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Tevet (Dec. - Jan.)

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1 Tevet
1 Tevet

1 Tevet - Rosh Chodesh Tevet -
Sixth or Seventh day of Chanuka.

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

1 Tevet 2124 - 1638 B.C.E.:

Yahrtzeit of Avraham Avinu according to some sources (Bava Basra 91a). [According to others, Avrohom Avinu's Yartzeit is 1 Tishre, or Nissan [Moed Katan 28a].

1 Tevet - 1312 B.C.E.:

After being warned by Moshe, the Egyptians were visited by the (seventh) plague of Barad (hail).

1 Tevet 3400 - 362 B.C.E.:

Esther, after having won a kingdom-wide beauty pageant, was forcibly taken to King Achashverosh's palace (after spending a year in the palace).
"And Esther was taken to King Achashverosh, to his palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tevet, in the seventh year of his reign. ...... He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in Vashti's stead" (Megillat / Scroll of Esther 2:16-17). Esther's presence in the king's palace enabled her to advocate on behalf of the Jews, and gain a reversal of Haman's decree to annihilate the Jewish people, and set the stage for the miracle of Purim six years later, on the 13th and 14th of Adar. All these miraculous events are recorded in Megillat Esther, and commemorated each year on the holiday of Purim.

1 Tevet 5413 - December 1 , 1652:

Portuguese Jewish statesman Manuel Fernando de Villareal executed by the Inquisition, Hy"d.

1 Tevet 5569 - December 20, 1808:

Several restrictions on Jewish ownership of land went into effect in Russia, 1808.

1 Tevet 5707 - December 24, 1946:

US General MacNarney grants 800,000 “minor Nazis” amnesty instead of prosecuting them.

1 Tevet 5708 - December 14, 1947:

Thirteen defenders of the Jews in Palestine - members of the Haganah - were killed in an ambush in Ben Shemen, Hy"d.

1 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Avraham Avinu (2124 - 1638 B.C.E.:), according to some sources (Bava Basra 91a). [According to others, Avrohom Avinu's Yartzeit is 1 Tishre, or Nissan [Moed Katan 28a].

HaRav Yosef Hamaaravi, zt”l, baal mofes, talmid of the Arizal, buried in Kfar Elchamama in Tunisia. (5300 / 1539).
Harav Yosef ibn Tabul, or Harav Yosef Hamaaravi, as he was known, was born in North Africa. According to some sources, his birthplace was Dara, Morocco. It is assumed that he moved to Tzefat, where he was one of the 10 prized talmidim who learned Kabbala from the Ari, together with Harav Chaim Vital. It is related that when the Ari gathered his talmidim in Meron, he himself sat where Rabi Shimon bar Yochai had sat and taught Torah. He had one of his talmidim sit in the place of Rabi Elazar, the son of Rabi Shimon; a second was told to sit in the place of Rabi Yehudah, a third in the seat of Rabi Abba and Rav Yosef was seated in the place of Rabi Yosi, as the Ari said that he emanated from the soul of Rabi Yosi. Among Rav Yosef’s talmidim, following the petira of the Ari, were Harav Shimshon Bak and Harav Yisrael Binyamin. Later, Rav Yosef was exiled to Tunisia, settling in El Chamamah, where he disseminated the Torah of his mentor. He was appointed Av Bets Din in the city. Since he had come from Eretz Yisrael to the west, he was called Hamaaravi. When he felt his day of passing drawing near, Rav Yosef gathered together his family and members of the community and told them that if he would be niftar on a Friday, they shouldn’t push off the levaya until Motzoei Shabbat but bury him yet on Friday. He also asked that no large matzeiva be built on his kever. And so it was. Rav Yosef was niftar on a winter Friday, (a short Erev Shabbos) and was buried that same day. Many felt as if the sun was waiting for them to finish the kevura before setting. His yahrtzeit is marked even today at his kever in Kfar El Chamama in Tunisia.

HaRav Yair Chaim Bachrach, zt”l, (1638-1702), The Chavot Yair. Born in Leipnik in the Moravian province of Austria, today part of the Czech Republic, his grandmother Chava was a granddaughter of the Maharal of Prague. Her husband, Rav Samuel, the Rav of Worms, was murdered during a pogrom in 1615, and she never remarried. Chava lived in Worms until her grandson Yair Chaim’s thirteenth birthday at which time she undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but died on the way. R Yair Chaim esteemed her to such an extent that the title of his most famous work, Chavot Yair, is based on her name. One of his works, Mekor Chaim, a major commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim was ready to be printed when the commentaries of Taz and Magen Avraham were printed. Sadly, Rav Yair Chaim withdrew his own commentary from the printer intending to rework it in accordance with the Taz and the Magen Avraham. Sadly, he never finished it. Besides his halachic expertise he had complete mastery of all the sciences, music and had a deep interest in history. He also wrote poetry. He compiled a 46 volume encyclopedia on many topics. In 1689 the Worms community was decimated by the French. Gradually, it was rebuilt. In 5459 / 1699 he was finally appointed Rav of Worms where his father and grandfather had served before him. He served for only three years until his death in 1702. (Others have the date as 5462 / 1701).

HaRav Masoud Refael Alfasi, zt”l. Born in Fez, Morocco. Leader of the Tunisian Jewish community. Died in Tunisia (5535 / 1774).

HaRav Avraham Moshe of Peshischa, zt”l, (5589 / 1828), son of Reb Simcha Bunim.

HaRav Yitzchak Eizik Langner, sixth Strettiner Rebbe (1906-1979). Born to Rav Moshe Langner, the fifth Strettiner Rebbe, his sister became the Tolner Rebbetzin. In 1921, his father moved the family from Galicia to Toronto. He married in 1929, but he and his wife never had children. In 1959, he succeeded his father.

HaRav Mordechai Shlomo Berman. Born in Russia to the mekubal, Rav Yehuda Leib Berman, who authored a commentary to the Arizal’s Eitz Chaim, Rav Mordechai Shlomo and his family moved to Tel Aviv when he was still young. He attended Yeshiva Chabad before his Bar Mitzvah and learned under Rav Dovid Povarsky. When his teacher became Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, he took his little talmid with him. When the Chazon Ish found out about the young illui, he had him move into his home and cared for himn as a son. At Ponevezh, he became the talmid muvhak of the Roshei Yeshiva, Rav Dovid Povarsky and Rav Shmuel Rozovsky. In time, the Chazon Ish married him off to his niece, the daughter of the Steipler Gaon. He became Rosh Mesivta of Ponevezh at the age of 20, and later became Rosh yeshiva (1931-2004).

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2 Tevet
2 Tevet

2 Tevet - 7th or 8th ( last) day of Chanuka ("Zot Chanuka")

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

2 Tevet - 37 B.C.E.:

King Herod captured Yerushalayim. (others date it as 10 Tevet).

2 Tevet 5643 - December 12, 1882:

The Jewish city of Rosh Pina, Palestine, was founded in the Galilee by 130 Romanian Jews who arrived in Beirut on a ship named the “Titus”.

2 Tevet 5698 - December 6, 1937:

Nazi German youth leader Baldur von Schirach, accompanied by a large entourage, was visiting Damascus. There was little doubt that the Syrian Arab youth seemed to be particularly vulnerable to this latest Nazi effort to spread their propaganda throughout the entire Middle Eastern area. Shots were fired at the Beit Alfa and Kfar Baruch settlements.

2 Tevet 5702 - December 22, 1941:

Weeks of rampage ended with the deaths of 32,000 Jews who were killed in Vilna, Poland, Hy"d.

2 Tevet 5708 - December 15, 1947:

The Jordanian Arab Legion laid siege to Yerushalayim / Jerusalem.
The Arab Legion surrounded Yerushalayim and isolated its 100,000 Jews from the rest of the Israeli population. By March 1948 the city was under full siege, and in May, Jordan invaded and occupied east Jerusalem, dividing the city for the first time in its history, and driving thousands of Jews into exile. The Arabs proceeded to destroy all 58 synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, and used Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives to build roads and latrines. The Western Wall would be off-limits to Jews (in spite of the cease-fire agreement granting freedom of access to holy places), restored again with Israel's victory in the 1967 war.

2 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Yaakov ibn Tzur of Fez, Morocco, zt”l, (5513 / 1752), author of Mishpat U’Tzedaka B’Yaakov.

HaRav Mordechai Zev Orenstein, zt”l, Rav of Lvov, ( 5547 / 1786).  Born in Zlakovah in 5495 / 1735, he was the son of Reb Moshe, the parnass of the kehilla. The other sons of
Reb Moshe included Harav Menachem Mendel of Zlakova and Harav Meshulam Zalman Ashkenazi, Rav of Pomrein. Reb Moshe was a grandson of the Chacham Tzvi. Harav Mordechai Zev was a gaon fluent in all facets of the Torah. At the young age of 19, he was appointed Rav in Kaminka; later he was Rav in Yompala. In 5532 / 1772 he was appointed Rav of Satnov, and this appointment led to his being named Chief Rabbi of Poland.
Harav Mordechai Zev married the daughter of Harav Shaul Charif, Rav of Alesk. They had one son, Harav Yaakov Meshulam Orenstein, the Yeshuot Yaakov.
After his wife’s petira, Harav Mordechai Zev married the daughter of the nagid Harav Elyakim Getzel of Lubertov. With his zivug sheini, his second son, Harav Moshe Yehoshua Heschel, Rav of Tarnigrad, was born, as well as several daughters. His sons-in-law were Harav Aryeh Leib Katzenellenbogen, Rav of Brisk; Harav Yudel Broida, the author of Zichron Yehuda ; Harav Yitzchak Etinga, Rav of Lvov; Harav Avraham Abish Ashkenazi of Broida and Harav Dov Berish Heilprin of Brezhan.
In 5538 / 1778, Harav Mordechai Zev was chosen to serve as Rav of Lvov in place of Harav Shlomo of Chelema, the Mirkevet Hamishna. Harav Mordechai Zev was pleased to be appointed Rav in the same city that his grandfather, the Chacham Tzvi, had earlier lived in, while the kehilla was happy to have such a famous and admired Rav.
In Lvov, Harav Mordechai Zev founded a yeshiva and headed it, teaching many talmidim who went on to become Gedolei Yisrael and Rabbanim. Harav Mordechai Zev served as Rav of Lvov until his petira.

HaRav Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov, zt"l, (1888).

HaRav Yitzchak HaLevi Kroiz, zt"l, Yerushalmi, grandson of Rav Eliezer Yosef, Belzer Rebbe. (year?)


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3 Tevet
3 Tevet - 8th ( last) day of Chanuka ("Zot Chanuka")

3 Tevet - 321:

The first evidence of Jews along the Rhine was found in a letter from Emperor Constantine to the prefect of Cologne regarding special taxes applied to them.

3 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Avraham Brandwein of Stretyn, zt"l, (5625 / 1864), the second of four sons of Rav Yehuda Tzvi of Stretyn, who was the foremost student of Rav Uri of Strelisk. Rav Avraham succeeded his father as the rabbi of Stretyn, after his father’s death in 1854. Rav Avraham left four daughters, and many of the Stretyner Chasidim followed his son-in-law, Rav Uri Rohatyner, and Rav Uri’s son, Yehuda Tzvi, after him. Other Chasidim of Rav Avraham followed Rav Nachman of Bursztyn, who was nifter in 1914.

HaRav Yaakov HaCohen Gadisha, zt"l, (1851 - 5670 / 1909), Rav and Av Beit Din of Yerba, Tunisia, wrote Kochav Yaakov, Ma’il Yaakov and Halichot Yaakov.

HaRav Yechezkel Ezra Yehoshua, zt"l, Rav of the Iraqi community in Yerushalayim (5702 / 1941). Born in Baghdad, c. 5612 / 1852. As a bachur he learned in the Beit Zilchah beit medrash. In 5649 / 1889, Rav Yechezkel was appointed to run the organization that collected funds on behalf of the poorer chassanim and kallot in Baghdad. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 5657 / 1897 and settled in Yerushalayim. Ten years later, in 5667 / 1907, he and other Rabbanim founded Yeshivat Shoshanim L’David for the Iraqi kehilla. Rav Yechezkel traveled overseas a number of times on behalf of this yeshiva, including to Egypt. He was also the president of the committee of the Iraqi community in Yerushalayim. In 5682 / 1922, Rav Yechezkel traveled on behalf of the local Iraqi community to Baghdad to solicit support for those who lived in Eretz Yisrael and to encourage more Iraqi Jews to move there.
He was known as a spellbinding darshan; many flocked to his weekly Shabbat afternoon drashot in Beit Knesset Shoshanim L’David. Harav Yechezkel authored numerous sefarim: Arugat Habosem on the aggadot of Shas; Tehilla v’Tiferet on Tehillim; Simchat Yom Tov on the Haggadah shel Pesach; Shirot v’Tishbachot, piyutim and poems; Minchat Ani, a mussar work; and others. Some of his works remain in manuscript form.

HaRav Chaim Leib Shmulevitz, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of the famous Mir Yeshiva for more than 40 years, who was known for his boundless love of G-d and humanity, (1902 - 5739 / 1979). Born in Stutchin, Poland, where his father, Rav Alter Raphael, was Rosh Yeshiva. His mother, Ettel, was the daughter of Rav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, the Alter of Novardok. In 1920, both of his parents suddenly died, and Reb Chaim was left to care for his younger brother and two younger sisters. When Rav Chaim was 22, Rav Shimon Shkop, Rosh Yeshiva in Grodno invited him to join his yeshiva. Within three years, Reb Chaim was appointed to a lecturing post in the yeshiva. Reb Chaim continued his studies in Mir where the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, chose him as a suitable match for his daughter. With the outbreak of World War II, HaRav Shmulevitz and his students miraculously obtained transit visas, issued at great risk by Vice-Consul Chiune Sugihara of the Japanese Consulate. This allowed them to travel out of war-torn Lithuania, via the trans-Siberian railroad, to a safe haven in Shanghai, China where the Mirrer Yeshiva remained for five years. After the war, he lived for a short while in America. With the establishment of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, he immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and served as its Rosh Yeshiva as the yeshiva grew to a student body of 5,000. Rav Chaim authored Sichot Mussar, ethical discourses, many of which have been published in English, and are considered classics.

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4 Tevet

4 Tevet

4 Tevet 5700 - December 16, 1939:

Jews were excluded by the Nazis from all employment benefits.

4 Tevet 5738 - December 14, 1977:

The Cairo Peace Conference commenced with the participation of Israel, Egypt, the United States and the United Nations.

4 Tevet 5755 - Dec. 7, 1994:

PLO chairman Yassir Arafat, ym"s, meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher in Gaza City, pledged to protect Israelis from militant extremists. [Stop laughing, it's not nice!]

4 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Moshe Zev of Bialystock, zt”l, author of Marot Hatzovot and Agudat Aizov (5490 / 1729). He was the founder of Gemilat Chassadim Beit Medrash, Bialystock's most prominent Torah center, where Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk learned after his marriage.

HaRav Yehoshua Eizek Shapiro, known as Reb Eizel Charif ("The Sharp One") of Slonim, zt”l, (5651 / 1801 - 5633 / 1872). Born in Glovanka, near Minsk, Lithuania. After many years of learning under the enthusiastic support of his father-in-law, Rav Yitzchak Fein, he became Rav of Kalavaria, then Kutno, and finally Slonim (near Grodno). He was author of of many sefarim, including Emek Yehoshua, Nachlat Yehoshua, Noam Yerushalmi, Sefat Hanachal, and Atzat Yehoshua.
The story is told that when his daughter was ready to get married, Reb Eisel sought out the top yeshiva student. He entered the study hall and announced: "I have a very difficult question on a passage in the Talmud. Whoever can supply the correct answer will have my daughter's hand in marriage." Soon a long line formed, and one by one the students tried to provide the answer. And one by one, Reb Eisel explained how the answers were incorrect. This went on for days, but when no one came up with the correct answer, Reb Eisel packed up and left. He had just reached the edge of the city, when he heard a voice shouting after him: "Reb Eisel, Reb Eisel!" He turned around to see a young man running in his direction. The student explained: "I know I wasn't able to satisfy the condition for marriage, but just for my own sake, could you please tell me the correct answer?" "Aha!" shouted Reb Eisel. "If you have such a desire to know the truth, then you will be my son-in-law!" (Others have the date as 5634 / 1873).

HaRav Gershon Henoch (ben Yaakov) Leiner of Radzin, zt”l, (1839 -1891), the Baal Hatecheilet. His grandfather was Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz, founder of Ishbitz chassidus after leading a group of disciples from the Court of Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. He replaced his father as Rebbe of Ishbitz after the former's petira in 1878. Rav Gershon Henoch travelled from Radzin to Italy in search of the Chilazon, the marine source from which the dye of techeilet was obtained. The Chilazon carried the dye in a special sac located in its pharynx. In the famed aquarium at Naples he saw the Chilazon (tuttlefish) and studied the way in which the dye was removed and prepared. He discovered that it was used by artists in their paintings because it would never fade. Although the Maharsham wore a tallit (in private) using Rav Gershon Henoch's techeilet, in the end, only Radziner Chassidim and some Berslovers wear this techeilet. In recent years, several other species of fish have been suggested as the genuine source of techeilet. Among his sefarim are Sod Yesharim on the Torah and Yamim Tovim, Orchot Chaim and the tzavaah of the Tanna Rabi Eliezer ben Horkinus, and Tiferes Hachanochi on the Zohar. He also compiled and published the work of his father (Bait Yaakov) and grandfather (Mei Hashiloach). (Others 5651 / 1890)

HaRav Yaakov Shaul Katzin, zt”l, head of New York Aleppo community (1900-1994). Born in Yerushalayim, he learned at Yeshiva Ohel Mo'ed and at Yeshiva Porat Yosef. Yaakov was an orphan at 16 and married at 18. He was appointed Rosh Yeshiva in the then-newly-erected Yeshiva Porat Yosef building. During the course of his life, Yaakov wrote several books on Kabbalah. In 1925, he published Ohr HaLevanah, a commentary with novella from the teachings of Rashash. He also wrote Yesod Ha'Emunah, which included arguments that dispelled doubts about the authenticity of Kabbalah, as well as responsa. In 1931, he published Pri Eitz Hagan, which included biographies of prominent tzadikkim and discussions of their ethical teachings. From 1928 to the end of 1932, he served as a Dayan in the Supreme Beit Din of the Sephardic Community of Yerushalayim. In 1933, he accepted an offer from Magen Dovid Congregation of Brooklyn, New York to serve as Chief Rabbi and Chief Dayan.

HaRav Chaim Shaul Dueck, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva Hamekubalim of Yerushalayim and author of  Aifah Shleima (5693 / 1933).

HaRav Shalom Rokeach, zt”l, Rav of Skohl (5722 / 1961).

Mr. Yitzchak Meir (Irving) Bunim (1901-1981). Born in Volozhin, Lithuania to Rav Moshe and Esther Mina Buminowitz, Irving moved to the Lower East Side of New York with most of his family in 1910. (His father moved in 1905.) He and his two brothers were enrolled in Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, and his father joined the family of Torah Vodaas. As a youth, he joined the fledgling Young Israel movement and made significant inroads from within. In the 1940s, he accepted the presidency of Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, a position he held for 30 years. He threw himself in the founding of Beit Midrash Govoha and Kollel in Lakewood. He also devoted much time and energy to Chinuch Atzmai and Torah Umesorah. He and his wife, Blanche, raised three children, Rav Amos, Chana, and Judith.

Rebbetzin Recha Schwab, A"H, (1908-2003). Married in 1931, she moved with Rav Schwab to the United States in 1936, and settled in Washington Heights in 1958. She left this world with 180 descendents, all Torah-observant.

HaRav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, zt”l, Rav of Elizabeth, NJ. (1908 - 5756 / 1995) Born in Latvia and a student of the famed Rogachaver Ilui, he arrived in USA in 1934. He founded schools, a kollel, and five shuls, and pioneered in teaching Talmud on the radio, records and audiotapes. From the 1960s to the 1980s he made twenty-two trips to the USSR to sustain the three million Jews imprisoned there. He was a major force in the work of Ezrat Torah and saved its construction in Israel from bankruptcy. Stories about him can be found in the book "Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah," by Rivkah Teitz Blau (Ktav Publishing House). (Others 5 Tevet).

 


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5 Tevet

5 Tevet


5 Tevet 3339 - 423 B.C.E.:

"And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, a figure came to me saying: 'The city was conquered.' " Only now had the Navi / Prophet Yechezkel / Ezekiel heard the news of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash and of Yerushalayim's conquest by a foreign power, as recorded in the biblical Sefer / Book of Yechezkel / Ezekiel (33:21).
In Jewish law, a period of mourning (for example, upon the death of a loved one) can begin upon "hearing" the bad news. Some Talmudic commentators thus recommended that the 5th of Tevet be instituted as a public fast day. (See Rosh HaShanah 18, according to Rab Shimon Bar Yochai).

5 Tevet - 1486:

Auto-da-fe* at Toledo. More than 900 people were humiliated in a parade from the Church of San Pedro Martir to the cathedral, forced to recant, fined 1/5 of their property and permanently forbidden to wear decent clothes or hold office.
*Public announcement of the sentences imposed by the Inquisition, especially by burning at the stake.

5 Tevet 5295 - 1534:

Roman Emperor Charles V ordered the auto-da-fe* of Harav Shlomo Molcho in Mantua, Italy, Hy"d. See below.
*Public announcement of the sentences imposed by the Inquisition, especially by burning at the stake.


5 Tevet 5552 - December 31, 1791:

The Pale of Settlement was instituted by Empress Catherine, limiting Jewish rights in Russia.

5 Tevet Yahrtzeits
 
HaRav Shlomo Molcho, Hy”d, (1500-1532). Born in Lisbon, Portugal, a descendant of Portuguese Marranos. He published 22 essays on the topic of redemption according to the secrets of Kabbalah in his work, Sefer Hamefoar. He met with the Pope and asked him to stop the campaign against the Marranos. He also met Rav Yosef Karo in Tzefat and the Kabbalist Rav Yosef Taitzik of Salonica who taught R' Molcho Kabbalah. His speeches inspired many Marranos to publicly return to their faith. Arrested by the officers of the Inquisition, he recited Shema with great joy, as he was burned at the stake by Roman Emperor Charles V in Mantua, Italy. (Others 5295 / 1534)
 
HaRav Aharon (Uren) of Tityov, zt”l, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (5589 / 1828).
 
Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger (1884-1961), named for his grandfather, the first Sadigerer Rebbe. When Reb Avraham Yaakov turned 18, he married Bluma Raizel, the daughter of the Kapischnitzer Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Meir Heschel. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Rebbe fled to Vienna, Austria, and lived there for 24 years. When the Nazis entered Vienna in 1938, the Rebbe was seized and forced to sweep the streets clean, to the amusement of the onlooking Germans. After WW2, he lived in Tel Aviv, where he continued the Sadigerer line. He authored Abir Yaakov. (Others 5271 / 1960).

HaRav Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowitz, zt”l, the Biala-P'shischa Rebbe (5764 / 2003). Born ~1923, the first-born son of the previous Biala Rebbe, the Chelkat Yehoshua. He became Rebbe after his father was niftar in 1982 and opened his beit midrash in the Har Nof section of Yerushalayim.
 

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6 Tevet

6 Tevet

6 Tevet - 1488:

First edition of the Sefer Mitzvot HaGadol published in Soncino, Italy.

6 Tevet 5626 - December 24, 1865:

Ku Klux Klan founded in Tennessee.

6 Tevet
5???:

Founding of Slabodka Yeshiva in Bnei Brak by Rav Eizik Sher, son-in-law of Rav Nosson Nota Finkel, the Alter from Slabodka.

6 Tevet 5710 - December 26, 1949:

Six British RAF warplanes enforcing a UN ceasefire were shot down by Israeli forces over the Israel-Egypt border.
Throughout the 1948 War of Independence, Israel was terribly outnumbered in manpower and weapons -- initially the army did not have a single cannon or tank, and its air force consisted of nine obsolete planes. The United States had imposed an arms embargo on the region, forcing the Israelis to smuggle weapons, mainly from Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, the British provided large quantities of weapons to Arab forces: Jordan's Arab Legion was armed, trained and led by British officers.

6 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Yaakov (ben Yosef) Reischer (1661 - 5494 / 1733), zt”l, author of Minchat Yaakov (commentary on Torat Chatat of the Rema), Chok Yaakov on the Shulchan Aruch, Iyun Yaakov (on Eyn Yaakov), and Shevut Yaakov (Sheilot u'Teshuvot). Born in Prague, he served as Rav in Reische, Worms, and Metz. .  His brother-in-law was Rav Eliyahu Shapira, the Elya Rabbah. (Others 6 Tevet 5493 / 1732, or 9 Shvat).

HaRav Mattisyahu Straushun of Vilna, zt”l, son of the Rashash (5646 / 1885).
 
HaRav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, zt”l, the Shinover Rav (1815 - 5660 / 1899). He was born in Rudnick, Galicia, eldest son of Rav Chaim of Sanz. He was an ardent follower of Rav Asher of Ropshitz, and a chassid of Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Rymanov, Rav Shalom of Belz, and Rav Meir of Premishlan. Tragically, he was married and widowed 5 times. His first wife was the grand-daughter of the Yismach Moshe, Rav Moshe Teitelbaum of Mujehly, Hungary. He is known as the Divrei Yechezkel. (Others 5659 / 1898).

HaRav Chaim Shlomo of Koson, zt”l, (5680 / 1919).

HaRav Alter Yisrael Shimon Perlow of Novominsk, zt”l, (5634 / 1874 - 5693 / 1933), author of Tiferet Ish. Scion of the dynasties of Ustila, Koidanov, Lehovitch, Karlin, Neshchiz, Apt, Czernobyl and Berditchev. Rav Alter was born in Novominsk . His father was Harav Yaakov, the first Novominsker Rebbe.
Harav Alter married the daughter of Harav Baruch Meir Twersky of Azarnitz, a scion of the Chernobyl dynasty. Not long after his wedding, he was appointed by his father as the menahel of the yeshiva that he had founded. The yeshiva had nearly 200 talmidim.
During the last two years of his father’s life, he tended to him, writing down all his divrei Torah from those years. After the petira of his father on 23 Adar 5662 / 1902, he was appointed Rebbe in Novominsk.
Rav Alter Yisrael Shimon settled in Warsaw in 1917. He knew the whole Mishna by heart and to the end of his life he reviewed eighteen chapters every day.

HaRav Chaim Meidanik, zt”l, (5715 / 1954). Rav in Chicago and author of Mazkeret Chaim and Hegyonei Chaim.

Rebbetzin Beila Morgenstern (1908-2006). First-born daughter of the Admor of Ozerov-Chenchin, Rav Moshe Yechiel Epstein, author of Aish Das and . She married Rav Tzvi Hershel Morgenstern, a descendent of the Kotzker Rebbe. Her husband served as a principal of the Bronx Bait Yaakov. She always recited the entire sefer tehillim on the yahrtzeit of every one of her noble forefathers and asked Hashem that their merit should protect all of Klal Yisrael. Among her grandchildren are Rav Dovid Altusky and Rav Yechiel Altusky.

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7 Tevet

7 Tevet

7 Tevet - 468 C.E.:

Three leaders of Babylonian Jewry were arrested by Persian officials, sparking a wave of persecution of the Jews of Babylonia. In 468 CE, Rav Amemar, Rav Mesharsheya and Rav Huna, the heads of Babylonian Jewry, were arrested and executed, Hy"d. 11 days later. The Jewish community of Babylon had existed for 900 years, ever since Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Israel, destroyed the Beit HaMikdash, and exiled the Jews to Babylon. Seventy years later, when the Jews were permitted to return to Israel, a large percentage remained in Babylon -- and this eventually became the center of Jewish rabbinic authority. Things began to worsen in the 5th century, when the Persian priests, fighting against encroaching Christian missionaries, unleashed anti-Christian persecutions which caught the Jews of Babylonia in its wake. Eventually the situation improved, and Babylon remained as the center of Jewish life for another 500 years.

7 Tevet 5521 - December 14, 1760:

Board of Deputies of British Jews was founded.

7 Tevet 5565 - December 9, 1804:

Supposed liberties granted Russian Jews by the Czar, actually spelled economic ruin for much of the Jewish community.

7 Tevet 5584 - December 9, 1823:

The Prussian government decreed that Jewish services must be conducted in strict adherence to Jewish Tradition. The decree was "solicited" by the Traditional Jewish community in order to fight against the new Reform movement. Ultimately, however, we suffer much more harm from governmental intervention than good.

7 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Moshe Dovid Walli (Vally; Vali), zt”l, (1697 - 1777). The foremost student of Ramchal in Padua, Italy, he practiced as a physician in Padova. When the Ramchal was forced to leave Italy, Rav Moshe Dovid was appointed head of the his academy in Padova. Also known as the Rama"d Vali, he wrote a commentary on Chumash (Ohr Olam on Breishit; Bris Olam on Shmot; Avodat Hakodesh on Vayikra; Shivtei Kah on Bamidbar; Mishna Lamelech on Devarim), Na"Ch, Likkutim.

HaRav Tzvi Hersh, zt”l, the son of the Baal Shem Tov (5540 / 1779).
 
HaRav Raphael Shlomo Laniado, zt”l, (1740-1793). Originating from Spain through their progenitor, Rav Shmuel, the Laniado family was among the most famous and well-established in the Syrian city of Chaleb. Rav Raphael Shlomo Laniado was a prolific writer, and he is well-known for the several halachic works: HaMaalot LeShlomo, Beit Dino Shel Shlomo, Lechem Shlomo, and Kisei Shlomo.
 

HaRav Mordecai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz, zt”l, (1800 - 5614 / 1854), the Mei Hashiloach, founder of the Chassidic Court at Ishbitz after leading a group of disciples from the court of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. Born in Tomashov, Poland in 1800, he was a childhood friend of Reb Menachem Mendel Morgenstern, later to become the Kotzker Rebbe, and they studied together in the school of the Chasidic Master, Reb Simcha Bunim of Pshische. His sefer. Mei HaShiloach, is considered a fundamental work of Izhbitz and Radziner chasidus. Among his talmidim were Rav Tzadok HaCohen of Lublin and Rav Leibel Eiger. (others 5614 / 1853, 1878, according to others),
 
HaRav Shalom Yosef Friedman of Husyatin, zt”l, (1879), (1851, according to others). Son of the first Rebbe of Husyatin, Rav Mordechai Shraga (the youngest son of the Rizhiner Rebbe, who had moved to Husyatin in 1865 and was niftar in 1894. He was the father of Rav Moshe of Boyan-Cracow ("Reb Moshenu").

HaRav Yom Tov Lipman Baslasky, zt”l, Rav of Mir and author of Malbushei Yom Tov, (5581 / 1821 - 5653 / 1892)..

HaRav Yechezkel Paneth of Nitra, zt”l, (5615 / 1854).

HaRav Dovid, zt”l, of Lubin and Tzefat, (5653 / 1892).

Harav Yom Tov Lipman Baslavsky, zt”l,(5581 / 1821 - 5653/1892), Ravof Mir and author of Malbushei Yom Tov. Born in Slutzk., his father, Rav Yehudah Ze’ev, was the son of Harav Shabsi, a Dayan in Slutzk, whose father, Harav Noach, was the author of an important work on the Torah. (Unfortunately, the manuscript was burned in the house of his grandson, Reb Lipa, in Chislavichi when a fire broke out there in 5634 / 1874). His mother was a daughter of the famous Rav Betzalel, a son of Harav Yom Tov Lipman, Rav of Kapulya and author of Kedushat Yom Tom, who had been close to the Vilna Gaon. Reb Yom Tov Lipman or, as he was fondly known, Reb Lippele, was known as an iluy while still young. At 17 he married the daughter of Reb Shimon Zeimel of Slutzk. His first Rabbanut was in Shumyachi, a position that he held for 11 years. He also headed the local yeshiva, which was the largest in the whole region. From there he moved to Chislavichi, where he lived for the next nine years (until 5634 / 1874). After his wife passed away there, he married the daughter of Reb Yaakov Leib of Molestoyka. After the fire that broke out in Chislavichi, Reb Yom Tov Lipman became Rav of Mir, serving also as Rosh Yeshiva. Among his talmidim was Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer, a native-born Mirrer.
Fluent in the works of all the Rishonim, Reb Yom Tov Lipman’s expertise in Torah and halacha was well known, as were his activities for the klal, and resulted in an invitation to take part in the Rabbinical conference in St. Petersburg of 5640 / 1880 under the leading Gedolim of the time: Harav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor of Kovno, Harav Eliyahu Chaim Meizel of Lodz, and the Beit Halevi of Brisk. The discussions at the conference centered on the needs of the people and the problems of the young generation.
Reb Yom Tov Lipman’s teshuvot and chiddushim in halacha were published as Malbushei Yom Tov.

HaRav Meir Abowitz of Novardok, zt”l, (5701 /1941).

HaRav Yosef Elyashiyov, zt"l, (2007). Born in the former Soviet Union to Rav Tzion, who was killed by the authorities for his efforts to promote Judaism, he moved from Samarkand to Tashkent after marrying; there he and his wife raised their seven children. While living in Tashkent he had to spend seven years away from home - four years in custody on suspicion of underground religious activity and three years hiding from the KGB, who had him under surveillance for his activities to promote Judaism. In 1971, he managed to secure an exit visa and left his home and his family, traveling to Eretz Yisrael. He opened the first Shaarei Tzion institutions in 1980, naming them after his father. He then started a kollel with the goal of drawing avreichim from Bukharan families as well as a school in Kiryat Ono for Bukharan immigrants. Today, a total of 4,500 students, from kindergartners to avreichim, study at Shaarei Tzion institutions.

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8 Tevet
8 Tevet

8 Tevet 3515 - 247 B.C.E.:

Torah translated into Greek (the Septuagint).

After an unsuccessful attempt 61 years earlier, the ruling Greek-Egyptian emperor Talmai (Ptolemy) made a second attempt to translate the Torah into Greek. He gathered 72 Torah sages, sequestered them in 72 separate chambers, without revealing to them why they were called. He then ordered each of them to: “Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher.” In other words, produce a translation of the Torah.

On the 8th of Tevet, the sages produced 72 identical versions of the text, including intentional "mistranslations" - identical changes in 13 places (where they each felt that a literal translation would constitute a corruption of the Torah's true meaning). (Talmud Megillah 9). This Greek rendition became known as the Septuagint, from the Latin word for “seventy,” (alluding to the 72 Jewish scholars) --- the oldest Bible translation (Though later versions that carry this name are not believed to be true to the originals). Greek became a significant second language among Jews as a result of this translation.

During Talmudic times, 8 Tevet was observed by some as a taanit tzaddikim (a fast day for the righteous), (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2). The translation of the Torah was a tragic moment for the Jewish people, a tragedy Chazal describe in Megillat Taanit as “three days of darkness” descending upon the world. It was viewed tragically by the sages, as it promised to drain Jewish vitality and increase the ability of non-Jewish sects to proselytize the Jews. The project was considered as tragic an event as the day the Jews made the eigel HaZahav / Golden Calf - since it was impossible to adequately translate the Torah, the fast day expressed the fear of the detrimental effect of the translation.
On the positive side, the Septuagint opened up the Torah to the masses -- helping to spread Jewish ideals of monotheism, peace and justice, which became the basic moral standards of the civilized world.

For further detail on the tragedy of the Septuagint, we refer you to the outstanding Sefer HaToda’ah, translated into English as The Book of Our Heritage (Feldheim), by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov, Z’tl.

8 Tevet 5722 - December 15, 1961:

Adolf Eichmann, ym's, architect of the Final Solution, was sentenced to death after being tried in Eretz Yisroel.

8 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Yisrael Gabrielovitch, zt"I, a talmid of Harav Akiva Eiger, (5647 / 1886).

HaRav Baruch Tzvi Hakohen, zt"I, Rosh Yeshivah of Paks and Rav of Budapest, (5667 / 1906).

HaRav Maatok Atugay Kohen, zt"l, (5691 / 1931). The Rav of Djerba, author of Yakar Ha-Erech.

HaRav Yechezkel Halshtuk of Ostrovtze, Hy"d, the Ostrovtzer Rebbe, (5703 / 1942).

HaRav Asher Zev Werner, zt"I, Rav in Teveria (5718 / 1957), author of Taam Zekeinim, based on the works of the Arizal and other mekubalim.
Born in 5654 / 1894 in Yerushalayim, his father, Harav Simchah Bunim, was a member of the beit din of Yerushalayim. He learned first under his father and then in Yeshivat Torat Chaim. He was close with many of the leading Rabbanim of his time, notably Harav Shneur Zalman of Lublin, the Torat Chesed. He married the daughter of Harav Mattisyahu Senberg, a grandson of the first Slonimer Rebbe, Harav Avraham, and settled in Teveria, where he became close with the elder Slonimer chassidim and with Harav Moshe Kliers, Rav of the city.
 When World War I broke out, Reb Asher Zev left Eretz Yisrael, settling first in Cyprus and then moving to Alexandria in Egypt. He considered staying in Egypt, but following the advice of Harav Shmuel of Slonim, Reb Asher Zev set off for America. From America, Reb Asher Zev helped the many Torah institutions in Eretz Yisrael. He was Rav in several towns; his final position was in Providence. His house was a place of hachnasat orchim and chessed for overseas guests.
In 5694 / 1934, after the petira of Harav Meir Kliers, Reb Asher Zev was asked to return to Teveria and take the position of Rav. The local community was pleased to have Reb Asher Zev as their Rav; even when away he had maintained contact with the community and the mosdot.
In his house the whole community found an open door and a listening ear. Many guests sat at his table, and he secretly supported tens of talmidei chachamim.

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9 Tevet
9 Tevet

9 Tevet 3442 - 320 B.C.E.:

Yahrzeit of Ezra HaSofer and Nechemiah ben Chachaliah.

In Megillat Taanit we are taught that 9 Tevet is a taanit tzaddikim (a fast day for the righteous), for an “unspecified tzarah.” (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2) . See Taz and Magen Avraham who write that we fast on this day because it is the Yahrzeit of Ezra HaSofer and Nechemiah ben Chachaliah, as mentioned in the Selichot of Asara B’Tevet. (See also Mishna Berura, Seif Katan 13).

Ezra HaSofer, led the return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisroel / the Land of Israel after the Babylonian exile (423-353 BCE). He oversaw the building of the Second Beit HaMikdash, canonized the 24 books of the Holy Scriptures ("bible") and, as founder and head of the "Great Assembly," a body of 120 prophets and sages who legislated a series of laws and practices (including formalized prayer - the standard text found in Jewish prayer books today), which left a strong imprint on Judaism to this very day. He was an outspoken critic of assimilation, particularly of the masses of Jews who preferred to stay in Babylonia rather than return to Eretz Yisroel. His life and times are recorded in the biblical Book of Ezra.

Ezra passed away on the 9th of Tevet of the year 3442 from creation (320 B.C.E. -- exactly 1000 years after the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai). The passing of Ezra marked the end of the "Era of Prophecy."

One can review the Takanot that Ezra instituted in Talmud, Tractate Bava Kamma, 82a.

Others disagree and say that the Yahrtzeit of Ezra HaSofer and Nechemiah is on 10 Tevet. Still others hold that the reason for fasting is due to the tragic murder al Kiddush Hashem of Rabeinu Yosef Hanagid of Girondo, killed with 1,500 members of his kehillah by an Arab pogrom in 4827 – 1066, Hy"d. There also those who believe that the 9th day of Tevet was the day that oso Ha’ish was born.

9 Tevet - 1158:

Avraham Ibn Ezra begun work on his Iggeret HaShabbat, a work defending the traditional reckoning of Shabbat and Yom Tov against the trend to begin them only at day break rather than the previous night.

9 Tevet - 1235:

Ritual murder massacre at Fulda resulted in the death of 32 Jews, Hy"d. Following this event, Emperor Frederick II declared that since Jews are prohibited from eating animal blood, they would surely be banned from using human blood. He forbade anyone from accusing Jews of this charge.

9 Tevet - 1420
:

The Pope bans conversion of Jewish children without consent of their parents, a ban which was often ignored.

9 Tevet 5655 - January 5, 1895:

The Defamation Ceremony of Alfred Dreyfus took place. Dreyfus was a Jewish french army captain falsely accused by French anti-semites of having sold classified documents found in the German embassy in Paris, to the Germans. He was court martialed for treason, demoted and humiliated by the French Army and sent into exile to Devil’s Island.. Known today as the Dreyfus Affair, a worldwide campaign to vindicate his name eventually led to Dreyfus's pardon.and complete exoneration.

9 Tevet 5700 - December 21, 1939:

Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich name Adolf Eichmann leader of “Referat IV B” (in charge of transport of Jews for Final Solution).

9 Tevet 5752 - December 16, 1991:

The United Nations repeals the Zionism is Racism proclamation

9 Tevet 5767 - December 30, 2006:

Deposed Iraqi leader, Sadam Hussein, was executed by hanging.
 

9 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Ezra HaSofer and Nechemiah ben Chachaliah. (See above).

Rabeinu Yosef Hanagid, the son of Shmuel Hanaggid, and son-in-law of Rav Nisan Gaon of Kirouan was murdered in an Arab pogrom with another 1500 Jews in Muslim Spain, Hy"d. (4827 / 1066). (Others have 1067).

HaRav Ezra of Gerona, zt"l, (1227), the Ramban's teacher in Kabalah. He himself learned Kabbalah from Rav Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, son of the Ravad III.
(Others 4824 / 1063).

HaRav Avraham Chaim Schorr, zt”l, (5392 / 1631), author of Torat Chaim. Harav Avraham Chaim Schorr was the son of Harav Naftali Tzvi Hirsch Schorr of Brisk, son of Harav Moshe Efraim Zalman from Mehrin (Moravia), who was a descendant of Rabbeinu Yosef of Orleans (the Bechor Shor), a talmid of Rabbeinu Tam and other baalei Tosafot.
Harav Avraham Chaim served as Rav in Stanow and later in Belz. His grandson, Harav Efraim Zalman Margulies, author of Beit Efraim, writes that he either heard or saw that his grandfather was also Rav in Kremnitz (Kremnica) in central Slovakia. In all the cities that he served as Rav, Reb Avraham Chaim left his mark, strengthening Torah observance and teaching many talmidim.
In a generation richly endowed with talmidei chachamim and Gedolim, Reb Avraham Chaim was considered a leader. He was a mekubal and a baal mofet. Although best known for (and called after) his sefer Torat Chaim (chiddushim on nine masechtot), Harav Avraham Chaim had earlier written with Harav Mordechai, Rav of Berzan, the sefer Tzon Kodashim on Zevachim, Menachot, Temurah and Bechorot. This sefer is a basic work for learning Kodashim, which corrected textual errors in this Seder. The Chofetz Chaim printed it anew in his Asifat Zekeinim on Masechet Zevachim. Torat Chaim, his chiddushim on nine masechtot, is, as the name suggests, the living Torah. Many of the poskim quote it in their responsa. Harav Avraham Chaim’s son-in-law Harav Tzvi Hirsh of Dubna writes that Reb Avraham Chaim published it only after receiving the assent of the Yeshiva shel Maalah.
In his hakdama (introduction) to Torat Chaim, Harav Avraham Chaim explains that in the rare instances that he disagrees with Rashi, the learner should not take it as his own chiddush — as who am I to argue with Rashi? — rather, he will notice that it is always based on another of the Rishonim, such as the Rambam.
Harav Avraham Chaim was niftar in Belz on 9 Tevet, 5392 / 1631. Some list the day of his petira as 19 Tevet, saying that the letter yud was not legible on the matzeiva. As he requested, he was buried in Lvov among the Rabbanim of the city.
Harav Avraham Chaim had a son, Harav Tzvi Hirsh of Cracow, who was the son-in-law of Harav Nosson Nota Shapira, the Megaleh Amukot. He had two sons-in-law, Harav Asher Zelig Halevi Horowitz and Harav Tzvi Hirsh, Rav in Dubna.

HaRav Shmuel Helman, zt”l, (5525 / 1765), Rav of Metz, France

HaRav Yehoshua Basis, zt"l, (5621 / 1860). Chacham and Chief Rabbi of Tunisia for many years.

HaRav Yaakov Bokei , zt”l,  (5661 / 1900). The Posek (authority in Jewish Law) of Beirut.
 
HaRav Yehuda ("Reb Yiddel") Weber, zt"l (1920-2006). Born in Vodkert, Hungary to Rav Yissachar Weber, a descendent of the Bach, and of Rebbetzin Chana, a niece of the Arugat HaBosem. After his Bar Mitzvah, Yehuda was sent to learn in Pupa under Rav Yaakov Yechezkel Grunwald, the Vayaged Yaakov, the Pupa Rebbe, who was his rebbi muvhak for 7 years. Rav Yehuda then served as mashgiach of Pupa. When the yeshiva was closed in 1944, Rav Yehuuda spent 6 months in the local work camps before being deported to Bergen Belsen. In 1946, his sister introduced him to his Rebbetzin, Batsheva. A year later, his sister, Miriam, married the Pupa Rebbe. Both families settled in Antwerp, then moved to Williamsburg, in New York, in 1950. In 1952, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of the newly established Pupa Yeshiva, first located in Queens, then in Ossining, in Westchester County. Although his family stayed in Williamsburg, Reb Yiddel made the 40-mile drive for four decades
.

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10 Tevet
10 Tevet - Fast of Asara B'Tevet.
One of the four commemorative fasts mentioned by Zecharia HaNavi.
For more info, click here.

10 Tevet 3336 - 426 B.C.E.:

The armies of Nevuchadnetzar, the Babylonian emperor, began the siege of Yerushalayim. The siege lasted thirty months. On 9 Tammuz 3338 – 423 BCE, (the 17th day of Tammuz was designated to commemorate this event), the walls of the city were breached, and on the 9th of Av of that year the first Beit HaMikdash was destroyed. The Jewish people were exiled to Babylonia for 70 years.

The 10th of Tevet is still observed today by Jews as a public fast day, as mentioned by the prophet Zechariah (8:19).

10 Tevet 3337 - 423 B.C.E.:

One year after Nevuchadnetzar's siege of Yerushalayim, Yirmiyahu Hanavi bought a field and prophesized that "Houses, fields and vineyards will yet again be bought in this land [Eretz Yisroel]." (Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 32:15). This gave hope to generations of Jews for a return to the Holy Land, Eretz Yisroel -- a prophecy that we have seen fulfilled in modern times.

10 Tevet 3442 – 320 B.C.E.:

Yahrtzeits of Zachariah ben Berachya ben Ido Hanavi and Malachi Hanevi’im (some say 3448 – 313 B.C.E.). According to the Midrash, Malachi is the same person as Ezra Hasofer. (See yesterday’s notes on Ezra.) Their passing marked the end of the "Era of Prophecy."

10 Tevet -

Yechezkel's wife dies.(24:18)

10 Tevet -

Beneyahu son of Yehoyada of Kavtze’eil struck down the two commanders of Moav, and slew a lion in the middle of a well on a snowy day. (Targum Rav Yosef on Divrei Hayamim I 11:22).

10 Tevet - 37 B.C.E.:

King Herod captured Yerushalayim. (others date it as 2 Tevet).

10 Tevet - 1483:

The first masechta — Gemora Brachot — was printed by Joshua Soncino. It included Rashi, Tosefot, Piskei Tosefot, and the meforshim of the Rambam and Mordechai ben Hillel.

10 Tevet 5700 - December 22, 1939:

The decree for the elimination of Jews from German economic life took effect. (Others have it as 20 Tevet).

10 Tevet 5701 - January 9, 1941:

3,000 Jews were killed in Bucharest riots, Hy"d.

10 Tevet 5701 - January 9, 1941:

Warsaw Jews were forbidden to greet a German in public.

10 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Zachariah ben Berachya ben Ido Hanavi and Malachi Hanevi’im (3442 – 320 B.C.E.:) (some say 3448 – 313 B.C.E.). According to the Midrash, Malachi is the same person as Ezra Hasofer. (See yesterday’s notes on Ezra.) Their passing marked the end of the "Era of Prophecy."

HaRav Yehuda Eilenberg, zt"l, author of Minchat Yehudah (5371 / 1610).

HaRav Nosson Sternhartz of Breslav, zt"l, author of Likutei Halachot, (5605 / 1844). As a young man, he lived in Nemirov, nine miles north of Breslav. Despite family opposition, Nosson became the disciple who recorded Rav Nachman’s thoughts, edited his writings and wrote the early history of the Breslaver Hasidim. He authored the Likutei Halachot, Likutei Moharan, Sefer HaMidot, and Likutei Tefillot.

HaRav Meir Shalom Rabinowitz of Kalushin, zt"l, (1851-1901). Born to Rav Yehoshua Asher of Zelichov, the son of the Yid Hakadosh of Peshischa, he became a son-in-law of his older brother, Rav Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov, author of Atarah Lerosh Tzadik. He served as Rav of the kehhillot of Porisov, Gravlin, and Kalushin. He became Rebbe after the petira of his brither in 1889. Many of his ideas in Torah and Chassidus were recorded by his son and successor Yehoshua Alter in the sefer Nahar Shalom.

HaRav Noach of Hordishitz, zt"l, (1903).

HaRav Raphael Wexelbaum, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Itri, (19??).

HaRav Yechezkel Halshtuk, the Ostrovtzer Rebbe, Hy"d, (1887-1942). Born to Rav Meir Yechiel, founder of the court of Ostrovtze (Ostrowiec), a town which lies along the Kamienna River , a tributary of the Vistula, and which is situated in the Polish highlands just north of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains . At 18, Reb Yechezkel married Rebbetzin Beila Mirel, daughter of Rav Naftali of Meilitz, who was a grandson of Rav Naftali of Ropshitz. In 1911, he was appointed Rav of the town of Inovlodz , and 10 years later, he was appointed Rav of Nashelsk. He succeeded his father as Rebbe after the latter’s petira in 1928. He founded a yeshiva named Beit Meir, in honor of his father. He and 20 of his Chasidim were murdered by the Nazis during davening on the night of Asara B'Tevet. His Rebbetzin, 7 sons, and one son-in-law were all murdered by the Nazis.Some of his writings were published after the war under the name Kodshei Yechezkel.

Memorial day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis, Hy"d.

Harav Meir Chaim Ungar, zt”l, Rav of Lakenbach, (5718 / 1957). Born in 5665 / 1905 in Tzehlem. His father Rav Yaakov was renowned for his acts of tzedaka and chesed; his home was always open to guests, especially the talmidim of the yeshiva in Tzehlem. Within a few short years, Reb Meir Chaim became fluent in most of the masechtot of Nashim and Nezikin, as well as Shulchan Aruch, notably Yoreh De’ah.
Reb Meir Chaim married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Krausz, Rav of Lakenbach. Lakenbach was one of the famous seven Jewish communities, the sheva kehillot, in Burgenland, Hungary (now Austria).
A few years after he settled in Lakenbach, when his father-in-law moved to Eretz Yisrael in 5695 / 1935, Reb Meir Chaim was appointed Rav in Lakenbach. He led the city with great devotion. Alas, the good years were not to last; the Nazi regime raised its evil head, forcing Reb Meir Chaim to flee.
He settled in Yerushalayim, where Harav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky appointed him to serve as a Rav. Reb Meir Chaim devoted most of his time to Torah, learning alone from the early morning hours until Shacharit and then delivering a host of shiurim throughout the day. Reb Meir Chaim helped people in many ways, collecting tzedaka for them, advising them about shalom bayit, visiting the ill and the like.
In the winter of 5718 / 1957, Reb Meir Chaim became ill. When he was able, he continued to learn and do chesed.
Reb Meir Chaim was survived by his only daughter, who was married to Hagaon Harav Nosson Gestetner, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivat Panim Me’irot. Harav Gestetner published the sefarim of his father-in-law under the name Me’or HaChaim.

HaRav Shabsai Yogel, zt"l, born in Piask , Russia (1875 - 5718 / 1957). After studying in Eishishock as a youngster, he learned at Volozhin until it was closed by the Russian authorities, at which time he returned to Piask until he married Liba Kletzkin from Slonim. He then moved to Slonim and learned in one of the Novardok kollelim. In 1906, he was asked to head the Slonim yeshiva, founded by Rav Shlomo Zalman Kahana in 1816. The yeshiva’s first rosh yeshiva was Rav Avraham Weinberg, who later became the founder of the Slonimer chassidic dynastry. In 1929, Rav Shabsai visited Eretz Yisrael for the first time; two months later, his son Shlomo perished in the Chevron massacres. During the early years of WW2, Rav Shabsai and his family moved to Eretz Yisrael. Since the yeshiva in Slonim was destroyed by the Nazis, he rebuilt in. He decided to do so in Ramat Gan , which at that time was a spiritual wasteland.

HaRav Avraham Abba Leifer, zt"l, the Pittsburgher Rebbe, the Admor of Petersburg-Ashdod (5750 / 1989). Author of Emunat Avraham, son of Rav Yosef (Tzidkat Yosef), and son-in-law of Rebbe Issamar of Nadvorna. His son, Mordechai Yissacher Dov Ber Leifer of Pittsburg , is author of Pisgamei Oraisa.

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11 Tevet
11 Tevet

11 Tevet 5251 - 1491:

100,000 Jews of Sicily, Italy were expelled. [listed as 2 Tevet ; 10 Tevet elsewhere].

11 & 12 Tevet 5408 - January 6 & 7, 1647:

The Jews of Mezhibuzh were saved from pogroms by the Cossacks during Gezeirot Tach V'Tat, thanks to a Jew named Mordechai (his wife's name was Esther). Henceforth, it was established as "Purim Mezhibuzh." The Ohev Yisrael of Apt, zt"l, who later in his life lived in Mezhibuzh, would not recite Tachanun on this date. Some chassidim have a custom not to say Tachanun today.

11 Tevet 5428 - 1667:

Jews were expelled from Austria. (5430 / 1670)

11 Tevet 5622 - December 14, 1861:

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln pledged to amend a federal law granting only Christian clergy the right to serve as military chaplains. During the Civil War (in which 6,500 Jews served for the North, and another 2,000 for the South), a religious Jew named Michael Allen had been elected as the non-denominational chaplain of his army regiment. When Allen's Jewishness became "publicized," rather than subject his family to the humiliating ordeal of his dismissal, Allen resigned, citing poor health. The regiment then elected Rabbi Arnold Fischel as its chaplain, in order to test the constitutionality of the "Christian-only" law. Much lobbying ensued, including Fischel traveling to Washington to meet with Lincoln. Six months later, the law was amended to permit Jewish clergy to become military chaplains. It is regarded historically as the first case of American Jews successfully challenging federal legislation.

11 Tevet 5682 - January 11, 1922:

Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

11 Tevet 5712 - January 9, 1952:

Yiddish writers and other Jewish cultural figures were executed in the Soviet Union on the "Night of the Murdered Poets", Hy"d.

11 Tevet 5712 - January 9, 1952:

Germany agrees to provide Holocaust reparations.

11 Tevet 5712 - January 9, 1952:

Operation Coresh begins immigration of Iranian Jews.

11 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Moshe of Ostraha, zt”l, author of Arugat Habosem, (5545 / 1784).

HaRav Shlomo Eiger, zt"l, son of Harav Akiva Eiger and author of the Gilyon Maharsha, (5612 / 1852).

HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ullman, zt"l, of Makava, author of Yeriot Shlomo (5626 / 1865). Son of Rav Shalom Charif, Rav Shlomo Zalman served as Rav of Rendick for two years and of Makova , Hungary , for 39 years. He fought against any inroads of the Reform movement for much of his life. At the end of his sefer, Rav Shlomo Zalman added Kuntres Beis Yad, where he expounds on fourteen differences in the sugya of eid echad neeman b’issurim. This kuntres is the basis of many of the halachot of issur ve’heter.

HaRav Yehoshua of Dzikov, zt”l, the Ateret Yeshua, (5673 / 1912).

HaRav Dovid Twersky of Zlatipoli, zt"l, (5675 / 1914). The oldest son of Rav Yochanan of Rachmistrivke, the son of Rav Mordechai of Chernobyl . Reb Dovid married Rebbetzin Bas-Tzion Tzipora Feiga, daughter of Rav Aharon of Karlin. With his father’s petira, Rav Dovid became Rebbe in Rachmistrivke, along with his brothers, but moved his court to Zlatipoli.

HaRav Dovid Kronglass, zt"l, Mashgiach of Yeshivat Ner Yisroel in Baltimore (1973). He was one of the very top Talmidim of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Poland. During the World War II Holocaust, he traveled with the yeshiva across the Eurasian continent to Kobe, Japan and Shanghai, China. After the war, he came to the United States and was given the position of Mashgiach of the (relatively) new 12 year old Yeshivat Ner Yisroel in Baltimore. He delivered a weekly Sichat Mussar and taught the highest daily Gemara Shiur. He authored the sefer “Divrei Dovid”: a collection of Iyunim on Seder Zeraim, and a set of five Kuntraisim of essays on various Torah topics.

HaRav Moshe Bergman, zt"l, (5738 / 1977), Rosh Yeshivat Avi Ezri-Rashbi in Bnei Brak,. (1977). He was succeeded by his son, Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman.

HaRav Yaakov Yosef Shlomo Halperin, zt"l, (5745 / 1984), the Vasloi Rebbe. Born in Rendken, near Vasloi , Romania , he was the grandson of the first Vasloier Rebbe, Rav Shalom Halperin. He moved from Romania to Eretz Yisrael in 1950, following his father’s own aliya earlier that year. He settled in Haifa , then moved to Nahariya one year later. He moved to Tel Aviv in 1955. His father was niftar in 1957. Rav Yaakov Yosef himself was succeeded by his son Rav Avraham Shimshon Shalom, who lives in Bnei Brak.

HaRav Shmuel Dovid Tzvi Mayer (known as Rav Dovid Hersh), zt"l, menahel of Yeshiva Beis Binyamin in Stamford, Connecticut, (2003).

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12 Tevet
12 Tevet

12 Tevet - 587 B.C.E.:

Yechezkel prophesied the downfall of Egypt and the triumph of Bavel.
"In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth of the month, the word of Hashem came to me, saying: Son of Man, direct your face towards Pharaoh, king of Egypt ... who has said, 'Mine is my river, and I have made myself [powerful]'...Then all the inhabitants of Egypt will know that I am Hashem... It will be the lowest of the Kingdoms..." (Yechezkel 29). (Others 3339 / 423 B.C.E.)

12 Tevet 4763 - 1002:

A violent earthquake rocked Eretz Yisroel, causing serious damage to the chomah / walls of Yerushalayim and to Migdal / Tower of David. (others 1033).

12 Tevet 5571 - January 8, 1811:

The New Duchy of Frankfurt passed a law granting Jews civil rights and privileges equal to other citizens, following a request by Meyer Anschel Rothschild.

12 Tevet 5697 - December 26, 1936:

The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performed its inaugural concert, consisting of 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras who had made aliyah. The opening concert (of the "Palestine Orchestra," as it was then known) was conducted by the great Arturo Toscanini, who had escaped the rise of fascism in his native Italy. Said Toscanini: "I am doing this for humanity." The IPO has earned a reputation as one of the pre-eminent orchestras in the world: over the decades it has featured Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein, Yehuda Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman. One profound moment came in 1991 when Zubin Mehta conducted the orchestra during a Scud missile attack.

12 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Harav Moshe Margulies, zt"l, of Amsterdam, author of Pnei Moshe on the Yerushalmi (5541 / 1780) or (1781)

Harav Moshe of Pshevorsk, zt"l, the Ohr Pnei Moshe.(1805) or (5566 / 1806).

Harav Binyamin Aryeh Weiss, zt"I, Rav of Tchernowitz. He wrote a number of sefarim: on the Torah, on Shas, and his she'eilot u'teshuvot, Even Yekarah, (5673 / 1912).

Harav Mordechai Chaim Kastelantiz of Teveria, known as “Reb Mottel Slonimer” of Slonim, zt"l, (5714 / 1953).

 

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13 Tevet
13 Tevet

13 Tevet 5387 - 1626:

First issue of the the Siddur by the Hebrew printing press of Amsterdam was published. (others 1627).

13 Tevet 5505 - December 18, 1744:

Empress Maria Theresa ordered the expulsion of all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia.The decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.

13 Tevet 5559 - December 21, 1798:

First Jewish censor was appointed by the Russian government to censor all Hebrew books printed in Russia or imported from other countries.

13 Tevet 5559 - December 21, 1798:

Anti-Jewish riots in Ancona , Italy..

13 Tevet 5628 - January 8, 1868:

Romanian Jews were barred from the medical profession.

13 Tevet 5699 - January 4, 1939:

Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration.

13 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Yitzchak Eizik of Ostra, zt”l, (5495 / 1734).

HaRav Moshe ben Dovid Biderman, the Lelover Rebbe (1776 - 5611 / 1850 or 1851). Born in abject poverty, he married Rachel Rivka, a daughter of the Yid Hakadosh of P’shischa. After the latter’s petira in 1813, he became a chasid of Rav Simcha Bunim of P’shischa, along with his friend, Rav Yitzchak of Vorki. In 1843, he finally agreed to a leadership position, agreeing to be rav of the community of Przedborz , Poland . In the last years of his life, he decided to move to Eretz Yisrael. He and many of his Chasidim arrived at Akko on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. He traveled to Yerushalyim, but immediately took ill. Tragically, between the illness and the Arabs, he was never able to daven at the kosel, his life-long dream. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Elazar Mendel, and a vibrant community of Lelover Chasidim still exist in Eretz Yisrael today. Sadly, the community in Przedborz - about 4500 Jews - was liquidated at Treblinka, Hy"d

HaRav Nosson Nota Segal Landau, zt”l, author of Kerem Nota (5667 / 1906).

HaRav Shraga Feivel (Feivish) Hager of Zelitchik, zt”l, (5697 / 1936).
Born c. 5630 / 1870 to Harav Baruch of Vizhnitz, the Imrei Baruch. He married the daughter of Harav Chaim Menachem of Zinkov, a grandson of the Ohev Yisrael of Apta. In his zivug sheini, Reb Shraga Feivish married the daughter of Harav Moshe of Kossov, a relation. After his father’s passing, Reb Shraga Feivish was appointed Rebbe in Zelistchik. He fled during World War I and settled in Chernowitz. Although most of his father’s chassidim traveled to the courts of his older brothers, Harav Yisrael of Vizhnitz and Harav Moshe of Antiniya, his court had a large following. Among his sons-in-law were his nephew, Harav Baruch Hager, son of his brother Harav Yechiel Michel of Horodenka; Harav Dovid Moshe Friedman of Sadigura-Gvodzhitz; and Harav Moshe Tzvi Twersky of Tolna -Philadelphia. Reb Shraga Feivish’s son Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, zy”a, served as Zelischiker-Kossover Rebbe of America. He in turn was succeeded by his sons, Harav Shraga Feivel Hager, Kossover Rebbe, and Harav Chaim Hager, Zelischiker Rebbe in Boro Park.

HaRav Menachem Mendel of Vishiva, the She’erit Menachem. (1941).

HaRav Yechiel Mordechai (ben Moshe Aharon) Gordon, zt"l, Rosh Yeshivat Lomza (5643 / 1882 - 5725 / 1964). Born in Troki, near Vilna, he joined the Slabodka Yeshiva under Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, following his Bar Mitzvah. After his marriage ten years later, he moved to Kelm and learned under the Alter for a year. After his first wife died, he remarried and became the Rosh Yeshiva of Lomza, a position he maintained for 60 years. Some years later, a second branch of the yeshiva opened, in Petach Tikvah. In 1938/9, just before the outbreak of World War II, Rav Gordon left for the United States on a fund-raising trip. That trip saved his life, but he lost his wife , three sons, his daughter and son-in-olaw, and many talmidim. His youngest and only remaining son was murdered in Eretz Yisrael.by Arabs in 1939 while standing guard in Yerushalayim. (Among the roshei yeshivot who travelled to the United States to raise funds during WW2 were Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel from Mir, Rav Aaron Kotler from Kletzk, Rav Shimon Shkop from Grodno, Rav Elchanan Wasserman from Baranowitz, and Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz from Kamenetz).
Rav Gordon's shiurim were published under the name Netiv Yam on the Shas.
For more about the life of Rav Gordon, see:
http://www.chareidi.org/archives5765/BO65features.htm  part 1 and
http://www.chareidi.org/archives5765/BSH65features2.htm part 2

HaRav Yitzchak Hakohen Huberman, the tzadik of Raanana, zt”l, (1896 - 5737 / 1977). He was born in Tomashov (Tomaszow Lubelski), near Lublin . An 1895 census reveals that out of a population of 6,077, over half the citizens, 3,646 were Jews. The first shul in this town was built in 1594, but after the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648-49, only 18 of the original 200 families still remained. The most famous Jew of the town was the Kotzker Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel Morgenstern of Tomashov, who lived here until he left for Kotzk. Rav Yitzchak became a follower of the Imrei Emet of Ger and, after his mentor’s petira, of his son, the Beit Yisrael. In 1940, Josef Stalin deported 200,000 Polish Jews, including Rav Yitzchak, to forced labor camps in Siberia and elsewhere. This saved their lives, since most of those left behind were murdered by the Nazis when they invaded Russia , a year later. After the war, Rav Yitzchak served as a rav for six years in Germany before moving to Eretz Yisrael, and settling in Raanana. Rav Yitzchak wrote a collection of chiddushim on Megillat Esther and entitled it Higidah Esther, in his mother’s memory.

 

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14 Tevet
14 Tevet

14 Tevet 5275 - 1515:

The Jews of Laibach, Austria were expelled.

14 Tevet 5501 - January 2, 1741:

Window Purim or (Purim Chevron) in Chevron (Hebron), commemorating the miraculous discovery of a sack with 50,000 gold coins on a window sill in the synagogue, the exact amount the Pasha demanded in exchange for abrogating his expulsion order.

14 Tevet 5731 - January 11, 1971:

Population of Eretz Yisroel reached three million.

14 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu.

HaRav Levi Yitzchak of Stefin, zt”l, (5634 / 1874).

HaRav Raphael Meir Penijel (1804 -1894). Born in Bulgaria , he moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael when he was 3 years old. When he was 15, his father died. In the early 1940s, he was chosen as one of the “shadarim” (sheluchei de’rabbanan) and sent to Northern Africa to collect funds for the yishuv. Following stints in Morocco and Tunisia , he traveled to Italy . While there, he befriended the Pope, who offered to show him the Vatican ’s archives. There, he saw some of the sacred vessels that Titus had stolen from the Beit Hamikdash. The visit is described in his sefer, Lev Hamarpei. When he returned to Eretz Yisrael, he founded the Doresh Tzion Yeshiva in 1868 and was instrumental in helping to found the Tiferet Yerushalayim institutions. In 1881, he succeeded Rav Avraham Ashkenazi as Yerushalayim’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi, the Rishom LeTzion. In addition to the sefer noted above, he also authored Sheilot U’Teshuvot Leshon Marpei.

HaRav Reuven Dov Dessler (1863 -1935), father of Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, the Michtav M’Eliyahu. Born in Libau , Lithuania . When he was 12, Rav Reuven Dov was sent to Rav Simcha Zissel’s yeshiva and stayed there for 11 years. When it closed, he moved to Kelm to continue learning with the Alter. In 1891, he married the daughter of a leading dayan in Vilna and granddaughter of Rav Yisrael Salanter. She gave birth to Rav Reuven Dov’s only son, Rav Eliyahu Eliezer. Sadly, she was niftar 4 years after they wed, and Rav Reuven Dov remarried. Although he was very successful in business, he maintained a rigid learning schedule, and he took off every Elul and Tishrei to travel to Kelm to learn. In 1923, the Communists gained control of the area, and Rav Reuven Dov lost all of his assets. His final years were trying. In 1931, he moved into his son’s home in London and immersed himself in Torah study.

HaRav Alter Elazar Menachem of Lelov (1935 - 2001). Born to the Admor of Lelov, Rav Moshe Mordechai, he learned with the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak as a youth. In 1958, he married the daughter of Rav Shimon Aharon Hershkowitz, the ga’avad of Slavita. In 1965, he founded his beit medrash on Rabbi Akiva Street in Bnei Brak. After the petirah of his mother in 1978, he established the Or Menachem network of kollelim. He also founded Kehal Ateret Moshe of the Lelover Chassidim of the United States , now headed by Rav Alter Elazar Menachem’s son, Rav Dovid Tzvi Shlomo.

HaRav Leib Bakst, zt"l, (5675 / 1915 - 5764 / 2004). Born in Polish Lithuania, as a child he studied at the yeshiva of Hagaon Harav Yaakov Neiman, zt”l, in Lida. When Reb Aryeh Leib was still a young bachur of bar-mitzvah age, the world-renowned Gaon Reb Chaim Ozer of Vilna advised his father to bypass the yeshivot for younger students and send the young prodigy straight to the Mirrer Yeshiva of Poland. Thus, with a letter of recommendation from Reb Chaim Ozer, Reb Aryeh Leib Bakst was admitted to “the mother of yeshivot — der Mir.
Reb Aryeh Leib was considered one of the “lions of Mir” and became close with its great mentors, including the Rosh Yeshiva, Hagaon Harav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, and the Mashgichim — first Hagaon Harav Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l, and later Hagaon Harav Yechezkel Levenstein, zt”l. He commanded the respect and admiration of his esteemed Roshei Yeshiva as well as of his peers. also studied with the Brisker Rav and Rav Baruch Ber Leibovitz in Kaminetz.
In 5699/1939, Polish Jewry began experiencing the onslaught of the Nazi terror. In anticipation of the imminent danger, the Mirrer Yeshiva’s leadership planned an escape from Central Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Harav Bakst was chosen, along with 29 other foremost scholars and leaders, to be part of the first group to leave Poland for an as-yet-undesignated destination. After months of travel through Siberia with limited food and provision for housing, the group of Mirrer talmidim reached Kobe, Japan, via Vladivostok. Eventually, the entire Mirrer Yeshiva was reunited in Shanghai, China, to study in relative solitude for the remainder of the war years.
The arrival of the Mirrer talmidim in North America in 5707 / 1947 was heralded as a sign of a new beginning. It wasn’t long before Harav Bakst became known across North America for his brilliance in Torah. Soon, community leaders and Rabbanim from Detroit met with Harav Bakst and invited him to become the dean of Yeshiva Beth Yehuda.
From then on, Rav Bakst dedicated his life to building Jewish education in Detroit. In 5745 / 1985, he embarked on a plan to revitalize formal Jewish education in Detroit by creating an independent yeshiva for high-school age bachurim. The yeshiva was named Yeshivah Gedola Ateret Mordechai after Harav Bakst’s esteemed father-in-law, Hagaon Harav Mordechai Rogow, zt”l former Rav of Sjny, Poland and Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash LaTorah in Skokie, Illinois.
As Rosh Yeshiva in Detroit, Harav Bakst was known for his expertise in the entire Torah. Transplanted in America, Reb Leib, as he was affectionately known, never compromised on the rigorous European standards of learning in which he had been trained — not for himself and not for his talmidim. He demanded the highest dedication to limud haTorah, ameilut (toiling in Torah) and depth in Torah. To watch him smile as he expounded on a sevara was to watch a soul rejoice. The fire of Torah that he exuded as he argued a knotty Talmudic topic left a profound impression on generations of talmidim who sought to emulate him, at least in a small way. His sharp and incisive daat Torah served as a guide to countless students and members of the community.
Harav Bakst represents a generation that exuded greatness in Torah. His recognized scholarship, his life experiences and his subsequent years of teaching and leadership in Detroit have stimulated a resurgence of local and national interest in the Detroit Jewish community.

 

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15 Tevet
15 Tevet

15 Tevet 5248 - 1487:

The first printed edition of Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, was printed in Soncino, Italy.

15 Tevet 5724 - December 31, 1963:

Israel's first desalinization water facility opened in Eilat. Israel is inherently poor in water bodies -- about 90% of the land area is dry land, and 60% of the country is covered by the Negev desert. Desalinization is a process of producing water from salty and/or contaminated water. Today, Israel's national water company, Mekorot, operates 29 desalinization plants, mainly in the south of the country.

15 Tevet 5738 - December 25, 1977:

Menachem Begin met with Anwar Sadat at Ismilia, Egypt.

15 Tevet Yahrtzeits

The Amora, Mashrisha bar Pekud of Bavel.

HaRav Mordechai, zt"l, Rosh Mesivta of Levov, .(5495 / 1734).

HaRav Raphael of Bershed, zt”l, a talmid of Rav Pinchas of Koritz, (5587 / 1827).

Harav Shmaryahu Noach Schneerson of Bobroisk, zt”l 5607 /1847 - 5683 / 1923), son of Harav Yehudah Leib of Kapust, who was the son of the Tzemach Tzedek Lubavitch. In 5724 / 1964, his grandson published Reb Shmaryahu Noach’s work on the Torah, Shemen LaMaor.

HaRav Chaim Mordechai Rosenbaum of Nadvorna, zt”l,  (5663 / 1904 – 5738 / 1977). Born to Rav Issamar of Nadvorna, the son of Harav Meir of Kretchenif who, in turn, was the son of Reb Mordechai of Nadvorna and a descendant of Reb Meir (Hagadol) of Premishlan, the Be’er Mayim Chaim, and Reb Naftali of Ropshitz. He was named after his great-grandfather Harav Mordechai of Nadvorna.
He learned with his father in his youth, and married a first cousin, the daughter of his uncle, Reb Eliezer Ze’ev of Kretchenif, at age 19, then learned full-time, supported by his father-in-law. He took a position as Rav of Seret in 1928. In 1941, Romania allied itself with Germany . Of the 420,000 Jews of Romania, 160,000 were murdered by German and Romanain soldiers, and another 150,000 were shipped by cattle cars to Transnitra in the Ukraine ; 10,000 died on the trip and another 80,000 died in the camps there. In 1942, Rav Chaim Mordechai and his family arrived in the Djurin camp in Transnitra. They survived and arrived in Yerushalyim on Sukkot 5708 / 1948, but moved to Tel Aviv because of the war. He established Yeshiva Ma’amer Moredechai in Yaffo and moved his yeshiva to Bnei Brak in 1961. He was succeeded by his only son, , Harav Yaakov Yissocher. He also had three daughters.

Harav Bentzion Moshe Meir Mandelbaum, zt"l, author of Ohr Moshe, (5747 / 1987).

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16 Tevet
16 Tevet

16 Tevet 5399 - December 23, 1638:

Baghdad Purim. The Turkish leader Sultan Morad IV conquered the city of Baghdad for the second time from the Persians with the help of the Jews. The day was celebrated as a Yom Ness (a day of miracles) by the Baghdad Kehillah. Tachanun was not recited. In general, when the Ottomans ruled the city, life for its Jewish residents improved. When the Persian Shiites ruled the city the situation was very difficult to say the east. (Others have it as 1640).

16 Tevet 5542 - January 2, 1782:

Emperor Joseph II of Austria issued an Edict of Toleration which repealed most restrictions on Jews that had been imposed by the Church.

16 Tevet 5623 - January 7, 1863:

In 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant was instructed to revoke Order No. 11, which had called for the expulsion of all Jews from Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. During the Civil War, smugglers were illegally selling southern cotton to the northern textile factories. Grant, commander of U.S. Army forces, believed that Jews were primarily behind this illegal cotton trade, and he decided to expel all Jews from southern territory. Grant wrote: "No Jews are to be permitted to travel on the railroad southward from any point... The [region] must be purged of them." Based on Grant's orders, Jews were expelled from their homes, including 20 families from the town of Paducah alone. Some Jews were denied rail transportation and had to flee northward on foot. Those who did not cooperate were thrown into prison. Jewish community leaders immediately arranged a meeting at the White House with President Lincoln, who cancelled the expulsion order. Grant, who would later become U.S. president, never offered any explanation or apology.

16 Tevet 5708 - December 29, 1947:

The ship, “The 29th of November”, with illegal Jewish immigrants, was driven off the coast of Eretz Yisrael by the British.

16 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Avraham Zorach Aryeh Yehudah of Berzhan, zt”l, (5568 / 1808).

HaRav Yonah Halevi Furst, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivat Nitra, (5743 / 1983). Born in Vienna, Austria, in 5676 / 1916 to Rav Yisrael. The family had fled Galicia and settled in Vienna during World War I. Reb Yonah was a serious and intense oved Hashem, who fasted every Monday and Thursday. Only in his later years in America, due to his weak state, did he agree to have a hatarat nedarim to be allowed to eat on those days.
At the age of 16, Reb Yonah was sent by his father to learn in the yeshiva of Harav Shmuel David Unger, the Ne’ot Deshe, who served as the Rosh Yeshiva. Initially the yeshiva was in Tyrnau, but when Reb Shmuel David became Rav in Nitra, Slovakia, Reb Yonah accompanied him there. He continued on to the prestigious yeshiva of Harav Meir Shapira, Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin, where he was among the choice bachurim.
After the petira of Harav Meir Shapira, on 7 Cheshvan 5694 / 1933, Reb Yonah became deathly ill for many months. His close companion and fellow talmid, Harav Shmuel Wosner, shlita, tended to him. Although, baruch Hashem, he recovered and returned to the yeshiva in Nitra, Reb Yonah remained in a wheelchair, unable to walk.
It is astounding to think that a disabled person was able to survive World War II. Whenever the Nazis reached the yeshiva in Nitra, all the bachurim fled, except Reb Yonah who, miraculously, was never sighted by the Nazis. Some bachurim called him “ro’eh v’eino nireh — he sees but is not seen.”
When he returned home, his friends could hardly believe his experiences. Reb Yonah moved to America, together with the other staff members of the Nitra Yeshiva.
In Mount Kisco, NY, together with Harav Shalom Moshe Unger, the son of Reb Shmuel David (who was niftar during the war) and Harav Chaim Michoel Ber Weissmandl, his son-in-law, Reb Yonah helped re-establish the prestigious European yeshiva. Reb Yonah served as mashgiach in the yeshiva.
His influence and authority were not limited to the yeshiva itself; Reb Yonah was active in chinuch and attended many meetings on how to improve the generation.
To many, Reb Yonah was the address for a warm word of advice. He gave chizuk to numerous downtrodden widows and orphans and helped marry off youngsters from problematic homes.
Unfortunately, Reb Yonah was not zocheh to biological children, but his many talmidim were all “only children” to him.

HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth, zt"l, Rav and Av Beis Din of Antwerp and son-in-law of Rav Avraham Grodzinski. Rav Chaim was well-known to have memorized Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, as well as Rishonim and Acharonim, (1920 - 5762 / 2001).

 

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17 Tevet
17 Tevet

17 Tevet - 1312:

Anti-Jewish riots in different parts of Austria.

17 Tevet 5285 - 1524:

The organization of the Jewish community of Rome was approved by the pope.

17 Tevet 5436 - January 3, 1676:

Frederick William of Brandenburg issued a decree safeguarding the privileges of the Jews of Berlin.

17 Tevet 5488 - December 30, 1727:

Congregation Shearith Yisroel purchased a lot in lower Manhattan to erect the first structure ever designed and built as a shul in New York (and for that matter, in continental North America). At the time, New York had the only Jewish community in the country; it would be some two decades later before organized Jewish settlement began in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Charleston.
Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 (then New Amsterdam) until 1825, having been founded by Brazilian Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin that fled the Inquisition.
Governor Peter Stuyvesant, known for his anti-Semitic views, had initially denied Jews the right to worship in a public gathering; these Jews fought for their rights and won permission.
Today, Shearith Israel occupies a grand structure at 70th Street and Central Park West.

17 Tevet 5565 - December 18, 1804:

The yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Wolf Krantz, zt"l, (1740-1804), the Maggid (itinerant preacher) of Dubno, particularly known for the parables (meshalim) he employed in his sermons and writings.

17 Tevet 5708 - December 30, 1947:

Arabs killed 40 Jews at the Haifa oil facility, Hy"d.

17 Tevet 5739 - January 16, 1979:

The Shah fled Iran, never to return. Khomeini reached Iranian soil on February 1. Revolutionaries and sympathizers in the army ousted the Bahktiar government on February 11, 1979.

17 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Aharon Zelig of Ostroh, zt”l, (5514 / 1754), author of Toldot Aharon.

HaRav Yaakov Krantz, zt"l, Dubna Maggid (1741 - 5565 / 1804). Born in a province of Vilna, Yaakov ben Wolf Kranz showed exceptional homiletical and Kabbalistic talents at an early age, and by the age of twenty became the darshan of his city. From there he began preaching through the cities of around Lublin in Poland, finally settling in Dubnow. His reputation as a maggid spread, bringing him in contact with the great rabbis of the period, including the Vilna Gaon. The majority of his works were in homiletics, using stories and parables to transmit deeper ethical and moral teachings.

HaRav Ephraim Fishel Shapira of Strikov, zt"l, (1743 - 5582 / 1822). A disciple of the Magid of Mezritch, the Rebbe Elimelech and the Chozeh of Lublin, he was called the “Oleh Temimah.”

HaRav Aryeh Leibish Lipschitz of Vishnitza, zt"l, (1849), the Aryeh d’Bei Ilai. (Others 5606 / 1846). Born in Yaroslav in 5527 / 1767, to Harav Chaim Asher; the family was descended from the Maharshal and Harav Mordechai Yaffe, the Levush. Reb Aryeh Leibish was the talmid of Harav Yitzchak Charif of Sambour and of Harav Aryeh Leib, the Ketzot HaChoshen. Known for his quick, sharp mind, he was aptly called Reb Leibish Charif.
When he married the daughter of Harav Moshe Teitelbaum, the Yismach Moshe, he asked his father-in-law for permission to continue to travel to his Rebbe, the Chozeh of Lublin. At the time the Yismach Moshe was opposed to Chassidut, but he granted permission. Subsequently, after joining Reb Leibish once on a trip to Lublin, the Yismach Moshe himself was drawn to Chassidut, becoming one of the most devoted chassidim of the Chozeh.
The first rabbinic post of Reb Aryeh Leibish was in Krashov. When his father-in-law left Shinev and settled in Ujhel in 5568 / 1808, Reb Aryeh Leibish was named Rav of the city in his place. In 5575 / 1815 Reb Aryeh Leibish moved to Vishnitza, where he began to lead chassidim. He was also appointed Rav of Vishnitza. But in spite of being an outstanding talmid chacham and a Rebbe, when Reb Aryeh Leibish voiced his opinion in regard to who should serve as gabbai of the chevra kaddisha, he was asked to leave the city.
He decided at that time to move to Eretz Yisrael, but pressure from the chassidim and from his father-in-law caused him to change his mind and stay on. In 5598 / 1838 he moved to Brigel, where he lived until his petira. He was buried in Brigel.
Reb Aryeh Leibish wrote a number of sefarim: She’eilot U’Teshuvot Aryeh D’bei Ila’i, correspondence with many Gedolei Yisrael; Chiddushei Aryeh D’bei Ila’i on many masechtot; Ari She’b’chaburah, on Masechet Kesubot; and others. Many of his divrei Torah and divrei Chassidut were printed in Yetev Lev and Yetev Panim, sefarim by his nephew Harav Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum. His sons were Harav Chaim Dov of Yanov, Harav Meshulam Zalman of Brigel and Harav Aharon of Vishnitza.

HaRav Pinchas
Epstein, zt"l, Av Beit Din of Yerushalayim (1887 - 5730 / 1969). Born in Griva, Lithuania, his primary teacher was R’ Zalman Sender Kahana Shapiro in Bialystok. In 1904, he settled in Eretz Yisrael with his father and began studying at Yeshiva Torat Chaim in the Old City of Yerushalayim. R’ Epstein was one of the founders and early leaders of the Eidah HaChareidit, a group which split from the established Yerushalayim community in 1919 in response to the growing influence of the Zionists on the existing religious council. In 1949, he was appointed to head the Eidah HaChareidit.

HaRav Suleiman (Salman) Mutzafi of Yerushalayim, zt"l, (1900 - 5735 / 1974); born in Baghdad. His father, Rav Tzion Meir, descended from an illustrious family of Torah scholars who first arrived in Baghdad during the Spanish expulsion.

HaRav Chanina Shiff, zt"l, (1928-2007). A descendant of the Noam Elimelech of Lizhensk, he was sent off in cattle cars to concentration camps where his parents were murdered. His older brother, Rav Elazar Shiff, later a prominent Belzer Chassid, also survived, as did two of their sisters. They arrived in Haifa on erev Tisha B’Av, 1945. Chanina Shiff went to learn in Yeshiva Sefat Emet. He served four generations of Ger Admorim as gabbai, he called out the kibbudim at every Gerer chasunah, and he composed and sang grammen at each Gerrer chasunah.

 

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18 Tevet
18 Tevet

18 Tevet 4231 - 470 C.E.:

Rav Huna bar Mar Zutra, the head of Babylonian Jewry (called the Exilarch ["Reish Galuta"], and Rav Mesharshya bar Pekod were arrested by the Persian authorities and killed al kiddush Hashem in Pumpedita. Rav Ameimar bar Mar Yenuka, was also arrested with them, he was killed two months later. These events led to the demise of the Rabbanan Svora'i (who succeded the Amora'im in leading Babylonian Jewry), and eventually to the decline of Torah in Bavel.

18 Tevet - 1369:

King of Sicily requires Jews to wear a special badge.

18 Tevet - December 23, 1420:

Because the practice had become rampant, Pope Martin V ordered an end to converting Jewish children (under 12) to Christianity, without their parents' permission.

18 Tevet 5409 - January 2, 1649:

Chmielnicki entered Kiev in triumph. Most of the Jews were massacred, Hy"d, and the more fortunate Jews were taken captive by the Tartars and ransomed in Constantinople.

18 Tevet 5496 - January 2, 1736:

The last Auto-da-Fe in the New World took place in Peru. Dona Ana de Castro was accused of Judaizing and burned at the stake, Hy"d.

18 Tevet 5596 - January 8, 1836:

Violent earthquake kills 2000 in Tzefat and 700 in Teveria. (See 24 Tevet).

 

18 Tevet 5673 - December 28, 1912:

The first meeting of the National Council of Young Israel convened.

18 Tevet 5699 - January 9, 1939:

Three river boats with 1,210 Jewish refugees aboard from Vienna and Prague, were stopped on the Danube near the Iron Gates gorge and the town of Kladovo on the Romanian-Yugoslavian border. The British government had protested to the Yugoslavian government the intention of the refugees to get to Eretz Yisrael. Two hundred children received travel permits, the rest were turned back.

18 Tevet 5706 - December 22, 1945:

The Lebanese government issued orders of expulsion against Palestinian Jews in Lebanon. The Palestine Post of December 22, 1947 carried a report about harsh measures that the Arab League was considering taking against Jews in Arab lands. They would first be denaturalized, their property confiscated,  their bank accounts frozen, and they would be treated as enemy aliens.

18 Tevet 5707 - January 10, 1947:

Two ships loaded with Jewish Holocaust survivors were stopped by the British; their passengers were taken to Cyprus. Only two years later - to the day - did the British announce their intention to release the Cyprus internees.

18 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Rav Huna bar Mar Zutra (the Reish Galusa) killed al kiddush Hashem, along with Rav Mesharshiya bar Pekod (see above)

HaRav Tzvi Elimelech Shapiro of Dinov, zt"l, the Bnei Yissaschar, (1783-1841 [or 5610 / 1850]), born to Reb Pesach and his wife, the niece of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. A talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin, R' Tzvi Elimelech was told by the Chozeh that he was from Shevet Yissascher, which explained the talmid’s special feelings towards Chanukkah, as it is known that the Sanhedrin of the Chashmonaim had many members from Shevet Yissascher. This is the source of the name of his sefer, Bnei Yissaschar discourses on the Torah and Festivals as viewed from a kabbalistic prospective. He also authored Derech Pikudecha, exposition on the 613 mitzvot of the Torah; Igra DeKallah, a commentary on the Torah; and Hagahot Mahartza on the Zohar. A brilliant scholar, kabbalist, and leader of Polish Jewry, HaRav Shapiro worked vigorously to strengthen the Jewish community in light of the assimilationist trends brought about by the Enlightenment.

The Merchant-philanthropist Judah Touro. (5614 / January 18, 1854). Touro left behind large foundations for various philanthropic purposes, including completing the Bunker Hill monument, enclosing the Jewish Cemetery in Newport , Rhode Island . His fund combined with Montefiore’s to help build the first housing complex outside the walls of the old city of Yerushalayim, Mishkenot Shananim. (Others 19 Tevet).

HaRav Moshe of Korestchov, zt"l, (5626 / 1866). Born to the Chernobyler Maggid, Rav Mordechai, Rav Moshe was the grandson of the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl on his father’s side and Rav Aharon HaGadol of Karlin on his mother’s side. His brother was Rav Yochanan of Rachmistrivka. A few years after his father’s petira, he abided to the urging of the Chasidim and set up his court in Korestchov. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Mordechai.

HaRav Chaim Shmuel Horowitz of Chentchin, zt"l, (5676 / 1915 or 5677 / 1916).

HaRav Tzvi Hirsch Grodzinski, zt"l, (5618 / 1858 - 5707 / 1947). Born in Tavrig, a suburb of Vilna, he learned with his younger cousin, Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski in the town of Ivye, before learning in the Kovner Kollel under Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector. At Volozhin, he was recognized as one of the top tamidim of the Netziv. In 1891, when the Russian government demanded that Volozhin include secular studies in its curriculum, Rav Tzvi Hirsch moved to the USA and settled in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was appointed Chief Rabbi. In 1902, he became one of the 58 charter members of the Agudath Harabbanim. Harav Tzvi Hirsh published many articles in rabbinical journals in the U.S. and Eretz Yisrael, amomg them Hapardes, Knsesset Chachmei Yisrael, and Hame’assef. Among his printed sefarim are Mikveh Yisrael on hilchot mikvaot, Likutei Tzvi on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, Milli d’Brachot on mesechet Brachot, and Mikra’ei Kodesh (3 volumes on hilchot kriat haTorah). Thousands of manuscripts on his commentaries on Yoreh De’ah and every mesechta in Shas and she’eilot u’teshuvot remain unpublished. They are stored in the Otzar Haposkim lnstitute in Eretz Yisrael.

HaRav Moshe Chalfon, zt"l, of Djerba, Tunisia, author of Sho’el Venish’al and Brit Kehunah, (1874 - 5710 / 1950).

Harav Moshe Shatzkes, zt”l, Rav of Lomza, and successor to Rav Shimon Shkop (1958)

HaRav Mendel Geffner, zt"l, (5748 / 1988), initiator of mass Chol Hamoed Birchat Kohanim at the Western Wall, Yerushalayim, and author of Midrashei Tehillim.

Moshe Heller of Yerushalayim; only son of Rav Refoel Tzvi Mechel Heller (2002).

HaRav Aryeh Leibish Halberstam, zt"l, the Zhmigrader Rebbe (1912-2007). Two of his sons succeeded him - the Sanz-Zhmigrader Rebbe of Boro Park and the Sanz-Zhmigrader Rebbe of Europe.

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19 Tevet
19 Tevet

19 Tevet 5398 - January 5, 1637:

The Catholic Church in Recife, Brazil closed Recife's two shuls. (Others 1638).

19 Tevet 5495 - January 13, 1735:

The battle against the Ramchal's kabbalah writings reached a new critical stage when the Frankfurt beit din issued a psak forbidding the Ramchal to write seforim on kabbalah.
The Ramchal was the 7th in a direct line of Italian mekubalim who had received their knowledge of kabbalah from the ARIZAL. He had been suspected of Shabtai Tzvi type tendencies since 1729, when Rav Chagiz of Altona had convinced the Frankfurt rabbanim to prohibit the Ramchal from disseminating the revelations he claimed to have heard from a malach min hashomayim and Eliyahu Hanavi. After agreeing to this, the Ramchal went on to write 50 seforim on kabbalah until 1735, when the Frankfurt beit din forbade this as well. The Ramchal accepted this decree with humility, and undertook never to teach kabbalah again from a sefer or orally, including the teachings of the ARIZAL and Sefer HaZohar, and never to write such teachings for himself or for others.
The Frankfurt beit din assumed control of the box which held the Ramchal's teachings and supervised over the next few months the collection of all the Ramchal's works which had been widely distributed due to their popularity. Most, of these are lost to us today. Despite the Ramchal believing that the Frankfurt beit din had acted in error, he fully observed the ban they placed on his writings.
In 1735 he moved to Amsterdam, but refused numerous requests to teach kabbalah. For his living, he ground lenses to make glasses. He spent the following years writing famous classics of mussar and philosophy, such as Mesilat Yeshorim, Derech Hashem, Sefer HaHigayon, Derech Tevunot, and Leyeshorim Tehilla until he moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1743 where he died three years later in an epidemic.

19 Tevet 5614 - January 19, 1854:

Yahrtzeit of American Jewish philanthropist Judah Touro (1775-1854). (See 18 Tevet).

19 Tevet 5631 - January 12, 1871:

A new German constitution gives German Jews full legal equality.

19 Tevet 5649 - December 23, 1888:

Death of Laurence Oliphant, (1829 - 1888), a British MP and world member of Chovevei Zion (The Lovers of Zion), who suggested establishing agricultural Jewish settlements in Eretz Yisrael. He contacted the Turkish authorities and in 1880 published a book, "Eretz HaGilad" (The Land of Gilead - Hebrew translation by Nahum Sokolow as Eretz Chemdah, 1886), in which he called for the establishment of a Jewish region in the north of Transjordan. The Turks were not interested.

19 Tevet 5658 - January 13, 1898:

"JAccuse" by Emile Zola was published regarding the Dreyfus trial. In defense of the French Jewish captain Dreyfus, Zola claimed that the French military leaders were making him into a scapegoat.

19 Tevet 5662 - December 29, 1901:

The Jewish National fund was established. In 1901, the Jewish National Fund was founded for the purpose of purchasing settlement land in Israel. JNF had the idea of placing a collection box in every Jewish home, and by the 1920s about one million of the famous "Blue Boxes" were in Jewish homes throughout the world. Besides purchasing land throughout Israel, JNF expanded into afforestation, water projects, agricultural innovation, roadworks, schools, and immigrant services. JNF operates under the principle that the Land of Israel belongs to the entire Jewish people; based on this, the Israeli Knesset later adopted a law stating that JNF lands cannot be sold, but only leased for periods of 49 years at a time. Over the past century, JNF has planted over 220 million trees throughout Israel -- the only nation in the world to end the 20th century with more trees than it had at the beginning.

19 Tevet 5762 - January 3, 2002:

Israel captures Karine-A, a ship laden with 50 tons of weapons from Iran bound for the Palestinian Authority.

19 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Aryeh Leib HaCohen Heller, the Ketzot HaChoshen, zt”l, ( b.5505 / 1745 - d. 5573 / 1812) (Others 1813). The author of the “Ketzot HaChoshen,” one of the most widely used works in the Yeshiva world until this day. He was one of the greatest Rabbanim of Galacia, an authority in Halacha and known for the depth of his Torah insights. He was a fourth generation direct descendent of Rav Yom Tov Lipman Heller, the “Tosafot Yom Tov.” He authored his works in adverse poverty when he was a young man in Rozhintov. In 1788 he became the Rav in Setry, where he founded a large Yeshiva. This city became a large Chassidic center, and he was known by the Chassidim as the “prince of the Torah.” His works also include the “Avnei Miluim” and the “Shev Shma’atsa.”

HaRav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the Ktav Sofer (1815 - 5632 / 1871). (Others 1872). Born and died in Pressburg, Hungary, oldest son of the Chatam Sofer and grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger via his mother, Rebetzen Sorel. After his father’s death in 1839, the Ktav Sofer succeeded him as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Pressburg, at the unusually young age of 24. He was famous as the greatest Torah educator in Hungary. He fought against Reformers and ‘assimilationists,’ and encouraged the settlement in Eretz Yisrael. He founded the Kollel Shomrei HaChomot in 1862 for the immigrants from Hungary to Eretz Yisrael. He served Pressburg for 33 years, the exact number of years his father had served before him. His works include the Responsa “Ketav Sofer” and the “Ketav Sofer on the Torah.”

HaRav Yaakov of Melitz, zt”l, (5599 / 1839).

HaRav Elimelech of Rudnik, zt”l, (5609 /1849).

HaRav Yeshua Basis, zt”l. One of the great Rabbis of Tunisia, author of “Avnei Tzedek.”(5620/1860).

HaRav Yaakov Landau of Yezov, zt”l, (5654 / 1893).

HaRav David Peretz, zt”l, One of the great Torah scholars of Morocco, author of Magen David, (5681/1901)

Harav Moshe Sokolovski, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva in Brisk in Lita, author of Imrei Moshe, (5691 / 1931).

HaRav Menachem Mendel Zaks, zt”l, son-in-law of the Chafetz Chaim, (5734 / 1974).

HaRav Shalom Leifer of Nadvorna, zt”l, (5740 / 1980).

HaRav Avraham Yaakov Friedman, the Sadigura Rebbe, zt”l, (5773 / 2013).
Born in Vienna, Austria, on 5 Elul 5688 / 1928. His father was the Knesset Mordechai of Sadigura, Harav Mordechai Shalom Yosef, and his mother was Rebbetzin Mira Reizel, daughter of Harav Yisrael Shalom Yosef Heschel, the Mezhibuzher Rebbe. The Chortkover Rebbe, Harav Yisrael, was sandak at the brit.
When he was five years old, the family moved back to Pshemishel, Poland.
In Adar 5699 / 1939, when the Knesset Mordechai traveled to Eretz Yisrael for a visit, his uncle, Harav Yisrael, the Rebbe of Husyatin, who had emigrated there several years earlier, instructed him not to return to Europe. That Elul, weeks before the outbreak of World War II, Rebbetzin Mira Reisel and her 11-year-old son, Avraham Yaakov, left Europe for Eretz Yisrael.
There the young boy basked in the presence of his father, who was also his Rebbe and mentor, and with whom he had an extraordinarily close relationship.
When he turned 13, he merited that his great-uncle, the Husyatiner Rebbe, zy”a, laid tefillin on him. The Husyatiner Rebbe also led a special tisch in honor of the simcha.
From his early childhood, his hasmadah was evident, and to his final day his life revolved around Torah study. He was a close talmid of Harav Reuven Tropp, and later of Harav Yehoshua Menachem Ehrenberg, the Dvar Yehoshua, from whom he later received semicha.
At the age of 18 he began to study Kabbalah as well, and had a chavrusa every Friday for several hours in kisvei Arizal.
In 5713 / 1953 he married Rebbetzin Tzipporah, a”h, the daughter of Harav Yosef Aryeh Feldman, z”l. She predeceased him by six years.
Three years later his father decided to move to the United States, where he established a court in Crown Heights.
In 1965, the Rebbe moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he established the Ruzhiner Yeshiva in Bnei Brak and served as Rosh Yeshiva. His father also moved back to Tel Aviv.
He went to great efforts to preserve Shabbat in Tel Aviv, and spread much Torah to the Tel Aviv residents.
In 5755 / 1995, the Rebbe began to suffer from a serious illness, but refused to allow his physical limitation to interfere with his avodat Hashem. In 5765 / 2005, he moved his court to Bnei Brak.
A ben acher ben from the Ruzhiner Rebbe and the Maggid of Mezeritch, the Rebbe would constantly quote divrei Torah from his ancestors.
The Rebbe was an active and enthusiastic supporter of Agudat Yisrael.
The Rebbe was niftar on 19 Tevet 5773 / 2013, at the age of 84. He was buried in the Ruzhiner chelkah of the Nachalat Yitzchak cemetery.
His only son, Harav Yisrael Moshe Friedman, shlita, succeeded him as Rebbe.


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20 Tevet
20 Tevet

20 Tevet 4965 - December 13, 1204:

Yahrzeit of Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon, zt"l, the Rambam (Maimonides) (1135-1204), Talmudist, Halachist, physician, philosopher and communal leader, known in the Jewish world as the "Rambam" (an acronym for his name, Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon), and to the world at large as "Maimonides."
Maimonides was born in Cordova, Spain, where he received his rabbinical instruction at the hands of his father, Rav Maimon. He was only thirteen years old when Cordova fell into the hands of the fanatical Almohades, and Rav Maimon and the other Jews were compelled to choose between Islam and exile. Rav Maimon and his family chose the latter course, and for twelve years led a nomadic life, wandering throughout Spain. In 1160 they settled at Fez, Morocco. In 1165 they went to Acre, to Jerusalem, and then to Fostat (Cairo), where they finally settled. After the death of his father, Moses’ brother Dovid supported the family by trading in precious stones. Dovid perished at sea, and with him was lost not only his own fortune, but large sums that had been entrusted to him by other traders. These events affected Maimonides’ health, and he went through a long sickness. After several years of practice, the Rambam’s authority in medical matters was firmly established, and he was appointed private physician to Saladin’s vizier, who recommended him to the royal family.
Between the years 1158 and 1190 Maimonides wrote his magnum opus – ‘Mishneh Torah,’ a comprehensive 14-volume code of Jewish law which has since been the subject of more than 300 commentaries. Maimonides' great philosophical treatise, “Moreh Nevuchim, - Guide for the Perplexed," explains Jewish theology in light of Aristotelian philosophy and science. He also wrote a commentary on the Mishnah,
A popular saying is that "from Moses [of the Torah] to Moses [Maimonides], there has never been one like Moses."
Maimonides is recognized today as the greatest medieval Jewish philosopher. He is buried in Tverye / Tiberias, Israel.
(According to the Tzemach Dovid, the Rambam’s yahrtzeit is 24 Tevet. Most others disagree).

 

20 Tevet 5243 - 1482:

On the 279th yahrzeit of the Rambam, the first printed edition of Gemara Brachot was published in Soncino, Italy. It contained Rambam's commentary on Mishna.(Others 1483)

20 Tevet 5243 - 1482:

The first volume of the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud), Masechet Brachot (tractate Berachot), was printed in Soncino, Italy.

20 Tevet 5450 - January 1, 1690:

The Jewish community of Ancona, in the Papal States of Italy, miraculously escaped unharmed from an earthquake. They declared a fast day in commemoration, and the following day, 21 Tevet, was celebrated as a Purim. (Other sources give this date as 4 Tevet 5451-Dec. 6 1690).

20 Tevet 5700 - January 1, 1940:

The Nazis prohibited Jews from congregating in shuls and private homes for davening (prayer). So too, did they forbid Jews from changing residences - this, a precursor of the ghettos. The Jews of Poland were forcibly moved to the old city and the Baluty quarter.

20 Tevet 5701 - January 19, 1941:

As many as 6000 Jews, were murdered during pogroms in Bucharest, Rumania, Hy"d.

20 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon, the Rambam (1135 - 4965 / 1204). See above.

HaRav Yaakov Abuchatzeira, zt"l, (5640 / 1880), grandson of the founder of the Abuchatzeira family, Rav Shmuel (Elbaz), and son of Rav Masoud, who was Rav of Tafelaletch (Taflilat), Morocco. He took his father’s position upon the latter’s petira and built the yeshiva there, which produced thousands of students. He wrote many sefarim on all aspects of Torah, including Abir Yaakov. His grandson is Rav Yisrael, the Baba Sali, and his great-grandson is Rav Meir Abuchatzeira. In 1880, he attempted to move to Eretz Yisrael, but was niftar in Damanhur, Egypt, where he is buried.

HaRav Simcha Yissacher Dov Halberstam of Chechenov, zt"l (5764 / 1914).

HaRav Yisrael Reich of Budapest, zt"l (5629 / 1869 - 5693 / 1933).

HaRav Raphael Eliyahu Eliezer Mishkovsky, zt"l, (1917 - 1981). Rav of the town of Rechasim and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Knesset Chizkiyahu in Kfar Chassidim, both in northern Eretz Yisrael). Yeshivat Knesset Chizkiyahu was founded in 1949 at the behest of the Chazon Ish. It was first located in Zichron Yaakov and was headed by Rav Noach Shimanowitz. Six years later, it moved to its permanent residence in Kfar Chassidim, under the guidance of the mashgiach, Rav Eliyahu Lopian and the rosh hayeshiva, Rav Mishkovsky. Author of Mishnat Eliyahu (others 5741 / 1980) (others 21 Tevet).

HaRav Elimelech (Meilich) Izak, zt"l, (1943-2006). He was named after his mother’s ancestor, the Noam Elimelech. He was born in Yerushalayaim, learned at the Chayei Olam yeshiva, and became a leading chassid of Karin-Stolin. In his later years, he was appointed director of the Karlin Talmud Torah and Yeshiva and gabbai of the Beit Medrash.

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21 Tevet
21 Tevet

21 Tevet 2195 - 1566 B.C.E.:

Birthday of Shimon, second son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah, and the progenitor of the Israelite Shevet / tribe of Shimon. According to another opinion, he was born on 28 Tevet. He was Niftar (died) on 21 Tevet 2075 - 1686 B.C.E.

21 Tevet - 1485:

The first printed edition of Rabbi Yosef Albo's Ikkarim was published -- an exposition on the Jewish fundamentals of faith. Israel Nathan Soncino had founded the first Hebrew printing house in Soncino, Italy 24 years after Gutenberg brought movable type to the world's attention. Soncino's first publication was a volume of the Talmud, (20 Tevet 1482), and over the next 70 years more than 130 Hebrew books were printed by the Soncino family. In 1988, an Italian postage stamp was issued to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the printing of the Soncino Bible.

21 Tevet 5450 - January 2, 1690:

Purim Ancona, followed the fast day mentioned above, (see 20 Tevet).

21 Tevet 5548 - January 1, 1788:

Emperor Joseph II ordered all Jews in Galicia to take permanent family names. Some of the names that the Jews were forced to choose from were degrading.

21 Tevet 5672 - January 11, 1912:

A Russo-U.S. trade treaty, originally ratified in 1832, was abrogated by President Taft in 1912 because of Russian discrimination against Jews who were American citizens.

21 Tevet 5727 - January 3, 1967:

The Bahalul-Minkovsky Commission of Inquiry was given its mandate by the Israeli government to investigate the disappearance of at least 1,700 Yemenite children brought to Israel between 1948 and 1954. Its findings exonerated the government of all wrongdoing.

21 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Shimon, second son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah, and the progenitor of the Israelite Shevet / tribe of Shimon. (2075 - 1686 B.C.E.). (According to another opinion, it was 28 Tevet).

HaRav Shmuel Segal of Brodt, zt"l, (5436 / 1675).

Harav Shmuel, zt”l, (5551 / 1790), Av Beit Din of Vilna.

HaRav Shlomo, zt"l, Rav of Vilna at the time of the Vilna Gaon (1791).

HaRav Yisrael Avraham of Tcharni-Ostraha, zt"l, son of the Rebbe Reb Zusha of Anipoli. (5534 / 1774 - 5574 / 1814).
Reb Zusha, who was over 50 at the time of R' Yisrael’s birth, commented that his son had the neshama of Chizkiyahu Hamelech.
Reb Yisrael Avraham
married the daughter of Harav Zev Wolf of Tcharni-Ostroha and settled near his father-in-law. When his father-in-law moved to Eretz Yisrael in 5550 / 1790, Reb Yisrael Avraham was appointed Rav of Tcharni-Ostroha in his stead. He was 26 at the time. Following the petira of his father, on 2 Shevat 5560 / 1800, Reb Yisrael Avraham became Rebbe. Reb Yisrael Avraham was famed for his humility, and for his loft level of avodat Hashem.
He wasn’t a Rebbe for long; Reb Yisrael Avraham was niftar on 21 Tevet 5574 / 1814, at the age of 40. His Rebbetzin later joined her parents in Eretz Yisrael, settling in Tzfat. She was killed in the earthquake of 5597 / 1837. Reb Yisrael Avraham was survived by four sons. His son-in-law was Harav Dovid of Tolna, the son of Harav Mordechai of Chernobyl.

HaRav Yisrael Dov Ber of Vilednik, the She’eirit Yisrael, zt"l, (1789-1849 [or 5610 / 1850]). Also known as the Maggid of Vilednik, he was a disciple of Rav Mordechai Twersky (1770-1837), the Chernobler Rebbe. During his lifetime, thousands journeyed to the She’erit Yisrael for blessing, inspiration, and consultation. Before he passed away, he told his disciples that whoever would reach out and touch his door seeking help would be aided. Today, even thousands of non-Jews come to pray at his gravesite in their times of need. The She’eirit Yisrael’s reputation continues to endure amongst generations of Gentiles in the area, and many Jews from around the world travel to his kever on his yahrtzeit.

HaRav Matzliach Mazuz, the Ish Matzliach , Hy"d, (1912- 5731 / 1971). Born on the island city of Djerba., he was accepted into the yeshiva of Rav Rachamim Chai Chavitah HaKohen at the age of eleven. After his marriage in 1930, Rav Matzliach moved to Tunis, where he served as a mashgiach ruchani in the Chevrat HaTalmud yeshiva for 13 years. He was later appointed to the position of dayan in the beit din of Tunis. 600 couples came to him for divorces between the years 1955-1958, and he managed to make shalom bayit between 75% of them. He founded the Kisei Rachamim yeshiva in Tunis, named after his mentor, Rav Rachamim Chai Chavitah. Years later, his sons reestablished this yeshiva in Bnei Brak. In 1971, while Rav Matzliach was returning from a pre-dawn minyan, clad in tallit and tefillin, a number of Arabs attacked and killed him. Among Rav Matzliach’s writings are: Shu”t Ish Matzliach, on the four parts of Shulchan Aruch, three of which have appeared until now; Kuntress HaMaarachot, which discusses the rules of issuing halachic decisions; Matzliach Yeshuah, a collection of chiddushim on the Shas; and Magen u’Tzinah, answers to questions on the Maharsha. The rest of his writings are still in manuscript form. Rav Matzliach is survived by his sons: Rav Mayer, rosh yeshiva of Kisei Rachamim in Bnei Brak and the leader of the Tunisian community in Eretz Yisrael; Rav Yosef Tzemach, the director and mashgiach ruchani of the yeshiva; and Rav Rachamim, also a mashgiach ruchani. One of Rav Matzliach’s daughters is married to Rav Yitzchak Barda, author of Yitzchak Yeranen, and another to Rav Chanan Kablan, a dayan.

Rebitzen Bracha Etel Shimanowitz, A’H, (5770 / 2010), wife of HaRav Shaya Shimanowitz zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Rabbenu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ).  She devoted her entire life and shared his lofty ambition, and gladly sacrificed so that her husband could achieve greatness in Torah.

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22 Tevet
22 Tevet

22 Tevet - 1331:

Death of Bernard Gui, inquisitor and bishop in the area of Toulouse, France. He was the author of “Conduct of the Inquisition into Heretical Wickedness.” It advises how to spot a Jew or a “backsliding convert” and how to intensify the suffering of the interrogated by flame, rack, whip and needle. One tactic suggested was martyring children in front of their parents.

22 Tevet - 1570:

Inquisition established in Peru.

22 Tevet 5383 - December 25, 1622:

Prague Jews celebrated this day, when the shamash of the kehilla was freed. Every year the community read its Megilla Pur Haklaim or Purim Forhangen - "Purim of the curtains" - in commemoration of the miraculous salvation of the Jewish ghetto after the shamash had been charged with stealing the governor's priceless curtains.

22 Tevet 5558 - January 10, 1798:

Anti-Jewish riots erupted in Ancona, Italy, a day after a "local" Purim which had been celebrated there since 5451 / 1691. Roman mobs attempted to set fire to the Jewish ghetto and to sack it, but rains put out the fire. The day was then designated as a holiday by Roman Jews. . (see 20 and 21 Tevet).
(The Roman Ghetto had been in existence since 1555, when the Pope segregated the Jews in a walled quarter with three gates that were locked at night. The Jews were also subjected to various restrictions and degradations, including having to attend compulsory Catholic sermons on Shabbat. During Rome's annual carnival, scantily-clad Jews were forced to race along the main street, while the crowd mocked them, threw trash, and reigned heavy blows. (The event often proved fatal.) Hygienic conditions inside the ghetto were terrible, and there was constant flooding from the nearby Tiber River. Outside the ghetto, Jews were required to wear identifying yellow clothing. When Napoleonic forces occupied Rome, the ghetto was legally abolished in 1808, and the city of Rome tore down the ghetto walls in 1888.)

22 Tevet 5721 - January 10, 1961:

43 Maapilim (would-be emigrants) were drowned as they were secretly helping Jews escape from Morocco to ascend to Eretz Yisroel on the ship Egoz, Hy"d.
In 5753 / 1993 the bodies of the victims of the Egoz were retrieved and finally brought to Eretz Yisroel for burial.

22 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Hillel Hertz, zt"l, author of Beit Hillel, (5450 / 1689).

HaRav Avraham Tiktin, zt”l, Rav of Breslau and author of Pesach HaBayit (5581 / 1821).

HaRav Yosef (Yozpe) Stern of Zolkov, zt”l, author of Yad Yosef. (5587 / 1827)..

HaRav Shlomo of Strerelisk, zt”l. (5587 / 1827).

HaRav Reuven Chaim Klein, zt"l, (1826-1873). Born in Cracow, he studied in the yeshiva of the Chatam Sofer in Pressburg and in the yeshiva of the Imrei Aish. He served as Rav in the area of Davidoff. He was the author of the Shenot Chaim (a sefer on the Rabbenu Yerucham - Yerucham ben Meshulam, a talmid of the Rosh, who went into exile from Provence to Spain, in the 14th century). The Chida (18th Cent) in his Shem Hagdolim states that there exists a tradition that anybody who publishes a commentary on Rabbenu Yerucham is destined for an early grave. Interestingly, Rav Reuven Chaim Klein was niftar at the age of 47 years.

HaRav Shmuel Heller, , zt”l, Ashkenazi Rav of Tzefat for 40 years (5644 / 1884). On the 24th of Teves in 1837, he was discovered buried up to his neck in stones. He had been standing under the lintel of the Beit Midrash Ari at the moment of the earthquake. His wounds were so severe that he was bedridden for six months, and lost the use of one arm for the rest of his life. Rav Shmuel was a disciple of Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch [1765-1840], who spent ten years as Rav in Tzefat.

HaRav Yehuda Leib Eiger , zt”l. (1816-1888). A grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger, Reb Leib was born in Warsaw. He learned under Rav Yitzchak Meir Alter, the Chiddushei Harim in Warsaw. At 20, he married and moved to Lublin where he davened at the Shul of the Chozeh. There, he befriended Reb Yisrael, the Chozeh’s son. He then moved to Kotzk. He became a rebbe after the Rebbe of Izbitza passed away in 1854. After his death his son, Rav Avrohom, printed his sefarim Torat Emet and Imrei Emet.

HaRav Avraham Eiger, zt"l, the Shevet M'Yehudah of Lublin (5674 / 1914).

Harav Shalom Moskowitz, the Shotzer Rebbe, zt”l, (5718 / 1958). Born in Suceava, Romania, on 17 Kislev 5638 / 1877. His father was Harav Mordechai Yosef Moshe of Sulitza. He was a fifth-generation descendant of Harav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. He was named after his mother’s great-grandfather, the Sar Shalom of Belz.
After learning in Shotz, he traveled to the famed Maharsham, Harav Shalom Schwadron of Berzhan, to learn; later he received semicha from his Rebbe. He stayed in the home of the Maharsham for practical experience in psak halacha.
He married the daughter of his father’s brother, Rav Meir. In 5663 / 1903, Reb Shalom was appointed Rav in Shotz, a position he held until 5679 / 1919. Among his talmidim during these years was Harav Meir Shapiro, zt”l, Rav of Lublin and founder of Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin.
During World War I, Reb Shalom moved to Cologne, Germany, where a group of Chassidim who had also settled there gathered round him. After World War I, he moved to Tarnow, Galicia. In 5687/1927, Reb Shalom arrived in England, settling in Stamford Hill, a part of London where not many chassidic Jews lived then. He established his beit medrash andbecame known as the Shotzer Rebbe. Many of London’s leading talmidei chachamim visited the home of Reb Shalom to discuss Torah and present halachic queries.
Reb Shalom was renowned for hachnasat orchim; he hosted tens of people at a time. He was also noted for his warm and heartfelt tefillot. Reb Shalom was fluent in both the revealed Torah and in Kabbala. His lifestyle was one of holiness and simplicity.
His sons were Harav Yitzchak, Harav Yaakov, and Harav Yechiel Michel. All were niftar in his lifetime. His sons-in-law were Harav Yoel of Shotz-Yerushalayim; Harav Yissachar Ber Rottenberg of Voidislav; and Harav Yaakov Halberstam of Tchakava.
Reb Shalom wrote several volumes of Daat Shalom, which were arranged according to the order of Perek Shirah.
He was niftar in London and buried in the Adath Yisrael cemetery in Enfield where an ohel was built over his grave. The lines that have become famous in the tzava’ah of the Rebbe read: “Should a person be in need of a refuah or any other yeshuah, for himself or on behalf of another person, he should visit my kever, light 3 candles (a tradition mentioned in Sefer Tikunim), and make his request. He must undertake an addition or improvement in his avodat Hashem. I will then beseech my heilige Zeides that they intercede on his behalf before the Kisei Hakavod.” Many people testify that their tefillot were answered. Every Erev Shabbat, as well as on the day of the Rebbe’s yahrtzeit, the Ohel is full of mispallelim. 

HaRav Shlomo Miller, zt"l, (1924-2002). Born in the German city of Duisberg, he moved with his family to Antwerp during World War II. The family later moved to Eretz Yisrael. After marrying in 1948, he moved to Petach Tikvah where he learned at Kollel Torat Eretz Yisrael with Rav Chaim Shaul Karelitz. He published several important works on the halachot of milah of the Rambam, including Tsemach Dovid and Melechet Shlomo. He also published learned works about the lives of Rav Akiva and Rav Yochonon.

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23 Tevet

23 Tevet

23 Tevet 5256 - 1496:

Just four years after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, on this date a decree was issued in Portugal giving the Jews one year to either convert to Christianity or leave the country.

Following the death of King Joao of Portugal in 1494, his son King Manuel I ascended the throne. When his legitimacy as heir to the throne was challenged, Manuel wished to marry Princess Isabel of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, in order to solidify his position. As a precondition to the marriage, the Spanish monarch demanded that Portugal expel its Jews—many of whom were refugees from the 1492 Spanish Expulsion who found refuge in the neighboring country of Portugal. Manuel agreed, and five days after the marriage agreement was signed, on Tevet 23, 5256, he issued a decree giving Portugal's Jews one year to leave the country. Appreciating the Jews' economic value, Manuel was unhappy with the potential loss of this economic asset, and devised a way to have the Jews stay in Portugal—but as Christians. Initially, he instructed the Jews to leave from one of three ports, but soon he restricted them to leaving from Lisbon only. When October of 1497 arrived, thousands of Jews assembled there and were forcibly baptized. Many Jews decided to stay and keep their Jewish faith secret; they were called “Marranos” or Crypto-Jews.

Over the next 350 years, the infamous Inquisition persecuted, tortured and burned at the stake thousands of "marranos" throughout Spain, Portugal and their colonies for continuing to secretly practice the Jewish faith.

23 Tevet 5465 - January 19, 1705:

"Purim Sharif" (or Tripoli Purim) was established in Tripoli, Libya, to commemorate deliverance from Ibraham al-Sharif, the cruel dictator who had laid siege to the town, who miraculously and suddenly died. With his death the siege ended and the town's citizens were saved. It was commonly known as "Purim kedivna," the False Purim, to distinguish it from the regular Purim. See 24 Av.

23 Tevet 5471 - January 14, 1711:

A fire which started in the home of Naftali Katz, the rabbi of Frankfort-on-the-Main nearly destroyed the whole Jewish ghetto. (See 24 Tevet).

23 Tevet 5471 - January 14, 1711:

Alexander I forcibly moved the Jews of Mogilev and Vitebsk to other cities.

 23 Tevet 5536 - January 15, 1776:

Francis Salvador, 29, was the first Jew to die in the American Revolution.

.
23 Tevet 5585 - January 13, 1825:

Alexander I of Russia, expelled all the Jews from Mohilev and Vitebsk.

23 Tevet 5691- January 12, 1931:

Yahrtzeit of Nathan Straus (1848-1931).
An American merchant and philanthropist, Straus was a co-owner of R.H. Macy & Co., yet he never amassed personal wealth because he was always using his money to help people. For example, in New York's winter of 1893, he gave away more than two million five-cent tickets good for coal, food and lodging. His greatest devotion, however, was to Israel. He gave more than two-thirds of his fortune and devoted the last 15 years of his life to this cause. The Israeli city of Netanya and the Israel Center's street are both named for "Nathan" Straus.

23 Tevet 5701 - January 22, 1941:

The Iron Guard revolt in Romania led to the first massacre of Jews there in World War II.

23 Tevet 5701 - January 22, 1941:

Three thousand Jews were deported from Piaseczno, to the Warsaw Ghetto.

23 Tevet 5709 - January 24, 1949:

France recognized Israel.

23 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Yaakov Hakohen Paperash, zt”l, (5500 / 1740), author of Shov Yaakov.

HaRav Yitzchak Zecharyah Azoulay, zt”l, (5525 / 1765).

HaRav Yehuda Aryeh Leib HaLavi Epstein, zt"l, know as Reb Leibush of Ople (5597 / 1837). Orphaned of his father, Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein, and his mother at a young age, Reb Leibush and his two younger brothers were supported by a simple Jew of Ostrovsta. He was a chasid of the Yid Hakadosh and the Chozeh of Lublin. He became Rav of Ozerov in 1812. His most famous descendent was Rav Moshe Yechiel Michel Halevi Epstein, the Aish Daat of Ozerov.

HaRav Hillel of Radoshitz, zt"l, (1901). He was succeeded by his son Rav Eliezer Dovid as Rav and Rebbe of Radositz.
 
HaRav Gedalia Hertz (1914-1977). Born in Ujazd, near Tomashov, Poland, he left for Lubavitcher Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in Warsaw after his Bar Mitzvah. After some years, he went to Grodno to the yeshiva of Rav Shimon Shkop. After marrying in 1935, he moverd to Eretz Yisrael and entered the Yeshivat Sfat Emet in Yerushalayim. The following year, the Gerrer Rebbe, the Imrei Emet, decided to open a branch in Tel Aviv, which was later named Yesahivat Chidushei Harim; Rav Gedalia was chosen Rosh Yeshiva while still in his early 20s. After the founding of the state of Israel, he was chosen to be the representative of the Vaad of Yeshivot to government officials and was instrumental in getting Ben Gurian to accept a deference for all yeshiva students. In 1955, Rav Gedalia became the Rav of the newly established "yeshiva' kehilla in Sydney, Australia. In 1963, he returned to Eretz Yisrael.

HaRav Mordechai Gifter, zt"l, (1915 - 5761 / 2001), Rosh Yeshiva, Telshe, Cleveland. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, he moved to Baltimore with his family, when his father noted the difficulty in teaching his son in a city not noted for its strong Torah resources.
At a very young age, Rav Gifter already displayed an unusual drive to achieve greatness in Torah. He once recounted that when he was nine years old, Hagaon Harav Shimon Shkop, zt”l, the great Rosh Yeshivah of Grodno, visited Baltimore. The Rav gave him the blessing “Er zol kenen lernen — he should be able to learn. For the rest of his life Rav Gifter, in his great humility, attributed any success that he had in learning to this brachah from Rav Shimon.
As a youth, he studied in the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva of New York City under his rav, Rav Moshe Halevi Soloveitchik, zt”l, the son of Harav Chaim Soloveitchik, zt”l, of Brisk. HaRav Gifter studied together with many future American Torah giants, including Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, former mashgiach of Lakewood and Rav Avigdor Miller of Flatbush in the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva. On the advice o his uncle, Rav Yehuda Leib Zer, one of the directors of the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva, Rav Gifter went to study in the Telz yeshiva of Lithuania in the winter of 1932. He became very close to the rosh yeshiva, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch. In the summer of 1939, Rav Gifter became engaged to the daughter of Rav Zalman Bloch. The wedding date was set for a year later. The couple married in the United States. With the expansion of the Ner Yisrael yeshiva in Baltimore by Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, Rav Gifter was asked to deliver chaburot to the students. In 1943, Rav Gifter became rav of the chareidi community in Connecticut, and one year later, his uncles, Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch and Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz founded the Telz yeshiva in Cleveland. They asked him to join them as Ram and mashgiach. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1976, founding the Telz yeshiva in Kiryat Telz-Stone near Yerushalayim. However, three years later, the rosh yeshiva of Telz in Cleveland, Rav Baruch Sorotzkin, was nifter, and Rav Gifter returned to Cleveland to succeed him. And there he remained until his own petira.

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24 Tevet

24 Tevet

24 Tevet

Rab' Yochanan ben Zakai defeated the Tzedokim and returned certain inheritance laws to the authority of the Chachamim. (Masechet Bava Basra 115b). (See Tosafot Chadashim on Megillat Taanit Ch 5, where it says that it happened on 24 Av, it was really in Tevet.)

24 Tevet - 1413:

Religious disputation at Tortosa arranged by Pope Benedict XIII. between Geronimo de Santa F. and Rav Yosef Albo.

24 Tevet 5387 - January 12, 1627:

The first Jewish printing press in the Netherlands was set up by Menashe ben Yisrael.

24 Tevet 5471 - January 15, 1711:

A fire that started in the home of HaRav Naftali Katz, the Semichat Chachamim, Rav of Franfort-am-Main, nearly destroyed the entire Jewish ghetto. Interestingly, he was niftar on this same date in 5479 -1719. (See below).

24 Tevet 5545 - January 6, 1785:

Haym Solomon, superintendent of finance during the Revolutionary War, died.

24 Tevet 5573 - December 27, 1812:

Yahrtzeit of HaRav Schneur Zalman of Liadi, zt"l, (1745-1812), the Alter Rebbe, founder of the Lubavitch (Chabad) dynasty and author of Tanya.

24 Tevet 5597 - January 1, 1837:

A devastating earthquake struck northern Eretz Yisrael, killing at least 2,000 Jews in Tzfat and over 700 Jews in Teveria / Tiberias. Many of the survivors migrated to Chevron. (See 18 Tevet)

24 Tevet 5612 - January 16, 1852:

One of the first hospital in America under Jewish auspices, Mount Sinai Hospital, was founded in New York. (See 25 Tevet).

24 Tevet 5709 - January 25, 1949:

Israel held elections for its first Knesset.

24 Tevet 5714 - December 30, 1953:

Yahrtzeit of HaRav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, zt"l, (1892-1953), an influential philosopher and Mashgiach at the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael. His father, Rav Reuven Dov Dessler, was a talmid muvhak of Rav Simcha Zissel of Kelm, and his mother was a grand-daughter of Rav Yisrael Salanter and a niece of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski.
HaRav Dessler was born in Lithuania and after learning at Kelm, he married a grand-daughter of Rav Simcha Zissel. During the Bolshevik revolution, he moved to London (1927). In 1941, he founded the Gateshead kollel. In 1948, he was asked by Rav Yosef Kahaneman to join the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnai Brak.
 He was a student of the Mussar (ethics) movement, while also drawing from mystical teachings of the Maharal of Prague. Rav Dessler's legacy is recorded in the six-volume Michtav M'Eliyahu (translated in English as 'Strive for Truth'), which illuminate ideas such as the Jewish philosophy of love: "The more you give to another, the more you will love that person."

24 Tevet 5734 - January 18, 1974:

Israel and Egypt sign and agreement for the disengagement of forces in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war, 1974. Israel agrees to withdraw from the Suez Canal.

24 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Naftali Katz, zt"l, author of Semichat Chachomim (1660 - 5479 / 1719), descendent of the Maharal. Born in Ostracha, Ukraine and died in Istanbul. His father, Yitzchak, a Rav in Stefan and a darshan in Prague, died in 1670. Reb Naftali married Esther Sheindl, daughter of Shmuel Shmelke Zak of Ostraha, and headed the Yeshiva that his father-in-law built for him. After Rabbi Shmuel died he succeeded him as Rabbi and Av Beit Din. In 1704 he became Rav of Frankfurt until 1711, when a fire broke out in his home and spread from there burning down several hundred homes. Rav Naftali was jailed and accused of setting the fire. When he was released, he left for Prague and Breslau and stayed with Zvi Ashkenazi (the Chacham Zvi). They both excommunicated Nechemia Chayun who wrote a book in favor of Shabetai Zvi. He had 14 children, 7 sons and 7 daughters. Rav Yaakov Emden, the son of the Chacham Zvi, married Rav Naftali’s daughter Rachel.

HaRav Yosef of Yampula, zt"l, son of the Zlotchiver Maggid (1812).

HaRav Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745 - 1813), the Alter Rebbe, founder of the Lubavitch (Chabad) dynasty and author of Tanya, .zt"l. A talmid of the Maggid of Mezritch at the age of 30, studying with him for 12 years, he became the leader of Chasidut in Lithuania following the Maggid’s petira in 1772. Following his incarceration in St. Petersburg, he moved to Liadi. In addition to Tanya, he also authored the Shulchan Aruch HaRav. (others have 5573 / 1812).

HaRav Nissim Zerachyah Azoulai, zt”l, (5597 / 1837), author of Shulchan Hatahor.

HaRav Meir Eisenstadt, zt"l, also known as Meir Ash or Maharam Ash. (Dec. 2, 1861). His responsa were published by his son under the title Imrei Eish. He was one of the early talmidim of the Chasam Sofer, and his greatest talmid in Mattersdorf. He was born in Shusberg and grew up in Eisenshtadt, from whence he derived his surname. He died at Ungvár. (others 5612 / 1852).

HaRav Avraham Dov Berish Flamm, zt"l, (1804-1873). R’ Flamm is considered to be the leading disciple of the Dubno Maggid, R’ Yaakov Kranz, although, in fact, the two never met. R’ Flamm was, however, the leading student of the Maggid’s writings, and it was he, together with the Maggid’s son, Rav Yitzchak Kranz, who edited these and prepared them for publication. R’ Flamm was himself a popular maggid, and he held that post in several Polish and Lithuanian cities. Besides publishing the Dubno Maggid’s Ohel Yaakov and Sefer Hamiddot, R’ Flamm wrote several works of his own. His Yeriot Ha’ohel and Sefat Ha’yeriah were printed together with Ohel Yaakov, while his Shemen Ha’mor is a free-standing work.

HaRav Moshe Yosef Teitelbaum, zt"l, (1842-1897). The son of Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, he was was appointed Rav and Av Beit Din of Stropkov when Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam returned to Sienawa in 1880. In 1891, he left the town for a post in Ujhely, Hungary.

HaRav Shmuel Borenstein, the Shem MiShmuel from Sochatchov, zt"l, (1855 - 5683 / 1926 or 1927). He was born in Kotzk to Rav Avraham Borenstein, the Sochatchover Rebbe and author of Avnei Nezer. His grandfathers were Rav Nachum Ze’ev of Biala, the Agudat Eizov and Rav Menachem Mendel, the Lotzker Rebbe. Rav Shmuel considered Rav Chanoch Henoch of Alexander to be his Rebbe. After the petira of the Alexander Rebbe in 1870, the Avnei Nezer was made Rebbe, and his son followed him as his Rebbe. He was married in 1873, but his wife died in 1901. He remarried in 1903. Rav Shmuel served as maggid shiur in his father’s yeshiva in Sochatchov and helped him write Eglei Tal on the 39 malachot of Shabbat, as well as Avnei Nezer. After his father was niftar in 1910, the Chassidim crowned Rav Shmuel their Rebbe. His sefer contains the thoughts of his famous father. (others 3 Av).

HaRav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the Divrei Sofer, zt"l, (5708 / 1948).
Son of Harav Moshe Sofer, the author of Yad Sofer, who was the son of Harav Shimon Sofer, the Hisorerut Teshuvah, Rav in Erlau, the son of the Ktav Sofer, after whom Reb Avraham Shmuel Binyamin was named. He was born shortly after the petira of the Ktav Sofer.
Reb Shimon Sofer led the Jewish community in Erlau for about 64 years. As Reb Shimon aged, he appointed his son, Reb Moshe, to be the active Rav and Dayan in Erlau. Reb Moshe authored many works on the Torah, most of which were lost during the war. Remaining today is his responsa on the Shulchan Aruch, named Yad Sofer.
The Erlau Jewish community was deported to Auschwitz by the Nazis in 1944. On 21 Sivan 5704 / 1944, at the age of 94, Reb Shimon Sofer was murdered by the Nazis together with his son, Reb Moshe Sofer, and many others from the city of Erlau. Hashem yinkom damam.
Some of Rabbi Shimon’s children survived the Holocaust. Rabbi Moshe’s wife and four daughters were murdered by the Nazis, but he was survived by his sons, Reb Avraham Shmuel Binyamin and, ybl”c, Harav Yochanan, the Erlau Rebbe, shlita.
Reb Avraham Shmuel Binyamin was noted as an iluy, and he received semichah from Harav Chaim Mordechai Roller, the author of Be’er Chaim Mordechai of Piatra Neamt, Romania.
Due to his humility, he refused an offer to head the renowned Chasam Sofer Yeshivah in Pest, Hungary, or to assume the mantle of leadership of the remaining Erlau community, most of which found refuge there. He bequeathed this task to his younger brother, Harav Yochanan.
After the war they returned to Erlau, where Rav Yochanan was appointed Rav. Reb Avraham Shmuel Binyamin took an active role in reestablishing the community and the yeshivah, together with his brother; he supported this endeavor with personal savings from the business he established.
Reb Avraham Shmuel Binyamin was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Erlau.
His chiddushim, named Divrei Sofer, were later published by his brother, the Erlau Rebbe.

HaRav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, zt"l, (1892 - 5714 / 1953). The "Michtav M’Eliyahu." See above.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai Biederman, the Lelover Rebbe, zt"l, (1904 - 5747 / 1987). Son of Rav Shimon Nosson Nota Biederman, Moshe Mordechai was born in Yeryshalayim. When he was just 10 years old, his mother passed away and his father moved to Krakow, Poland, leaving him to the care of his grandfather, Rav Dovid. Five years later, after the petirah of his grandfather, he traveled to Europe and established his place of learning at the Radomsker shtiebel in Krakow. He became very close to the Stoliner Rebbe, the Yenuka. When his father was niftar 1930, the Chassidim looked to Moshe Mordechai to become their new Rebbe. He stayed in Poland until right before the onset of the War, settling in Tel Aviv in 1944.

HaRav Moshe Akiva Tikochinsky, zt"l, (1988). Mashgiach of Slobodka Yeshiva.


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25 Tevet
25 Tevet

25 Tevet 3442 - 320 B.C.E.:

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

25 Tevet 5072 - 1311:

Anti-Jewish riots erupted in various parts of Austria. (Others 1312).

25 Tevet 5319 - 1559:

The first critical edition of Chovot HaLevavot (The Duties of the Heart), the classical work on Jewish ethics, authored by Rabbeinu Bechaye ben Yosef Ibn Pakudah, (the first "Rabbeinu Bechayei") on or before 1161, and translated into Hebrew from the original Arabic by the famed translator R. Judah idn Tibbon in 1167, was published in Italy.

25 Tevet 5430 - January 17, 1670:

Raphael Levy, a respected member of the Jewish community, was arrested for ritual murder libel, tortured and burned alive in an effort to have the local government expel the Jews in Metz. The effort was unsuccessful, Hy"d.

25 Tevet 5478 - December 29, 1717:

Frankfurt's Jewish streets and shuls were burnt down and many Jewish valuables were destroyed or confiscated. This date was declared a public fast day in Frankfurt. (Others 1718).

25 Tevet 5612 - January 17, 1852:

The first Jewish hospital in the U.S. was founded by a group of mostly German Jewish immigrants. Originally known as Jews' Hospital of New York, it is now called Mount Sinai Hospital. (See 24 Tevet).

25 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Moshe Tzvi Gitterman of Savran, zt"l, (1775 - 5598 / 1838). Known as a genius as a boy, he was fluent in al of Seder Nezikin at the age of twelve. He learned chassidut from Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev and Rav Baruch of Mezhibuzh. After his father's petira in 1802, he succeeded him as maggid of Savran. After the petirah of the Ohev Yisrael, he became the foremost Rebbe in all of the Ukraine. Eventually, he became the Rav of the two kehillot of Uman and Keshinov, When Rav Baruch of Mezhibuzh was niftar in 1811, Rav Moshe Tzvi took on the mantle of Admorus, officially leading Chassidim. His Divrei torah are recorded in Likutei Shoshanim.

HaRav Yosef Rosen, Rav of Telshe and Slonim, zt"l (5645 / 1885), author of Edut B'yehosef and Porat Yosef.

HaRav Moshe Levi Ehrenreich (1818-1899), zt"l, chief rabbi of Rome. Through his efforts and under his direction, the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano was reopened in 1887. Rav Ehrenreich was also instrumental in translating part of the Bible into Italian.

HaRav Eliyahu Meir Feivelsohn of Yekatrinoslav, zt"l, (5688 / 1928).

HaRav Yechiel Michel Tukatchinsky (Tikochinsky), zt"l, (1871-1954), mashgiach of Slabodka in Bnai Brak, and founder of Yeshivat Mekor Chaim in Yerushalayim. In 1925, he published a sefer called Tekufat Hachamoh Uvirchosoh, in preparation for the bracha made when the sun returns to the point at which it began upon Creation. He wrote a sefer called Bein Hashmoshot, published in 1929, which dealt with the International Date Line. In 1941, he changed his mind altogether, as documented in his sefer, Hayomam Bekadur Haaretz, , in which he shows that the new day begins 12 hours to the east of Yerushalayim. He also wrote the classic work Gesher HaChaim.

When he lay on his death bed, Reb Yechiel bent over and asked for a glass of tea with his last bit of strength. He then made a bracha, took a sip and expired. This may not seem like anything unusual. However, one of his talmidim was very troubled. How could it be that such a great person should concern himself with a glass of tea at the last moment? It would seem as if someone of his stature would use his last moments to recite Torah or prayer.
Years later, the talmid found among Reb Yechiel's writings the opinion that one should make a bracha even on the act of dying. Since there is no mention of a special bracha on death in the Gemara, the opinion continued, it is best to include it in the general bracha of Shehakol said on food or drink. The talmid then realized the great stature
of his Rebbi who had timed the bracha on his own death to the second.

HaRav Shlomo Mazuz, zt"l, (5742 / 1982), author of Sho'el U'meishiv, Kerem Shlomo and Cheshek Shlomo.

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26 Tevet

26 Tevet

26 Tevet 5129 - December 25, 1369:

By an order issued by King Frederick III of SiciIy, Jews of Sicily were forced to wear a special badge indicating they were Jewish. The badge consisted of a piece of red material, not smaller than the largest royal sea. Men were required to wear it under the chin, and women on the chest.

26 Tevet - 1424:

Barcelona granted the right to exclude Jews for all time.

26 Tevet - 1436:

A riot ensued in In Aix-en-Provence when a crowd felt that a Jew who insulted a holy saint received too light a sentence.
.
26 Tevet - 1569:

Phillip II of Spain orders the establishment of the inquisition in the New World. The first Inquisition Tribunal opened in Mexico five years later.

26 Tevet 5532 - January 2, 1772:

Harav Pinchus Horowitz, the Ba'al Hafla'ah, was appointed Rav of Frankfurt.


26 Tevet 5586 - January 5, 1826:

Maryland adopted a law, called the “Jew Bill,” which allowed Jews to hold public office, on condition that they accept the concept of reward and punishment in the afterlife. Maryland was founded as an asylum for Catholics in 1634, and in the early days the denial of Christianity was a capital crime in Maryland. Anyone speaking negatively about Catholicism was subject to a fine or public whipping. The practice of Judaism was finally legalized in Maryland in 1776, but other restrictions remained in place. It was not until 50 years later that Jews became qualified for public office.

26 Tevet 5713 - January 13, 1953:

Pravda article touched off a wave of virulent anti-Semitism throughout Russia.
.
26 Tevet 5728 - January 27, 1968:

Submarine Dakar disappeared at sea.

26 Tevet Yahrtzeits

Rabbeinu Avraham bar Dovid miPosquires (Ra’avad), author of Hasagot on the Rambam and the Rif 1198 CE

 HaRav Avraham Chaim of Zlotchov, zt”l, author of Orach L’Chaim (5510 / 1750 - 5576 / 1816). and Pri Chaim on Avot and Haggadah shel Pesach (1816).
[Note: Not to be confused with Rav Chaim Leib Epsztein who was Rav and Av Beit Din at Czyzewo from 1729, then at Czyzewo, and finally at Kolszyn. He was also author of a sefer called Pri Chaim. There was also a Rav in Sokolow named Rav Chaim Leib from Kaluszyn who was also author of a sefer called Pri Chaim.]

Harav Baruch Bendit Glicksman, zt”l, Rav of Tureck (5608 / 1848).
 
Harav Hillel Finkler of Radoshitz, zt"l, (5661 / 1901).
 
Harav Alexander Shmuel of Lvov, zt"l, author of Rosh Hamizbei’ach (5665 / 1905).

HaRav Mattisyahu (ben Aharon Tzvi) Weitzner (1952-2010). Av Beit Din of Pshemisheler, he succeeded his father as Rav of the kehilla in 2007, after the latter was niftar at the age of 102.

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27 Tevet
27 Tevet

27 Tevet 3680 - 81 B.C.E.:

Rab' Shimon ben Shetach ejected the Tzedokim (Sadducees) who had dominated the Sanhedrin, replacing them with his Torah loyal dayanim. (See 28 Tevet).

27 Tevet 5416 - January 24, 1656:

The first Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland.

27 Tevet 5450 - January 8, 1690:

A major earthquake hit Ancona, Italy. B'chasdei HaShem, there was little damage and no loss of life A local Purim was established by the local Jewish community..

27 Tevet 5626 - January 14, 1866:

The Jews of Switzerland were granted civic equality after pressure was exerted by the United States, which had interceded on behalf of American Jewish citizens..

27 Tevet 5649 - December 31, 1888:

Yahrtzeit of
Yahrtzeit of HaRav Shamshon Raphael (ben Raphael Aryeh) Hirsch, zt”l, talmudist, scholar, philosopher, prolific  author and Rav of Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1808 - 5649 / 1888). The Father of modern Jewish orthodoxy, he was instrumental in revitalizing German Jewry, bringing thousands back to the teachings of the Torah at a time when assimilationist trends threatened to extinguish Jewish life in Western Europe.
His father, Rav Raphael Aryeh (1777-1857), who changed the family name to Hirsch, was the son of Rav Menachem Mendel Frankfurter of Altuna (1742-1823). Rav Menachem Mendel was a talmid of Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz and was the Rav of three communities of Altuna, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck (”AHU”). At the age of 18, Rav Shamshon Raphael went to Mannheim to learn at the yeshiva of Rav Yaakov Ettlinger, author of Aruch La'ner. Rav Hirsch received smicha from Rav Ettlinger after learning there for a year. Thereafter, he attended the University of Bonn. That education would serve him well later in life as he combated the forces of Reform with eloquence. When he was 21, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. There, he married Chana Judel. He also authored Iggrot Hatzafon (The 19th Letters), under the pen name Ben Uziel. One year later, he published Chorev, a philosophical analysis of the 613 mitzvot; and an etymological analysis of the Hebrew language.
In 1847, he became Chief Rabbi of Moravia, a region of 50,000 Jews in 52 communities, and which is now the Czech Republic. In 1851, he became the Rav of Frankfurt am Main, which he transformed into a Torah bastion.
Rav Hirsch argued that the era of Enlightenment meant not that Jews should abandon Jewish practice, but that religious freedom was an opportunity to observe Judaism without persecution and ridicule. He promoted a philosophy of "Torah im Derech Eretz" -- combining Torah with the modern world.
Rav Hirsch's best known works are the classic six-volume commentary on the Torah.

 
27 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Shamshon Raphael (ben Raphael Aryeh) Hirsch, zt”l, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1808 - 5649 / 1888). (See above).

HaRav Avrohom Shlomo (ben Eliyahu Eliash), zt"l, the Rebbe of Szamosujvar (1874-1930). The town of Szamosujvar was near Dej in Transylvania and modern day Romania (at times it was part of Hungary).  Rav Avrohom Shlomo was a talmid and gabbai of the Arugot Habosem and a chasid of the Belzer Rebbe and he was very close friends with the Dejer Rav.  He was appointed Dayan of Szamosujvar in 1895, and was one of the three member Beit Din that appointed Rav Yoel Teitelbaum as Rebbe in Satmar.  He became Rebbe in 1920.  He was a well-known expert in the halachot of choshen mishpat and wrote many seforim, most of which were destroyed in the Shoah.

HaRav Shmuel Hillel Shenker, zt”l, (1956). His father, Rav Avraham Shenker, was one of Rav Yisrael Salanter’s greatest disciples. Reb Shmuel spent his early years in Slobodka, but he was orphaned of his father at an early age. He thus traveled to the Talmud Torah in Kelm and learned under the Alter, Reb Simcha Zissel. After a number of years, he traveled to Eretz Yisrael with his relative, Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank, who later became chief rabbi of Yerushalayim. In 1895, Reb Shmuel Hillel married the oldest daughter of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. On 9 Iyar 1944, his beloved son Reb Mendel Shenker passed away when he was only forty-six. A year later, another son - Yisrael - passed away on 27 Teves 1945.

HaRav Kalman Avraham Goldberg, zt”l, (1895-1968). A devoted disciple of the Alter of Novardok, he became Rav in Vasilkov. He moved to America in 1926. In 1928, he was hired to head the beit din for Adat Yisrael, under Rav Velvel Margulies. After Rav Velvel’s petira, he became Rav.

HaRav Menashe Yitzchak Meir (ben Asher Yeshaya) Eichenstein of Ziditchov, zt”l, (5731 / 1971). Son of Harav Asher Yeshayah of Prochnick, a scion of the Ziditchover dynasty. Reb Menashe Yitzchak Meir married the daughter of Harav Shimon Shiff of Lizhensk, a descendant of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. He traveled to many Chassidic courts, and was close with the Rebbes of his era. He was especially close with Harav Yissachar Dov of Belz, zy”a. He was named Rebbe of Ziditchov after the petira of his father. After World War II, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Petach Tikvah. He was succeeded as Ziditchover Rebbe in Petach Tikva by his nephew Harav Yissachar Berish Eichenstein, shlita.

HaRav Avraham Simcha HaKohen Kaplan, zt”l, (1990). Chief Rabbi of Tzefat.(others 5749 / 1989).

HaRav Pinchas Hirschprung, zt”l, Chief Rabbi of Montreal (1915 - 5758 / 1998). At the age 15, he published a Torah journal, Ohel Torah, along with his friend, Rav Yeshaya Yosef Margolin, in Galicia. He then joined Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin, learning under Rav Meir Shapiro. At the outbreak of War World II, Rav Pinchas fled to Vilna, which was still neutral territory. In 1942, he acquired a visa to travel to Canada with a group of students from Mir and Lubavitch. When he arrived in Montreal, he was offered the position of Rav Kehillat Adat Yisrael. When Yeshiva Merkaz Hatorah was established, Rav Pinchas was made its Rosh Yeshiva. Eventually, he was Rav Ha’Ir of Montreal.

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28 Tevet
28 Tevet

28 Tevet 2195 - 1566 B.C.E.:

Birthday of Shimon, second son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah, and the progenitor of the Israelite Shevet / tribe of Shimon. According to another opinion, he was born and was Nftar (died) on 21 Tevet. He was Nftar on 28 Tevet 2075 - 1686 B.C.E.

28 Tevet 3680 - 81 B.C.E.:

Rab' Shimon ben Shetach successfully completed the expulsion the Tzedokim (Sadducees) from the Sanhedrin (Supreme Court), which they had dominated. He replaced them with his Torah-loyal Pharisaic disciples. The day was subsequently celebrated as a holiday. The Sadducees denied the Oral Torah and the authority of the Sages. Similar to the positions adopted later by the Karaites and still later by the Reform Movement. This marked the triumph of Pharisaic (Perushim) Judaism, which subsequently evolved into normative Rabbinic Judaism. (See 27 Tevet).

28 Tevet - 1012:

Jewish mourners were attacked at a funeral in Egypt.

28 Tevet 5568 - January 28, 1808:

Jews of Westphalia were given their civil rights.

28 Tevet 5626 - January 15, 1866:

Jews of Switzerland were given their civil rights, upon pressure exerted by the United States, interceding on behalf of its American Jewish citizens.


28 Tevet 5708 - January 10, 1948:

Kefar Szold was invaded by the Arab Liberation Army.

28 Tevet 5714 - January 3, 1954:

"Kastner trial" opens in Yerushalayim District Court. (Malkiel Gruenwald was sued for libeling Dr. Rudolf Kastner regarding his alleged collaboration with Adolf Eichmann in Hungary, in 1944 but evidence proved Gruenwald right).

28 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Avraham Entebi, zt"l, Rav of Aram Tzova (Aleppo), Syria, (5525 / 1765 - 5618 / 1858), author of many sefarim: Yoshev Ohalim on the Torah; Pnei Habayit. on the Torat Habayit of the Rashba, Pnei Habayit on the commentary of the Beit Yosef on Choshen Mishpat; She'eilot U'teshuvot Mor Ve'ohalot on the four sections of Shulchan Aruch: O'hel Yasharim; Chachmah U'mussar, his mussar work; and Pnei Ohel Moed on Even Ha'ezer. Many of his other sefarim were never published.

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

HaRav Gedalyah Shmelkes of Pshemishel, zt"l, (5688 / 1928).

HaRav Yerachmiel Eliyahu Botchko, Rosh Yeshiva, Montreux, Switzerland, zt"l, (5716 / 1956).

HaRav Yissachar Dov Ber Rosenbaum of Strozhnitz, zt"l, (5741 / 1981).

HaRav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir in Brooklyn (5680 / 1920 or 21 - 5768 / 2008). Born in the small Polish-Lithuanian town of Kinishen, Reb Shmuel began his formal learning at Yeshiva Ohel Torah of Baranovitch in 1935 under the leadership of Rav Elchonon Wasserman, Hy'd. During his years in the Mirrer Yeshiva, he became very close with the famed Mashgiach of the Mir, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein. Rav Shmuel escaped from Europe together with the Mirrer Yeshiva and spent six years with the yeshiva in exile in Shanghai. He arrived in the United States with the yeshiva led by the mashgiach, Rav Chatzkel, in 1947, and continued to learn in the yeshiva. In the early 1950s, Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz, who had sustained and saved the yeshiva in Shanghai and rebuilt it in America , took Rav Shmuel as a son-in-law. After his marriage, Rav Shmuel joined the kollel of the Mirrer Yeshiva. In 1964, with the passing of Rav Kalmanowitz, Rav Shraga Moshe Kalmanowitz, oldest son of Rav Avraham, together with Rav Shmuel, became roshei yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva. He delivered long shiurim that were based on the Brisker derech halimud.
Yissurim that he suffered throughout his life had minimal effect on his learning. This included tragically losing two children during his lifetime, one who was killed as a bachur in Eretz Yisrael many years ago, and the other, Harav Leibel, who was niftar after an illness.
Reb Shmuel was also active in klal activities, especially in raising money for tzedakah. He established a tzedakah fund for bnei Torah in Eretz Yisrael, personally distributing tzedakah to thousands before every Yom Tov. Reb Shmuel lived his life in the yeshivah, and spent most hours of the day and night learning there. Even his children were raised in the yeshivah, since he was practically never at home. Harav Berenbaum was very devoted to his talmidim and kept up a connection with them even after they left yeshivah.
He would deliver shiurim on Shabbos in halachah and Minchat Chinuch for those talmidim who had already left yeshivah. His mussar shmuessen were based on the importance of Torah study, as well as tikkun hamiddot and chessed.
Talmidim said that he was “very down to earth and we could discuss any issue with him.” Reb Shmuel was buried in the Sanhedria beit hachaim in Yerushalayim, where his two sons are buried.


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29 Tevet

29 Tevet

According to Rabbi Yehudah (Talmud, Bava Metzia 106b), 29 Tevet marks the end of winter. (As per Bereishit / Genesis 8:22, the year consists of six 2-month"seasons": seedtime, harvest, cold, heat, summer and winter.)

29 Tevet - 1466:

Earliest authorization for the establishment of a university, including medical and law studies, under Jewish auspices granted, Sicily. (It never happened because the Jews of Sicily were expelled some years later.)

29 Tevet 5360 - January 16, 1600:

The 400 Jews of Verona, Italy, completed their shul after moving into their ghetto and being given the keys to the ghetto gates.

29 Tevet 5373 - January 22, 1613:

A taanit tzibur was declared in Vermeiza (Worms), marking the return of the Jews, who had previously been expelled.

29 Tevet 5376 - January 19, 1616:

The Jews are readmitted to the city of Worms under orders of the Bishop of Speyer and with the backing of Frederick 's troops.

29 Tevet 5414 - January 18, 1654:

Recife, Brazil was conquered by Portugal, ending the legal existence of the flourishing Jewish community there. Forced to flee, the Jews left for the northern American hemisphere where they were the first Jews to settle New Amsterdam whose name was later changed to New York.

29 Tevet 5540 - January 7, 1780:

The Rhode Island Assembly cancelled the "rights and property" of three members of the Hart family for supporting the British. Isaac Hart was put to death for the same offense.

29 Tevet 5553 - January 13, 1793:

Purim Burgel was established in Tripoli, commemorating the downfall of the Burgel Pasha.

29 Tevet 5568 - January 29, 1808:

Ezekial Hart, (1767-1843), was the first Jew elected to the Canadian parliament. He was denied his seat when he swore the oath of inauguration on a Jewish Bible and the oath of office required one to swear "upon ... Christian faith." At the time, British laws prohibited Jews and Roman Catholics from such positions, and Hart was expelled from the assembly. Hart returned to private life and enjoyed success as a businessman until his death in 1843.

29 Tevet 5699 - January 20, 1939:

Hitler proclaims to German parliament his intention to exterminate all European Jews.

29 Tevet 5701 - January 28, 1941:

The Iron Guard revolt in Romania led to the first massacre of Jews there in World War II.

29 Tevet 5750 - January 26, 1990:

Beginning of First Gulf War. Eretz Yisrael went into a state of alert as war broke out. Over the next month and a half until Purim, 39 SCUDs fell on Eretz Yisrael causing major damage but with only one human casualty.

29 Tevet 5758 - 1998:

Death of Reb Leibel Rudolph, A"H, (1942-1998). After a successful career as a Hollywood producer, Leibel began producing Aish Hatorah banquets. Soon, he began a program designed to give every young Jew in Los Angeles a chance to try Shabbat, calling it “The Bart Stern Shabbat Experience.” He was also instrumental in developing a successful One-On-One Learning Program in Los Angeles.

29 Tevet Yahrtzeits

HaRav Alexander Margulies of Stanov, zt"l, (5562 / 1802).

HaRav Moshe Yehoshua Yehudah Leib Diskin, zt"l, (1818 - 5658 / 1898). Son of Rav Binyamin Diskin, Rav of Volkovisk. The Maharil Diskin, Rav of Brisk - Yerushalayim, was born in Horodno. Reb Yehoshua Leib was engaged before his bar mitzva and at the age of fourteen he married the daughter of Rav Brode and lived with his father-in-law in Wolkowitz. He became Rav in various cities such as Lomza, Mezritch, Kovno, Shklov, and finally in Brisk. He moved to Eretz Yisrael after Yom Kippur in 1878 (1876?). Rav Diskin's second wife, Sarah, was known as the "Brisker Rebbetzin." She descended from the Nodah b'Yehudah and brought 40,000 rubles into their marriage, with which the couple established the Diskin Orphanage in Yerushalayim in 1880. She died in 1907. Rav Diskin also established the Ohel Moshe Yeshiva and held the line against attempts by maskilim to introduce secular institutions to Yerushalayim.

HaRav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak (ben Yechiel) of Alexander, zt"l, the Yismach Yisrael (1853 - 5670 / 1910). At an early age, his father took him to Rav Menachem Mendel of Vorka, then Rav Beirush of Biala. After the latter's passing, he became of a chasid of his father. After his father's passing in 1894, he became the Alexander Rebbe.

HaRav Marcus (Nosson) Adler, zt"l, author of Nesina L'ger (5562 / 1801 - 5650 / 1890). He was Rav of Oldenburg, 1829-1830, and Hanover, 1830-1844, and Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, 1844-1890.

HaRav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak of Alexander, zt"l, the Yismach Yisrael. (5670 / 1910).

HaRav Eliyahu Moshe Peniel, zt"l, Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, (5679 / 1919).

HaRav Meir Halevi Chodosh, zt"l, mashgiach of Yeshivat Chevron, Ateret Yisrael, and Ohr Elchanan (1898 - 5749 / 1989). Born in Patrich, Lithuania, he was a talmid muvhak of the Alter of Slabodka, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In the summer of 1925, he accompanied the Alter on the journey to Eretz Yisrael, to join the yeshiva which had been founded a year earlier in Chevron. After his marriage in 1928, Rev Meir was appointed as a maggid shiur in the yeshiva and served as one of the spiritual overseers, alongside Rav Yehuda Leib Chasman. After Rav Chasman's petirah, he was appointed mashgiach. He lived through the Arab massacre of Chevron's Jews on Shabbat morning, 16 Av, 1929, as he and his young Rebbetzin hid under the blood-stained bodies of two of the karbonot. Several years after the yeshiva moved to Yerushalayim, Rav Meir was offered a position as Rosh Yeshiva of a new yeshiva in Warsaw. Rebbetzin Chodosh was firmly opposed to this plan; the churban of Europe proved her advice correct.

HaRav Asher Anshel Kraus of Ratzfert, zt"l, (5757 / 1997). Born in Ratzfert, Hungary, on 6 Tishrei 5687 / 1926. His father, Harav Shmuel Dovid, later served as Rav of Udvari (niftar 5696 / 1935); his mother, Rebbetzin Breindel, was a daughter of Harav Yisrael Dov Stein of Ratzfert. When the Satmar Rebbe came to Ratzfert he would stay in the home of Harav Yisrael Dov Stein; when the Belzer Rav came to Ratzfert, he bought an aliyah for Harav Stein because he had the great zechut of hosting the Satmar Rebbe.
As a bachur, Reb Asher Anshel learned under the Levush Mordechai, Harav Mordechai Winkler. When he was still a bachur he delivered brilliant drashot in the large shul in Ratzfert.
Reb Asher Anshel married the daughter of Harav Menachem Yosef Heimlich of Mishkoltz, the author of Sheloshah Sefarim Niftachim on masechet Shabbat.
When World War II reached Hungary, Reb Asher Anshel experienced many of the travails that befell the Yidden across Europe. He succeeded in getting on the famous Kastner transport, which was diverted from Auschwitz and taken instead to Switzerland.
After the War, Reb Asher Anshel served as Rav in Linz, Austria, and did much to help refugees there. Later, Reb Asher Anshel moved to Argentina to be Rav of Khal Anshei Ungarin in Buenos Aires.
After several years, Reb Asher Anshel moved on to New York, settling in Williamsburg, where he founded the Ratzferter beis medrash and served as Ratzferter Rebbe.
Reb Asher Anshel wrote Birur Halachah, a sefer to strengthen shemirat Shabbat, in which he decries the use of sefarim that were printed through chillul Shabbat. He also published Yalkut Haro’im, a collection of several more obscure Midrashim.
Reb Asher Anshel was buried in the beit hachaim in Deans, New Jersey.

HaRav Daniel Levy, zt"l, (1935-2004). Born the youngest of nine children in Petersfield, England, he learned at Gateshead Yeshiva and Kollel before and for 12 years after his marriage. Following a trip to America, where he learned from Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, he was chosen as Rav of the Khal Adat Yeshurun of Zurich.

HaRav Chaim Shamshon Swiatycki (1914-2004), nephew of the Chazon Ish and scion of the Karelitz dynasty, whose patriarch and matriarch - Rav Shemaryahu Yosef and Rasha Leah, had 15 children. Her third child, Henya Chaya, married Rav Abba Swiatycki, who became Rav of Kosova, after the petira of Rav Shemaryahu Yosef during WW I. Their only child was Rav Chaim. Rav Chaim's mentor was his uncle, Rav Yitzchak Zundel Karelitz, brother of the Chazon Ish. At the age of 14, he left for Mir, then learned with Rav Baruch Ber Lebovitz in Kaminetz, where he stayed for six years. In 1934, he followed his uncle to Eretz Yisrael to escape conscription. He learned at Yeshiva Chevron in Yerushalayim and Yeshivat Volozhin in Tel Aviv. He then moved to America in 1938 where he joined the faculty at Mesivta Tiferet Yerushalayim.

HaRav Yitzchak Kaduri, zt”l, (1901 / - 5766 / 2006). Known in recent years as "the eldest of the Kabbalists," in the Holy Land, he was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1898 to Rab Zeev Diva. As a youth, he studied under the great "Ben Ish Chai" (Rav Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, 1840-1913) and was regarded as an illui (prodigy) by the sages of the venerable Baghdad Jewish community. Upon his second visit to Eretz Yisrael in 1923, he changed his last name from Diva to Kaduri and fixed his place of study at Yeshivat Porat Yosef in the Old City joining the ranks of the Yerushalayim Kabbalists, even as he earned his living for many years as a bookbinder. He studied Kabbalah under the tutelage of Rav Ephraim Cohen and Rav Salman Eliyahu (father of former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu). After marrying his first wife, Sarah, HaRav Kaduri lived in Shechunat Habucharim, one of Yerushalayim's first neighborhoods built outside the Old City walls. He would stay at the yeshiva all week, coming home shortly before Shabbat. Following the petira of Rav Ephraim Hakohen, head of Yerushalayim's mekubalim, toward the end of 1949, Rav Kaduri was selected to head the group. Over the years his fame grew, and thousands flocked to him to receive his counsel and blessing. He found a new institution called Yeshivat Nachalat Yitzchak. Graced with a phenomenal memory, he was said to have known the entire Babylonian Talmud by heart. His closest students say that the blessing of the Ben Ish Chai and that of the Lubavitcher Rebbe - both of whom blessed him that he might live to see the Final Redeemer - came true. The students say that Rav Kaduri told them he met the Messiah on Cheshvan 9, 5764 (Nov. 4, 2003). He reportedly said that the Messiah is not promoting himself, and that a study of his [Rav Kaduri's] words in recent months would provide hints of his identity. Rav Kaduri passed away at the age of 108. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral in Yerushalayim.

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30 Tevet

There is no 30 Tevet - Why are you here?

 

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31 Tevet


There is no 31 Tevet - Why are you here?

 

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