Yahrtzeits, Friday, 18 Nissan
Rav Meir Halevi Abulafia, the Yad Rama, 1244.
Rav Meir Berlin, later Hebraized to Meir Bar-Ilan (1880-1949). Born in Volozhin, Lithuania, he joined the Mizrachi movement in 1905, representing it at the Seventh Zionist Congress, voting against the “Uganda Proposal” to create a “temporary” Jewish “homeland” in Uganda in East Africa, as suggested by Great Britain. In 1911 he was appointed secretary of the world Mizrachi movement. In 1913 he came to the United States and in 1915 became president of the U.S. Mizrachi, holding the position until 1928. He founded the Mizrachi Teachers Institute in 1917. In 1925 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish National Fund devoted to financing the rebuilding of the Jewish homeland in the then British Mandate of Palestine. In 1923 he moved to Jerusalem. He opposed the Palestine partition plan in 1937, and of the British White Paper of 1939. He was the founder and editor of Hatzofeh in 1939. He authored: Fun Volozhin biz Yerushalayim (an autobiography), Bishvil ha-Techiah. Along with Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin, he was also the editor of the Talmudical Encyclopedia. He wrote articles on Talmudic subjects for various periodicals. He inspired the founding of Bar Ilan University in Israel which is named for him
Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik (1903-1993). Son of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik, and older brother of Rav Ahron Soloveichik. Great-grandson of Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, the Beis HaLevy (1820- 1892), and nephew of the Brisker Rav, Rav Velvel. Born in Pruzhan, Poland, on 30 Shvat. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, and then settled in Boston in the early 1930’s. He became Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva University, and gave weekly shiurim to senior students, while delivering philosophy lectures to graduate students.
Rav Moishe Ellinson, Rav of Ohel Torah Manchester
Yahrtzeits, Shabbos, 19 Nissan
Rav Yehoshua Falk Katz, author of Meiras Einayim, the Derisha and Perisha on the Tur, the Sema on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (1614). As a youth, he learned under the Rema (to whom he was related) and the Maharshal. He later served as Rosh Yeshiva in Lemberg. He is the grandfather of the Pnei Yehoshua.
Rav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin (1736-1772). Student of the Maggid of Mezritch, founder of Chasidus in Belarus and the Karlin-Stolin dynasty. Rav Aharon left behind a son, Rav Asher of Stolin who was the father of Rav Aharon Karlin II (1808-1872)
Rav Menachem Ziemba (also known as R’ Menachem Prager) (1883-1943). Born in Praga, a small neighborhood of Warsaw along the right bank of the Wisla River, Rav Menachem was only nine years old when his father, R’ Elazar Ziemba died. He then lived and learned with his grandfather, R’ Avraham Ziemba. He married Mindel, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, R’ Chaim Yeshaya Tzederboim, when he was 18. When his father-in-law died, he wrote a treatise on carrying on Shabbos and entitled it Totza’as Chaim in his honor. He became a chasid of the Imrei Emes Gur. He was appointed Chief Rabbi of Warsaw in 1935. He became close to Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, and through him, his son-in-law, Rav Avrame’le Luftbir of Warsaw. When the latter died childless in 1919 Rav Menachem published his sefer Zera Avraham, based on their many correspondences. He died in the Warsaw ghetto.
Rav Shlomo Leib of Lentche, 1843.
Rav Yaakov Yosef Weiss of Sprinka (1916-1988). The grandson of Rav Yitzchak Isaac Weiss (1875-1944), Spinka Rebbe and author of Chakal Yitzchok, Rav Yaakov Yosef survived the Holocaust and established Spinka institutions in America and in Israel. He is the author of Siach Yaakov Yosef.
Rav Shmuel Alexander Unsdorfer of Montreal and Petach Tikva (2002). He served as Rosh Yeshiva of the first Mesivta of Canada, founded in 1948 by the Klausenberger Rebbe. In 1956, he was sent by the Canadian Rescue Committee in Montreal to Vienna to help refugees from Hungary. He later moved to Eretz Yisrael and served as Rav of the Chassidei Tzanz Beis Hamedrash in Petach Tikvah
Today in History- 18 Nissan
· Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Seville, Spain, 1464.
· Purim of the Bomb was celebrated by the Jews of Fossano, south of the Alps, to commemorate their escape from massacre, 1796.
Today in History- 19 Nissan
· The directors of the Dutch West India Co., in 1655, denied permission to Governor Peter Stuyvesant to exclude Jews from New Amsterdam. This put an end to official efforts to bar Jews from North America. The Dutch West India Co. also specified that no restriction of trade be imposed upon the Jewish settlers. Thus it guaranteed not only the physical inviolability of the Jews but also their economic development and progress. The only condition contained in the directive provided that “the poor among them shall be supported by their own nation.” This gave further impetus to the growth of the Jewish population in the New World.
· Adolf Hitler, Y”Sh, made his first political appearance.
· The Polish army occupied Vilna and attacked its Jewish community, 1919.
· Israel-PLO agreement on Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) is reached, 1994. 160 observers (35 Danish, 35 Italian, 90 Norwegian) are deployed to Hebron, have their mandate renewed every year and two years ago found to be helping terrorists.