Yahrtzeits – 23 Nissan
-Rav Moshe ben Yosef MiTrani, the Mabit (1505-1585). Son of Rav Yosef MiTrani (Mahait), Rav Moshe was born in Salonika, Greece. He was sent to sent to Adrianople (Italy) as a boy to pursue his studies under the supervision of his uncle Aaron. At the age of 16 he went to Safed and completed his studies under Yaakov Beirav. He was one of four people to receive the special semicha from him in 1538, in Safed, along with Rav Yosef Karo, Rav Moshe Cordovero, and Rav Yosef Sagis. In 1525 he was appointed rabbi at Safed; he held this office until 1535, when he moved to Jerusalem, where he lived until 1585. His main work was Kiryat Sefer, a commentary on Rambam’s Yad Chazakah. Hamabit, was an halachic responsa with 841 answers. He also wrote Beit Elo-him – a thematic discussion of the elements of prayer.
-Rav Yisrael Shalom Yosef of Bohush (a village south of Sarny and Klesiv, in the Ukraine)(1863-1923). One of his disciples, Rebbe Eliezer Zusia of Skulen (1898-1982), was the author of Noam Eliezer.
Yahrtzeits – 24 Nissan
-Rav Moshe of Premishel, author of Mateh Moshe (1606)
-Rav Chaim Menachem Heschel of Zhinkov (1837-1893). Succeeded his father, Rav Meshulam Zusya, and expanded the Chassidus throughout Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia. Some of his divrei Torah are found in the sefer Shemuos Tovos.
-Rav Yosef Friedman of Rimanov (1913)
-Rav Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz of Poltava (1861-1917). Born in Silale, Lithuania, he succeeded his father in 1888 as Rav of Pyantiza. In 1893 he was appointed Rav of Poltava, where he remained until his death. He became famous as a result of his attitude toward Zionism and the resulting controversy. Influenced by Rav Samuel Mohilewer, he attended the first Russian Zionist Conference in Warsaw in 1898 and was a delegate to the Second Zionist Congress in Basle in the same year. Uneasy about associating himself with Zionism, he urged that it confine itself to political and economic activity, and that if it did deal with religious matters it should at least be under rabbinic supervision. When his proposal was rejected, he launched a vehement attack against the Zionist Movement. Thereafter he became one of the leading opponents of Zionism. From 1901 to 1905 he edited Ha-Peles and from 1910 to 1914 Ha-Modi’a which were the main vehicles for his polemics. In 1912 Rav Rabinowitz participated in the founding conference of the Agudath Israel in Kattowice. Among his literary works were Hesed li-Meshiho, a commentary on the Book of Ruth.
-Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Weinberg, the Slonimer Rebbe of Tel Aviv, (1898-1978.) Born to Rav Yissachar Leib of Slonim, Reb Avraham was raided in the court of his grandfather, the Divrei Shmuel. After his marriage, he settled in Warswa, but upon his father’s petira on 28 Nissan 1928, he was asked to return to Slonim and succeed him. However, he did not agree to become Rebbe until the petira of his father’s brother, Rav Avraham, who was Rebbe in Bialystock (and later Baranovich) on Rosh Chodesh Iyar 1933. Two years later, he moved to Tel Aviv and opened a Beis Midrash for Slonimer Chassidim there.He wrote an encyclopedic work, seven volumes of which have thusfar been published as Otzar Arachei HaTorah B’Ohalei Yissachar. (25 Nissan according to some)
-Rav Chaim Yitzchak Chaikin, rosh yeshiva of Aixs-les-Bains (1995). He worked closely with Rav Gershon Cahen (1923-2001), director of the Chachmei Tsorfat institutions in Aix-les-Bains. One of his talmidim, Rav Monsonego, left for Morocco to lead the talmud Torah in Casablanca for 1500 students in 1952. Another talmid, HaRav Yaakov Kohn, started a kolle in France under the instruction of the Steipler Gaon.
Today in History – 23 Nissan
· A fast-day was observed by the Jewish community of Cologne in commemoration of anti-Jewish violence during the Second Crusade, 1147.
· Portuguese Marranos who had reverted back to Judaism were burned to death in Ancona, Italy, 1556.
· A devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by destructive fires; estimates of the final death toll were more than 3600, 1906.
· Jews were killed by Arabs in Jaffa, 1921.
· Haganah captured the strategic village of Katamon near Yerushalayim, 1948.
Today in History – 24 Nissan
· Daniel experiences his vision by the Euphrates (Daniel 10:2), 348 BCE.
· Christians in France were forbidden, under pain of death, to shelter or converse with Jews, by order of Louis XIII, 1615.