Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 22-23 Teves


yahrtzeit-candleYahrtzeits – 22 Teves

Rav Shmuel Heller, Azhenazi Rav of Tsefas for 40 years (1884). On the 24th of Teves in 1837, he was discovered buried up to his neck in stones. He had been standing under the lintel of the Beis Midrash Ari at the moment of the earthquake. His wounds were so severe that he was bedridden for six months, and lost the use of one arm for the rest of his life. Rav Shmuel was a disciple of Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch [1765-1840], who spent ten years as Rav in Tzefas.

Rav Yehuda Leib Eiger (1816-1888). A grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger, Reb Leibel was born in Warsaw. He learned under Rav Yitzchak Meir Alter, the Chiddushei Harim in Warsaw. At 20, he married and moved to Lublin where he davened at the Shul of the Chozeh. There, he befriended Reb Yisrael, the Chozeh’s son. He then moved to Kotzk. He became a rebbe after the Rebbe of Izbitza passed away in 1854. After his death his son, Rav Avrohom, printed his sefarim Toras Emes and Imrei Emes.

Rav Shalom Moskowitz of Shatz, a Romanian town in the Bukovina district (1878-1958). A direct descendent (fifth generation) of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and a great-grandson of Reb Michel of Premishlan, he was named after his mother’s great-grandfather, the Sar Shalom of Belz. After learning at Shatz, he traveled to the famed Maharsham (Rav Shalom Schwadron) of Berzhan to study practical halacha and receive semicha. After leading a group of chassidim in Cologne, Germany, Rav Shalom arrived in London, in 1927, where he served for thirty years. Among the sefarim, he wrote is a commentary on Perek Shirah. He promised to help anyone who comes to his kever Friday morning and lights 3 candles (a tradition mentioned in Sefer Tikunim).

Rav Shlomo Miller (1924-2002). Born in the German city of Duisberg, he moved with his family to Antwerp during World War II. The family later moved to Eretz Yisrael. After marrying in 1948, he moved to Petach Tikvah where he learned at Kollel Toras Eretz Yisrael with Rav Chaim Shaul Karelitz. He published several important works on the halachos of milah of the Rambam, including Tsemach Dovid and Meleches Shlomo. He also published learned works about the lives of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yochonon.

Today in History – 22 Teves

· Death of Bernard Gui, inquisitor and bishop in the area of Toulouse, France, 1331. He was the author of “Conduct of the Inquisition into Heretical Wickedness.” It advises how to spot a Jew or a “backsliding convert” and how to intensify the suffering of the interrogated by flame, rack, whip and needle. One tactic suggested was martyring children in front of their parents.
· Inquisition established in Peru, 1570.
· Prague Purim (or “Firhengpurim”, “Purim of the Curtains”), when the shammash of the kehilla was arrested in connection with the purchase of rare stolen textiles, condemned to death and finally released, 1622.
· Mobs attempted to set fire to the Roman Jewish ghetto and sack it, 1798
· Anti-Jewish riots in Ancona, Italy, 1798.
· 43 Jewish refugees trying to escape Moroccoon the illegal Egoz boat drowned, 1961. Their bodies were finally brought to burial in Israelin 1993.

Yahrtzeits – 23 Teves

Rav Yehuda Aryeh Leib HaLavi Epstein, know as Reb Leibush of Ople (1837). Orphaned of his father, Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein, and his mother at a young age, Reb Leibush and his two younger brothers were supported by a simple Jew of Ostrovsta. He was a chasid of the Yid Hakadosh and the Chozeh of Lublin. He became Rav of Ozerov in 1812. His most famous descendent was Rav Moshe Yechiel Michel Halevi Epstein, the Aish Daas of Ozerov.Rav Mordechai Gifter (1915-2001). Born in Richmond, Virginia, he moved to Baltimore with his family, when his father noted the difficulty in teaching his son in a city not noted for its strong Torah resources. As a youth, he studied in the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva of New York City under his rav, Rav Moshe Halevi Soloveitchik. HaRav Gifter studied together with Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, former mashgiach of Lakewood and Rav Avigdor Miller of Flatbush in the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva. On the advice o his uncle, Rav Yehuda Leib Zer, one of the directors of the Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva, Rav Gifter went to study in the Telz yeshiva of Lithuania in the winter of 1932. He became very close to the rosh yeshiva, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch. In the summer of 1939, Rav Gifter became engaged to the daughter of Rav Zalman Bloch. The wedding date was set for a year later. The couple married in the United States. With the expansion of the Ner Yisrael yeshiva in Baltimore by Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, Rav Gifter was asked to deliver chaburos to the students. In 1943, Rav Gifter became rav of the chareidi community in Connecticut, and one year later, his uncles, Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch and Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz founded the Telz yeshiva in Cleveland. They asked him to join them as ram and mashgiach. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1976, founding the Telz yeshiva in Kiryat Telz-Stone near Yerushalayim. However, three years later, the rosh yeshiva of Telz in Cleveland, Rav Baruch Sorotzkin, was nifter, and Rav Gifter returned to Cleveland to succeed him. And there he remained until his own petira.
{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}