Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 19 Tishrei

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flicker_100392Rav Aaron, the Sadigerer Rebbe, the Kedushas Aharon. (1913), son Rav Yisrael of Sadiger; father of Reb Mordechai Shalom Yosef. He died tragically, just six years after his father’s petira, at the age of 36.

Rav Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797). At the age of seven he gave his first public discourse, and by the time he was ten he had advanced to the point where he no longer needed a teacher. At the age of 35 he was approached by one of the leading sages of that time, Rabbi Yonason Eybschutz, to act as an intermediary in the conflict between him and another great sage, Rabbi Yakov Emden. The Gaon’s son testified that for fifty years his father did not sleep for more than two hours in a twenty-four hour period. His breadth of knowledge was amazing. He was capable of stating from memory the number of times any sage was mentioned in any particular book of the Talmud. His knowledge of both the revealed and the hidden parts of the Torah was beyond compare. The Gaon considered secular knowledge to be a vital adjunct to Torah study. He was knowledgeable in almost all secular fields and authored books on grammar and mathematics. Among his many writings are Biur HaGra on Shulchan Aruch and on Talmud, and Aderes Eliyahu, a commentary on Chumash.

Rav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Yid Hakadosh of P’shischa (1766-1813). A talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin, he was the rebbi of Rav Simchah Bunim of P’shischa. Other important disciples of his included Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, Rav Yitzchak Meir of Ger, Rav Chanoch Heinich of Alexander, Rav Yitzchak of Vorki and Rav Yissachar Ber of Radoshitz. Rav Yaakov Yitzchak initiated a new path in Chassidus, the service of G-d through Torah study together with prayer. He thus founded a Polish version of Chassidus, which assigned a greater importance to Torah study and the role of scholars, and started to campaign against the superficiality and ignorance which had developed within Chasidism.

Rav Naftoli Neuberger, long time administrative head of Yeshivas Ner Yisrael of Baltimore (1918-2005). As the public representative of not only the yeshiva, but much of Baltimore’s Orthodox community for many years, Rav Neuberger met often with Jewish and government figures. Born in Hassfurt, a small Bavarian town along the Main River, Rav Neuberger was the youngest of Meir and Bertha Neuberger’s three children. Four weeks after his bar mitzvah, his father died. In 1935, he left home to study at the Mirrer yeshiva in Poland. In 1938, he immigrated alone to the United States at 20, speaking only German and Yiddish. He enrolled at Ner Yisrael, which had opened 5 years earlier. In 1940, he began working in the yeshiva office. In 1942, Rav Neuberger married Judith Kramer, the youngest of Mrs. Ruderman’s four sisters. By the mid-1950s, he was responsible for fund-raising and the yeshiva’s physical operation and was responsible for moving the Yeshiva to its current campus. After Rabbi Ruderman’s death in 1987, Rabbi Neuberger assumed the title of president. Through his efforts, beginning in 1975, over 800 Iranian immigrants attended Ner Israel — on full scholarship. The eldest of his five sons, Rav Sheftel Neuberger, is vice president of the Yeshiva and was his father’s right hand. Besides Sheftel, their other sons are: Isaac, a Pikesville attorney; Rav Shraga Neuberger, a Ner Israel rebbe; Yaakov, a Greenspring attorney; and Rav Ezra Neuberger, a Ner Israel rebbe and dean of its kollel.

Today in History – 19 Tishrei

· Nazi plan for ghettoizing Jews in all big cities announced by Goering, 1938.
· A week-long pogrom marking one of the bloodiest periods in Russian Jewish history begins, spreading to dozens of towns and villages throughout Russia, 1905. Hundreds of Jews are killed, thousands are wounded and over forty thousand homes and shops are destroyed in the rioting.

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