Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 25 Adar

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Rav Gershon (ben Efrayim) Kitover, brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov (1696-1761). His father was a Rav and Av Beis Din in one of the four batei din in Brody , Poland . In 1747, he moved to Eretz Yisrael (becoming the first of the talmidim of the Besht to do so), living first in Chevron and then in Yerushalayaim.

Rav Menachem Mendel Hager (1885-1941). Rebbe of Vizhnitz for fourteen years. He published a monthly journal “Degel HaTorah.”

Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fischer (1925-2003), head of the Eidah HaHareidis Rabbinical Court in Yerushalayim. Rav Fischer was born in Yerushalayim on the 21st of Tamuz, the day that Yisrael Yaakov Dehaan was killed in what many said was the first political assassination in modern Israeli history. Dehaan changed his lifestyle and became a chareidi Jew, and Rav Aharon Fischer named his newborn son Yaakov Yisrael after him. Rav Aharon’s father was Rav Shlomo, av beis din of Karlsburg , Hungary , and author of Neiros Shlomo and Korbanei lachmi. Rav Yaakov Yisrael learned at Etz Chaim under Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, who became his chavrusa. In 1961, he was appointed moreh hora’ah in the Eidah Hachareidis, and in 1975 he joined its beis din. In 1963, he was appointed Rav of the Zichron Moshe shul, a position he kept for 40 years.

Rebbetzin Zahava Braunstein (2005)

Today in History – 25 Adar

· King of France orders the detention for ransom of all Jews in Paris attending shul on Shabbos, 1181.
· Jews of Strasbourg burned in the Jewish cemetery during the Black Plague, 1349.
· Jews of Carinthia, Austria, were expelled, 1496 (and not readmitted until 1848).
· English colonists led by Lord Baltimore arrived in what is today the state of Maryland , 1634. Three hundred years later, the city named for him would serve one of the larger Jewish communities in the US A .
· U.S. President Harrison was petitioned in 1891 to aid in the reestablishment of Palestine as a sovereign Jewish state, 1891. The petition was signed, by Cyrus McCormick, J. P. Morgan, William McKinley, John D. Rockefeller, Russel Sage, and Cardinal Gibbons, among others. It was a spontaneous expression of American sympathy for Zionism, totally independent of Jewish Zionist activities. The petition was motivated by Biblical influences and by intense indignation aroused by Russian pogroms.
· The discovery of the mutilated body of Andrei Yishinsky, near Kiev , Russia , led to the infamous trial of Mendel Beilis on ritual-murder charges, 1911.
· Adolf Hitler was granted dictatorial powers by the German Reichstag, 1933.

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