Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman (1875-1941), leader of eastern European Jewry before World War II. Rabbi Wasserman was born in Lithuania, and later became one of the closest disciples of the saintly Chafetz Chaim. He then became dean of the yeshiva in Baranovich, growing the student body from 60 to 500. Rabbi Wasserman authored a book of Torah perspectives on contemporary events, Kovetz Ma'amarim, and Talmudic discourses that were published as Kovetz Shiurim. He visited America in 1939, as the Nazi machine was beginning its slaughter of European Jewry. People begged Rabbi Wasserman to remain in America and avoid imminent catastrophe, but with incredible self-sacrifice he declined, saying that he must return to be with his students. He was martyred with them in July 1941, taken to a pit near Kovno and shot.
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