Tzedkiah, last king of Yehuda, died in captivity, in Bavel (561 BCE).
Rav Yosef Shaul HaLevi Nathanson (1810-1875 or 1878). Born in Brezhan, Galicia, he was married at the age of 16. His father, Rav Aryeh Leibush, was a descendant of the Chacham Tzvi, the Maharsha, the Rema, the Bach, and Rashi. Reb Yosef Shaul became very close to his brother-in-law, Rav Mordechai Zev Ettinger, and together they authored several sefarim including Mefarshei Hayam and Magen Giborim on Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Ma’asei Ilfas on the Rif, Sheves Achim (responsa), Me’iras Eynayim on hilchos bedikas hareiah, and Ner Maaravi on the Yerushalmi. Many years before he became Rav, he founded a yeshiva in Lvov whose purpose was to train dayanim and rabbanim. In 1856, he was appointed Rav in Lvov, a position he held for almost 20 years. Sadly, his Rebbetzen was niftar in 1857. He married one year later but was never zocheh to have children with either wife. He founded a communal kitchen, and he himself would walk around town collecting tzedaka from the city gevirim. For this tzedaka, he wanted to take an active role. He is most famous for his sefer Sheilos uteshuvos Hashoel Umaishiv, but he authored many other sefarim, including Divrei Shaul on the Hagadadah, Divrei Shaul Yosef Daas, Yodos Nedarim, Divrei Shaul al Hatorah, and Divrei Shaul al Aggados haShas. He also authored a kuntres entitled Bitul Modaa, in which he argued that machine-made matzos are more mehudar than hand matzos.
Rav Yeshayah Schorr (1879). His primary teacher was Rav Mordechai of Kremnitz, the son of the Maggid of Zlotchov. Rav Schorr’s last rabbinical post, and the one for which he is best remembered, was in Iasi (on the present-day border between Rumania and Moldova). His best know sefer is Klil Tiferes on chumash.
Rav Moshe Meir Rosenstein of Berditchev (1821-1902). A chassid of the Rizhuner Rebbe in his youth, Rav Moshe Meir moved to Eretz Yisral and settled in Tzefas in 1853, living there for several decades. At the end of his life, he settled in Teveria. His insights have been published recently in a sefer called Avodas HaLevi’im.
Rav Yitzchak Abuhab, Kabbalist, Av Beis Din in Amsterdam (1605-1693). Born in in Castro Daire, Portugal, his family escaped the Inquisition in Portugal and settled in Amsterdam. His father, David, died when Yitzchak was only seven. In 1626, at the age of 21, he was nominated Chacham. In 1642, he migrated to Brazil. He returned to Amsterdam three years later after the war between the Portugese and Dutch. . He was a member of the court that excommunicated Espinoza. Ten years later (1666) he defended Shabtai Tzvi. Descendent of Rav Yitzchak Abuhab of Toledo, author of Menorah HaMaor, c1320). He was also a grandson of Rav Yitzchak Abuhab of Castille, among whose leading talmidim were Rav Shmuel Balansi (Valenci) and Rav Avraham Zacuto (Sacut), author of Sefer Yohassin. In 1492, he left Spain along with Rav Zacuto to Lisbon and died several months later.
Rav Shlomo Elyashiv (1841-1925). He was a great Kabbalist whose vast knowledge of all aspects of Torah and exceptional ability to clarify complicated concepts resulted in a few several Kabbalistic works, including Drushei Olam HaTohu (“Dayah”) and Hakdamos V’Sha’arim (“HaKadosh”). More recently, the more philosophical and less Kabbalistically technical sections of his works were assembled into a single book called Leshem Shevo Ve’achlama.
Rav Moshe Neuschloss, av beis din of New Square. New Square is the anglicized form of Skvira, a village in Ukraine, where the Skver Hasidim dynasty of Chasidism had its roots. The community began in 1954, when twenty Skver families moved from Williamsburg to a 130 acre farm north of Spring Valley, under the leadership of their Rebbe Rav Yakov Yosef Twersky. In 1961 New Square became the first village in New York state to be governed by a religious group. Over the years annexations have increased its size. Its population increased 78% between 1990 and 2000.
Rav Chaim Sinuani (1898-1979). Born in Sinuan, Yemen, to Chacham Yichya, of the eminent Bida family. As a youth, he left home for Jabal, to study in the yeshiva of Rav Shlomo ben Yosef Tabib and Rav Dovid Ya’ish Chadad. Both of the roshei yeshiva passed away in 1919. In 1921, at the age of only 23, Rav Chaim became Rav and Av Beis Din of Sinuan. He and his family participated in Operation Magic Carpet in 1949. He is buried in Yehud.
Rav Yisrael Bergstein, born in the Lithuanian city of Suvalk, studied in Grodno under Rav Shimon Shkop and Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz from age 11, then at age 14, under Rav Avraham Grodzinsky and the Alter of Slabodka at Chevron. Taught at Chafetz Chaim in Baltimore and founded a yeshiva in White Plains (1912-1998).
Today in History – 27 Adar
· Jews were massacred by rioters in Stamford-fair, England, 1190.
· King of Austria grants favorable rights to Jews, 1255.
· Jews of Prague exiled, 1745.
· Emperor Joseph II granted Jews right of residence in Pest, Hungary, 1783.
· Jews of Prussia were granted citizenship upon their adoption of family names, 1812.
· The Portuguese Inquisition was abolished, 1821. (Having been established in 1531, it was in existence 290 years.)
· Twenty-six Jews were wounded in Salzburg, Austria, in the first serious outbreak of postwar anti-Semitism, 1951.