Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 27 Teves


yahrtzeit-candleRav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1808-1888). His father, Rav Raphael Aryeh (1777-1857), who changed the family name to Hirsch, was the son of Rav Menachem Mendel Frankfurter of Altuna (1742-1823). Rav Menachem Mendel was a talmid of Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz and was the Rav of three communities of Altuna, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck (“AHU”). At the age of 18, Rav Shamshon Raphael went to Mannheim to learn at the yeshiva of Rav Yaakov Ettlinger, author of Aruch La’ner. Rav Hirsch received smicha from Rav Ettlinger after learning there for a year. Thereafter, he attended the University of Bonn. That education would serve him well later in life as he combated the forces of Reform with eloquence. When he was 21, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. There, he married Chana Judel. He also authored Iggros Hatzafon (The 19th Letters), under the pen name Ben Uziel. One year later, he published Chorev. In 1847, he became Chief Rabbi of Moravia, a region of 50,000 Jews in 52 communities, and which is now the Czech Republic. In 1851, he became the Rav of Frankfurt am Main, which he transformed into a Torah bastion. His best known works are the classic six-volume Commentary on Chumash.

Rav Shmuel Hillel Shenker (1956). His father, Rav Avraham Shenker, was one of Rav Yisrael Salanter’s greatest disciples. Reb Shmuel spent his early years in Slobodka, but he was orphaned of his father at an early age. He thus traveled to the Talmud Torah in Kelm and learned under the Alter, Reb Simcha Zissel. After a number of years, he traveled to Eretz Yisrael with his relative, Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank, who later became chief rabbi of Yerushalaim. In 1895, Reb Shmuel Hillel married the oldest daughter of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. On 9 Iyar 1944, his beloved son Reb Mendel Shenker passed away when he was only forty-six. A year later, another son – Yisrael – passed away on 27 Teves 1945.

Rav Kalman Avraham Goldberg (1895-1968). A devoted disciple of the Alter of Novardok, he became Rav in Vasilkov. He moved to America in 1926. In 1928, he was hired to head the beis din for Adas Yisrael, under Rav Velvel Margulies. After Rav Velvel’s petira, he became Rav.

Rav Menashe Yitzchak Meir Eichenstein of Ziditchov -Petach Tikvah (1971)

Rav Avraham Simcha HaKohen Kaplan (1990). Chief Rabbi of Tzefas.

Rav Pinchas Hirschprung, Chief Rabbi of Montreal (1915-1998). At the age 15, he published a Torah journal, Ohel Torah, along with his friend, Rav Yeshaya Yosef Margolin, in Galicia. He then joined Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, learning under Rav Meir Shapiro. At the outbreak of War World II, Rav Pinchas fled to Vilna, which was still neutral territory. In 1942, he acquired a visa to travel to Canada with a group of students from Mir and Lubavitch. When he arrived in Montreal, he was offered the position of Rav Kehillas Adas Yisrael. When Yeshiva Merkaz Hatorah was established, Rav Pinchas was made its Rosh Yeshiva. Eventually, he was Rav Ha’Ir of Montreal.

Today in History – 27 Teves

· The first Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland, 1656.
· A major earthquake hit Ancona, Italy, 1690. Bechasdei HaShem, there was little damage and no loss of life A local Purim was established by the local Jewish community.
· The Jews of Switzerland were granted equal rights after pressure was exerted by the U.S., 1866

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}