Today in History – 24-25 Adar


Yahrtzeits – 24 Adar
-Rav Yitzchak Eizik Margulies
of Prague (1525).
-Rav Chaim Algazi of Kushta, author of Nesivos Hamishpat. Student of Rav Shlomo Algazi Rabbi of Rhodes.
-Rav Eliyahu HaKohen Ha’Itamari of Izmir, author of Shevet Mussar (according to some – 22 Adar)
(c1650-1729). He was the son of Rav Shlomoh HaKohen the Itamari, whose lineage apparently dates back to Itamar, the son of Aharon HaKohen. In his book, Ve’lo Od Ela,
Rav Eliyahu describes the earthquake that shook Izmir, on a Shabbos in 1688, and the many miracles that occurred to the Jews of the city. All of the synagogues and batei medrash in the city remained intact, while all of the Moslem mosques collapsed. An hour after the earthquake, a huge fire burst forth and spread throughout the city, destroying what remained of it. However, the fire ceased at the Jewish Quarter, and did not penetrate it. His other works included Me’il Tzeddakah on the importance of giving tzeddakah, Medrash Talpiyot, Yado BaKol, Medrash Eliyahu, Aggadas Eliyahu, a two-volume commentary on the aggados of the Talmud Yerushalmi, Chut shel Chessed on the Chumash, Dana Peshara, on Shir HaShirim, Rus and Esther, almost 40 sefarim in all.
-Rav Betzalel Yair Danziger of Lodz (1761).
-Rav Binyamin Diskin of Horodna and Vilna (1844)
-Rav Yitzchak Meyer of Alesk (1829-1904). Born in Belz to Rav Chanoch Henach of Alesk, author of Lev Sameyach, and Rebbetzen Freide, daughter of the Sar Shalom of Belz. After learning with his maternal grandfather, he became a chasid of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin, and later of his son, Rav Dovid Moshe of Chortkov. With his father’s petira in 1884, Rav Yitzchak became Rav in Alesk. He had one daughter, and his son-in-law succeeded him.
-Rav Shalom Elyashiv, author of Leshem Shevo Ve’achlama (1927)
-Rav Yitzchak of Stutchin (1940)
-Rav Chaim Osher of Radoshitz (1941)
-Rav Yehoshua Menachem Ehrenberg (1904-1976). Born in Kemesce, Hungary. In 1921, he moved to Tarnow to learn in the yeshiva of Rav Meir Arik. Living in Cracow, Rav Ehrenberg published his first sefer, Rashei Besamim on the Rokeach, in 1937. During WWII, he was interned in the Cracow ghetto. He was included in the “Kastner train,” escaping to Switzerland. In 1945, he moved to Yerushalayim. In November of 1947, he heeded to request of Rav Herzog to be the Chief Rabbi of the internment camp on Cyprus; he stayed until the camp was entirely dismantled and came back to Eretz Yisrael on the last ship. He was appointed Av Beis Din in Yaffo. When Yaffo was joined to Tel Aviv, he served as a specialist on Gittin, and was widely regarded as the foremost posek in this area. He wrote the sefer Teshuvos Dvar Yehoshua.
-Rav Gad (Godel) Eisner (1985), taught at the Talmud Torah of Rav Gershon Eliyahu Liz in Lodz before WWII, and for many years as maggid shiur and Mashgiach ruchani at Yeshivas Chidushei haRim in Tel Aviv

Yahrtzeits – 25 Adar
-Rav Gershon Kitover
, brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov (1696-1761). His father, Efrayim, was a Rav and Av Beis Din in one of the four batei din in Brody, Poland. In 1747, he moved to Eretz Yisrael (becoming the first of the talmidim of the Besht to do so), living first in Chevron and then in Yerushalayaim.
-Rav Menachem Mendel Hager (1885-1941). Rebbe of Vizhnitz for fourteen years. He published a monthly journal “Degel HaTorah.”
-Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fischer (1925-2003), head of the Eidah HaHareidis Rabbinical Court in Yerushalayim. Rav Fischer was born in Yerushalayim on the 21st of Tamuz, the day that Yisrael Yaakov Dehaan was killed in what many said was the first political assassination in modern Israeli history. Dehaan changed his lifestyle and became a chareidi Jew, and Rav Aharon Fischer named his newborn son Yaakov Yisrael after him. Rav Aharon’s father was Rav Shlomo, av beis din of Karlsburg, Hungary, and author of Neiros Shlomo and Korbanei lachmi. Rav Yaakov Yisrael learned at Etz Chaim under Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, who became his chavrusa. In 1961, he was appointed moreh hora’ah in the Eidah Hachareidis, and in 1975 he joined its beis din. In 1963, he was appointed Rav of the Zichron Moshe shul, a position he kept for 40 years.
-Rebbetzin Zahava Braunstein (2005)

Today in History – 24 Adar
· Jews of Wurtzburg were massacred by the Crusaders, 1147.
· Jews of Mayence, Germany, were massacred, 1283.
· The Pope issued a bill banning all social intercourse between Christians and Jews. 1451.
· Jews of Lithuania were granted permission to return to the country after a brief exile of 8 years, 1503.
· Lorenzo Bertran subjected to an auto-da-fe in Seville, 1799. He was the last person to be punished for Judaizing in Spain.
· Czar Alexander of Russia declared the infamous Blood Libel to be false, 1817. (Unfortunately, nearly 100 years later, the blood libel against Mendel Beilis in Kiev was officially sanctioned.)
· Jews of White Russia were forbidden to wear distinctive clothes which would set them apart from the rest of the population, 1856.
· First organized Arab assault on a Jewish settlement (Petach Tikva), 1886.
· Jews of Gluchor massacred by Ukrainian mob, 1918.
· German troops marched into Prague, 1939.
· Germanyoccupied Hungary, 1944

Today in History – 25 Adar
· King of France orders the detention for ransom of all Jews in Paris attending shul on Shabbos, 1181.
· Jews of Strasbourg burned in the Jewish cemetery during the Black Plague, 1349.
· Jews of Carinthia, Austria, were expelled, 1496 (and not readmitted until 1848).
· U.S. President Harrison was petitioned in 1891 to aid in the reestablishment of Palestine as a sovereign Jewish state, 1891. The petition was entirely independent of Jewish Zionist activities and was motivated by Biblical influences and by indignation of Russian pogroms. It was signed by Cyrus McCormick, J. P. Morgan, William McKinley, John D. Rockefeller, Russel Sage, and Cardinal Gibbons, among others.
· The discovery of the mutilated body of Andrei Yishinsky, near Kiev, Russia, led to the infamous trial of Mendel Beilis on ritual-murder charges, 1911.
· Adolf Hitler was granted dictatorial powers by the German Reichstag, 1933.

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