Today’s Yahrtzeits and Elul – 15 Elul


Rav Chanoch Henach Eiges of Vilna, author of Marcheshes. Learned under Rav Alexander Moshe Lapidus at his Kollel in Rassein.

Rav Yaakov Koppel Chassid, the chazzan of the Baal Shem Tov and founder of the Kosov and Vizhnitz dynasties (1787). Born in Kolomaya, Ukraine, he was able to trace his family-tree through his father, Rav Nechemyah Feivel, back to the Baalei Tosfos of Provence and beyond, to Dovid HaMelech. His most famous work, Shaar Gan Eden, was printed posthumously in 1854.He also wrote a kabbalist commentary on the Siddur Kol Yaakov, printed in 1859, based on the nusach of the Arizal, and a kabbalistic commentary on the Haggadah. Some of his Torah ideas are quoted by his son, Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov, in his sefer, Ahavas Shalom.

Today in History – 15 Elul

· Jews of Palma were massacred, 1391.
· The right to public worship is denied to the Jews of New York because freedom of religion applied to Christians only, 1685. (44 years – almost to the day – later, the foundation was laid for the first shul in New York (and all of North America.)
· Russiaunder the anti-Semitic Nicholas I decrees the 25-year draft of Jewish boys between the ages of twelve and twenty-five, 1827. This became known as the infamous Cantonists decree. For the next thirty years, approximately seventy thousand Jews, fifty thousand of whom were children, were forced into the military and many were tortured until they agreed to be baptized. The decree was rescinded shortly after Nicholas I’s death on Purim 1855.
· Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sign the Camp David agreement giving back all the Sinai to Egypt, 1978.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}


  1. I did not know about Nicolas I. I had heard stories of jews forced into Russian war service and forced to eat pork. I have been telling about that for a while.

    This is very bad to think we do not discuss these matters among those in our towns. Perhaps we just do not study hard enough or even consider the significance of Torah.

    I am chagrined but on this moonlit night, I have learned more.

    Thanks Matzav.

  2. Nicholas I “peigered” on the 12th of Adar, rather than on Purim, but it’s “close enough” for some Jewish historians.
    Likewise, Stalin dropped dead on March 5, 1953, and until this day there are many Jewish writers, who keep repeating that this occurred on Purim, too, while it is extremely easy to check that the Hebrew date was Adar the 18th. Some attempt to be more precise and accurate, vividly recalling that the stroke that preceded his death happened on Purim (it really did), and when they found out about it, deep in Siberian labor camps, their Purim celebration was greatly enhanced. The only “small” problem with this version is that until Stalin was fully room temperature, 4 days later, not a single word of his illness was announced in the entire country, neither in press, nor over the radio. Therefore, especially in remote labor camps, under super tight security, such news were simply unobtainable.
    While personal memories often play tricks on their owners, when writing for public consumption, one should really verify his facts, especially when it is so very easy.

  3. It’s similar to the fact that we keep on saying that we are in golus for 2000 years when in fact it is 1949,may it not become a year longer….We seem to continuously change dates and figures to make them sound more significant and interesting.

  4. B’avonosaynu horabim,Rav Henoch Eigesh Zatza”l the mechaber of Sefer Marcheshes,was tortured to death by the nazi ymshv”z.Rav Gustman writes that he suffered more then all the” ten harugei malchus together”!!!he writes when ever they started he would shout this is not you this RBSH”O.
    ‘[per biography of Rav Gustman.]
    He once entered a room where the Chofetz Chaim was sitting,when the CH.Ch.saw him he got up molay komoso,and said ”this is the last of our lamdonim.[heard from a talmid]


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