Yahrtzeits – 14 Tishrei
Rav Shalom Shachna of Prohovitch, son of Rav Avraham HaMalach and father of the Ruzhiner Rebbe (1760-1802). He authored a sefer called Mashmea Shalom.
Rav Yisrael Hopstein, the Maggid of Kozhnitz (1737-1816). The son of Shabsi , a poor bookbinder, Rav Yisrael became a disciple of four great chassidic rebbes – Rav Shmuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg, the Maggid of Mezritch, Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk, and Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. For nearly 50 years he led the Kozhnitz community. Most popular among his many books is Avodas Yisrael, thoughts on the weekly parsha. He also wrote BeisYisrael on the Talmud; Nezer Yisrael and Or Yisrael, both on the Zohar; and Tehillos Yisrael on Psalms. He was succeeded by his son Rav Moshe Elyakim Beriah.
Rav Mordechai of Zhvill (1900). A great grandson of R’ Avraham Ha-Malach (the son of the Maggid of Mezrich), Rav Mordechai became the third Zhviller Rebbe. He left two sons, the elder R’ Yechiel Michel, who was succeeded by R’ Yaakov Yisrael, and the younger R’ Shlomo, who was succeeded upon his death in 1945 by R’ Gedaliah Moshe.
Rav Chaim Elazar Bentzion Bruk, Rosh Yeshivas Novardok in Yerushalayim (1985). A talmid of Rav Avraham Yoffen, he was one of the 600 Novardok students who were secretly taken out of Communist Russia to Poland in the Summer of 1922. Rav Bruk left Grieve, Poland, for Yerushalayim in 1934, and founded the Bais Yosef Novardok Yeshiva. Rav Hillel Goldberg, executive editor of the Inmtermountain Jewish News in Denver, learned with Rav Bruk from 1972 to 1985.
Rav Yitzchak Mordechai Schapiro of Gvodzitz-Sadigura (1934-2005). Born in Vienna, he was a descendent of the Maggid of Mezritch, the Noam Elimelech, the Berditchever Rebbe, and the Kozhnitzer Maggid. He moved to New York with his family in 1949. He attended Torah Vodaas. In 1962, he married the grand-daughter of Rav Yeruchim Leiner, the Radziner Rebbe of Boro Park.
Yahrtzeits – 15 Tishrei
Yaakov Avinu (1506 BCE) [others say on this day he was brought to Eretz Yisrael for burial in Me’oras HaMachpelah]
Rav Yosef Shlomo Delmedigo, the Yashar of Candia (1591-1655). His forefathers moved to Crete from Germany in the early 15th century. As a youth, he excelled in his Torah studies as well as mathematics, astronomy, medicine and mastered several languages, all before he was 15. He then traveled to Padua to enroll in the University, where he studied under Galileo. After graduation, he returned to Candia. He married and began to practice medicine, by which he earned his acronysm, “Yashar” (Yosef Shlomo Rofeh). He wrote an encyclopedic treatise entitled Bais Yaar HaLevanon, a summary of all branches of knowledge studied in his days (never published). He also amassed a library of over 7000 volumes. He became the personal physician of Prince Radzivil of Lithuania while he lived in Vilna. While there, he replied at length to a series of deep questions on philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. His treatise is called Mayan Ganim, but the reference is sometimes called by the name of the book of the questions, Sefer Eilim. Rav Yosef became Rav of Hamburg, where he wrote Matzreif LaChachmah, a defense of the study of kabalah. In 1628, he became Sephardic Rav of Amsterdam, where his sefer Novlos Chachmah, was published.
Rav Yitzchak Eizek of Koritz (1787)
Rav Meshulam Katz, author of Ikar Tosefos Yom Tov (1799)
Rav Mordechai of Lechovitch (1810), disciple of Rav Shlomo of Karlin. He was exceedingly charitable, particularly toward the poor of Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Meir Arik of Tarnow, Galicia. He was the teacher the Maharsham, Reb Yehuda (Yeedle’le) Horowitz of Dzikov, and Rav Meshulam Roth; author of Teshuvos Imrei Yosher and Tal Torah (1925)
Rav Mordechai Leifer of Nadvorna (1835-1894). The great-grandson of Rav Meir “The Great” of Premishlan, Rav Mordechai was orphaned early and raised by his uncle, Reb Meir’l of Premishlan. His teachings are collected in Gedulas Mordechai.
Today in History – 14 Tishrei
· Completion of the construction of the 1st beis Hamikdash, 826 BCE.
· Jews allowed to worship in peace in Amsterdam, 1656. Neighbors who saw Jews holding secret Yom Kippur services thought they were secret Catholic papists and reported them to the Dutch authorities. The Jews were arrested on suspicion of insurgency. Once it was explained that the community was Jewish, the leaders were released and given freedom of worship.
· Casimir the Great of Poland renews the Charter of Boleslav, granting Jews freedom of residence in all areas of the kingdom, 1354. This document proves to be instrumental in spurring Jewish flight from Germany further east.
· Poland surrendered after weeks of resistance to invading troops from Nazi Germany and and the Soviet Union.
Today in History – 15 Tishrei
· Jews of Arnhem (Holland) were ordered to wear the Jew-badge by the city’s cardinal, 1451.
· Shechita banned in Italy, 1938.
· A decree by the Russian Czar Nicholas II explicitly bars Jews from living in major Russian cities, 1898. The action follows laws issued the previous May, restricting Jewish settlement to the Pale of Settlement. In Kiev, alone, some 7000 Jews are forced to relocate.
· Alfred Dreyfus was first arrested for treason, 1894.
· Led by Alexander Pecherski and a few other Jewish members of the Red Army, a revolt breaks out in the Sobibor death camp when a number of SS guards are killed, 1943. Of the 170 Jews who tried to escape, only 30 find their way to freedom and the remaining are captured and shot.