Yahrtzeits – 4 Tammuz
-Rav Yaakov ben Meir (Rabbeinu Tam). The most famous of Rav Meir ben Shmuel’s sons, one of Rashi’s grandsons. He studied under his father and his older brother, Shmuel (the Rashbam), who was 15 years his senior. His other older brother Yitzchak (Rivam) was 10 years older than Rav Yaakov. Born in Ramerupt, Reb Yaakov was only 5 (or 9, according to others) when Rashi was niftar, and thus was not zocheh to learn with him. He succeeded his father as Rosh Yeshiva in the Ramerupt. He was quite wealthy as a wine merchant and financier. On the 2nd day of Shavuos of 1146, Crusaders entered and pillaged the city of Ramerupt, taking all of his possessions and inflicting five knife wounds in his head. He was saved by a nobleman, who promised the mob that he would convert the rabbi. After this incident, Rabbeinu Tam moved to Troyes and opened a teshiva. On 20 Sivan,1771, the Jews of Blois, France were subject to a blood libel, the first in Jewish history. And 32 Jews were killed. Rabbeinu Tam established that day as a fast day. Some of Rabbeinu Tam’s responsa are collected in Sefer Hayashar. (1100-1171)
-Rav Yaakov Reinman, Rav of Narol, a town in western Galicia (1778-1814). A disciple of Rav Shlomo of Skohl and Rav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Avraham Reinman (1796-1841).
-Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer, Rav of Berlin and Eisenstadt; talmid of the Aruch L’ner (1899)
-Rav Nissim Chaim Moshe Mizrachi, Rishon LeTzion of Yerushalayim and author of Admas Kodesh (1949)
-Rav Chaim Moshe Mandel, mekubal in Bnei Brak (1996)
-Rav Mordechai Shakovitzky, Rav in Leeds (England), Rosh Kollel in Johannesburg where he was one of the founders of the South African Kiruv Movement, and later Rosh Yeshivas Pischei Teshuva Yerushalayim. He was the son of Rav Naftali Hakohein Shakovitzky, the Gateshead Rav before Rav Mordechai Miller, and son-in-law of Rav Zalman Yosef Aloni Dubow (Rav and Av Beis Din of Dublin, Ireland). (1998)
Yahrtzeits – 5 Tammuz
-Rav Ezriel Meir of Lublin (1873-1941). Born to Rav Avraham Eiger of Lublin, a descendent of Rav Akiva Eiger. He reluctantly took the reigns of the Lublin Chassidim after his father’s petria in 1914. In 1913, Rav Ezriel Meir and his brother founded Yeshivas Ahavas Torah in Lublin, moving it to Warsaw a few years after WW I. Warsaw had the largest Chassidic community in the world at that time. Jews had first settled there during the 14th century, after the reign of King Kasimierz, and was then inundated by the Chassidic movement at the end of the 18th century. By 1939, Warsaw had a population of about 393,950 Jews, which was approximately one-third of the city’s total population.Today in History – 4 Tammuz
· 24 wagonloads of sifrei kodesh were burned by the church in France, 1242.
· Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg was imprisoned and 40 Jews killed on charges of ritual murder, 1286.
· Chumash with Ramban first published in 1490.
· 1000 Jews of Tulchin (Tulczyn), Poland, along with local Poles, were tortured and massacred by Cossacks, 1648.
· The Jewish quarter in Prague was destroyed by French troops who shelled the area, 1689. In one shul the roof caved in, killing the 100 people who had sought refuge there. Most of the population was taken in by their Christian neighbors until new shelters were built.
· As many as 24,000 Jews in the city of Yassi (Jassy) were murdered in a pogrom, only a ferw days after the Nazis annexed Hungary. The Skverer Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Yosef, was miraculously saved.
· Nazis murdered the male Jews of Drobian, Lithuania, 1941.
· Yerushalayim bombed for the first time in its history, 1948.
Today in History – 5 Tammuz
· Galus Yehoyochin occurred on this day, 7 years after Yehoyokim was taken into galus, 433 BCE. Yehoyochin, king of Yehuda, was taken to Bavel together with the leading talmidei chachamim of his time.
· Yechezkel ben Buzi Hakohen gave his prophecy by the Kvar River, 5 years after Galus Yehoyochin, mentioned in the beginning of Sefer Yechezkel, 428 BCE
· Massacre of the Jews of Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, 1298.
· Pope allows Jews accused by the Inquisition the right to know who their accusers were, 1299.
· Rav Yom Tov Lipmann Heller, the Tosfos Yom Tov, was imprisoned, 1629.
· Passing of Daniel Mendoza, a Sephardi Jew who was known as the “father of scientific boxing”, 1876. Billing himself as “Mendoza the Jew”, he became one of England’s greatest boxing champions and the first boxer to win the patronage of the Prince of Wales.
· Mass killings of Jews in Auschwitz began by the Nazis, 1942.
· A postwar pogrom in Kielce, Poland, left 42 people, mostly yidden, dead and 50 wounded, 1946. Army and security officers took part in the attack that was sparked by the false story spread by Walenty Blaszcyk that his son had been kidnapped by Jews. The event is considered Europe’s last pogrom.
· Mohammed Bouyeri, a Muslim extremist on trial in the slaying of Dutch film-maker Thei van Gogh, unexpectedly confessed in court, saying he was driven by religious conviction. He was sentenced to life in prison. 2005