Tuesday, July 31, 2007

17 Av - R' Shlomo Chaim of Koidenov

R' Shlomo Chaim Perlow of Koidenov (1862) was the son of R' Ahron, the son of R' Mordechai Yaffe of Lechovitch. They were direct (ben acher ben) descendants of the Levush. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, R' Asher Perlow of Karlin, after his father died, and therefore he is also known by the last name of Perlow. After his uncle, R' Noach of Lechovitch, died, all the chassidim flocked to R' Shlomo. He had several sons that became great Rebbes in their own right.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Segula for Zera Shel Kayoma

See The Segula of Challah site. They have groups of people making challah, having in mind the names of couples that have not yet been blessed with children. B"H, many have been helped already. See there for more information.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tu B'Av - Preparing for Rosh Hashona & Segula for Long Life

A reason why we start to wish each other ״כתיבה וחתימה טובה״ on Tu B'Av is that the gematria of ״כתיבה וחתימה טובה״ is exactly the same as ״חמשה עשר באב״, because now begins the preparations for Rosh Hashonah. (Reb Chaim Elazar of Munkatch)


This fits in well with the Gemara (Bava Basra 121b, Taanis 30b-31a) that says that starting from 15 Av, when the nights start getting longer, one must add time to his Torah study at night. If one does this he will have days added onto his life, and if one doesn't, then the opposite, Chas v'Shalom. It would seem that a basic prearation for Rosh Hashona would be to add time to one's Torah study.


״כתיבה וחתימה טובה״ to all of Klal Yisroel

Friday, July 27, 2007

12-15 Av Yartzeits

12 Av - R' Aryeh Leib Katzenelbogen (1837) Rov of Vilna

12 Av - R' Moshe Ber ben R' Ahron of Stolin (1847) was a grandson of R' Shlomo of Karlin

12 Av - R' Ephraim Zalman ben R' Menachem Manish Margolies(1886) son-in-law of the Trisker Magid

12 Av - R' Yeshayahu ben R' Avrohom Moshe Veltfried of Kalish (1939)


13 Av - R' Nosson Nota Shapiro of Krakow (1633), author of Megaleh Amukos

13 Av - R' Mordechai ben Avrohom Benet (1829), author of Techeiles Mordechai

13 Av - R' Yehuda Leib Pesach ben R' Avrohom of Lipsk (1865)

13 Av - R' Yaakov Dovid ben R' Menachem Mendel (Tzemach Tzadik) Hager (1865)

13 Av - R' Yosef of Chelm ben R' Mordechai "Mayim Amukim", talmid of the Chozeh
13 Av - R' Yisroel Shmuel ben R' Aryeh Leibush of Tamoshov (1869) grandson of R' Yosef of Chelm, whose yartzeit is the same day. 

13 Av - R' Yaakov Yosef ben R' Moshe of Orzetchov

13 Av - R' Eliyahu Maaravi (1955) was a great leader of Mekubalim in Yerushalayim.
13 Av -
R' Yosef Eliyahu Henkin (1973), posek and head of Ezras Torah. He is buried on Long Island in Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, NY.
13 Av - R' Yosef Greenwald of Pupa (1984) ben Yaakov Chizkiya , author of Veyechi Yosef


14 Av - R' Tzvi Hirsch ben R' Ahron Friedman of Liska (1874), talmid of the Divrei Chaim and Rebbe of R' Shayele Kerestirer. He wrote Ach Pri Tevuah 

14 Av - R' Yitzchok of Mezritch (1826) talmid of the Chozeh

14 Av- R' Yitzchok Friedman of Bohush (1992) ben R' Sholom Yosef of Shpikov, Rebbe from the Rizhin Dynasty


15 Av - Nochum Ish Gamzu,  tanna who was known for saying "gamzu letovah" for everything

15 Av - R' Amram ben Divan was a great Morocan Tzadik

15 Av - R' Asher (the second)(1873) ben R' Ahron (the second) of Karlin

15 Av - R' Yaakov ben R' Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Izhbitza-Radzin (1878), author of Beis Yaakov

15 Av - R' Meir Noson ben R' Chaim (Divrei Chaim) Halberstam (1855) was the father of the first Bobover Rebbe

15 Av - R' Dovid Yosef ben R' Shlomo Yechiel Biderman of Lelov (1897) He was from the members of the Lelover family that didn't move to Eretz Yisroel. He was Rebbe in Lelov, Poland

15 Av - R' Tzvi Hirsch Halberstam of Rudnik (1918) ben R' Boruch of Gorlitz, grandson of the Divrei Chaim

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

11 Av - Yartzeits

R' Hillel ben R' Meir HaLevi Malisov, best known as Reb Hillel Paritcher (1864) was a talmid of the Bas Ayin, Chenobyler Magid, Miteler Rebbe and Tzemach Tzedek. He was one of the greatest tzadikim in Chabad at the time and was like a Rebbe in his own right. He authored Pelach Harimon, Imrei Noam, Likutei Biurim and Maamar Hishtatchus.

R' Yitzchak Blazer of St. Petersburg (1907) was a talmid of R' Yisroel Salanter. He wrote Ohr Yisroel, based on his Rebbe's letters and Pri Yitzchok (1907)

Is Your Shaver Kosher?

If you shave, make sure your shaver is halachically acceptable. See www.koshershaver.org.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Av - Yartzeits

Yissachar ben Yaakov Avinu

Don Yitzchok Abarbanel (1508)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chozeh of Lublin

Tisha B'Av is the yahrzeit of Reb Yaakov Yitzchok ben Avrohom Eliezer HaLevi Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin or the Rebbe of Lublin, who passed away in 1815. He was a talmid of the Magid of Mezritch, Magid of Zlotchov, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev and the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg. His main Rebbe, of course, was the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk, the author of Noam Elimelech. He was one of the four top talmidim of the Noam Elimelech. (The other three were Reb Yisroel of Koznitz, Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel of Apta and Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. There were, of course, many other great talmidim, but these four were singled out by the Noam Elimelech and he gave them each different spiritual gifts before his passing.)


His talmidim included Reb Dovid of Lelov, Reb Yissochor Dov of Radoshitz, Meor VeShemesh, Reb Naftali of Ropshitz, Yid HaKodosh, Bnei Yisaschor, Yismach Moshe, Reb Meir of Apta, the Zhidichover and Komarna Rebbes, Sar Sholom of Belz and numerous other great tzadikim. He also wrote approbations for Sefer Likutei Mohoran and Siddur Tefila Yeshara (Berdichiver Siddur). His seforim include Divrei Emes, Zichron Zos, and Zos Zichron.


Young Yaakov Yitzchok Prepares His Own Shabbos Food

One Friday afternoon, as a new student in the yeshiva, young Yaakov Yitzchok entered the yeshiva kitchen and told the one in charge that he likes to personally prepare his fish for Shabbos; he picked out a piece of fish, salted it and put it back. The other students standing around laughed at this, saying that this student doesn't know which piece of fisg he is going to get on Shabbos. The Baal HaTanya witnessed this and realized there is something special about this student, so he tied a piece of string around the fish salted by the Chozeh. When they served the fish on Shabbos, the Baal HaTanya watched to see what would happen. He saw the piece of fish with the string attached placed in front of a student seated right next to the Chozeh. The student began to feel nauseas, so he pushed the fish over to the Chozeh and told him he could have it. Already, as a young student he was a "Seer".


Why the Rebbe of Lublin was called the Chozeh

(This story was already mentioned in a post on Shmiras Einayim, but worth repeating.)

If one has "kosher" eyes he will be able to see lofty things that the eyes normally can't see. (Likutei Mohoran 254)


When Reb Yaakov Yitzchok was a student he used to walk with his eyes closed, so he wouldn't see what he shouldn't. One of his friends would go with him to guide him. Some of his fellow students went over to their Rebbe and asked what kind of foolishness this was, but the Rebbe told them to leave Yaakov Yitzchok alone because he is sincere in his actions.


When Yaakov Yitzchok reached of age, a fine shidduch was found for him. He did not look at his kallah until the wedding, as he had no need to see her until the wedding. At the wedding, he opened his eyes to see his soon to be wife, and saw the form of a graven image on her face. He immediately told his father that the wedding has to be called off. They were, understandably, quite angry at him. The girl supposedly had all the qualities anyone would want. But, he knew what he saw on the girls face, there was some form of impurity there, and he had no choice but to call off the wedding.


From all those years of not looking at anything improper he was able to see things that the regular eye couldn't perceive. The rest is history. He found a proper match and went on to be called the Chozeh, the Seer, because he could see from one end of the world to the other, due to his protecting his eyes from seeing the forbidden.


You Will Cry On the Day I Die

On Simchas Torah the Chozeh fell from a window and hurt himself very bad. Certain opponents of the Chozeh were openly happy about this. When the Chozeh heard about this, he said: "On the day I die they will be crying". This statement was understood when the Chozeh passed away on the saddest day of the year, Tisha B'Av.


Preview of the Coming Year

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.


How the Chozeh Got the Choicest Plot

If one goes to the cemetery in Lublin, they will see the Chozeh is buried next to Reb Shachna of Lublin. Here's how that happened.


As soon as the Chozeh passed away, his dedicated talmid, Reb Naftal of Ropshitz went to pick a proper plot for his Rebbe in the cemetery. The Rov of the town, a misnaged of the Chozeh, instructed the gravediggers to not to give him a choice plot. Reb Naftali went at night to the cemetery with the gravediggers and managed to trick them into thinking they were digging a grave in a regular plot. In the morning they realized they had dug a plot right next to the famous Reb Sholom Shachna of Lublin, who had been the Rov of the town many years before. They went to the Rov and asked him what to do. He told them that once the grave is dug, it's too late and they have no choice but to bury the Chozeh there. During the life of the Chozeh, he would often tell people to go daven for yeshous by Reb Shachna's kever.


See Heichal HaNegina for a great post with much more on the Chozeh of Lublin.


May the Zchus of Reb Yaakov Yitzchok ben Reb Avrohom Eliezer Halevi protect us and all of Klal Yisroel.


Tish B'Av is also the yartzeit of Reb Gavriel "Malach" ben Reb Dovid Horowitz of Moglenitza(1858) who was a talmid of the Ohev Yisroel of Apta, Magid of Koznitz and his son, Reb Moshe Elyakim Briah and Reb Chaim Meir of Moglenitza. He helped put together the writings of the Magid of Koznitz.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

5-8 Av Yartzeits

5 Av - R' Yitzchok ben R' Shlomo Luria Ashkenazi, The Arizal (1572), The Chida said on him that the way he reached such a high level was that Eliyahu HaNavi purified him with ashes of a Parah Adumah. The Arizal is respected and accepted by all the great Rabbonim of the Ashkenazim (chassidim and non-chassidim), Sefardim and Teimanim. Besides Kabbalistic Seforim, the Arizal is very often quoted in halachic works, such as the Magen Avrohom, Be'er Heitiv and Mishna Berura.


5 Av - R' Gedalyah Chiyun (1750), founder of Yeshiva Beis El which studied Kabbalah based on the Arizal


5 Av - R' Chaim of Krasna (1793) talmid of the Baal Shem Tov
5 Av - R' Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky of Vilna (1940) author of Achiezer. One of the Gedolei Hador of his time, he was very close with the Chofetz Chaim. He was a great tzadik and an absolute genius, with a reputation, for among other things, being able to write two separate things at a time using his right and left hand simultaneously.


5 Av - R' Binyomin Paler (2000), talmid of the Brisker Rov, and founder of Yeshiva Bais Hatalmud and Yeshiva Mekor Chaim


5 Av - R' Yechiel Michel Dorfman (2006) One of the leaders of Breslov. He married the granddaughter of R' Avrohom Sternhartz. It seems like yesterday that we were davening for a refuah sheleima for R' Yechiel Michel ben Chana Perel. He used to risk his life to take people to Reb Nachman's tzion in Uman. Spent time in Russian prisons and Siberia. Till the end he had a rigorous schedule of Torah and Avodah.

6 Av - R' Yehoshua Greenwald, Av Beis Din of Chust

6 Av - R' Shlomo Zalman Hanau of Frankfurt-on-Main, author of Binyan Shlomo


7 Av - R' Pinchos of Sokolivka HY"D (1919) ben R' Gedalia Ahron of Linitz He was killed by the Ukranians.


7 Av - R' Sholom Noach ben R Moshe Avrohom Brezovsky (2000), Slonimer Rebbe and author of Nesivos Sholom, one of the most popular Chassidishe Seforim of our time. He was a son-in-law of the previous Rebbe, the Birchas Avrohom. See Heicha HaNegina for more.


7 Av - R' Moshe Greenwald of Chust, the Arugas Habosem

7 Av - R' Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld of Mattersdorf

8 Av - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv of Kelm (1898)

Rabbi Lazer Brody's Yichus

Rabbi Lazer Brody wrote a great post today about the hometown of his grandfather: Pictorial Essay: Yanov, a world that was

Reading it, I picked up on some interesting facts, which I confirmed through Rabbi Brody himself. Although he doesn't speak about it, he himself has some very great yichus. (See here for the real usefulness of yichus, which it seems Rabbi Brody uses very well.) He is a descendant of Reb Yitzchok of Drohbitch, a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov and father of R' Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. R' Yitzchok's father was R' Yosef "Ish Emes" of Pistin, a friend of the Baal Shem Tov. Their lineage extends back to Dovid HaMelech. R’ Yitzchok’s daughter Bessal’e married R’ Nachman Litvak of Radvil; Rabbi Brody is a 7th generation descendant of theirs.

Interestingly, the sister of R’ Yitzchok of Drohbitich married R’ Nachman Horedenker, the grandfather of R’ Nachman of Breslov, so it turns out that Rabbi Brody shares a common grandfather with R’ Nachman of Breslov. And, as mentioned in the post, Rabbi Brody’s great-grandfather was also a Breslover Chosid. Besides the fact that I’m very interested in Rabbinic genealogy, I find this fascinating since Rabbi Brody spends his life spreading the teachings of R’ Nachman of Breslov and other talmidei Baal Shem Tov, via books, CD’s, lectures, Lazer Beams, etc… There are no coincidences.

As Rabbi Brody says at the end of his post:
“North American assimilation murdered many of my relatives' souls even after they escaped from the Cossacks and from Hitler. Yet, despite it all, here we are back in Yanov, wiping away the break of two generations that slid away from Yiddishkeit, looking, dressing, and acting just like my great grandfather Chatzkel, a Breslover chossid and descendant of Rebbe Itzikel Drovitcher zatza'l. We are certainly the winners, and we shall continue to overcome, by clinging to our unwavering emuna, amen.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why We Can Bring Moshiach

(The following is based on a talk given by the renowned author and speaker, Rav Ezriel Tauber, founder of Shalheves.)


Why should we be capable of bringing Moshiach? The generation of the midbar, who saw Kriyas Yam Suf and actually heard Hashem speak, didn't bring Moshiach. Neither did all the great prophets, tanaim, amoraim, gaonim, rishonim, acharonim and all the other tzadikim of previous generations. And WE, in this day and age, are supposed to bring Moshiach? How is that?


As an example, imagine the city of Tzfas, less than five hundren years ago. The place was a "who's who" of the some of the greatest and most famous tzadikim in our history.

The Posek was the Beis Yosef, R' Yosef Caro, who wrote the Shulchan Aruch.

The great teacher of Kabbala was the Holy Arizal.

The preacher was the Alshich HaKodosh.

The chazzan was R' Shlomo Alkabetz, the author of Lecha Dodi.

The shamas of the shul was R' Elazar Azkiri, who wrote Sefer Chareidim and the famous song, Yedid Nefesh. Imagine, even the one who took care of the menial tasks in the Shul was such a great tzadik.

These are just a few; the list could go on and on, as there were numerous great tzadikim in Tzfas at that time. All these great tzadikim, among them the greatest Poskim, Talmidei Chachomim, and Kabbalists, couldn't bring Moshiach, and we are actually supposed to believe that we can?


Imagine if you found a way to turn silver into gold. That would be very valuable. Now, imagine you found a way to turn copper into gold. That would be an even neater trick and, of course, would be much more valuable. Imagine turning aluminum into gold. Now, imagine turning dirt into gold or even if you could only turn that dirt into silver. Obviously that would really be very valuable, as you are taking something with no value and turning into a precious metal.


Similarly, if we work on ourselves, corresponding to the dirt, as opposed to the previous generations, corresponding to silver, copper or aluminum, it is a lot more valuable when we improve ourselves. Let's take one issue – no one ever had the streets that we have today; in one day we probably see more promiscuity than previous generations saw their whole life. When we control what we see or overcome any of the great temptations that are so prevalent in the world today, we bring great pleasure, so to speak, to the Ribono Shel Olam. (See previous post on Shmira Einayim) Our "simple acts" are potentially more valuable in Shomayim than that of much greater people of the past. In line with this, tzadikim of the past have said that the "simplest" mitzvas that will be done by simple Jews in the future will be worth more than the mitzvas done by tzadikim of their time.


So the answer is YES, we can indeed bring Moshiach, and we should always keep that in mind. May he come speedily in our days. Amen.

4 Av - Yartzeits

R' Menachem Azariah ben Yitzchok Brechya (1620) Rama MiPano

R Tzvi Meir HaKohen Rabinowitz, Av Beis Din of Radomsk (1902) His father was the Tiferes Shlomo, R' Shlomo HaKohen of Radomsk

R' Ephraim Taub of Kuzmir (1904) ben R' Yechezkel

R' Benzion Halberstam HY"D (1941) ben R' Shlomo, Bobover Rebbe, author of Kedushas Tzion. See Heichal HaNegina for more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reb Shimshon Ostropolier HY"D

3 Av is the yartzeit of the legendary tzadik, R’ Shimshon Ostropolier. He was a great Rov, tzadik and kabbalist who was killed al kidush Hashem in the gezeiras Tach V’Tat. A Magid (Malach) used to come to him and teach him secrets from the Torah and warned him of the impending decree on Klal Yisroel. Reb Shimshon in turn implored the people to do teshuva, which they did, but it was already too late, as it was determined from Above that the decree would be carried out.

It was also revealed to Reb Shimshon that if he and two of the other great tzadikim of the time would agree to give up their lives al kiddush Hashem, everyone else would be saved. Reb Shimshon agreed to this and also got one of the other tzadikim to agree. The third tzadik, however, did not agree, saying that it was forbidden for them to do such a thing.

The Ramchal says that Reb Shimshon asked the Satan why he bothers Klal Yisroel more than any other nation. The Satan answered that if Klal Yisroel gets rid of Shabbos, Bris Nilah and learning Torah than he will leave them alone. Reb Shimshon replied that it is better that more of us perish than to lose even one letter of Torah.

In the end, when the city was surrounded by the bloodthirsty enemies, Reb Shimshon gathered several hundred great tzadikim, they each donned a talis and burial shrouds and entered the Shul to daven. They davened, and kept davening, until the mobs entered the Shul and murdered them all al Kiddush Hashem. The date was 3 Av 5408/1648. Hashem Yinkom Domom.

Reb Shimshon wrote
Dan Yadin on Sefer HaKarnayim, a kabbala sefer, and Machane Dan on Zohar, which was never published. He determined that the root of his neshama was from Shevet Dan, therefore he used the name “Dan” for his seforim. The Chida, Ramchal and Bnei Yisaschor, among others quote him in their seforim. His writings can be found in Nitzotzei Shimshon.

There is a very famous and fascinating letter, on the Arizal’s commentary of the 10 plagues of Egypt, that Reb Shimshon wrote. He writes at the end of the letter that anyone who studies it, even once a year, especially Erev Pesach, will be saved from calamities for the year and will have success in all their endeavors. (
Here is the 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 holocaust. His yartzeit is also an opportune time to read this letter.

His descendants include, R’ Lieber of Berdichev, a great-grandson (ben acher ben), and the Toldos Yaakov Yosef.

May the zchus of the tzadik, Reb Shimshon ben Reb Pesach, protect us and all of Klal Yisroel.

3 Av is also the yartzeit of:

R’ Gedalia Ahron Rabinowitz of Monastrich HY”D (1919) ben R’ Yehoshua was killed in a pogrom in Uman with 700 others.

R’ Dovid Shapira (1934) ben R' Pinchas Leib

R’ Chaim Yechezkel Taub of Ozorov (1938) ben R’ Yisroel of Modzitz

R’ Yitzchok (1941) ben R' Mordechai Twersky of Skver-Kishinev was the first Skverer Rebbe in America.

R’ Yehoshua Heschel HaLevi Horowitz HY”D (1943) ben R’ Chaim Shmuel was a descendant of the Chozeh of Lublin.

Monday, July 16, 2007

2 Av - Yartzeits

R' Ahron Teumim HY"D (1690) ben R' Moshe, was the Rov of Kracow. While visiting another region, a Polish nobleman had him arrested for no reason, and placed on a horse to bring him to jail. On the way, he fell off many times and they put him right back on until he died from his wounds.

R' Moshe ben R' Avrohom Stern (1997), Debreciner Rov, author of Be'er Moshe. One of the greatest poskim of our time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Month of Av

If you haven't read it yet, see the post on Tamuz, as much of it also relates to the month of Av.

Mishenichnas Adar marbim b'simcha; mishinichnas Av mimatin b'simcha

The Chozeh of Lublin explains these words in a fascinating manner: When the month of Adar arrives, you should strengthen the force of kedusha with simcha, and when the month of Av comes, you should lessen the power of klipos and the sitra acher with simcha. This would seem congruous with the teaching that not being b'simcha increases the power of the sitra acher and that being in a depressed state can increase the power of the sitra acher.

R' Shimon Shwab used to say that by the month of Av the mishna says that we should lessen our simcha, not to totally get rid of it; one always needs some level of b'simcha.

Kibud Av & Tikun Chatzos

The month is called Av, which means father. We have to also have Kibud Av for our Father in Heaven. He has no home, so to speak; the Beis Hamikdash is still not rebuilt. We need to show in some way that we are concerned for our Father. One way to do that is with Tikun Chatzos. Many people say it at midday, during the "three weeks", in addition to saying it at midnight. In the Yeshiva of the Chasam Sofer, the Yeshiva said it together. If one isn't able to say the whole thing, then they can just say the chapters of tehilim. Even if one says just a few chapters of tehilim from Tikun Chatzos, it shows that we are at least a little concerned about the churban.

Hoping for the Geulah

There are 12 different permutations of Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei. Minhag Yisroel is to say the permutation הוי״ה when referring to Hashem's Name, since it is forbidden to say it in its proper order. Why do we read it in this order as opposed to the others? Because Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei written in the proper order is that of Nisan, the month when we were redeemed from Mirtzrayim, similarly now, we use this permutation of Av, the month when Hashem will take us out of golus in the future. By doing this, we show our hope that we will be redeemed just as we were from Mitzrayim. (Bnei Yisaschor, see there for much more in detail)

Why the Satan Doesn't Want Us to Make a Siyum

There is a minhag by Talmidei Baal Shem Tov to make a siyum on a Mesechta of Gemara, specifically during the 9 days. The reason for this can't be that they are simply interested in eating meat, because the rest of the year these same people stay far away from any material indulgence. The reason they make the siyum is because the Seforim HaKedoshim say that a seuda for a siyum on a Mesechta weakens the power of the ס״ם, and "he" does not want it to be done. This can be seen from a fascinating allusion; the letters of סמא׳ל are the first letters of ס׳יום מ׳סכת א׳ין ל׳עשות (Siyum Mesechta don't do). He is the representative of Esav, who has control over these months, so we purposely want to make a siyum then. (Shaar Yisaschar)

Tisha B'Av

עַל-כֵּן לֹא-יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה The Zohar says that eating on Tish B'Av is like eating from the gid hanoshe. The word  אֶתstands for the words ת׳שעה א׳ב. You can now read the posuk as "Therefore the children of Israel should not eat on the "ninth of Av". (Meor Einayim)

Similarly, the words אֶת-גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה, are the same gematria as תשעה אב. (Imrei Pinchos)

This all fits in very well. The Malach of Esav was the one that injured Yaakov Avinu and therefore we can't eat from the gid hanoshe. This month of Av belongs to Esav and it is when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. That, on a simple level can help us explain why the Zohar compares eating from the gid hanoshe and eating on Tisha B'Av; they are both giving power to Esav.

Further, the Malach of Esav, who fought with Yaakov Avinu told him to only call himself Yisroel from now on, not Yaakov. His intention was that he shouldn't use both names becuse the gematria of יעקוב and ישראל together (Yaakov is sometimes written with a "vav") is the same as שטן קרע, which is a name with the power to eliminate bad forces, chitzonim. (Toras Moshe-Chasma Sofer)

Rosh Chodesh Av - Yartzeits

The death of tzadikim is compared to the burning of the Beis HaMikdash. Perhaps, that is why there is such an disproportionate amount of tzadikim that were niftar on this day, Rosh Chodesh of the month when the first and second Beis HaMikdash were destroyed, starting with Ahron HaKohen, the "ohev Shalom v'rodef Shalom", which in turn is related to the churban.


Ahron HaKohen (1272 B.C.E)


Elazar ben Ahron HaKohen 


R' Yehoshua Heschel ben R' Elazar (died early 1700's) was the Rov of Dubna after R' Yosef Yoska, the Yesod Yosef


R' Noson Nota ben R' Yosef of Averitch (1785) Talmid of the Baal Shem Tov and father-in-law of the Bas Ayin. He did not sleep on Shabbos because it says "V'shomru Bnei Yisroel es HaShabbos", you should watch the Shabbos.


R' Asher Wallerstein (1837) was the son of R' Aryeh Leib, the Shagas Aryeh,


R' Ahron ben R' Moshe Goldstein (1845) was the Rov of Breslov. He was one of the main students of R' Nachman of Breslov. R' Nachman said that he used his ancestral merits to bring R' Ahron to Breslov and that R' Ahron went to his chuppah with a "clean garment". He and R' Naftali were the two witnesses to R' Nachman's famous promise to pull out of Gehinom anyone who gives tzedaka and says Tikun HaKlali by his kever. His son, R' Tzvi Aryeh succeded him and R' Tzvi's son was R' Nachman of Tcherin.


R' Shmuel ben R' Dovid Tzvi Ehrenfeld (1883), the Chasan Sofer, grandson of the Chasam Sofer


R' Ahron ben R' Chaim Halberstam of Sanz (1903)


R' Menachem Nochum of Kobrin-Bialystok (1918) ben R' Yehudah Leib was a talmid muvhak of the Yesod Avodah of Slonim


R' Shlomo ben R' Ben-Zion Halberstam of Bobov (2000) His father, first wife and several children were murdered by the Nazis y's. He remarried after the war and rebuilt Bobov into one of the largest chassidish communities in the world. His only son to survive the war, R' Naftal Tzvi, sucseeded him and passed away in 2005. There is a book, Nor the Moon by Night, about his experiences during the Holocaust. It was mentioned many times after his passing that it was no coincidence that his yahrzeit is the same as Ahron HaKohen's because he was consumate "ohev Shalom v'rodef Shalom" and was loved by all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yartzeits for 27-29 Tamuz

27 Tamuz

R' Shmuel Rozovsky, Rosh Yeshiva in Ponovezh

28 Tamuz

R' Elazar of Lizhensk (1806) was the oldest son of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk. He put together his father's sefer, Noam Elimelech, which has several letters of R' Elazar in the back. His sons were R' Naftali of Lizensk and R' Mendel Ber of Pshevorsk and his son-in-law was R' Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapira of Moglenitz.

R' Moshe ben R' Tzvi Hirsch Teitelbaum of Uhel (1841), author of Yismach Moshe, was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin. He said he remembers himself in a previous gilgul in Mitzraim and could even describe what the house that he stayed in looked like. He said that when the machlokes of Korach took place he didn't take any sides; he stayed in his tent until the machlokes ended and only then came out, when it was determined who was correct. R' Meshulam Igra said on him: "Moshe Emes v'Toraso Emes". The Sighet and Satmar dynasties descend from him.

R' Shlomo ben Yosef Ganzfried (1886), author of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch See Kitzur Shulcha Aruch online in Hebrew and KSA Yomi.

R' Nachman ben R' Chaim Aryeh HaKohen Kahana (1904) was the Av Beis Din of Spinka. He was the son-in-law of the first Spinka Rebbe, the Imrei Yosef. He wrote sefer Orchos Chaim on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim.

R' Yaakov Shaul Elishar (1906) Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisroel, the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Yerushalayim is named after him

R' Chaim Friedlander (1986), Mashgiach in Ponovezh (1986) author of Sifsei Chaim

29 Tamuz

R' Yochonan Hasandler, Tanna

Rashi, R' Shlomo ben R' Yitzchok (1105) Interestingly, he was 33 generations from R' Yochanan Hasandlar, whose yartzeit is the same day. See:
How to gain access to Rashi's Chamber in Gan Eden

Also, see Heichal HaNegina for more on Rashi.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

25 Tamuz - Yartzeits

R' Meir HaLevi of Apta ben R' Shmuel (1827), author of Ohr LaShomayim. He was the Rov of Apta after the Ohev Yisroel, who moved to Mezibuz, after sensing that R' Meir was supposed to become Rov of Apta. He was a talmid muvhak of the Chozeh of Lublin. One of his most famous talmidim is the Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk.

R' Ahron Brachya of Modina, author of Maavar Yabok

Monday, July 9, 2007

Reb Yaakov Yosef - New York's First and Only Chief Rabbi

This Tuesday, 24 Tamuz, is the 105th yartzeit of R' Yaakov Yosef ben R' Dov, the first and only Chief Rabbi of New York. He was a talmid of the Volozhiner Yeshiva and was known as "Reb Yaakov Charif" because of his sharp mind. He is buried in Queens, NY at Union Field Cemetery. Large crowds go to daven there on the yartzeit. The Satmar Rebbe encouraged people to go to previously negleted kvarim such as this, therefore, along with all the Jews of various backgrounds that come to the kever, there are a high percentage of Chassidim. People also go there throughout the year to daven for yeshuos. See here for more on this great leader, who gave his life for Yiddishkeit in the late 19th century.


Lazer Beams - The Bright Red Apple

Here is a great story on Rabbi Lazer Brody's site, related to Shmiras Einayim and modesty. As Rabbi Brody puts it, it's an "irressistable jewel". Here is a post from last month - Shmiras Einayim - Thoughts, Stories and Segulas.

The Well of Miriam

It is being reported out of Eretz Yisroel that the "Well of Miriam" has been found. See Heichal HaNegina for all the details.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

23 Tamuz - Yartzeits

R' Moshe ben R' Yaakov Cordovero, the Ramak (1570) was one of the most famous mekubalim. He studied nigleh under R' Yosef Caro and kabala under his brother-in-law, R' Shlomo Alkabetz. He wrote several seforim, including Pardes Rimonim and Tomer Devorah. The Satmar Rebbe had a kabala from the Divrei Chaim of Sanz that the sefer Tomer Devorah is a segula for the "known disease" – may Hashem save us, and if one isn't able to learn it himself, he should have someone read it in front of him. (It is available in English translation)


R' Gedalia Ahron Kenig (1980), one of the leaders of Breslov, was a talmid muvhak of R' Avrohom Sternhartz, who encouraged him to establish Kiryat Breslov in Tzefas. His son, R' Elazar Mordechai Shlita, is the current leader of the community. R' Gedalia wrote Chayei Nefesh, on R' Chaim Volozhiner's Nefesh HaChaim, proving that there is no arguement between Chassidim and Misnagdim on the principles and foundations of Yidishkeit, as they are beyond dispute. Parts have been translated into English by Rabbis Dovid Sears and Dovid Zeitlin, of The Breslov Center, and are available for download (PDF) - Part 1 and Part 2. They are quite fascinating and explain a lot.


R' Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen, the Knesses Yechezkel (1749)

R' Shaul Moshe Zilberman, the Rov of Viereshov, author of Pardes Shaul

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Children of Korach Are Still Alive

וּבְנֵי-קֹרַח לֹא-מֵתוּ - And the children of Korach didn't die.

The Bnei Yisaschar in his sefer Igra D'Kala says the following allusion from this posuk in the name of his Rebbe, Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov:


Korach, who was a baal machlokes, died, but the "children of Korach", meaning his "students", who are baalei machlokes, didn't die, because in every generation there are those that make machlokes on tzadikim.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

20-22 Tamuz - Yartzeits

20 Tamuz

R' Nosson Nota Hanover HY"D (1683) ben R' Moshe was a talmid of the Maharshal and author of Yaven Metzula and Shaarei Tzion, a very popular kabalistic sefer of tefilos and minhagim. He was killed by a stray bullet.

R' Avrohom Yitzchak Bloch HY"D ben R' Yosef Leib, Telzer Rosh Yeshiva (1941) Killed by the Nazis y's

R' Avrohom Chaim Noeh (1954) was one of the leading poskim in Eretz Yisroel. His "shiurim" for units of measure are among the most well known, even by those that don't use them. He is the author of Ketzos HaShulchon, Shiurei Torah and Gesher HaChaim.

R' Chaim Shaul Karelitz (2001), nephew of the Chazon Ish, Mashgiach Ruchni of Yeshiva Beis Meir and Talmud Torah Tashbar

21 Tamuz

R' Shlomo Machlama, author of Merkaves HaMisheneh on Rambam

R' Avrohom Mattisyahu ben R' Menachem Nochum Friedman of Shtefanesht (1933)

22 Tamuz

R' Shlomo HaLevi of Karlin HY"D (1792) ben R'Meir was a talmid of the Magid of Mezritch and R' Ahron HaGadol of Karlin, who he succeeded as Rebbe. After his passing R' Ahron HaGadol's son, Reb Asher, became Rebbe.

R' Avrohom Grodzinksi HY"D (1942), Mashgiach Ruchni of the Slabodka Yeshiva

R' Levi Yitzchok ben R' Avrohom Noach Bender (1989) was a talmid of R' Avrohom Chazan and was one of the great Breslov leaders of his time. See here for more and links at the bottom of the page to fascinating excerpts from his sefer.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

19 Tamuz - Yartzeits

R' Yitzchok Issac ben R' Yoel Leib Halevi Herzog  (1959), Chief Rabbi of Ireland and Eretz Yisroel, wrote Heichal Yitzchok

R' Eliezer Yehuda ben R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir (1965) His father was the Alter of Slabodka.

R' Yona Stenzel, initiator of Halacha and Mishnah Yomi

R' Bentzion Abba Shaul ben R' Eliyahu (1998), Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef, Great Sephardic tzadik who was recognized as one one of the greatest halachic authorites of his time.

Boruch Dayan Emes - Naroler Rebbe ZY"A

Yeshiva World News reported the following:
Yeshivaworld regrets to inform you of the Petirah of the Naroler Rebbe ZATZAL a short while ago in Bnei Brak. The Levaya will be leaving from his Bais Medrash on Rechov Rashi in Bnei Brak, then to Belz in Yerushalayim and finally to Har Hamenuchos. He was one of the last links to pre-war Europe and was 99 years-old (would have turned 100 in Elul) by his Petirah. He lived in New York after the war before moving to Eretz Yisroel. His son is a Rov in Flatbush. May he be a Maylitz Yosher for Gantz Klal Yisroel.
His name was R' Chaim Meir Yechiel ben R' Dov Beirish Shapiro - Zchuso Yogen Aleinu

July 4, 5536

What were the Vilna Gaon, the Rebbe Reb Meilich and the Chida all doing on July 4, 1776?

Fasting! It was 17 Tamuz.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

18 Tamuz - Yartzeit Radzimin

R' Yaakov Aryeh ben R' Shlomo Guterman of Radzimin (1878) was a descendant of the Shach. He was a talmid of the Magid of Koznitz, R' Simcha Bunim of Pishischa and his son, R' Avrohom Moshe and R' Yitzchok of Vorki. He had thousands of chassidim, among them some of the greatest tzadikim of Poland, flock to him after the passing of R' Yitzchok of Vorki. Was also known as a great Baal Mofes. Author of Bikurei Aviv and Divrei Aviv.

Monday, July 2, 2007

17 Tammuz - Yahrzeits

R' Yehuda ben R' Asher, son of the Rosh
R' Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel (1999)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

16 Tamuz - Yahrzeits

Chur, son of Kalev and Miriam (1309 B.C.E.) Was killed trying to prevent the making of the Eigel


R' Yitzchok Leonini Azulai, grandson of the Chida

R' Aharon Yosef Bakst, Rav of Shavel, HY"D(1941)

R' Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel ben R' Yitzchok Meir, Kapitchnitzer Rebbe (1967)