Yahrtzeits – 22 Teves
Rav Shmuel Heller, Azhenazi Rav of Tsefas for 40 years (1884). On the 24th of Teves in 1837, he was discovered buried up to his neck in stones. He had been standing under the lintel of the Beis Midrash Ari at the moment of the earthquake. His wounds were so severe that he was bedridden for six months, and lost the use of one arm for the rest of his life. Rav Shmuel was a disciple of Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch [1765-1840], who spent ten years as Rav in Tzefas.
Rav Yehuda Leib Eiger (1816-1888). A grandson of Rav Akiva Eiger, Reb Leibel was born in Warsaw. He learned under Rav Yitzchak Meir Alter, the Chiddushei Harim in Warsaw. At 20, he married and moved to Lublin where he davened at the Shul of the Chozeh. There, he befriended Reb Yisrael, the Chozeh’s son. He then moved to Kotzk. He became a rebbe after the Rebbe of Izbitza passed away in 1854. After his death his son, Rav Avrohom, printed his sefarim Toras Emes and Imrei Emes.
Rav Shalom Moskowitz of Shatz, a Romanian town in the Bukovina district (1878-1958). A direct descendent (fifth generation) of Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov and a great-grandson of Reb Michel of Premishlan, he was named after his mother’s great-grandfather, the Sar Shalom of Belz. After learning at Shatz, he traveled to the famed Maharsham (Rav Shalom Schwadron) of Berzhan to study practical halacha and receive semicha. After leading a group of chassidim in Cologne, Germany, Rav Shalom arrived in London, in 1927, where he served for thirty years. Among the sefarim, he wrote is a commentary on Perek Shirah. He promised to help anyone who comes to his kever Friday morning and lights 3 candles (a tradition mentioned in Sefer Tikunim).
Rav Shlomo Miller (1924-2002). Born in the German city of Duisberg, he moved with his family to Antwerp during World War II. The family later moved to Eretz Yisrael. After marrying in 1948, he moved to Petach Tikvah where he learned at Kollel Toras Eretz Yisrael with Rav Chaim Shaul Karelitz. He published several important works on the halachos of milah of the Rambam, including Tsemach Dovid and Meleches Shlomo. He also published learned works about the lives of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yochonon.
Today in History – 22 Teves
· Death of Bernard Gui, inquisitor and bishop in the area of Toulouse, France, 1331. He was the author of “Conduct of the Inquisition into Heretical Wickedness.” It advises how to spot a Jew or a “backsliding convert” and how to intensify the suffering of the interrogated by flame, rack, whip and needle. One tactic suggested was martyring children in front of their parents.
· Inquisition established in Peru, 1570.
· Prague Purim (or “Firhengpurim”, “Purim of the Curtains”), when the shammash of the kehilla was arrested in connection with the purchase of rare stolen textiles, condemned to death and finally released, 1622.
· Mobs attempted to set fire to the Roman Jewish ghetto and sack it, 1798
· Anti-Jewish riots in Ancona, Italy, 1798.
· 43 Jewish refugees trying to escape Moroccoon the illegal Egoz boat drowned, 1961. Their bodies were finally brought to burial in Israelin 1993.
Yahrtzeits – 23 Teves