Saturday, March 31, 2007

13 Nisan - Nasi & Yahrzeits

The last reading from the Neseim, Zos Chanukas Hamizbeach.

The reading of each day corresponds to another month of the year. Today’s reading corresponds to Adar Sheini, which is an added thirteenth month in a leap year, which we will have this year. Therefore, one should daven for all their needs, material and spiritual, for Adar Sheini of the coming year.

See Day 1 for more on the Neseim.



R' Yosef ben R' Ephraim Karo, the Beis Yosef (1575)

R' Moshe ben R' Chaim Alshich, Toras Moshe (1593)

R'  Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Lubavitch ben R’ Sholom Shachna, Tzemach Tzedek (1866)


Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Friday, March 30, 2007

12 Nisan - Shabbos HaGadol - Nasi & Yahrzeit

Shabbos is the Nasi of Naftali, Achira ben Anon
See Day 1 for more.
R' Shimshon Dovid Pincus ZY"A ben R' Chaim Avrohom shlita, Rav in Ofakim and Johannesburg (2001) Was tragically killed in a car accident together with his wife and a daughter.

Segulas For Pesach

The Arizal says one who stays completely away from the slightest amount of chometz the whole Pesach is assured they won’t sin a whole year. (Chometz is an allusion to the sitra acher. It is brought down from Reb Chaim Vital that any aveira one does on Pesach is worse than if done the rest of the year. We could assume that the reward for staying away from sin is also greater than the rest of the year. Putting these together, perhaps what the Arizal means is, if one stays away from the sitra acher, not sinning at all on Pesach (including not eating any chometz), then he has this assurance.)

Reb Naftali of Ropshitz in Zera Kodesh says that Pesach is a segula for parnasa since on Pesach the crops are judged. The Chidushei Harim says the same thing and adds another reason; because earning a living is considered as difficult as Krias Yam Suf, the splitting of the sea, which occurred on Pesach.

Erev Pesach

It is a good to burn arovos leftover from Hoshana Rabbah (though some aravos should be kept as a shmira) together with the chometz. This destroys “evil forces”. (Kav Naki to Kav Hayosher, based on Yesod Yosef)

There is a segula from Reb Shimson Ostropolier ZY”A (great-grandfather of Toldos Yaakov Yosef & R’ Lieber of Berdichev) to read a fascinating letter he wrote on the Arizal’s sefer about the 10 plagues of Egypt. The best time to read it is Erev Pesach in the afternoon, after reciting the order of the Korban Pesach (found in most siddurim & machzorim). He writes at the end that anyone who studies this, even once a year, especially Erev Pesach, will be saved from calamities for the year and you will have success in all your endeavors. Here is a link to this letter translated into English and here it is in the original Hebrew. Many hagadas have this letter printed. There are miraculous stories of people who read this and were saved during the holocoust.

Seder Night

Reb Nachman of Breslov says that a kezayis of maror on Pesach is a segula for parnasa. (Sefer Hamidos) Reb Nachman of Tcherin explains this is because it says in Masechta Eruvin that the dove sent by Noach said: Ribbono Shel Olam yehiyu mezonosai marorem kezyais beYodecha – “Master of the universe may my food be as bitter as an olive but dependent on You” (rather then sweet as honey but dependent on flesh and blood).

The Kav Hayoshor says that matza is a shmira like a mezuzah. There is a minhag to save a piece of the afikomen as a segula for shmira. The Orchas Chaim says that it protects from robbers and from “bad forces” because MaTzaH stands for M’kol T’zarah H’atzileinu (from all suffering save us), and it is even better if you save a piece from the matza that you recited 2 brochos on by Motzei Matzah.

Before the Mah Nishtanah it says in the hagada (and this is also what it says in Talmud Yerushalmi)v’kan haben shoel. This can be read as: “and here ask for a son”. This is a time that is mesugal for someone who has no children or only daughters to ask Hashem for a son, so that he can fulfill the mitzvah of v’higadita l’bincha, telling over to your son the story of the Hagada.

It is brought down in Sifrei Chasidus that the seder night is mesugal to speak to children about the Hagada and emunah even if they are little babies, since it goes into their neshama.

Meor V'Shemesh says that the eating of matzah on Pesach protects the neshama from being damaged by chometz during the year.

Shabbos After Pesach

It is a segula for parnasa to bake shlisel (key) challah for this Shabbos. The Ohev Yisroel explains one of the reasons is because it’s Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar, and Iyar is when the mon started to fall. There are customs as to how this is done including putting a key into the challah before baking, making the challah in the shape of a key, making a key out of dough and placing it on the challah or putting sesame seeds on the challah in the shape of a key. Reb Pinchos of Koritz says to make the challah flat to look like matzos. There will be a separate post about shlissel challah after Pesach. Here is that posting.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

11 Nisan - Nasi & Yahrzeits

Nasi of Asher, Pagiel ben Achron
See Day 1 for more.


R' Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban (1270)

R' Yeshaya ben R' Avrohom Halevi Horowitz, the Shelah (1630)

R' Shlomo Zalman Lipschitz, Chemdas Shlomo (1839)

R' Betzalel Hakohen of Vilna, Mareh Kohen

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

10 Nisan - Nasi & Yahrzeits

Nasi of Shevet Don - Achiezer ben Amishadai.
See Day 1 to learn about the Neseim.

Miriam Hanevia (1270 B.C.E.)

R' Shalom Mashash, Sephardic Rav of Yerushalayim, passed away Shabbos Hagadol 5763/2003

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How To Destroy Mazikim

I have a kabbala (tradition passed down) that every effort that one exerts themselves with in honor of the Yom Tov of Pesach, and you are tired and worn from that exertion - through these efforts you destroy all the Mazikim(damaging angels) called "nigei bnei adam".

(Kav Hayosher, Chapter 90)

(Just thinking out loud - maybe we shouldn’t complain about the women cleaning beyond the halachic requirement.)

One should not say: "Pesach is so difficult" (Rokeach, Hilchos Pesach), because it says in Talmud Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:4: "Rasha mah hu omer - mah ha'avodah hazos - What does the rasha say? - What is this (grueling) work? - this toiling that we bother with each and every year" (preparing for Pesach).

(Kav Naki commentary on Kav Hayosher)

9 Nisan - Yahrzeits & Nasi

Nasi of Shevet Binyamin, Avidon ben Gidoni
See Day 1 to learn about the Neseim.

Yahrzeits for 9 Nisan

R' Chaim Meir ben R' Yisroel Hager of Vizhnitz, the Imrei Chaim (1972)

R' Aryeh Leib ben R' Binyamin Beinish Levine, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Eitz Chaim. (1969)Known as "the tzadik of Yerushalaim". Stories about him are legendary. See Heichal HaNegina for more.

R' Yosef Yoska Han Nargolin ben Pinchos, Yosef Ometz

Monday, March 26, 2007

8 Nisan - Nasi & Yahrzeits

Nasi of MenasheGamliel ben Pedotzur

See Day 1 for more on the Neseim.

Yahrzeits for 8 Nisan


R' Mordechai ben Dov Ber Shapira of Neshchiz, Talmid Muvhak of R’ Yechiel Mechel of Zlotchov

R' Eliyahu of Prague ben Binyamin Wolf Shapiro, author of Eliyahu
Rabba (1712)

R' Yechiel Michel Tikochinsky, author of Gesher HaChaim


R’ Eliyahu Hakadosh of York, Rabbeinu Yom Tov and several other of the English Baalei Tosafos. They were killed  al Kiddush Hashem” at Clifford's Tower, in York, during the Crusades 1146. This is where the Cherem of York, forbidding Jews to never sleep in the City of York overnight, started.

Reb Yaakov Tzvi Yales of Premezyln, author of Melo Haroim and Kehillas Yaakov, 1825


Birchas Ilanos

See Rabbi Lazer Brody's posting on the Blessing of the Trees.
Also see more here at Heichal HaNegina.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

7 Nisan - Nasi & Yahrzeits

Nasi of Ephraim, Elishomo ben Amihud

See Day 1 for more on the Neseim.


Yahrzeits for 7 Nisan


R’ Pinchos Zelig, Rav of Lask and author of Ateres Paz (1670)

R’ Yitzchok of Drohbich (1758) ben R’ Yosef, father of R’ Yechiel Mechel of Zlotchov

R’ Aryeh Leib Yellin of Bialystock, author of Yefeh Einayim (1884)

Dr. Moshe Wallach, founder of Shaarei Tzedek Hospital (1957), known for his tzidkus.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

6 Nisan - Sunday - Nasi of Gad - Elyasaf ben De'uel

For more on the Neseim see Day 1.

6 Nisan - Yahrzeits

R' Aharon ben R' Shmuel Yaakov Roth, Shomer Emunim (1947) The Shomer Emunim, Toldos Ahron and Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok dynasties come from him.

R' Meir Don Plotsky, author of Kli Chemda (1928)

R. Hillel ben Zev Tzvi HaKohen Klein, Buried in Brooklyn's Washington Cemetery. See here for more.

R' Meir ben Yaakov Schiff, the Maharam Schiff (Some sources say 20Adar)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shabbos 5 Nisan - Nasi of Shimon - Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai

Here is a link to the reading of the Nasi for 5 Nisan. (Make sure to print before Shabbos if you need it. You can find it in most siddurim. )

For more on the Neseim see Day 1 here.

5 Nisan - Yahrzeits

R' Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel ben R' Shmuel, the Apta Rov, Ohev Yisroel (1825) buried next to Baal Shem Tov. See here for more.

R' Tzvi Elimelech Shapira of Bluzhov ben R' Dovid of Dinov, wrote Tzvi Latzadik

R' Moshe ben Shlomo Rokeach(1939) Kiev-Zlotchover Rebbe. He is a descendent of R' Elazar of Amsterdam. He is buried in Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens, NY.

R' Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz, the Tzaddik of Ofakim (1995) See here for more.

Matzos- Tzedaka Saves From Death

צ׳דקה ת׳ציל מ׳מות - Tzedaka saves from death. The first letters spell מצת, Matzos. (Likutei Mohoran 201)
See A Simple Jew's Maos Chitim campaign for Eizer L'Shabbos here.
They help our needy Jewish brothers in Tsfas.
Tizku L'Mitzvos!

4 Nisan - Sehevet Reuven - Elitzur ben Shdeiur

Here is a link to the reading of todays Nasi. (Thanks to ASJ for this.)

For more on the Neseim see Day 1 here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

4 Nisan - Yahrzeits

R' Yochonon Twersky of Rachmastrivka, son of R' Mordechai, the Magid of Chernobyl (1895)

R' Yaakov Tzvi ben R' Gamliel Mecklenberg, author of Haksav V'hakabolah (1865)

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Segula for Parnasa - 3 Nisan - Nasi of Zevulan - Eliav ben Chelon

Today, 3 Nisan is the Nasi of Shevet Zevulan, Eliav ben Chelon. R’ Chaim Elazar of Munkatch, known as the Minchas Elazar, says he heard from R’ Yechezkel Shraga of Shiniva (Divrei Yechezkel), that today is mesugal, auspicious, for the flowing of livelihood and wealth. This is because Zevulan was the tribe that supported Yisachor learning Torah.

You can read it here.

For more on the reading of the Neseim see Day 1 here .

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

3 Nisan - Yahrzeits

R' Aryeh Leib Grossnass, author of Lev Aryeh

R' Eliyahu Meir Finkel, (father of the current Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel) Nasi of Mirrer Yeshiva, Yerushalayim

R' Levi Yitzchak Slonim, was the son of Rebbetzin Menuchah Rochel, daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe
Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

2 Nisan - Nasi of Yissachor - Nesanel ben Tzuar

Today is the second Nasi, Nesanel ben Tzuar of Shevet Yissachor. Today should be a good day to daven for hatzlacha in Torah, since Shevet Yissachar represented Torah. I base this on what the Minchas Elazar said he heard from R' Yecheskel Shraga Halberstam of Shiniva, the Divrei Yecheskel, that tomorrow, 3 Nisan, is mesugal for Parnasa and Ashirus since we read the Nasi of Zevulon (and Zevulon supported Shevet Yissachor). For more information on the reading of the Neseim see Day 1 here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

2 Nisan - Yahrzeits

R' Sholom Dov Ber ben R' Shmuel Schneerson, the Rebbe RaShaB, 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe (1920)
R' Yaakov Yosef ben R' Dovid Twersky, Skverer Rebbe (1968)
Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

King of the Months - Nisan

הַחדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם ראשׁ חֳדָשִׁים רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה.

The word לָכֶם has the same letters as מלך, king. This, the Kav Hayashar says, alludes to Nisan being the first and “king” of all the months.

The Degel Machane Ephraim quotes the first mishna in Rosh Hashona: the first of Nisan is Rosh Hashona of Malochim, and it is know that only Klal Yisroel is called Bnei Malochim. Therefore, it says הַחדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶםלָכֶם has the same letters as מלך. This month, which is Rosh Hashona of Malochim is given specifically to Klal Yisroel.

Here is more from Degel Machane Ephraim on Nisan from A Simple Jew.

Niseim - 1 Nisan - Shevet Yehudah - Nachshon ben Aminadav

From Rosh Chodesh Nisan on there is a minhag to read the “Neseim” from Parsha Naso. (Shlah beginning of PesachimHachodesh”, Mishna Berura 429:8, Be’er Heitiv 429:6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 107:1) The Kav Hayosher in Chap. 88 goes into great detail about this. He says to give tzedaka before reading the Nasi, since tzedaka always helps ones tefilos. He says this benefits that whole shevet.  There is also a “Yehi Ratzon to say after the reading. Reb Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (Bnei Yisaschar) in Igra Dekala (Pekudei) says in the name of his Rebbe, Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, that each of the first 12 days of Nisan represent 1 month of the year and contain all the koach of that coming month. He says it is well known that the Chozeh of Lublin would write down what would happen in the coming year during the days of the Neseim, each day for the corresponding month.  The year he died he stopped writing at the month of Av; he passed away on Tisha B’Av. We see from here that one should daven for all his needs for the coming months of the year on each representative day of the Neseim. There are those that have a minhag to read the Neseim from a Sefer Torah, but most read it by themselves from a Siddur or Chumash.


The first day’s Nasi is from Shevet Yehudah, Nachshon ben Aminadav.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Reb Nachman's Birthday - Rosh Chodesh Nisan

Rosh Chodesh Nisan is the birthday of Rabbeinu Nachman ben Faiga of Breslov ZY"A. In honor of this here is a link to the Breslov Center that contains many Breslov minhagim as well as much more on Breslov.

1 Nisan - Yahrzeits

Nadav and Avihu, sons of Ahron HaKohen

Rav Rachumai, Tanna

R' Shmuel Kellin of Boskowitz, wrote Machtzis Hashekel on
Magen Avrohom

R' Moshe Yosef Hoffman, Dayan in Pupa

R' Elimelech ben R' Chaim Meir Yechiel of Grodzensk, wrote Divrei Elimelech and Imrei Elimelech. Father of the Piazeczna Rebbe HY"D( Aish Kodesh, Chovas Hatalmidim). Thanks to Yitz for inforing me of this yahrzeit.

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Sunday, March 18, 2007

29 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Shlomo ben R' Dov Tzvi Hakohen Rabinowitz, Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk

R' Yaakov ben R' Binyamin Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva Torah Vadaas. One of the great tzadikim and leaders of his generation. Wrote Emes L'Yaakov (the name describes who he was)

R' Michel Berenbaum, mashgiach of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalaim. Was held in high regard by R' Moshe Feinstein

R'Yaakov Kamenetsky and R' Michel Berenbaum are both buried in Mt. Judah Cemetery on the Brooklyn/Queens border. See here for info.This is a great opportunity to go daven there, especially with today being Yom Kippur Koton. Many people say the tefilos of Yom Kippur Koton for Nisan and Elul even if they don't the rest of the year.

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

28 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Mordechai of Slonim (1916), I am not sure but he might have been a son of R' Yehoshua Issac (Eizel) "Charif" Shapiro of Slonim

R' Moshe Chevroni, Rosh Yeshiva-Chevron

R' Yechiel Michel Gutfarb, Gabbai Tzedaka of Yerushalayim( 2002)

Friday, March 16, 2007

27 Adar - Yahrzeits for Shabbos HaChodesh

The following information is from Michael Chaim Green, author of
5 Ways to Increase Your Spirituality: Ancient Wisdom to Enhance Your Daily Life , He has a new book coming out called
9 Spiritual Months: A Treasury of Jewish Insights for Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond to be released Sep. 2007.
Note: This is not an endorsement of these books, since I have not seen them. and besides I am not one to judge. My thanks to Michael Chaim Green for todays info, with a few additions by myself, in parentheses .

Tzedkiah, last king of Yehuda, died in captivity, in Bavel (561 BCE).
[Hamodia 2005 says 396 BCE; Hamodia 2006 says 380 BCE]

Rav Yosef Shaul ben Aryeh Leibush HaLevi Nathanson, born in Lvov, av beis
din Lvov and author of Hashoel Umaishiv (Shoel Umaishiv) (1810-1875)

Rav Yeshayah (ben R' Moshe) Schorr (1879). His primary teacher was Rav Mordechai of
Kremnitz, the son of the Maggid of Zlotchov, one of the leading students of
the Ba'al Shem Tov. (Also a talmid of R' Mendel of Kosov, Apta Rov and R' Tzvi Hersh of Zidichov) Rav Schorr's last rabbinical post, and the one for which
he is best remembered, was in Iasi (on the present-day border between
Rumania and Moldova). His best know sefer is Klil Tiferes on chumash. (Also wrote responsa Kanfei Nesharim)

Rav Moshe Meir Rosenstein of Berditchev (1821-1902). A chassid of the
Rizhuner Rebbe in his youth, Rav Moshe Meir moved to Eretz Yisral and
settled in Tzefas in 1853, living there for several decades. At the end of
his life, he settled in Teveria. His insights have been published recently
in a sefer called "Avodas HaLevi'im."

Rav Shlomo Elyashiv (1841-1925). He was a great Kabbalist whose vast
knowledge of all aspects of Torah and exceptional ability to clarify
complicated concepts resulted in a few several Kabbalistic works, including
Drushei Olam HaTohu ("Dayah") and Hakdamos V'Sha'arim ("HaKadosh"). More
recently, the more philosophical and less Kabbalistically technical sections
of his works were assembled into a single book called Leshem Shevo
Ve'achlama. (He is known as "the Leshem". Grandfather of R' Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita.)

Rav Moshe Neuschloss, av beis din of New Square. New Square is the
anglicized form of Skvira, a village in Ukraine, where the Skver Hasidim
dynasty of Chasidism had its roots. The community began in 1954, when twenty
Skver families moved from Williamsburg to a 130 acre farm north of Spring
Valley, under the leadership of their Rebbe Rav Yakov Yosef Twersky. In 1961
New Square became the first village in New York state to be governed by a
religious group. Over the years annexations have increased its size. Its
population increased 78% between 1990 and 2000.

Rav Chaim Sinuani (1898-1979). Born in Sinuan, Yemen, to Chacham Yichya, of
the eminent Bida family. As a youth, he left home for Jabal, to study in the
yeshiva of Rav Shlomo ben Yosef Tabib and Rav Dovid Ya'ish Chadad. Both of
the roshei yeshiva passed away in 1919. In 1921, at the age of only 23, Rav
Chaim became Rav and Av Beis Din of Sinuan. He and his family participated
in Operation Magic Carpet in 1949. He is buried in Yehud.

Rav Yisrael Bergstein, born in the Lithuanian city of Suvalk, studied in
Grodno under Rav Shimon Shkop and Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz from age 11, then at
age 14, under Rav Avraham Grodzinsky and the Alter of Slabodka at Chevron.
Taught at Chafetz Chaim in Baltimore and founded a yeshiva in White Plains


Thursday, March 15, 2007

26 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Eliezer Lipa of Chelminik(Poland) ben R' Elimelech of Lizensk (1813), not to be confused with his older brother R' Elazar of Lizensk. Wrote Orach Latzadik

Sarah Schenirer, mother of the Bais Yaakov movement (1935)

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

25 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Avrohom Gershon ben R' Ephraim Ashkenazi of Kitov, brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov (1761)

R' Menachem Mendel of Visiva ben R' Yisroel Hager of Vizhnitz (1941) (I have his yahrzeit recorded as 13 Teves, but I saw this date listed in other places)

R' Yisroel Yaakov ben R' Ahron Fisher, Raavad of the Eida Hachareidis (2003)

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

24 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Chaim Algazi of Kushta, mechaber of Nesivos Hamishpot

R' Eliyahu ben R' Shlomo Hacohen of Izmir, author of Shevet
Mussar, Medrash Talpios and numerous other seforim (1729)

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Monday, March 12, 2007

23 Adar- Yahrzeits

R’ Yitzchok Meir ben R’ Yisroel Alter-Rottenberg ZY”A, Chiddushei Harim. Descended from Maharam M’Rutenburg (1866)

R’ Chaim Chaikel ben R’ Shmuel Levin of Amdur ZY”A, talmid muvhak of Reb Ahron Hagadol of Karlin
R’ Rafael ben R’ Aryeh Leib Shapiro ZY”A, son-in-law of Nitziv and Rosh Yeshivas Volozhin (1921)
R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz ben Noson Dovid of Biala ZY”A ,Divrei Bina (1905)
R’ Yehuda Moshe Tyberg-Danziger ZY”A, Alexander Rebbe of Bnei Brak, Emunas Moshe, son-in-law of previous Rebbe

Note: There are yahrzeits I might not include either beacause I didn't have the time or I am not aware of them. If you know that today is the yahrzeit of a Rebbe, Tzadik, Rosh Yeshiva etc. that isn't listed feel free to mention it in the comments.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

22 Adar - Yahrzeits

Both of the following are buried in Mount Judah Cemetery on the
Queens/Brooklyn Border. For those living in the area it is a great
opportunity to go daven by the kvarim. From Boro Park/Flatbush it is 20-30
minutes. Mount Judah Cemetery has a new website you can look up maps, grave
locations, diections and more.

The quickest way
to go from BP/Flatbush is get to Kings Hwy go all the way to end - it turns into
Howard Ave. make right at Eastern Pkwy. go to end, following signs for
Jackie Robinson Pkwy. make right onto Bushwick go 2 light make right will
take you onto JRP get off exit 2. Make left. At light make another left onto
Cypress Avenue. Office is on the left after about 200 feet.

R' Rafael Reuvein ben R' Grozovsky ZY"A, one of the great Rosh Yeshivas

Reb. Miriam Freida bas R' Hillel, wife of the Chofetz Chaim

Also the yahrzeit of the Dushinsky Rebbe, R' Yisroel Moshe ben R' Yosef Tzvi ZY"A. I had the zchus of being by his Tish Friday night Shabbos Chanukah about 15 years ago. I'll never forget it. It was beautiful.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

21 Adar - Yahrzeit of The Rebbe, Reb Elimelech of Lizensk

Known affectionately as the Rebbe, Reb Meilech, Reb Elimelech ben Reb Elazar Lipman Weissbloom ZY"A, author of Noam Elimelech is one of the most famous of the talmidim of the Magid of Mezerich. Thousands of people travel to his kever on the yahrzeit every year and throughout the year. There is so much to say about him. If you do a search you can find a wealth of information on him. Here is some information about about the English version of Noam Elimelech, including sample chapters.
Also the yahrzeit of Reb Yitzchok Elchonon Spector, Rav of Kovno

Friday, March 9, 2007

20 Adar - Yahrzeits

R’ Yoel Sirkis ZY"A, author of Bach- Bayis Chadash on the Tur (1641)

R’ Meir ben Yaakov ZY”A, wrote Maharam Shiff on Shas (1633)

R’ Shlomo Zalman ben R’ Chaim Yehuda Auerbach ZY”A, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivah Kol Torah and author of Minchas Shlomo (1995) One of the greatest and most beloved poskim and tzadikim of recent years. His father was Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Hashomyim and considered one of the greatest mekubolim of his time. Descended from the Toldos Yaakov Yosef of Polonye.

R’ Rapahael ben R’ Shmuel Blum of Kashau ZY”A, one of the great tzadikim, died several years ago.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Segula For Remember Torah - The Bach Was Accustomed To Saying This

Siddur Yeshuas Yisroel says that saying the following is a segula for one not to forget their learning. It is from Sefer Raziel Hamalach near the end. Before eating one should fill up a cup with wine or another drink and then say the pesukim and tefila. On Shabbos and Yom Tov it should be said after filling the cup with wine, before making Kidush. The reason I am posting this now is because Otzar Tefilos Yisroel quotes Sefer Zechira saying that the Bach was accustomed to saying this; the Bach’s yahrzeit is this Shabbos, 20 Adar. If one of the greatest of our Acharonim said it, then it is defiantly worth saying.

אָכֵן רוּחַ-הִיא בֶאֱנוֹשׁ וְנִשְׁמַת שַׁקי תְּבִינֵם. (איוב ל״ב, ח)

לְאָדָם מַעַרְכֵי-לֵב וּמֵד׳ מַעֲנֵה לָשׁוֹן. (משלי ט״ז, א)

(תהלים נ״א,י״ג) אַל-תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְרוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ אַל-תִּקַּח מִמֶּנִּי.

ד׳ בַּצַּר פְּקָדוּךָ צָקוּן לַחַשׁ מוּסָרְךָ לָמוֹ.(ישעיה כ״ו ט״ז)

לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא-לִי אֱלֹקים וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי. (תהלים נ״א,י״ב)

ד׳ אלקים נָתַן לִי לְשׁוֹן לִמּוּדִים לָדַעַת לָעוּת אֶת-יָעֵף דָבָר יָעִיר בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר יָעִיר לִי אֹזֶן, לִשְׁמֹעַ, כַּלִּמּוּדִים. ד׳ אלקים פָּתַח-לִי אֹזֶן וְאָנֹכִי לֹא מָרִיתִי אָחוֹר לֹא נְסוּגֹתִי. (ישעיה נ, ד-ה)

רוּחַ ד׳ דִּבֶּר-בִּי וּמִלָּתוֹ עַל-לְשׁוֹנִי. (שמועל־ב כ״ג, ב)

The names of Malachim in parentheses should not be read, only scanned with the eyes.

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ד׳ אֶלֹקֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁתִּפְתַּח לִבִּי בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ וְתָאִיר עֵינַי וְלִבִּי בּשֵׁם (פתחיא״ל רפא״ל תופיא״ל) שֶׁיִפְתְּחוּ אֶת לִבִּיׁשֶלׂא אשׁכַּח כָּל יָמַי מִכָּל מַה שׁלָמַדְתִּי וּמַה שֶׁצִוִתָנוּ לִלְמׂד וְיהְיֶה מַעמָדִי שֶאֶלְמַד כָּל יָמַי וְלׂא אשׁכַּח דְבַר תּוֹרָה לְעוֹלָם אָמֵן נֶצַח סֶלָה. בָּרוּך ד׳ לעוֹלָם אָמֵן וְאָמֵן.

19 Adar - Yahrzeits

R’ Yosef Chaim ben R’ Avrohom Shlomo Sonnenfeld ZY”A, Rov of Yerushalayim (1932). Talmid of Ksav Sofer

R’ Yehuda Greenwald ZY”A, Av Beis Din of Satmar, author of Shevet

R’ Yitzchok ben R’ Yosef Kalisch ZY”A, Amshinover Rebbe of US (1993)

R’ Meir Yechiel ben R’ Avrohom Yitzchok Halevi Haldshtok ZY”A, Ostrovtzer Rebbe (1928) Not so well known, but was an absolute genius besides being a great tzadik who fasted most of his life. There is a great tape about his life from Rabbi Berel Wein, available here. Wrote Meir Einei Chachomim (not to be confused with an earlier sefer on Chanukah & Purim by R’ Meir of Kursetchov)

Going To Lizensk? Why?

Why don't you go to Israel? Why are you spending money in a land that killed so many Jews? Why......? These are a few of the questions many people ask at this time of the year when thousands of Jews travel to Lizensk, Poland for the yahrzeit of the Rebbe, Reb Elimelech of Lizensk. Actually, these same people ask the same questions when tens of thousands travel to Uman,Ukraine to spend Rosh Hashana by the tzion of Reb Nachman of Breslov.

First of all, no one is demeaning the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael. I just feel these questions make as much sense as asking someone eating an apple; why don't you eat an orange? This is not the place to discuss how great these tzadikim were; everyone knows, whether or not they'll admit to it. If someones relative or Rabbi is buried outside of Israel and in a land soaked with Jewish blood, does that mean the grave should never be visited? That would be cruel, for a departed loved one to have no one come pray at their grave. The benefits for the soul of the departed, when people pray at the grave, are great.

When someone travels to Europe on business or goes to Bermuda on vacation to we ask: Why not Israel? How many people would turn down an opportunity to make money dealing with a company based in one of these countries? (basically the whole Europe) Besides, who says that these people aren't going to Israel for Lag Baomer? Many do. Actually, I think the people with the questions are probably ignorant about the idea of praying at the graves of tzadikim. They do not realize that many people go there praying for help from Hashem and asking the tzadik to daven for them or loved ones for yeshuos in health, parnasa, shiduchim and more.

One more thing, in Likutei Mohoran-2 109, it says that the place where true
tzadikim are buried have the kedusha of "Eretz Yisrael Mamash". So, they
really are going to Israel.

If anyone has more to add, please comment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

18 Adar - Yahrzeits

R' Alexander Ziskind ben R' Moshe of Horodna ZY"A, author of Yesod V'shoresh Ha'avoda. In his tzavah he says he will be a "good advocate" for all who learn his sefer, even if they don't take upon themselves anything he writes. R' Ahron of Karlin brought him to the Magid of Mezerich, but the Magid purposely was not mekarev him because he said R' Alexander was a pure tzadik and already set in his ways. Yesod V'shoresh Ha'avoda is used by Litvaks, Chasidim and Sfardim. It is brought down in Chaye Mohoran (Tzadik) that R' Nachman of Breslov praised him.

R' Chatzkel Levenstein, legendary mashgiach of Mir & Ponovezh (1974), R' Yechezkel ben R' Yehuda ZY"A.

R' Chanoch Henach ben R' Pinchos HaKohen of Alexander ZY"A(1870), direct descendant of the Shach. Talmid of the Yid Hakodosh and R' Bunim of Peshischa. Served as rebbe of the Gerer Chasidim for a while after the Chidushei HaRim died. Not to be confused with the Alexander Chasidim. he did not leave over a dynasty.

R' Nachum Mordechai ben R' Yisroel Friedman of Chortkov ZY"A (1946)