Yahrtzeits – 1 Teves
Avraham Avinu (1638 BCE) (Bava Basra 91a). [According to others, his yahrtzeit is 1 Tishrei or Nissan (Moed Katan 28a)]
Rav Yair Chaim Bachrach (1638-1702), author of Chavos Yair. Born in Leipnik in the Moravian province of Austria, today part of the Czech Republic, his grandmother Chava was a granddaughter of the Maharalof Prague. Her husband, Rav Samuel, the rabbi of Worms, was murdered during a pogrom in 1615, and she never remarried. Chava lived in Worms until her grandson Yair Chaim’s thirteenth birthday at which time she undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but died on the way. R Yair Chaim esteemed her to such an extent that the title of his most famous work, Chavos Yair, is based on her name. One of his works, Mekor Chaim, a major commentary on the Shulchan AruchOrach Chaim was ready to be printed when the commentaries of Taz and Magen Avrahamwere printed. Sadly, Rav Yair Chaim withdrew his own commentary. Besides his halachic expertise he had complete mastery of all the sciences, music and had a deep interest in history. He also wrote poetry. He compiled a 46 volume encyclopedia on many topics. In 1689 the Worms community was decimated by the French. Gradually, it was rebuilt. In 1699 he was finally appointed rabbi of Worms where his father and grandfather had served before him. He served for only three years until his death in 1702.
Rav Masoud Raphael Alfasi. Born in Fez, Morocco. Leader of the Tunisian Jewish community. Died in Tunisia (1774).
Rav Avraham Moshe of Peshischa (1828), son of Rebbi Simcha Bunim.
Rav Yosef Hamaaravi, baal mofes, buried in Kfar Elchamama in Tunisia.
Rav Yitzchak Eizk Langner, sixth Strettiner Rebbe (1906-1979). Born to Rav Moshe Langner, the fifth Strettiner Rebbe, his sister became the Tolner Rebbetzin. In 1921, his father moved the family from Galicia to Toronto. He married in 1929, but he and his wife never had children. In 1959, he succeeded his father.
Rav Mordechai Shlomo Berman. Born in Russia to the mekubal, Rav Yehuda Leib Berman, who authored a commentary to the Arizal’s Eitz Chaim, Rav Mordechai Shlomo and his family moved to Tel Aviv when he was still young. He attended Yeshiva Chabad before his Bar Mitzvah and learned under Rav Dovid Povarsky. When his teacher became Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, he took his little talmid with him. When the Chazon Ish found out about the young illui, he had him move into his hoem and cared for himn as a son. At Ponevezh, he became the talmid muvhak of the Roshei Yeshiva, Rav Dovid Povarsky and Rav Shmuel Rozovsky. In time, the Chazon Ish married him off to his niece, the daughter of the Steipler Gaon. He became Rosh Mesivta of Ponevezh at the age of 20, and later became Rosh yeshiva (1931-2004)
Yahrtzeit – 2 Teves
Rav Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov (1888)
Rav Yitzchak HaLevi Kroiz, Yerushalmi, grandson of Rav Eliezer Yosef, Belzer Rebbe.
Today in History – 1 Teves
· Esther was forcibly taken to King Achashveirosh’s palace, 362 B.C.E.
· Portuguese Jewish statesman Manuel Fernando de Villareal executed by the Inquisition, 1652.
· Several restrictions on Jewish ownership of land went into effect in Russia, 1808.
· USGeneral MacNarney grants 800,000 “minor Nazis” amnesty instead of prosecuting them, 1946.
· Adolf Eichmann found guilty of war crimes in Israel, 1962
Today in History – 2 Teves
· King Herod captured Yerushalayim, 37 B.C.E.
· 100,000 Jews of Sicily were expelled, 1492 [listed as 11 Teves in Hamodia 2008; 10 Teves elsewhere].
· Rosh Pina was founded by 130 Romanian Jews who arrived in Beirut on a ship named the “Titus”, 1882.
· Vilna massacres end with 32,000 Jews killed, 1941.