Rav Zevulun Aryeh Graz (1904-1989). Born in Ozband, Lithuania, to Rav Yosef Nesanael, a student of the Alter of Kelm and, for a while, the menahel ruchani of the Telz yeshivah. As a youngster, Rav Zevulun Aryeh studied for a while in Kelm, and then under Rav Eliyahu Lopian in Telz. In 1924, he joined a group of Telz students to Eretz Yisrael to study in the Knesses Yisrael yeshivah in Chevron, a branch of Slabodka. After the massacre of 1929, the survivors left Chevron and settled in Yerushalayim. Rav Zevulun Aryeh noved back to Lithuania in 1931, married, and delivered shiur at Yeshivah Ohel Moshe. Later, Rav Zevulun Aryeh studied in the Kovna kollel of Rav Avraham Kahana-Shapiro, the Dvar
Avraham. In 1939, when the Nazis overran Lithuania, Rav Zevulun Aryeh, who already possessed Palestinian citizenship, headed back for Eretz Yisrael. Upon arriving, he moved to Chadera, where he stayed for 10 years. Rav Tzvi Yehuda Meltzer, the brother-in-law of Rav Aharon Kotler, was Rav of Pardess Channah at that time. Opening a branch of the Kletzk yeshivah in Pardess Channah, he invited Rav Zevulun Aryeh to deliver shiurim there. When Rav Tzvi Yehuda moved his yeshivah to Rechovot, he asked Rav Zevulun Aryeh to join him there, too. Every Erev Shabbos, Rav Zevulun Aryeh would return from Rechovot to his home in Chadera for Shabbos, in an armored vehicle that protected him from Arab snipers.
Rav Binyamin Wolf Lev, author of Shaarei Torah (1829)
Rav Aryeh Leib Katzenelenbogen, Rav of Brisk (1837)
Rav Yeshaya Weltfried of Kalisch (1939), a descendent of the Chozeh of Lublin from his mother’s side. He married the daughter of Rav Yechiel Danziger, the first Alexander Rebbe, and eventually moved to Kalisch, where he established his court. He was nifter a month before the onset of WW II. One of his sons, Rav Chaim, survived the Holocaust and was niftar in 1997 in Eretz Yisrael.
Today in History – 12 Av
· By order of King James I of Aragon, the Ramban was forced to a public debate with Pablo Christiani, a Jewish convert to Christianity, 1263. As a result of his decisive victory – and hence embrassment of the King’s religion – the Ramban was forced to leave Spain and move to Eretz Yisrael.
· Thirty-six Jews were burned at the stake in Berlin, 1510.
· The Russian government removed the ban on Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals, 1918.
· Russian army liberated the city of Kovno, 1944.
· An uprising broke out in Warsaw against Nazi occupation. The revolt lasted 2 months before being subdued, 1944.
· Expulsion of Jews in Gaza begins and is completed 5 days later, 2005. Instead of being used for profitable agricultural endeavors, Gush Katif becomes a hotbed of terrorist camps.