Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 10-11 Adar


Yahrtzeits – 10 Adar
-Rav Pinchas of Voldova
, author of Bris Shalom (1663).
-Rav Yosef Baruch Epstein, the Gutteh Yid of Neustadt (1867). He was the son of the Maor Vashemesh.
-Rav Alexander Moshe Lapidus (1819-1906). A talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter, he authored Divrei Emes.
-Rav Shalom Goldstein (1923-1984). Born in 1923 in Romania to Reb Yechezkel Shraga Goldstein, a Deizher chossid and a descendant of Rav Yaakov Koppel Chossid. R’ Yechezkel Goldstein immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Williamsburg when his son was eight. The youth was a popular activist of Zeirei Agudas Yisrael, who did kiruv work with children from less religious homes. In 1944 Shalom married Leah Necha Scheiner of Pittsburgh, and a year later he moved to Detroit in 1945, where he remained to build Torah for the following 40 years.
-Rav Yosef Halevi Epstein, the “Gutter Yid” from Neustadt

Yahrtzeits – 11 Adar
-Rav Gershon Ashkenazi (
1625-1693). Born to Rav Yitzchak Ashkenazi in Holtz, Germany, he left home to learn in the yeshiva of Rav Yoel Sirkes, the Bach, in Krakow, Poland. He was also a close talmid of Rav Yehoshua, the Maginei Shlomo. Rav Gershon lost his first wife in 1649, and married the daughter of Rav Menachem Mendel Kruchmal, the Tzemach Tzedek. But she too was niftar young, in 1654. His third wife, Rebbetzin Raizel, was zocheh to arichas yamim, outliving her husband by 30 years. Rav Gershon served as dayan in Krakow, and in 1650 served the kehila of Prussnitz, Moravia. With the petira of his father-in-law, the Tzemach Tzedek in 1661, he became Rav in Nicholsburg and a year later of the entire province of Moravia. He served as chief Rabbi of Austria until the expulsion of 1670. At that point, he became Rav of Metz, Germany, where he remained until his petira. He is the author of Avodas HaGershuni, which deals with a wide range of Halachah. Much of what we know about the Chmielnicki massacres are based on this work. A prolific writer, he also composed Tiferes HaGershuni comprising his drashas on the Torah, and Chidushei HaGershuni on Halacha.
-Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai (the Chida), (1724-1806). Arguably the Sephardic equivalent to the Vilna Gaon, the Chida, was born in Jerusalem. At the age of 18, he learned under Rav Chaim ben Atar (the Ohr Hachaim). His works include a collection of responsa known as Yoseif Ometz, the Shem HaGedolim (a biographical work on 1300 authors and 1200 writings, dating back to the Gaonim), and many others. He passed away in Livorno, Italy.
-Rav Eliezer Lipman, father of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk and Reb Zusha of Annipoli.
-Rav Mordechai Posner, Rav of Ursha and brother of the Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1823)
-Rav Shmuel Strashun, the Rashash of Vilna (1794-1872). He was a Rav and a very wealthy banker in Vilna; he also administrated a free loan fund. His commentary on virtually the entire Talmud is printed in most editions of the Talmud. (12 Adar, per Yated 2006; 13 Adar 1885 per Yated 2008)
-Rav Avraham Borenstein of Sochatchov (Sochaczew, near Warsaw)(1839-1910), author of Avnei Nezer (seven volumes of response)andEglei Tal (encyclopedia of the laws of Shabbos). He was born in Bendin to Rav Ze’ev Nachum, author of the Agudas Eizov, a descendent of the Rema and the Shacha, and the Rav of Elkush and Biala. In 1853, he married Sarah Tzina, one of the two daughters of the Kotzker Rebbe, with whom he learned almost daily for almost 7 years. After the petira of his father-in-law in 1859, Rav Avraham accepted the Chidushei HaRim of Ger as his rebbe. After the petira of the Chidushei HaRim in 1866, he accepted Rav Chanoch Henich HaKohen of Alexander as his new reebbe. In 1883, he became Rav of Sochachov. His lectures in the yeshiva lasted six to eight hours, often starting at midnight and continuing until morning, except for a 15-minute break when he napped. Rav Bornstein is frequently quoted in his son’s classic work Shem Mishmuel.
-Rav Yosef Rosen of Dvinsk, the Gaon of Rogatchov, author of Tzofnas Paneach (1858-1936). His father, Reb Fishel Rosen, was a leader of the Jewish community of Rogatchov in general, and of the Lubavicher Chasidim in particular. When he was bar mitzvah, his father brought Reb Yosef to the Rav of Slutzk, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik, the Beis Halevi. Together with Rav Chaim (Rav Yosef Dov’s son), Rav Yosef learned with the Beis Halevi for an entire year. He then learned with Rav Yehushua Diskin in Shklov. When he was 18, he married the daughter of Rav Moshe Garfinkel, a Gerer chasid in Warsaw, who supported the couple for 8 years. In 1891, he took the position of Rav in Dvinsk, a position he kept until his death.
-Rav Shmuel Brudny, Rosh Yeshivas Mir (1915-1981). Born in Smorgon, Lithuania, between Oshmina and Vilna. At 14 years of age, he entered the Rameilles Yeshiva in Vilna under Rav Shlomo Heiman. Three years later, he entered the Mirrer Yeshiva under Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel. Whereas his parents and siblings were murdered by the Nazis, he escaped to Shanghai. After the yeshiva was relocated in New York, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva.
-Rav Yehoshua Moshe Orenstein, author of Yam HaTalmud

Today in History – 10 Adar
·Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the public reading of the Greek translation to the parshas hashavua on Shabbos and prohibited rabbonim from giving drashos on the sedra, 553.
·Massacre of the Jews of Freiburg, Germany, 1349, in the Black Death riots.
·The first complete Hebrew sefer (Torah with Rashi) was printed by Abraham ben Garton, in Reggio de Calabria, Italy, 1475. It was soon followed in Piovo di Sacco near Padua by a printing of the Arbah Turim of Rav Yaakov ben HaRosh.
·Jews of the Austrian Empire were granted equal civil and political rights, 1849.

Today in History – 11 Adar
· Pope prohibits anti-Jewish sermons, 1434.
· First printing of Rashi on Torah, Italy 1475. (This first printing of Rashi was without the text of the Torah. All subsequent printings were done with Rashi’s commentary under the Torah’s text.)
· First printing of the whole Tanach, 1488.
· Haifawas captured by Napoleon, which marked the greatest extent of Napoleon’s conquest of Eretz Yisrael, 1799.
· Alexander II of Russia assassinated, 1881, ending a relatively peaceful period for the Jews.
· James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains the human genes.{ {Newscenter/}