At Ganzach Kiddush Hashem We Commemorate…

The Jews of Bulgaria – Before, During, & After WWII

Before the War There is no clear data when the first Jews appeared in Bulgarian lands. According to some researchers, this occurred shortly after the destruction of the First Temple (sixth century BCE), but the prevailing opinions are that the first settlers appeared in the period immediately before or after the Second Temple was destroyed (first century CE). There was a Jewish settlement in the region from the time of the Roman emperor Caligula (AD 37-41) while a Latin inscription from the late second century speaks about the existence of a Jewish community in the village of Oeskus near N... Read more

A Wonderful Genius, A Lofty Tzaddik, An Ember Saved from the Fire

On the first day of the shiva (7 day mourning period), I sat with the mourners, the sons of the Biala Rebbe z"l, and I heard wonderous things. This tzaddik (righteous man) was a remnant of the last generation that enlightened the world with his teachings and holiness. I asked the son of the Rebbe what his father told at home about those days, and his answer surprised me. I was even more surprised by the tone in which it was said. The son was surprised at the very question and said: "My father never talked about those days. Not about the Polish period, not about the Baranovice exile, not... Read more

Shoshana Tannenbaum, Daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Tzvi, Survivor and Last Remnant of a Large Family, who Fell in Sanctification of G-d’s Name in Kfar Etzion

Iyar 4, 5708 - Iyar 4, 5784 (May 13, 1948 - May 12, 2024) In 5684 (1923-4), Shoshana Tannenbaum was born in the city of Radomsk, Poland, to Yitzchak Tzvi and Perl. Upon the outbreak of the Holocaust, Shoshana and her family (the parents and six brothers and sisters) were taken to the ghetto. Shoshana was the only one of her large family to survive the camps and ghettos. She held on until liberation, and then was appointed director of Kibbutz Torah V'Avoda in Bedzin. When the members of the kibbutz were arrested and imprisoned in the city of Rybnik, it was Shoshana who led the persist... Read more

The Mystery of Krakow

On the Wonderous Past of Krakow • The Desperate Burial of Torahs • The Establishment of the Plaszow Camp and the Bombing of the Funeral Home • Where Did the Torahs Go? And where is the Rama Rabbi's Torah? • 80th Anniversary of the Chilling Events By: Simcha B. Markson The Wonderous Past of Krakow As an introduction to the story of the sixty-year-old mystery about the Torahs that were buried in the funeral home of the new cemetery in Krakow, we will open with a brief description of the life of the Jewish community that existed in the city for hundreds of years. As an introduction ... Read more

80 Years Since the First Train from Hungary Arrived in Auschwitz

Iyar 5704 (May 1944) Lyrics to the poem "A Small Boy on the Train" (originally written in Yiddish as "A Klein Yingle Oif Der Ban"), written in the last few days of a 12-year-old cheder boy's life. In it, he tried to describe the feelings of a boy his age standing dazed and scared at the train station in Auschwitz. A Small Boy on the Train - By: Yitzchak Isaac On the long train, I, a small boy Am travelling to Hungary, to my homeland My mother and father are waiting at home They are lovingly waiting for my brother and me I look outside, the world is green and pretty ... Read more

“Who Bows & Enters, and Bows & Exits, and Studies Torah Regularly” (Talmud Sanhedrin 88b)

The genius chassid, Rabbi Yeshayahu Mondry z"l, one of the eminent students of the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva and the Sfat Emet yeshiva; spread Torah in the Chidushei Harim yeshiva and the Sinai Talmud Torah; a judge in the religious court of Tel Aviv; a scholar with in depth knowledge of all areas of the Torah In honour of the 50th anniversary of his passing, Tamuz 17, 5733 - 5783 (1973-2023) By: Simcha B. Markson The genius chassid Rabbi Yeshayahu Mondry z"l (courtesy of the office of the Chidushei Harim yeshiva) Rabbi Yeshayahu Mondry z"l is one of the majestic figures that g... Read more

Passover 5674 (1914) – 110 Years Ago

Millions of Jews throughout Europe, who sat peacefully with their families during the two seder nights of Passover 1914, had no idea what was in store for them in the coming summer. In the summer, WWI broke out, which was a calamity for all of Europe, and in truth most of it did not recover from the war and its consequences until WWII arrived, and the terrible Holocaust - that overshadowed its predecessor (WWI) and almost erased its memory from the consciousness of humanity - occured. Cannons thunder on the battlefield during the First World War Indeed, World War II was an unprec... Read more

Passover 5704 (1944)

The Last Passover Seder in Auschwitz Close to Passover 5704 (1944), the Germans began to bring thousands of our brethren - the Jews of Slovakia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the areas of Carpatho-Ruthenia - to Auschwitz. The Jews said that the Germans lured and coaxed them. They told them that they were being moved to the Garden of Eden. Jews being unloaded from the cattle cars in the Auschwitz extermination camp. Gestapo soldiers "welcome" them. Close to Passover, the two first crematoriums began to burn day and night. They managed to burn 15,000 people in one day. Here... Read more

Burnt Postcards and Blossoming Letters

In 5704 (1944), while the cities of Eastern Europe, the great and historical centers of Torah, had mostly already faced extermination or were in the midst of terrible killing sprees, Hungary was still peaceful and its inhabitants lived under an almost normal routine. In the month of Adar 5704, while the Nazi tyrants had already begun to inflict resounding defeats on the Russian front and in other places, the Germans occupied Hungary and within a few months, hundreds of thousands of Jews were sent to Auschwitz. Looking back, it is horrifying to turn the pages of history and observe the c... Read more

Halacha (Jewish Law) Rules in Favour of Abaye, in the Disputes with the Mnemonic “Yud, Ayin, Lamed; Kuf Gimmel, Mem”

As part of the Daf Yomi program (learning a page of Gemara per day), Tracate Bava Metzia is now being learned. In synagogues, study halls, and Jewish homes worldwide, there are elegant volumes of the well-known and beloved tractate. There are big and small Gemaras, Gemaras with explanations and translations, and Gemaras with summaries and interpretations. In countless synagogues, teachers sit and explain the concepts that are familiar but sometimes difficult to understand. There are also sophisticated phone line systems where you can hear clear and pleasant lessons at the push of a button. It... Read more

From Under the Heavens, Do Not Forget!

In the Gemara (Megillah 6) it is written on the verse "do not let their plans succeed": This is the Germamia of Edom, if they go forth, they destroy the entire world. Germamia, according to the rabbinic commentators - is Germany. The Gra (short for "Gaon Rav Eliyahu," also known as the Vilna Gaon), already wrote 250 years ago that Germany is Amalek. Therefore, on the days of Purim and the revival of Amalek, we try to wip out the memory of the Nazi Amalek who destroyed the world and consumed a third of our people, women and children, holy and pure people. Even then, during the years o... Read more

“A Shocking and Passionate Prayer”

A description by a British officer, eighty years ago (HaTzofeh newspaper, March 9, 1944/ Adar 14, 5704). Here is a testimony, published in the HaTzofeh newspaper, of a British army officer who returned to Israel from living with partisans for a long period in Yugoslavia. It was published on the 14th of Adar 5704, eighty years ago, and due to the importance of the document, we present the article here in its entirety (in Hebrew) and will then explain the main points. Thousands of Jews, among them exhausted refugees who had already been in the forests for two years, joined the organiz... Read more

On This Day, 80 Years Ago II

Horrific news published in the press Along with the announcements of the occupation by the Red Army, at the end of the winter 5704 (March 1944), beginning with a series of brilliant victories on the battlefield, the horrible news about the extermination of the Jews of Europe on an unbelievable scale began to be published. Here is one report: "Moskow. The Red Army did not find a single Jewish soul in the cities of Volynia, Podolia, and Galicia, which they conquered in recent days. In all the cities in the 3 regions, there were robust Jewish populations before the German conquest" ... Read more

“The Righteous Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk Saved Me from Death in Plaszow”

In honour of Adar 21, the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the righteous Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk z"l By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem I am Yosef Scheller, from Krakow. Upon the outbreak of the war, I was a young bar mitzvah aged boy. Like many residents of Krakow, and especially young skilled workers, I arrived in 1942 at the infamous Plaszow camp, under the command of the murderer, Amon Goeth, may his name be blotted out. A view of the Plaszow camp next to Krakow, Poland One day, I fell seriously ill and and I was sent, due to the right connections, to... Read more

The Genius Rabbi Menashe Frankel Z”L

The last rabbi of Lizhensk On the 14th of Adar I 5725 (1965), 59 years ago, the heart of one of the great Holocaust survivor rabbis stopped. For some reason, he has been forgotten and his name is almost unknown, but his good deeds are recorded before the throne of honour, "for there is no forgetting before the throne of Your honour and there is nothing hidden from Your eyes." Rabbi Menashe Frankel was born in 5663 (1903) in Jadlowa, Galicia, between Debica and Tarnow to the genius and righteous Rabbi Shlomo Zalman, son of the known righteous man and miracle performer, Rabbi Avraham Fran... Read more

The Candy that Saved the Baby

In Memory of the Skverer Rebbetzin z"l The Skverer Rebbetzin's funeral The fugitives silently made their way in the smuggler's footsteps, under the cover of darkness. Young parents, a baby, and a heartless gentile smuggler who was only in it for the money… The smuggler knew very well that if they were discovered, they would be killed on the spot and without any justice, so he warned the small group in advance that they would have to hurry. He barely gave them time to breathe. The father, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, who later served as the "Yeshuot Moshe," the Vizhnitzer... Read more

Longings for the City of Krakow

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld Eighty years ago, little by little, the horrible news of what was happening to the Jewish communities in Europe began to reach Israel. As strange as this may seem, the wider world did not know what was going on in Poland during the years when millions of Jews were being killed there. And on that bitter day, when the news of the destruction of the Krakow community reached Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Biderman, the Rebbe of Lelov, fell ill from grief, and he lay confined to his bed with his whole body boiling up with a fever. He lay down and wept bitterly ov... Read more

1 Adar A – A Holiday for the Descendants of the Tosfot Yom Tov

Descendants of the Tosfot Yom Tov rabbi commemorate 1 Adar as a day of joy and gratitude to G-d, in accordance with the rabbi's will for future generations. Chassidim pray at the grave of the Tosfot Yom Tov in Krakow Rabbi Gershon Shaul Yom Tov Lipmann Heller, a student of the Maharal rabbi, served in the rabbinate in Prague starting at the age of 18 for 28 years In Cheshvan 5385 (1625), he was appointed as the rabbi of Nikolsburg and on the first day of Adar of the same year, he was crowed as head of the beit din (religious court) of Vienna. In Tevet 5387 (1627), he was chose... Read more

From the Memoirs of a Sobibor Survivor

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem A short time ago, as part of Ganzach Kiddush Hashem's preparations for educational initiatives marking eighty years since the closing of the Sobibor camp, I was in the archives of Ganzach Kiddush Hashem in Bnei Brak looking through books, journals, and testimonies. I read with bated breath Dov Freiberg's testimony "Survivor of Sobibor", and noted to myself several points from his memoirs that I intended to publish in this context. This is the first story. As you read, you will likely become lost in thought. The train station in the ... Read more

The Miraculous Rescue of the Chassid, Rabbi Menashe Koenig Z”L

Stanislawow Ghetto, Shvat 5704 (1944), 80 years ago By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem It was the end of Shvat 5704 (1944). Menashe Koenig and his friends in company 12/3 were forcibly employed in the restoration of the railroads that were destroyed by the Russian bombings and the partisan attacks. Jewish partisans place explosives under a railroad track on which the German trains would pass 250 young Jews from Hungary worked hard as part of this work group. They were tasked with replacing the stone infrastructure and installing new tracks, each one weighing a ton... Read more

As Long as the Candle Burns

During the cold winter days, Jews remember the old Jewish town, wrapped in a blanket of snow, and there, inside the houses and synagogues, warm and humid, Jews study by the light of the lantern. Today is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Yisrael of Salant, the father of the Musar (morals) movement. His name and the name of the small town of Salant evoke a feeling of longing in the heart of every Jew. The Jewish town, where for hundreds of years the life of Torah and musar was bustling, met its bitter end, and there were no survivors or refugees left. According to the records, only on... Read more

The Tragedy of the German-Jew – A Tragedy of One-Sided Love

90 years since the passing of Fritz Haber: Shvat 13, 5694-Shvat 13, 5784 (Jan. 29, 1934-Jan. 23, 2024) By: Yaakov Rosenfeld This is the tragic story of a converted Jew who was an ardent German patriot for most of his life, and in his old age, with increasing feelings of of disillusionment and piercing regret, died of a heart attack on his way to Israel. Fritz Haber (Wikipedia) Fritz Haber was born in the city of Breslau (Prussia, now Wroclaw, Poland) to parents who were believers and traditionalists to a certain extent. His mother died when he was an infant, and his relationsh... Read more

30 Years Since the Passing of the Author, Sarah Ziskind, Survivor of the Lodz Ghetto

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem In her book "HaAtara Sheh'Avda" (The Lost Crown), Sarah describes in first person, the distress and suffering, the hunger, and the poverty that she, her family, and friends faced in the Lodz Ghetto. In the book, I read with bated breath about self-sacrifice for values, even in the horrific conditions of the ghetto, and even in the hell of Auschwitz. The name of the book is derived from the fact that the author's father was a manufacturer of silver "crowns" (adornments) for tallises (prayer shawls), however the book describes in general the cr... Read more

On This Day, 80 Years Ago

A new ghetto in Japan collects "kimcha d'pischa" (charity for Passover) for European Jewry & the Orthodox conference in the U.S. By: Yaakov Rosenfeld. While skimming through the press of exactly eighty years ago, I was exposed to new information that I had not read about elsewhere. The headline in "Der Morgan Journal" (a common American Jewish newspaper) tells about a new ghetto that the Japanese established for European Jewish refugees in Mukden, Manchuria. (Japan opens a new ghetto for Jews in Mukden, Manchuria. Jan. 28th, 1944) In the body of the news article, it is ... Read more

In All Their Trouble, He Did Not Trouble Them (Isaiah 63:9)

120 years since the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War; 119 years since the passing of the Sfat Emet By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem The 5th of Shvat marks the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter z"l of Ger, known as the Sfat Emet. Handwriting of the Sfat Emet of Ger The Gerrer Rebbe, leader of Polish Jewry and the rabbi and luminary of thousands of chassidim, died in the midst of the Russo-Japanese War, the bloody war that resulted in the death of thousands of Jewish soldiers who had been recruited against their will. The Russo-Jap... Read more

With His Love and With His Compassion, He Redeemed Them (Isaiah 63:9)

Upon the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of Rabbi David of Lelow. 210 years since his passing. By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem The righteous Rabbi David of Lelow, known as an exceptional lover of the Jewish People, used to stop in every village he passed, enter, and ask if there was a Jew there. And if he was answered in the affirmative, he would enter the Jewish home to check on the Jew's well-being, to be moved with him as with a long-lost brother, and to enlighten his heart with faith and trust in G-d, Torah and chassidism. The Jew - who at first did not understand ho... Read more

Rabbi Dessler and His Thoughts on the Events of the Holocaust

Seventy years since the passing of the genius chassid, Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, known as the "Michtav M'Eliyahu" (Letter from Eliyahu). By: Rabbi Yaakov Rosenfeld - Ganzach Kiddush Hashem On the 25th of Tevet 5714 (Dec. 30th, 1953), exactly seventy years ago, the soul of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler z"l ascended to Heaven. Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, overseer at the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak Rabbi Dessler, the revered overseer of the Ponevezh Yeshiva, was a guide to thousands, the remnants of the giants of glorious Lithuanian Jewry, whose teachings were compiled ... Read more

The Sun Set at Noon

90 years since the days of mourning for the passing of one of the great men of his generation, the genius Rabbi Meir Shapira z"l The revered and mighty leader whose vision and power of leadership illuminated the face of the Jewish world in all corners of the world, passed away after a short illness exactly ninety years ago. His untimely departure shook the hearts and hurt Jewish communities everywhere. There are few leaders who have left such a strong mark on the earth as this historical leader, whose influence for nearly a hundred years has been growing, becoming more and more prai... Read more

A Wonderous Passing

A description of the passing and the funeral of Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin z"l Upon 90 years since his passing By: Rabbi David Avraham Mandelbaum, son of the Rebbe, Rabbi Bentzion Moshe Meir z"l, who was a student of the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva Rabbi Meir Shapira z"l presided over the two largest events that took place in Poland between the two world wars: the cornerstone laying for the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva on Lag BaOmer 5683 (1922), and the inauguration of the yeshiva on 28 Sivan 5690 (1930). The were events in which many thousands of Jews participated, and were led by the Gerr... Read more

A Life of Self-Sacrifice and Kiddush Hashem

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem In these days, days of sorrow and anxiety, worry and distress, it has been eighty years since the the Rebbe, Rabbi Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira was murdered in sanctification of G-d's name (kiddush Hashem) in the Trawniki camp, 40 kilometres from Lublin. The Piaseczno Rebbe, Rabbi Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira (second from left) with his father-in-law at his side, the Bolchow Rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Perlow at a place for healing Eighty years since, the cry of the Holy Rebbe of Piaseczno has been silenced, the terrible cry that echoed in t... Read more

The Joyous World of Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin

By: Rabbi David Avraham Mandelbaum, son of the Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Meir Mandelbaum z"l, who was a student of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva A treatise on Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin, with seventy aspects, different topics and sections that encompass all parts of his relationship to Judaism and worship of G-d, which touch each and every one of us, because indeed Rabbi Shapira was a man of many talents. Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin z"l, the head of the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva, holding a tiny Torah Over the years, I have accumulated many wonderful stories related to the power of music ... Read more

Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin z”l and the Gerrer Rebbe, the Imrei Emet z”l

Commemorating 90 years since Rabbi Shapira z"l's passing on Cheshvan 7, 5784 (falling on Oct. 22, 2023) By: Rabbi David Avraham Mandelbaum The Educated and Multi-talented man The Gerrer Rebbe z"l, the Imrei Emet, wrote in a letter (12 Tevet 5686/Dec. 29, 1925) about Rabbi Meir Shapira z"l: "When the Agudah was renewed etc., which is headed by the educated and multi-talented man, the genius rabbi from Piotrkow, may he be for many years." It is not for nothing that the Rebbe chose to describe Rabbi Shapira with the title "educated man of many talents." It is a title that the Rebb... Read more

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev’s Kaddish

Commemorating the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the "defense attorney of the Jewish People," Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev z"l. By: Yaakov Rosenfeld The people of Israel now need the mercy of heaven. Bad news torments the soul and the fear does not rest. Tzadikim (righteous ones) said that the mere mention of the name of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev z"l is an omen for preservation and success. The tomb of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (Kiyanka) This exhalted tzaddik, whose name raises a feeling of admiration in the hearts of chassidic people and people of fai... Read more

The Breslov Gathering on Rosh Hashana in the Hall of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva

By: Rabbi David Avraham Mandelbaum son of the genius chassidic Rabbi Bentzion Moshe Meir z"l, a student of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva Among the multitude of miraculous and clearly incomprehensible things that happened around Rabbi Meir Shapira's short and stormy life, there is the inner bond that resonated with the followers of Breslov in general, and the opening of the doors of the yeshiva in Lublin to them for their gathering during the High Holidays in particular. The tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (courtesy of Wikipedia) We present here descriptions of the Breslov gatherin... Read more

“We Used to Pass through the Old City, on the Way to Porat Yosef, the Arabs would Say to Us, May Their Names Be Erased, ‘Oh Jew! We will Slaughter you Soon!’ They were Awaiting it.”

From the memories of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z"l in the Land of Israel during the Holocaust era. These chilling matters are presented in light of the animalistic and barbaric acts of murder recently committed by the Arabs, against holy and pure Jews, the Jews of the Gaza envelope, may G-d avenge their blood. Presented on the occasion of the 10th yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z"l, courtesy of the Moreshet Maran organization (with minor editorial changes). "Israel is the close nation to G-d; when they are in trouble, He cannot ignore them, He cannot." "See how it ... Read more

100 Years Since the Announcement of the Daf Yomi Study Program

By: Rabbi David Avraham Mandelbaum Heavenly Enlightenment Our teacher, Rabbi Meir Shapira's life on earth was rich in action and creativity, but one of the most important gifts he bequeathed to the people of Israel is the idea of the daf yomi (a daily page of study from the Gemara). There does not exist in the world a creation in which so many good virtues were tied as as there were to this grand idea, which was a form of heavenly enlightenment for its time and for the future. Rabbi Meir Shapira z"l Some saw the main virtue of it as the "love of the Torah" that it propagated i... Read more

The Chabad Telegram: 80 Years Later

The gabbai (assistant) of the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue in Tel Aviv received a telegram from the head of the Jewish community in Kuybyshev (now Samara, Russia), M. Feigen, requesting to immediatly send lulavs (palm fronds), etrogs (citrons), and hadasim (myrtle) by air mail This news, published on the eve of Sukkot in the year 5704 (1943) in the "Davar" newspaper, made the writer Natan Alterman very emotional, and he sat down to write a poem. And before the poem, a little background on the period and the poet. It was the year 5704 (1943). The world war was raging and the Nazi bl... Read more

“Like They Burned Everything that was Dear to Me and My World in the Crematorium of Auschwitz”

The author Yechiel Dinur, Sosnowiec - Tel Aviv Among the few Holocaust survivors of Sosnowiec, was the well-known writer who became famous at the Eichmann trial, Yechiel Dinur (whose original surname was Feiner). Yechiel chose a very meaningful pen name for himself: "K. Zetnik", derived from "KZ", the administrative abbreviation accepted by the Nazis for Konzentrationslager, meaning "concentration camp." Not many people know that Yechiel Feiner was an exceptional Torah scholar, one of the best students of the Chachmei Lublin yeshiva, and who was among the few elite students who was t... Read more

The Genius Rabbi Shlomo Zev Zweigenhaft Z”L

Rabbi Shlomo Zev Zwiegenhaft z"l, the son-in-law of the Genius of Sosnowiec, served prewar as the head shochet (ritual slaughterer) in many communities all over Poland. His father, like his grandfather and his great-grandfather, served for generations as shochets who received the slaughtering tradition from generation to generation, and the righteous of the generations strove to eat from the animals that they slaughtered. Rabbi Shlomo Zev was born in the city of Sosnowiec in the year 5676 (1915) to his father, the genius Rabbi Moshe Chaim, a student of the Avnei Nezer rabbi. As ... Read more

The Genius of Sosnowiec

Rabbi Shlomo Sztencl was a young and wonderful genius who was plucked from the world in his youth. At first he served as the rabbi of the town of Czeladz, which is close to Sosnowiec (and according to what is stated in the Yizkor book of Sosnowiec, about two thousand Jews lived in this town, most of them Radomsk or Sochaczew chassidim). About his leaving the rabbinate of this city and returning to Sosnowiec, a magnanimous story is told, "Let this be written for the last generation": The shaking hand of the butcher One day, claims began to surface about deficiencies in the butcher's ... Read more

Rabbi Yeshayahu Englard – Poland

Rabbi of Sosnowiec Rabbi Yeshayahu Englard was born in the village of Strzemieszyce, at the border between Russia and Poland. He studied with his father-in-law, the Rebbe of Krimilov, Rabbi Natan HaCohen Rabinowitz and the son of the Baal Chessed L'Avraham, Rabbi Avraham Yisachar of Radomsk. He was elected by a large majority to be the rabbi of Sosnowiec, one of the largest Polish Jewish communities. Rabbi Englard turned this community into an exemplary charedi (loosely translated as ultra-Orthodox) community, with glorious educational institutions and charitable institutions. He partic... Read more

Figures from the City of Sosnowiec

This past Tisha B'Av marked 80 years since the murder of the Jews of Sosnowiec, one of the cities of the community of Zaglembie - the nickname of Bendin and its environs (The Zaglembie region in southwestern Poland encompassed several settlements where the Jews were concentrated in those days. Bendin was the central city, and the cities around it were Sosnowiec, Piaski, Kasawar, Mielowiec, Grawice, Chenczyn, Pinchow, Chmielnik, Staszow, Władysław, Włoszczówa, Wolbrun, Szczuczyn Zarki, Zabrze, Dombrowa, Strzemieszyce, Olkusz, and Czenstochowa ) Every year on Tisha B'Av, the survivors of ... Read more

The Holy Czchówer Rebbe, the Son Born to the “Divrei Chaim” of Sanz at an Older Age, May G-d Avenge His Blood

80 Years Since His Murder in Bochnia on Elul 3, 5703 (Sept. 3, 1943) The holy Rabbi Yitzchak Yeshaya was born in 5624 (1864), the son born to Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, the "Divrei Chaim" of Sanz, at an older age. Since the dawn of his childhood, Rabbi Yeshayaleh was known as a great and holy man, and already at the age of 19 he was crowned to serve as the rabbi of the city of Czchow. In 5653 (1893) he lived in Satmar and from there he moved to Krakow. He was considered one of the greatest and most righteous of the generation, a model man, a supreme holy figure, who was great in Tor... Read more

“The Plank of a Ship”

100 years since the establishment of the Daf Yomi study program Exactly one hundred years ago, Rabbi Meir Shapira astonished the entire world when his great idea was proposed at the Agudath Israel congress, the idea of learning the Daf Yomi (a page a day of Gemara) everywhere where Jews lived. The idea, which was received with love and affection all over the world, has accompanied the Jewish People all over the world ever since. There is no known number of the "thousands of thousands of Jews" who have already completed the Shas (six orders of the Mishna) by following this study sche... Read more

Sukkot March of Those Who Never Yielded

80 years since Sukkot 5704 (1943), Plaszow Camp, in the suburbs of Krakow A sukkah in the Lodz Ghetto This month was the month of the largest killing in our camp. The oppressors demanded sacrifices from us for every holiday and occasion, and despite this, what did the remaining Jews worry about? They thought of tricks on how to observe the mitzvah of sukkah and blessing "Shehechiyanu" (Who kept us alive) during the holiday known as "Zman Simchateinu" (the time of our happiness)! A man holding a lulav (palm frond) in a DP camp On the first night of the holiday, a secret mar... Read more

Radin, A Town that Was

The children of Radin, Poland (now Radun, Belarus) - What was their fate? May G-d avenge their blood Today, ninety years ago, with the twilight of the 24th of Elul 5693 (Sept. 15, 1933), heartbroken Jews attended the funeral of the greatest of the generation, Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaCohen Kagan, the "Chafetz Chaim", the tzaddik who left a mark on generations, the genius who enlightened the eyes of Israel in his halachic books, and gave the Jewish People the gift of life, "Who is the man who desires life ('chafetz chaim')…we will guard his tongue from evil..." (Psalms 34:13-4) The Chafe... Read more

As a Father Has Mercy on His Sons (Psalms 103:13)

Parents and Children during the Holocaust By: Yaakov Rosenfeld "Many books have been compiled, and many works have been written about what happened here, and despite this, the writer or poet who can express the depth of the abyss, the horror of that world has not yet arisen… It may not be possible to describe and express what happened in human language, in the language of words... Is it possible to describe the feelings of a mother or a father or a small child on the umschlagplatz (the gathering point from which Jews were deported)? Or the moment when Dr. Mengele ordered the m... Read more

“For the Sake of Martyrs Thrown into the Fire” – The Righteous Man who Risked His Life to Thousands of Transylvanian Refugees

Elul 2 (Falling on Aug. 19th in 2023) marks the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Eliezer Hager z"l, known as the "Dameshek Eliezer," after his book. Seventy-seven years ago, the great and holy rabbi passed away after a fatal illness that took its toll on him, and he was only 55 years old.. Many hardships befell the Dameshek Eliezer of Vizhnitz, but he was often calm and peaceful, and "the joy of God was his fortress". Most of his days on earth were full of agony and rage, in which broken-hearted Jews required much encouragement and comfort. And if du... Read more

The Genius and Holy Boyaner-Krakow Rebbe – 80 Years Since His Murder in Auschwitz, Elul 3, 5703/Sept. 3, 1943

Rabbi Moshe ("Rabbi Moshenu") Friedman of Boyan-Krakow, may G-d avenge his blood, son of Rabbi Shalom Yosef, grandson of Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin, was born on Purim 5641 (1881) in Hosatyn, Ukraine. Upon his father's passing when he was a toddler, about two years old, Rabbi Moshe Friedman was raised by his grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Shraga, the Rebbe of Hosatyn, and then his uncle, Rabbi Israel. When he was twenty years old, in the year 5661 (1901), he established his home with his rebbetzin, Miriam, the daughter of Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Boyan, and they moved there. There, he continued t... Read more

“The Tehran Children” – 80 Years since their Immigration to Israel

Part 2: Pinihaleh Schreiber's (later Rabbi Pinchas Schreiber, the rabbi of Ashdod) path of agony By: Rabbi Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem On Shvat 18, 5691 (February 1931), Pinchas was born to Yisrael Bunim and Tziporah in Jaroslaw, a large city filled with wise men and scribes. Rabbi Pinchas Schreiber z"l His father was a great genius, and already in Pinchas's infancy his father would meditate with him for long hours on the Torah "behind the stove" (the place where the beggars sat) in the synagogue, which can be seen in the remains of the city. As a child, his ... Read more

“For these Things I Weep, My Eyes Shed Tears” (Lamentations 1:17)

On Tisha B'Av Jews mourn the destruction; Sitting on the ground, silent, and pondering the recent and distant history. Rivers of blood rise in front of their eyes, and their tears flow unceasingly. On Tisha B'Av, Jews remember the contemporary Holocaust, the one in which hundreds of thousands of its survivors are still alive, the one whose results, or rather its records, are still etched in the nation's soul. Tisha B'av is a day of thoughts and reflections, a day of national mourning. Millions of horror stories took place during the Holocaust, but the horrors of the Holocaust are not... Read more

5703-5783 (1943-2003) – Eighty Years Since the Aliya of the Tehran Children

Ganzach Kiddush Hashem's special project - A series of essays, articles, memories, and diary excerpts First essay in the series - The memories of the Pnei Menachem, the Gerrer Rebbe, from the time he spent in the Ponevezh Home for the Elderly, Tamuz-Av 5703 (Summer 1943), in the presence of the Ponevezher Rebbe and the Tehran Children. With thanks to HaMevaser newspaper and the writer Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Genzler for the quality essay. The Rabbi's Son It was in the summer months of the year 5703 (1943), and our Rebbe, the Pnei Menachem, was then a young man about the age of 17. I... Read more

Treblinka: 80 Years Since the Daring Uprising and the Liquidation of the Camp, Av 1, 5703/August 2, 1943

Contents: A) On the Way to Treblinka - Ani Maamim (I Believe) B) "He Murdered and also Inherited" - The German Precision Reflected in the Looting of Victims' Property and Belongings, until the Very Last One C) The "Synagogue" D) "In a Fit of Rage" - A Description of the Uprising by the Survivors On the Way to Treblinka - Ani Maamin (I Believe) The voice of Azriel David Fastag was the talk of the whole of Warsaw. Many flocked to the synagogue where Azriel David and his brothers, also singers, used to pray during the High Holidays. Azriel David would pass in front of the ark ... Read more

The Maor VaShemesh of Krakow and Galicia

The Maor VaShemesh, 200 Years Since His Passing, 1 Tamuz 5583 (10 June 1823) By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem For 120 years, the grave of the Maor VaShemesh was a place of glory for Krakow Jewry. From the time he passed away on 1 Tamuz 5583, exactly 200 years ago, until that bitter day, sometime in the spring of 5703 (1943), when the Nazis destroyed the remains of the Krakow community and brought an end to a magnificent holy community that was a towering light of Torah, worship of G-d, and kindness for more than six hundred years. The Maor VaShemesh, the greatest of R... Read more

The Last Day of Sivan 5703 (June 1943), 80 Years since the Dismantling of the Belzec Death Camp

We have already written on our Hebrew site about the Belzec camp upon the 80th anniversary of its establishment. Approximately 600,000 Jews were killed in the camp and only one person survived (there was another survivor, Chaim Yitzhak Hirshman, may G-d avenge his blood, but he was killed at the end of the war on the day he began to give his testimony about his experiences in the camp). When the camp was in the process of shutting down, several hundred of the surviving prisoners were forced to work intensively in destroying the evidence and were then taken to Sobibor where they were brutal... Read more

Mlynow on the Banks of the Ikva River

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem The yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the Karliner Rebbe, Rabbi Aharon II (Sivan 17, 5632/June 23, 1872, 151 years ago) is the time to remember the city of Mlynow, a Jewish city that was destroyed and almost no survivors remained. The Beit Aharon, as he was known, was on the way to his granddaughter's wedding, and stopped in the city of Mlynow. Suddenly, he announced "Oh, my sky is cloudy!" He began to prepare for his passing from the world, said viduy (confessional prayer) with concentration, got on a bed, and thus died out of supreme menta... Read more

On the Closing of the 30 Initial Days of Mourning for the Czchov-Scinawa Rebbe – Rabbi Chaim Yosef Moshe Kanner z”l, Head of the Talmud Torah “Torat Emet” School

On Nisan 29, 5783 (April 20, 2023) Rabbi Chaim Yosef Moshe Kanner z"l, son of Rabbi Avraham Abish Kanner, the Czchow Rebbe, left this world. By: Devorah Surasky On the eve of the Chanuka 5783 (2022), as part of the project "From Afar You WIll See the Land: Cyprus - The Last Stop" at Ganzach Kiddush Hashem, an interview was held of the Rebbe, with the participation of his son, the Rebbe Rabbi Yissachar Yoel. In his testimony, the Rebbe recounted his family's experiences in the days of rage and in exile in Cyprus, from when he was a seventeen-year-old boy. Pieces of his father's greatness... Read more

80 Years Since the Liquidation of the Lvov Ghetto

Iyar 17, 5783 (May 18, 2023) By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem Few of the 110,000 Lvov Jews survived the war. Lemberg, as it was known during WWII (and now is Lviv, Ukraine), was the largest and most famous city in Galicia, formerly the capital of Western Galicia. Lvov was the third largest Jewish community in Poland after Warsaw and Lodz, and the great leaders of the generation, who were famous and considered as giants, served as rabbis there. It is enough to mention a small number of them, well-known names such as the "Maharam of Lublin," the "Sama," the "Maginei Shlomo," ... Read more

Moshele Der Zinger (Moshele the Singer)

The cantor Moshe Shimon Kraus z"l, on his passing. By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem It was with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of the elderly chassid, Rabbi Moshe Shimon Kraus (Moshele) z"l. The cantor, born in Munkacs, survived the war and was widely known as a gifted cantor, a charming man who always had a smile on his face, a smile that did not betray in the slightest what happened to the "prodigy child." The cantor Moshele Kraus was taken out of the depths of the abyss by the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, known as the "Shefa Adam", with his own ha... Read more

The Orphan Boy from the Town who was the Glory of the Torah World

By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem Who hasn't heard of the "Tehran Children"? It is doubtful, though, whether today's youth know what and who this phrase is referring to. Today, the great Rosh Yeshiva (head of a yeshiva), Rabbi Gershon Edelstein z"l, passed away. In his youth, he gave his all to the Tehran Children, who after suffering and upheavals came to Israel with no education and basic knowledge because the terrible war robbed them of their childhood and teenage years. Rabbi Gershon was a Jew of self-sacrifice. His mother, from whom he was orphaned in his youth, ... Read more

80 Years Since the Liquidation of the Community of Brody

80 years ago, on the day before Lag BaOmer 5703 (1943), the Brody Ghetto was liquidated, and thus came the end of the great and famous city that was affectionately known as "Brod". For hundreds of years the city of Brod lived and bustled, which in its glory days had an absolute Jewish majority (close to ninety percent of the city, before the First World War). In the year 5665 (1905), it had twenty-four Talmud Torah schools, and several yeshivas and charitable organizations that were there for the glory of all of Galicia. Among the charitable organizations that were already active in Brod i... Read more

Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Levison z”l

One of the important rabbis of Holland, nicknamed "Rabbi Simcha" (happiness) even though his name was never Simcha… Written in memory of the revered rabbi who perished in the "Lost Train", on the 12th of Iyar 5705 (April 25, 1945). By: Yaakov Rosenfeld, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem Rabbi Avraham Shlomo was born in 5662 (1902). He was a G-d-fearing and exceptional Torah scholar who, in his youth, was already able to teach, and in the year 5695 (1934-5) he was appointed to serve as the rabbi of the city of Leeuwarden and the chief rabbi of the entire district of Friesland. At the same ti... Read more

Between Passover and Shavuot in the Ghetto

The period between Passover and Shavuot is a time of trying to better one's character. In this period, Rabbi Akiva's disciples died (in ancient times) for "not showing respect to one another", and that is why they are mourned. During the days of counting the Omer (from Passover to Shavuot), according to what is stated in the holy books, we work gradually on improving our character until Shavuot. Correcting one's character constitutes preparation for receiving the Torah, because the Torah and its mitzvahs have no value without character development: Derech eretz (loosely translated as "good... Read more

Atara Abramson, May G-d Avenge her Blood

75 years since she died in santification of G-d's Name. Iyar 4, 5708 - Iyar 4, 5783 (May 13, 1948-April 25, 2023) The chassidic rabbi, Rabbi Avigdor Abramson, one of the Chassidim and an influential person in the town of Wielun in the Lodz district of Poland, led a warm chassidic home with his wife, Rivka. The city center of Wielun, Poland, bombed by the German army At the outbreak of the war, he was almost forty years old. In the testimonial page provided by his nephew, it appears that Avigdor died of starvation during the year 1942. Both he, and his wife Rivka, like all ... Read more

Rabbi Shem Kleinberg, May G-d Avenge His Blood

80 Years Since He was Murdered in Sanctification of G-d's Name Rabbi Shem Kleinberg was righteous and holy. "The righteous one is the foundation of the universe" (Proverbs 10:25); he was a kabbalist, accepted by the great men of the generation, who appreciated him and his opinions. His Story: His father was the grandson of Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarno, who was a "Sar Beit HaZohar" (well versed in the kabbalistic book of Zohar). His mother was the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Rotenberg, of Skola, also a rebbe of Komarno descent. His rare name, Shem, was given according to the instr... Read more

The Gemara that was Translated in the Cellar

A special article in honour of 80 years since the start of an amazing project By: Yaakov Rosenfeld In the month of Av 5783 (summer 2023), about three months from now, it will be the fortieth anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shmuel Hibner z"l, who for most of his days served as the rabbi of the "Skola" congregation in Brooklyn, New York. Perhaps it would have been worthwhile to dedicate a separate page to the man and his work then, around the day of his 40th yahrseit (anniversary of death), but "who can withold words?" (Job 4:2) now, at the eightieth anniversary of those dark and d... Read more