Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 5-6 Iyar


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Moshe Zorach Eidelitz of Prague, author of Ohr La’yeshorim, Berurei Hamiddos, and Meleches Machsheves, and Ohr LaYeshraim (1780). Orphaned as a youth and raised by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz, Rav  Zorach grew to become a dayan and darshan in Prague. His great, great-grandson, Rav Eliezer Eidletz of Los Angeles, is one of the leading authorities on kashrus in the world.

Rav Yeshaya Pick of Breslau, author of Haga’os to Mesores Hashas and She’ailas Shalom (1799).

Rav Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapira of Mogelnitz (1849). Raised and taught by his maternal grandfather, the Koznitzer Maggid, he was the disciple of the rebbes of Lublin, Pesichah, Apta, andRuzhin. He married the granddaughter of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lyzhinsk.

Rav Meir Auerbach (1815-1878). Born in Dobri, he became the Rav of Kalisch, then made aliya to Eretz Yisrael in 1860, replacing Rav Shmuel Salant (who was traveling) as Rav of Yerushalayim. Upon the latter’s return, they shared the position. Rav Meir played a central role in the establishment of the neighborhood of Meah She’arim. He is the author of Imrei Binah on Shulchan Aruch.

Rav Shmuel Shmelke Gintzler, author of Meishiv Nefesh (1838-1911). Born in Ujhel, Hungary, he was appointed Rav of Oibervishe at the age of 18. He continued to serve there for 55 years.

Rav Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz of Yompoli (1916).

Rav Yaakov Leiner, Radzyner Rebbe of Boro Park (1962-2009). Born to Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner, the son of Rav Yerucham Leiner, he attended Mesivta Chaim Berlin and Beis Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. In 1988, his father was niftar, and four years later, he married Miriam Buxon. Thereafter, he was appointed Rebbe of a Chassidus born out of the Izhbitzer Chassidus of pre-war Poland. Rav Yaakov spent much effort in reprinting sefarim of his illustrious forefathers, and had recently reprinted the Torah of his grandfather, Rav Yerucham under the title, Tiferes Yerucham. He died of a massive heart attack in his sleep, leaving his almana and ten children, ages 15 years to a few months.

Today in History – 5 Iyar

· Pope refuses to allow Jews of Cordova, Spain to build a shul, 1250.
· The English fleet headed by Capt. Venables and William Penn seized the island of Jamaica, occupying Santiago de la Vega (later known as Spanish Town), 1655. They were welcomed by the Marranos, who began to openly acknowledge their Jewish religion and soon after founded a shul at Port-Royal. A Jewish community descended from these original Jews exists there until today.
· When a Jew in a neighboring town to Minsk was accused of knifing a Christian girl to use her blood to make matzos, King John III Sobieski released him and decreed that only under the conditions of 3 Jewish and 3 Gentile witnesses could such an accusation be leveled, and only the king could judge such a case of ritual murder, 1666. The same decree was confirmed by his successor, Stephan Batory a year later. In 1665, Sobieski sentenced to death a nobleman who had ridden his horse into the beis medrash in Brisk and killed the gabbai of the shul. The nobleman’s family was forced to pay compensation to the family of the murdered man. King John III Sobieski confirmed the right of the Jews in Minsk to own real estate and engage in all trades and commerce, despite the opposition of the local population. According to legend, after the death of Stephan Batory in 1686, there was a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Warsaw to elect a new king.
However, they could not come to an agreement and followed a suggestion by Prince Radzivill that Rabbi Saul Wohl be made king for one night, until they made a decision. During that one night, Rav Wohl affirmed all the decrees pertaining to the welfare of Jews, and the next day they elected Zygmund the Third.
· A letter of Empress Catherine II of Russia opened the way for limited settlement of Jews in Riga, 1764.
· Napoleon retreated from Acco, giving up his dream of conquering the Near East, 1799.
· A decree issued prohibiting the import by Russian Jews of books in any language, 1800.
· Joseph Rivlin laid the cornerstone of the first private home to be erected outside the wall of Yerushalayim marking the beginning of the modern Yishuv, 1869.
· Israelwas proclaimed an independent state, 1948. The first legislative act of the provisional government of the State of Israel provided for the repeal of the British White Paper of 1939, which had restricted Jewish immigration and the acquisition of land in Eretz Yisrael
· A Hezbollah car bomb killed 63 people, 17 of them Americans, at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, 1983.

Yahrtzeits – 6 Iyar

Rav Levi ben Gershon (Ralbag), philosopher, and commentator on Chumash. Though a distinguished Talmudist, Levi never held a rabbinical office. He earned a livelihood most probably by the practice of medicine. (1288-1344).

Rav Yosef Meir Weiss, Admor of Spinka, disciple of Rav Yitzchak Eizik of Ziditchov and of Rav Chaim of Sanz, author of Imrei Yosef (1838-1909)

Rav Dov Berish Zeitlyn of Vilna (1920)

Rav Yaakov Chaim Perlow of Stolin, buried in Detroit (1946)

Rav Menachem Mendel Halberstam of Stropkov, author of Divrei Menachem, uncle of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Lifshitz (1954). During the Holocaust, the Rebbe initially hid in Budapest, then, with the Nazi occupation of Hungary, was taken to Bratislava, Slovakia–along with his wife, a granddaughter, and one son. He lived in New York after the war, teaching at the Stropkover Yeshiva in Williamsburg. He authored the sefer Divrei Menachem.

Rav Raphael Binyamin Levine, Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Aryeh-Yerushalayim

Rav Tzvi (Hersh) Tevel (1916-2006). Born in Dinov, Galicia, he began learning at Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin when he was 17 where his chavrusa was Rav Chaim Kreiswirth. At the age of 22, he became Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshiva Divrei Chaim in Cracow. After his father was murdered by the Nazis, Rav Tevel escaped to Russia with his mother and six siblings. After his marriage, his moved to Boro Park in 1951, establishing a shul – Siach Hasadeh – in 1966. For two years, he also ran a yeshiva, Zichron Yaakov. He authored several volumes of Tzion L’nefesh and another sefer called Gilyonei Tzvi.

Today in History – 6 Iyar

· Many Jews of Cordova, Spain, massacred by the soldiers of Suleiman ibn Al-Hakim, 1013.
· A Church synod meeting in Vienna ordered distinctive garb for Jews, 1267.
· Council of Hanover ordered the severance of all business connections between Jews and Christians, 1588.
· English physician Edward Jenner successfully inoculated 8-year old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter, 1796.
· Widespread pogroms broke out in Kiev, Russia, in 1881, and spread throughout the Russian empire. Many downtrodden Jews began feeling that they would be safe only if they had their own homeland. This led to the formation in 1882 of Chovevei Zion, the first organized modern Zionist movement.
· Beginning of England’s 28-year mandate over Eretz Yisrael, 1920. This date became known as San Remo Day.
· The British mandate over Eretz Yisrael came to an end, 1948, exactly 28 years after it began.
· The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon invaded Israel, 1948.
· The Arab Legion captured Neveh Yaakov, the last Jewish settlement north of Yerushalayim, 1948.

{Yahrtzeits licensed by Manny Newscenter}