Yahrtzeits – 21 Cheshvan
Rav Dovid ben Zimra, the Radbaz (1480-1573). Arriving in Tzefas as a child after the Spanish expulsion, he emigrated to Egypt in 1514. Shortly thereafter, he was recognized as chief rabbi of Egypt, a post he held for 40 years. His income, however, came through business, from which he became quite wealthy. Among his talmidim in Cairo were Rav Yitzchak Luiria (the Ari) and Rav Betazelel Azhkenazi, the Shita Mekubetzes. In 1553, he returned to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Tzefas.
Rav Avraham Azulai, author of Chessed L’Avraham (1569-1643), which is often quoted in the writings of the Ari HaKodesh. Rav Avraham was the great, great-grandfather of the Chida. Born in Fez, Morocco, he eventually moved to Chevron in 1609 and became the holy city’s Chief Rabbi.
Rav Yichya Halevi Alshich, head of Yemenite community
Rav Dovid Shlomo Eibshitz of Soroka (1755-1813), author of Levushei Serad (on halacha) and Arvei Nachal (a Torah commentary with Chasidic philosophy). In 1809, he settled in Tzefat, Israel, where he died and is buried.
Rav Yissacher Ber of Podheitz, son of the Pnei Yehoshua (1844)
Rav Elazar HaKohen of Poltusk (1881)
Rav Moshe of Shitchelnik (1912)
Rav Betzalel Stern, author of Teshuvos B’Tzel Hachochma, and brother of Rav Moshe Stern (1988)
Yahrtzeits – 22 Cheshvan
Rav Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the third Belzer rebbe (1854-1926)
Rav Moshe Lima, author of Chelkas Mechokek. Early in the 17th century, he was hired by the city of Slonim to be its first Rav. While there, he was considered the highest authority in halacha in all of Lithuania. He later served as Rav in Brisk and Vilna.
Rav Ezriel Halevi Horowitz, the “Eizener Kop” of Lublin. Opposed the Chozeh when the latter arrived in Lublin.
Rav Uriel Dovidi (2005). The 14th of 14 children, 9 of whom died in childhood (while 3 others died in early adulthood). His mother, Serach, “demanded” a healthy son, talmid chacham. Rav Uriel had a photographic memory and great analytic ability, despite having had only four years of structured schooling. He lived with and learned from shieks, which helped later during the Iranian revolution. Rav Uriel lost his father at 17, and married his first cousin at 18. He became an expert in Tanach & Midrash, and wrote a Hebrew-Persian dictionary. He became a mohel, a shochet, then became a teacher. He had a large library and owned one of only three sets of Shas in Iran. Rav Uriel moved to Tehran and became one of the two main rabbis of the city. He was personally responsible for keeping shops closed on Shabbos and provided kosher food for Jews in army. When he escaped Iran in 1994, two thousand sefarim had to be left behind; only his Torah Temima was taken to Israel.
Today in History – 22 Cheshvan
· Jewish physicians barred from treating Christians, Sicily, 1296.
· Proposal to establish independent Jewish homeland in Israel, 1818 (by an English missionary to Czar of Russia).
· British capture Gaza from Turkey, 1917.
· Deportation of Budapest Jews began, 1944.