Yahrtzeits – 3 Kislev
Rav Meshulam YissascharAshkenazi of Stamford Hill, London, the Stanislaver Rebbe (1995).
Rav Shilo Raphael, Av Bais Din of Yerushalayim
Rav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky (1921-2000). Born in St. Louis, he learned at Torah Vadaas in his early 20s, while serving in the army. He married Sarah Gartenhaus in 1950 and joined Yeshiva Ner Israel in 1954. He became Rosh yeshiva and replaced Rav Yaakov Weinberg after the latter’s petira. Rav Kulefsky left two sons (Tzvi Hirsch and Nosson) and three daughters [Esther Chana (Abraham), Ettie (Rosenbaum), and Faigi (Gruman)], 40 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Yahrtzeits – 4 Kislev
Rav Eliyahu Kubo, av beis din of Saloniki, author of Aderes Eliyahu and Sheni Hame’oros Hagedolim (~1628-1688). The Kubo family had immigrated to Greece from Spain during the Spanish expulsion. Rav Eliyahu became Chief Rabbi in Salonika.
Rav Tzvi Hersh Margulies of Lublin (1805)
Rav Yaakov Dovid Kalish (1803-1878), founder of the Amshinov dynasty. Reb Yaakov Dovid’s father was Rav Yitzchak of Vorka, a leading disciple of Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and a peer of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. When Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa passed away in 1827, his followers split into two streams, some of them following Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk whose emphasis was on fiery self-discipline, while the remainder adhered to Rav Yitzchak of Vorka whose approach was one of warmth and love. In 1848, when Rav Yitzchak of Vorka passed away, many of his followers wished to follow Rav Yaakov Dovid of Amshinov. He, too, followed the Vorka tradition of kindness and kiruv rechokim. Rav Yaakov Dovid set up court in the town of Mszczonow, Poland, which became known to Jews as Amshinov. There, he became known as the rebbe of Amshinov. Meanwhile, Rav Yaakov Dovid’s brother, Rav Menachem Mendel, continued the Vorki dynasty from their father in Vorki
itself (1779-1848). Rav Menachem, the oldest of Rav Yaakov Dovid’s three sons, inherited the mantle of Amshinov from his father for 40 years.
Rav Yaakov Mordechai of Stretin (1954)
Rav Avraham Shmuel Stern, Rosh Yeshivas Toras Chessed in London (1949-2005). Born in Miskolcz, Hungary, to Rav Pinchas Zelig Stern, the Serentcher Rav, he arrived in London with his parents in 1956. Seeing the need for a new chassidish yeshiva in London, Rav Stern founded Toras Chessed 27 years ago. During his entire life, he was close to the Rebbes of Satmar and Pshevorsk.
Today in History – 3 Kislev
· The last prophecy in human history was given to Zecharia during King Darius’s reign, promising that the fast days in Tammuz and Av will turn into days of joy, 651 BCE (see Rashi Yoma 21b).
· The first public burning of Jews at the stake by the Inquisition in the Americas, Lima, Peru, 1581.
· Bogdan Chemielnicki led serfs in the Cossack attacks against the Polish aristocracy, 1648. The Polish town of Kamenetz was one of the first targets, with thousands killed in the first few days. Over the following ten years, between 100,000 and 500,00 Jews lost their lives.
· 36 Jews killed in Lemberg explosion, 1702. A miracle saved the Pnei Yehoshua.
· Teverya saved from attack, 1742.
· First Nazi mass-murder of Warsaw Jews, 1939.
· Nazis execute 1,538 Jews in Poltava, Russia, 1941.
Today in History – 4 Kislev
· Date of the last prophecy of the last prophet, Zecharia, 345 BCE – that the Jews should not mourn on Tisha B’Av during the era of the Bayis Sheini.
· Maria of Hapsburg expels the Jews of Pressburg, 1526.
· Empress Elizabeth expels all 35,000 Jews from Great Russia, 1742.
· The Nazis moved out all 3,700 inhabitants of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovokia to create a “model” Jewish ghetto where it shipped Jews from all over Czechoslovakia, 1941. In all, 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.