crete, dating from Roman times, came to an end when the ship Danai into which all the Jews had been herded was towed out to sea and sunk, Hy"d.
9 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Moshe Rivkes (Ravkash), zt”l, author of Be'er Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch (1672 or 5444 / 1684). He was one of four great tzadikim of Vilna who lived at the tragic time of the massacres at the hands of the Cossacks in 1655, along with Rav Efraim (the Shaar Efraim), Rav Shabbsai Cohen (the Shach), and Rav Shmuel Koidenaver. Approximately 25,000 Jews were killed in and around Vilna, Hy”d.
(According to another opinion, his yahrtzeit is 13 Tammuz.)
HaRav Eliezer Rokach of Amsterdam, zt"l, (1741), One of the great Torah scholars of Poland, in 1735 he became the Head Rabbi of Amsterdam. He came to Eretz Yisrael in 1740 and settled in Tzefat. He was renowned for his work Maaseh Rokach on the Mishnayot. His descendents were the Admorim of the Rokach family.
HaRav Yishmael HaCohen, zt"l, (5571 / 1811). Head of the Beit Din of Modina, and author of Zera Emet.
HaRav Mordechai Asio, zt"l, (5598 / 1838). One of the great Torah scholars of Soloniki, author of Higid Mordechai.
HaRav Yisrael of Shklov, zt”l, (~1770 - 5599 / 1839). He first came to study with the Vilna Gaon in 1797, only six months before the latter’s petira. During that half-year, however, R’ Yisrael was a constant companion of the Gaon. Afterwards, Rav Yisrael took upon himself to publish his teacher’s works. Among R’ Yisrael’s publications was Be’ur Ha’Gra on Orach Chaim. In 1809, Rav Yisrael led the third group from among the Gaon’s students to make aliyah. Like its predecessors, the group settled in Tzefat, where the community of the Gaon’s students, known as the “Perushim,” numbered 40 families.
Rav Yisrael was sent back to Europe to fundraise for three years, during which time he published his own and the Gaon’s commentaries (Taklin Chadatin) on Masechet Shekalim. In 1814, Tzefat was struck first by a plague and then by physical disasters, and, in a matter of a few months, Rav Yisrael lost his wife, children and parents. He later remarried and began a second family, but the community of Tzefat continued to suffer at the hands of the Arabs and the Druze. The community was further decimated by an earthquake on January 1, 1837 which killed thousands of Jews throughout Eretz Yisrael. Rav Yisrael himself died in Teverya. Among the works he left was Pe’at Ha’shulchan, a supplement to the Shulchan Aruch covering the laws pertaining to Eretz Yisrael.
HaRav Yitzchak Eizik Eichenstein of Ziditchov, Galicia, zt”l, (5565 / 1805 - 5633 / 1873).
Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchov was born in Ziditchov, Galicia, in 5565 / 1805, the only son of Rav Yissacher Berish (a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin) and the brother of Harav Tzvi Hersh, (the Ateret Tzvi, 1763-1831), the first Rebbe of Ziditchov.The family traced its lineage to the Tosafot Yom Tov.
Rav Yitzchak Eizik was a very close disciple of his uncle, Rav Tzvi Hersh, and in his sefarim he constantly mentions his Torah thoughts.
Rav Yitzchak Eizik’s unparalleled hasmadah and memory were amazing, and from the age of 14 until his petirah, a night did not pass without him being deeply engrossed in profound Torah study.
Although he lived a life of poverty, he constantly traveled to the great Rebbes of his generation to quench his great spiritual thirst.
After the petirah of Rav Tzvi Hersh, Rav Yitzchak Eizik spent much time imbibing Torah and Chassidut from another uncle, Harav Moshe of Sambur. He also traveled to Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, Harav Meir of Premishlan and Harav Shalom of Belz, among others.
Although he never wanted to become a Rav, he was apparently destined to become a Rebbe. After the petirah of Harav Yehudah Tzvi of Rozdol, he accepted the invitation to become the successor of the Ziditchov chassidut.
Among the primary talmidim of Rav Yitzchak Eizik were Rav Yosef Meir of Spinka and Rav Shalom Mordechai Hakohen Schwadron, the Maharsham of Berzon.
The Rebbe was fluent in Zohar and sifrei Kabbalah and would often recite entire pages by heart. He was the author of a peirush on Midrash; Likutei Torah V’haShas, on sefer Bamidbar; and Yalkut Maharya on Yalkut Shimoni.
In 5749/1989, the sefer Yalkut Maharya was published for the first time. It contains minhagim, letters and his divrei Torah, collected from various sources by his descendants Rav Shimon Hirschler and Rav Moshe Leib Weiser of London. His toldot are printed in the sefer Pe’er Yitzchak.
The next Ziditchover Rebbe, Rav Yehoshua Eichenstein (d. 1940), moved from Galitzia to Chicago in 1922.
HaRav Aharon Konvarti, zt”l, (5639 / 1879), Rosh Yeshivat Hamekubalim Beit Kel in Yerushalayim; author of Sheilot Uteshuvot Kapei Aharon.
HaRav Aharon Azriel. Zt”l, (5639/1879). Rosh Yeshiva of Beit El, and author of K’fi Aharon.
HaRav Yitzchak Eizik Halevi Bilitzer, zt”l, (5561 / 1801 - 5647 / 1887), Rav of Nagyida. Born in Unsdorf. His parents were Harav Pinchas and Rochel Bilitzer.
Harav Pinchas, besides being a talmid chacham, was an important askan in Unsdorf, highly respected by both Jew and gentile. His rebbetzin was the daughter of Harav Uri Lipman Frankel, son of Harav Eliezer Frankel, who was a brother of Harav Baruch Frankel of Leipnik, the Baruch Taam.
Harav Yitzchak Isaac, after learning locally in Unsdorf, went on to learn in the yeshivah in Krula under his uncle, Harav Yitzchak Frankel. After marrying Esther, the daughter of Harav Moshe Roth of Ginz-Ruska, Harav Yitzchak Isaac sat and learned diligently for three years.
He then moved to Nagyida, a small town near Kashau in Slovakia, where he taught Torah to the local boys.
When the Rav of Nagyida, Harav Meshulam Lieberman, zt”l, was niftar in 5597 / 1837, Harav Yitzchak Isaac was chosen to replace him. He remained Rav in Nagyida for the next 50 years, until his petirah in 5647/1887.
While caring for the concerns of the town’s inhabitants, Harav Yitzchak Isaac maintained a rigorous learning schedule. He left behind numerous manuscripts of chiddushei Torah, some of which were published after his petirah (in Be’er Yitzchak) through the efforts of his successor as Rav in Nagyida, his granddaughter’s husband, Harav Tzvi Reichman, zt”l.
Harav Yitzchak Isaac had five children. His two sons were Harav Amram Yishai, Rav of Szerencz, and Harav Lipman, Rav of Altendorf. His three daughters’ husbands were also Rabbanim: Harav Yitzchak Isaac Kahane, Rav of Raznovitz; Harav Moshe Mehr, Rav of Rethe; and Harav Shalom Adler, Rav of Seredna.
Harav Yitzchak Isaac was niftar on 9 Sivan 5647 / 1887, at the age of 86. He was buried in Nagyida. Throngs of people, knowing of his tzidkut, would go and daven at his kever on his yahrtzeit.
His successor as Rav in Nagyida, Harav Tzvi Reichman, was later buried next to him.
HaRav Avraham Tzvi Perlmutter, zt”l, Rav in Warsaw (5690 / 1930).
HaRav Yaakov Meir bar Kalev, zt"l, (1856 – 1939). The Rishon L’Tzion, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi in Israel. At the age of 26 he was sent by the Sephardi congregation to Buchara to encourage the Jews to come to Israel. In 1885 he went to Tunisia and Algeria for nine years. He helped to found new neighborhoods in Yerushalayim and to nullify decrees from the Turkish authorities against the Jews of Persia and Bulgaria. He moved to Soloniki and served as a Rav there for fifteen years. When the Head Rabbanut was established in Israel he became the Rishon L’Tzion, and served in this post until his death.
HaRav Yaakov Chaim Sofer, zt”l, (1870 – 5699 / 1939), better known as the Kaf Hachaim (the name of the monumental 8-volume halachic work which he authored). He was born in Baghdad in 1870. In his youth he studied Torah under the Sephardic greats of the times, such as the Ben Ish Chai and Rav Abdalah Somech. In 1904 he embarked on a long and arduous journey to Eretz Yisrael, and settled in Yerushalayim. There he began to study in the kabbalistic Beit Kel yeshiva in the Old City. This yeshiva, founded by Rav Gedalya Chayon, attracted many of the city’s great kabbalistic sages, among them the Rashash, who eventually became its rosh yeshiva. In 1909, Rav Yaakov Chaim transferred to the newly founded Shoshanim leDovid yeshiva, located in the Beit Yisrael section of Yerushalayim. He became renowned as a great kabbalist as well as a recognized halachic authority. In addition to the Kaf Hachaim, he authored Kol Yaakov (on the laws of writing sifrei Torah, tefillin, and mezuzot, as well as various kavanot required for the writing and the donning of tefillin), Yagel Yaakov (a compendium of the Shabbat drashot he delivered while he was in aveilut for his father), and Yismach Yisrael (on the parsha). He is buried on Har Hazeitim / the Mount of Olives.
HaRav Yechezkel Mertz, zt”l, (1908-1972). Born in Kashau, Hungary (today it’s part of Slovakia), he lost his wife and five children at the hands of the Nazis, and found his way to Budapest after the War. In 1952, he settled in Williamsburg, NY, and founded a shul. His Torah thoughts and chidushim on Shas are recorded in the sefer Tiferet Yechezkel.
10 Sivan - 1523:
The final masechta of the entire Talmud Bavli was printed by Bomberg in Venice. It culminated a four year project.
10 Sivan 5575 - June 18, 1815:
Napoleon’s Waterloo defeat, as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium. The defeat put a final end to Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of France.
10 Sivan 5664 - May 24, 1904:
Yahrtzeit of Klonimus Z. (Wolf) Wissotzky, a famous Russian Jewish philanthropist (1904). The son of poor parents, he established The Wissotzky Tea company in 1849 and became known as the "King of Russian Tea." Wissotzky once owned the tea concession for the Czar's entire military operation. Since the Czar's soldiers numbered in the millions and tea drinking was a daily Russian custom, this concession made Wissotzky very rich. He was a great Jewish philanthropist who called for the settlement of Jews in Israel, and initiated the move of Jews to Lod, Nablus and Gaza. In his will he left over a million rubles to charity.
One day, Wissotzky was approached by the World Zionist Organization to begin a tea business in Israel. He laughed at this preposterous idea: the market was small, the Turkish bureaucracy was strict, and tea leaves from India were too costly to import. The Jewish leaders persisted, and Wissotzky started a small tea company in Israel. After his death, the tea company passed to his heirs. Then in 1917, the communists swept to power in Russia, seizing all of the Wissotzky company's assets. The only business left in their possession was the small tea company in Israel. The family fled Russia, built the Israeli business, and today Wissotzky is the leading brand of tea in Israel, with exports to countries worldwide -- including Russia.
10 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Elazar Rokeach of Amsterdam, zt’l, the Maaseh Rokeach, (5501 / 1741).Harav Elazar Rokeach was born in Cracow, Poland. He was named after his great-grandfather, Rabbi Elazar of Germeiza, the famed Baal Hatosafot. Harav Elazar Rokeach’s father was Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke, Rav of the Polish cities of Liska and Alkish. As a young boy, Reb Elazar was known as an iluy.
The Rav of Amsterdam was niftar in 5490/1730. After a five-year search, the nominee of choice was Rav Elazar, who accepted the offer and became the Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam on 27 Elul 5495/1735. He served as Rav in Brody for 20 years.
The Belzer Rebbes, who are descendants of Rav Elazar, relate that when Rav Elazar arrived in Holland, the country was suffering from an agricultural plague of worms. The king of Holland heard about the newly arrived tzaddik, Rav Elazar, went to him and asked him to pray for the removal of this threat. Rav Elazar went to the field to daven, and after he finished his tefillot the worms disappeared into the sea.
In gratitude for Rav Elazar’s help, a commemorative coin was minted by the Dutch government. It bears the image of the Maaseh Rokeach on one side and pesukei Tehillim on the other.
Rav Elazar published his sefer, Maaseh Rokeach, in 5500/1740. The sefer includes his commentary on the Torah and Talmud. On the day of the book’s printing, Rav Elazar announced his desire to step down as Rav of Amsterdam so he could ascend to Eretz Yisrael. He arrived in Eretz Yisrael on Chol Hamoed Sukkot 5501/1741 and settled in Tzfat.
One reason he wanted to go to Eretz Yisrael was to meet Harav Nachman of Horodenka, a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov. Rav Elazar’s hope was that together with Rabbi Nachman, he could hasten the coming of Moshiach. Upon arrival, however, Rav Elazar discovered that Reb Nachman had returned to Europe. When Reb Nachman heard of Rav Elazar’s arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he hurried back, but by the time he returned, Rav Elazar had already returned his holy neshamah to his Creator.
His descendents were the Admorim of the Rokach family. (Others 5502 / 1742).
HaRav Yishmael HaKohain, zt”l, (5571/1811). Rav and Av Beit Din of Modina, author of Zera Emet.
HaRav Binyamin Zev Wolf Boskowitz, zt”l, (5574 / 1814), of Kelen, author of Seder L’Mishneh.
HaRav Moshe of Rozvadov, zt’l, son of Rav Eliezer of Dzikov (5654 / 1894).
HaRav Ezra Harari Raful, zt’l, mekubal of Aleppo and founder of yeshivot Ohel Moed, Bet Yosef and Magen David. (5694 / 1934 or 5696/1936 or 5697 / 1937).
Harav Harari-Raful was born on 24 Av 5617 / 1857 in Aleppo, Syria. His father was Harav Yosef.
In 5650 / 1890, Rav Ezra moved to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Yerushalayim. He learned Kabbalah under Harav Chaim Shaul Doueck Hakohen in Yeshivat Hamekubalim Rechovot Hanahar. He was known as an outstanding masmid, never wasting a minute.
In Sivan 5664 / 1904, Rav Ezra was among the founding group of Yeshivat Ohel Moed; later he also helped found yeshivot Bet Yosef and Magen David. He was involved with governing the Syrian-Jewish community in Yerushalayim as well.
Rav Ezra wrote Heichin Ezra, a compilation of mussar teachings that he gathered from various sefarim.
Rav Ezra was niftar on 10 Sivan, (Others 9 Sivan), at the age of 80. He was buried on Har Hazeitim.
HaRav Mordechai Rottenberg, Hy"d, (1872 - 5704 / 1944), Rav of Antwerp and author of Yad Mordechai.
Born in Crakow to Rav Naftali, a close confidant of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, Reb Mordechai learned with Rav Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe, and then at several yeshivot in Hungary. He married the daughter of the Rav of Tzehlim, Rav Dovid Friedman, and later became a dayan in the city. In 1905, he was chosen to be the Rav of Wadowitz in Western Galicia. In 1912, he became Rav of Antwerp, where he served for 30 years. He was taken by the Nazis to the camp in Vittel, France, and on the day after Shavuot of 1944, the inmates were all taken by truck to a death camp in Eastern Europe.
11 Sivan - 1291:
Acco was captured by Muslims, bringing to an end the Christian Crusader Kingdom and their domination of
Eretz Yisrael. The persecution of medieval Jewry in England dates from the 12th century, with the launching of the Crusades. The persecutions led to the expulsion of the Jewish community. (Some have this date as 17 Sivan).
11 Sivan 5318 - 1558:
Germany’s Kaiser restricted certain rights that had previously been given to the Jews by the government.
11 Sivan 5431 - May 20, 1671:
Frederick William of Prussia permitted 50 Jewish families who had been expelled from Vienna to settle in his dominion.
11 Sivan 5431 - May 20, 1671:
An edict wasissued admitting Jews into Berlin.
11 Sivan 5639 - June 2, 1879:
The U.S. House of Representatives requested the president to have all international treaties which impair the rights of American citizens because of religion amended to secure equal rights. This was a result of Russian mistreatment of Jewish American businessman.
11 Sivan 5684 - June 13, 1924:
The Israeli town of Bnei Brak ("Sons of Lightning") was founded just east of Tel Aviv. Bnei Brak is known as a center of Talmudic scholarship, and was home to the famed 20th century sages, the Chazon Ish and Rabbi Elazar M. Shach of the Ponevitch Yeshiva. Bnei Brak is mentioned in the Bible (Yehoshua / Joshua 19:45), and is famous in the Pesach / Passover Haggadah as the site of the all-night Seder of Rab' Akiva and his colleagues.
11 Sivan 5751 - May 24, 1991:
Operation Solomon, an airlift of Jews from Ethiopia, begins. 14,420 Ethiopian Jews are rescued and airlifted to Israel hours before the Mengistu regimes collapse. The operation set a world record for single-flight passenger load on May 24, 1991 when an El Al 747 carried 1,122 passengers to Israel.
The Jews of Ethiopia observed Shavuot on the 12th of Sivan, 50 days after Pesach. When they came to Israel, they readjusted their calendar.
11 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Shmuel Rosenberg of Unsdorf, zt”l, author of Be’er Shmuel, (5679 / 1919), Son of Rav Yisrael Yona Zvi, Rav of Tisa-Ferred. At the age of 16, he attended the yeshiva of the Ktav Sofer. He became a Rav in Tchabba and later in Unsdorf, the latter for 37 years.
HaRav Yehudah Benyamin Siriro, zt”l, (5680 / 1920). Torah scholar of Fez, Morocco.
HaRav Yechi bar Moshe Levy, zt”l, (1867 / 1932). Born in Yemen, he served as a Rosh Yeshiva and Head of the Beit Din in Yemen from the age of 35, and three years later became the Chief Rabbi of Yemenite Jewry. During his reign in the Rabbinate a very difficult time passed over the Jews of Yemen and they suffered from drought, starvation, and warfare. The community in Tzina’ah decreased by two thirds in number. Rav Yechi used his resourceful energy to reorganize the remaining Jews and found institutions for education and the Rabbinut, and provided for the orphans. He succeeded in bringing many Yemenite Jews to Israel.
HaRav Mordechai Brisk, Hy”d, of Chanad, Hungary, (5704 / 1944), Av Beit Din Tashnad, author of She’eilot U’teshuvot Maharam Brisk.
HaRav Yosef Elimelech Kahana, zt”l, Hy”d, Rav of Ungvar, Hungary, (5626 / 1866 - 5704 / 1944).
Harav Yosef Elimelech ben Harav Yitzchak Eizik Kahana was born in 5626/1866, in Rudnawitz.
As a bachur, he learned in the yeshivah of Harav Chaim Tzvi Manheimer, in Ungvar, and later in the yeshivah of the Shevet Sofer in Pressburg.
Reb Yosef Elimelech was given semichah by Harav Shlomo Ganzfried, author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, as well as by the Shevet Sofer.
At the age of 26, he was appointed Rav of Dzandany, and later was Rav in Bonihad and in Tzehelem. In all of these cities, besides serving as Rav, Reb Yosef Elimelech also headed a yeshivah.
In 5691/1931, Reb Yosef Elimelech was appointed Rav of Ungvar.
As Rav, he was well admired by the local Jews and non-Jews alike. Even the local bishops respected the Rav and asked his opinion on local issues.
As Rosh Yeshivah, Reb Yosef Elimelech taught the bachurim to learn with diligence and toil, not to be satisfied with less than perfection and to fully utilize time. He also instructed the bachurim to always daven from a siddur, not by heart.
Reb Yosef Elimelech would travel to the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, and later to his son Harav Yechezkel of Shinev. He also traveled to the court of Harav Yehoshua of Belz.
In Sivan of 5704/1944, Reb Yosef Elimelech was among the nearly 25,000 Yidden of Ungvar who were rounded up and sent in three groups to Auschwitz. Reb Yosef Elimelech was in the last transport, on the second day of Shavuot, arriving in Auschwitz on 10 Sivan.
The next day, 11 Sivan, he was killed al Kiddush Hashem.
Reb Yosef Elimelech was 82 at his death.
HaRav Shlomo Zalman Bloch, zt”l, (1976), one of the disciples of the Chofetz Chaim.
HaRav Yehudah (Yeedle’le) Horowitz of Dzikov, zt”l, (1905 – 5749 / 1989), son of Rav Alter Yechezkel, Rebbe of Dzikov, one of the large and important chassidic dynasties in Galicia. Born in Vishnitz, he was sent by his father to Tarnov to learn under Rav Meir Arik, with whom he stayed for 5 years.
In 1936 Reb Yeede’le accepted the position of dayan in Klausenberg. Every day for half a year Reb Yeede’le had a six hour chavrusa in Choshen Mishpat with Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Weis, (who later became rav of Yerushalayim and interestingly was niftar on the same day as Reb Yeede'le). In 1944, when the Nazis invaded Hungary, Reb Yeede’le escaped to Romania, and then moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1946. After a few years in Tel Aviv, he moved to Yerushalayim and made his home in the beit hamedrash of Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, the Rav of Yerushalayim.
He wrote many chiddushim in the margins of his sefarim - on virtually every page of every sefer of the Chasam Sofer, on the Chida, the Maharsham, and Reb Meir Arik. In 1985, he traveled to London for what he had hoped would be a brief medical leave. Instead, he spent his final years there.
HaRav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss, zt”l, (5662 / 1902 - 5749 / 1989), author of Minchat Yitzchak, and Av Beit Din of the Eidah Hachareidit, Yerushalayim. Known as the Minchat Yitzchak (the name of the responsa he authored),
Born in Galicia, 8 Adar 5662 / 1902, his father was Harav Yosef Yehudah of Dolina, Galicia.
He headed the court of Jewish law, the Beit Din, in Grosswardein, Romania before WWII, and after miraculously surviving the war he assumed the same position in Manchester, England, (1949-1969).
As a young child he learned under the Zhiditchover Rebbe of Delina, Reb Yehuda Zvi Eichenstein, under whom he absorbed much Torah and Chassidut, and whom he regarded as one of his primary Rebbes. He also had a daily 3 hour chavrusa with his father for many years, during which he learned the derech that his father had acquired from his Rebbe, the Arugat Habosem.
In his introduction to one of his sefarim, Harav Weiss remembers his father, “who raised me in the path of the Torah and yirah, and turned nights into days to teach me and to guide me to understand the words of our holy Torah.”
While still young he began recording his chiddushim and even submitted some to be published in a number of local Torah journals. By the time he was 15, Reb Yitzchak Yaakov had already attracted the attention ofGedolei Hador, who predicted a glorious future for him.
For 13 years Reb Yitzchak Yaakov lived in Delina, until the First World War broke out in 1914. The family sought refuge in Munkatch, Hungary.
In 5782 / 1922, when Rav Yitzchak Yaakov turned 20, he received an order to report for military service. He wrote a letter to a friend, a grandson of the Belzer Rebbe, Reb Yissachar Dov, asking him to ask his grandfather for a brachah that he be spared from serving in the army. The Belzer Rebbe replied according to the Mishnah in Avot: “Whoever accepts upon himself the yoke of the Torah is relieved from the yoke ofmalchut.” Rav Weiss “accepted the yoke of Torah” anew and moved to the neighboring town of Helmin, where he toiled in Torah in an unprecedented fashion. He never heard from the army again.
In 5688 / 1928 he married the daughter of Harav Pinchos Zimetbaum, zt”l, from Grosswardein, Transylvania (now part of Romania).
In addition to teshuvot he wrote concerning local matters, Rav Weiss began answering she’eilot that began arriving from across the country. From his sefer, it is apparent that he corresponded at length with many of the Gedolim of the era, among them the famed Rogatchover Gaon, Harav Yosef Rosen, zt”l, and the Gaon Reb Aharon Walkin, zt”l, of Pinsk.
By the time WWII broke out, Rav Weiss was acclaimed as one of the major Rabbanim in the area.
In Adar 1944, the Nazis invaded Hungary and immediately started to erect ghettos. During the war, Rav Weiss hid in a bunker for six weeks and later miraculously fled across the border. Rav Weiss recorded his harrowing trials and tribulations that he experienced in the war in the first volume of his sefer Minchat Yitzchak in a special section called “Pirsumei Nissa. ” Of his entire large and extended family that lived in Grosswardein before the war, only Harav Weiss and one son, Rav Berish, shlita, survived.
After the war he settled in England, where he served as the Rav of Manchester until 5729 / 1969. In Manchester, he completed She’eilot U’teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust he worked diligently on aiding the many women whose husbands disappeared, and presumably perished, during the war; finding halachic "loopholes" which allowed them to remarry according to Jewish law.
He authored a nine-volume set of responsa. In this widely-used work, he addresses many modern-day halachic issues which resulted from the technological explosion, as well as many medical ethics issues.
In 5730 / 1970 the Satmar Rebbe appointed him Raavad of the Beit Din Eidah Hachareidit of Yerushalayim, and after the Rebbe’s petirah he became the Gaavad.
In 1979, he assumed the position of Av Beit Din (Head of Court) in the Edah Hachareidit, one of the most prominent rabbinical bodies in Israel. He served in this capacity for the last seventeen years of his life. An estimated 30,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried on Har Hazeitim.
HaRav Simcha Rubin, the Sassover Rebbe of London, zt”l (5670 / 1910 – 5763 / 2003). Born in Sassov, a town near Lvov, in 5670/1910, to Rav Chanoch Henoch Dov Rubin, he moved with his family to London in 5685/1925, when his father set up his Beit Medrash in Whitechapel.
Tragically, Rav Henoch was niftar suddenly in 5689/1929 after a short illness, leaving a devastated community. He was publicly and widely mourned. In accordance with his wish, his eldest son, Rav Simchah, succeeded him as Sassover Rebbe of London.
When Rav Simcha married the daughter of Harav Dov Heschel of Lvov, a descendant of the Ohev Yisrael of Apta in 5690 / 1930, it marked the first Chassidic dynastic marriage to take place in England.
The young Rebbe of Sassov soon exhibited leadership qualities and, in 5693/1933, together with other Rabbanim, led his own group of Chassidim in a “March of Silence” through the East End of London and on to Hyde Park, protesting the deteriorating situation of German Jewry following the rise of Hitler.
In 5698/1938, the Sassover shtiebel merged with the shul at 34 Settles Street, where Rav Simchah later established a Talmud Torah.
In 5702 / 1942, Rav Simcha moved with his young family to North West London, where he established the present Sassover beit medrash at Helenslea Avenue, Golders Green.
During the war years, the Rebbe worked tirelessly with a small group of his contemporaries, including the Rebbes of Premishlan, Biala, Shotz, Trisk and Dzikov, with whom he had a warm relationship. They dealt with the harsh economic conditions of the prewar years, with their attendant problems of maintaining traditional standards of Chassidut and Yiddishkeit; from the 1930s onward they dealt with the flood of refugees fleeing the gehinnom of Hitler’s Europe.
During the war years, the Sassover Rebbe worked tirelessly, helping destitute refugees who found safety in his country with food, lodging and parnassah. He took young orphans into his own home, and established a hostel for others to ensure that in addition to their physical survival, they received the warmth and kindness that they needed so badly.
The Rebbe placed some 300 boys and young men on a farm near London, providing these shattered, traumatized Yidden with a safe Jewish environment.
In 5702/1942 the Rebbe moved with his young family to North West London, where he established the present Sassover beis medrash at Helenslea Avenue, Golders Green.
In 5717/1957 the shul became the home of the first yeshivah in North West London, after Harav Simcha encouraged Rabbi Eliezer Warhaftig, zt”l, and his colleague Rabbi Rakow, zt”l, to open Yeshivat Chayei Olam with its first two students.
The Rebbe also introduced or strengthened standards of kashrut in many Jewish old-age and nursing homes, and arranged kosher food for Jewish patients in state hospitals and nursing homes. Not only did he undertake personal supervision, but on numerous occasions, even provided the additional funding necessary to pay for these facilities.
He was a major baal tzedakah who was determined to remain anonymous to the recipients of his funds and arranged with his bank to issue him checkbooks with no identifying name or institution imprinted on them, thereby fulfilling the highest level of tzedakah — mattan b’seisser.
His acts of gemilut chassadim benefited people of all ranks.
The Rebbe’s lifelong commitment to the maintenance of the highest standards of tzniut was legendary. Each year, with the approach of the summer, he would write a message in the heimishe newspapers in English, reminding Yidden of the import to maintain these standards during this time, whether at home or abroad.
The Rebbe was regular visitor to all the local mosdot, leaving an indelible impression on these young neshamot.
Following the petirah of his Rebbetzin, the Rebbe married Rebbetzin Minna Weber; she passed away a few years before he did.
Despite many disappointments, Harav Simcha, even during his twilight years when he suffered from poor health, continued his chessed activities to his last days, and accepted all his suffering b’simchah.
The Rebbe was niftar on 11 Sivan 5763/2003, at the age of 93.
Rebbetzin Rikel Brodsky, A’H, (1924-2005), born on the Lower East Side, shortly after her parents, Rav Menachem Mendel Burnstein and his Rebbetzin Chava (nee Minsky) emigrated from Poland. Rikel was the youngest of eight siblings. A descendant of the Pnei Yehoshua and Rav Yaakov Emden, Rav Menachem Mendel had been the Rav of the shtetl Yadova, in Poland, a thriving kehilla that was later wiped out in the Holocaust. Rav Menachem Mendel opened a shul in the Bronx. She lost her mother when she was 11 and her father when she was 18. However, her devoted sisters and brother took care of her, marrying her off to a young refugee from the Mir, Rav Shamshon Brodsky, who had been close to Rav Chaim Shmulevitz. Rav Shamshon served as the Rav of a shul, Rosh Yeshiva of Zichron Moshe, and the menahel of Beit Miriam of the Bronx. Nearly thirty years ago, as the Bronx community slowly began to lose its character, the Brodskys moved to Flatbush. The Rav assumed leadership of Beit Medrash Rabenu Yaakov Moshe and a Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivat Birchat Reuven, and later in Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael. The Rebbetzen was described as “the most powerful mussar sefer we could ever learn” by one of the talmidim.
RETURN TO TOP
Last day of tashlumim for the chagiga sacrifice of Shavuot
When the Beit HaMikdash stood in Yerushalayim, and all Jews would come there
for the three annual "pilgrimage festivals" (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), Sivan 12 was the last of the seven days allotted for the offerings brought in conjunction with the Shavuot pilgrimage (unlike the festivals of Passover and Sukkot, which have seven biblically mandated days, Shavuot consists only of one day; hence the additional six days of tashlumin or "fulfillment").
12 Sivan - 1453:
Sultan Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire.
12 Sivan 5682 - 1922:
Agudath Israel established in Kattowitz, Poland
12 Sivan 5708 - June 19, 1948:
The government of Costa Rica gave diplomatic recognition to the new State of Israel. Due to its political balance, Costa Rica is often referred to as the "Switzerland of Central America." For years, Costa Rica was one of the only countries to house its embassy in Yerushalayim. Of the 184 nations with which United States has diplomatic relations, Israel is the only one where the U.S. embassy is not located in the capital city.
12 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Yitzchak Hakohen of Prague, zt”l, son-in-law of the Maharal of Prague, (5384 / 1624).
HaRav Menachem Mendel of Bar, zt”l, a talmid of the Besht, (5525 / 1765).
HaRav Dovid Pardo of Sarajevo, zt”l, (5552 / 1792), author of Shoshanim L’Dovid, a two-volume work on Mishnayot, Chasdei Dovid on the Tosefta, and Maskil L’Dovid on Rashi, She’eilot U’teshuvot Michtam L’Dovid, and other sefarim.
Harav Dovid Chaim was born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5478 / 1718, in Venice, Italy. When he was just a young boy, both his father Rav Yaakov and his mother passed away, leaving him and his sister Rachel orphans with no one to tend to their needs.
When their relative Rav Moshe Ashkenazi, a wealthy man, saw their plight, he took them into his home. Childless himself, he treated them as his own children. He made sure that they received a sound chinuch; Rav Dovid writes that it is thanks to Rav Moshe that he achieved what he did in Torah.
Rav Dovid learned under Harav Shlomo Zalman of Lvov and Harav Yaakov Belilius.
In the kehillah of Ispaltro near Delmatzia, a famous community, the Rav at the time was Harav Avraham Dovid Papo. Rav Dovid went to learn under him and grew great in Torah. Following the petirah of Rav Avraham Dovid, all eyes turned to Rav Dovid to take Rav Papo’s place.
Initially, he refused the prestigious offer but later he accepted it, and despite his youth, he was considered a leader and an accepted posek for the city.
Rav Dovid founded a yeshivah there which attracted many of the foremost bachurim.
In 5511 / 1751 Rav Dovid returned to Venice, where he published his two-volume work, Shoshanim L’Dovid on Mishnayot.
In 1765, he moved from Venice, Italy to Bosnia and brought several talmidei chachamim with him. He first moved to Belgrade, then in 5528 / 1768 Rav Dovid was appointed Rav of Sarajevo. This appointment was approved by Harav Refael Eliezer Nachmias, Chief Rabbi of Saloniki.
His leading disciple in Sarajevo was Rav Avraham Pinso, a native of the city (1740 - 1820). In 5542 / 1782, at the age of 64, Harav Dovid moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim, where he served as Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Chessed L’Avraham.
He was survived by three sons — Harav Yaakov, Harav Yitzchak, who replaced his father as Rav of Sarajevo, and Harav Avraham, who was the son-in-law of the Chidah. Harav Dovid’s son-in-law was Harav Avraham Pinso of Sarajevo (1740-1820)..
HaRav Chaim Yisrael Morgenstern of Kotzk-Pilov, zt”l, son of Harav Dovid of Kotzk, and grandson of Rav Menachem Mendel of Klotzk (5665 / 1905). Author of Shaelu Shelom Yerushalayim and Maaseh Hamenorah, which are included in the sefer Shearit Yisrael.Harav Chaim Yisrael Morgenstern was born in Kotzk in 5600/1840.
Although by the time Rav Chaim Yisrael was born the Kotzker was already spending most of his time secluded in his room, the Rebbe still took an interest in the chinuch of his grandchildren, Harav Yehoshua and his younger brother, Harav Chaim Yisrael. Every Shabbat they would go into his room and tell their grandfather the Rebbe what they had learned.
At age 15, Reb Chaim Yisrael married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Zelig Frenkel, a Kotzker Chassid. After his marriage, he remained in Kotzk, near his grandfather; and following the latter’s petirah, at the court of his father, Reb Dovid, whom he served as assistant.
Following the petirah of his father on 22 Tammuz 5633/1873, some of the Chassidim went to the youngest son, Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Lomza; but most, including the elders who still remembered the Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshis’cha and the Kotzker Rebbe, followed Reb Chaim Yisrael. His older brother, Reb Yehoshua, also became his Chassid.
Reb Chaim Yisrael was true to the Kotzker ways, always seeking the truth. In his middat ha’emet he was careful not to imitate even the ways of his father or grandfather; rather, he blazed his own path.
Shortly after his move from Kotzk to Pilov, in 5648/1888, Reb Chaim Yisrael published Shlom Yerushalayim, a collection of six essays on the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael in Halachah, Chassidut and Kabbalah.
He also wrote down the divrei Torah of his father, under the name Ahavat Dovid.
Reb Chaim Yisrael was niftar on 12 Sivan 5665/1905, at age 65.
His sons were Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Lukova; Harav Yitzchak Zelig, Rav in Sokolov; Harav Moshe Mordechai of Pilov; and Harav Avraham Yosef, who served as Rav in Kotzk.
HaRav Avraham Weinberg, Slonimer Rebbe, the Birchat Avraham, zt”l, (5741 / 1981). The son of Rav Noach Weinberg, talmid and nephew of the Divrei Shmuel, successor of Rav Mordechai.
HaRav Kamus Agiv, zt”l, (1990), Rav of Ohr Yehudah, author of Kamus Imadi.
RETURN TO TOP
13 Sivan 2448 - 1313 B.C.E.:
Moshe ascends to the top of Har Sinai.
"Moshe went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain...for six days. On the seventh day Hashem called to Moshe from within the cloud... And Moshe came within the cloud, and he went up to the top of the mountain, and Moshe was upon the mountain forty days and forty nights" (Shmot / Exodus 24:15-18)..
On the morrow of the giving of the Aseret HaDibrot / Ten Commandments Moshe ascended Mount Sinai in order to receive from Hashem the remainder of the Torah -- the remaining commandments and the Oral Torah. After being "cleansed" by the cloud for six days, he was ushered into the presence of Hashem on the 13th of Sivan.
13 Sivan - 1171:
· 34 Jewish men and 17 Jewish women were burned at the stake in Blois, France in the first ritual-murder charge on the European continent, Hy"d.
13 Sivan 5001 - 1241:
The first pogrom in Frankfurt on the Main took place, when an incited mob destroyed the Jewish Quarter and massacred most of its Jews al kiddush Hashem, Hy"d. See 14 Sivan.
13 Sivan 5289 - 1529:
30 jews of Posing, Hungary, were charged in a blood libel and burned al Kiddush Hashem, Hy"d. (others 1678).
13 Sivan 5689 - May 26, 1926:
Shalom Schwartzbard assassinated Ukrainian S.V. Petlura in Paris. His followers were responsible for 493 pogroms in which 50,000 Jews lost their lives. Schwartzbard had fifteen family members killed in Jewish pogroms, and he himself had survived one such attack in 1905 during the Russian Revolution.
13 Sivan 5708 - June 20, 1948:
Following the War of Independence, citizens in many Arab countries began harassing their Jewish co-citizens, often times inflicting casualties and substantial property damage. Anti-Jewish riots broke out across the Arab world. Jews were attacked and imprisoned, Jewish property was seized, and most of these centuries-old Jewish communities were forced to disband.
The 5,000 Jews living in Cairo, Egypt were also repeatedly victimized. A bomb exploded in the Jewish quarter of Cairo, murdering 22 Jews and wounding more than 40 others, Hy"d. In the coming months, more bombings in Cairo killed an additional 50 Jews.
In 1948, the Jewish population of Egypt was 75,000; the systematic persecution caused most Egyptian Jews to flee, many choosing to move to Israel. Today, there are virtually no Jews remaining in Egypt.
13 Sivan 5759 - May 28, 1999:
The empty hull of the Israeli submarine Dakar, which disappeared in the Mediterranean on 5 Shevat 5728 – Feb, 4, 1968, was discovered in the depths.
13 Sivan Yahrtzeits.
HaRav Ephraim Hakohen Katz of Vilna, zt”l, author of Shaar Ephraim, (1616- 5438 / 1678). Father-in-law of the Chacham Tzvi. He served as a rabbinic judge in Vilna at age 20. He fled to Prague due to the Cossacks in 1655, and founded a Yeshiva there, and then returned to Vilna shortly after where he founded another famous Yeshiva.
In 1678, he accepted the position of Chief Rav of Yerushalayim. While in Budapest, his oldest son died suddenly at the age of only 30. Then, while sitting shiva, his only other son, Rav Yehuda Leib, fell ill and lay in critical condition. Rav Ephraim davened that Heaven take him rather than his son. Immediately, he fell ill, and his son’s health improved. He instructed his son to publish his sefer, then he passed away.
HaRav Avraham Yitzchaki, zt”l, (5489 / 1729), of Yerushalayim, author of Zerah Avraham.
HaRav Shraga Yair Rabinowitz of Biala’varzig, zt”l, (5672 / 1912), author of Aron Eidut.
Rav Shraga Yair was born in 5600/1840, was the son of Harav Nosson Dovid of Shidlovtza, who was the son of Harav Yerachmiel of Peshischa. From his earliest years he was special qualities; when he later became Rebbe, no one was surprised.
Reb Shraga Yair married the daughter of Harav Yekusiel Shmelke, the son of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov.
Following the petirah of his father on 7 Cheshvan 5626 / 1865, Reb Shraga Yair was appointed Rebbe first in Shidlovtza and later in Biala’varzig.
After a fire broke out in Biala’varzig and destroyed most of the city, Reb Shraga Yair moved to Radom and from there back to Shidlovtza, where he was niftar on 13 Sivan 5672 / 1912 at the age of 72.
He was succeeded by his only son, Harav Nosson Dovid.
His daughter married Harav Chaim Elazar Schapira of Munkacs, but they were divorced because they did not have children; she remarried Harav Chaim Hager of Antiniya. Reb Shraga Yair had another son-in-law, his nephew, Harav Yosef Eliezer of Radom.
Reb Shraga Yair’s divrei Torah were published under the name Aron Eidut.
HaRav Yaakov Meir Biderman, zt”l, (5630 / 1869 - 5701 / 1941),
Harav Yaakov Meir Biderman was born on Rosh Hashanah 5630/1869. His father was Harav Nosson Shlomo Betzalel, Rav of Loivitch. He was a descendant of many leading Gedolim, among them the Shach and the Pnei Yehoshua.
As a young child he was known for his outstanding learning capabilities and diligence. He was chosen by the Sfat Emet as a chassan for his oldest daughter. After the shidduch, the Sfat Emet remarked that usually with a shidduch people are particular about three issues: the quality of the bachur, the family, and money. This chassan has the first two qualities, just money he doesn’t have, and on money one can give way…
The wedding was held in Ger, where Reb Yaakov Meir resided near his father-in-law. The Sfat Emet held Reb Yaakov Meir in high esteem, even quoting him several times in his Sfat Emet on Shas. Reb Yaakov Meir nevertheless conducted himself humbly, dedicating himself solely to learning.
During World War I Reb Yaakov Meir moved to Warsaw and remained there even after the war ended.
After the petirah of his father, the kehillah of Loivitch asked Reb Yaakov Meir to replace him as Rav but he refused.
In Warsaw, Reb Yaakov Meir arranged the Sfat Emet al HaShas for publication, adding his own notes.
Only later in his life, in 5695/1935, at the age of 65, was Reb Yaakov Meir willing to assume the position of Rav in Warsaw.
Reb Yaakov Meir was niftar in the Warsaw Ghetto.on 13 Sivan 5701/1941 at the age of 71, and he was buried in that city. His sons Harav Yitzchak David and Harav Yehudah Aryeh were appointed Rabbanim in Warsaw after his petirah.
His other son was Harav Avraham Mordechai.
Reb Yaakov Meir’s daughter, Rebbetzin Feiga Mintcha, married her uncle the Imrei Emet, in his zivug sheini. Their son was the Pnei Menachem.
His other daughters were Chayah Sarah, the first Rebbetzin of the Beit Yisrael; Mindel, the first wife of Harav Pinchas Yaakov Levin; Hadassah Brachah, the wife of Harav Yehudah Rottenberg; and another daughter, who was killed in childhood.
Reb Yaakov Meir’s Rebbetzin, Esther, was killed al Kiddush Hashem on Rosh Hashanah 5703/1942, as were many other family members. Hashem yinkom damam.
Of all his descendants, only one daughter, Rebbetzin Feiga Mintche, and her son, the Pnei Menachem, survived.
Many of Reb Yaakov Meir’s chiddushim were published under the name Maor Yaakov, by his grandson the Pnei Menachem.
HaRav Yitzchak Eizek Weiss of Spinka, the Chakal Yitzchak, Hy”d (1875 - 5704 / 1944). Born to Rav Yosef Meir, the Imrei Yosef, who was the founder of the Spinka court and a talmid of Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Zidichoiv. Rav Eizik’l succeeded his father as Rebbe when Rav Yosef Meir passed away, in 1909. He was also Rosh Yeshiva Of Yeshivat Beit Yosef (named after his father). Rav Yitzchak Eizik was the leader of thousands of Spinka chassidim throughout Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania. He authored Chakal Yitzchak. He, along with most of his followers, perished in the Holocaust, and the dynasty was rebuilt by his grandson, Rav Yaakov Yosef.
HaRav Mordechai Yona, zt”l, (1981). Author of a commentary on the Sefer HaMitzvot of the Rambam.
HaRav Yaakov Mutzafi, zt”l, Rav of the Sefardic Eida Chareidit in Yerushalayim (1900 - 5743 / 1983). The son of Rav Ezra and Mazal Mutzafi, Rav Yaakov was born in Baghdad into a distinguished rabbinical family. He acquired most of his Torah knowledge from his grandfather, Rav Moshe. He also learned in the Beit Zilka Beit Medrash, where his chavrusa was Rav Salman Chuji Abudi, who later became an important dayan. Rav Yaakov married the daughter of Chacham Sasson Dangur, who appointed him rosh yeshiva of Dorshei Torah. After World War II, Rav Yaakov moved to Eretz Yisrael and served as the chazan and maggid shiur in the Shemesh Tzadka shul for thirty years.
HaRav Rafael Yonah Tikotzinsky, zt”l, (5749 / 1989), Rosh Yeshivah in Yerucham.
HaRav Eliyahu ben Harush, author of Kos Eliyahu.
RETURN TO TOP
14 Sivan 5001 - 1241:
The first pogrom in Frankfurt on the Main took place, when an incited mob destroyed the Jewish Quarter and massacred most of its Jews, Hy"d. See 13 Sivan.
14 Sivan 5270 - 1510:
Germany's emperor Maximilian rescinded an order to burn all the seforim found in Cologne and Frankfurt.
In 1509, Emperor Maximilian of Germany ordered that all Jewish books in the cities of Cologne and Frankfurt am Main be destroyed. This followed the request of Pfefferkorn, a meshumad, baptized Jew, who claimed that Jewish literature was insulting to Christianity. The Jews appealed to the Emperor to reconsider this edict, and Maximilian agreed to investigate the matter. He appointed Johann Reuchlin, a famed German scholar, to conduct the investigation. The report issued by Reuchlin was very positive. He demonstrated that the books openly insulting to Christianity were very few and viewed as worthless by most Jews themselves. The other books were needed for Jewish worship, and contained much value in the areas of theology and science.
The Emperor rescinded his edict on the 14th of Sivan, 1510.
14 Sivan 5348 - 1588:
24 Jews were burned at the stake al kiddush Hashem at an auto-da-fe in Barcelona, Hy"d.
14 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Chaim David Amar, zt”l, a disciple of Rav Chaim ben Atar, the Ohr HaChaim. Author of Tefilah L’david on the Meah Berachot. (17??).
HaRav Uren of Pintchov, zt”l, who was hung al kiddush Hashem in Brodi. Hy”d. (5510 / 1750).
HaRav Leib, zt”l, brother of the Vilna Gaon, (5568 / 1808).
HaRav Chaim (of) Volozhin, zt”l, (Belarus), (1749 - 5581 / 1821), author of Nefesh Hachaim and founding Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin Yeshiva.
Harav Chaim of Volozhin (Belarus) was born on 8 Sivan 5509 / 1749, to Harav Yitzchak, a wealthy and pious Jew, and Rebbetzin Miriam, the daughter of Harav Yisrael Rappaport, Rav of Peisk. (According to another opinion, he was born on 7 Sivan of that year.)
The brilliance of the young Chaim was apparent from his earliest childhood. In his youth he studied under the Shaagat Aryeh, who was then Rav of Volozhin. Later, when the Shaagat Aryeh left the city, he learned under Harav Refael Hamburger, who later became Rav of Hamburg and wrote Veshav Hakohen and other sefarim. His diligence and erudition were striking; by the age of twenty-two he had completed the study of Shas with all its commentaries.
Rav Chaim was the most prominent student of the Vilna Gaon, who greatly influenced his way of thinking and approach to Torah study.
In 5550 / 1790 he became Rav of Wilkomir, but refused to take a salary; instead he opened a factory that produced wool, thereby serving as Rav “shelo al menas lekabel pras.” Many merchants were displeased with the new Rav, especially those who dealt in wool, and eventually this drove him out of the city.
Once, during Shabbat davening, a vicious person inquired of him when the molad would be. The Rav replied that he did not know, adding that it could be checked in the luach. This reply “invoked” a storm, with some arrogant townspeople claiming, “What kind of Rav doesn’t know the time of the molad?” And so Rav Chaim returned to Volozhin where he served as a dayan, also without pay.
Eventually, in 5563 / 1803, due to declining Torah study amongst the youth and the growing influence of the maskilim, Rav Chaim founded Yeshivat Eitz Chaim, the Volozhin yeshiva, which was Judaism's main Talmudic study center throughout the 19th century, with tens of thousands of students passing through its doors. The yeshivah became the prototype and mother of all yeshivot in Eastern Europe that were established during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Volozhin yeshiva remains the classic model of Lithuanian yeshivas today.
The day the cornerstone was laid for Yeshivat Volozhin, Rav Chaim fasted. He cried so profusely for the future of the yeshivah that, as his son Rav Yitzchak of Volozhin put it, “the hole for the even hapinah was ‘dug’ with Rav Chaim’s tears.”
Indeed, the yeshivah suffered much persecution due to its refusal to offer secular studies. The yeshivah was eventually closed down by the Russian authorities in 5652 / 1892, but by then dozens of yeshivot that followed Volozhin’s derech had sprouted.
Reb Chaim set high standards for admission to his yeshivah, insisting on extreme diligence. His talmidim numbered in the hundreds.
The yeshivah’s ultimate accomplishment was the defiance of the various enlightenment movements that were threatening kedushat Klal Yisrael. With Reb Chaim at the helm, Yeshivat Volozhin restored a measure of pure, Torah-minded guidance and leadership to Klal Yisrael.
Rav Chaim's most famous work was Nefesh HaChaim, a kabbalistic work which emphasizes the importance of Torah study and mitzvah observance for coming close to Hashem. He also authored Ruach Chaim on Pirkei Avot and Nishmat Chaim, a collection of responsa.
His most important responsa are found in Chut Hameshulash and in Kedushat Yom Tov.
He was niftar on 14 Sivan 5581 / 1821 at the age of 72. His son Reb “Itzele” Volozhiner, replaced him as head of the yeshivah in Volozhin. Succeeding Reb Itzele, after his petirah, were his two sons-in-law, Harav Eliezer Isaac Fried and Harav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv.
HaRav Nissim Yitzcak Ardit, zt”l, (5584 / 1824). One of the great Torah scholars of Izmir, Turkey, author of Ner Yitzchak.
HaRav Naftali Hertz of Yafo, zt”l, (5662 / 1902).
HaRav Shmuel Abba Twersky, the Makarov-Winnipeg Rebbe, zt”l, (5707 / 1947).
HaRav Chaim Bick, zt”l, (5724 / 1964).
Harav Chaim Bick was born in Krosilov, Ukraine, on Rosh Chodesh Shvat 5648 / 1888 after the passing of his father (whom he is named after). His young years were very difficult, as he was raised as an orphan of his father since birth. When he reached the age of bar mitzvah, he no longer had any living grandparents. Shortly thereafter, his mother became ill and later on, yet before his marriage, she passed away. All these obstacles did not hinder his Torah growth. When he was just 15 years old, he wrote chiddushim onShulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah.
In 1910, Reb Chaim married his wife, Miriam, daughter of Reb Meshulem Noson Horowitz of Mezhibuzh. A year later, he was hired to be the Rav in Mezhibuzh, where his father had been Rav. Very shortly thereafter, Reb Chaim was already known as one of the prominent Rabbanim of the time, and was in demand throughout the Ukraine to conduct dinei Torah. The harshness of the Communist regime and the consequent increased dangers it posed compelled him to leave the Ukraine in 1925 and emigrate to the U.S. The entire community turned out to bid him farewell and escort him on his way.
Rav Bick settled in New York City, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There, he served as the Rav of the three Mezhibuzher Shuls — Cong. Anshai Mezhibuzh (48 Orchard St.); Mezhibuzher Shul (79 Ridge St.); and Chevrah Ohev Yisroel Anshai Mezhibuzh (91 Attorney St.).
In 1935, Reb Chaim moved to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where his followers founded Cong. Ahavat Achim at 20th Avenue and 73d Street. Rabbanim and community leaders often approached him with she’eilot and for his advice on various issues. In addition, the Beit Yaakov and mikveh boards chose him as their Rabbi.
Rav Bick was one of the major Poskim of the time. As the Klausenburger Rebbe, Harav Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam, zy”a, said, “Two Rabbanim in America have the exact answer to all complex halachic she’eilot: Harav Moshe Feinstein and Harav Chaim Bick.
Reb Chaim was a very active member in the Agudat Harabanim as well as a leader and Presidium member of the Vaad Harabanim of New York.
Rav Bick was niftar on 14 Sivan 5724 / 1964. He was laid to rest at Beth David Cemetery in Long Island.
HaRav Moshe Horowitz, zt”l, the Bostoner Rebbe of New York, (5745 / 1985).
HaRav Nissim Yagen, zt”l, (1941 - 5759 / 1999). Born on 12 Cheshvan 5702/1941, in Yerushalayim to Chacham Yaakov, a talmid of Harav Yosef Arab, and later of the mekubal Harav Mordechai Sharabi, joining his beit medrash for 20 years. Rav Nissim was the oldest son in a family of 14 children.
As a youngster, Rav Nissim learned in Talmud Torah Magen David. Later he learned in Yeshivat Marom Shir, where he became close to the Amshinover Rebbe, who suggested that he travel to learn in the yeshivah in Lakewood, under Harav Aharon Kotler. When he was 20, he went to Lakewood to learn with Rav Aharon Kotler and Rav Shneur Kotler for 4 years. He married a year later on his return to Eretz Yisrael.
When he was still a young avreich, Harav Nissim learned in the Kollel Dayanut of Harav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, and he also attended the sichot of Harav Chaim Shmuelevitz on a steady basis, in Yeshivat Mir.
Every Shabbat night, in his home, Harav Nissim would deliver talks to bachurim from the Chevron yeshivah on parashat hashavua and other topics.
His first appointment was as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Ohel Moed. His first step in reaching out to the secular community was to organize a religious community in Givat Ada near Haifa on behalf of Yeshivat Ohr Somayach. He became the Rav of the community which numbered 100 families. He then founded a large Torah community in the city of Zichron Yaakov, which included a few hundred families.
When he returned to Yerushalayim a few years later, he was appointed the mashgiach in Yeshivat Or Baruch in Bayit Vegan. It was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War that Rav Nissim resolved to dedicate his life to helping Jews return to Judaism;
In 5737/1977, Rav Nissim founded the Kehillat Yaakov kollel on Yosef ben Mattisyahu Street in Yerushalayim, for baalei teshuvah which he continued to run until the end of his life. He later invited avreichim who were not baalei teshuvah to join the kollel. Avreichim would arrive in the yeshivah for Shacharit and eat their morning meal in the kollel in order to quickly return to their learning. Harav Yagen would, in turn, offer them an additional stipend for their willingness to begin studies so early in the morning.
Rav Nissim was thus one of the significant figures of the teshuvah movement in Eretz Yisrael and worldwide. For 10 years, he occupied a senior position in the Arachim movement, and conducted seminars all over the world. He also produced 300 cassettes on parashat hashavua and other Torah topics.
A few years before his petirah, he fell ill with a devastating disease. For many months, prayers were recited for his recovery. During that period Rav Nissim often went to medical centers in Eretz Yisrael and abroad for treatments. He spent the last month of his life in Hadassah Hospital in Yerushalayim.
Rav Nissim was niftar on Shabbat Parashat Behaalos’cha, 14 Sivan, 5760/2000, at the age of 58.
He was buried in the Sephardic chelkah on Har Hamenuchot.
HaRav Elazar Menachem Mendel Biderman, the Lelover Rebbe, zt”l, (2001).
HaRav Yosef Cohen Yehonatan, zt”l, author of Lesaper B’Tzion.
HaRav Avraham Rappaport, zt”l, head of the Kollel Ateret Yosef in Tel Aviv. (yr?)
RETURN TO TOP
Birth in Charan (2195 - 1566 B.C.E.) and Yahrtzeit, (2314 - 1447 B.C.E.) of Yehuda / Judah, the fourth son of
Yaakov Avinu / Jacob and Leah. At the end of Yaakov's life, Yehuda was given the bracha / blessing of Malchut / kingship, and indeed King David, King Solomon, and the future Mashiach all descend from shevet / the tribe of Yehuda.
This date is a Yom Tov cited in Megillat Taanit, because the residents of Beit Shaan and Bikasa, who aided the enemies of Klal Yisroel, the Yevanim, were exiled from their homes by the Chasmonaim.
15 Sivan 4859 - 1099:
The Crusaders laid siege to Yerushalayim. As they conquered the city, the Crusaders massacred almost the entire population of Yerushalayim. The reign of the Christians lasted until 4947/1187. When it ended, it prompted additional Crusades.
15 Sivan 5424 - June 8, 1664:
· The King of Poland denied the Jews of Vilna the right to deal in non-Jewish books.
15 Sivan 5609 - June 5, 1849:
In Denmark, article 84 of the new constitution negated discrimination of "any
person on the basis of religious grounds."
15 Sivan 5687- June 15, 1927:
The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), zy"a. was arrested by agents of the Soviet Secret Police
for disseminating Jewish learning and encouraging observance throughout the Soviet Empire.
He was held and tortured in prison and then sent to Kastroma, a prison camp, until his ultimate release on 12 Tammuz.
His release was achieved by the intense hishtadlut of chassidim. Two years later, the Rebbe fled Russia and traveled to America. When WWII broke out, he was in Warsaw. He was saved and returned to America, where he rebuilt Lubavitcher Chassidut.
15 Sivan 5742 - June 6, 1982:
Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon to destroy PLO bases. Named "Operation Peace for Galilee," its aim was to drive out the terrorists.
In 5743/1983, Lebanon's President, Amin Gemayel, signed a peace treaty with Israel. A year later, Syria forced Gemayel to renege on the agreement. The war continued as the IDF captured Beirut and surrounded Yasser Arafat, ym"s, and his co-terrorists. The war ended in 5745/1985 when Israel was forced to withdraw. A total of 1,216 Jewish lives were lost. Hy"d.
15 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Yehudah, son of Yaakov Avinu, z”l. (2314 / 1447, B.C.E.), His birthday is on this date as well. He was born in 2195/1566 B.C.E. see above.
HaRav Yitzchak of Posen, zt"l, the rebbe of the Magen Avraham and the author of Sheilot U'Teshuvot Be’er Yitzchak (5445 / 1685) (others 5449 / 1689).
Harav Yitzchak was the son of Harav Avraham and the son-in-law of the Rosh Yosef.
A talmid of Rav Yonah Teumim (the Kikayon D’Yonah), Rav Yitzchak served as Rav in Loitsk, then succeeded Rav Moshe (the Chelkat Mechokek) as Rav of Vilna, before moving to Posen there replacing Rav Sheftel Horowitz, the son of the Shelah Hakadosh.
In Posen, Harav Yitzchak founded his yeshivah and answered the many she’eilot he was sent; these were later published as Sheilot U’Teshuvot Be’er Yitzchak. In his time, he was seen as the posek hador. Despite being held in such high esteem by all of the Gedolei Hador, Harav Yitzchak wrote his teshuvot and would pasken very humbly.
His yeshivah attracted hundreds of bachurim. The most famous among them was Harav Avraham Abali, the Magen Avraham, who quotes Harav Yitzchak numerous times in his work on Shulchan Aruch.
Harav Yitzchak served as the head of the Vaad Arba Aratzot. In 5443/1683, he agreed to the printing of Maginei Zahav, which answered the questions of the Nekudot Hakesef on the Turei Zahav.
Harav Yitzchak was niftar on 15 Sivan 5449/1689. His son was Harav Yaakov of Posen, a talmid chacham and a parnas. Harav Yitzchak’s son-in-law was Harav Fishel of Ladmor.
HaRav Shmuel Sofer of Frankfurt, zt”l, (5539/1779), the father of the Chasam Sofer. Harav Shmuel Sofer was the son of Harav Moshe, who was a descendant of Harav Shimon of Frankfurt, author of Yalkut Shimoni. The mother of Reb Shmuel was the daughter of Harav Shmuel Shattin, the Maharsheshach. Rav Shmuel was named after this grandfather.
Reb Shmuel, an outstanding talmid chacham and lamdan, was also renowned for his tzidkut.
He married the daughter of Harav Elchanan of Frankfurt, who wrote a commentary on the siddur based on Kabbalah. The Rebbetzin was known as Reizel Tzaddeket. They were zocheh to a son whose Torah would enlighten the entire world: Harav Moshe, the Chasam Sofer.
Harav Shmuel was niftar on 15 Sivan 5539/1779.
HaRav Yedidiya Rafael Chai Abulafia, zt"l, (1807 - 5629 / 1869). Kabbalist of Yerushalayim, head of the Kabbalists of Beit El. Of all his many manuscripts only a small sefer was printed, Tzedek VeShalom.
HaRav Shalom Shekalo, zt"l, Tzadik of the Syrian community of Aram Tzova. (5679 / 1919).
HaRav David Dov Meisles of Uhel, the Binyan David, Hy”d (5704 / 1944).
Harav Dovid Dov was born in 5635 / 1875 in the town of Lask, near Lodz, Poland. His father was Harav Mordechai Zev, the son of Harav Dovid Dov, Rav of Lask.
The young Dovid Dov, named after his illustrious grandfather, was endowed with unique talents and a sharp mind. As a young bachur, he became known for his intense hasmadah as well as for his Torah knowledge, and at the relatively young age of 17 he was already engaging seasoned talmidei chachamim in intricate Torah discussions.
When Rav Dovid Dov’s father, Rav Mordechai, moved to Tarna in Galicia, he went to take leave of his Rebbe, the Sfat Emet, who told him to take special care of his son because he saw in him a budding Gadol.
Rav Dovid Dov received semichah from Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, the Kedushat Yom Tov of Sighet, and from the Darchei Teshuvah of Munkacs.
He married the daughter of Harav Moshe Yosef Teitelbaum, the son of Harav Yekusiel Yehudah, the Yetev Lev of Satmar.
In 5658 / 1898 he was appointed a Dayan in Uhel (Satoraljaujhely, on the northern Hungarian-southern Slovakian border), where his father-in-law served as Rav. There, he founded a yeshivah.
After his father-in-law’s petirah he became Rav of the city. He used his speaking talents to inspire his fellow Yidden.
In the spring of 5704 / 1944 the entire kehillah was forced into a ghetto. Harav Dovid Dov kept his regular learning schedule even during those trying times.
Subsequently, the ghetto was evacuated and the Yidden were sent to Auschwitz. The Rav, Rebbetzin, and many of his offspring were killed al kiddush Hashem on 15 Sivan 5704 / 1944. Hashem yinkom damam.
He was survived by four sons — the Ujvarer Rav, the Sorvusher Rav, the Vietzener Rav and the Uheler Rav. After the war they all immigrated to America, where they served as Rabbanim and had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who follow in their ways.
His chiddushim were published in Binyan Dovid on Sefer Bereishit (5692 / 1932) and She’eilot U’teshuvot Binyan Dovid (5702 / 1942).
RETURN TO TOP
16 Sivan - June 1348:
The Black Plague massacres began in Barcelona and Cervera, Spain.
16 Sivan 5270 - 1510:
Jewish Books in Germany were saved from destruction.
16 Sivan 5439 - May 27, 1679:
The Pope suspends the Portuguese Inquisition due to its severe treatment of Marranos.
16 Sivan 5476 - June 6, 1716:
The ship Restoration arrived in Massachusetts from London, with several Jewish merchants aboard, thus creating the core of the first substantial Jewish settlement in New England. A century earlier, the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay were determined to exclude alien elements from their community, and they hanged four Quakers to prove it. New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant cleansed his colony of Lutherans and Quakers, and tried to do the same to Jews. Such episodes were largely confined, however, to the 17th century, and by the time of the Revolutionary War, many Jews had settled in Massachusetts. It would not be until 1840, however, that the first synagogue was established in Boston.
16 Sivan 5700 - June 6, 1940:
French Marshall Petain surrenders to the Germans and leaves England to fight
16 Sivan 5701 - June 11, 1941:
Vichy-French planes bombed Tel Aviv, killing 21 Jews, Hy”d.
16 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Nissim Tribelsi, zt”l, (5496 / 1736). of Djerba,Tunisia, author of Em HaBanim Semeicha. (Not to be confused with Eim HaBanim Semeicha by Rav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt"l).
HaRav Mordechai Menachem Kalish, zt”l, of Vorka (5579 / 1819 - 5628 / 1868), a talmid of the Kotzker Rebbe. He passed away at a young age.
Harav Mendel of Vorka (Warka, Poland) was born in 5579 / 1819 in the town of Zurik. His father was Harav Yitzchak, “the Alter Rebbe” of Vorka. As an infant, Rav Yitzchak would rock him to sleep and declare, “I am rocking the Rambam!”
He later married the daughter of a prominent gvir. She would sell tobacco to support him, while he remained totally dedicated to avodat Hashem. His hishtadlut was helping her on market day.
The petirah of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka on acharon shel Pesach 5608 / 1848 left the Chassidim of Vorka bereft. The vast majority of Vorka Chassidim begged Reb Mendel to lead them.
Reb Mendel initially refused, but at the behest of the Kotzker Rebbe, Harav Menachem Mendel, with whom he was very close, he accepted the mantle of leadership.
The Rebbe spoke very little, and was commonly referred to as “Der shtiller Rebbe — the quiet Rebbe.” The Rebbe’s words were like priceless gems, and each of them was analyzed and interpreted to fathom its true meaning.
During Pesach of 5628 / 1868, the Rebbe was stricken with a serious illness. After Shavuot, the Rebbe was taken to Warsaw for treatment where he was niftar on Shabbat, 16 Sivan. His neshamah ascended to the Heavens as the baal korei read “Vayehi binsoa ha’aron.” He is buried in the Warsaw cemetery in the Vorka ohel.
His divrei Torah were collected from various sources and published in Beit Yitzchak, together with divrei Torah of his father and brother.
HaRav Shalom Eliezer Halberstam of Ratzfort, Hy”d, (5622 / 1862 - 5704 / 1944).
Harav Shalom Eliezer was born on Chol Hamoed Pesach 5622/1862. His father was Harav Chaim, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. His mother, Rebbetzin Rechel, was the daughter of Harav Yechiel Tzvi Ungar of Tarnow. He was named after Harav Shalom of Kaminka, zt”l, and after Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, zt”l.
Reb Shalom Eliezer, a kadosh v’tahor from birth, was the second-youngest.
He married Rebbetzin Sarah Miriam, daughter of his brother-in-law, Harav Mordechai Dov Twerski of Hornosteipel. After his marriage he moved to Hornosteipel, in the Ukraine, where he lived for approximately 10 years.
In about 5647/1887, since he was not a Russian citizen, Reb Shalom Eliezer was forced by the authorities to leave the country. He moved back to Galicia and settled in Tarnow, where he began leading Chassidim. In 5660/1900 he moved to Ratzfert, Hungary, where he established a large following.
Reb Shalom Eliezer was known for his exemplary character and his drive to help Yidden in distress.
Many of Reb Shalom Eliezer’s sons-in-law were great Rebbes, including the Atzei Chaim of Sighet, zt”l, the Ohr Malei of Kosson,zt”l, and Harav Benzion of Bobov, the Kedushat Tzion, zt”l.
In 5704/1944, when the German occupation of Hungary was in full swing and it was apparent that they would liquidate the kehillah of Ratzfert, Reb Shalom Eliezer revealed to his sons that his father, the Divrei Chaim, zt”l, had come to him in a dream. He had given him the option to be saved and live or to die al kiddush Hashem. He had chosen the second option!
Reb Shalom Eliezer was sent to various concentration camps. He was burned al kiddush Hashem, cloaked in holiness. Hy”d.
HaRav Yosef Kanowitz, zt"l, (5704 / 1944), son-in-law of the Ridbaz and author of She’eilot U’teshuvot Divrei Yosef. He was niftar in America, where he lived in his later years, and reburied in Eretz Yisrael in 5706 / 1946.
HaRav Shalom ben Yosef Areyeh Leib, zt”l, served as the Admor of Satmar, and was killed in the Holocaust in 1944.
HaRav Yaakov Hadad, zt”l, (1949). One of the great Torah scholars and Kabbalists of Djerba, author of Guelei Chai.
HaRav Sassoon Levy, zt”l, (1992). One of the great Torah scholars and Kabbalists of Yerushalayim.
HaRav Ephraim Eisenberg, zt"l, (5762/2002), R”M Yeshivat Ner Yisrael of Baltimore, son-in-law of Harav Mordechai Gifter.
HaRav Gedalya Nadel, zt”l, son of Rav Reuven Heschel Nadel, born in the Lithuanian city of Shavel (1923-2004). When he was thirteen, his parents moved to Eretz Yisrael, and made their home in Balfouria, a small settlement in the Valley of Jezreel. He became the Chazon Ish’s closest talmid. Though he never gained the prominence that some of the Chazon Ish’s other confidantes assumed with the passing of the Chazon Ish in 1953, R’ Nadel became the head of the Vizhnitz yeshiva. Rav Chaim Kanievsky was Rav Gedalya’s chavrusa. At the advice of the Chazon Ish, when Rav Gedalya was still young, he began to study in the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah. He married the daughter of Rav Eliyahu Weiner, a student of the Chofetz Chaim.
Today marks the begining of the summer season according to Rab' Meir (Bava Metzia 106:2)
17 Sivan 1655 - 2105 B.C.E.:
According to Rab' Eliezer (Rosh Hashana 11), Noach's Teiva / Ark rested on the (still submerged) summit of the Harei (Mountains) of Ararat after the Mabul.
"And the ark [of Noach] came to rest in the seventh month, on the 17th
day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat" (Bereishit 8:4).
Though the torrential rains only lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, it would be several months
before the waters subsided enough for Noah's Teiva to come to rest, and another several months
before the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak - a sign that it was safe to exit the Teiva.
As symbolized by the rainbow, Hashem promised never to flood the Earth again.
17 Sivan - circa 140 B.C.E.:
The residents of Beit Achidat Migdal Tzur, who aided the enemies of Klal Yisrael - the Yevanim - were expelled from their city by the Chashmonaim on this date. The event is mentioned as a "Yom Tov" in Megilat Taanit.
17 Sivan - 65 C.E.:
Jewish insurgent forces captured the fortress of Antonia in Yerushalayim. This battle marked the outbreak of the Jewish revolt against Rome.
17 Sivan - 1286:
Rabbi Meir of Rottenburg (Maharam), was imprisoned. (See 19 iyar).
17 Sivan - 1291:
The city of Acco was captured by Muslims, bringing to an end the Christian Crusader Kingdom and their domination of Eretz Yisrael. (Some have this date as 11 Sivan).
17 Sivan 5425 - May 31, 1665:
Under the coaching of Nathan of Gaza, Shabtai Tzvi proclaimed himself the Messiah.
17 Sivan 5613 - June 23, 1853:
Edgardo Mortaro is kidnapped by Papal authorities to be raised as a Catholic because the family’s Christian maid had secretly baptized him. Tragically, he eventually became a Catholic priest. He died in 1940 in Paris, after spending years in a monastery. Elena Mortara, a great-great-grand-niece of his, continues to campaign for an apology from the Vatican against the canonization of Pius IX who gave the orders to kidnap Mortaro.
17 Sivan 5682 - June 13, 1922:
At a commencement exercise, the then president of Harvard University, A.L.
Lowell, proposed quotas to limit Jewish college acceptance. Even though he was
eventually forced to rescind his anti-Semitic comments, his ideas took hold
in academia, and affected the welfare of Jews in universities for decades.
17 Sivan 5699 - June 4, 1939:
The German ocean liner St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees, was turned away from the Florida coast by U. S. officials.
17 Sivan 5702 - June 2, 1942:
The German military commander of occupied France ordered all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David with the inscription “Juif”.
17 Sivan 5703 - June 20, 1943:
Himmler ordered the destruction of all Russian ghettos.
17 Sivan 5724 - May 28, 1964:
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) established in East Yerushalayim, three years before the Six-Day War, through which Israel acquired the disputed territories.
17 Sivan 5727 - June 25, 1967:
Spain passed a law granting Jews and Protestants the right of public worship, including permission to mark their places of worship and advertise their religious services. This was the first such law since Ferdinand and Isabella proclaimed Catholicism as Spain’s only religion in 1942. It had been officially forbidden to practice Judaism in Spain -- though this law had not been enforced for many years before its official abolishment. In 2006, for the first time, a poll showed that the majority of Spanish citizens do not consider themselves believers in Christianity.
17 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Aharon of Karlin, zt”l, the Beit Aharon (5562 / 1802 - 5632 / 1872). Harav Aharon of Karlin was born on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5562 / 1802.The son of Reb Asher of Stolin. He was named for his illustrious grandfather, Reb Aharon of Karlin, the first Karliner Rebbe, and thus he is also known as Reb Aharon the Second Perlov of Karlin.
His father, Harav Asher of Stolin, taught him Torah and helped him develop into an exceptional talmid chacham.
One night, when Reb Aharon was still a small boy, he went to wish his father good night. Reb Asher walked his son back to bed and said, “Fortunate is the father who has such a son, and fortunate is the generation that has such a leader.” Reb Asher used to say that in Torah, mitzvot and maasim tovim, Reb Aharon was a great Gadol, and in understanding and wisdom there was no one like him. As for tzidkut— he knew Reb Aharon was a tzaddik.
Harav Moshe of Kobrin said, “I can attest that Reb Aharon goes to sleep with the passuk ‘b’chol levavcha uv’chol nafshecha uv’chol me’odecha’; he wakes up with it; and he walks around with it all day long.”
Reb Aharon davened with great intensity, in the tradition of Karlin. Once, when he visited his son-in-law Harav Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura (the son of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin), Reb Avraham Yaakov honored him with davening Mussaf before the amud and told his Chassidim, “Listen well. You won’t hear this kind of davening again until Moshiach comes.”
Reb Aharon married the daughter of Harav Mordechai of Kremenitz, who was the son of the Zlochover Maggid.
He was also known as the Mlynover Rebbe and the Freilicher Rebbe (the latter a term describing his disposition).
When Reb Aharon was 25 years old, in 5587/1827, his father was niftar and he was appointed to succeed him as Rebbe. Later in his life, he was forced to move to Stolin, several miles away from Karlin, and the dynasty has been known as Karlin-Stolin since then.
He led the Chassidim for 45 years until his petirah on Sunday, 17 Sivan 5632/1872. He was buried in Malinov. He lived exactly 70 years and 17 days (the gematria of the word tov). His son-in-law Reb Avraham Yaakov said, “Hakadosh Baruch Hu gives tzaddikim complete years, but my holy father-in-law lived another tov days beyond his 70 full years, and in those tov days he davened many more tefillot tovot.”
His divrei Torah are found in the sefer Beit Aharon.
HaRav Meir Yonah Shatz, zt"l,(5651 / 1891), author of the Mefaresh on Sefer Ha’Itur.
HaRav Tzvi Hirsh Broide, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivat Kelm, (5673 / 1913). His wife was Rebbetzin Nechamah Leba Broide, the daughter of the Alter of Kelm. He became very close to his talmid Yechezkel Levenstein, the future mashgiach of Mir and Ponevez.
HaRav Moshe Vorhand of Makava, zt”l, (or Makó) (Hungary), the Ohel Moshe (5262 / 1862 (others 1862) - 5704 / 1944). Harav Moshe Vorhand was born in Av 5620/1860. His parents were Harav Yosef Tzvi and Rebbetzin Chaya Sara, daughter of Reb Moshe Ehrenfeld. Rav Vorhand later credited his greatness in Torah to his parents’ example and dedication to his learning.
In his youth, Reb Moshe studied in Mattersdorf under Harav Shmuel Ehrenfeld, the Chasan Sofer, who prized his student for his yirat Shamayim and refined character.
As a talmid, Reb Moshe conducted himself with extreme diligence and austerity, eschewing basic necessities in his quest to purify his neshamah. He trained himself not to sleep, often staying up all night to learn.
As a young man, Rav Vorhand was already a sought-after marbitz Torah, and before long he established a large yeshivah in Nitra, which attracted talmidim from all over Hungary. His goals, in addition to teaching Torah and yirat Shamayim, were to inculcate his talmidim with middot tovot and an appreciation for the fire and passion of Chassidut.
Rav Vorhand’s position in Nitra lasted for 25 years, from 5647 / 1887 through 5672 / 1912. At the urging of the community in Makov — a distinguished kehillah in Hungary — Rav Vorhand accepted the Rabbinic mantle and allowed his tenure in Nitra to end.
Rav Vorhand maintained a strong bond with his devoted followers in Nitra, returning to deliver drashot and for other occasions.
The Makover Rav, as he was fondly called, was known for his kind and caring nature, yet he was fiercely protective of halachah and uncompromising in his defense of Torah and mitzvot. He fought to uphold the highest standards of shemirat hamitzvot, particularly in kashrut and tzniut, which were constantly challenged by modern influences.
When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 5704 /t1944, the community appealed to their Rav for guidance. In his answer, vividly recalled by many survivors, he bewailed his inability to intercede for all Hungarian Jewry. But he reassured his flock that the Makov kehillah would survive.
This is precisely what happened, as the train carrying the Makov deportees to the extermination camp was diverted from its course time and again. Of all the large kehillot in Hungary, the one with the greatest proportion of survivors was Makov.
During the Nazi occupation, Rav Vorhand was arrested on false charges and was treated very harshly in prison. His kehillah davened and fasted for his well-being, and shortly afterwards he was released. His health had suffered severely, however, and he was persuaded, with great difficulty, to travel to Budapest for treatment.
On 17 Sivan 5704 / 1944, Reb Moshe was niftar in Budapest. In his tzavaah he requested he be buried in Makov, to allow his kehillah to mourn him properly. He also wrote in his tzavaah that he will definitely help whoever will cry “with intense tears” at his kever. Many travel to his kever to this day. His chiddushim are published in Ohel Moshe, which was reprinted in New York.
His descendants include Zeev Vorhand, the “Prague Rabbi” from Manhattan, and the Lemberger boys, Simon, Mendel, Ephraim, Avram, Shlomo and Asher, all rabbis like their father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.
HaRav Moshe Leib Shapiro, zt'l, (1972), author of Tabaat HaChoshen.
HaRav Avrohom Yehoshua Greenbaum, Hy"d, (1930-2001). Born in the Polish city of Tomoshov, on the Russian- Polish border, he became the head of the Beit Mordechai kollel in Bnei Brak. He was shot to death on his way to a synagogue in a Jewish neighborhood in Zurich.
RETURN TO TOP
18 Sivan 5595 - June 15, 1835:
· The corpse of Reb Leizer Protogin was found hanging from a beam in the Tailors’ Shul in Slavita. Although it was clear that he had committed suicide, his death would be used by a priest named Benderovski in the nearby town of Zaslow as an opportunity to accuse the Jews of Salvita with murder. His report to Czar Alexander I, led to the closing of the famous Slavita printing press and the extensive jailing and torture of the Shapiro brothers who ran the press.
18 Sivan 5696 - June 4, 1936:
Leon Blum (1872-1950) becomes the first Jew to be elected premier of France.
18 Sivan 5704 - June 9, 1944:
Jewish day schools in America got a major boost when Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz founded Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools. Though Jewish day schools existed at the time (the first full-time day schools were Etz Chaim, founded in 1888, and Rabbi Jacob Joseph School in 1900), the idea was generally rejected by American Jews who saw it as 'parochial' and a step back to the European shtetl. Rabbi Mendlowitz, however, felt that "afternoon Hebrew schools" were failing to transmit Judaism in a compelling manner to students who arrived tired in the afternoons, and who were constantly subjected to assimilationist influences in American culture. He set out to create schools that emphasized Jewish studies, without compromising its secular studies program. In recent decades, enrollment in Jewish day schools has thrived: Of the estimated 850,000 Jewish school-age children in America, about 200,000 are presently enrolled in some 900 Jewish day schools -- more than triple since the 1960s. Many recent studies have shown that giving a child a Jewish day school education is the single greatest hedge against assimilation.
18 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Harav Avraham Hakohain Rappaport, zt”l, (1584 – 5411 / 1651), author of Shailot Uteshuvot Eitan Ha’ezrachi. As a youth, he learned under Rav Meshulam Feivush, the Rav of Cracow. He married the daughter of Reb Mordechai Shrentzel of Lemberg and continued his studies under Rav Yehoshua Falk in that city. He founded a yeshiva in Lvov and taught there for 42 years and provided the support. Although he was very wealthy, he was extremely humble and taught Torah without receiving any payment. He was responsible for raising funds for the poor of Eretz Yisrael and was a member of the “Council of the Four Lands.”
Harav Yissachar Dov Ber, the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz, zt”l, (Radoszyce; Radoshitz), (1765 - 5603 / 1843).
Yissachar Dov Ber of Radoshitz was born in 5525 / 1765. His father, Harav Yitzchak, was renowned for his profound yirat Shamayim (as mentioned on his matzeivah).
Reb Yitzchak, served as a meshamesh to the Maggid of Mezeritch, and it was the Maggid who made Reb Yitzchak’s shidduch with the sister of Harav Zundel, Rav of Radoshitz. The Maggid promised them a son who would enlighten the entire world.
Reb Yitzchak’s brother-in-law, Harav Zundel, used to take young Yissachar Dov to Lizhensk to the Rebbe Reb Elimelech.
At a very young age Yissachar Dov was already known for his prishut and sensitivity to kedushah; at only seven years of age, he would immerse in the mikveh every morning. He did so even in the winter when it was necessary to break through the ice of the frozen river and then immerse in freezing water.
After his marriage, Rav Yissachar Dov settled in Chanshin and served as Rav. Because of the poverty of the community, Reb Yisachar Dov could not support himself there and was forced to try his hand at peddling. However, the attempt caused him great anxiety because he was forced to take away too much time from learning. He moved on to Chmielnik, but the situation there was no better. He moved on to Radoshitz to succeed his recently deceased uncle, Harav Zundel, as Rav.
Under the influence of his uncle, Rav Yissachar Dov had traveled to many of the generation’s leading Rebbes, visiting their courts regularly. These trips were undertaken with mesirut nefesh, leaving his house barren and his shelves empty. Rav Yissachar Dov refused, however, to accept the many offers of support he had received. He traveled to 120 Rebbes and other Torah leaders of his day.
His Rav muvhak was the Chozeh of Lublin. He was also a Chassid of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, Harav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov and the Kozhnitzer Maggid. He was a close talmid of Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa.
It is said that Rav Yissachar Dov once asked the Chozeh of Lublin, “Show me one general path to avodat Hashem.”
The Chozeh replied, “It is impossible to tell people what path they should take. For one way to avodat Hashem is through learning, another is through tefillah, another through fasting, and still another through eating. Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose this path with all his strength.”
In 5575 / 1815, after the petirah of his Rebbes the Chozeh and the Yehudi Hakadosh, Rav Yissachar Dov chose to follow Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, the Ohev Yisrael of Apta.
On Erev Shabbat Parashat Behaalos’cha, 18 Sivan 5603 / 1843, Reb Yissachar Dov was niftar. He was buried in Radoshitz, where his kever was frequented often, especially on the day of his yahrtzeit, until the War. It was known as a place where one could daven for yeshuot.
Many of Reb Yisachar Dov’s divrei Torah are found in the sefarim Niflaot HaSaba Kadisha and Dibrot Chaim.
HaRav Moshe Mordechai Shteger, zt”l, (1843), author of Meged Shamayim, on the Pri Megadim on Yoreh Deah. The sefer was published in 1889.
Harav Yeruchem Levovitz, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivat Mir, one of the largest yeshivot of Eastern Europe, (1874 – 5696 / 1936).
Jews first began to settle in the town of Mir early in the 17th century, but the town itself is mentioned in records for 1345. There were over eight hundred Jews in Mir by 1806. By the end of the 19th century, there were more than 3,000 Jews in Mir (62% of the town population). The Mir Yeshiva was founded in 1815. During WWI the Mir Yeshiva headed by Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, moved to Poltava, in the Ukraine and did not return until 1921. Reb Yeruchem was born around the year 1874 in Luban, Belarus. In his teens, he went to learn in Slobodka, becoming one of the top students of the Alter, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In his early 20s, he attended Kelm, under Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv. After Reb Yerucham’s marriage, he learned in seclusion for eight years, covering the entire Shas. Then he became the mashgiach of the Chofetz Chaim’s yeshiva in Radin. He became mashgiach at Mir in 1910, a position he kept for 26 years. Among his talmidim were Rav Shimon Schwab and Rav Dovid Povarsky, who later became Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh. His shmuessen were published posthumously by his students, in Daat Chochma U’mussar, Daat Torah and other sefarim.
Harav Yaakov Elimelech Paneth of Dezh, Hy”d, (1888 – 5704 / 1944). Born in Ober Visheva, on 10 Kislev 5649/1888, and was taught by his father Harav Yechezkel of Dezh. .An exceptionally bright child, at the age of 14 he received semichah and served as assistant to his father, who was the Rav of a small town in Hungary.
At 18 he received his official appointment as Rav of Marosh-Aueviher. He married the daughter of Harav Yaakov Shimshon Kanner, a descendant of the Chechov and Sanz dynasties
In 5686/1926, Reb Yaakov Elimelech became Rav Hatza’ir of Dezh, where his father had been appointed Rav, and he also served as Rosh Yeshivah.
After the petira of his father three years later, on 22 Kislev 5690/1929, Rav Yaakov Elimelech was apppointed Rebbe of Dezh, as well as Rosh Kollel of Ahavat Tzion in Tranylvania.
Reb Yaakov Elimelech was renowned for his tzedakah; he even pawned the family’s jewels to be able to give tzedakah.
In 5703/1943, when the Nazis reached his region, Rav Yaakov Elimelech traveled to Budapest to try to redeem his sons from forced labor in Ukraine. He was offered a post as Rav in Budapest, but he chose to return to his own kehillah and be with them in their time of need.
Together with the members of the kehillah, Reb Yaakov Elimelech was herded into the ghetto. They were later taken to Auschwitz. Reb Yaakov Elimelech was 55 years old when he and the rest of his kehillah were killed al Kiddush Hashem on 18 Sivan 5704/1944. Hashem yinkom damam.
His sons were Harav Chaim Baruch, Rav in Dezh, killed with his wife and six children in the Holocaust; Harav Menachem Mendel, Rav in Anfi, killed with his wife; and Harav Shmuel Yehudah, killed with his wife and two children. Reb Yaakov Elimelech also had two sons and a daughter who were not yet married; they too were murdered al kiddush Hashem. Hashem yinkom damam.
His Divrei Torah were published in a sefer called Zichron Yaakov.
HaRav Chaim Baruch Paneth, Hy”d, (5704 / 1944), Rav in Dezh, son of Rav Yaakov Elimelech Paneth. Rav Chaim Baruch was killed in Auschwitz with his wife and six children.
HaRav Menachem Mendel Paneth, Hy”d, (5704 / 1944), Rav in Anfi, son of Rav Yaakov Elimelech Paneth. He was killed in Auschwitz with his wife.
HaRav Moshe Mordechai Steger, zt”l, (1859 - 5704 / 1944); author of Meged Shamayim, a peirush on Pri Megadim on Yoreh Deah.
HaRav Avraham Yosef Pesachovitz, zt”l, (5713 / 1953), author of Be’er Mayim.
HaRav Aharon Cohen, zt”l, (1905 - 5721 / 1961), Rosh Yeshivat Chevron. Rav Aharon was born in Nisan 5665 / 1905 in a small village near Kovno. His father, Harav Avraham Mordechai, the son of Harav Yosef, was known as the masmid of Eishishuk, after his hometown.
As a bachur during World War I, Reb Aharon learned in Yeshivat Lomza, then in Ukraine (Prilocki, Charkhov). After the war he returned home and learned in Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael in Slabodka. He was soon considered the iluy of the yeshivah.
Reb Aharon was close to the Roshei Yeshivah, zt”l — the Alter of Slabodka, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel; his son-in-law, Harav Yitzchak Eizik Sher; Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein; and Harav Avraham Grodzinski, the Mashgiach. In 5684 / 1924, when a large group of talmidim relocated to Chevron, Reb Aharon went along.
The Rosh Yeshivah, Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, chose Reb Aharon as a chassan for his daughter. The wedding took place in Chevron in 5689 / 1929. For the next five years, Reb Aharon sat and learned. Childless themselves, his Rebbetzin and he raised several orphans.
With the petirah of Harav Epstein on 10 Kislev 5694 / 1934, his son-in-law, Harav Yechezkel Sarna, replaced him as Rosh Yeshivah; Reb Aharon, the other son-in-law, served as his deputy.
For several decades, until his petirah, Reb Aharon was a leading maggid shiur in Yeshivat Chevron, which had moved to Yerushalayim following the pogrom of 5689 / 1929. He also gave mussar shmuessen.
On Erev Shabbat Parashat Behaalosecha, 18 Sivan 5721 / 1961, Reb Aharon was niftar at 56, and buried on Har Hamenuchot. He left no children. Some of his chiddushim on Torah and halachah were published under the title Beit Aharon.
Harav Moshe Leib Shapiro, zt”l, (5732 / 1972), author of Taba’ot Hachoshen.
RETURN TO TOP
19 Sivan - June 11, 1590:
The Jewish quarter of Posen burned, while the Anti-Semitic locals watched and
plundered. Fifteen Jews were murdered and eighty scrolls were torched, Hy"d.
19 Sivan 5615 - June 5, 1855:
The first Jewish hospital in America - Jews’ Hospital of New York - admitted its first patient. The phenomenon of Jewish hospitals may have been linked to the experience in Europe, where restrictions were placed on the number of Jewish patients admitted to public hospitals, and even in America where quotas were placed on Jewish doctors studying and practicing.
The Jews of Berlin had a small hospital in the 16th century. Jews of Rome had their own hospital in the 17th century. Russian Jews had 112 hospitals prior to World War I. But when the Jews of Bucharest petitioned the government for permission to build a hospital, following the death of a Jew who was denied admission into the city hospital, the petition was denied.
Today, Jewish hospitals are found in dozens of major cities including Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Baltimore. These hospitals are often ranked as tops in their field; for example, Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is the largest hospital in Missouri, is regarded as one of the nation's top three medical schools, and is ranked as one of America's top 10 hospitals overall.
19 Sivan 5702 - June 4, 1942:
The Battle of Midway began. Three days later, American forces claimed a decisive victory over the Japanese.
19 Sivan 5704 - June 10, 1944:
642 men, women, and children, including seven Jewish refugees, were killed in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France. The attack was carried out by soldiers of the Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich. To this day there is no universally accepted explanation for the massacre.
19 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Harav Yehuda ben Harav Yaakov Ben-Atar (ibn Atar), zt”l, (1655 or 1656 – 5493 / 1733). Born in Fez, Morocco, in Elul 5415 / 1655. His father was Rav Yaakov. Fez was a well-known city of Torah, the home of many Gedolei Yisrael, most notably of the Rishonim, including Rif and Rambam. It was always a city of Torah, with many Rabbanim and yeshivot.
He was a student of Rav Vidal HaTzorfati and Rav Menachem Serero, both gave him semichah. Even when, later in life, Rav Yehudah was a recognized talmid chacham, he still sat at the feet of these Gedolim.
In 5442 / 1682, at just 27 years of age, Rav Yehudah already headed a yeshiva.
When he was 43, in 5458 / 1698, Rav Yehudah was appointed Dayan in Fez. Six years later (5464 / 1704), he became Av Beit Din, a position that he held until his petirah.
He was the Rav, the Av Beit Din and the Rosh Yeshiva in Fez for 40 years.
All his life, even after being appointed Dayan and Av Beit Din, Rav Yehuda refused to accept money from the public. He supported his family by working as a smith. It is related that he would open his business in the morning, and when he had earned the sum he needed for the day he would close up shop and go to the beit medrash to continue his learning.
In the time of Rav Yehudah, the ruler of Morocco was Sultan Mullah Ismael, a rabid anti-Semite. He and his friends schemed to cause pain and distress to the Jewish community. They levied heavy taxes on them, which left many impoverished. Often Rabbanim and other communal leaders were imprisoned, and the community was forced to redeem them for exorbitant sums.
Once, Rav Yehudah himself was imprisoned. When the community could not raise the sum that the sultan asked for his ransom, Rav Yehudah was thrown to the lions. To everyone’s shock, Rav Yehudah walked up and down in the lions’ den, and the lions did not even touch him — he left the den unharmed. When this story became known, Rav Yehudah was considered a tzaddik protected from harm, and a miracle worker.
In 5460 / 1700, heavy taxes were levied on the Jews of Fez to finance the wars that Morocco was waging. This forced most of the Jews, including Rav Yehudah, to flee to Meknes; he stayed until 5464 / 1704, when the life of the Jews was somewhat improved and he returned to Fez.
Rav Yehudah left a mark on Moroccan Jewry that continues until today. Together with his talmid Harav Yaakov Ben-Tzur, also known as the Yaakbetz, he compiled the many minhagim of the kehillot of the Western countries, according to the takanot of the Rabbanim who settled there after the Spanish Expulsion. They became known as Raboteinu Baalei Haminhagim, and are frequently quoted in many halachah sefarim.
Rav Yehuda and his beit din established many takanot for the benefit of the community, things that have been implemented in many kehillot today as well — for example, takanot restricting overspending for seudot brit, bar mitzvah or chasuna.
Rav Yehuda wrote many sefarim: Minchat Yehuda, on the Torah; Minhagei Treifot B’Fez; Dinei Get V’Chalitzah; She’eilot U’teshuvot and Psakim; and Shir Michtam, his work on hilchot shechita and treifot, written in rhyme.
Harav Shlomo Chakim, zt”l, (5598 / 1838), author of Kisei Shlomo.
Harav Shlomo Chakim was a well-known gaon among the leading Gedolim in Izmir, Turkey.
Renowned for his kedushah and venerated as one of the leaders of his generation, he was also considered the representative of Turkish Jewry.
Rav Shlomo taught Torah to multitudes of talmidim, and was noted for his outstanding hasmadah.
As one of the Rabbanim in Izmir, Rav Shlomo led all the battles to improve shemirat haTorah with an iron hand.
Later in life, Rav Shlomo suffered a number of illnesses.
He was niftar on 19 Sivan 5598/1838. Rav Chaim Falagi, among other Rabbanim, delivered a hesped.
Rav Shlomo wrote two sefarim: Kisei Shlomo, his drashot and hespeidim; and Melechet Shlomo, his chiddushim on Rambam.
Harav Menachem Nachum Twersky, zt”l, (5706 / 1946), the Skverer-Machnovka Rebbe of Boro Park.
Harav Shmuel Hominer of Yerushalayim, zt”l, (5737/1977). Known as the Chofetz Chaim of Yerushalayim, he wrote many monumental sefarim including sefer Olat Tamid-on Tefilah) and sefer Mitzvat HaBitachon which was translated into many languages including English titled Faith and Trust.
He also wrote Eved Hamelech on the Chumash, and Ikarai Dinim, a summary of the laws of loshon hora with analysis.
Rav Shaul Yisraeli, zt”l, (5669 / 1909 – 5755 / 1995), author of Eretz Chemdah. He served as a rav, dayan in the Supreme religious court of Israel, member of The Chief Rabbinate Council, Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz haRav, and President of the Eretz Chemdah Institute. Rav Yisraeli additionally won the Israel Prize in Judaic Studies.
RETURN TO TOP
20 Sivan 2450 - 1311 B.C.E:
According to Seder Olam, the unfortunate incident of Kivrot Hataavah ended as all those who ate the slav died over a period of thirty days. (According to Talmud Taanit 29a, this occured on 22 Sivan).
20 Sivan 4931 - 1171:
51 (56?) Jews were burned al kiddush Hashem in Blois, France, as a result of the first blood-libel in Europe. Rabbeinu Tam and other contemporary Rishonlm declared this date a fast day to mark the event.
The following Rabbanim were killed al kiddush Hashem on that day: Harav Yechiel, Harav Yekusiel Hakohen, Harav Yehudah, Harav Yltzchak, Harav Moshe, Harav Baruch. Harav Shmuel, Harav Menachem, and a second Harav Yehudah. Another 31 men and 17 women were killed. Hy”d. As they were led to their death they recited Aleinu L’shabe’ach with great simchah.
The taanit of 20 Sivan was accepted in 5410 / 1650 by the Vaad Arba Aratzot, to also commemorate the intensification of the Tach-V'tat massacres that had just occurred (Magen Avraham Orach Chaim 580).
It is well known that the Tosefot Yom Tov attributed the massacres to talking in shul. He accordingly composed a special Mi She’Berach to be recited on behalf of those who refrained from talking in Shul, which is recited to this very day.
On this day in 5408 / 1648. the Cossacks led by the infamous
Bogdan Chmielnicki, ym”s, arrived in Nemirov - on the Ukranian border with Poland - and killed over 6,000 Jews, [Nemiroff, a well-known brand of vodka. is produced in that accursed city.]
They later moved on to other towns in the area; close to 10,000 Yidden were killed aI kiddush Hashem, Hy”d. Others put the number at 500,000.
Among the Rabbanim who were killed al kiddush Hashem during that massacre were: Harav Yechiel Meche! of Nemirov, author of Shivrei Luchot; Harav Shimshon of Ostropoli, Harav Chaim of Shagrirad: Harav Yitzchak of Polnai: Harav Shlomo of Prohobitch, Harav Avraham of Shagrirad: and Harav Charm and Harav Elazar of Tulshitz, Hy”d.
Selichot are recited in some communities.
20 Sivan 5408 - June 10, 1648:
6,000 Jews of Nemirov murdered during Chmielnicki massacres. See above.
The rampaging Cossacks, were led by Bogdan Chmielnicki (the Jewish pronunciation is Chelminitzki), Chmielnicki's hatred of Jews was inflamed from the time he planned a revolution against the Polish government; a Jew overheard and reported the plot, and Chmielnicki was led to prison in chains and sentenced to death for treason. But before the verdict could be carried out, the king of Poland died. Chmielnicki escaped and led the Cossacks to defeat the Polish army, attacking and murdering Jews at every opportunity. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by the Cossack hordes, and approximately 500,000 Jews were murdered.
It is well known that the Tosefot Yom Tov attributed the massacres to talking in Shul. He accordingly composed a special Mi She’Berach to be recited on behalf of those who refrained from talking in Shul, which is recited to this very day.
Elegies ("Kinot") written by great rabbis of the time compare this tragic epoch to the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash.
This would be the most bitter time for Polish Jewry for several centuries... until 1942.
20 Sivan 5677 - June 10, 1917:
The American Jewish Congress was formed. 330,000 people participated in its
20 Sivan 5727 - June 28, 1967:
Although Yom Yerushalayim is 28 Iyar, 20 Sivan marks the day that Israel annexed the Old City and officially united all of Yerushalayim
20 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Tzvi Hirsh of Nadvorna, zt”l, (5561 / 1801 or 5562/1802), the Tzemach Hashem L’Tzvi.
Harav Tzvi Hirsh was born in 5500/1740 (or 5497/1737).
When he was still a child, his father, Harav Shalom Zelig, took him along to the court of the Baal Shem Tov, who blessed him to become a leader in Klal Yisrael.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh was fluent in Shas and Poskim, as well as many works of Kabbalah. He was a talmid of the Maggid of Mezhritch, and close with Harav Yechiel Michel, the Zlotchover Maggid, who said that he had 60 talmidim who were tzaddikim, but the greatest was Reb Tzvi Hirsh, whom Eliyahu Hanavi often visited.
Following in the ways of his Rebbe, Reb Tzvi Hirsh became a maggid, traveling from town to town spreading the derech hachassidut.
The first city where he served as maggid was Dolina; later he settled in Nadvorna, after which he is known. Many came to learn from him and his avodat Hashem.
Reb Tzvi Hirsh wrote down his divrei Torah and published some of them, but without his name. Among his sefarim are Alfa Beisa, kabbalistic references to the alef-beit; Mili D’Avot, on Pirkei Avot; and Tzemach Hashem LaTzvi, on the Torah.
He was niftar on 20 Sivan, and buried in Nadvorna.
His sons were Harav Dovid Aryeh of Nadvorna, who was the son-in-law of Harav Meir (son of Harav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev); and Harav Moshe Yehoshua Yechiel Michel. Both were later buried near their father in Nadvorna.
His sons-in-law were Harav Yitzchak of Radvill, the son of Harav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and Harav Aharon Zev Weinreb.
HaRav Chaim Mordechai Lovoton, (Levitan or Lubaton), zt”l, (1780 - 5629 / 1869), author of Nochach Hashulchan. The son of Luna and Helfon Lubaton, he became Chief Rabbi and Av Beit Din of Aleppo. Rav Chaim Mordecai married Morhava and had three sons, Helphon, Eliezer and Joseph Labaton, all of whom became rabbonim. At age 70, Rav Chaim Mordecai was disturbed that he did not have a daughter. After much discussion, he decided to marry a younger woman, who could bear him daughters. Sure enough, his wife bore him a daughter, Luna, who was wed to Rav Ezra Suede.
HaRav Yehuda Gajh, zt”l, (5650/1890). Head of the Beit Din of Nabel, Tunisia, author of Nachal Yehuda.
HaRav Zev of Rachmastrivka, zt”l, (5611 / 1851 – 5697 / 1937).
Harav Zev was born on 5 Adar 5611/1851. His father was Harav Yochanan, the founder of the Rachmastrivka dynasty, who was the son of Harav Mordechai, the Maggid of Chernobyl. Harav Zev’s mother was Rebbetzin Chanah, the daughter of Harav Pinchas of Kalik, the son of the Ohr Hame’ir of Zhitomir.
He received semichah from his uncle Harav Yitzchak of Skver. Harav Zev was known from his youth as a unique gaon, and indeed he left behind many manuscripts that exemplified his geonus. In addition, many of his chiddushim were published in various kovtzim, some without his name.
He married Rebbetzin Bas-Sheva, the daughter of Harav Meshulam Zusya of Chernobyl, the son of Harav Aharon, his father’s brother. After his chasunah he sat al haTorah v’al ha’avodah in Chernobyl, basking in the aura of kedushah that permeated the Chernobyler court, to which most of Ukraine’s Chassidim flocked.
Following the untimely petirah of his Rebbetzin, who was childless, he married Rebbetzin Tzipporah Brachah, the daughter of Harav Yaakov Shimshon Chodorov of Bahapoli. They had two sons, Harav Nachum Moshe and Harav Dovid, and one daughter, Rebbetzin Margalis, who married Harav Chaim Meir Hager, the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz.
After the petirah of his father, he, together with his brothers, accepted the joint mantle of admorus. The brothers led the growing flock of Rachmastrivka with unique unity.
During the Bolshevik Revolution, in 5687–88 / 1917–18, which wreaked havoc on Russian Jewry, the Rebbe sought a safe haven in the town of Zlatipoli.
In 5694 / 1934, the Rebbe ascended to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. He was actually the last of his brothers to leave for Eretz Yisrael; his brother Harav Mordechai arrived in 5664 / 1904 and Harav Menachem Nachum came in 5686 / 1926. His oldest brother, Harav David of Zlatipoli, was niftar in Zlatipoli in 5670 / 1910.
During his last year in Yerushalayim, Harav Zev was struck with a serious illness. B’chasdei Hashem, his mind was not affected, and he was able to continue his exalted avodah.
On 20 Sivan, he returned his pure neshamah to its Creator. He was buried in the Rachmastrivka ohel on Har Hazeitim.
HaRav Chaim Balish, zt”l, (1947). The Head Rav of Tunisia.
HaRav Feivish Shneebalg of London, zt”l, (5760 / 2000), author of Shraga Hameir.
HaRav Yisrael Dan ben R' Shmuel Eliyahu Taub, zt”l, the Modziter Rebbe (1928-2006). He was born in Warsaw, and made aliyah with his family at the age of seven. In 1950, he married Rochel, the daughter of Rav Shmuel Aharon Shadrovitzki from Bialistok. He became Rebbe upon the passing of his father, the Imrei Eish. He led his Chassidim for many years from his beit medrash in Tel Aviv, and in 1995, he moved to a new location in Bnei Brak. He was also a member of the Agudat Yisrael Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah. He was buried next to the kever of his father at Har Hazeitim. The Modzitz dynasty descends from Rav Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Poland, who was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. Reb Yisrael Dan, was Rav Yechezkel’s grandson’s great-grandson. The tradition of composing and singing niggunim was started by the second Modzitzer rebbe, known as the Zvoliner Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu.
HaRav Rafael Biton, zt”l, (2001). He was the Chief Rabbi of Hod HaSharon, Israel.
HaRav Elazar Flecklish, zt”l, author of Teshuva M’Ahava (year?)
RETURN TO TOP
21 Sivan 2450 - 1311 B.C.E:
According to Seder Olam, Miriam HaNeviah was afflicted with the skin malady, tzaraat, after speaking lashon hara about her brother Moshe Rabbeinu. In his great humility, Moshe then prayed for Miriam to be healed. Hashem instructed that she be quarantined outside the machaneh (camp) for seven days. In testimony to their great love for Miriam, Klal Yisrael waited during this period before journeying onward, and only afterward did Klal Yisrael continue on its travels. (Bamidbar / Numbers 12:10). Others site tomorrow 21 Sivan or 22 or 23 Sivan as the date Miriam was afflicted with tzaraat. (See Talmud Taanit 29a).
According to Seder Olam, today marked the end of the unfortunate incident of Kivrot Hataavah in which all those who ate the slav bird died over a period of 30 days.
21 Sivan 5213 - 1453:
The Muslim conqueror of Constantinople granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslims. This created a haven for many Jews who would be forced out of Spain 39 years later, during the Spanish Inquisition.
(Hashem provides the refuah before the makkah)
21 Sivan 5525 - June 10, 1765:
Harvard University created a professorship of Hebrew and Oriental languages, 1765. The early rectors of American universities were religious Protestants who viewed the Bible as a guide to personal and political life.
21 Sivan 5708 - June 28, 1948:
The Etzel ship Altalena, carrying 800 new immigrants and ammunition to Eretz Yisroel, is sunk by Haganah soldiers, killing 16.
21 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Harav Elazar Horowitz of Vienna, zt”l, (5624 / 1864), author of Yad Elazar.
Harav Shlomo Shapira of Munkacs, zt”l, the Shem Shlomo, (5592 / 1831 - 5653 / 1893), (others 5654 / 1894). Harav Shlomo Shapira was born in Rybatitch in 5592/1831. He was a grandson of Rav Zvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yissoscher), and eldest son of Rav Elazar of Dinov (author of Yode’ei Binah; d. 1865). His mother, Tauba Chavah, was a descendant of the Pnei Yehoshua and the Maginei Shlomo. In 1838, his father moved the family to Strizhov, a Central Galician town on the banks of the Wisloka River, settled by Jews since the sixteenth century.
At the age of nine, Reb Shlomo became engaged to Chayah Frimah Rivkah Erblich, daughter of Harav Shmuel Shmelka of Sassova, grand-daughter of Rav Moshe Leib of Sassov. At the age of fourteen, Rav Shlomo they were married. After his wedding, Reb Shlomo settled in the home of his in-laws, where he sat poring over his sefarim day and night.
He was given semichah by Harav Yosef Shaul Natansohn, zt”l, and Harav Mordechai Zev Ettinger, zt”l, authors of Meforshei Hayam.
After a few years in Sassov, and due to difficult financial circumstances, Rav Shlomo rejoined his father in Strizhov, and he took over his father’s position there, in about 1857, after his father moved to Lancut.
In about 1866, he became a devoted follower of Rav Chaim of Sanz; the two eventually became mechutanim. In 1880, the Jews of Munkatch, a large and influential kehilla in Hungary, (now in the Ukraine), appealed to Rav Shlomo to come and serve as their rav. It was only two years later that he moved to Hungary to lead the kehillah at whose helm he would stand until his final days, establishing the dynasty of Munkatch.
Many years before, upon the departure of the Bnei Yissaschar from Munkatch for Poland, he told his followers, “I am not really leaving you for, as the passuk says, ‘Bishnat hayovel hazot tashuvu ish el achuzato — in this fiftieth year you shall return to your holdings.’” After 50 years (a yovel), his grandson Reb Shlomo returned as Rav to Munkatch.
After the passing of the Yitav Lev of Satmar, Rav Shlomo was designated as one of the leading rabbonim of Hungary.
Reb Shlomo was a genius in Torah, a gadol in halachah and a profound baal menagen.
He wrote many sefarim, including She’eilot U’teshuvot Shem Shlomo, Shem Shlomo on the Torah, Beit Shlomo on Chumash, Shem Shlomo on Tehillim, Shem Shlomo on the Yamim Tovim, Yeriot Shlomo on some masechtot and Tiv Kiddushin on Masechet Kiddushin.
Reb Shlomo was niftar on 21 Sivan, 5653/1893, in Munkatch, and was buried in the cemetery in Munkatch, where an ohel was built over his kever.
His son, Tzvi Hirsh (author of Darchei Teshuvah, Beer Lechai Ro’I, and Tzvi Tiferet), succeeded him as Rav of Munkatch. He, in turn, was succeeded by his son, Rav Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the Minchat Elazar.
In 5753/1993, Munkatcher Chassidim published a sefer called Padah B’Shalom, in which they collected divrei Torah of the Shem Shlomo which are scattered in the sefarim of his descendants: Darchei Teshuvah, Minchat Elazar and others.
HaRav Shlomo Rachamim Abulafia, zt”l, (5667 / 1907).. He served as the Head of the Beit Din of Teverya.
HaRav Aryeh Leibish Horowitz of Stanislav, zt”l, (5669 / 1909), the Harei Besamim.
HaRav Yehoshua Heschel Fried, zt”l, (5681 / 1921), Rav of Kapish, Hungary.
HaRav David Menachem Munish Babad of Tarnopol, zt”l, (5696 / 1936), (others 1865-1937). the Chavatzelet Hasharon of Tarnopol. Born in 5625 / 1865, shortly after his father, Harav Yehoshua Heschel of Podvolotchisk (near Tarnopol), was appointed to his first Rabbinical post in Strisov, a large Torah center. Rav Dovid Menachem was a 10th-generation descendant of the Rebbe Reb Heschel of Cracow. His name, Babad, is an acronym of “ben av beit din.” The Babads served as Dayanim and Rabbanim in Tarnopol for 150 years.
Reb Dovid Menachem Munish grew up under his father’s tutelage. When he went to Harav Dov Berish Rappaport of Rava for semichah, the Rav kept him for a week, during which time they discussed and resolved many wide-ranging questions in Shas.
Reb Dovid Menachem Munish married Leah the daughter of Rav Yoel Moshe Segal Landau of Yavrov (near Lvov), who supported them so that he might not be distracted from his studies. He and his Rebbetzen had 5 daughters.
For a while, Reb Dovid Menachem Munish wrote chiddushim, but after they were lost in a fire, he gave up all writing except responses to she’eilot in halachah and in learning. These he collected, either by having the recipients return them or by having his talmidim copy them before he sent them off. Eventually, they were published in his sefer Chavatzelet Hasharon.
Rav Dovid Munish was a staunch chasid of Belz. In 1892, he succeeded his father as Rav in Strisov, when his father became Rav in Podvolotchisk. Two years later, in 5654 / 1894, he succeeded his father-in-law in Yavrov and served there for 17 years. In 5669 / 1909, two years after the petira of Rav Shimon Badad, son of the Minchat Chinuch, Rav Shimon’s son - Yehoshua Heshel - became Rav of Tarnapol, but was too frail to handle the responsibilities. Thus, two years later, the community welcomed Rav Dovid Munish as de facto Rav, a position that was formalized in 1919, with the petira of Rav Yehoshua Heshel. He also became the head of the Agudat Harabbanim of Galicia, the chairman of the Rabbinical conventions held in Cracow and Lvov in 5685 / 1925 and in 5688 / 1928, and a member of the Rabbinical delegation to the Polish government in Warsaw, headed by the Chofetz Chaim, in 5691 / 1931.
Despite all this, Reb Dovid Menachem Munish saw his yeshivah as his crowning achievement, and he gave it most of his time and energy.
In 5694 / 1934, he contracted a disease in his leg that caused his bones to deteriorate. Doctors recommended that he travel to the clinic in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he was confined to bed and treated for two years.
When he returned to Tarnopol he committed to continue his holy mission, but on Erev Shabbat Behaalot’cha Reb Dovid Menachem Munish’s condition worsened steadily, and three days later, on Monday, 21 Sivan 5696 / 1936, he was niftar. Two days later, he was buried in Tarnopol next to his ancestors. A few years later, the entire community of Tarnopol was destroyed by the Nazis. When a lone survivor, Mr. Ochs, came to record its history, he discovered that of all the gravestones in the cemetery, the only one that had remained standing was that of the Chavatzelet Hasharon.
HaRav Shimon Sofer, Rav of Erlau, zt”l, the Hisorerut Teshuvah, Hy”d, (1850 – 5704 / 1944). “Reb Shimon Hatzaddik,” as he was fondly called by Harav Yehoshua of Belz, was born in Pressburg, Slovakia. His father was Harav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin, the Ksav Sofer, son of the Chasam Sofer; his mother was Rebbetzin Chavah Leah. Young Shimon was diligent and displayed supreme talent. Before his bar mitzvah he had already completed masechet Beitzah 60 times!
He absorbed a wealth of Torah in his father’s home, where his father affectionately called him “Shimon the Chassid.” In fact, Reb Shimon later developed a fondness for Chassidut, and on occasion met with the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
In 1869 he joined his father at the Congress of Jewish Communities in Hugary.
Harav Shimon married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Fried of Kleinvardein, but his Rebbetzin passed away, childless, at a young age. He was appointed Rav of Erloi in 1881. He later remarried, and lived in Russia for a while. After a divorce, he married Rebbetzin Esther Malkah, the daughter of Harav Zalman Spitzer, son-in-law of the Chatam Sofer. His sons were Harav Akiva of Stanislav; Harav Shmuel Chaim, Rav in Zhgrev; Harav Moshe, Dayan in Erlau; Harav Avraham, Rav in Guritzia; Harav Zalman of Vienna; and Harav Yaakov of Uhel. He also had four daughters.
For six years, beginning in 5634/1874, he lived in Russia, where he was venerated by all the local Gedolei Torah. In 5640/1880, at 31, he was called to assume the Rabbanut of Erlau, Hungary, northeast of Budapest, where he served as Rav for 64 years. In Erlau he was also the Rosh Yeshivah, delivering intricate shiurim to the bachurim, and giving several daily shiurim to the townspeople.
In old age, when his vision failed, someone would read the text for him and he would expound on it, continuing to deliver his dynamic shiurim as before.
He greatly honored his grandfathers. Often, in his older years, he would ask that certain pieces of Chiddushei Rav Akiva Eiger, his great-grandfather’s writings, be read to him. At such times he would rise in respect.
Even though the salary that he earned in Erlau was meager, he refused more prominent positions, such as the Rabbanut of Budapest and Ungvar. Nevertheless, he became one of Hungary’s uncontested manhigim, and he stood at the forefront of the battles to preserve Torah-true Yiddishkeit.
His Rebbetzin supported her illustrious husband with all her resources. The Rav once mentioned that he did not have enough money to print the sefarim of his grandfather, the Chatam Sofer. The Rebbetzin immediately went out and sold all her jewelry. Harav Shimon subsequently printed many of the Chatam Sofer’s sefarim.
His sefarim were She’eilot U’teshuvot Hisorerut Teshuvah and Shir Maon al haTorah. With great humility, he refused to put his name on his sefarim, printing them anonymously. He added the following to every page: “Do not rely on this sefer for halachah l’maaseh.”
Harav Shimon was meticulous in observance of mitzvot. Nothing could inspire him with simchah like davening, learning, or sitting in the sukkah. He donned Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam and the Shimusha Rabba tefillin every day.
Along with 3,000 of his fellow Jews, Rav Shimon was transferred from the Erlau Ghetto to Auschwitz, where the 95-year-old Rav was viciously sent in his wheelchair to the gas chambers. His son, Harav Moshe, was also killed on this day, Hy”d. The current Erlauer Rav, Harav Yochanan Sofer, shlita, is the son of Harav Moshe.
HaRav Moshe Sofer, Hy”d, (5704 / 1944), Dayan of Erlau, son of Rav Shimon Sofer.
RETURN TO TOP
22 Sivan 5258 - 1498:
Citizens of Nuremberg, Bavaria received permission to expel its Jews.
22 Sivan 5285 - 1525:
The Pope ordered the Jews of Carpentras, France, to wear distinctive yellow hats.
22 Sivan 5416 - June 14, 1656:
The West India Company directors ordered Peter Stuyvesant to permit the Jews to trade and own real-estate in New Amsterdam (which became New York).
22 Sivan 5662 - June 27, 1902:
The Yiddish daily newspaper, "Die Yidishe Velt," was founded in New York. Yiddish is a colloquial mixture of German and Hebrew, and came to be the spoken language of much of European Jewry. Following the influx of Jewish immigrants to America, Yiddish was increasingly heard on the streets of New York, and by 1925 New York alone had seven daily newspapers printed in Yiddish. According to the U.S. census of 1940, 1.75 million Jews spoke Yiddish at home. Today, Yiddish words like chutzpah, klutz, schmaltz and schlep have crept into mainstream English usage.
22 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Ephraim Navon, zt”l, author of Beit Moshav. (1784).
HaRav David Mirels (Frenkel), zt”l, (c. 5464 / 1704 – 5522 / 1762), author of Korban Ha’edah on Talmud Yerushalmi. Born in Berlin to Harav Naftali Hirsh. Reb David first served as Rav in Dessau and he was appointed Rav of Berlin in 5502 / 1742. He was known for his greatness in Torah as well as his wealth and was renowned for his works of tzedakah and chessed.
Reb David was among the first to devote himself to the study of Talmud Yerushalmi, which had been largely neglected. He gave a great impetus to the study of the Talmud Yerushalmi with his commentary Korban Ha’edah. It is similar in style to that of Harav Moshe Margaliot, the Pnei Moshe. The Korban Ha’edah covers the sedarim of Moed, Nashim and Nezikin. It is found on the outer side of the gemara page. His other notes on the Yerushalmi, found at the bottom of the page, called Shiyarei Korban, provide solutions to inaccuracies in the text.
The Avnei Nezer writes, in the name of his father-in-law, the Kotzker Rebbe, zy”a, that with the Korban Ha’edah one is able to understand the Yerushalmi.(See 25 Sivan).
HaRav Dovid Deutsch, zt”l, (5591 / 1831), author of Ohel Dovid.
HaRav Rafael Shlomo Erdit, zt”l, (5593 / 1833). Rav of Izmir, Turkey, author of Shem Shlomo.
HaRav Moshe Yerucham of Kotzk, zt”l, (5625 / 1865).
HaRav Baruch Asher of Chernobyl, zt”l, (5665 / 1905).
HaRav Eliyahu Bechor Chazan, zt”l, (5668 / 1908), author of Taalumot Lev.
HaRav Yosef Leib Sofer of Paksh, zt”l, (5675 / 1915), author of Yalkut Sofer.
HaRav Chaim Dov Halperin, zt”l, the Vasloier Rebbe, (5717 / 1957), After surviving the War, he moved from Romania to Eretz Yisrael in 1950, settling in Haifa.
HaRav Isamar Rosenbaum of Nadvorna, zt”l, (1886 - 5733 / 1973). Son of Rav Meir of Kretchnif, a descendent of the Premishlaner dynasty, Rav Isamar was appointed Rebbe at the age of 15. He founded a Beit Midrash in Baranovitz, Vienna, Tchernowitz, and Kopycznitz. He escaped to America during WW II, and in 1969 , he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael and founded his Be’er Mayim Chaim Beit Midrash in the Yad Eliyahu section of Tel Aviv. He was known as the elder Rebbe of his generation.
HaRav Yitzchak Shlomo Ungar, zt”l, (5764 / 2004), Rav of Chug Chasam Sofer and Rosh Yeshivat Machaneh Avraham. Born to Rav Avraham Tzvi, zt"l, author of Machaneh Avraham on masechtot Mikvaot and Beitzah. Harav Avraham Tzvi was the scion of an illustrious family. He was a sixth-generation descendant of the Panim Meirot and a descendant of the Arizal.
His father, Harav Chaim, was a talmid of Harav Menachem Prosnitz Katz, one of the greatest talmidim of the Chasam Sofer; and his grandfather, Harav Yechiel Michel Ungar of Tzehlim, served as the meshamesh of the Ktav Sofer and Harav Shimon Sofer of Cracow.
Harav Avraham Tzvi’s mother was the daughter of Harav Zalman Berger, a wealthy man who fought bravely against the Reform and haskalah movements.
In World War I Harav Avraham Tzvi was drafted into the army, during which time he constantly reviewed Torah by heart.
In 5686/1926 Reb Avraham Tzvi was invited to serve as Rav of Kapa-Var. Reform influence in this community was so strong that during the initial period after the family’s arrival, young Yitzchak Shlomo was the only child in the local Jewish school who wore a yarmulke. Under the Rav’s influence, the community grew tremendously.
During the Holocaust, Reb Yitzchak Shlomo endured untold hardships in numerous labor camps. The Nazis deported the Ungar family to the Shopron ghetto near the Hungarian border. There, the father and 5 younger children were murdered, Hy"d.
All five elder brothers survived. After the war, Rav Yitzchak Shlomo moved to Eretz Yisrael and fulfilled his father’s final request by founding a yeshivah to which he gave his father’s name.
The Chug Chasam Sofer community in Bnei Brak, which was zocheh to have Reb Yitzchak Shlomo at its helm, was also the home of the yeshivah. Harav Yitzchak Shlomo also established a kollel for avreichim who studied halachah under his guidance.
In 1950, he founded the Chug Chasam Sofer kashrut organization. He also served as dayan in Rav Shmuel Wosner’s Beit Din of Zichron Meir. He established the yeshiva Machaneh Avraham in 1962.
Harav Ungar was niftar on 22 Sivan 5764/2004, after a few months’ illness. He was survived by his Rebbetzin, his brother, Harav Yechiel Michel Ungar, the Pupa Dayan; Harav Yeshayah Ungar, gabbai of the Skverer Rebbe, and thousands of talmidim and admirers the world over who will long remember him.
HaRav Yisrael Mordechai of Rachmistrivka–Yerushalayim, zt”l, (1929 - 5764 / 2004). Born in Yerushalayim on Motzoei Shavuot 5689 / 1929 to the son of Rav Yochanon, grandson of Rav Dovid of Rachmistrivka, and great-grandson of Rav Menachem Nachum of Rachmistrivka.
In his early years, Reb Yisrael Mordechai — known as “Reb Mottel” — merited his great-grandfather’s tutelage. Reb Nachum prized his great-grandson and watched over him carefully. “He will yet be a great Rebbe,” he predicted.
As a bachur he learned in the Chayei Olam and Sfat Emet yeshivot in Yerushalayim.
From his early youth he was divorced from all worldly matters, taking an interest in nothing but Torah. He followed this path throughout his life, even when he was leading Chassidim.
His tefillah was extraordinary, lasting hours and reflecting intense deveikut. Hundreds would come to his beit medrash just to witness him daven.
On the day of Reb Mottel’s wedding in 5711 / 1951, the Skverer Rebbe of America, zt”l, offered a “l’chaim” on the marriage of a “bachur who learns Torah lishmah.” On another occasion he told his Chassidim that being within Reb Mottel’s daled amot was conducive to yirat Shamayim.
The young Yisrael Mordechai married the daughter of Rav Zalman Uri, one of the distinguished Chassidim in Yerushalayim.
The Beit Yisrael of Ger also took notice of young Reb Mottel. He once said, “This yungerman hides from the eye.” Later, he called Reb Mottel “a fertiger Rebbe,” a perfect Rebbe. A gvir who asked the Beit Yisrael for guidance in distributing tzedakah was told, “There is a yungerman around here, the oldest son of the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, who I can certify learns Torah lishmah. Give him the money.”
He became Rebbe after the passing of his father on 20 Kislev 5742 / 1981. Reb Mottel was asked to succeed his father. Reb Mottel adamantly refused, but during the levayah, the Machnovka Rebbe announced that Reb Mottel was to be the new Rebbe. To Reb Mottel’s vehement shaking of the head, the Machnovka Rebbe declared, “Whether he likes it or not!”
The Rebbe’s modesty and humility were outstanding. He often belittled himself and was heard to say that he did not understand why Chassidim brought their kvitlach to one who did not know how to read them.
He was known for his saintliness and piety through which he achieved salvation for hundreds of people — but not for himself. He suffered greatly during his last 13 years, but did not let this detract from his avodah in the slightest measure. Doctors suggested various treatments to improve his walking, but he refused, saying that as long as he was able to walk from his desk to his bookshelves to get a Gemara, he did not need more. In fact, his shamashim could not tell whether he was suffering or not, for he never complained or sighed.
In his last months the Rebbe became very weak, but he continued his avodah with mesirut nefesh while all Jewry pleaded with Heaven for his recovery. Tragically, it was decreed otherwise. On Erev Shabbat Parashat Shelach, 22 Sivan 5764 / 2004, Reb Mottel was niftar.
L’havdil bein chaim l’chaim, Reb Mottel was succeeded by his son the Rachmastrivka Rebbe of Yerushalayim, shlita. Reb Mottel’s brother Harav Chai Yitzchak Twersky, shlita, is the Rachmastrivka Rebbe of America.
HaRav Ephraim Fishel Rabinowitz, zt”l, (1924 - 2005), Born in Yerushalayim, he learned in the Chayei Olam yeshiva and Kollel. After his marriage, he took a position as Ram in Yeshivat Tiferet Yisrael. After holding positions in Toronto and New York, he became Rosh yeshiva of Tiferet Yisrael after the passing of the yeshiva’s previous leader, Rav Yehoshua Brim in 1986. He was also a member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah.
RETURN TO TOP
23 Sivan circa 2964 - 797 B.C.E.:
Yeravam / Jeroboam ben Nevat, King of Israel, set up roadblocks to prevent the people's aliyah l'regel (pilgrimage) to Yerushalayim.
Once a fast day, (Megillat Taanit 3).
After Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon's passing in 797 B.C.E., Yeravam ben Nevat, a member of the tribe of Efraim, incited ten of the twelve tribes of Israel to rebel against Shlomo HaMelech's son and heir, Rechavam / Rehoboam. The Holy Land split into two kingdoms: the "Kingdom of Israel" in the north, with Yeravam / Jeroboam as its king and the city of Samaria as its capital; and the southern "Kingdom of Judah" with its capital Yerushalayim / Jerusalem, where Rechavam / Rehoboam ruled over the two tribes (Yehudah / Judah and Binyamin / Benjamin) that remained loyal to the royal house of David. The spiritual center of the land, however, remained Yerushalayim, where the Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple built by Shlomo HaMelech stood, and where every Jew was obligated to make a thrice-yearly pilgrimage for the festivals of Pesach / Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. Seeing this as a threat to his sovereignty, Yeravam / Jeroboam , King of Israel, set up roadblocks to prevent the people's aliyah l'regel (pilgrimage) to Yerushalayim. As a substitute, he introduced the worship of two idols, in the form of golden calves, which he enshrined on the northern and southern boundaries of his realm.
These barricades remained in place for 223 years, until Hosea ben Elah, the last king of the Northern Kingdom, had them removed on the 15th of Av of 574 B.C.E.
By then, the ten tribes residing there were already being expelled from the land in a series of invasions by various Assyrian and Babylonian kings. The last of these occurred in 556 B.C.E., when Shalmanessar of Assyria completely conquered the Kingdom of Israel, destroyed its capital, exiled the last of the Israelites residing there, and resettled the land with foreign peoples from Kutha and Babylon. These peoples -- later known as the "Samarians" -- assumed a form of Judaism as their religion, but were never accepted as such by the Jewish people; they subsequently built their own temple on Mount Gerizzim and became bitter enemies of the Jews. The "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" were never heard from again, and await the coming of Moshiach to be reunited with the Jewish people.
23 Sivan 3404 - 357 B.C.E.:
Even after Haman was hanged on the 17th of Nissan 357 B.C.E., his evil decree "to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, from young to old, infants and women, in one day, the 13th day of the 12th month (Adar)" remained in force. Queen Esther pleaded with King Achashveirosh to annul the decree, but Achashveirosh insisted that "a writ that has been written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's seal, cannot be returned." Instead, he suggested to Esther and Mordechai to "inscribe, regarding the Jews, as you please, and seal it with the king's seal."
On the 23rd of Sivan, Haman's decree is anulled as Mordechai Hatzaddik and Esther drafted a royal decree giving the Jews the right to defend themselves and kill all who would rise up to kill them, and sent out this second batch of letters to all 127 provinces of Achashveirosh's empire, This annulied Haman's
decree and plot to kill the Jews. (Megillat Esther 8:9).
23 Sivan - 1391:
A mob led by the Queen Mother’s confessor, killed many Jews in Seville, Spain, Hy"d. The riots spread throughout the country.
23 Sivan 5456 - June 23, 1696:
Jews of Posen, Poland were saved from a mob set to avenge the murder of a soldier. A peasant woman seized carrying the victim’s clothing, confessed to her son’s murder.
23 Sivan 5558 - June 7, 1798:
Fast day of the Jewish community of Pesaro, Italy, to mark the murder of Jews following the retreat of Napoleon’s army, Hy"d.
23 Sivan 5700 - June 29, 1940:
The Russian government had told thousands of Jewish refugees in Eastern Galicia that they could register as Russian citizens. Reb' Itzikel of Antwerp, Z’tl, advised them not to register.
In the name of the Makover Rebbe, Zt’l, who said that the day is mesugal for nisim v’niflaot, as implied by the Pasuk in Megillat Esther (8:9)--“Now, write [on this day] about the Jews --“Katov Be’Eynechem" - what is favorable in your eyes in the name of the king”--which also refers to the King of the world.
On the night of the 23rd of Sivan, the KGB swooped down on Lemberg and arrested all those who had refused Russian citizenship. The Jews were taken to the train station and put on trains to Siberia.
The exiled thought this to be a horrible decree, but the Rebbe told them that the 23rd of Sivan is “Muchan L’Tova--prepared for the good,” and that no bad would come out of their exile. A year later, in Sivan 1941, the Nazis, ym’s, invaded Eastern Galicia and killed the Jews who remained - the exiles to Siberia remained alive.
23 Sivan 5708 - June 30, 1948:
· The last British armed forces left Israel.
23 Sivan 5722 - June 25, 1962:
The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the New York State Regent's Prayer in public schools, on the grounds that it violated the separation of Church and State. The New York State board of education had approved the following 22-word "nondenominational prayer" for recitation each morning in public schools: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country." The board of education believed that the prayer would help students develop good character and good citizenship. Although reciting the prayer was optional for each student, a group of parents objected, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. Organizations such as the American Jewish Congress supported the ban -- due to centuries of religious persecution, Jews tend to oppose government involvement in religion. One of the most ominous reactions came from the Jesuit publication, America, which warned Jews that their involvement in these cases could incite anti-Semitism in American society. The majority Supreme Court opinion held that "classroom invocation of God's blessings... is a religious activity." The dissenting opinion pointed out that each day's session of the Supreme Court starts with the invocation, "God save the United States and this Honorable Court," that the Pledge of Allegiance contains the words "one Nation under God," and that every dollar bill bears the words, "In God we Trust."
23 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Avraham Mintz of Padua, zt”l, (5285 / 1525).
Harav Avraham Halevi Mintz was the son of Harav Yehudah Mintz, the author of She’eilot U’teshuvot Mahari Mintz.
Rav Avraham learned in his father’s yeshivah together with Harav Eliyahu Mizrachi, the famous commentator on Rashi.
After the petirah of his father, Reb Avraham was appointed Rav of Padua in his place. Admired and respected all over the world, he was a famous disseminator of Torah, with many talmidim.
Reb Avraham lived in peace and tranquility in Padua until the rage of an affluent member of the city, Hertz Wertheim, was aroused. This Wertheim made an impressive parochet for the aron kodesh, with a deer on it woven with diamonds to look three-dimensional. He wanted to hang this parochet in the shul where Reb Avraham davened on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Reb Avraham refused to allow it. When the man disregarded Reb Avraham’s order and hung the parochet, Reb Avraham left the shul.
Rav Avraham was niftar on 23 Sivan 5285 / 1525. He was replaced as Rav in Padua by his son-in-law, Harav Meir Katzenelenbogen, known as the Maharam of Padua.
Reb Avraham wrote Seder Gittin V’chalitzah, which was printed together with his father’s sefer.
HaRav Yaakov Pollak, the Ba’al Hachilukim, zt”l, Rav of Prague, then Cracow, then Lublin (1455-1530).(Others 5825 / 1525).
Harav Yaakov was born in Poland. His father was Harav Yitzchak Halevi. His surname, Pollack, is derived from the fact that he was a Polish native. In his youth he left home and traveled to Nuremburg, Germany, where he studied under Harav Yaakov Margulies.
After spending time in Germany, he traveled to Prague, the capital of Bohemia, where he eventually married the daughter of Harav Moshe Fishelis. Although his father-in-law was niftar prior to their chasunah, his mother-in-law supported the couple graciously, which enabled Rav Yaakov to devote himself completely to Torah.
In time, Rav Yaakov established a yeshivah and founded a beit din, and before long talmidim streamed to his yeshivah. He also became known as a prominent posek, and many referred their she’eilot to him. He led the yeshivah with the son of his rebbiHarav Yaakov Margulies.
Rav Yaakov was forced to flee to Poland, and settled in Cracow. At that time, Poland was barren of Torah and yeshivot, but persecution from local gentiles was rampant. He is considered the father or Torah scholarship and rabbinic authority in Poland as he initiated a Torah revolution in Poland that lasted virtually up to World War II. He founded a yeshivah in Cracow that drew multitudes of talmidim, and he served as Rosh Yeshivah there for 30 years. His main disciple was Rav Shalom Shachna (1490-1558), who headed the yeshiva in Lublin for over 40 years.
The remainder of his life is shrouded in mystery.
HaRav Rafael Tzemach ben Shimon, zt”l, (5540/1780). Rosh Yeshivah of Chesed L’Avraham.
HaRav Yehuda Assad, zt”l, author of Responsa Mahari Assad and Yehuda Yaaleh (1794 or 1796 - 5626 / 1866). Born in Assad, north of Budapest, Rav Yehuda learned under Rav Mordechai Banet in Nikolsburg. He served as Rav of Szerdahely from 1853 to 1866, where he founded a large Yeshiva . He fought against the Enlightenment movement together with the Chasam Sofer. After the petira of the Chasam Sofer, Rav Yehuda was regarded as the head of Hungarian Jewry. (Others 5646 / 1886).
HaRav Yehoshua Heller, zt”l, (5640 / 1880), author of Chosen Yehoshua and Divrei Yehoshua.
HaRav Hillel Milikovski of Salant, zt”l, (5659 / 1899), a talmid of Rav Yisrael of Salant.
HaRav Eliezer Yosef, zt”l, son of Rav Yitzchak HaLevi Ledenberg, Belzer Rebbe (1954). He learned Beitza and Rosh Hashanah over 4000 times (memorized over 6 months when he was threatened by blindness).
HaRav Shmuel Tzvi Kobalsky, zt”l, (1993). Head of the Sochatchov Kollel.
RETURN TO TOP
24 Sivan 5568 - June 19, 1808:
Birth of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch.
24 Sivan 5737 - June 10, 1977:
· A neo-Nazi group planned to march in Skokie, Illinois, in a largely Jewish neighborhood that was home to many Holocaust survivors. It was believed that the march would be disruptive, and the city refused to allow it. The American Civil Liberties Union came to the Nazis' support, and in 1978 a high court upheld the Nazis' right to march, on the grounds that the public display of the Nazi flag is a constitutionally protected free expression. After winning the court battle, the Nazis decided to march in Chicago's Marquette Park instead. In 1987, a Holocaust Monument and Museum was opened in Skokie. On the night of its dedication, the monument was desecrated with swastikas.
24 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Moshe ben Shlomo HaKohen, zt”l, a German Tosefist (1198).
HaRav Shmuel Margulies of Stanov, zt”l, (5586 / 1826).
HaRav Yaakov Yitzchak Shapira of Blendov, zt”l. (5642 / 1882), the Emet L’Yaakov.Harav Yaakov Yitzchak was the son of Reb Chaim Meir Yechiel of Mogelnitza and grandson of the Kozhnitzer Maggid. His father named him after the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa.
His father, Reb Chaim Meir Yechiel, was the son-in-law of Reb Elazar, the son of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. This combination of the courts and ways of Kozhnitz and Lizhensk formed Reb Yaakov Yitzchak into a rich personality, known for his tzidkut and chassidut.
Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was a talmid of his father and learned with him constantly.
He married the daughter of Harav Aryeh Leibish Neuhaus, Rav of Chelm and Tomashov.
After the petirah of his father in 5609/1849, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak became Rebbe in Blendov, where he disseminated the words and teachings of Chassidut. He was known for his emotional tefillot.
Reb Yaakov Yitzchak was niftar on 24 Sivan 5642/1882.
His divrei Torah were collected and printed under the nameEmet L’Yaakov.
HaRav Yisrael Chaim Friedman of Rakov, zt”l, the Likutei MaharIach, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim (5682 / 1922).
Reb Yisrael Chaim was born in 5612 / 1852. He was the son of Harav Yehudah Friedman and became the son-in-law of Harav Menachem Zev Weissberger, Rav of Turkani.
Reb Yisrael Chaim was a very close talmid of the Yetev Lev, Harav Yekusiel Yehudah of Sighet, zt”l, and under his guidance he learned Torah and Chassidut.
Reb Yisrael Chaim served as Rav in Rakov and was a well-known figure in pre-war Europe, especially after the emergence of his treasured sefer, Likutei Maharich. He was known for his tzidkut and Chassidut, as well as his erudition in all parts of Torah.
His sefer, Likutei Maharich, is based on the daily routine — hanhagot ha’adam and seder ha’tefillah. He cites sources for various minhagim bederech hachassidut and relates many things he saw and heard from his Rebbes, especially the Yetev Lev.
His sefer was entirely printed by the author over the course of 11 years.
He was niftar at the age of 70 on 24 Sivan 5682/1922, in an accident that occurred while he was in the “Palinina” (where the flocks graze) to assure the kashrut of cheese. There was a sudden cloud burst of heavy rain, which resulted in a sudden flash flood in which he drowned.
The sefer Likutei Maharich was reprinted by Feldheim Publishers in 5763 / 2003, with new material from kisvei yad.
HaRav Masaoud Elchadad HaCohen, zt”l, (1820, Morocco / 5687 / 1927, at the age of 107). Elder and Head of the Kabbalists of Beit El in Yerushalayim, author of Koach Maasov and Birkat Kohen.
Reb Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933), z”l. Born in Tserkov, Ukraine, he was the first son in a family of nine girls. His father was a Rizhiner chasid who frequented the court of the Sadigor Rebbe. He became Oberkantor (chief cantor) in Pressburg, Hungary, at the age of 18. He moved his young family to Hamburg, Germany, five years later. In 1911, he moved to New York to become chazan at Ohab Zedek. He soon developed an enormous reputation among Jews and non-Jews alike, the New York Times including an article about him in May 1917.
In an obituary for Rosenblatt, the New York
Times noted, "He was so well known in this country that letters from Europe addressed to 'Yossele Rosenblatt, America,' reached him promptly." For more information, click here.
RETURN TO TOP
25 Sivan 3448 - 313 B.C.E.:
In the presence of Alexander Mokdon (Alexander the Great of Macedonia), Geviha ben Pesisa, the Jewish delegate won the debate against the Yishmaelites, Egyptians and Canaanites concerning Eretz Yisroel, as cited in Megillat Tannit 3. SEE FULL STORY HERE.
25 Sivan 3875 - 115:
Yahrtzeit of three of the Asara (10) Harugei Malchut:
(killed by the Romans).
1. The Tanna Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel; from the first generation of Tannaim, and the fourth Nasi, Prince, from the House of Hillel haZakain / the Elder. He began to rule twenty years before the destruction of the Second Beit HaMikdash:
2. The Kohain Gadol Rav Yishmael ben Elisha; One of the greatest of the third generation of Tannaim. Rab' Yishmael was Kohain Gadol , the High Priest in the Second Beit HaMikdash during the Roman occupation. The Roman Caesar sentenced him to death for the crime of teaching Torah. The evil dictator’s daughter, however, was enamored by his beauty and asked Caesar to spare his life. “This I cannot do,” replied the despot, “but I will allow you to remove the skin from his face and keep it for yourself.” When the razor reached the place on Rab' Yishmael's forehead where he wore his Tefillin, his soul departed from this world.
3. Rav Chanina Segan HaKohanim - Tanna, of the first generation, who witnessed the destruction of the Second Beit HaMikdash. He served as the Segan, assistant, to the Kohain Gadol, High Priest, hence his title “Segan HaCohanim.”
Their deaths are commemorated in the Kinah “Eileh Ezkera” we say on Yom Kippur, and “Arzei Halevanon” we say on Tisha B’Av.
A taanit tzaddikim was decreed on this date to mark this tragic event (as mentioned in Megillat Taaanit and
Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 580:2)
25 Sivan 4981 - June 16, 1221:
The Jews of Erfurt, Germany were massacred al Kiddush Hashem. This day was observed as a fast day for many years.
The Jews were falsely accused of a ritual murder. A crowd stormed the synagogue where the Jews had gathered. As usual the threat was baptism or death. The Jewish quarter including the synagogue was razed, many Jews were tortured and killed. Among the martyrs were Shem Tov ha-Levi and Rabbi and Mrs. Shmuel Kalonymos, Hy"d.
25 Sivan 5554 - June 23, 1794:
·· Jews were granted permission by Empress Catherine II to settle in Kiev.
25 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, Rav Yishmael ben Elisha Kohain Gadol, Rav Chanina Segan HaKohanim, of the Ten Martyrs killed by the Romans (115 CE), commemorated in the Kinah “Eileh Ezkera” we say on Yom Kippur, and “Arzei Halevanon” we say on Tisha B’Av (Megillat Taanit). Once a fast day, (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2). See above.
HaRav Dovid Mirels Hirsch (Frenkel), zt"l, (1704-1762), Rav of Berlin and author of a popular commentary on the Yerushalmi / Jerusalem Talmud, Korban Ha'Eidah.
In the 4th century, due to conflict between the Roman Empire which controlled Eretz Yisrael, and the Parthian Empire which controlled Bavel / Babylonia, there was limited contact between these two main Jewish communities, The Yerushalmi Talmud was redacted in the year 350, and shortly thereafter the yeshivas in Eretz Yisrael were closed due to religious persecution and anarchy in the Late Roman Empire. A separate edition, the Babylonian Talmud, (Talmud Bavli), was more carefully edited, as Babylonian Jewry was outside the Roman Empire and thus not subject to the ongoing persecutions. The Babylonian Talmud is the edition most widely studied today. The Yerushalmi Talmud is much shorter and more difficult to decipher, and it suffers from a dearth of authentic commentaries.
Harav David Mirels (Frenkel), zt”l, (approx 5464 / 1704 – 5522 / 1762), was born in Berlin to Harav Naftali Hirsh. Reb David first served as Rav in Dessau and he was appointed Rav of Berlin in 5502 / 1742. He was great in Torah as well his deeds of tzedakah and chesed. Reb David was among the first to devote himself to the study of Talmud Yerushalmi, which had been largely neglected. He gave a great impetus to the study of the Talmud Yerushalmi with his commentary Korban Ha’eidah. It is similar in style to that of Harav Moshe Margaliot, the Pnei Moshe. The Korban Ha’eidah covers the sedarim of Moed, Nashim and Nezikin. It is found on the outer side of the page. His other notes on the Yerushalmi, found at the bottom of the page, called Shiyarei Korban, provide solutions to inaccuracies in the text. The Avnei Nezer writes, in the name of his father-in-law, the Kotzker Rebbe, zy”a, that with the Korban Ha’eidah one is able to understand the Yerushalmi. For centuries, Rav Frenkel's Korban Ha'Eidah has been an indispensable aid to students of the Talmud Yerushalmi.(others 22 Sivan).(See 22 Sivan).
HaRav Shmuel of Brod, zt”l, (5581 / 1821), son of the Pnei Yehoshua.
HaRav Dov Berish Landau of Biala, zt”l, (5636 / 1876).
Harav Dov Berish Landau of Biala was born in 5580 / 1820. His father was the famous gaon Harav Avraham Landau of Chechenov, zt”l.
Reb Dov Berish married the daughter of a well-to-do talmid chacham, Reb Artshe of Biale. His father-in-law supported him for the first few years of his marriage.
Harav Shraga Feivel of Gritza, zy”a, father of Harav Yechiel of Alexander and the founder of the Alexander Chassidic dynasty, made a brit for his son. He invited Harav Yitzchak of Vorka to serve as sandak at the brit. Reb Feivel invited Reb Dov Berish to the brit and praised him to his Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak of Vorka. After a short and warm conversation, Reb Berish did not return home; instead, he traveled with Reb Yitzchak to Vorka, becoming a very close Chassid of his.
Some people tried to cause a split between the Chechenover Rav and his son, Reb Berish, by claiming that due to his interest in Chassidut, he had slacked off in his Torah learning.
Reb Avraham urgently summoned his son home. When he arrived, they began a long Torah discussion, talking in deep pilpul. Reb Avraham then told his mother, “We do not have to fear for our son Reb Berish. He is a serious masmid, and sharp in his learning.”
After the petirah of Harav Yitzchak of Vorka, Reb Dov Berish became a devoted Chassid of his son, Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka.
Since Reb Mendel’s divrei Torah were always concise and deep, Reb Berish would elaborate on them and explain them to the other Chassidim.
Reb Mendel was niftar on 16 Sivan 5628/1868, and Reb Dov Berish was chosen to fill the void.
He led the Chassidim for over seven years, a period known as sheva shnot hasova — “the seven years of plenty,” after the abundance of shefa that he brought down to his Chassidim.
Reb Dov Berish was weak all his life, but disregarded his own body, expounding his divrei Torah at times literally with mesirut nefesh. He said very lengthy divrei Torah, during the week, too, and not just on Shabbat and Yamim Tovim.
Reb Dov Berish was niftar on 25 Sivan 5636 / 1876, at the age of 56.
His sons were Harav Simchah Bunim of Biale, Harav Yitzchak Yaakov of Melbah, Harav Yekusiel of Wangrob, Harav Aharon Tzvi, Rebbe in Biale, and Harav Elimelech Menachem Mendel, the first Strikover Rebbe.
HaRav Chaim Zisman Sofer, zt”l, (5646 / 1886), Rav of Budapest and author of She’eilot U’teshuvot Machaneh Chaim. Born in Pressburg in 5576 / 1816 to Harav Mordechai Efraim Fishel of Pressburg. Reb Chaim’s brothers were also noted Gedolim.
He learned in the yeshivah of HaRav Binyamin Wolf Lev, mechaber of Shaarei Torah, and later in the esteemed yeshivah of the Chatam Sofer.
Reb Chaim was known as an outstanding gaon, especially in the field of halachah. Many halachic she’eilot were addressed to him from many Gedolei Yisrael. These formed the basis for his 10-volume work She’eilot U’teshuvot Machaneh Chaim.
Reb Chaim served as Rav in Gyömöre, Sajószentpéter, and Munkacz. He was later appointed Rav in Budapest. Among his talmidim were his brother, HaRav Eliezer Zussman Sofer, Rav of Paksch and HaRav Moshe Sofer, Rav of Tisaforder.
Reb Chaim wrote a number of sefarim, including the aforementioned She’eilot U’teshuvot Machaneh Chaim, Kol Sofer on the Mishnayot, Shaarei Chaim on the Torah and Tehillim, Peles Chaim and other works.
Reb Chaim was niftar on 25 Sivan 5646/1886, at the age of 70.
His sons were HaRav Yosef Tzvi, Rav of Shamshan; HaRav Yaakov Shalom, Rav of Budapest and HaRav Moshe David, Rav of Sasregen.
HaRav Avraham Salim, zt”l, (5698 / 1938), a Kabbalist in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Naftali Tzvi Shmerler, zt”l, (5704 / 1944), author of Imrei Naftali.
HaRav Moshe Tzvi Twersky, zt”l, (1890 - 5732 / 1972), the Tolna Rebbe of Philadelphia. Born to Rav Menachem Nachum (Rebbe of Tolna-Toltchin) and great-grandson of first Tolna Rebbe, Rav Dovid.. Rav Moshe Menachem succeeded his father in Toltchin un 1916, but left the Ukraine in 1921, crossing the southern border into Moldavia to escape persecution. He emigrated to the United States the following year and settled in Philadelphia.
HaRav Avraham Barzani , zt”l, (1974), a renown Kabbalist.
HaRav Aharon Yeshaya Shapiro, zt"l, (1907 or 1910 - 5741 / 1981), Rosh Yeshiva at Torah Vodaath for forty years (approx 1941 -1981), enriching the Yeshiva with the scholarship of his mentor, Rabbi Shimon Shkop, zt"l (1860-1940), Grodna Rosh Yeshiva. He was also a Talmid of the Mir in Europe. Rav Aron Yeshaya wrote the sefer Shaarei Yosher for R’ Shimon.
HaRav Reuven Fein, zt”l, (5753 / 1993), Rosh Yeshiva, Torah Vodaath and author of Bein Hamishpesayim.
Harav Reuven Fein was born in Adar 5684/1924. His father, Harav Shabsi, was Rav in Belitza, which was near Vilna.
Reb Reuven learned in the yeshivah in Slonim until 5700/1940. Then his father took him to Vilna, from where he fled to Japan with many other bachurim and joined up with the
Mir Yeshivah under Harav Chaim Shmulevitz, zt"l. It was here, under the trying circumstances in Japan during the war, that Reb Reuven grew in Torah.
Reb Reuven once said that the Gemara he learned in Shanghai is what he remembers best because of the amount of time and effort spent on it.
During those years in Shanghai, Reb Reuven forged a close connection with the famous Mashgiach, Harav Yechezkel Levenstein, zt"l.
After the war Reb Reuven immigrated to Eretz Yisrael. He married the daughter of Harav Eliezer Alfa, zt”l, Rav in Haifa.
He began disseminating Torah at a relatively young age. For many years he was a maggid shiur in Yeshivat Beit Meir in Bnei Brak. His shiurim were known for their depth and the mesirut nefesh he put into deliv¬ering them.
In 5742/1982, Reb Reuven was appointed Rosh Yeshivah in Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He resettled in America, considering this yet another stage in "hevei goleh l'makom Torah —exile yourself to a place of Torah."
When he served as a Rosh Yeshiva in America he returned to Eretz Yisrael for holidays and bein hazmanim, (intersessions).
He wrote many of his chiddushim on a number of masechtot under the name Bein Hamishpesayim.
HaRav Baruch Shimon Schneerson, zt”l, (5761 / 2001), Rosh Yeshivah of Tchebin and author of Birchat Shimon.
Harav Baruch Shimon was born in Cracow in 5673/1913. His father was Harav Yosef Moshe Schneerson, a grandson of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. His mother, Rebbetzin Nechamah Schneerson, was a tzaddeket in her own right.
Before he was born, his parents went to Rabbi Baruch of Gorlitz to ask for a brachah for healthy children. The tzaddik’s brachah was fulfilled. His father named him Baruch after three holy tzaddikim: Harav Baruch, father of the Baal HaTanya; the Baruch Taam; and Harav Baruch, Rav of Gorlitz. He was named Shimon after his great-grandfather, and after his maternal grandfather, Shimon Alter.
During his early childhood he was taught by the famed Cracow melamed Rabbi Moshe Chassid, zt”l.
Later he went to learn in Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. Although he took pains to remain unnoticed, within a very short time he stood out as one of the leading bachurim at the yeshivah. The Rosh Yeshivah was especially fond of him, and assigned him to test talmidim entering the yeshivah.
It was during this time that Harav Baruch Shimon received a draft notice from the Polish army. Harav Aharale Kohznitzer gave him a brachah, and miraculously he was not conscripted.
When WWII broke out, Harav Baruch Shimon fled to Russia. For a period of five months he hid in a tiny village. During that entire time he did not stop learning, later commenting on the tremendous amount he covered during that period.
The Russians caught him and threw him into prison for a year and then sent him to Siberia for another year.
After being freed from Siberia, Harav Baruch Shimon made his way to Bukhara, where he met his future father-in-law, the holy Gaon of Tchebin, Harav Dov Berish Wiedenfeld. Harav Baruch Shimon’s engagement took place soon after.
When Russia finally released Polish citizens from its grip, Harav Baruch Shimon boarded an illegal immigrant ship to Eretz Yisrael.
Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he decided not to assume any Rabbinical position but rather to serve Hashem in solitude. However, Gedolei Yisrael, headed by the Belzer Rebbe, asked him to come to the aid of the generation and disseminate Torah.
For a few years Harav Baruch Shimon was Rosh Yeshivah of Chabad, in the city of Lod. In 5717/1957, at the express request of his illustrious father-in-law, he assumed the leadership of Yeshivat Tchebin in Yerushalayim.
At his father-in-law’s behest, he published his chiddushim in Birchat Shimon on Bava Kamma. Over the years he published additional sefarim on Bava Metzia, Bava Basra, Shabbat and Kiddushin. Birchat Shimon on Torah and festivals was published as well. He was niftar on 25 Sivan 5761 / 2001.
Yahrtzeit of the Tanna Rab' Yonasan ben Uziel, zy"a, a student of Hillel, who is buried in Amuka. (According to some). He was the author of Targum to Nevi’im and Kesuvim, the Prophets and Writings, he was a Tanna of the first generation, before the destruction of the Second Beit HaMikdash.
Yahrtzeit of the Tanna Rab’ Yosi ben Kisma (quoted in Pirke Avot 6:9 and Sanhedrin 98a).
26 Sivan - 1294:
The Jewish community of Berne, Switzerland forfeited all financial claims against non-Jews, and then were expelled from the country.
26 Sivan 5082 - 1322:
The Second expulsion from France. (See 27 Sivan)
26 Sivan 5408 - 1648:
During the pogroms of Tach v'Tat,
(the Chmilnitzki Massacres of 1648-49),
theJews of Alik were saved. The Taz established the custom that the community should fast half a day and recite special Selichot composed for the occasion. After chatzot (midday), all were to celebrate with a festive meal, akin to Purim.
26 Sivan 5603 - June 24, 1843:
The Inquisitor of Ancona, Italy decreed that Jews may not reside in any municipality in Italy that hadn't established a ghetto.
26 Sivan 5702 - June 11, 1942:
The advancing German army was stopped and defeated at El-Alamein, North Africa.
The loss here saved the Jews in Palestine from certain death. Under the leadership of General Erwin Rommel, the Nazis threatened to annihilate the Jewish community living in Israel. So great was the threat that the Jewish Agency went about destroying its records, and rabbis distributed thousands of burial shrouds throughout the country. During this time, Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, who lived in the Lithuanian town of Ponevich, escaped Europe and made his way to the Holy Land. Upon arriving on the shores of Tel Aviv, he proudly proclaimed: "I have come to establish a yeshiva. Rommel's troops do not deter me. Even if I am able to spread Torah learning for only a few days, that in itself would be of eternal significance." Rabbi Kahaneman built the Ponevitch Yeshiva, and today it flourishes with thousands of students.
26 Sivan Yahrtzeits
The Tanna Rab' Yonasan ben Uziel, zy"a, a student of Hillel, who is buried in Amuka. (see above).
The Tanna Rab’ Yosi ben Kisma (quoted in Pirke Avot 6:9 and Sanhedrin 98a).
Harav Eizek Reb Yekel, zt”l, (5413 / 1653), who built the famous shul in Cracow that is named after him.
Harav Pesach of Cracow, (5559 / 1799), who was killed al kiddush Hashem. Hy”d.
Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Shapira of Mogelnitza, zt”l, (5586 / 1826 - 5638 / 1878), the youngest son of Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel, the Saraf of Mogelnitza, zy”a, and a great-grandson of the Kozhnitzer Maggid, zy”a..
Reb Chaim Meir named his son after the Apter Rav, zy”a, who became his Rebbe following the petirah of his grandfather, the Kozhnitzer Maggid, and his other Rebbes, the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa, zy”a, and Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin, zy”a. (They were all niftar over a two-year period, 5574–5/1814–5.)
The Apter Rav instructed Reb Chaim Meir to be a manhig. This came about some years later, in 5588/1828, when Reb Chaim Meir became Rebbe of Kozhnitz and of Mogelnitza.
He married the daughter of Harav Yisrael Yitzchak Baron of Radoshitz, son and successor of Harav Yissachar Ber of Radoshitz, zy”a.
After the petirah of his father, on 15 Iyar 5609 / 1849, Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heshel and his four other brothers were appointed Rebbes — he in Mogelnitza, his brothers moving elsewhere. opening their own courts in other cities: the more famous ones were Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, Rebbe in Blendov, and Harav Elimelech, Rebbe in Grodzinsk. Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel became Rebbe in Mogelnitza.
Although he was the youngest of the brothers, Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heshel was the first to pass away. He was niftar on 26 Sivan 5638/1878 at the age of 52.
He was buried in the Mogelnitza ohel in the Warsaw cemetery, but although the cemetery has been rehabilitated in recent years, his matzeivah has not been found.
He was succeeded by his son Harav Avi Ezri Zelig, (named after his paternal great-grandfather, the father of his grandfather Reb Chaim Meir). who held his court in Mogelnitza as well.
Harav Yehoshua (ben Yosef) Buxbaum, Hy”d, the Galanta Rav, (5637 / 1877 - 5704 / 1944), author of Ohr P’nei Yehoshua.
Harav Yehoshua Buxbaum was born in Pupa, Hungary, in Shevat 5637/1877. His father was Reb Yosef, the town’s shochet and his mother was Esther.
Already in his youth, Reb Yehoshua displayed an intense thirst for Torah. At age 16, he was sent by his Rebbe, the Rav of Pupa, to Unsdorf to learn in the esteemed yeshivah of the Be’er Shmuel, zt”l. For six years he slept on hard wooden benches and subsisted on meager amounts of food. After that period, he received semichah from the Be’er Shmuel and from the Rav of Mad, the Levushei Mordechai.
In 5760/1900, Reb Yehoshua married Miriam, the daughter of Reb Chaim Meir Bloch, a naggid from Ujhely, who promised to support his son-in-law for 10 years. Reb Yehoshua utilized those years to attain ever-higher levels in Torah and avodat Hashem.
After 10 years, his father-in-law was unable to continue his support, and Reb Yehoshua planned to work as a milkman. But Heaven destined otherwise. The townspeople of Magendorf went to the Be’er Shmuel seeking a Rav, and he directed them to Reb Yehoshua, saying, “He is the most prized of my talmidim.”
Reb Yehoshua accepted their offer and was able to continue al haTorah v’al ha’avodah while supporting his family.
With time, talmidim gravitated to learn from him, and eventually an entire yeshivah evolved under his direction. The Be’er Shmuel encouraged his talmid every step of the way.
In 5682/1922, Reb Yehoshua was offered the rabbanut of Galanta, succeeding Harav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, who became Rav in Chust. Reb Yehoshua accepted the offer, since by then Magendorf did not have sufficient resources to accommodate a large yeshivah.
With his move to Galanta, his yeshivah grew amazingly. The Galanta Rav’s warmth and caring personality drew many talmidim to his yeshivah.
In 5704/1944, with the Nazi invasion of Hungary, the entire town of Galanta was deported to Auschwitz. Remarkably, a special order was received to take the Rav off the train headed to Auschwitz, but the Rav refused to leave his flock. During the hellish journey to that death camp, the Galanta Rav appeared unusually calm. Upon inquiry, he exclaimed, “We are on our way to Gan Eden!”
His chiddushim and biographical highlights were printed in Or Pnei Yehoshua and Nachal Yehoshua.
HaRav Shimon Ashriki, zt”l, (5690 / 1930). Av Beit Din of the Adat HaMaarivim (Sefarad community) in Yerushalayim.
HaRav Avraham Smajah, zt’l, (1978). Rav of Tunisia.
HaRav Moshe Yitzchak ben Rav Yehoshua Zev Deutch, zt”l, (1996), author of Ziv HaYam and Mei Ziv.
Harav Simcha Kessler, zt”l, (5756 / 1996), Rav of Kiryat Sefer.
HaRav Eliezer of Ajar, zt”l, one of the Sages of Yerushalayim. (year?).
HaRav Rafael Yosef ben Robi, zt”l, author of Derech HaMelech on the Rambam. (year?)
RETURN TO TOP
27 Sivan - 67 C.E.:
The Romans stormed the Samaritan stronghold on Har Gerizim and killed 11,600 people.
27 Sivan - 132 C.E.:
Rab' Akiva was imprisoned.
27 Sivan 5082 - June 24, 1322:
The Jews of France were expelled for a second time. (See 26 Sivan)
27 Sivan 5550 - 1790:
The Jews of Florence, Italy celebrate "Purim" in memory of their escape from a
27 Sivan 5793 - 1933:
Heinrich Himmler, ym"s, was appointed Chief of German Police.
27 Sivan 5701 - June 22, 1941:
The Germans shot 300 Jews when they occupied Beresteczko, Ukraine. Later in
the day, in Lithuania, Fascists carried out a pogrom and killed many Jews in
27 Sivan 5701 - June 22, 1941:
Communists closed the Slobodka yeshiva - see below
27 Sivan 5701 - June 22, 1941:
The Nazis began Operation Barbarossa, a forceful attack on many Russian-ocupied territories,
including Lithuania and Latvia,
that was home to over 1.5 million Jews. The radio blasted messages inciting the local population against the Jews, and flyers were distributed urging them to kill the Jews even before the Nazis arrived.
27 Sivan 5702 - June 12, 1942:
Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday. While hiding for two years in secret rooms in an office building, Anne recorded her personal thoughts, and this Diary of Anne Frank has become the most widely-read account of life during the Holocaust. Anne's family had moved from Germany to Amsterdam after Hitler gained power, but were trapped when the Nazi occupation extended into The Netherlands in 1942. After two years in hiding, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps where Anne died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen. It is estimated that of the 110,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation, only 5,000 survived. Anne's father, Otto, survived and returned to Amsterdam after the war, where he relocated Anne's diary and had it published. After Simon Wiesenthal was challenged by Holocaust deniers that Anne Frank never existed, he proved her existence five years later by finding the Nazi officer who had arrested her. Today, the building in Amsterdam where she hid, the Anne Frank House, is a museum visited by nearly one million people each year. Time magazine selected Anne Frank as one of 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
27 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Rab' Chanina ben Tradyon, one of the Asarah (ten) Harugei Malchut (killed by the Romans)
- and a fast day in his memory (Orach Chaim 580:2). When the Romans discovered him teaching Torah, they wrapped him in a Torah scroll, piled bundles of twigs around him, and, before setting him afire, placed damp woolen cloths on him to prolong the agony of being burned to death. As the flames engulfed him, his disciples asked him, "Master, what do you see?" Rabbi Chananya replied: "I see a scroll burning, but the letters flying up to Heaven." (see 25 Sivan.)
HaRav Meir Eisenstadt, zt”l, (5430 / 1670 – 5504 / 1744) the Maharam Eish, author of Panim Meirot. He traced his lineage back to Dovid Hamelech. During the gezeirot of Tach veTat (1648-49), many Jews had to flee from the oncoming forces of Chmielnitzki, among them the Shach and his sister. The two of them were separated, and the sister ended up in the home of Reb Yitzchak, a wealthy parness of Sochathov. When he discovered her lineage, Reb Yitzchak married her. Their second son was Reb Meir.
After his marriage he was supported for 10 years by his father-in-law. He later served as Dayan in Posen and later as Rav in Szydłowiec, (Shidlovtze) Poland. Afterwards he became Rav in Worms, Germany where he was also appointed Rosh Yeshiva thru the influence of Rav Shimshon Wertheimer. When Worms was taken by the French in 1701 he left Worms and went to Prozhnitz, Moravia, where he was appointed Rav. From 1711 to 1714 he returned to Szydłowiec (Shidlovtze) but then he moved to Eisenstadt (now in Austria) (adopting the name of the town) serving as Rav of the Seven Communities. He was chief rabbi of Eisenstadt from 1718 until his death in 1744, and through him the local yeshiva became celebrated. Among his best known disciples was an orphaned young boy named Yonasan Eybeschutz who Rav Meir adopted and raised.
His magnum opus, Panim Meirot is a 4-volume collection of his sheilot u’teshuvot and chidushim on Shas. He also wrote Me’orei Esh (drashot on Chumash and the five megillot), Ohr Ganuz (chidushim on Masechet Kesubot and on Hilchot yayin nesech), Kotnot Or and other sefarim.
He and his wife had 11 children (9 boys and two girls). His grandson, Rav Yaakov Eisenstadt, was the author of Toledot Yaakov. Many Litvishe Gedolim can trace their roots to the Panim Meirot, including the Netziv, Rav Chaim Brisker, and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer.
HaRav Mordechai Kletzki, zt”l, (1797 - 5643 / 1883).
Harav Mordechai Kletzki (later known as Meltzer) was the son of Reb Asher Kletzki of Vilna, a distinguished layman and descendant of the Maharam Padwa.
Young Mordechai had an outstanding mind. Once, Harav Mordechai Mardush, author of the Biur on Maharam Schiff, happened to be in Vilna. He delivered an intricate shiur to the city’s lomdim, among them the youngster Mordechai. During the shiur, in which complicated topics were presented, young Mordechai posed an unanswerable question. The Gaon stopped in the middle of the shiur and declared, “I am positive that this youngster will become a respected Rav in Klal Yisrael.”
At a young age he married the daughter of Harav Leib Meltzer, a noted naggid of Vilna. His father-in-law supported him generously, and he was able to immerse himself totally in the world of Torah. He became commonly referred to by his father-in-law’s surname, Meltzer.
In Vilna, the people were amazed at his intense hasmadah. Eventually he was accepted to the prestigious post of head of the kloiz of Harav Dovid Strashen (father-in-law of the Rashash). He delivered a shiur in the early morning hours.
The shamash of the kloiz, who was in charge of waking those attending the shiur, related that often he would come to wake Rav Mordechai in the wee hours of the morning, only to find him still engrossed in learning from the previous night. He would stand on a ladder at the sefarim shank, a candle in one hand and the holy sefer in the other, and in that position he would learn for hours on end, often through the night.
In 5587/1827, the esteemed gvir Reb Meiles founded the famous Ramailles Yeshivah in Vilna, and Rav Mordechai was called upon to be Rosh Yeshivah.
Many people flocked to him for advice and counsel.
In 5612/1852, he was accepted as Rav in Kalavaria and, 12 years later, he became Rav of Lida. He did not allow himself to be influenced by the powerful gvirim. He refrained from giving haskamot; one of the only haskamot he gave was to the Chofetz Chaim.
During the last year of his life he was stricken with a foot infection and confined to his bed. Immediately before his petirah, he told his son, “I have now concluded a chiddush that I am prepared to say in Olam Ha’emet; I am sure that this chiddush is la’amita shel Torah!” With these words his holy neshamah departed. He is buried in an ohel that was erected in Lida.
After his petirah, his talmidim published Techeilet Mordechai, with his chiddushim.
Harav Moshe Yechiel Elimelech Rabinowitz, zy”a, Hy”d, of Levertov, (5655 / 1895 – 5701 / 1941). Born in 5655/1895, in Biala to Harav Nosson David of Partzova, who was the son of the Divrei Binah of Biala. His mother, who passed away when he was a child, was the daughter of Harav Yechiel Yaakov of Kozhnitz; Until the age of 10, he was brought up by his grandfather, the Divrei Binah. He dedicated himself to learning, despite the trials of being a young orphan and suffering from hunger.
At the age of 16, Reb Moshe Yechiel married the daughter of Harav Yisrael Shapira of Grodzinsk, the Emunat Yisrael.
He began releasing his sefarim shortly after he married. Some of these sefarim were written when he was just 13 years old. He continued to write all his life, even after he was appointed Rebbe. Many of his sefarim are based on the works of the Maharal and his pattern of deep thought.
Following the petirah of his father on 7 Shevat 5690 / 1930, Reb Moshe Yechiel was appointed Rebbe. He settled in Levertov, a suburb of Lublin. His other brother, Harav Baruch Yerachmiel, was Rebbe in Munkacz.
His court attracted many chassidim. Reb Moshe Yechiel put special kochot into the youth, even those who had already distanced themselves from Chassidic ways.
Among his noted chassidim was Harav Shimon of Zelichov, the famed Mashgiach in Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. Although Reb Shimon was many years older than the Rebbe, he was utterly devoted to him. Reb Shimon would also send his talmidim to Reb Moshe Yechiel.
He was known for his many mofsim, and many petitioners came to him for yeshuot.
When the Nazis took over Poland, they came to Levertov. As they did in many cities, they first sought to kill the Rabbanim. Reb Moshe Yechiel fled to Lublin, barely escaping the Nazis. His wife took ill and passed away in Lublin. When he got up from shivah, Reb Moshe Yechiel decided to move to Demtchaba, which was under Russian rule, where he had a summer home. He stayed there for nearly two years, until the city was taken over by the Nazis.
On Motzoei Shabbat parashat Shelach, 27 Sivan, Reb Moshe Yechiel was eating melaveh malkah with his children by the light of a dimmed candle. The Rebbe’s gabbai, who had left for a few minutes to tend to something, was shocked upon his return to find the Rebbe and his children brutally murdered. The Nazis had suddenly barged into the house and shot them all point-blank. Hashem yinkom damam.
Reb Moshe Yechiel’s children who were killed with him were his sons Reb Yitzchak and Reb Chaim, and his daughter Reizel. He was 46 at his death.
Many of his manuscripts were lost or burned during the war.
HaRav Mordechai Savitzky, zt”l, (1911-1991). Rav in Boston, and prolific author of 22 sefarim on the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi. He studied in the Chofetz Chaim's yeshiva in Radun when he was young and his first volume, Bikurei Mordecai, on the Yerushalmi, was published in 1930, when he was 19 years old. Also, while still in his teens, he carried on a lengthy correspondence with Rav Yosef Rosen (aka the Rogotchover Gaon) no mean feat for even scholars much older and more experienced than he was at the time. He published that exchange in a book, Ner Avraham. He received Semicha (Rabbinic ordination) from the Rogotchover.
From 1939 to 1984, he was affiliated with Cong. Chevra Shaas in Dorchester, Boston. He was also honorary president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States. Some of his sefarim are Bikurei Mordecai, Ner Avraham, Mareh Esh - Yerushalmi Shekalim 1 and 2, Breichat Yerushalayim, Bet Mordechai.
HaRav Chaim Stein zt”l, Rosh Yeshivat Telshe-Cleveland. (5771 / 2011)
Rav Chaim, in his youth, learned at the Telshe Yeshiva in Lithuania. During the early years of World War II, Rav Elya Meir Bloch and Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz, the roshei yeshiva of Telshe, were in the United States on a fundraising mission. As the war broke out, their only option to ensure the survival of the yeshiva was to transfer the yeshiva to American soil.
In October 1940, a group of Telshe talmidim led by Rav Stein escaped from war-ravaged Lithuania as it was overrun by the Nazis. This daring flight took place on Shabbat, as related by Rav Chaim many times. The hanhalah of the yeshiva, their families, and most of the talmidim left behind in Europe were killed in Lithuania by the Nazi forces and Lithuanian collaborators, yemach shemom. Escaping to Russia as war raged in Eastern Europe, another war was taking place in the Pacific, the very direction that the talmidim led by Rav Stein were headed. In June 1941, Rav Chaim led the group to Russia where they were sent to Siberia.
The talmidim eventually achieved safe passage via the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the Far East. The group had somehow acquired visas from the renowned Chiune Sugihara, and they became beneficiaries of his admirable action to risk his life so that many people from war-torn Europe were given the opportunity to seek refuge elsewhere in the world. The group found its way to the United States in early 1941.
Once reunited with their roshei yeshiva, Rav Bloch and Rav Katz, they eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. It was from that time until his last year that Rav Chaim spent his days in the legendary Telshe Yeshiva, growing from a young talmid chacham and maggid shiur to the senior rosh yeshiva of his generation.
Rav Stein’s rebbetzin was a daughter of Rav Moshe Yehudah Leib Zaks. Together, they established a home permeated with Torah and yirah.
Rav Stein left behind a beautiful mishpacha of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in his ways. His children are Rav Shmuel Zalman Stein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Birkat Chaim of Lakewood; Rav Binyomin Moshe Stein of Cleveland; Mrs. Levin, wife of Rav Menachem Levin of Telshe Yeshiva; and Mrs. Tziporah Weinberg, wife of Rav Matis Weinberg. He was predeceased by his son, Rav Shalom Refoel Yehuda Stein zt”l.
28 Sivan 1656 - 2105 B.C.E.:
The 40 day rain period during the mabul came to an end, according to Rav Yehoshua, (Rosh Hashana 11).
28 Sivan 2550 - 1211 B.C.E.:
Bnei Yisrael arrived in Midbar Paran.
28 Sivan 3448 - 313 B.C.E.:
After the victory of Geviha ben Pesisa three days earlier (see 25 Sivan), Yishmaelites, Egyptians and Canaanites retreated and left their fields and properties to the Jews. SEE FULL STORY HERE.
28 Sivan - 1242:
24 wagonloads of Gemaras and 200 other kisvei yad (manuscripts) were burned in Paris.
28 Sivan - 1567:
Jews of Genoa were expelled.
28 Sivan 5575 - July 6, 1815:
French soldiers, returning home from war, passed Vilna and desecrated many Jewish graves. .
28 Sivan 5682 - June 24, 1922:
Walther Rathenau, Jewish foreign minister of Germany, is assassinated by members of Organization Consul, a clandestine, right-wing political organization led by Captain Hermann Ehrhardt.
28 Sivan 5701 - June 23, 1941:
After escaping Nazi-occupied Paris, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l, arrived in New York.
28 Sivan 5701 - June 23, 1941:
The day after Germany invaded Lithuania, two great yeshivas closed - Slobodka and Telz. The invasion brought about massive pogroms by the local populations in which thousands were killed.
28 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Harav Menachem, zt”l, (5489 / 1729), author of Zera Berach.
Harav Avraham Chaim Adadi, zt”l, (5634 / 1874), Rav in Tripoli, Libya, and author of Vayikra Avraham and Hashomer Emet.
Harav Meshulem Feish (Segal-Loewy) Levi of Tosh, zt”l, (5635 / 1875).(Others 1873).
Harav Meshulem Feish, the son of Harav Mordechai Lowy, was born in 5581/1821 in Joseph’s Dorf, a town near Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic). As a young child he studied in a modern school; but eventually, under the influence of his pious mother, he traveled to Hungary to learn in a proper yeshivah. There he excelled greatly in his studies and became a talmid of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Weinberger, who later became Rav of Kleinvardein.
Subsequently, Reb Meshulem Feish traveled to Ungvar where he learned under Harav Meir Eisenstadt for several years.
After Harav Meir was niftar Reb Meshulam Feish moved to Krula, to the yeshivah of Harav Meir Perles. At the time there was already a beit medrash of chassidim in the town, and under their influence Reb Meshulam Feish was attracted to the ways of Chassidut.
Later he moved to the town of Gebe, in order to totally immerse himself in Torah and Chassidut.
He married the daughter of Harav Yeshayah Dovid of Chasar, a town of chassidim and anshei maaseh. After his wedding he stayed on in Chasar, where he continued his avodat hakodesh while living in poverty. Eventually he accepted a post as melamed in the town of Teglash.
From Teglash he was invited to become Rav in Tosh, where he eventually began leading a group of chassidim.
Reb Meshulam Feish traveled to the courts of Harav Yitzchak Eizik, the Heichal Habrachah of Komarno; Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Liska, the Ach Pri Tevuah; Harav Chaim of Sanz, Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchov; and Harav Yehudah Tzvi of Rozla.
But his primary Rebbe was Harav Dovid of Dinov, the Tzemach Dovid, who ordained him as a Rebbe. Even after he had many chassidim of his own, he traveled to Reb Dovid of Dinov at least once a year.
As Rebbe, Reb Meshulam Feish was renowned for his fiery avodah, especially during davening. He was also known for his mofsim, and he accomplished many yeshuot for his chassidim.
Chassidim would say that as the Rebbe danced at his Friday night tisch, he would bring down yeshuot and refuot from Shamayim for all who needed them.
Rav Meshulam Feish invested a huge amount of resources in the holiness of Shabbat. For him, Shabbat began early Friday morning when he started preparing for it, and his unique and uplifting kedushat Shabbat would continue until after Havdalah.
Reb Meshulam Feish fought the Reform movement in Hungary, participating in the special congress in 5629/1869 in which the communities were divided.
In 5633/1873, (or 5365 /1875), an epidemic broke out in Hungary and many Jews died, including two of Reb Meshulam Feish’s sons. The chassidim later said that Reb Meshulam Feish took upon himself to pass away from this world as a korban tzibbur — and with his petirah, the epidemic stopped.
Reb Meshulam Feish was niftar on 28 Sivan 5633/1873, at the age of 52. He was buried in Tosh, where an ohel was built on his kever.
He was succeeded by his son Harav Elimelech, who was born in his later years. (His other son, Harav Mordechai, refused to become Rebbe.)
His sons-in-law were Harav Yehosef Rottenberg, the Kossoner Rebbe; Harav Menachem Brody, Rav in Tosh and Kaliv; Harav Shalom Kahana, and Harav Dovid Menasheh of Satmar.
The Tosher dynasty continues to thrive under the current Tosher Rebbe, Harav Elimelech Lowy, shlita, whose center is Kiryat Tosh, a small town outside of Montreal where the Rebbe resides.
Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Brisk, zt”l, (5649 / 1889).
HaRav Shimshon Aaron Polansky, zt"l, the Teplik Rav, Rav of Teplik-Yerushalayim, (1876-1948).
Harav Shimshon Aharon Polansky was born in 5636 / 1876 in Volin (Volhynia), near Cherkasy, in the Kiev region. His father, Reb Avraham Yitzchak, was a noted talmid chacham. The family stemmed from many Gedolim, including Reb Nachum of Chernobyl and Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, and served as Rabbanim in the Volin region for several generations.
Even in his youth Reb Shimshon Aharon was considered a genius. He was a talmid of Harav Avraham Shmuel Blechman, known as Reb Alter Konstantiner, one of the leading poskim in Ukraine, and later became his son-in-law.
At the age of 20, Reb Shimshon Aharon was appointed Rav in Midova, in Ukraine's Kiev district. Some five years later, he became Rav in Teplik, near Podolia. As Rav of Teplik, Reb Shimshon Aharon grew famous as a posek of note.
He was close with the Rebbes of Skver and Tolna and others in the region.
In 5682 / 1922, Reb Shimshon Aharon came to Kishinev together with many refugees from Ukraine, following the riots. He helped found a yeshivah there, and was its Rosh Yeshivah for a while.
But his goal was to go to Eretz Yisrael. In 5685 / 1925 he left with his wife and two daughters.
Reb Shimshon Aharon settled in Yerushalayim’s Beit Yisrael neighborhood. He served as Rav there, and was a posek who taught younger Rabbanim. He was very devoted to helping other Yidden.
Some of his more famous talmidim include Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach; Harav David Yungreis, later Raavad of the Eidah Hachareidit; Harav Chanoch Padwa of London; Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv; Harav Shmuel Wosner; and Harav Ovadiah Yosef, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.
When he was sick with his final illness, Reb Shimshon Aharon told his son-in-law that he had bought a plot on Har Hazeitim. He added that he would be niftar in two months’ time, when it would be impossible to transport him to Har Hazeitim, so they should bury him temporarily in Sanhedria; when there would be an opportunity within the next two years to transfer his kever to Har Hazeitim, it should be done.
Reb Shimshon Aharon was niftar on 28 Sivan 5708 / 1948, at the height of Israel’s War of Independence. Interred in Sanhedria, he was later re-buried on Har Hazeitim.
His chiddushim were compiled in sefer Divrei Aharon.
Harav Yisrael Zev ben Harav Avraham Tzvi Gustman, zt”l, (5670 / 1910 (?1908) - 5751 / 1991), Rosh Yeshiva of Netzach Yisrael, and author of Kuntres Ha'Shiurim
Rav Gustman learned in Yeshivat Mir, in his youth, where he was the chavrusa of Harav Chaim Shmuelevitz, zt”l, later Rosh Yeshivah of Mir.
From there, he went to learn under Harav Shimon Shkop at Grodno, and he became the son-in-law of Harav Meir Bessin, who was the Rav of Shnipishock, (near Vilna), and member of the beit din of Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, the Rav of Vilna, the center of Jewish life in the early 20th century.
Following the petirah of his father-in-law shortly before the wedding, Reb Yisrael Zev was appointed to fill his place on the illustrious beit din of HaRav Chaim Ozer. In fact, he was the youngest dayan in the history of Vilna (at age 19). He also became Rav of Shnipishock and appointed Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ramailes in Vilna.
When the Nazis invaded Vilna, they stormed the yeshiva and Rav Gustman was brutally beaten until he collapsed, but he managed to escape with his family. They hid in the forest with the partisans for three years, subsisting on vegetation; years earlier, Rav Gustman's own rav had prophetically instructed him on techniques of wilderness survival. Rav Gustman's most tragic moment was seeing the Nazis shoot his only son, Meir, dead. After the war, he became the Rav of the remnants of the community in Vilna.
In 5709/1949 he was able to escape to America, where he re-established his yeshiva, Netzach Yisrael, in Crown Heights. In 5631/1971, (?1961) he moved the yeshiva to the Rechavia neighborhood in Yerushalayim, where, in gratitude for having been spared in the forest, Rav Gustman personally served as gardener for the yeshiva building. Today its rosh yeshiva is his son-in-law, Rav Michel Berniker.
One of his first students in Yerushalayim was Rav Moshe Francis, Rosh Kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel. Another talmid was Rav Moshe Lipke, Rosh Kollel of Y’kar Mordechai in Yerushalayim.
Reb Yisrael Zev is best known for his multi-volumeKuntres Ha'Shiurim, an edited and expanded version of his weekly shiurim, which set forth a new concept in learning Gemara. His analysis is as topical and far-ranging as his Rebbi, Harav Shimon Shkop, but his conceptual approach to the various sugyot is unique. Each topic is examined in its entirety following a logical sequence of its elements.
On 28 Sivan 5751/1991, Reb Yisrael Zev was niftar, at the age of 81. Thousands marched through the streets of Yerushalayim accompanying him on his final journey. As night fell, Reb Yisrael Zev was buried on Har Hazeitim.
Rebbetzin Pesha Leibowitz, A’H, wife of Rav Henoch Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Chafetz Chaim in Queens (1928-2004). She was born in Radin, the daughter of Rav Avraham Trop, and the grand-daughter of Rav Naftali Trop, the Radiner Rosh Yeshiva. The Rebbetzen’s father-in-law, Rav Dovid Leibowitz, the founder of Chofezt Chaim Yeshiva, was a talmid muvhak or the Alter of Slabodka, a nephew of the Chafetz Chaim, and a close talmid of Rav Naftali Trop. Rav Shmuel Birenbaum once remarked that “‘the Rebbitzen is a ‘gaon’ in chesed.”
29 Sivan 2450 - 1311 B.C.E.:
Moshe Rabbeinu sent the 12 Meraglim / spies to tour and scout out Eretz Yisrael in preparation for its conquest by the Bnei Yisroel. (Talmud Taanit 29a)
Their mission seemed rather
innocuous: devise a strategy for battling the Canaanites and for
settling 3 million Jews in the new land. In Eretz Yisrael, Hashem showed the spies
encouraging signs that the land is plentiful and rich -- e.g. clusters
of grapes so enormous that eight men were needed to carry it (Numbers
13:23). Hashem also made sure the spies encountered heavily fortified
Canaanite cities -- which in fact is a sign of Canaanite weakness, since
the truly powerful do not need to hide behind walls. Yet after 40 days,
the spies came back and recommended against entering the land. The Jews
accepted the report, and as a consequence, Hashem said: Because you don't
want to enter the land, then all Israelites will die out over the next
40 years in the desert, and only your children will enter the land. The
spies delivered their negative report on the calendar day of Tisha B'Av.
Hundreds of years later, the destruction of the First Beit HaMikdash occurred
on Tisha B'Av, and 500 years after that, the Second Beit HaMikdash was also
destroyed on Tisha B'Av. Today, Tisha B'Av is observed as a national day
of mourning for the Jewish people. For more info, click here.
29 Sivan 5633 - June 24, 1873:
First public warning of rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. is given in a sermon by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher.
29 Sivan 5657 - June 29, 1897:
Chovevei Tzion (Lovers of Zion) was founded in America.
29 Sivan - June 24, 1903:
Russia outlawed Zionist gatherings and fundraising for Zionism.
29 Sivan 5684 - July 1, 1924:
Dr. Yaakov Yisrael Dehan (de Haan), Hy"d, the famous baal teshuvah and askan for Agudat Yisrael before the founding of the State of Israel, was murdered in Yerushalayim by the Hagana Zionists.
As a young, zealous secular Zionist, Dehan moved to Eretz Yisrael to make a difference. He did not see eye-to-eye with the Zionists’ approaches and began to develop close ties to Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and Rav Diskin. Eventually, using his legal and oratory skills, he became the spokesman and advocate of the charedi community. He was working with the king of Trans-Jordan to build an autonomous religious settlement east of the Jordan River. However, his works were sabotaged by the Zionists when they killed him as he was coming from praying maariv. The order was likely given by David Ben Gurion, or by Yitzchak Ben Tzvi (Israel’s 2nd president).
29 Sivan 5701 - June 24, 1941:
Germany occupy Kaunas (Kovno), and Vilna and
kill the Jews of Gorzhdy, Lithuania. Lithuanian partisans kill 1,000 Jews, and 10,000
Jews are arrested and sent to the Seventh Fort.
29 Sivan 5736 - June 27, 1976:
· Air France flight 139 (Tel Aviv-Athens-Paris) hijacked en route to Paris by the PLO and redirected to Entebbe, Uganda.
29 Sivan Yahrtzeits
Harav Shmuel Shmaryahu Heine of Ostrovtza, zt”l, (5518 / 1758 - 5607 / 1847), the son of Harav Yaakov of Zhvalin, a grandson of Harav Shmuel of Fiorda, the author of Beit Shmuel on Even Haezer. He was also a descendant of the Rema.
He was a close talmid of the Kozhnitzer Maggid, the Chozeh of Lublin and the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa. After their petirah, he traveled to the court of Harav Yerachmiel of Peshischa and to Harav Moshe Elyakim Briyah of Kozhnitz.
Reb Shmuel served as Rav in Ostrovtza for close to 50 years. He also served as Rosh Yeshivah in the city, teaching multitudes of bachurim. Among his more famous talmidim were Harav Shimshon, Rav of Kintzk; Harav Dov Berish, Rav of Zelichov; and Harav Moshe Yehudah, Rav of Konstantin.
Reb Shmuel was niftar on 29 Sivan, Erev Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5607/1847, at the age of 89. He was buried in Ostrovtza.
He wrote many chiddushim, on the Torah and in drush, including many divrei Torah from his Rebbes that were previously unknown; he serves as the only source for these divrei Torah. These were later published, some 80 years after his petirah, by his grandsons, under the name Zichron Shmuel.
The sefer was held in high esteem, and was printed with the haskamot of many of the generation’s foremost Gedolim including Harav Meir Yechiel of Ostrovtza; the Knesset Yechezkel of Radomsk; Harav Shalom Mordechai of Brezhan and others.
Harav Moshe Nachum Yerushalimsky, zt”l, (5666 / 1916), Rav of Kielce and author of Minchat Moshe, Birchat Moshe, and Be’er Moshe and more.
Harav Moshe Nachum Yerushalimsky was the son of Harav Binyamin. He was born on 29 Shevat 5615/1855. As a youth, he was considered an iluy.
In 5632/1872, he married the daughter of the nagid Reb Yonah Rosenbaum from Karsilov, who supported his son-in-law so he would be able to devote himself to Torah. During the years he spent near his father-in-law, many Rabbanim from across Europe sent their halachic queries to Reb Moshe Nachum.
Reb Moshe Nachum was a devoted Chassid of Harav Dovid of Tolna, who appointed him Rav in Kaminka in 5640/1880.
Later, Reb Moshe Nachum went to Harav Yochanan of Rachmastrivka, who held him in the highest esteem. The Rebbe wrote him many letters full of praise for his greatness in Torah.
In 5641/1881 Reb Moshe Nachum published his first sefer, Lashad Hashomen, a collection of his notes on the Rambam. The next year he published his responsa, She’eilot U’Teshuvot Minchat Moshe.
Ten years later, in 5652/1892, Reb Moshe Nachum was voted a member of the committee of Rabbanim in Kamenitz-Podolsk. In 5658/1898, he became Rav in Ostralenka.
In 5661/1901, Reb Moshe Nachum published another collection of his responsa, She’eilot U’Teshuvot Be’er Moshe. A year later, in 5662/1902, he was appointed Rav in Kielce, a post he held until his petirah.
He was one of Russia’s foremost Rabbanim and his opinion was sought on every issue.
At the outbreak of World War I, Reb Moshe Nachum fled to Charal in Ukraine, but he did not live there for long. He was niftar on 29 Sivan 5676/1916, at 61.
Harav Shlomo Danah of Tunis, zt”l, (5673 / 1913), Rosh Yeshivat Chevrat Hatalmud and author of Shalmei Todah.
Harav Shlomo Danah was born in 5610 / 1850. His father was Harav David Danah.
Rav Shlomo was a talmid of Harav Avraham Hakohen Yitzchaki, the Mishmeret Kehunah, and of Harav Moshe Berabi, both of whom served as Rabbanim in Tunis.
It has been said that if not for Rav Shlomo, the Torah might have been forgotten in Tunisia, chas v’shalom. In his time, learning Torah was losing its value to the community and many yeshivot were closed. The fire of kefirah was raging; the intervention of Rav Shlomo and his mesirut nefesh made it possible to withstand those forces.
Rav Shlomo founded Yeshivat Chevrat HaTalmud. He taught many talmidim, some of whom went on to become Gedolei Hador.
His talmidim recall the help he offered bachurim with financial difficulties so as to enable them to continue learning Torah unhindered.
Rav Shlomo authored the sefer Shalmei Todah, a compilation of his chiddushim on Shas and Shulchan Aruch.
Rav Shlomo was niftar on 29 Sivan 5673/1913, at the age of 63.
Dr. Yaakov Yisrael de Haan, Hy”d, (5684 / 1924), the famous baal teshuvah and askan for Agudat Yisrael before the founding of the State of Israel. He was assassinated by the Zionists for his activities. (See above).
HaRav Yehoshua Pitusi, zt”l, (1971). Rav of Tzefat.
HaRav Machluf Lesry, zt”l, (2001), Kabbalist.
30 Sivan - 1096:
Crusaders massacred the Jews of Mehr, Hy"d.
30 Sivan - 1322:
Second expulsion of Jews from France.
30 Sivan 5408 - June 20, 1648:
Bogdan Chmielniki killed many Poles. The Jews were even more hated than the
Poles and were massacred ruthlessly. During the next ten years, over 700 Jewish
communities were destroyed and between 100 and 500,000 Jews lost their lives. Hy"d.
30 Sivan 5606 - June 24, 1846:
Residence tax on Hungarian Jews was abolished.
30 Sivan 5680 - June 16, 1920:
Henry Ford retracted and "apologized" for the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent..
Protocols is an anti-Semitic forgery purporting to be the conspiratorial discussions of the Jewish elders plotting to take over the world. Thanks in large part to Ford, Protocols was - next to the Bible - the best-selling book in the world during the 1920s. He remained an anti-Semite until the end of his life. The Independent also published, in Ford's name, several anti-Jewish articles; these were published in the 1920s as a 4-volume set entitled, The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem. These books were distributed through Ford's car dealerships. Prior to World War II, Ford lavished praise on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi philosophy, and there is evidence that Ford gave Hitler direct financial backing. In 1938, Ford was awarded (and accepted) the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle, Nazi Germany's highest honorary award given to foreigners. Even today, Ford's writings are used as propaganda by neo-Nazi groups.
30 Sivan 5701 - June 25, 1941:
Numerous Jews were killed in a pogrom at Jassy, Romania, Hy"d .
30 Sivan 5706 - June 29, 1946:
Front page of the Palestine Post:
Army [British] seize Jewish Agency, hold leaders, 1,000 others in dawn swoop. The British mandatory government arrested 100 leaders. The day became known as "Black Shabbat".
30 Sivan Yahrtzeits
HaRav Moshe Najara, zt”l, (5341/1581), student of the Arizal and author of Lekach Tov on Rashi.
HaRav Chaim Kitza of Irsha, zt”l, (5609 / 1849), author of Otzar Chaim.
HaRav Shlomo Kluger, zt"l, (5546 / 1786 - 5269 / 1869), author of Sefer HaChaim (a commentary on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim), and Chochmat Shlomo and much more.
Rav Kluger was born in 5546/1786. His father was Rav Yehuda Aharon, rabbi of Komarow (a shtetl near Zamosc, Poland). By the age of 10 he was so far ahead of the other children due to his extraordinary mind that his father taught him privately for a few years.
When he was 14 his pious father suddenly passed away, and his mother sent him to Zamosc to study in the yeshivah of Harav Mordechai Rabin.
There he became close to Harav Yaakov Krantz, the Dubner Maggid, and to Harav Yosef Hoichgelernter, the Mishnat Chachamim. The Dubner Maggid was especially fond of this talmid and learned a special seder of Midrash with him every Friday.
In time, young Shlomo became known as an iluy. He was different from other talmidim; he would not participate in Torah discussions nor express his opinions, but sat in his quiet corner and spent lots of time writing.
After his marriage to the daughter of Harav Chaim Weinreb of Ravva, in 5562 / 1802, he devoted himself exclusively to Torah study. He learned with his brothers-in-law, Harav Mordechai Mardush and Harav Tzvi Hersh Heller and, together, they attained ever greater heights in Torah and hasmadah.
After the petirah of his father-in-law, he tried to support himself as a shopkeeper but was not successful. He was then prevailed upon by the Yeshuot Yaakov to accept a Rabbinical post in Kolki. Later on he moved to Yosefov, Poland. Finally, in 5580 / 1820, he became Dayan and Maggid in Brody, where he remained for close to 50 years.
A prolific author and posek, he wrote of himself that he had authored “115 large works on Tanach and the entire Talmud, and commentaries on the early and later poskim.” This statement was written in 1844, 25 years before his petira.
Ha’elef Lecha Shlomo, his best-known work of halachic responsa, has 1,008 chapters. He also authored Imrei Shefer on Chumash.
The number of his works is no less than 136, each one containing at least 200 pages, as he himself wrote in the introduction to Tikkun Olam. Fifteen of his chiburim were published in his lifetime and an equal number after his petirah; more than 100 remain in ksav yad.
Rav Kluger also served as Rosh Beit Din in Grodi, Galicia.
HaRav Meir Rosenbaum of Kretchenif, zt"l, (5668 / 1908).
Harav Meir Rosenbaum was born in 5612/1852. His father was Harav Mordechai of Nadvorna, zy”a, who descended from the esteemed dynasties of Nadvorna and Premishlan.
Reb Meir married the daughter of Harav Chaim of Dorohoi, a grandson of Harav Chaim of Chernowitz, the Be’er Mayim Chaim, zy”a.
Reb Meir led his own court as Rebbe in Yassi, even during his father’s lifetime.
Reb Mordechai of Nadvorna was niftar, after many yissurim, on the first day of Sukkot, 15 Tishrei 5655/1894.
After his father’s petirah, Reb Meir moved in 5656/1895 to Kretchenif, near the city of Sighet. There Reb Meir attracted many Chassidim, who were drawn to his avodast hakodesh. He was renowned for his dveikut in Hashem and for his legendary middat ha’emet, honesty.
Reb Meir was known as a baal mofes; these mofsim drew many to his court for his brachot, and they made him famous. Reb Meir would also write kameiot (amulets) for those in need of ayeshuah. In fact, he was the only one of all his brothers whom his father allowed to write kemeyot.
His house was open, always full of guests, because of his love for the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim.
Reb Meir was niftar on 30 Sivan 5668/1908. He was 56 years old.
His sons were Harav Eliezer Zev (Wolf) of Kretchenif, Harav Issamar of Nadvorna, Harav Yaakov Yissachar Ber of Slotpina, Harav Yitzchak of Rachov and Harav Mordechai of Rachov. His sons-in-law were Harav Shlomo Isaacson of Romania and Harav Pinchas Shapira of Kochnia.
Some of Reb Meir’s divrei Torah were printed in the sefer Arbaah Arazim.
HaRav Yom Tov Yedid HaLevi, zt"l, (5683 / 1923). Kabbalists of Aram Tzovah.
Rav Aharon ben Tzion Moel, zt"l, author of Toldot Aharon Ve’Moshe.
HaRav Yosef Shalosh, zt"l, (1960). One of the Rabbanim of the Eidah HaMaaravit in Yerushalayim.
There is no 31 Sivan
Return to TimeCapsule page