Rav Shmuel Halevi Klein of Boskowitz, author of Machtzis Hashekel, a super-commentary on the Magen Avraham on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim (1738-1827)
Rav Mordechai Kastelanitz of Lecovitz, the father of the Slonim Chassidic dynasty, immigrated to Chevron in 1844 (1837-1916).
Rav Moshe Chevroni, rosh yeshiva of Chevron (1986)
Rav Yechiel Michel Gutfarb, gabbai tzedaka of Yerushalayim (2002)
Today in History – 28 Adar
· Antiochus V granted religious freedom and autonomy to the Jews of Eretz Yisrael, 163 BCE. The date was celebrated as a holiday marking the cancellation of decrees prohibiting Bris Mila, Limud Hatorah and Shemiras Shabbos.
· Jews of Prussia were granted rights, 1277.
· Jews of Weissensee, Germany, were massacred, 1303.
· Cairo Purim was observed annually in commemoration of the community’s escape from a massacre, 1524. Sultan Ahmed Shaitan, upset with being rejected as Grand Vizier, ordered his Jewish coinager, Abraham de Castro, to print his likeness and title of Grand Vizier on coins. When De Castro fled, the Sultan ordered the Jewish community to choose between paying a massive fine or being killed. On the last day before the Sultan’s edict was enforced, he was assassinated by one of his viziers.
Yahrtzeits – 29 Adar
Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Rabbeinu Asher, and grandson of the Riva, was murdered with numerous other Jews because of a blood libel (1196).
Rav Shlomo HaCohen Rabinowitz of Radomsk, first Rebbe of the Radomsk dynasty, he first took the position of Rav of Radomsk in 1842. He was the author of Tiferes Shlomo on Chumash and the moadim (1801 or 1803-1866)
Rav Chaim Shmuel Birnbaum, son-in-law of Rav Akiva Eiger and author of Maseh Choshev (1887).
Rav Chaim Welfried of Lodz (1942)
Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky (1891-1986). Born on the 21 Adar, in Dolhinov, he left for Minsk at the age of 11. Among his friends there were the future Rav Reuven Grozovsky, and the young Aaron Kotler. Shortly after Pesach in 1905, Reb Yaakov and Reb Aaron traveled to Slobodka to learn under the supervision of the Alter of Slobodka. Reb Yaakov also learned in Slutzk. During World War I he took refuge in Lomza in the yeshiva of Reb Yechiel Michel Gordon. On 22 Sivan, 1919, he married the Rebbetzin Ita Ettel. On 11th Av 1937, he left for America. In 1945, he accepted the request of Reb Shraga Feivel Mendelovitz that he take up the position of rosh yeshiva in Mesivta Torah Vodaas, a position he kept for the rest of his life. His chidushim were printed in his seforim Emes LeYaakov, on Torah and on Shas. As he requested, he was buried in Brooklyn, since he pointed out that most of his family live in America and would not always be able to travel to his kever in Eretz Yisrael. From this, his last request we learn yet another chapter of his feelings for others.
Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky (1911-1999). Born in Brooklyn, he attended Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, and later Talmudical Academy High School on East Broadway. After high school, he became a member of the very first class of Yeshiva College, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1932. He later earned his doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. When he began his tenure at Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, in 1946, he set as his goal that every town and city with a Jewish population of at least 5,000 have a Jewish day school. In those days, there was only a handful of yeshivos and day schools; there are now 600 such schools with 170,000 students all over the United States. In 1980, he retired and moved to Yerushalayim, to devote himself to full-time learning.
Today in History – 29 Adar
· Jews of Speyer massacred in Crusades, 1096.
· Emperor Charles V confirmed the privileges of Austrian Jews, 1544.
· Napolean captured Jaffa, 1799.
· The first Jewish immigrant to Israel to disembark at the Port of Eilat, 1957.
· Jews of Austria were required by law to belong to the government-established religious community in their town, 1890.
· Jews of Vienna were slaughtered in their shul and the remainder were forcibly converted, 1421.