Birthdate and yahrtzeit of Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (1567 BCE)
Rav Shlomo, Rav of Vilna at the time of the Vilna Gaon (1791)
Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Mishkovsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Keneses Chizkiyahu in Kefar Chasidim, Israel (1981). The yeshiva Knesses Chizkiyahu was founded in 1949 at the behest of the Chazon Ish. It was first located in Zichron Yaakov and was headed by Rav Noach Shimanowitz. Six years later, it moved to its permanent residence in Kfar Chassidim, under the guidance of the mashgiach, Rav Eliyahu Lopian and the rosh hayeshiva, Rav Mishkovsky. (20 Teves according to Yated 2007)
Rav Yisrael Dov of Vilednik, the She’eiris Yisrael (1789-1849 [or 1850]). Also known as the Maggid of Vilednik, he was a disciple of Rav Mordechai Twersky (1770-1837), the Chernobler Rebbe. During his lifetime, thousands journeyed to the She’eris Yisrael for blessing, inspiration, and consultation. Before he passed away, he told his disciples that whoever would reach out and touch his door seeking help would be aided. Today, even thousands of non-Jews come to pray at his gravesite in their times of need. The She’eiris Yisrael’s reputation continues to endure amongst generations of Gentiles in the area, and many Jews from around the world travel to his kever on his yahrtzeit.
Rav Matzliach Mazuz, the Ish Matzliach (1912-1971). Born on the island city of Djerba., he was accepted into the yeshiva of Rav Rachamim Chai Chavitah HaKohen at the age of eleven. After his marriage in 1930, Rav Matzliach moved to Tunis, where he served as a mashgiach ruchani in the Chevras HaTalmud yeshiva for 13 years. He was later appointed to the position of dayan in the beis din of Tunis. 600 couples came to him for divorces between the years 1955-1958, and he managed to make shalom bayis between 75% of them. He founded the Kisei Rachamim yeshiva in Tunis, named after his mentor, Rav Rachamim Chai Chavitah. Years later, his sons reestablished this yeshiva in Bnei Brak. In 1971, while Rav Matzliach was returning from a pre-dawn minyan, clad in tallis and tefillin, a number of Arabs attacked and killed him. Among Rav Matzliach’s writings are: Shu”t Ish Matzliach, on the four parts of Shulchan Aruch, three of which have appeared until now; Kuntress HaMaarachot, which discusses the rules of issuing halachic decisions; Matzliach Yeshuah, a collection of chiddushim on the Shas; and Magen u’Tzinah, answers to questions on the Maharsha. The rest of his writings are still in manuscript form. Rav Matzliach is survived by his sons: Rav Mayer, rosh yeshiva of Kisei Rachamim in Bnei Brak and the leader of the Tunisian community in Eretz Yisrael; Rav Yosef Tzemach, the director and mashgiach ruchani of the yeshiva; and Rav Rachamim, also a mashgiach ruchani. One of Rav Matzliach’s daughters is married to Rav Yitzchak Barda, author of Yitzchak Yeranen, and another to Rav Chanan Kablan, a dayan.
Today in History – 21 Teves
· A Russo-U.S. trade treaty, originally ratified in 1832, was abrogated by President Taft in 1912 because of Russian discrimination against Jews who were American citizens.
· The Bahalul-Minkovsky Commission of Inquiry was given its mandate by the Israeli government to investigate the disappearance of at least 1,700 Yemenite children brought to Israelbetween 1948 and 1954. Its findings exonerated the government of all wrongdoing, 1967.