This Day In History 18 Kislev/December 6

In 5554/1793, the Jews of Strasbourg, France, were forbidden to circumcise their infants, to wear beards or to own Hebrew books.

In 5679/1918, Polish forces attacked the Jews of Lvov.


Yahrtzeiten

4998/1237, Rabbeinu Avraham Ben HaRambam, zt”l, mechaber of Hamaspik L’Avdei Hashem.

5497/1736, Harav Aryeh Leib Darshan of Posen, zt”l

5618/1857, Harav Yekusiel Shmelke, the Sassover Rebbe, zy”a

5636/1875, Harav Yosef Yitzchok of Ovritch, zt”l, son of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch

5650/1889, Harav Mordechai Alishberg of Boisk, zt”l

5697/1936, Harav Chaim Tzvi Ehrenreich, zt”l, Rav of Mahd, author of Kav Chaim and other sefarim

5759/1998, Harav Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum, Rachover Rebbe, zy”a

5770/2009 Harav Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, Bostoner Rebbe of Boston, Har Nof, zy”a


5622/1861, Harav Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke, the Sassover Rebbe, zy”a

Harav Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke was the son of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, zy”a. He was born in Sassov in 5560/1800.

Orphaned at just seven years of age, Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke was brought up in the home of Harav Avraham Chaim of Zlotchov, zy”a, the Orach Lechaim. After the petirah of the latter, the boy lived in the home of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, zy”a, the Ahavas Shalom, who took care of the shidduch and marriage of Reb Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke as a father would tend to his son.

He married the daughter of Rav Reuven Yaffe of Chuttin.

Reb Shmuel Shmelke was a Chassid of Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, the Ohev Yisrael, Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin and Harav Moshe Tzvi of Savran, zechusam yagein aleinu.

With Rav Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura he opened a sugar factory in Salamatch. When this venture failed, he accepted the order of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin that he serve as Rebbe in Sassov in place of his father. In 5609/1849 he was appointed Rav of the city as well.

As the son of Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, he was very close with many of the generation’s Rebbes. He was the one who decided, after the petirah of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kossov, zy”a, which of his sons would lead the Chassidim in Kossov, and who would have to establish a court outside of Kossov.

Reb Shmuel Shmelke was niftar on 18 Kislev 5622/1861, at the age of 61, and buried in Yaglanitza on the same day. It was his explicit wish to be buried on the day of his petirah. Interestingly, years earlier, when his father Reb Moshe Leib Sassover had visited Yaglanitza, he predicted that one of his descendants would be buried there.

Reb Shmuel Shmelke had two sons, Rav Alter and Rav Yaakov, neither of whom became a Rebbe after their father’s petirah. His sons-in-law were Harav Shlomo Shapiro of Munkacs; Harav Betzalel of Bichov; and Harav Shraga Yair of Bialobrazig.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Dec. 6

In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.

In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, was ratified as Georgia became the 27th state to endorse it.

In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia.

In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, came into force one year to the day after it was signed in London.

In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.