Today’s Yahrtzeits & History – 18 Kislev



Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam, the only son of the Rambam, born to him by his second wife. Born in Fostat, Egypt (1186-1238). Author of Hamaspik L’avdei Hashem.

Rav Aryeh Leib Darshan of Posen (1736)

Rav Baruch of Mezhbizh (1756 [or 1753] -1811), son of Rav Yechiel Ashkenazi and Adel, the only daughter of the Baal Shem Tov. Educated by Rav Pinchas of Koritz and the Maggid of Mezritch, he began serving as Rebbe in Tulchin. After the passing of his older brother, the Degel Machane Ephraim in 1798, Rav Baruch settled in Mezhibizh.

Rav Yekusiel Shmelke of Sassov (1857)

Rav Yosef Yitzchak of Ovritch, son of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch, and father of Rebbitzen Shterna Sarah who was the wife of the Rebbe RaShaB (1877).

Rav Mordechai Alishberg of Boisk (1889)

Rav Chaim Tzvi Ehrenreich, author of ShU”T Kav Chaim (1875-1936). Born in Savrantz, his grandfather was Rav Avraham Yehuda Scwartz, the Kol Aryeh. His primary teacher was brother, Rav Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, Rav of Shamlau and author of Lechem Shlomo. Rav Chaim Tzvi became Rav of the Mahd community when he was 57, succeeding his father-in-law. He was also Av Beis Din of Mahd for over thirty years. In 1923, he published Ketzeit Hamteh on the mateh Ephraim (by Rav Ephraim Zalman Margulies of Brodt) on the halachos of Chodesh Elul and Chodesh Tishrei. In 1932, he published Shaarei Chaim on Shaarei Epharim, dealing with halachos of krias Hatorah. His magnus opus, Kav Chaim, comprised 102 (gematria of Kav) Teshuvos in practical halacha.

Rav Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum of Rackov (1998)

Rav Tzvi Menachem Teller, Rosh Yeshiva at the Bais Medrash L’Torah (Skokie Yeshiva) (1951-2007). His parents were Gerrer Chasidim from distinguished lineage, descended from Rav Yitzchok of Vorki. Upon advice of the Gerrer Rebbe, the Bais Yisrael, young Tzvi Teller went to a Lithuanian style Yeshiva. He learned at the Ponovezh Yeshiva for seven years as a talmid of Rav Dovid Povarsky and Rav Shmuel Rozovsky. After marrying, the couple moved to Seattle where Rav Tzvi became a principal for 3 years. In 1975, they then moved to Skokie.

Today in History – 18 Kislev

· Isaac De Castro Tartas was burned at the stake in Lisbon in 1647 at the age of 21. Although he was a Dutch citizen, he was condemned when he refused to accept Christianity.
· Catherine II of Russia permitted all foreigners except Jews to settle and travel in Russia, 1762.
· A decree in Strasbourg outlaws the performance of bris milah and the wearing of beards. All books in Hebrew are ordered to be burned, 1793.
· The first Kibbutz, Degania, was established in pre-state Israel, 1909, by Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), who was considered the visionary of the militantly secular kibbutz movement. In 2005, breaking with its lengthy secular tradition, Degania opened its first synagogue.
· Polish forces attack Jews of Lvov, 1918.
· Hermann Goering announced consideration of Madagascar as a home for European Jewry, 1938.
· Extermination Camp in Chelmo opened, 1941.
· First intifada starts in Israeli-administered areas, 1987.

{Yahrtzeits licensed to by Manny Saltiel and Anshe .org/ Newscenter}


  1. In 1941, 18 Kislev was December 8, the day after the devastating bombing of Pearl Harbor. On it, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and termed December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.”  By a unanimous minus one vote, Congress retroactively (from the time of the attack on the previous day) declared war on Japan.

    Adolf Hitler, Yimach Shemo V’Zichro, in tremendous euphoria over Japan’s massive attack on the U.S., gave orders to his own navy to openly attack U.S. ships.

  2. To Comment #2 from “Perplexed”:

    “Unanimous minus one vote” means that everyone present, EXCEPT one person, voted FOR the item (while the one person exception voted against it).

    The vote on the declaration of War on Japan was as follows:

    In the Senate, the vote was unanimous, 82 for, 0 against.

    In the House of Representatives, the vote was ALMOST unanimous, 388 for, 1 against.


  3. (note on previous comment)

    [The person who voted against the declaration was a woman representative from Montana, named “Jeannette Pickering Rankin.” She had also voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1918 when the U.S. had entered World War I. She was a rabid pacifist who devoted most of her life to anti-war and social justice activism. (See and]


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