Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 12-13 Adar


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Moshe Pardo, founder of Or Hachaim Seminary in Bnei Brak

Rav Pinchas (ben Baruch) Hager of Borsha (1869-1941). He was raised not only by his father, the Imrei Baruch of Vizhnitz, but also by his grandfather, Rav Menachem Mendel, the Tzemach Tzaddik of Vizhnitz. When he was only eighteen, Rav Pinchas was thrust into the position of a rebbe in Borsha, a town on the Vishiva River by the foot of the Carpathians. Borsha was one of the 160 Jewish communities of the approximately 500-square kilometer Maramures (Marmerosh) district of northwestern Romania. After the outbreak of the First World War, the Rebbe fled to Budapest, and then to Vishiva abd Sighet after the war. In 1926, his son, Rav Alter Menachem Mendel succeeded him as rebbe in Borsha. He and his two brothers perished in the Holocaust.

Rav Yosef Adler, the Turda Rav (1977). Turda is a city with a history of over 2000 years. It is famous for its salt mine (Salina Turda), whose origins date back to the Roman times. In June 1942, following impressive German victories in Russia and following the Romanian army’s advance in the Caucasus, Antonescu agreed to implement the ‘Final Solution’ with regard to Romanian Jews. The first transports were to depart from southern Transylvania, from the districts of Arad, Timisoara, and Turda.

Rav Chaim David Halevy (1924-1998). Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv for the last 25 years of his life, he was known to many as the author of the multi volume responsa Aseh Lecha Rav, on many contemporary halachic and hashkafic issues, and a six-volume halachic work entitled Mekor Chaim.

RavNaftali Tzvi Halberstam (1931-2005), ( ר’ נפתלי צבי האלברשטאם‎) was the Grand Rebbe of Bobov from August 2000 until March 2005. He succeeded his father, Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam (1907-2000), as Grand Rebbe of Bobov. Rabbi Naftali Halberstam was born in Bobova, Poland in 1931 (25 Sivan, 5691). His mother and two siblings died in the Holocaust, and towards the end of the war, when Rabbi Naftali was a teenager, his father, Rabbi Shlomo, managed to arrange for him to go to the Holy Land. Rabbi Shlomo remained in Europe, so Rabbi Naftali was not sure if his father had survived the war. Rabbi Naftali lived for several years in the land of Israel, where he received his rabbinical ordination. After the war he found out that his father had indeed survived, and had relocated to New York. In the late 1940s, he moved to New York, where he was reunited with his father. On his father’s passing in 2000, he became the Grand Rebbe of Bobov. He died on March 23, 2005 (12 days in Adar 5765). Rabbi Naftali was buried next to his father in Floral Park Cemetery in New Jersey.

Today in History – 12 Adar

· After a priest was hit with a few grains of sand thrown by small Jewish boys playing in the street, he insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. In the pogrom that followed, hundreds of Jews were murdered, the shul and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged, 1389
· Nasrallah takes over Hezbollah after Israel kills the group’s leader, Abbas Musawi, 1992 (Adar I)
· With the help ofIranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombs the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200, 1992 (Adar II)
· A suicide bomber blew himself up at the Apropo Coffee House on Ben Gurion Blvd. in Tel Aviv, killing three women and injuring more than 40 other patrons, 1997. Many were dressed in costumes to celebrate Purim. Among the injured was a 6-month-old baby, who was burned over a large portion of his body. The explosion was the first after a yearlong lull in suicide bombings.

Today’s Yahrtzeits – 13 Adar

Rav Yehuda (ben Shmuel) HeChasid, author of Sefer Chasidim (1150-1217). His father (1120-1175), led a famous yeshiva in Speyer, and served as Rav Yehuda’s rebbe.

Rav Moshe (ben Yehuda Hersch) Langner, the fifth Strettiner Rebbe (1959). In 1921, he moved the family from Galicia to Toronto.

Rav Moshe (ben Dovid) Feinstein (1895-1986). Born in Uzda (near Minsk), Belorussia, he was a great-grandchild of the Be’er Hagolah. His mother was Feige Gittel, daughter of R’ Yechiel, rov of Kopolia. He joined the yeshiva of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer in Slutzk at the age of twelve. At the age of sixteen, Rav Moshe completed Shas and Shulchan Oruch. He was rabbi of Lyuban from 1921 to 1936. He escaped the Stalinist regime in 1936 and settled in New York as rosh yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalayim. He authored Igros Moshe, Darash Moshe, and Dibros Moshe and was universally acknowledged as the posek of the American Litvish community.

Today in History – 13 Adar

· Jews fought against their enemies in the Persian empire during the days of Esther and Mordechai, 355 BCE
· Nikonor Day, in which Antiochus Epiphanes’s General Nikonor, leading the elephant infantry against the Jews, was defeated and killed, 161 BCE.
· The Germans entered Sighet and set up a ghetto, 1944.

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