Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 12 Elul

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yahrtzeit-candlesRav Simchah Bunim of Pshischa, author of Kol Simchah, (1767-1827). Rav Simcha Bunim studied in the yeshivos of Mattersdorf and Nikolsburg under the guidance of Rav Mordechai Banet. He spent many years as a business man and a pharmacist, then became a follower of the Chozeh of Lublin and of the Yid Hakadosh of Pshischa, whom he succeeded as the Rebbe of Pshischa. His writings express the new approach to Chasidus which placed great emphasis on introspection and intense Torah study. His most famous disciple was Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, the Kotzker Rebbe.

Rav Shimon of Toledo, son of the Rosh (1342)

Rav Yitzchak Zelaznik, Rosh Yeshivas Me’or Eliyahu

Rav Moshe Elkayam Hopstein of Kozhnitz, author of Be’er Moshe (1757-1828). His father, Rav Yisrael, the Maggid of Kozhnitz, was one of Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk’s greatest talmidim. Rav Moshe Elyakim’s first marriage was to a daughter of Rav Yehuda Leib HaKohen of Anipoli, a talmid of the Maggid of Mezritch and author of the sefer, Ohr HaGanuz. After the sad passing of his first wife, Rav Moshe Elyakim married a daughter of Rav Elazar, the son of Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk. After his passing in 1815, the Maggid’s teachings were perpetuated by his famous talmidim, who included Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, Rav Yaakov Aryeh of Radzimin, Rav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, Rav Shalom of Belz, Rav Yissachar Ber of Radoshitz, the Chiddushei HaRim and, of course, his son and successor, Rav Moshe Elyakim. Rav Moshe Elyakim’s followers included many well-known talmidei chachamim, and counted among them the young Chiddushei HaRim, founder of the Gerer dynasty.

Rav Shmuel Tolwinski (1914-2004). Born in Semyatitch, Poland, his grandfather was a close chassid of the Kotzker Rebbe. He learned at Kamenitz with Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, and later at the Mirrer Yeshiva. When he was only 15, he substituted as maggid shiur at Novardok, when an older rebbi took leave for a year. In the 1950s, he moved to Bnai Brak and learned at the Chazon Ish Kollel. He moved to Los Angeles, giving a popular gemara shiur for 30 years and teaching at Yeshiva Toras Emes. He lived his last few years in Monsey with his children.

Today in History – 12 Elul

· Many Jews in London were killed in riots during the coronation of Richard I, 1189.
· Birth of the Ramban, Rav Moshe ben Nachman, 1194, Gerona, Spain.
· Torquemada died, 1498.
· Pope renews anti-Jewish restrictions of the Roman Jewish community, 1732.
· A special transport of 318 people (including Rav Yonasan Steif) left Bergen-Belsen to Switzerland, 1944.
· The UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa was held, erupting in a festival of anti-Semitism, 2002.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Newscenter}


  1. Also the yahrzteit of R’ Yehoshua Tzvi Michal Schapiro ben R’ Yaakov Kopel, author of the Tzitz HaKodesh, talmid of R’ Yehoshua Leib the Baal Zayis Ranan.


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