Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 14 Adar, Purim


yahrtzeit-candlesRav Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomer, student of the Maggid of Mezeitch, author of Or Hameir, one of the early foundation texts of Chassidus (1800).

Rav Shimon Schwab (1908-1995). Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Rav Schwab learned at Mir and Telz before becoming dayan in Darmstadt and Rav in the district of Ichenhausen in Bavaria. Escaping nazi Germany in 1936, Rav Schwab served as Rav in Baltimore, then in New York in the Washington Heights area, following Rav Joseph Breuer.

Rav Menashe (ben Shlomo Zalman) Frankel of Lizhensk (1903-1965). Born in Yadlowa in eastern Galicia, he married the daughter of the Rav of Lizhensk and remained in Lizhensk. He was elected Dayan, and when his father-in-law was nifter in 1938, he became Rav of the city. Lizhensk was one of the first cities to fall to the Nazis in 1939. Rav Menashe escaped, but was sent to Siberia , then to Uzbekistan (Buchara). He settled in new York in 1948 and founded his own congregation, Ateres Shlomo.

Rav Yaakov Asher Kopf, grandson of the Lelover Rebbe, Rav Moshe Mordechai Biderman (1955-2005).

Today in History – 14 Adar

· The miracle of Purim took place, 355 BCE.
· In Bray, France, eighty Jews were burned to death for trying to execute a non-Jew who had killed a Jew, 1191. After securing permission from a local lord, they tried to hang the accused on Purim, which fell out three weeks before Easter.
· Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland were massacred, 1349
· Pope banned all social contact between Jews and Christians out of fear that Christians would be attracted to Judaism, 1451. A Christian who converted to Judaism and the Jews who helped him were usually subject to the death penalty in most Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries.
· Turkish soldiers killed 60 Jews in Bucharest, 1822.
· The death of Czar Nicholas I of Russia, 1855. He had passed the Cantonist decree forcibly conscripting Jewish children for his army, with the intended goal to baptize them. Over 70,000 Jews were forced to serve in his army over the period of the 30-year decree (1827-1857), many of them taken as children of 8 or 9.
· A blood libel began after the death of a student in Konitz, Prussia, 1900. A Jew named Wolf Israelski was arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two other Jews, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were subsequently acquitted. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief, Masloff, who later received only one year for perjury.
· The Chief Rabbinate of Palestine was established, 1921. Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld declared a fast day.
· Germanyviolated the Munich Agreement and marched into Prague, 1939.
· The Iraq attack against Eretz Yisrael during the Gulf War (1991) came to an end. Miraculously, only one person died during at least 39 SCUD attacks into many densely populated areas which resulted in hundreds of homes destroyed.

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