-Rav Moshe Galante II of Yerushalayim (1620-1689), son of Rav Yehonasan, who was the son of Rav Moshe Galante the elder (1540-1614) who studied with Rav Yosef Karo. He wrote two halachic works, Elef HaMagen, which includes 1,000 responsa on various topics, Zevach Shelamim on the Talmud and Korban Chagigah on Tractate Chagigah. He strongly argued against the popularity of Shabsai Tzvi. His grandson was Rav Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter of Ger, the Sfas Emes. Among his students were Rav Chizkiyah De Silva, author of Pri Chadash (which is printed in the standard edition of the Shulchan Aruch), and Rav Yaakov Chagiz and his son Rav Moshe Chagiz. Refusing to accept the title of “Chief Rabbi” that was offered to him, he coined a new title-“Rishon Le’tzion.”
-Rav Yitzchok of Nezchizh (1868)
-Rav Yechiel Meir Lifschitz of Gustinin [Gostynin; Gastinin] (1816-1888). He was a disciple of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotsk and of Rav Yaakov Aryeh of Radzymin, after whose death he became chassidic leader in Gustinin. His teachings appear in Merom HaRim and Mei HaYam.
-Rav Yaakov Weidenfeld of Tchebin, the Kochav MiYaakov (1894). His one volume of responsa, entitled Kochav MiYaakov, was a mere fraction of the thousands of responsa that he wrote, but which were lost in the two world wars. Rav Yaakov’s glosses to Seder Taharos and Talmud Yerushalmi were written in one day, as is indicated by their original title, Hagahos Chad Yoma.
-Rav Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowitz, the Bialer Rebbe (1901-1982). Born in Biala, Poland, to Rav Yerachmiel Tzvi, the son of the Divrei Binah of Biala and a direct descendent of the Yid Hakadosh. The Divrei Binah passed away when Yechiel Yehoshua was only 4, and tragically, Rav Yerachmiel Tzvi passed away shortly thgereafter at the age of 26. In 1919, Rav Yechiel married Beila Chana Pesha, and in 1924, he was formally installed as Rebbe of Biala, and set up court in Shidlitz, with a population of 200,000 Jews. He was exiled to Siberia with his family in 1940. In 1947, he moved to Eretz Yisrael, living in Tel Aviv for 8 years before setting up his beis midrash and kollel in Zichron Moshe in Yerushalayim, where he remined for the next 27 years. He authored the sefer Chelkas Yehoshua.
-Rav Yehoshua Heshel Brim, Rosh Yeshivas Tiferes Yisrael of Ruzhin-Yerushalayim (1986)
Today in History – 21 Shvat
· Roman Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus (whom the Christians call “Julian the Apostate”) gave permission to the Jews to start rebuilding the Bais Hamikdash, 363. His death in June 26, 363 in a war with the Persians put an end to the plan.
· Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, gives a residence permit to one Jew, Luis Carvajal, 1657.
· Jewish homes on the outskirts of Warsaw, in a settlement known as “New Yerushalayim”, were demolished and the Jews of Warsaw were expelled, 1775.
· Pope Pius VI (1717-99, pope (1775-99)) reinforces all existing anti-Jewish legislation as part of his campaign against liberalism in his Editto Sopra Gli Ebrei, 1775. The 44 clauses included prohibitions against possessing talmudic writings and erection of grave stones. They also forbade Jews from passing the night outside the ghetto under pain of death. The regulations were in effect until the arrival of Napoleon’s army 25 years later.
· The Palestine Post (known today as The Jerusalem Post) building in Yerushalayim was bombed, in 1948, resulting in the loss of many lives.