Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 15 Shevat

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Rav Chaim Mordechai Margulies, author of Shaarei Teshuva (1823)

Rav Gedalya Aharon (ben Rav Yitzchak Yoel) of Linitz, author of Chen Aharon (1877)

Rav Rafael Shlomo Laniado, Rosh Yeshivas Porat Yosef (1925) (Yated 2008)

Rav Baruch Kunstat, born in Pressburg , Hungary , to Rav Avraham Aryeh, a descendent of the Chasam Sofer. He studied in the yeshiva of Rav Simcha Bunim Sofer (the Shevet Sofer) and his son Rav Akiva Sofer (the Das Sofer), he was appointed Rav of Fulda in 1907 at the age of 22. There, he married Tzipora, daughter of Rav Elchanan Moshe Emanuel, and he founded a yeshiva. After spending time in Buchenwald , he was released and moved to Eretz Yisrael. Along with Rav Yechiel Michel Shlesinger (who also escaped from the camps), he founded Yeshiva Kol Torah in 1939. It was the first Azhkenazi Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael in which shiurim were delivered in Hebrew and not Yiddish, the format having been approved by the Chazon Ish. In his will, Rav Shlesinger, who was niftar in 1946, expressed the hope the Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would replace him as Rosh Yeshiva. (1885-1967)

Today in History – 15 Shevat

· The first Chumash with Megillos was printed in 1492.
· The forced races of near naked Jews through the streets of Rome during carnival time (the Palio) – first introduced by Pope Paul II in 1464 – was cancelled after the Jews of Rome agreed to pay a special tax, 1668
· Death of Adolphe (Isaac) Cremieux, a Jewish lawyer, orator, French Minister of Justice and founder of the Alliance Israelite Universelle (1796-1880). The most influential French Jew of his time, Cremieux was the paragon of the modern assimilated late nineteenth century. The Alliance was responsible for thousands of Jews abandoning Jewish observance.
· The completion of the first cycle of Daf Yomi was celebrated with a siyum in 1931.
· The Ghetto in Lodz was established by Nazi decree in 1941.

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