Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 10 Shevat


Rav Meir ben Yitzchak Katzenellenbogen, the Maharam Padua (1482-1565). Born in Ellenbogen , Germany , founder of the Katzenellenbogen family. After studying in Prague , he went to Padua , Italy, and studied under Rav Yehuda Minz, whose garnd-daughter he married. He succeeded his father-in-law, Rav Avraham Minz, as Rav of Padua. Among his contemporaries who sent him shaylos were Rav Ovadiah Sforno and Rav Moses Iserles, the Rema.

Rav Shalom Mizrachi Dida Sharabi, the Rashash (1720-1777) Born in Sharab , Yemen , he traveled to Yerushalayim, where he learned under Rav Gedalyah Chiyun of Yehivas Beis Kel. He married Rav Gedalyah’s daughter, Chana , and after his rebbi’s petira, led the yeshiva for 30 years. Among his greatest students are the Chida (Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai) and Rav Gershon Kitover (the Ba’al Shem Tov’s brother-in-law). His sidur was known as the “Sidur HaKavanot,” and is still used by the mekubalim today for prayer.

Rebbetzin Rivka Schneersohn (1833-1914) a granddaughter of Rav DovBer, the 2nd Rebbe of Lubavitch, at age 16 married her first cousin, Rav Shmuel, who later became the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe. Surviving her husband by 33 years, for many years she was the esteemed matriarch of Lubavitch. She is the source of many of the stories recorded in the talks, letters and memoirs of her grandson, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe). The Beis Rivka network of girls’ schools are named after her.

Rav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe (1880-1950). The son of Rav Shalom Dov Ber, he dedicated his efforts to the yeshiva founded by his father, Tomechai Hatemimim. He was jailed by the Russian government for teaching Torah, and on his release, he settled in Riga , Latvia . He escaped to America in 1940.

Rav Yitzchak Eizek Sher of Slabodka (1875-1952). Born in Halusk, he studied in Volozhin under the Netziv’s son-in-law, Rav Refoel Shapira, before moving to Slabokdka. There he studied b’chavrusa with Rav Avraham Grodzinski. In 1903, Rav Yitzchak Eizek married the Alter’s youngest daughter, Mariasha Guttel, and moved to Kelm where he continued to learn diligently. He also studied for a brief period in the Mir, where his brother-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, served as rosh yeshiva. In 1911, the Alter appointed Rav Yitzchak Eizek to the position of rebbi in the yeshiva. In 1928, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel went to Eretz Yisrael, along with the majority of Slabodka’s students, and settled in Chevron. At that point, Rav Yitzchak Eizek was appointed rosh yeshiva of Slabodka’s European division, with its mashgiach, Rav Avraham Grodzinski. On Shabbos morning, the sixteenth of Av, 1929, the Arab massacred Chevron’s Jews. After the massacre, the survivors reestablished the Chevron Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. Rav Yitzchak Eizek, at the advice of the Chazon Ish, reestablished the European branch of the Slabodka Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.

Rav Rachamim Chai Chavita, Rav of Djerba , Tunisia , author of Minchas Cohen and Simchas Cohen (1959)

Today in History – 10 Shevat

· Seven German Jews were tortured and burned at the stake, 1235.
· Inquisition established in South America , 1569.
· The Church burned seforim and manuscripts in Rome , 1601.
· Death of Rav Shalom Shabazi, famous Yemenite community leader (1619-1720). Shabazi was born in Southern Yemen where he worked as a weaver. Approximately 550 of his poems and hymns are still in existence, written in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.
· With the second partition of Poland in 1793, additional territory was added to the Pale Settlement where Jews were allowed to live, including parts of the Ukraine and the city of Kiev .
· In his annual speech, Hitler announced his intention to exterminate the Jewish people in the event of a war in Europe , 1939.
· Daniel Pearl, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Karachi , Pakistan , by a group demanding the return of prisoners in Afghanistan . He was later slain.

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