This Day in History – 10 Shevat/January 16

In 4995/1235, seven German Jews were tortured and burned al kiddush Hashem.


Yahrtzeiten

5325/1565, Harav Meir Katzenellenbogen, zt”l, the Maharam Padwa

5537/1777, Harav Shalom Sharabi, zt”l, the Rashash, mechaber of Nahar Shalom

5538/1778, Harav Nosson Ashkenazi, zt”l, son of the Chacham Tzvi

5573/1813, Harav Shlomo of Lotzk, zt”l, mechaber of Dibras Shlomo

5710/1950, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, Rebbe of Lubavitch, zt”l

5712/1952, Harav Yitzchak Eizik Sher, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Slabodka

5719/1959, Harav Rachamim Chai Chavita, zt”l, Rav of Djerba, Tunis, mechaber of Minchas Kohen


5705/1945, Harav Yissochor Shlomo Teichtal, Hy”d, Rav of Pishtian and mechaber of She’eilos U’Teshuvos Mishneh Sachir

Harav Yissochor Shlomo Teichtal was born in Holosh, Hungary, in 5645/1885. He was the son of Rav Yitzchak, zt”l, and Rebbetzin Gittel, a”h. The family’s lineage included many well-known talmidei chachamim and Gedolim. His father was a talmid chacham and a Chassid of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zy”a.

At the age of 13, Yissochor Shlomo traveled to learn in the yeshivah of Harav Shalom Weider, who was Rav of Nyrdhaa, Hungary. Two years later, at age 15, he went to Gavne, Poland, where he was a talmid of Harav Shalom Dovid Unger, zt”l.

He returned to Hungary and received semichah from Harav Shmuel Rosenberg, zt”l, and from Harav Mordechai Leib Winkler, zt”l.

Rav Yissochor Shlomo was married at 19 to Rebbetzin Freidl Ginz. When his first wife died young, he married his zivug sheini, Rebbetzin Nechamah Friedman.

In 5681/1921, Rav Yissochor became the Rav of Pishtian, Czechoslovakia, a city famous for its mineral baths.

When Czechoslovakia was invaded in 5699/1939, Rav Yissochor was still residing in Pishtian. As the Nazi oppression increased, he, along with 10 family members, hid in the local beis medrash. From his hiding place, he witnessed many atrocities, including the mass deportation of members of the kehillah.

From Nitra, the Chief Rabbi of Slovakia sent messengers offering refuge for Rav Yissochor and his family. In Elul 5702/1942, he and his family escaped into Hungary and went into hiding in Nitra. After much wandering, he finally ended up in Budapest, where he remained for nearly two years.

In 5704/1944, Hungary was invaded by the Nazis. Thinking that Slovakia might be safe, Rav Yissochor and his family returned there to wait out the end of the war. At that time, the Nazis stepped up their efforts to find any remaining Jews, and Rav Yissochor and his family were captured and transported to Auschwitz.

As the Soviet army advanced through Poland, in January of 1945, the inmates of Auschwitz, including Rav Yissochor and his family, were transported deeper into Germany.

Rav Yissochor was niftar in a train headed to the Mauthausen concentration camp on 10 Shevat, 5705/January 24, 1945, at the age of 60, Hy”d.

Rav Yissochor was a prolific writer; miraculously, a number of his works survived the war. Many of his works are still in manuscript form and have not yet been published. He is best known for his three-volume responsa, She’eilos U’teshuvos Mishneh Sachir.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Jan. 16

In 1865, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)

In 1912, a day before reaching the South Pole, British explorer Robert Scott and his expedition found evidence that Roald Amundsen of Norway and his team had gotten there ahead of them.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)