Today’s Yahrtzeits & History -20 Adar


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Meir Schiff, the Maharam Schiff (1608-1644). Born in Frankfurt am Main, he became Rav of the nearby town of Fulda at the age of 17. His  chidushim on the Talmud are terse, incisive, and profound. In 1644, he was appointed Rav of Prague, but he died at the age of 36 shortly after his arrival there.

Rav Yoel Sirkes of Cracow (the Bach) (1561-1641), author of Bayis Chadash on the Tur, in which he traced each law to its source in the gemarah. In his youth, he studied under Rav Shlomo Leibush of Lublin and Rav Meshulam Feivush in Brisk. He had several rabbinic appointments throughout Poland, lastly as Chief Rabbi of Cracow in 1619. He was the teacher and father-in-law of Rav Dovid HaLevy, the Taz.

Rav Shlomo Zalman (ben Chaim Yehuda Leib) Auerbach (1910-1995), born in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Yerushalayim, his father authored Chacham Lev and was the Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Hashamayim. Rav Shlomo Zalman learned at Etz Chaim yeshiva. He married Chaya Rivka Ruchamkin on erev Purim 1930. During the next 19 years he wrote Meorei Eish on the laws of electricity, Maadeanei Haaretz on laws regarding agriculture in Eretz Yisrael, as well as a commentary on Shev Shmaatsa. In 1949, he left Etz Chaim to succeed Rav Yechiel Schlesinger as Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Torah Yeshiva in the Rechavia section of Yerushalayim. He was the author of Minchas Shlomo. His brother-in-law was Rav Shalom Schwadron. His piskei halacha on Shabbos are found throughout the sefer Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchasa, written by his talmid Rav Yehoshua Neuwirth.

Rav Raphael Blum (1910-2005), the Kashau Rav, who replanted his Chasidic community from Europe to Bedford Hills in Westchester County, NY.

Today in History – 20 Adar

· Uziah Hamelech was afflicted with tzora’as and was forced to abdicate his throne, 618 BCE
· Choni Hameagel’s prayer for rain answered (Megillas Taanis) [Taanis 23a].
· Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy, father of the law abolishing corporal punishment in the U.S. Navy, died, 1862.

{Manny Newscenter}


  1. 20 Adar 5758 – March 18,1998:

    Yahrtzeit of HaRav Yeshaya (ben Dov Meir) Shimanowitz, zt”l, (1908-1998), Rosh Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ), NY, U.S.
    (wrongly listed in many lists as 22 Adar; corrected by his son).
    Rav ‘Shaya was born in Rubizevitch, Poland. At the age of ten, He was sent away to learn in the Yeshiva in Bialystock, where his Rebbe was the young Steipler Gaon, zt”l. After his Bar Mitzva he enrolled in the yeshiva of Slutsk, where he became the favorite disciple of Rav Ahron Kotler, zt”l. He also developed a lifelong especially close relationship with Rav Elozar Menachem Man Shach, zt”l. At the age of fifteen, Rav Shaya decided to change yeshivot and moved to Kaminetz to learn with Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, remaining there until his early twenties, when he went to Radin to learn Kodshim B’chavrusa with Rav Mendel Zaks, zt”l, (the Chofetz Chaim’s son-in-law) for over three years in the Chofetz Chaim’s house. When Rav Shaya was 25 years old, he was invited to join the select Mir yeshiva – Rav Lezer Yudel Finkel’s select ‘chabura. Within a short time Rav Shaya found his Eishet Chayil, Rebitzen Ettel, A”H. Later he traveled with the yeshiva to Shanghai and Japan. After the War, Rav Ahron Kotler helped Rav Shaya obtain a position in Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yakov Yosef (RJJ) where he became one of the Roshei Yeshiva for the next 25 years. In Williamsburg Rav Shaya also became Rosh Kolel in Kolel Kerem Shlomo. In 1990, Rav Shaya and his Rebetzin moved to Lakewood.Some of his chiddushim were printed in a series of seforim (currently 3) called “Amudei Shayish”. Yehi Zichro Baruch.