Yahrtzeits – 29 Elul
Rav Yaakov Halevi Lipschitz, author of Zichron Yaakov and secretary of Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Spector (1922).
Rav Naftali Hertz, Rav of Pintchov (1733)
Rav Raphael Landau, son of Rav Avraham of Tchechenov (1894)
Rav Yerachmiel Yeshaya Minzberg, Rav of Likova (1905)
Rav Eliezer Deutsch of Bonihad (1914). Author of P’ri Hasadeh, Duda-ei Hasadeh. Bonihad is a small town in Tolna County in Hungary. The first document on the Jews of Bonyhád is a tax conscritption from 1741, although on the testimony of a few tombstones in the cemetery, Jews had already settled earlier, in the first decades of the century. 1802, there were 400 Jewish families and an impressive synagogue and yeshivah. The population of about 6,500 in 1930 consisted of about 15% Jews, the largest number of Jews in Tolna County. With the German occupation in 1944, 1,180 Jews were deported to Pecs and then to Auschwitz. All but 50 perished. In 1963, 4 Jewish families remain in Bonyhad.
Rav Yisrael Rabinowitz of Skolya-Kishinev (1975)
Yahrtzeits – 1 Tishrei
Birth and yahrtzeit of Sarah Imeinu (1803-1676 BCE) (and Akeidas Yitzchak)
Rav Shefatia, author of the selicha, “Yisrael Nosha BaHashem,” (886)
Rav Amnon of Mainz, who died on Kidush HaShem, while composing the Rosh Hashanah prayer, “Unesaneh Tokef” (1011)
Rav Yehuda Ayas, Rav of Algiers and later in Yerushalayim, author of Beis Yehuda (1760)
Rav Aharon Moshiach Katzenelebogen of Belz (1816)
Rav Meir Yeudah Leibush ben Yechiel Michel (the Malbim). (1809-1879). He was born in Volhynia and was still a child when his father died. He studied in his native town until the age of 13. He then went to Warsaw where he was known as the ‘iluy from Volhynia.’ From 1838 to 1845 he was rabbi of Wreschen, district of Posen, and in the latter year was called to the rabbinate of Kempen, where he remained until 1860; he was thereafter known as “der Kempener.” In 1860 Malbim became chief rabbi of Bucharest, Rumania. But he could not agree with the rich German Jews there who wished to introduce the Reform rite and even threatened violence in the pursuit of their aims. By intrigues they succeeded in throwing him into prison, and though he was liberated through the intervention of Sir Moses Montefiore, it was upon the condition that he leave Rumania. He became Rav of Moghilef, on the Dnieper in 1870, but his lack of subservience provoked the resentment of the richer Jews, who denounced him as a political criminal. The governor of Moghilef ordered him to leave town. Malbim then went to Königsberg as chief rabbi of the Polish community, but there he fared no better than in Bucharest and Moghilef; he was continually harassed by the German Jews. His fame and immense popularity rests upon his widely esteemed commentary to Tanach, in which he details the close relationship between the Oral and the Written Law.
Rav Yaakov Dovid ben Ze’ev Wilovsky of Slutzk, Chicago and Tsefas, the Ridbaz, one of the great European scholars to come to America. As a consequence of the halachic standards of kashrus that he attempted to impose in Chicago, he eventually had to flee for his life.. (1845-1913)
Rav Yitzchak Cohen of Djerba, Tunisia (1918).
Rav Yitzchak Meir of Kopycznitz (1931 or 1935). Succeed as Rebbe by his son, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel.
Rav Ezriel Yehuda Lebowitz, Viener Rav (1991).
Rav Shmuel Halevi Shechter (1915-1999). Born in Montreal, Canada, he was only five years old, when his mother passed away. During his years at Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary, he shared a dormitory room with Rav Avigdor Miller. Later, he traveled to Poland to learn at the Mirrer Yeshiva under Rav Yeruchom. After his marriage, he learned at Kelm. When he returned to America, he learned with Rav Aharon Kotler, first at White Plains, NY, then at Lakewood. Years later, he settled in Eretz Yisrael.
Yahrtzeits – 2 Tishrei
Gedaliah ben Achikam, assasinated by Yishmael ben Nesanya. Gedaliah was appointed as governor over the Jews by Nebuchadnetzer after the destruction of the Temple (422 BCE) or 419 BCE
Rav Yisrael Perlow, the Yanuka of Stolin (1868-1921). The Karlin dynasty had its beginnings with Rav Aharon HaGodol of Karlin (1736-1772), a talmid of the Maggid of Mezritch. At that time, Karlin was located in Lithuania, so Karliners are known as “Lithuanian chassidim.” It was Rav Aharon’s son and successor, Rav Asher the First, who moved the court to Stolin. Rav Aharon’s great-grandson, Rav Asher the Second, was childless for many years. In 1869, his wife, Rebbetzen Devorah, was blessed with a boy, whom they named Yisrael. Reb Yisrael was only 4 years old when his father was nifter in the town of Drohobich (Galicia). The Karlin chasidim resolved to meet this lack of leadership by standing firm in their loyalty to the Karlin dynasty, and therefore proclaimed the Yenuka [Child] Yisrael to be their Rebbe. The influence of the Haskalah movement, which had first begun to be felt in Rav Aharon the Second’s days grew stronger in Rav Yisrael’s time. Rav Yisrael died far away from his native town, in a convalescent home in Homburg, Germany. He was buried in Frankfurt-on-Main. After his petira, his followers were now in a quandary as Rav Yisrael had left no instructions regarding which of his six sons to appoint in his place. Thus, the leadership split into three. His son, Rav Moshe, led the court in Stolin, where he opened the yeshiva, Beis Yisrael, in his father’s memory in 1922. Another son, Rav Avraham Elimelech, became rebbe in Karlin, while Rav Yochanan, his youngest son, became rebbe in Lutzk. The Nazis destroyed the Stolin community in Elul 1942, and four of Rav Yisrael’s sons perished in the Holocaust. However, thanks to his surviving sons, Karlin-Stolin communities now thrive in Eretz Yisrael and America. These sons were Rav Yaakov, who had moved to America in 1923, and lived in Williamsburg before moving to Detroit where he passed away in 1946. The second surviving son was Rav
Yochanan, Rav Yisrael’s youngest son, who became the Karlin-Stolin Rebbe in America in 1948, and passed away in 1956. He was succeeded by his daughter’s son, Rav Baruch Yaakov Meir Shochet, who was a baby at the time of his passing. History repeated itself when this youngster was coronated as the next Karlin-Stolin Rebbe when he was only eight years old.
Rav Shemaryahu Greineman, who printed the sefer “Chazon Ish” (1980)
Rav Ephraim Oshry (1908-2003). Born in Kopishak, Lithuania, he learned in Ponevezh, Talmud Torah Kelm and Slabodka. He was also a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim in Radin. While he was still quite young, he was appointed Rav of the Abba Yechezkel Kloiz in Slabodka. During World War II, he lived in the Kovno ghetto from June, 1941 until August 1, 1944. It was there that he recorded the gripping shaylos he received, publishing them later in five volumes of She’eilos Uteshuvos Mima’amakim. After the liberation, he was the only surviving Rav of Kovno. He worked diligently to restore Yiddishkeit and was especially active in rescuing children left with non-Jews. He then fled to Austria, where he founded a yeshiva in Welsh, a small town near Salzburg. He was then called upon to take over the leadership of the Meor Hagoloh yeshiva in Rome. He later went to America, where he served as Rav of the Beis Hamedrash Hagodol on the Lower East Side of New York City. He published Divrei Ephraim in 1949. He also published chiddushei Torah on many areas, including Imrei Ephraim on Nezikin and other subjects. He also wrote Yahadus Lita which appeared in Yiddish, about his recollections of pre-War Europe.
Today in History – 29 Elul
· The false prophet Chananya ben Azur died within the year, as Yirmiyahu had foretold, 459 B.C.E… Chananya prophesied the Jews’ victory over Babylonia within two years and the return of Golus Yechonya and the keilim of the Beis Hamikdash instead of the total conquest by Nevuzaradan that Yirmiyahu prophesied and which took place several years later.
· Many leading Jews of Posen, Poland were imprisoned and tortured following a blood libel, 1736.
· Birthday of R. Menachem Mendel ben Shalom Shachne, third Lubavitcher Rebbe, “The Tzemach Tzedek,” in Liozna (1786-1866)
· First organized attack by Nazi storm troopers, Berlin, 1931..
· Germany occupies Miclec, Poland and killed its entire Jewsih population, 1939.
· Between 8000 and 11,000 Jews of the Stolin ghetto were murdered in Stasino, about 3 miles outside the ghetto, 1942.
Today in History – 1 Tishrei
· Ezra read the Torah to the people and made a new covenant with them, c. 360 B.C.E.
· Zerubavel brought the first Korban on the new Mizbei’ach, 352 B..C.E.
· Cardinal Caraffa (later to be Pope Paul IV), with the backing of Pope Julius III, publically burns sefarim in Rome, 1553.
· Jews of Mogilev, Russia were attacked during Tashlich, 1645.
· First shul services in Manhattan, 1654 and in St. Louis, 1836.
· Birth of Rav Yisrael Abuchatzeira, the Baba Sali (1890-1984)
· Daf Yomi study was instituted by Reb Meir Shapiro of Lublin, 1923.
Today in History – 2 Tishrei
· Without any request by the Germans, the Vichy government of France began passing anti-Jewish measures, particularly on refugee Jews, prohibiting them from moving, and limiting their access to public places and most professional activities.. About 350,000 Jews lived in France at the time, more than half of whom were not French citizens. Under the terms of the armistice between France and Germany, northern France remained under German occupation. Southern France, which was not occupied by the Germans, was governed by an exclusively French administration based in the town of Vichy. The Vichy regime publicly declared neutrality in the war, but actually was active in passing antisemitic legislation and cooperated with Germany in the deportation of Jews from France.