Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 4-5 Teves


yahrtzeit-candleYahrzteits – 4 Teves

Rav Moshe Zev of Bialystock, author of Maros Hatzovos and Agudas Aizov (1729). He was the founder of Gemilas Chassadim Beis Medrash, Bialystock’s most prominent Torah center, where Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk learned after his marriage.

Rav Yehoshua Eizel Charif of Slonim (1801-1872). Born in Glovanka, near Minsk. After many years of learning under the enthusiastic support of his father-in-law, Rav Yitzchak Fein, he became Rav Kalavaria, then Kutno, and finally Slonim (near Grodno). He was mechaber of many sefarim, including Emek Yehoshua, Nachlas Yehoshua, Noam Yerushalmi, Sefas Hanachal, and Atzas Yehoshua.

Rav Gershon Henoch Leiner of Radzin (1839-1891), the Baal Hatecheles. His grandfather was the Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitz, founder of Ishbitz chassidus after leading a group of disciples from the Court of Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. He replaced his father, Rav Yaakov Leiner, as Rebbe of Ishbitz after the former’s petira in 1878. Rav Gershon Henoch travelled from Radzin to Italy in search of the Chilazon, the marine source from which the dye was obtained. The Chilazon carried the dye in a special sac located in its pharynx. In the famed aquarium at Naples he saw the Chilazon (tuttlefish) and studied the way in which the dye was removed and prepared. He discovered that it was used by artists in their paintings because it would never fade. Although the Maharsham wore a tallis (in private) using Rav Gershon Henoch’s techeiles, in the end, only Radziner Chassidim and some Berslovers wear this techeiles. In recent years, several other species of fish have been suggested as the genuine techeiles. Among his sefarim are Sod Yesharim on the Torah and Yamim Tovim, Orchos Chaim and the tzavaah of the Tanna Rabi Eliezer ben Horkinus, and Tiferes Hachanochi on the Zohar. He also compiles and published the work of his father (Beis Yaakov) and grandfather (Mei Hashiloach).

Rav Yaakov Shaul Katzin, head of New York Aleppo community (1900-1994). Born in Yerushalayim, he learned at Yeshiva Ohel Mo’ed and at Yeshiva Porat Yosef. Yaakov was an orphan at 16 and married at 18. He was appointed Rosh Yeshiva in the then-newly-erected Yeshiva Porat Yosef building. During the course of his life, Yaakov wrote several books on the science of Kabbalah. In 1925, he published Ohr HaLevanah, a commentary with novella from the teachings of Rashash. He also wrote Yesod Ha’Emunah, which included arguments that dispelled doubts about the authenticity of Kabbalah, as well as responsa. In 1931, he published Pri Eitz Hagan, which included biographies of prominent tzadikkim and discussions of their ethical teachings. >From 1928 to the end of 1932, he served as a Dayan in the Supreme Beit Din of the Sephardic Community of Yerushalayim. In 1933, he accepted an offer from Magen Dovid Congregation of Brooklyn, New York to serve as Chief Rabbi and Chief Dayan.

Rav Chaim Shaul Dveik (Dueck), Rosh Yeshiva Hamekubalim of Yerushalayim and author of Eifo (Aifah) Shleima (1933)

Rav Shalom Rokeach, Rav of Skohl (1961)

Mr. Yitzchak Meir (Irving) Bunim (1901-1981). Born in Volozhin, Lithuania to Rav Moshe and Esther Mina Buminowitz, Irving moved to the Lower East Side of New York with most of his family in 1910. (His father moved in 1905.) He and his two brothers were enrolled in Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, and his father joined the family of Torah Vodaas. As a youth, he joined the fledgling Young Israel movement and made significant inroads from within. In the 1940s, he accepted the presidency of Yeshiva Yaakov Yosef, a position he held for 30 years. He threw himself in the founding of Beis Midrash Govoha and Kollel in Lakewood. He also devoted much time and energy to Chinuch Atzmai and Torah Umesorah. He and his wife, Blanche, raised three children, Rav Amos, Chana, and Judith.

Rebbetzin Recha Schwab (1908-2003). Married in 1931, she moved with Rav Schwab to the United States in 1936, and settled in Washington Heights in 1958. She left this world with 180 descendents, all Torah-observant.

Today in History – 4 Teves

·       Jews were excluded by the Nazis from all employment benefits, 1939

Today in History – 5 Teves

Rav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, Rav of Elizabeth, NJ. (1908-1995) Born in Latvia and a student of the famed Rogachaver Ilui, he arrived in USA in 1934. He founded schools, and pioneered in teaching Talmud on the radio, records and audiotapes. From the 1960s to the 1980s he made twenty-two trips to the USSR to sustain the three million Jews imprisoned there. Stories about him can be found in the book “Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah,” by Rivkah Teitz Bla (Ktav Publishing House)

Rav Shlomo Molcho (1500-1532). Born in Lisbon, Portugal, a descendant of Portuguese Marranos. He published 22 essays on the topic of redemption according to the secrets of Kabbalah in his work, Sefer Hamefoar. He met with the Pope and asked him to stop the campaign against the Marranos. He also met Rabbi Yossef Karo in Tzfas and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Taitzik of Salonica who taught R’ Molcho Kabbalah. His speeches inspired many Marranos to publicly return to their faith. Arrested by the officers of the Inquisition, he recited Shema with great joy, as he was burned at the stake by Roman Emperor Charles V in Mantua, Italy.

Rav Aharon of Titiov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (1828)

Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadiger (1884-1961), named for his grandfather, the first Sadigerer Rebbe. When Reb Avraham Yaakov turned 18, he married Bluma Raizel, the daughter of the Kapischnitzer Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Meir Heschel. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Rebbe fled to Vienna, Austria, and lived there for 24 years. When the Nazis entered Vienna in 1938, the Rebbe was seized and forced to sweep the streets clean, to the amusement of the onlooking Germans. After WW2, he lived in Tel Aviv, where he continued the Sadigerer line. He authored Abir Yaakov.

Rav Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowitz, the Biala-P’shischa Rebbe (2003). Born ~1923, the first-born son of the previous Biala Rebbe, the Chelkas Yehoshua. He became Rebbe after his father was nifter in 1982 and opened his beis midrash in the Har Nof section of Yerushalayim.

Today in History – 5 Teves

· Auto-da-fe at Toledo, 1486. More than 900 people were humiliated in a parade from the Church of San Pedro Martir to the cathedral, forced to recant, fined 1/5 of their property and permanently forbidden to wear decent clothes or hold office.
· Decree of Empress Catherine restricted the right of residence of Russian Jews, 1791.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}