Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 21 Kislev


flicker_100393Shimon 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.

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  1. Kah Echsof was authored by Reb Aaron Hagadol, the first Stoliner Rebbe. The second Rebbe was Reb Shlomo Karliner. He was a Talmud of Reb Aaron Hagadol but not a son. Therefore, Reb Yochanan is the seventh Rebbe, along with his brothers, but the sixth in the family dynasty.