Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 14-15 Adar I


flicker_1003917Rav Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomer, student of the Maggid of Mezeitch, author of Or Hameir, one of the early foundation texts of Chassidus (1800).

Rav Shimon Schwab (1908-1995). Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Rav Schwab learned at Mir and Telz before becoming dayan in Darmstadt and Rav in the district of Ichenhausen in Bavaria. Escaping nazi Germany in 1936, Rav Schwab served as Rav in Baltimore, then in New York in the Washington Heights area, following Rav Joseph Breuer.

Rav Menashe (ben Shlomo Zalman) Frankel of Lizhensk (1903-1965). Born in Yadlowa in eastern Galicia, he married the daughter of the Rav of Lizhensk and remained in Lizhensk. He was elected Dayan, and when his father-in-law was nifter in 1938, he became Rav of the city. Lizhensk was one of the first cities to fall to the Nazis in 1939. Rav Menashe escaped, but was sent to Siberia , then to Uzbekistan (Buchara). He settled in new York in 1948 and founded his own congregation, Ateres Shlomo.

Rav Yaakov Asher Kopf, grandson of the Lelover Rebbe, Rav Moshe Mordechai Biderman (1955-2005).

Today in History – 14 Adar

· The miracle of Purim took place, 355 BCE.
· In Bray, France, eighty Jews were burned to death for trying to execute a non-Jew who had killed a Jew, 1191. After securing permission from a local lord, they tried to hang the accused on Purim, which fell out three weeks before Easter.
· Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland were massacred, 1349
· Pope banned all social contact between Jews and Christians out of fear that Christians would be attracted to Judaism, 1451. A Christian who converted to Judaism and the Jews who helped him were usually subject to the death penalty in most Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries.
· Turkish soldiers killed 60 Jews in Bucharest, 1822.
· The death of Czar Nicholas I of Russia, 1855. He had passed the Cantonist decree forcibly conscripting Jewish children for his army, with the intended goal to baptize them. Over 70,000 Jews were forced to serve in his army over the period of the 30-year decree (1827-1857), many of them taken as children of 8 or 9.
· A blood libel began after the death of a student in Konitz, Prussia, 1900. A Jew named Wolf Israelski was arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two other Jews, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were subsequently acquitted. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief, Masloff, who later received only one year for perjury.
· The Chief Rabbinate of Palestine was established, 1921. Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld declared a fast day.
· Germanyviolated the Munich Agreement and marched into Prague, 1939.
· The Iraq attack against Eretz Yisrael during the Gulf War (1991) came to an end. Miraculously, only one person died during at least 39 SCUD attacks into many densely populated areas which resulted in hundreds of homes destroyed.

Today’s Yahrtzeits – 15 Adar

Rav Zvi Hirsch Kaidanover of Vilna and Frankfurt, author of Kav Hayashar (1712)

Rav Yosef Leifer (ben Yisachar Bertchi) of Pittsburgh, the Tzidkas Yosef (1891-1966). A grandson of Rav Mordechai Leifer of Nadvorna, Rav Yosef was a descendant of Rav Meir HaGadol of Premishlan. After marrying and living in Krula for seven years, he traveled to America in 1924 to raise funds for his orphaned sisters (his father died when Rav Yosef was 15 years old). One of his stops was Pittsburgh, and he decided to stay. His brothers, Rav Meir and Rav Shalom, also came to America, taking positions in Cleveland and Brighton Beach, respectively. His youngest son, Yitzchak Eizik, passed away when he was elevn. Two other sons, Rav Yissachar Ber and Rav Mordechai were murdered by the Nazis in 1944. Only his oldest son, Rav Avraham Abba, escaped and succeeded him after his petira. Rav Avraham Abba moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1970 and founded Yeshivas Tzidkas Yosef in Ashdod.

Rav Chaim Kamil, Rosh Yeshivas Ofakim, one of the prime builders of Torah in the Negev (1933-2005). As a bachur, he learned in Yeshiva Slobodka in Yerushalayim. Following his marriage to the daughter of Rav Mordechai Porush, he learned at the Mir and became a talmid muvhak of Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz. After many years, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of Me’or Einayim of Rachmistrivka in Yerushalayim, and from 1979 at Ofakim. He was survived by his daughter.

Today in History – 15 Adar

· In Wurzburg, Germany, the Jews were accused of killing a Christian and dumping him in the river, and 22 Jews were murdered, including their Rav, Yitzchak ben Elyakim, 1147.
· In Berlin, Germany, riots and street fighting kill twenty Jews, 1848. Anti-Jewish riots also spread to Bavaria, Baden, Hamburg and many other cities.
· Birth of Rav Chaim Soleveitchik, Volozhin and Brisk, 1853
· Jews of Sweden were emancipated, 1870.
· 1500 Jews killed in the Proskorov pogroms in Ukraine in 1919, the largest among hundreds of “Petliura” pogroms perpetrated against Ukrainian and Russian Jews during 1919-1920 which ended in the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews.
· The Soviet tyrant, Josef Stalin died, 1953. His “Doctor’s Plot”‘s accusation against his Jewish doctors fell apart, and hundreds of thousands of Jews were miraculously saved from Stalin’s plan to deport them to Siberia where they would have died of cold and starvation.
· Second U.S.-led war against Iraq commences, March 19, 2003.

{Manny Newscenter}