Rav Shlomo Ephraim of Luntchitz, author of Kli Yakar and Ololos Ephraim (1550-1619). Rav Shlomo Ephraim was born in Lunchitz in Poland. He was a disciple of Rav Shlomo Luria (Maharshal),
the famous talmudist and author of Yam Shel Shlomo. After leading the yeshiva in Lvov, Rav Shlomo Ephraim was appointed Rav of Prague. He sat on the Beis Din of that city with Rav Yeshayah Horowitz(the “Shelah Ha’kadosh”). Among Rav Shlomo Ephraim’s prominent students was Rav Yom Tov Lipman Heller, author of theMishnah commentary Tosfos Yom Tov. The Kli Yakar died in Prague, Bohemia. the introduction of his Kli Yakar he relates that the name Shlomo was added to his name during life-threatening illness. In addition to Kli Yakar, Rav Shlomo Ephraim also wrote special selichos to be said in memory of the Jews of Prague who suffered horribly during the pogroms of 1611.
Rav Chaim Moshe Reuven Elazary was a student of the Slobodka Yeshiva, first in Europe and then in Chevron. He began his rabbinic career in the Bronx, and also taught at a yeshiva in Brooklyn. After 1929, he succeeded his father-in-law, Rav Ephraim Pelcovitz, as rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Canton, Ohio. (His father had been in Canton since 1914, and in 1929 moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut.) In 1972, Rav Elazary settled in Petach Tikva. He left numerous published and unpublished works and articles, many of them exhibiting the influence of Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel, the Alter of Slobodka. Rav Elazary’s brothers, Rav Betzalel and Rav Yisrael, were among those murdered by Palestinian Arabs in the 1929 Chevron massacre. (1984)
Today in History – 7 Iyar
· Dedication of the walls around Yerushalayim, built by Nechemia, 443 BCE (or 370 BCE)
· Beginning of the Rindfleisch massacres in Rottingen, 1298. The Jews were accused of profaning the Christians’ ‘holy’ wafer, and pogroms led by the anti-Semitic Rindfleish broke out in Reutlingen against the Jews. Within half a year, 150 Jewish communities throughout Germany and Austria were destroyed and thousands of Jews martyred.
· After a battle of almost two years Asser Levy, one of the original 23 settlers of New Amsterdam (New York), was allowed to serve on guard duty, 1657. Levy, who was the town shochet, opened his slaughterhouse on what is now Wall Street. He also petitioned to be allowed the rights as a Burgher of the town, which he received reluctantly and as a “second class” Burgher from the burgomasters of New Amsterdam.
· In Palma Majorca, after 150 years of freedom from the Inquisition, an investigation led to the conviction of 219 people, 1691. All agreed to be reconciled with the Church, but after some tried to flee the island and were caught, 37 were burned to death for relapsing to heresy. Among them were Raphael Benito and his sister Catalina, who jumped into the flames rather than be baptized. Her steadfastness of belief was made into a ballad which is still sung on the island today.
· Jordanannexes West Bank, including East Yerushalayim, in 1948.
· After 16 days of bloodshed, Hizbullah terrorists pledged to end the worst fighting in the Mideast in three years, agreeing to a US-brokered truce with Israel, 1996.