Rav Yehonasan Eybeshutz (1690-1764). Born in Cracow, he became head of the Prague yeshiva at the age of twenty-one. In 1741 he became Rabbi in Metz, and in 1750 he became Rabbi of Altona/ Hamburg/ Wandsbeck (AHU), where he had major disagreements with RavYaakov Emden. He was learned in many areas, including halacha, kabbalah, philosophy and science. He was the author of many halachic works, as well as collections of sermons and unpublished works on kabbalah. Thirty of his works in the area of halacha have been published. His works included Urim V’tumim, Kereisi Ufleisi, Yaaros Dvash, and Ahavas Yehonasan (a commentary on the weekly haftorahs).
Rav Yaakov HaLevi ben Moshe Moellin, the Maharil. Born in Mainz, Germany, he was the primary disciple of Rav Shalom of Neustadt. The Maharil authored Minhagei Maharil, the primary source of Minhagei Ashkenaz, cited frequently by the Rema in Shulchan Aruch. The Maharil lived through the mass slaughter of Jews in Austria in 1420 and the Hussite wars in 1421, which brought suffering to the Jews of Bavaria and the Rhine. (1365-1427)
Rav Baruch Yitzchak Levine (1910-1988). His paternal grandfather was Rav Menachem Nachum, who was very close to the Chafetz Chaim and was a talmidim of Rav Nachum of Horodna, the Chafetz Chaim’s mentor. His maternal grandfather was Rav Yehuda Leib Dovidson, a talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter, who served as Rav in Des Moines, Iowa, and later in Ohio and Los Angeles. Shortly after his Bar Mitzvah, Rav Baruch Yitzchak went to learn in Grodna under Rav Shimon Shkop, then to Baranovich to learn under Rav Elchonon Wasserman for 3 years. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1938 and headed for the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva. Within a few months, he married the daughter of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Tikochinsky. Shortly thereafter, he became Rav of the Mekor Chaim suburb of Yerushalayim and started a yeshiva there with the assistance of Rav Eizek Sher of Slobodka.
Today in History – 21 Elul
· Many London Jews killed in anti-Jewish riots in “honor” of the coronation of King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart), 1189. [There is disagreement on the Jewish date; some say 3 Elul others say 12 Elul.] Among the dead was Rav Yaakov of Orlean, a Tosefist.
· German occupation of Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. In 1938 the town had 51,000 inhabitants, including 25,000 Jews and 1,500 Germans.The first ghetto in Poland was established there in October 1939