Today’s Yahrtzeits and History – 12-13 Shevat


Yahrtzeits – 12 Shevat
-Rav Chaim Kapusi (~1540-1631). Born in Algiers, he moved with his family to Egypt in his early years. He became Rav and Dayan in Egypt and is buried in the Cairo Jewish cemetery. He authored Sifsei Chaim (unpublished) on the Sifri and the Mechilta, and Be’or Hachaim on Chumash, which was published about 300 years after his petirah.
-Rav Tzvi Hersh Shor (1635), author of Toras Chaim.
-Rav Baruch Kapilish of Lublin (1739).
-Rav Meir Atlas (1848-1926), one of the foremost rabbonim in Lithuania in the late 1800s
and early 1900s. He helped found the Yeshiva of Telshe in 1875 and brought Rav Eliezer Gordon to head it. Rav Meir’s daughter, Michle was married to Rav Elchonon Wasserman, Rosh Yeshiva of Baranovich. Rav Meir first served as Rav in Libau, Kurland, and subsequently in Salant, Kobrin, and Shavli.
-Rav Zev Dov Zamoshitz (1942), author of Minchas Zikaron.
-Rav Shmuel Chamoula (1942-2004).
-Rav Shabtai Aton, Rosh Yeshivas Reishis Chochmah (1925-2006). Born in Yerushalayim’s Old City to Rav Ben-Tzion, one of the ten founders of Yeshivas Porat Yosef in the Old City, Reb Shabtai learned at his father’s yeshiva and was appointed as Rav of the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Malcha. In 1957, he was appointed as the spiritual leader of Yeshivas Porat Yosef, under the Roshei Yeshiva, Rav Ezra Attiah and Rav Yaakov Addas. It was at this time that the Yeshiva moved from the Old City to Geulah. In Teves 1960, Rav Aton was widowed and left with four small children. In 1967, he opened Yeshivas Reishis Chochmah. At first, the Yeshiva was located in the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Mekor Baruch, after which it moved to its present location in Sanhedria Murchevet.

Yahrtzeits – 13 Shevat
-Rav Mordechai of Lechovitz
, founder of Kobrin and Slonim dynasties (1810). He always told his chassidim that he first learned Torah from Rav Aharon of Karlin, who taught him Torah from the heart. He was succeeded by his son Rav Noach.
-Rav Baruch Sorotzkin, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe in Cleveland. Born in Zhetl, Lithuania, where his father, Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin, was Rav (the father was later known as the Lutzker Rav). Rav Baruch’s mother was the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe. As a young man, Rav Baruch studied under Rav Elchonon Wasserman, in Baranovich, and then under Rav Baruch Ber Lebovitz in Kamenitz. In 1940, he married Rachel Bloch, daughter of the Telsher Rav and Rosh Yeshivah, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch. With the advent of WW2, they escaped to America and settled in Cleveland, where he joined his wife’s uncles, Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch and Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz who re-established Telshe in America. In 1943, Rav Baruch began delivering shiurim in the Yeshiva. In 1964, Rav Baruch, together with Rav Mordechai Gifter, assumed responsibility for the Yeshiva. He was also very active with Chinuch Atzmai, Torah Umesorah, Agudath Israel of America (1917-1979)

History – 12 Shevat
· The French extend active citizenship to the Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux, 1790. Their poorer Ashkenazic brothers in Alsace-Lorraine continued to struggle for rights for another year and a half.
· Nazis provoked the first anti-Jewish riots in Amsterdam, 1941. The Jews successfully fought off their attackers.
· Jews in the Warsaw ghetto put up their first resistance to the Nazi effort at liquidation, 1943.
· The Russian army liberated the last 2,819 survivors of Auschwitz, 1945.

History – 13 Shevat
· The French National Assembly granted full and equal citizenship to the Portuguese and Avignonese Jews, 1790. France was the first European country to pass such liberal legislation.

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