Yahrtzeits – 5 Adar
Rav Ze’ev Wolf (Velvele) of Ostracha (also known as Tcharni-Ostraa) (1823). He was a close talmid of Rav Dov Ber (the Maggid) of Mezritch and Rav Pinchas of Koritz. Thereafter, he became a follower of Rav Meshulam Feivish of Zhebariza, the Yosher Divrei Emes. He married the daughter of Reb Zushe of Hanipoli. Three years after the petira of the Yosher Divrei Emes, he made aliya (in 1798) and settled in Teveriya.
Rav Shmuel Abba Shapira of Slavita (1864). Printer of the famous “Slavita Talmud”; grandson of Rav Pinchas of Koretz.
Rav Avraham Landau of Tchechenov (1875). Born in Prantzav, he married at 16 and had 4 children. Lodz and Lublin fought for the honor of hiring Rav Avraham as their rav, but he instead chose to lead the small rural community of Tchechenov. Only after the Kotzker Rebbe and Rav Yitzchak Meir had passed away, and hundreds of their followers turned to Rav Avraham for blessings and advice, did he finally agree to became a Rebbe.
Rav Mordechai Shlomo (ben Yitzchak) Friedman (1891-1971), Boyaner Rebbe in New York. He was the son of the first Boyaner Rebbe, the Pachad Yitzchak, and the brother of Rav Menahem Nahum Friedman(1869-1936), Boyanaer Rebbe of Chernovitz,Rav Yisrael Friedman(1878-1951), Boyaner Rebbe of Leipzig and Tel-Aviv, and Rav Abraham Yaakov Friedman (1884-1941), Boyaner Rebbe of Lemberg. His grandson, Rav Nachum Dov Brayer, is the present Boyaner Rebbe of Yerushalayim
Rav Yosef Farbstein (1947-2006). Grandson of Rav Yechezkel Sarna, he became Rosh Kollel of Beis Shmuel under Rav Horowitz, the Av Beis Din of Ungar. In 1970 he married Rebbetzin Gittel, daughter of Rav Akiva Ehrenfeld, founder of Yerushalayim’s Mattersdorf neighborhood and nasi of its institutions, and the granddaughter of Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld, the Gavad of Mattersdorf, Austria. In 1988, he was appointed Ram in Yeshivas Ohr Elchanan under Rav Moshe Chodosh.
Yahrtzeits – 6 Adar
Rav Shmuel ben Natronai, one of the Baalei Tosefos, was tortured and martyred (1197).
Rav Daniel Prostitz (1759-1846). Rav of Pressburg and colleague of the Chasam Sofer.
Rav Naftali Amsterdam, disciple of Rav Yisrael Salanter (1916). He immigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1902.
Rav Yosef Baumgarten, Av Bais Din Schiffschule in Vienna
Rav Dovid Povarsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh (1902-1999). When he was twelve years old, he learned with Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer in Slutzk. Afterward, he transferred to Poltova, where he became deeply attached to his rav muvhak, R’ Yeruchom Levovitz, whom he followed to Kelm and Ponovezh. From Ponovezh, he transferred to Mir yeshiva and became very close to Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz. One of his chavrusas in Shulchan Oruch was Rav Aharon Kotler. A while after his marriage, he transferred to the yeshiva in Baranowitz, where he studied under Rav Elchonon Wassermann. Later, Reb Yeruchom sent Rav Dovid to be a ram in Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin headed by Rav Meir Shapira of Lublin. Rav Dovid merited to form a special bond with Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky.
Rav Chanoch Tzvi HaKohen Levin, the Bendiner Rav (1935).
Today in History – 5 Adar
· First massacre of marranos – in Cordova – 1473. Although the Inquisition and the auto-da-fe was inflicted on anyone accused of heresy, its main victims were Jews. The Inquisition accused people of backsliding or heresy for actions such as not eating pig, washing hands before prayer, or changing clothes on Saturday. The number of victims in Spain alone is estimated at 39,912, many of whom were burned alive. Approximately 340,000 people, most of them Jews, suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, although the vast majority were given lesser punishments. The last auto-da-fe was held in 1790.
· Jews of Rome declared free citizens by the French army, 1798.
· Rafiq Al-Hariri was murdered by a suicide truck bomb as it passed St. George Hotel in Beirut, 2005. Hariri was an outspoken advocate to end Syria’s 29-year occupation of Lebanon, a campaign which led to passage of UN Security Resolution 1559, on September 2004, calling for the withdrawal of Syrian troops and disarmament of Hezbollah. The latter was never implemented, as Israel learned a few years later.
Today in History – 6 Adar
· The first printed edition of the whole Chumash with Onkelos and Rashi was published in Bologna, 1482.
· Expulsion of the Jews of the Free City of Lubeck, Germany, 1816, 117 years (almost to the day) after they were expelled the first time.