Mattisyahu ben Yochanan, Kohen Godol, father of the Chasmonaim (138 BCE, or 165)
Rav Eliezer ben Yitzchak ibn Archa (1651). Born in Tzefas, he moved to Chevron, where he served as Rav of the small Jewish population for most of his life. According to the Chida, he wrote many works including a commentary on Ein Yaakov and on Midrash Rabbah.
Rav Tzvi Horowitz of Tchortkov, father of Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg and the Baal Haflaa (1753)
Rav Shmuel Frenkel of Dorog [Hungary] the Imrei Shefer (1881) [Hamodia 2005 says 1921] His father-in-law was the Belzer Rav. Dorog is a small town in Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary, in the valley between the Pilis and Gerecse mountains. When Hungary’s kings resided at Esztergom in the 11th and 12th centuries, Dorog was where the cooks of the castle lodged. His great, great-grandson, Rav Yidel Frenkel, built the Imrei Shefer Shul and Yeshiva in the Har Nof area of Yerushalayim.
Rav Chaim Pinto the Second was born in Mogador (current Essaouira), Morocco (-1939). His grandfather, Rav Chaim the First, was the great-grandson of Rav Yosef Pinto, who fled from Spain to Rome with 26 talmidim after the 1492 expulsion. However, he had to flee to Damascus after local priests trapped him into a theological debate and soundly lost. When the Jewish population of Mogador began thinning out, Rav Chaim the Second moved to Casablanca, while his son, Rav Moshe Aharon Pinto, stayed Mogador to prevent his father’s shul from closing down.
Rav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the Chazon Ish (1878-1953). Educated by his father, the Av Beis Din in Kosova, Poland (near Grodno)), his first work on several parts of the Shulchan Aruch was published anonymously in Vilna in 1911 under the title “Chazon Ish,” by which name he became known. He moved to Vilna about 1920 and moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1933, settling in Bnei B’rak. Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he devoted vast amounts of time and energy to Seder Zeraim, which deals mainly with laws pertaining to the land, to answer the many halachic problems inherent to a life in the Holy Land consistent with Torah.
Today in History – 15 Cheshvan
· Yeravam ben Nevat first offered incense on the mizbeach in Beis-El on the Yom Tov which he had created. Ido Hanavi rebukes him and causes the mizbeach to break in half and Yeravam’s hand to wither, 783 BCE.
· Mobs attack Jews of Cracow, one of the first blood libels to be recorded in Poland, 1407. The Jews try to defend themselves and ultimately take refuge in a local church which is surrounded and set afire. Any children left alive are forcibly baptized.
· Kristallnacht progroms in Nazi Germany, 1938. The night of rampages by Storm Troopers, the SS, and the Hitler Youth left 91 Jewish dead, hundreds injured, and 7,500 businesses and 177 shuls gutted.
· Warsawghetto was sealed by the Nazis, 1940. (The 1939 census in Warsaw listed 359,827 Jews.)