Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu (1567 BCE-1442 BCE)
Rav Menashe ben Yisrael of Amsterdam, author of Nishmas Odom. He was as friend ofRembrandt van Rijn, who apart from making an etching of the Rabbi also illustrated his books. It was Rabbi Menashe, whom together with Rabbi Jacob Sasportas, pleaded with Oliver Cromwell to allow the Jews to settle in England on philosophical and theological grounds.
Rav Menachem Nachum of Shtefanesht, Romania, one of the 5 sons of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin (1823-1869). He was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham Matisyahu, when the latter was 21 years old.
Rav Dovid Abuchatzeira (1919)
Rav Mordechai Yaakov Breish of Zurich, the Chelkas Yaakov (1895-1976). Born in Skohl, Galicia, his father was a chassid of Rav Yissachar Dov of Belz. He married in 1920, and the couple lived in Lvov. He became Rav in Alesk, and then in 1928 of Disbourg, Germany. In 1933, he published Tikun Eruvin, a detailed examination of the halachos of eruvin involved in his project of making a community eruv to help his mispalelim, who were otherwise carrying on Shabbos. Following a life-threatening incident with the Nazis, who had just come to power, Rav Mordechai Yaakov and his wife decided to escape Germany. After a brief time in Lance, France, they settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he nurtured the Jewish community for 40 years. In 1967, he established the Kollel Le’horaah Chelkas Yaakov in Bnai Brak.
Today in History – 14 Kislev
· Shah Abbasi of Persia intensifies persecution against the Jews, forcing to live clandestantly as Jews while outwardly practicing Islam, 1619.
· Mattathias Calahora, a physician in Poland, was accused by Friar Servatius of “blaspheming the mother of J.C.”, 1663. Based soley on the testimony Servatius, Calahora was tortured and burned at the stake.
· A council of rabbis met in Satanow, Poland, to ratify a cherem against the Frankists cult, 1756. According to the council, the Frankists broke fundamental Jewish laws and accepted tenets of Christianity, 1756.
· Death of Jacob Frank, 1791. His daughter became leader of the cult until her death in 1816, after which the group – primarily in Poland and Bohemia – became absorbed into the non-Jewish middle class.
· Greece grants citizenship to Jews, 1830.
· Nazis place Jews of Poland outside the law and beyond protection of the courts, 1941.
· Arrival of first plane of Operation Magic Carpet bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel, 1948.