Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 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 (sixth, per Yated 2006) 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}


  1. A couple of days ago at, I pointed out that in 1941, the 17 Kislev was December 7, the famous date of the massive attack by Japan on the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, which thus pushed the United States into World War II. So throughout historical literature, December 7, 1941, is marked as the day that the U.S. entered World War II. A close look at the events though shows that on December 7 was the attacks BY JAPAN, with the official Declaration of War by the U.S. ON JAPAN, that was done on the next day, December 8. (While the actual act of making the war declaration took place on the 8th, the INTENT of it was that it should be effective RETROACTIVELY — yes, to use, L’havdil, Torah terminology, “It should be Chal L’Mafrayah” — from the time of the attack on the day before.)

    So on December 7, yes, the U.S. DID enter WWII; however, at that point, it was only against Japan! Regarding the whole war though, the U.S. had “only one foot in the door!”

    The change came four days later on December 11, which in that year of 1941, on the Jewish calendar was 21 Kislev. For on that day, Germany and Italy announced official declarations of war on the United States; almost immediately, the U.S. responded with declarations of war on Germany and Italy. So now, the U.S. was fully in the the war. So December 11, 1941, which that year was 21 Kislev, was the day that the U.S. fully entered WWII.

    Ezras Hashem, a couple of years ago, I wrote up a comprehensive essay about the topic; it was posted at

  2. Thank you for your short but detailed biographythe of Reb Yochanan. Pretty well sone! The info is wrong -he was the seventh! (Delete that shtuss (inaccurate info!)And rhe Zemer Koh Echsof was authored by his great, great, great grandfather, Rav Aharon Hagadol of Karlin, 1736-1772, talmid of the Mezritcher Maggid. Rav Yochanan did compose manya tunes to sing to it.

  3. ” the seventh Rebbe (sixth, per Yated 2006)”

    Seventh in the line of Rebbes, but since the second was not a grandfather, he is the sixth generation.

    He was not to deported to Siberia or to anywhere. He dodged authorities at every turn.