Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 19 Iyar


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Meir ben Baruch, the Maharam MiRottenberg, teacher of the Rosh, (1215-1293). In 1286, Rudolf of Germany wanted to institute a new tax on the Jews of Germany. The Jews objected to this tax.

The Maharam decided to leave Germany, but on the 4th of Tamuz, he was kidnapped by the Bishop of Bazil and handed over to the Emperor, who held Rav Meir captive in the Tower of Enzisheim in Alsace. Rav Meir composed “Shaali S’-rufa B’esh,” which is included in the kinos of Tisha B’Av. He was niftar in the prison and wasn’t properly buried until 4 Adar in 1307.

-Rav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov (1755-1815). He was introduced to Chasidus at the age of 11 when he met the Maggid of Mezritch. He studied Torah and Chassidus under Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg, together with two of his friends, the Chozeh of Lublinand the Maggid ofKoznitz.His main teacher, however, was of Reb Elimelech of Lyzensk. Among his disciples were such outstanding Chassidic leaders as Reb Naftali of Ropshitz and Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov. His teachings are collected in Menachem Zion, Divrei Menachem, and Be’eros HaMayin.

-Rav Pinchas Twersky of P’shemishel (1943).

-Rav Yaakov Moshe Mordechai Soloveitchik of Lucerne (1915-1995). His father was Rav Yisrael Gershon Soloveitchik, son of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk. Soon after his Bar Mitzvah, he traveled to Kamenitz to study under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz. He fled Poland to evade the draft, along with Rav Ahron Leib Shteinman, and the two stayed in Switzerland until the end of World War II. After the war, they traveled to Eretz Yisrael and studied at the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva, where he shared a room with Rav Chaim Kanievsky. He moved to Lugano and then Lucerne to head a Yeshiva and married Rivka Ruchama, daughter of Rav Shmuel Zanvil Neuman.

-Rav Ezra Attia of Syria, Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef, Yerushalayim from 1925 to 1970 (1885-1970). He was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1887, and was named after the prophet Ezra because his mother Leah had had several miscarriages before his birth and gave birth to him after praying at Ezra’s grave in Tedef, Syria. Rav Attia began his studies in Aleppo under Rav Yehuda Aslan Attia (possibly a distant relative), but he soon moved with his family moved to Yerushalayim. After his father died when Rav Attiah was 20, three leading Sephardic sages took upon themselves to support him so he could continue his studies. In 1907, Rav Attia began studying in the new Yeshivat Ohel Moed (which later became Porat Yosef) under Rav Raphael Shlomo Laniado and Rav Yosef Yedid. His studies were interrupted by World War I, and he fled to Egypt to avoid being drafted into the Ottoman Army. While there, he established Yeshivat Keter Torah in Cairo, which continued to exist until 1948. Returning to Eretz Yisrael, Rav Attia was appointed to head Yeshivat Porat Yosef and also to serve on the Sephardic Bet Din. He continued to head Porat Yosef until his death, and among his students were Rav Ovadiah Yosef, Rav Ben Zion Abba Shaul, and leading rabbis of the Syrian communities in the United States and Panama.

-Rav Moshe Kopshitz (1941-2004), great-grandson of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. Rosh yeshiva of Kol Yaakov and Rav of yerushalayim’s Romema neighborhood.

Today in History – 19 Iyar

· Right of citizenship was denied to Jews of the canton of Aargau, Switzerland, 1809. Emancipation was delayed until 1879.
· Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, committed suicide after ordering the murder of his own six children while serving as Chancellor of Germany for one day following the death of Hitler, 1945
· The Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

{Manny Newscenter/}


  1. I greatly enjoy reading about our Tzaddikim and enjoy the Yahrtziet postings as a source of inspiration of what can be possible to acomplish in life.

    I realize the Yahrtzeit info is gathered from an outside source that provides the information to many publications and websites.Please alert them that they are doing a dishonor not to try to better acknowledge the MAHARAM ME ROTENBERG ZTL

    His sacrifices and contributions for the Klal in life and death were extraordinary.An additional 3-5 lines is all that is needed in the capsule.
    Their are three gross ommissions.A) That for years the Maharam Meirotenberg could have been ransomed from prison as the the Jews were willing to pay at any exorbitant price but refused all offers of ransom B)how he was finally taken for kevura C)his responsa and Tefillos

    A)He sacrificed himself to remain in prison as he realized that if the Jewish people would pay the exorbitant ransom then the emperor would have kept on kidnapping/imprisoning Rabbonim to enrich his coffers.
    B)In 1307 (as was noted) He was finally taken for Kevura.The release of his body was not a simple gesture of kindness on the part of the ruling family. It omits the fact that a wealthy Jew Alexander ben Salomon Wimpfen ransomed the Maharam MeiRotnberg body for proper Kevura in exchange for being buried next to him.
    (The emperor at the time of ransom was the son of Rudolph,and the amount of ransom was a workable amount, thereby not going against the policy of the Maharam to be ransomed.It has been bought down that while the Maharm was awaitng Kevura his body did not decompose.)

    C)As The Maharam Meirotenberg was needed to be kept alive by the emperor he was given priveleges albeit with great restrictions to receive students and learn Torah.Before and during prison he published over 3,500 responsa

    Aside from the kinnos He also composed the universal KOl Nidrei introductory paragrah of Al Daas Hamakom vialdaas Hakahal.The tefilla declares a right to everyone even terrible sinners to pray together with the Kehilla on Yom Kippur in the quest for Teshuva,

    May his Zechus and sacrifice be with us.


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