Yahrtzeits, Friday, 2 Iyar
Rav Kalman Vermaiza of Lvov (1560). One of the first marbitzei Torah in Poland.
Rav Nosson Shapiro (1570), author of She’arim eshaarei Dura.
Rav Shmuel Shmelke Horowitz of Nikolsburg, known as the Rebbe Reb Shmelke (1726-1778). The firstborn son of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Chortkov, Shmuel Shmelke traced his ancestry back to the Baal HaMaor and to Shmuel HaNavi. As a teenager, he and his brother Pinchas – who was to become the Ba’al HaFla’a of Frankfurt – would study bechavrusa; their chidushim were printed by Rav Pinchas in a kunterus called “Sheves Achim.” In their early years, Shmuel Shmelke and Pinchas studied Torah in nonchasidic Lithuanian yeshivos; but after traveling to Mezritch and meeting the Maggid, they became his ardent followers. After becoming a chasid, he became Rav of Ritchval, the site of his famous yeshiva that produced his many famous talmidim. After serving there for 10 years, he became Rav of Shiniva. Then, in 1773, he was invited to become Rav of Nikolsburg in Moravia. Although he was there only 5 years, he made a powerful impact, an dhe remains associated with that city to this day. Among his disciples are the Chozeh of Lublin, Reb Menachem Mendel of Rymanov, Reb Yisrael of Koznitz, Reb Mordechai Banet and Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov. His homilies and novellae were published in Divrei Shmuel, and anthologies of his Torah thoughts were published under the titles Imrei Shmuel, Nazir Hashem and Shemen Hatov.
Rav Avraham Dov Ber Auerbach (1812), Rav of Chielnik.
Ra v Yosef Shlofer (1903), author of Poras Yosef.
Rav Avraham Yitzchak Glick (1909), Rav of Tolthova and author of Be’er Yitzchak.
Rav Moshe Zakan Mazuz of Djerba (1851-1915). He learned under Rav Chaim HaKohen, author of Lev Shomea. He was appointed Rav of Charah Zagira in 1905 and became Rav and Av Beis Din in Djerba in 1910. He authored Tzadik Venisgav; Shaarei Moshe (a collection of responsa); Shem Moshe, Shaarei Torah (pilpulim on Torah and Shas), Sever Panim (chidushim on Shas and on the Rambam).
Rav Yosef Nechemia Kornitzer, the last Rav of Krakow (1933)
Rav Avraham Badush of Mexico (1990), author of Me’oros Avraham
Rav Tzvi Hirsh Zaks (1991), grandson of the Choftez Chaim.
Rav Yehuda Meir Abromowitz (1915-2007). He was the chairman of the Agudath Israel World Organization for many years (co-chairman with Rabbi Moshe Sherer when he was alive). He was one of the last Talmidim of Rav Meir Shapira.
Yahrtzeits, Shabbos, 3 Iyar
Choni Hama’agal (see see Menachos 94b, Rashi).
Rav Aryeh Leib Tzintz of Plotzk, the Maharal Tzintz (1833). Author of Get Mekushar, Maayanei Hachachma on Bava Metzia, Yayin Hamesameyach on Hilchos Yayin Nesech, and a peyrush on Pirke Avos.
Rav Yeshaya Steiner of Kerestir (1851-1925). (Reb Yeshayale Kerestirer) Born in Zbarav, Hungary, he lost his father at the age of 3. When he was 12, he was taken by his mother to Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Liska, the Ach Pri Tevua, whom he succeeded as Rav of Liska. He himself was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham.
Rav Abba Mordechai Berman, Rosh yeshiva Iyun HaTalmud (1919-2005). Born in Lodz, Poland to Rav Shaul Yosef, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Chessed in Lodz, who considered the Chafetz Chaim his primary rebbi. He was a descendant of the Kli Yakar. After his Bar Mitzvah, Reb Abba Mordechai began to learn at the Mir and became very close to Reb Yerucham Levovitz. He fled to Sanghai with the yeshiva at the outset of WW2, then migrated to America. He was the only member of his family who survived the Holocaust. He was one of the founders of the Mir in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn, he married Rebbetzen Itka Greenberg. After several years, he moved to Eretz Yisrael and founded Yeshiva Iyun HaTalmud in Bnai Brak. He also lectured frequently at Ponevezh. The yeshiva relocated to Yerushalayim, then to Kiryat Sefer in Modiin Ilit. His many shiurim were published in five sefarim, also named Iyun HaTalmud. He is survived by his Rebetzen and 6 daughters.
Rav Yosef Breuer (1882-1980). Born to Sophie Breuer, youngest daughter of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch and Rav Salomon Breuer, then rabbi of Papa, Hungary. Rav Hirsch died in 1888 in Frankfurt, and in 1890, when Rabbi Salomon Breuer was chosen to succeed him, the family moved to Frankfurt. Joseph became his father’s talmid and was ordained by him in 1903. He attended the universities of Giessen and Strasbourg, earning his Ph.D. in philosophy and political economy in 1905. In 1911, Rabbi Breuer married Rika Eisenmann of Antwerp. He assumed his first rabbinical position in 1919 when he was appointed rabbi of Frankfurt’s Klaus Shul. Following Kristallnacht in November 1938, Rabbi Breuer and his family emigrated to Antwerp, and then to the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.
Today in History – 2 Iyar
· The first printed edition of Mishnayos with Rambam’s commentary was published in Naples, 1492
· The Supreme Council of the Peace Conference recognized the Balfour Declaration and proclaimed Eretz Yisrael a mandated territory under British administration, 1920.
· German forces marched into Holland, 1940.
· Liberation of 40,000 prisoners at Bergen-Belsen by the British, 1945.
Today in History – 3 Iyar
· Portuguese Marranos who had reverted to Judaism were burned in Ancona, Italy by order of the Pope, 1556. The atrocity at Ancona led the famous Dona Gracia of the House of Nasi to spearhead a boycott against the port of Ancona as a countermeasure to the Pope’s repressive policies. This marked a rare Jewish effort by the free Jewish communities of the world to hit back at their enemies.
· The establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria was prohibited, 1857.
· Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Craiova, Roumania, 1883.
· Mordechai Anielewicz, commander-in-chief of the uprising in the ghetto of Warsaw, was killed in action, 1943.
· The Germans took away the Kretchinefer Rebbe and his entire family, sending them to Auschwitz, 1944.
· Bet-She’an was captured by the Haganah, 1948.