Rav Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944). Born to Rav Baruch Schneur, the oldest of the seven sons of the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel (the Tzemach Tzedek). He was a devoted chasid of Rav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe (the Rebbe Rashab). After the Rebbe Rashab passed away, Rav Levi Yitzchak became equally dedicated to his successor, Rav Yosef Yitzchak, or the Rebbe Rayatz. Rav Levi Yitzchak and Rebbitzen Chana had three sons. The oldest, Rav Menachem Mendel, became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rav Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of the major Ukrainian city Yekaterinoslav (today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest and exile.
Rav Eliezer of Azipalle, youngest son of Rav Yehuda Tzvi of Stretn and grandson of Rav Uri of Strelisk (1865)
Rav Meir Rabinowitz (1916-2006). The son of the Skolya Rebbe, Rav Dovid Yitzchak Eisik Rabinowitz, Reb Meir was born in Vienna during World War I. He spent three months in forced labor, and escaped with the help of Skolya Chassidim. Arriving in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he and his brother opened a Skolya Beis Midrash. He, his wife and daughter followed his father to Williamsburg, then toBoro Park. When the Rebbe was niftar in 1979, Reb Meir refused to take over and appointed his son-in-law, Rav Raphael Goldstein. Being entirely mevatel himself, he served his son-in-law with the same kavod he had shown his father.
Today in History – 20 Av
· A violent earthquake hit Eretz Yisrael, 501. Acco was partially destroyed. Cities as far inwards as Yerushalayim suffered damage.
· First published edition of the Zohar, 1558, fostering new interest in the study of Kabbala.
· Anti-Jewish riots in Zola-Egerszeg, Hungary, 1883.
· During World War II, the battle cruiser, USS Indianapolis – which had just completed delivery of the componenets for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima – was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Only 316 of some 1200 sailors survived the shark-infested waters, 1945.
· One of the worst of a series of suicide bombings occurred when a Palestinian blew himself up at the downtown Yerushalayim Sbarro pizzeria (9 August 2001), killing 15 and wounding more than 130. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility. Among those murdered was Mrs. Shoshana Yehudit (Hayman) Greenbaum (1970-2001). Following their tragic loss, her parents set up the Ner Shoshana Fund to support special education for the Etta Israel Center in Los Angeles.