Rabbeinu Yosef Halevi ibn Migash (Rimigash), talmid of the Rif (1077-1141). As head of the famous academy of Lucena, Spain, R’ Yosef taught numerous disciples including Rabbi Maimon, father of Rambam. Rambam’s praise of R’ Yosef in uncharacteristically ecstatic. “The depth and scope of his wisdom astound all who study his words” said the Rambam. Having absorbed R’ Yosef’s teachings from his father, Rambam refers to R’ Yosef as “my teacher”.
Rav Chaim Vital (1543-1620). Born in Tzefas in Israel, two years after his family moved there from Calabria, Italy. He learned under Rav Moshe Alshichfrom the age of 14, for several years. He then learned kaballah from Rav Moshe Cordevero, the Ramak. In 1570, the Arizal came to Tzefas from Egypt, and after the petira of the Remak, Rav Chaim became the Arizal’s closest disciple. He wrote Etz Chaim, Shaarei Hakanos, and Shaarei Kedusha (a guide to achieving ruach ha-kodesh and nevuah), and edited and organized all existing manuscripts of the words of the Arizal, today know as Kisvei Arizal. He died in Damascus. His kever was later moved to Kiryat Malachi.
Rav Avraham Broide of Frankfurt (1717)
Rav Nesanel Weill, Av Beis Din of Karlsruhe and author of Korban Nesanel (1769). On October 17, 1750, he was elected to be Oberland- rabbiner for both Markgrafschaften of Baden-Durlach and Baden- Baden, and also all of the Unterlande. His son, Rav Yedidya Taya Weil, is the author of the Hagadah Marbeh Lesaper.
Rav Yaakov Emden (1698-1776), known as Yaavetz (Yaakov ben Tzvi), son of the Chacham Tzvi. Settled in Altoona in 1733. He was involved in a famous controversy over an amulet (kameya) written by Rav Yehonason Eibeshutz, Rav Yaakov claiming that the amulet demonstrated an acceptance of Shabsai Tzvi.
Rav Chaim Meir Yechiel of Drohbitch (1924)
Rav Moshe Hershler, editor of Talmudic Encyclopedia and publisher of many sifrei Harishonim. (1991)
Today in History – 30 Nissan
· Sixtus Senesis, an apostate Jew who became a Dominican, tried to convince the governor of Cremona, Italy, to burn the Talmud, 1559. The governor demanded witnesses before he would give the order. Vittorio Eliano, the converted grandson of Elias Levita and one Joshua dei Cantori, bore witness that the Talmud was full of lies about Christianity. A few days later approximately 10,000 seforim were burned. The Zohar was not touched since the Pope and the Catholic church was interested in its publication, believing that it would supplant the Talmud and make it easier to convert the Jews. Ironically, Eliano himself who wrote the preface to the Cremona Zohar.
· Eight Jews were martyred at Przemysl, Poland, 1659.
· Jewish students were barred from German schools, 1933.
· Demolition of Yamit completed, 1982
· Female suicide bomber blows herself up at the Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem’s main outdoor market, killing six people and wounding over 104 just hours before Shabbos, 2002. Among those killed was Rivka Fink, 74, grandmother of nine.