Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 22-23 Adar


Rav Yaakov of Novominsk (1902). Father of Rav Yehuda Aryeh Perlow of Vlodova (1878-1961) and Rav Alter Yisrael Shimon Perlow of Novominsk.

Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein (1829-1908). Born in Bobroysk, author of the Aruch Hashulchan, Rav of Novardok for 34 years, father of Rav Baruch HaLevy Epstein (author of Torah Temima) and grandfather of Rav Meir Bar-Ilan, with whom he learned in Novardok. His wife was the sister of the Netziv.

Rav Eliezer Dovid (ben Hillel) Finkler of Radoshitz (1927). He succeeded his father as Rebbe in 1901. Known as a tzadik and a baal mofes, he always spoke to his Chassidim in Lashon Hakodesh, and on Shabbos he would converse exclusively in that language. He was succeeded by his son Rav Chaim Asher as Rebbe and by his other son Yisrael Yosef as Rav of Radoshitz.

Rav Avraham Dov Ber (ben Shlomo Zalman) Kahana-Shapiro, Chief Rabbi of Kovno before and during World War II (1870-1943). Born in Kobrin on Yom Kippur, his father was a descendant of Rav Chaim Volozhiner. Rav Avraham attended the Volozhin Yeshiva. He was president of the Agudas Ha-Rabbanim of Lithuania and came to the US in March 1924 with Rav Kook and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, to collect funds for Torah institutions in Israel and Europe . He died in the Slobodka ghetto on. His piskei halacha can be found in the sefer Dvar Avraham.

Rav Reuven (ben Shimshon) Grozovsky, Rosh Yeshivas Kamenitz and Torah Vodaas (1896[1886, per Wikipedia]-1958). Successor of Rav Baruch Ber Lebowitz at Kaminetz. When Rav Reuevn was a young man studying in the Slobodka Yeshiva, his father, the Dayan of Minsk, passed away. His colleagues at Slobodka included Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Halevi Ruderman, Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky, Rav Aharon Kotler and Rav Yitzchak Hutner.

Rav Yisrael Moshe (ben Yosef Tzvi) Dushinsky (1921-2003). Born in Chust , Hungary , to the Rav of Chust, he was his father’s first son, when his father was 50 years old. After many years and many brachos, Rav Rav Yosef Tzvi received a bracha from Rav Yechezkel Shraga of Shinava, who also gave a him his sefer, Ayalah Sheluchah, printed in the memory of the Shonava Rav’s son, Naftali, who was nifter on the 21st of Kislev, 1864. The following year, on the exact date of Reb Naftali’s yahrtzeit, Yisrael Moshe was born. His middle name was in honor of his great uncle, the Maharam Shick. The family moved to Eretz Yisrael in Adar of 1930, one month before the petirah of Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld. He was married to the daughter of Rav Dovid Yehoshua Gross, Rosh Hakohol of the Satmar Kehillah, in 1945. On Erev Sukkos of 1949, his father was niftar, and the 27-year-old Rav Yisrael Moshe was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of Dushinsky. In 1969, he was inducted as a member of the Eidah Charedis. He became S’gan Beish Din after the Satmar Rebbe’s petira and the Av Beis Din in 1996.

Rav Yeshaya Shimonowitz, Rosh Yeshivas Rav Yaakov Yosef, U.S.

Today in History – 22 Adar

· Jews of Uberlingen , Switzerland , were massacred, 1349.
· An earthquake rocked the city of R o m e , leading to the immediate nullification of a decree that every Jew in the kehilla must either convert or be killed, 1430
· King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree expelling the Jews of Spain, 1492.
· Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Lubny , Russia , 1881.
· The heavy cruiser USS Houston was sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait, with 693 crew members killed, 1942.
· The Dachau concentration camp was established, originally designated as a prison camp for political prisoners. Over 200,00 Jews passed through its gates, most of whom perished. Although a gas chamber was built there, it was never used. Dachau was liberated in April 1945 by the U.S. army.
· A lynch in Ramallah, 1948. Sixteen Jewish fighters who left Atarot to attack Arab travelers in reaction to the slaughter of Jewish travelers, were caught. The six captured alive were brutally tortured to death.
· The Egyptian parliament unanimously approved a peace treaty with Israel , 1979.
· Seven female Jewish students were shot to death by a Jordan soldier while on a field trip in Bakura , Jordan , 1997

Yahrtzeits – 23 Adar

Rav Chaim Cheikel of Amdur (Indura) (1787). Born to Rav Shmuel in Karlin, he was a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, and later became a student of Rav Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mazerich. Rav Chaim became one of the first Chassidic Admorim in 1772-73. He authored Chaim Vochesed. Amdur is about 25 miles south of Grodno (Hrodno). Amdur and Grodno are located in the northwest corner of what is now the independent country of Belarus, close to the Lithuanian and Polish borders. During the Cossack revolt of 1648 against Polish landowners and gentry, over 100,000 Jews, mostly in Ukraine and southern Belarus, were murdered. However, the marauders did not advance north to the Grodno region. Jews comprised 80% of the population in Grodno at that time. Rav Chaim’s daughter married Moshe, the brother of Aharon, founder of Karlin Hassidism. Rav Chaim was succeeded by his son, Rav Shmuel of Amdur.

Rav Yitzchak Meir Alter of Ger, the Chidushei HaRim (1799-1866). The founder of Gerer dynasty, grandfather of Sfas Emes, Reb Yitzchak Meir was able to trace his lineage back to Rav Meir ben Baruch (the Maharam) of Rottenberg (1215-1293). His mother, Chaya Sarah, was orphaned early in life and was raised by her relative, the Kozhnitzer Maggid. The Maggid had a great influence on Yitzchak Meir during the latter’s early years. As he grew, he became a disciples of Rebbi Simcha Bunem of Pryschicha and then R’ Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. At the insistence of the Chassidim, the Rim became leader after the death of the Kotzker. At the first Chassi dic gathering over which he presided he declared, “Reb Simchah Bunem led with love, and R’ Menachem Mendel with fear. I will lead with Torah!” He had 13 children and outlived them all , a tremendous personal tragedy. Yet, he accepted it all with love.

Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz of Biala (Divrei Bina) (1905), youngest son of Rebbe Nathan Dovid, son-in-law of Rebbe Yehoshua of Ostrovoh (the Toldos Adam), and great-grandson of Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowitz, the Yid Hakadosh of Peshischa.

Rav Raphael Shapiro, the Toras Raphael, rosh yeshivas Volozhin (1837-1921). After the Volozhin Yeshiva was closed down in 1892 by order of the Russian government, he reopened it, on a smaller scale in 1899. He was also a son-in-law of the Netziv and the father-In-Law of Rav Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk

Rav Michel Dovid Rozovsky (1869-1935). Born in Svarjen, near Stoibetz, he learned in Mir and Volozhin. After his marriage, he was appointed Rav in Grodna, in which capacity he remained for 40 years. He was the father of three sons: Rav Yehoshua Heschel, who served as Rav in Grodna, until he was murdered by the Nazis; Rav Yosef, who served as Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Yisrael in Petach Tikva; and Rav Shmuel, who would become Rosh Yeshiva in Ponevezh in Bnai Brak.

Rav Shlomo Zafrani (1970), born in Aram Soba (Aleppo). He became a close disciple of Rabbi Ezra Sha’in. Together with Rav Moshe Tawil, he founded the Degel HaTorah yeshiva. His community supported him as well as the yeshivah. At the age of 68, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Tel-Aviv. He lived there for nine years, until his death.

Rav Yehuda Moshe Danziger, Alexandria Rebbe of Bnai Brak (Emunas Moshe) (1973)

Rav Yisrael Grossman (1922-2007). Born in the old city of Yerushalayim, Reb Yisrael studied at the yeshiva of Rav Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, where he learned meseches Kiddushin 30 times. He later learned at Yeshivas Kaminetz. After Rav Baruch Shimon Schneerson became Rosh Yeshiva in Tchebin, Reb Yisrael replaced him as Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivas Chabad, where he remained for 30 years. He also served as a dayan for the beis din of Agudas Yisrael for over 40 years and later opened a beis din for monetary laws with Rav Betzalel Zolti and helped found Mifal Hashas. He was also very involved with Chinuch Atzmai.

Today in History – 23 Adar
· Second Beis HaMikdash was dedicated, 516 BCE
· Massacre of the Jews of Estella, Spain, 1328.
· Jews were excluded from public office and dignities in the Roman Empire, 1418.
· The republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia, 1939
· The Knesset approves the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, by a vote of 95 for, 18 against, 1979.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to Matzav by Manny Newscenter}