Rav Baruch ben Rav Shmuel of Pinsk (1834). In 1830, Rav Yisrael of Shklov, one of the closest of the disciples of the Vilna Gaon, began an effort to locate the “Ten Lost Tribes.” Rav Baruch ben Rav Shmuel of Pinsk served as the messenger and departed from Tzefas with a letter of introduction to the king of the Lost Tribes. (The Ten Tribes were believed to have an independent kingdom where they practiced true semichah of rabbis as handed down from Moshe Rabbeinu until the Fourth Century CE) Rav Baruch traveled through the Middle East for almost three years before he was murdered in Yemen.
Rav Yosef Meir Kahana, the Spinka Rebbe of Yerushalayim (1978), son of Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kahana. Rav Yosef Meir was succeeded by his son, Rav Mordecai Dovid Kahana.
Rav Menachem Breier, father of the Boyaner Rebbe (2007)
Today in History – 8 Shevat
· Jews of Colmar, France arrested for well-poisoning, 1348.
· According to the terms of the capitulation protocol, Portugal which recently regained control of Brazil from the Dutch decreed that Jewish and Dutch settlers had three months to leave Brazil. Approximately 150 Jewish families of Portuguese descent fled the Brazilian city of Recife, in the state of Pernambuco. By September, twenty-three of these refugees had established the first community of Jews in New Amsterdam. Herzl met Pope Pius X and unsuccessfully tried to convince him to support the vision of Zionism, 1904.
· The first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London, January 10, 1946
· Jews publicly executed in Damascus , 1969.