Yahrtzeits – 20 Sivan
Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Nadvorna, the Tzemach Hasehm Letzvi (1801)
Rav Haim Mordechai Labaton (1780-1869). The son of Luna and Helfon Labaton, became Chief Rabbi and Av Beis Din of Aleppo. Rabbi Haim Mordecai married Morhava and had three sons, Helphon, Eliezer and Joseph Labaton, all of whom became rabbis. At age 70, Rabbi Haim Mordecai was disturbed that he did not have a daughter. After much discussion, he decided to marry a younger woman, who could bear him daughters. Sure enough, his wife bore him a daughter, Luna, who was wed to Rabbi Ezra Suede.
Rav Elazar Flecklesh, author of Teshuva M’Ahava
Rav Feivish Shneelbalg of London (2000)
Rav Yisrael Dan Taub, the Modziter Rebbe (1928-2006). He was born in Warsaw, and made aliyah with his family at the age of seven. In 1950, he married Rochel, the daughter of Rav Shmuel Aharon Shadrovitzki from Bialistok. He became Rebbe upon the passing of his father, the Imrei Eish. He led his Chassidim for many years from his beis medrash in Tel Aviv, and in 1995, he moved to a new location in Bnei Brak. He was also a member of the Agudas Yisrael Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah. He was buried next to the kever of his father at Har HaZeisim. The Modzitz dynasty descends from Rav Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Poland, who was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. Reb Yisrael Dan, was Rav Yechezkel’s grandson’s great-grandson. The tradition of composing and singing niggunim was started by the second Modzitzer rebbe, known as the Zvoliner Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu.
Yahrtzeits – 21 Sivan
Rav Dovid Menachem Munish Babad, the Chavatzeles Hasharon of Tarnopol (1865-1937). Born to Rav Yehoshua Heshel of Podvolotchisk, he married Leah the daughter of Rav Yoel Moshe Segal Landau of Yavrov (near Lvov). He and his Rebbetzen had 5 daughters. Rav Dovid Munish was a staunch chasid of Belz. In 1892, he succeeded his father as Rav in Strisov, when his father became Rav in Podvolotchisk. Two years later, he succeeded his father-in-law in Yavrov and served there for 17 years. In 1909, after the petira of Rav Shimon Badad, son of the Minchas Chinuch, Rav Shimon’s son – Yehoshua Heshel – became Rav of Tarnapol, but was too frail to handle the responsibilities. Thus, two years later, the community welcomed Rav Dovid Munish as de facto Rav, a position that was formalized in 1919, with the petira of Rav Yehoshua Heshel. He also became the head of the Agudas Harabbanim of Galicia.
Rav Shlomo Shapiro, the Shem Shlomo (1832-1894), grandson of Rav Zvi Elimelech of Dinov (the Bnei Yissoscher), and son of Rav Elazar of Dinov (author of Yode’ei Binah; d. 1865). His mother, Tauba Chavah, was a descendant of the Pnei Yehoshua and the Maginei Shlomo. He was born in Ribatitch, Galicia, and in 1838, his father moved the family to Strizhov, a Central Galician town on the banks of the Wisloka River, settled by Jews since the sixteenth century. At the age of fourteen, Rav Shlomo married Frima Rivka, a grand-daughter of Rav Moshe Leib of Sassov. After a few years in Sassov, Rav Shlomo rejoined his father in Strizhov, and he took over his father’s position there, in about 1857, after his father moved to Lancut. In about 1866, he became a devoted follower of Rav Chaim of Sanz; the two eventually became mechutanim. In 1880, the Jews of Munkatch, a large and influential kehilla in Hungary, (now in the Ukraine), appealed to Rav Shlomo to come and serve as their rav. After the passing of the Yitav Lev of Satmar, Rav Shlomo was designated as one of the leading rabbonim of Hungary. He authored Beis Shlomo on Chumash. His son, Tzvi Hirsh (author of Darchei Teshuvah, Beer Lechai Ro’I, and Tzvi Tiferes), succeeded him as Rav of Munkatch. He, in turn, was succeeded by his son, Rav Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the Minchas Elazar.
Rav Shimon Sofer, the Hisorerus Teshuva (1944).
Rav Moshe Sofer of Erlau, son of Rav Shimon Sofer (1944)
Today in History – 20 Sivan
· Declared a fast day by Rabbeinu Tam, to commemorate the burning at the stake of 51 Jews in the French city of Blois in 1171.
· Declared a fast day in the Polish communities to commemorate the 5408-09 (Tach V’Tat) Cossack Massacres [1648-49] following the murder of 6000 Jews of Nemirov during the Chmielnicki massacres [Magen Avraham 580]. It is well known that the Tosefos Yom Tov attributed the massacres to talking in shul. He accordingly composed a special Mi She’Berach to be recited on behalf of those who refrained from talking in Shul, which is recited to this very day.
· Israelannexed the Old City and officially united all of Yerushalayim, 1967.
Today in History – 21 Sivan
· Muslim conqueror of Constantinople granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslims, 1453. This provided a haven for many Jews who fled Spain 39 years later. (H” provides the refuah before the makkah)
· HarvardUniversitycreated a professorship of Hebrew and Oriental languages, 1765. The early rectors of American universities were religious Protestants who viewed the Bible as a guide to personal and political life.
· The Etzel ship Altalena, carrying 800 new immigrants to Eretz Yisrael and ammunition, was fired upon by Hagana soldiers, killing 16, 1948.