This Day in History – 21 Shevat/January 22

21 Shevat

In 5417/1657, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, issued a residence permit to the Jews.

In 5535/1775, the Jewish homes on the outskirts of Warsaw, in a settlement known as “New Jerusalem,” were demolished, after which the Jews were expelled.


5202/1442, Harav Efraim Alankava, zt”l, one of the Rabbanim in Spain, mechaber of Shaar Kvod Hashem

5356/1596, Harav Yehudah Leib of Lublin, zt”l, mechaber of Vayigash Yehudah

5449/1689, Harav Moshe Galanti, zt”l, the Rishon LeTzion (Sephardic Chief Rabbi) of Yerushalayim

5521/1761, Harav Aryeh Yehudah Navon, zt”l, mechaber of Kiryas Melech, son of the Degel Machaneh Efraim

5628/1868, Harav Yitzchak of Neshchiz, zt”l

5633/1873, Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Elchanan of Peshischa, zt”l

5648/1888, Harav Yechiel Meir of Gostinin, zt”l

5654/1894, Harav Yaakov Wiedenfeld of Harmilov, zt”l, the Kochav MiYaakov

5742/1982, Harav Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowitz of Biala, zt”l



Harav Yehoshua Heshel Brim, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Tiferes Yisrael, Ruzhin, Yerushalayim

Harav Yehoshua Heshel Brim was born in Yerushalayim in 5672/1912. His father was Harav Mordechai.

The holy city of Yerushalayim was his home for most of his life and he thrived in its aura of holiness.

As a young boy of just nine, Yehoshua would awaken before sunrise and start learning. He learned in Talmud Torah Etz Chaim, and then in Yeshivas Etz Chaim, where he was one of the top talmidim of Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer. Later, as a Rosh Yeshivah in his own right, Reb Yehoshua would often mention the sevaros of his rebbi, Reb Isser Zalman.

Reb Yehoshua married the daughter of his uncle Harav Reuven Klapholtz.

He was called to join the elite group of talmidei chachamim in Kollel Midrash Beis Tzion, under the leadership of Harav Yitzchak Rosenthal, assistant to Harav Tzvi Pesach Frank, Rav of Yerushalayim. The products of this kollel became Gedolim, Rabbanim and Poskim. Among them were Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Harav Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, Harav Yisrael Yaakov Fisher, Harav Shmuel Rozovsky, Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Harav Ovadiah Yosef, zecher tzaddikim livrachah. This select group of which Reb Yehoshua was a member dealt with the halachos that apply to Eretz Yisrael.

Later, Reb Yehoshua was asked by Harav Shimshon Aharon Polonsky, the Tepliker Rav, to join his kollel.

When Harav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel arrived in Yerushalayim and re-established the famous Mirrer Yeshivah, Reb Yehoshua was a Ram in the yeshivah for close to ten years.

In 5713/1953, when the Boyaner Rebbe, Harav Mordechai Shlomo, expressed his wish to build in Yerushalayim a yeshivah in memory of the Ruzhiner Rebbe, Reb Yehoshua was called upon to be Rosh Yeshivah. Reb Yehoshua was able to combine the derech halimud of Reb Isser Zalman with the chassidishe bren.

Reb Yehoshua delivered both shiurim and shmuessen in the yeshivah. But most of all, the bachurim learned from his example of hasmadah and devotion.

Reb Yehoshua would lead the chassidim in commemorating the yahrtzeit of the Ruzhiner Rebbe, 3 Cheshvan, and of the Boyaner Rebbe, 5 Adar, with whom he was especially close.

When the Boyaner court was re-established with the appointment of the Boyaner Rebbe, shlita, in 5744/1984, Reb Yehoshua was one of its foremost chassidim.

Several of Reb Yehoshua’s children married into the Ruzhiner dynasty. His sons-in-law include the Vasloier Rebbe, shlita, and the Bohusher Rebbe, shlita.

Reb Yehoshua was niftar suddenly on 21 Shevat 5746/1986, at the age of 74.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


January 22

In 1655, Oliver Cromwell dissolved Britain’s Parliament.

In 1771, Spain agreed to cede the Falkland Islands to Britain.

In 1905, in what is called the “Bloody Sunday” incident, the Russian Czar’s troops massacred more than 100 peaceful protesters in front of the St. Petersburg palace.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for “peace without victory.”

In 1944, Allied forces began landings at Anzio in Italy, but failed to exploit the surprise gained to take Rome, just 33 miles away.

In 1957, Israeli forces completed withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, but remained in the Gaza Strip.

In 1968, a U.S. B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs plunged into Greenland Bay. Washington said there was no danger of explosion because the bombs were unarmed.

In 1986, three Sikhs convicted of the 1984 assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi were sentenced to death.

In 1995, a suicide mission by Islamic terrorists killed 19 Israelis and wounded about 60 at Beit Lid Junction, Israel.

In 1997, the Russian parliament voted, without legal force, to remove Boris Yeltsin as president because of his ill health.

In 1998, Theodore Kaczynski pleaded guilty in Sacramento, California, to being the Unabomber in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

In 2000, an International Atomic Energy Agency team began searching Iraqi nuclear sites in the first inspection by a world body in more than a year. Their job was to make sure Iraq’s nuclear stocks were not used for military purposes.

In 2003, the French and German governments issued a joint statement expressing their opposition to immediate military action against Iraq.