Yahrtzeits – 19 Shevat
-Rav Binyamin Zev Shapiro of Prague (1718)
-Rav Yitzchak Baruch Sofer, father of the Kaf Hachaim (1905)
-Rav Shmuel Weinberg of Slonim, the Divrei Shmuel (1916 or 1936). Grandson of Rav Avraham of Slonim, the Yesod HaAvodah. He was succeeded by his sons Rav Yissochor Leib and Rav Avraham, the Beis Avraham.
-Rav Shimon Greenfeld of Somihali (Szemihaly), the Maharshag (1930), a student of the Maharam Shick. His nephew and talmid, Rav Shmaya, was 1st Rav of the Satmar Kehilla in Montreal.
-Rav Elimelech Menachem Landau, first Admor of Strikov (1936). During his time, 150 botei medrash of Strikover chassidim were scattered throughout Poland. After his petirah, he was replaced by his son, Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Dan, the rav of Kinov, who led the group until he perished al kiddush Hashem in 1944.
-Rav Shmuel Carlebach (1927-1999). Educational director of the Bnei Brak Or Hachaim Seminary and the Beis Yaakov Seminary of Ashdod. Born in Frankfort, Germany. He was sent to Belgium during the War. In 1939, the Carlebach family settled in Tel Aviv. Reb Shmuel merited to be one of the first students of Yeshivas Kol Torah under Rav Yechiel Michel Schlesinger, its founder. In 1946, he learned at Ponovezh and became close to Rav Abba Grossbard and Rav Eliyahu Dessler. After his marriage in 1951, he continued his studies at the Ponovezh Kollel In 1954, Rav Wolf asked him to direct the Or Hachaim Seminary for girls. He headed this institution for thirty years. In1985, he was appointed head of the Seminar Avos of the Ponovezh Institutions of Ashdod, and the educational director of Be’er Miriam in Bnei Brak, and remained in those capacities until his final day.
-Rav Hershel Mashinsky, co-founder of Kupath Ezrah of Rockland County. He began teaching at Yeshiva of Spring Valley in 1947, then after marrying Malka leah Felsenburg and moving to Monsey, at the Talmud Torah and Mesivta Ohr Reuven. (1925-2004)
Yahrtzeits – 20 Shevat
–Birth and petira of Asher ben Yaakov Avinu (1565 BCE)
-Rav Avraham Abba Freedman (1920-2002). He was sent from Brooklyn to Detroit in 1944 by his rebbe, Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz in order to help launch the day school that had been established there by Rav Simcha Wasserman. On his first Shavuos there, the only two people to stay up learning Torah were Rabbis Freedman and Wasserman. Rav Freedman is credited with the growth of Detroit into a Torah metropolis, including a yeshiva ketana, a mesivta, a Bais Yaakov, a beis medrash, and a kollel.
-Rav Yosef of Yampoli (1812). Son of Rav Yechiel Michael HaMaggid of Zlotskov.
-Rav Dr. Chaim Dovid Bernhard of Pietrokov, famed baal teshuva who became a Rebbe
Today in History – 19 Shevat
· 700 Jews of Basel, Switzerland were burned alive in wooden houses constructed for that purpose in the wake of the Black Plague, 1349.
· After the occupation of Rome by General Berthier, the local republicans dethroned the Pope and Jews removed the yellow badge, 1798.
Today in History – 20 Shevat
· Thirty Jews, including two talmidim of Rabbeinu Tam, were burnt alive at the stake as a result of a blood libel in the French city of Blois, the first such libel in Jewish history. Rabbeinu Tam decreed a public fast for communities of France, England, and Germany. Almost 500 years later, in the wake of the pogroms of Tach v’tat, the Shach decreed that this day should be a fast day for all Jews of Eastern Europe as well.
· The first printed edition of Tzror HaMor, commentary on Chumash by Rav Avraham Sebag, 1523, was released. Rav Sebag fled Spain for Portugal, where his two sons were taken from him and forcibly baptized. He buried his manuscripts to save them from confiscation and destruction. After release from prison, he made his way to Africa where he managed to rewrite his works.
· Jewish physicians of Galicia granted permission to treat Christian patients, 1782.