Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 20-21 Kislev


yahrtzeit-candleToday’s Yahrtzeits – 20 Kislev

Rav Baruch Hager of Seret-Viznitz, the Imrei Baruch (1892). The son of Rav Menachem Mendel Hager, Rav Baruch was Rebbe for only eight years, and was niftar at a young age. His son, Rav Yisrael Hager (the Ahavas Yisrael), was born when Rav Baruch was only 15 years old.

Rav Yitzchak Hutner, Rosh Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, author of Pachad Yitzchak (1907-1981). His uncle, R’ Benzion Ostrover, had been a disciple of Rav Mendel of Kotzk, and was instrumental in providing his young nephew with a direct link to the world of Chasidus. At the age of 15, he went to Slobodka and was directed by the Alter, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. In 1925, he entered the new Slabodka branch in Chevron, where he also met and learned from Rav A. I. Kook. He remained until 1929, after which he returned to his parents in Warsaw. He became a personal tutor for Rav Moshe Solevetchik’s son, Aharon. In 1932, he published his Toras HaNazir, a commentary on the Rambam’s Hilchos Nazir. In 1933, he married Masha Lipshitz and moved to Eretz Yisrael. Despite his great attachment to the Land, they left for America one year later, not to return for 30 years. He built Yeshiva Chaim Berlin to his specifications with his famous blend of Torah philosophies. Among his talmidim are Rav Yitzchak Shurin, grandson of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky. Among his colleagues at Slobodka were R’ Yitzchak HaLevi Ruderman, R’ Reuven Grozovsky; R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky; and R’ Aharon Kotler. In 1949 he began publishing his discourses on morals and ethics which he subtitled, Divrei Torah B’inyanei Hilchot Deos V’Chovos Halevovos. As a young man he wrote Toras Hanazir on the Rambam’s Hilchos Nezirus. He wrote a profound commentary (Kovetz Heaaros) on Rabbeinu Hillel on the Safra. His discourses on Yomim Tovim and Shabbos (Pachad Yitzchok) are collected in seven volumes.

Rav Yochanan Twersky, the Rachmastrika Rebbe. He was also the cousin of the Belzer Rebbe. He was shot by the Nazis during Friday night prayers. His daughter, Malka married the first Boyaner Rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Friedman, the Pachad Yitzchak. (1981

Rav Meshulam Feivish HaLevi of Zbarazh, author of Yosher Divrei Emes, a basic work on chasidic thought (1794). He studied under R. Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and R. Dov Ber of Mezritch. His teachings appear in Likutim Yekarim. His disciples included Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov.

Rav Feivish of Kremenitz, the Mishnas Chachamim (1774)

Rav Hirsh Paley – Born in Shklov, Lithuania, to Rav Avraham Noach Paley, a close talmid of Rav Baruch Ber Leibovitz. The family immigrated to Eretz Yisrael when Rav Hirsh was fourteen. His father became the mashgiach in Yeshivas Chevron. Rav Hirsh would travel with his lifelong friend Rav Shalom Schwadron to hear Rav Elya Lopian in Yerushalayim, whom he considered his rebbi muvhak and and moreh derech. Rav Hirsh was the last surviving member of the Chevron community following the 1929 riots. In 1965, he married Menuchah, the daughter of Rav Shlomo Zalman Pines. She had been one of the first talmidos of Sara Schenirer and served as a mechaneches in Beis Yaakov Schools for over six decades, both in Tel Aviv and in Yerushalayim. They moved to Tel Aviv, where Rav Hirsh studied in Kollel Heichal HaTalmud, founded by his father. He later became mashgiach at Chevron Yeshiva.

Today in History – 20 Kislev

· Convocation held in Yerushalayim of all Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, 346 BCE. Ezra Hasofer appoints batei din to clarify the status of intermarried families.
· First Crusade proclaimed by the Council of Clermont, 1095.

Today’s Yahrtzeits – 21 Kislev

Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (1566-1446 B.C.E.)

Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, rav of Yerushalayim (1873-1961). He was born in Lithuania and was a student of Rav Eliezer Gordon and Rav Shmuel Salant, his main work is a set of responsa known as Har Tzvi. He also authored Mikraei Kodesh. He was the father-in-law of Rav Menachem Ben-Tzion Sacks, the Menachem Tzion.

Rav Yaakov Meir Padwa of Brisk, author of Mekor Mayim Chaim, a commentary on Shulchan Aruch.

Rav Yochanan Perlow, the seventh Rebbe  of the Stolin-Karlin dynasty (1900-1956). Born in Stolin, a suburb of Pinsk, White Russia, to Rav Yisrael, the “Yanuka” of Stolin. After his father was niftar in 1921, his six sons split the succession: Rav Moshe became rebbe in Stolin; Rav Avraham Elimelech took over in Karlin; Rav Yaakov moved to the U.S. in 1923 to lead the Karlin community that already had four shuls in New York and one shtiebel in Detroit. He became known as the Detroiter Rebbe. Rav Yochanan moved to Poland where he became a rebbe in Lutsk, capital of the Volhynia district. Among the 41,000 people in Lutsk were 18,000 Jews. After the Nazis entered Lutsk on June 25, 1941, they herded the Jews into a ghetto in December, and the following August, they dragged 17,500 of them outside the town and murderously gunned them down. The last survivors, Jewish workers in the local labor camp, mounted a heroic but hopeless revolt on December 11, after learning that they, too, were about to be liquidated. Only about 150 Lutsk Jews survived the war. Rav Yochanan, his wife and two daughters fled into the surrounding forests and made their way deep into Russia with groups of partisans. After being deported to Siberia and personally burying his wife and elder daughter there on the same day, Rav Yochanan somehow survived the war. He lost almost his entire family; only one daughter, Faige, survived. He moved to Haifa in 1946, then to America two years later. While in New York, he founded the Karlin-Stolin Torah Institutions and published the new Siddur Beis Aharon v’Yisrael, comprising Karlin-Stolin minhagim. Rav Yochanan’s grandson, Rav Baruch Yaakov Meir Shochet, became the next Stolin-Karlin Rebbe. He composed the poem “Kah Echsof Noam Shabbos” that is printed in most editions of Shabbos Zemiros.

Today in History – 21 Kislev

· Har Gerizim Day, ancient festival celebrating victory over the Shomronim who tried to stop the construction of the Beis Hamikdash, 331 B.C.E.
· Jews are expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I.
· Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, the Divrei Yoel of Satmar, is rescued from Bergen-Belsen, and the day was established as a day of shevach vehodaah to Hashem for his hatzalah and the ultimate rebirth of Satmar chassidus, 1944.
· Some 1300 people were transported out of Bergen-Belsen to safe haven in Switzerland, settled in a camp at Beatenberg where they spent the last few months of the war, 1944.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}