Yahrtzeits, Friday, 19 Av
Rav Yaakov Kuli (Culi), author of Me’am Loez (1689 or 1690-1732). He was a grandson and talmid of Rav Moshe ibn Habib. He moved from Tzefas to Constantinople , where he worked closely with RavYehudah Rosenas, the Mishneh LeMelech. He was appointed Dayan in Constantinople , After the Mishneh LeMelech was niftar in 1727, Rav Kuli published all of his works (which had been in chaotic manuscript form). Rav Kuli himself only published Me’am Loez on Breishis and half of Shemos before he died. Because of its overwhelming popularity, other prominent rabbis of Turkey completed the remaining volumes.
Rav Shimon Shalom (ben Menachem) Kalish, the Amshinover Rebbe (1863-1954). He was a great- grandson of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka, founder of the Vorka-Amshinov dynasty. During his teens, Reb Shimon was sent to learn with his uncle, Rav Yeshaya of Peshischa, who later took him as a son-in-law. In 1918, Rav Menachem of Amshinov passed awy, and his older son, Rav Yosef took his place as Rebbe. Rav Shimon was sent to Otvotzk, a suburb of Warsaw . He also became a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. In 1933, he spent a full year in Eretz Yisrael with his son, Rav Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir. Although he wished to stay, his obligations forced him to move back to Europe . The Rebbe escaped to Kobe , Japan , along with a group pf talmidim of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, and the entire Mir Yeshiva. After the war, he spent 8 years in America . He passed away while planning his emigration to Eretz Yisrael, a goal he never accomplished. He did author the sefer, Mashmia Shalom. His son, Rav Meir, became the Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan and was niftar in 1976.
Rav Aryeh Leib Balchover of Zaslev (Iziaslav), author of Shem Aryeh (1851)
Rav Aharon Menachem Mendel of Alesk (1923)
Rav Menachem Nachum of Boyan-Tchernowitz (1868-1936). The oldest of the Pachad Yitzchak’s four sons, he was the grandson of Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger.
Yahrtzeits, Shabbos, 20 Av
Rav Levi Yitzchak (ben Baruch Schneur) Schneerson (1878-1944). Born to the oldest of the seven sons of the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel (the Tzemach Tzedek). He was a devoted chasid of Rav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson,
the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe (the Rebbe Rashab). After the Rebbe Rashab passed away, Rav Levi Yitzchak became equally dedicated to his successor, Rav Yosef Yitzchak (the Rebbe Rayatz). Rav Levi Yitzchak and his wife, Rebbitzen Chana had three sons. The oldest, Rav Menachem Mendel, became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rav Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of the major Ukrainian city Yekaterinoslav (today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest and exile.
Rav Eliezer (ben Yehuda Tzvi) of Azipalle, a grandson of Rav Uri of Strelisk (1865)
Rav Meir (ben Dovid Yitzchak Eisik) Rabinowitz (1916-2006). The son of the Skolya Rebbe, Reb Meir was born in Vienna during World War I. He spent three months in forced labor, and escaped with the help of Skolya Chassidim. Arriving in Manhattan ‘s Lower East Side , he and his brother opened a Skolya Beis Midrash. He, his wife and daughter followed his father to Williamsburg , then toBoro Park . When the Rebbe was niftar in 1979, Reb Meir refused to take over and appointed his son-in-law, Rav Raphael Goldstein. Being entirely mevatel himself, he served his son-in-law with the same kavod he had shown his father.
Today in History – 19 Av
· 200 Jews murdered in Beziers in southern France , 1209.
· Jews of Brno (now a city in the Czech Republic ; then a free imperial city of Moravia ) were expelled by King Ladislaus, 1454.
· Jews of Mitchenick, Poland were expelled by Russian authorities, 1914.
· (This was the first of a long series of expulsions that uprooted many Polish and Lithuanian Jewish communities.)
· Nazis began systematic murder of the Jews of Dvinsk, Latvia , 1941.
Today in History – 20 Av
· First published edition of the Zohar, 1558, fostering new interest in the study of Kabbala.
· Anti-Jewish riots in Zola-Egerszeg , Hungary , 1883.
· During World Wa r II, the battle cruiser, USS Indianapolis – which had just completed del ivery of the componenets for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima – was torpedoed by a Japan ese submarine. Only 316 of some 1200 sailors survived the shark-infested waters, 1945.
· One of the worst of a series of suicide bombings occurred when a Palestinian blew himself up at the downtown Yerushalayim Sbarro pizzeria (9 August 2001), killing 15 and wounding more than 130. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility. Among those murdered was Mrs. Shoshana Yehudit (Hayman) Greenbaum (1970-2001). Following their tragic loss, her parents set up the Ner Shoshana Fund to support special education for the Etta Israel Center in Los Angeles.