Today’s Yahrtzeits & History- 28 Teves


flicker_100392Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir in Brooklyn (1921-2008). Born in the small Polish-Lithuanian town of Kinishen, Reb Shmuel began his formal learning at Yeshiva Ohel Torah of Baranovitch in 1935 under the leadership of Rav Elchonon Wasserman. During his years in the Mirrer Yeshiva, he became very close with the famed Mashgiach of the Mir, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein. Rav Shmuel escaped from Europe together with the Mirrer Yeshiva and spent six years with the yeshiva in exile in Shanghai. He arrived in the United States with the yeshiva led by the mashgiach, Rav Chatzkel, in 1947, and continued to learn in the yeshiva. In the early 1950s, Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz, who had sustained and saved the yeshiva in Shanghai and rebuilt it in America , took Rav Shmuel as a son-in-law. After his marriage, Rav Shmuel joined the kollel of the Mirrer Yeshiva. In 1964, with the passing of Rav Kalmanowitz, Rav Shraga Moshe Kalmanowitz, oldest son of Rav Avraham,
together with Rav Shmuel, became roshei yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Today in History – 28 Teves

· Rav Shimon ben Shetach was able to rid the Sanhedrin of its Tzaduki members. The day was subsequently celebrated as a holiday.
· Jewish mourners were attacked at a funeral in Egypt, 1012.
· Jews of Switzerland were granted civic equality upon pressure exerted by the United States which had interceded on behalf of American Jewish citizens, 1866.
· “Kastner trial” opens in Yerushalayim District Court, 1954. (Malkiel Gruenwald was sued for libeling Dr. Rudolf Kastner regarding his alleged collaboration with Adolf Eichmann in Hungary, in 1944 but evidence proved Gruenwald right).

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  1. [There needs to be an entry for Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch, ZT’L!! B’Ezras HaShem, I will submit here what could be a possible piece. Most of it I copied from the entry at (which I found using the link that you have right here!); I also added some information from the article on Telshe Yeshiva in the Wikipedia encyclopedia at

  2. Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio (1894-1955). Born on Simchas Torah in the small Lithuanian city of Telshe to Rav Yosef Leib Bloch, Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe (who had succeeded his father-in-law, Rav Eliezer Gordon, founder of the Yeshiva). Upon Rav Yosef Leib’s passing in 1930, leadership went to his son Avroham Yitzchak; the other sons, Rav Zalman and Rav Eliyahu Meir served as teachers.

    In 1940, the Soviet Communists invaded Lithuania and officially closed the yeshiva. Rav Eliyahu Meir and his brother-in-law, Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz were sent by the administration on a mission to the United States, to raise funds to move the Yeshiva to either America or Eretz Yisrael. They eventually decided on a move to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1940, a group of Talmidim with Rav Chaim Stein were able to escape on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and eventually join Rav Eliyahu Meir and Rav Chaim Mordechai in America.

    In June, 1941 the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union and Soviet held territory. Soon after that, on 20 Tammuz and 7 Elul, the entire Telshe yeshiva and Jewish community were brutally massacred by the Nazis and their Lithuanian supporters.

    In October, 1941, Rav Eliyahu Meir and Rav Chaim Mordechai officially re-opened the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland. In 1943, they opened the Hebrew Academy, an elementary day school for boys. In 1947, they opened the Yavneh Academy, a day school for girls.

    Before the end of the war, the Telshe nucleus in Cleveland finally learned, they verified what they had feared all along: the horrific bloodbath back in Lithuania; the members of Rav Eliyahu Meir’s and Rav Chaim Mordechai’s large families — all killed.

    As related though, Rav Eliyahu Meir and Rav Chaim Mordechai had already replanted the legacy of Telz. They each remarried and had new exceptional Torahdike families.

    (Further Sources: and