-Rav Mordechai (“Mottel”) of Chernobyl (1770-1838). Successor to his father, Rav Nachum, the Meor Einayim, he became the son-in-law of Rav Aharon the Great of Karlin and subsequently of Rav Dovid Seirkes. His eight sons all became major Chasidic leaders. One of them married the daughter of Rav Dov Ber of Lubavitch.
-Rav Chaim Avraham Gagin (1787-1848). Born in Constantinople, Turkey, to Rav Moshe, a descendent of Rav Chaim Gagin, a fugitive of the Spanish expulsion. Sadly, Rav Chaim Avraham’s father died when his son was just one year old. His second wife was the daughter of the, Rav Avraham Shalom Sharabi, grandson of the Rashash, Rav Shalom Sharabi. After his marriage, he became Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Kel, founded by Rav Gedaliah Chayun in 1737. He later became Rishon Letzion. His writings included Mincha Tehora on Gemara Menachos, Chukei Chaim (halachic responsa), and others.
-Rav Yitzchak Eizik HaLevy Rabinowitz, author of Doros Harishonim, a Torah-true history of the Jewish People, written to counter the history of the maskilim. He was also an important figure in the founding of Agudas Yisrael. (19th century)
Today in History – 20 Iyar
· Minister Pacheco used an attack he organized against “New Christians” as a diversion in an attempt to capture the citadel of Segovia (and perhaps the King), 1474. Although the plot was discovered in time, the Marranos were attacked anyway by an organized mob. Men, women and children were murdered.
· Jews of Venice were denied the right to practice law, 1637.
· A community of Jewish slaves, captured over a period of two centuries and held for ransom by the Knights of St. John on the island of Malta, was officially dissolved, 1800.
· An English Jew saved the life of King George III, 1800.
· The Nazis decreed the execution of all expectant Jewish women in the Kovno Ghetto 1942