This Day In History 10 Teves/December 28

In 3336/426 B.C.E., Nevuchadnetzar, the Babylonian emperor, began the siege on Yerushalayim. Thirty months later, on 9 Tammuz 3338/423 B.C.E. (the 17th day of Tammuz was designated to commemorate this event), the city walls were breached, and on 9 Av of that year, the first Beis Hamikdash was destroyed.

In 5701/1941, 3,000 Jews were killed in Bucharest riots, Hy”d


Yahrtzeiten

5371/1610, Harav Yehudah Elilenberg, zt”l, mechaber of Minchas Yehudah

5662/1901, Harav Meir Shalom Rabinowitz, zt”l, Rebbe of Kalushin

5664/1903, Harav Noach of Hordishitz, zt”l

5750/1990, Harav Avraham Abba Leifer, zt”l, the Pittsburgher Rebbe


5605/1844, Harav Nosson Sternhartz of Breslov, Zt”l

Harav Nosson Sternhartz was born on 15 Shevat 5540/1780 in the town of Nemirov, Ukraine. His father, Harav Naftali Hertz Sternhartz, zt”l, was a talmid chacham and a wealthy businessman.

As a young boy, Rav Nosson excelled in learning and was known as a lamdan. At the age of 13 he married the daughter of Harav Dovid Tzvi Orbach, zt”l, who was Rav in Mohilev, Sharograd, and Kremenetz.

Rav Nosson felt that something was lacking in his ruchniyus. He began to frequent the courts of Rebbes, including Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev and Harav Shalom Shachna of Prohobitch, zechusam yagein aleinu.

In 5562/1802, when Rav Nachman moved to Breslov, Ukraine, just south of Nemirov, Rav Nosson went to get acquainted with him. Though Rav Nachman was only eight years his senior, Rav Nosson became Rav Nachman’s lifelong devoted talmid and chassid.

Rav Nosson’s family members were initially opposed to his association with Chassidus, but relented when they saw that his Torah learning and yiras Shamayim only improved under the influence of Rav Nachman.

Rav Nosson was responsible for preserving the teachings, stories and everyday conversations of his Rebbe, and for the dissemination of Breslov Chassidus after Rav Nachman’s petirah.

Rav Nosson carefully noted whether a lesson was edited and approved by Rav Nachman himself, or was a less formal script not specifically approved by him. He also makes a clear distinction between Rav Nachman’s actual words and any comments he added himself.

After Rav Nachman’s petirah on 17 Tishrei 5571/1810, Rav Nosson moved to Breslov and came to be known as Rav Nosson of Breslov. He became the leader of the Breslover Chassidim, but not Rebbe, because Rav Nachman did not officially appoint a successor or establish a dynasty.

He threw all his energies into strengthening the Breslover movement while maintaining his own rigorous schedule of Torah learning. He purchased a printing press and published all of Rav Nachman’s writings, as well as all the conversations he and others had had with Rav Nachman that people could remember.

He corresponded with Breslover chassidim across the Ukraine, and visited them several times a year.

Rav Nosson was also responsible for making Uman, Ukraine — the city in which Rav Nachman is buried — into a focal point of Breslover Chassidus. Before Rosh Hashanah 5572/1811, he organized the first kibbutz at the tziyun; it later became an annual pilgrimage.

In 5581/1821, Rav Nosson visited Eretz Yisrael, as Rav Nachman had done many years earlier.

Rav Nosson was niftar on 10 Teves, 5605/1844.

In addition to publishing the works of Rav Nachman, Rav Nosson wrote several sefarim of his own. Among them are Alim L’Terufah, a collection of his letters; Chayei Moharan, biographical material on Rav Nachman; Likutei Eitzos; Likutei Halachos; and Likutei Tefillos.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Dec. 28

In 1612, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the planet Neptune, but mistook it for a star. Neptune wasn’t officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.

In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down because of differences with President Andrew Jackson.

In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.