Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 2-3 Adar


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Meir Paprish, the Ohr Tzadikim (1624-1662). At the young age of 13, Reb Meir began learning Kabbalah as a student of Rav Yaakov Tzemach who studied under Rav Shmuel Vital, the son of Rav Chaim Vital.

Rav Dovid ben Moshe Madjar of Yerushalayim (1800), author of Chesed Dovid.

Rav Yom Tov (ben Yisrael Yaakov) Algazi, the Maharit Algazi (1727-1802), one of the main students of the famed kabbalist Rabbi Shalom Sharabi. Stemming from a long line of great Torah sages originating in Spain, his father was av beis din in Izmir, Turkey for over 40 years before being appopinted Rishon Letzion in Yerushalyim. Rav Yom Tov was born in Izmir, and studied together with Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai (the Chida) as a youth. In 1758, he was appointed rosh yeshiva of Neveh Shalom. In 1782, after the petira of Rav Shalom Sharabi, Rav Yom Tov was appointed rosh yeshiva of Beis Kel and served as Rishon LeTzion following the petira of Rav Rephael Meyuchas. He left behind a legacy of piskei halacha – Shu”t Simchas Yom Tov, Hilchos Yom Tov, and Kedushas Yom Tov. He left one son (Rav Yaakov) and 3 daughters.

Rav Aaron (ben Meir) Hagadol of Premishlan, disciple of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotschov

Rav Binyamin Zev Lev (ben Elazar Leib) Rokeach (1777-1851). He was born in the small town of Vadislav, and his father, the Shemen Rokeach, sent him to the yeshivos of R’ Eliezer Kempne of Prostitz, and of his brother-in- law R’ Yirmiyohu of Mattersdorf. He married Feigele, the daughter of Rav Yitzchak Eisik Elkish, Rav of Ushpitzin from the dynasty of the Rebbe R’ Heschel and the Moginei Shlomo. He subsequently became rov in Amshinov. He is the author of Shaarei Torah. His son, Yirmiyahu, was author of Divrei Yirmiyahu.

Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya (ben Moshe) Grunwald of Pupa, the Vayaged Yaakov (1941). Son of the Arugas Habosem, Reb Yaakov Yechezkiya studied under his father until his marriage. In 1929, Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya was chosen as Rav of Pupa, Hungary. He established a yeshiva there which soon numbered 300 students. Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya’s son, Rav Yosef Grunwald, succeeded his father in 1951.

Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz (1891-1965), Av Beis Din of Tiktin, Rosh Yeshivas Mir-U.S. He was a talmid of Slobodka, a Rav of Rakov, and a close friend of Reb Chaim Ozer Grodzenski of Vilna. He was also the founder and head of a kollel, and a leader of Agudath Israel of Poland. After the First World War, the Mirrer Yeshiva appointed him as its president. His wife’s grandfather was Rav Betzalel HaKohen, a dayan in Vilna and author of Mareh Kohen. At the beginning of World War II the Rav and his family reached the United States, while his beloved Mirrer Yeshiva escaped from Mir to Vilna, to avoid Soviet persecution. During the War, the Rav was was one of the leading personalities of the Vaad Hatzalah.

Rav Yisrael (ben Avraham Mordechai) Alter, the Beis Yisrael of Ger (1895-1977). The third son of the Imrei Emes, he celebrated a double simcha on his Bar Mitzvah, as he became engaged to his cousin, Chaya Sara. They married two years later. In 1940, the Imrei Emes escaped the Nazis and reached Eretz Yisrael, along with his sons, Rav Yisrael, Rav Simcha Bunim, and Rav Pinchas Menachem. Tragically, Rav Yisrael’s wife, daughter, and son perished, a fact he didn’t learn until 1945. He remarried in 1948, but had no children from his second wife. After his father’s petira, Rav Yisrael assumed the mantle of leadership as the 4th Rebbe of Ger. For the next 29 years, he rebuilt Ger and was a major force in the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael. After his passing, Ger was led by his brother, Rav Simcha Bunim, until his petira in 1992. After that, his other brother, Rav Pinchas Menachem led Ger for four years. Since then, Ger has been led by Rav
Yaakov Aryeh, the son of Rav Simcha Bunim.

Rav Moshe (ben Yehuda) Schwab (1918-1979). Born in Frankfurt-am-Mein, he was the younger brother of Rav Shimon and Rav Mordechai. He was sent to learn in Kaminetz under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz and in Baronovich under Rav Elchonon Wasserman. In 1938, he moved to England and accepted a position at the Kollel in Gateshead. In 1942, he married Rochel Baddiel, daughter of Rav Dovid Baddiel, one of the founding members of the Gateshead kehilla. In 1946, he joined the Yeshiva and became very close to Rav Dessler. He authored Ma’archei Lev on the Yomim Tovim.

Rav Mordechai (ben Moshe) Wulliger (1895-1995), born in Bishtina-Marmoresh, his primary teacher was Rav Chaim Zvi Teitelbaum, Rav of Sigher and author of Atzei Chaim. Rav Wulliger settled in the United States in 1938 and was a member of the Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodas for about 50 years. He authored a myriad of seforim, the first of which was Pardes Mordechai (1927).

Today in History – 2 Adar

· The Byzantine Emperor Justinian orders the public reading of the Greek translation of the Shabbos portion of the week, but prohibits Rabbis from speaking in public on the parasha, 553 CE.
· Massacre of the Jews of Freiberg, Germany, in the Black Death riots, 1349.
· Anti-Jewish riots in Cracow, 1682.
· Nazis confiscate all sefarim and sifrei Torah in the Kovno ghetto, 1942.
· Greek Jews from Salonika transported to Nazi extermination camps, 1943. (Of 50,000 Jews in Salonika, only 1,200 survived the Holocaust.)
· Knesset bill passed Mi Hu Yehudi – defining a Jew as one born to a Jewish mother or one “converted to Judaism”, 1970.

Yahrtzeits – 3 Adar

Rav Mordechai Yaffe, author of Levush Mordechai, and known as the Baal HaLevushim (1530-1612). Born to the Rav of Prague, he was sent to Poland to study under the Maharshal and Rama in his youth. Married in 1553, he founded a yeshiva in Prague. However, in 1559, King Ferdinand decreed that the Jews of Prague be evicted. Despite the successful efforts of Pope Pius IV on behalf of the Jews (which resulted in a 2-year delay), the Jews of Prague left the city in 1561. Rav Mordechai settled in Venice, where he learned with Rav Avraham Abuhav and Rav Mittsyahu Delcorte. He became Rav of Horodna (Grodno) in 1572, then Lublin in 1588. In 1598, when the Maharal left Posen for Prague, Rav Mordechai became rabbi of Posen until his death. Two important peirushim on the Levush were written many years later: In Elya Rabba, Rav Eliyahu Shapiro answers many refutation of the Levush brought in the Malbishei Yom Tov, (written by the author of Tosefos Yom Tov), and in
Levushei Tzedakah, Rav Tzadok Hakohen answers difficulties raised by the Smah in Levush Choshen Mishpat.
-Rav Noach of Krakow, author of Toldos Noach on Midrash (1638)
-Rav Noach Chaim Berlin of Altuna, author of Atzei Almogim and Atzei Arazim and Av Beis Din of AH”U (1802).
-Rav Binyamin Zev Lev, Rav of Verboi and author of Shaarei Tefilah (1851)
-Rav Dovid Morgenstern of Kotzk (1866), the eldest son of Reb Mendel of Kotzk
-Rav Eliyahu Mezhritch, author of Midreishei Eliyahu (1868)
-Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz-Teumim, the Aderes (1843-1905). The last part of his name, Te’omim denotes the fact that he was a “te’om,” or twin. His mother, Chana, was a descendant of the Baal Halevushim and the Chacham Tzvi. After his marriage, Rav Eliyahu Dovid moved to his wife’s birthplace, Ponovezh. He served as Rav of Ponovezh from 1872 to 1890 and of Mir from 1890 to 1898. He was then asked to assume the position of chief rabbi of Yerushalayim, at the recommendation of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky. There, he assisted the 80 year old Rav Shmuel Salant. Rav Eliyahu Dovid served as the rav of Yerushalayim for four years.
-Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht, founder (1952) and rosh yeshiva, Kerem B’Yavne (1994). Born in Yerushalayim, he attended Yeshiva Etz Chaim under Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. Thereafter, he learned under the guidance of Rav Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav. After marrying his wife, Miriam, he moved to Bnei Brak where he studied under the Chazon Ish and was also close to Rav Isaac Sher.
-Rav Yechiel Malach (1922-2006). Born in Ostrolenka, Poland, he was a talmid muvhak or Rav Avraham Yoffen, he went on to learn in Slobodka, then settled in Brooklyn after the War. He became ninth grade rebbi and manhig ruchani at Yeshivas Be’er Shmuel. At about 1986, he moved to Yerushalayim, where he was marbitz Torah in the Gerrer Yeshiva Ner Yisrael.

{Manny Newscenter}