This Day In History 11 Elul/September 14

In 5302/1542, in Tzfas, Harav Yosef Karo finished writing Beis Yosef on the Tur.

In 5323/1563, The Jewish community of Moravia was expelled.

In 5703/1943, the ghettos of Minsk and Lida were liquidated.


Yahrtzeiten

5500/1740, Harav Aharon Zelig of Zolkova, zt”l, author of Amudei Sheish

5611/1851, Harav Shalom Yosef Friedman, zt”l, son of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin

5643/1883, Harav Avraham Yaakov Friedman of Sadigura, zy”a

5651/1891, Harav Zev Wolf Landau of Strikov, zt”l


5649/1889, Harav Yaakov Yehudah Levi, zt”l, Rav in Yerushalayim

Harav Yaakov Yehudah Levi was a son of Harav Avraham Levi and was the youngest brother of the famous Harav Nachum Shadiker.

In his early years, Reb Yaakov Leib, as he was fondly called, learned under Harav Yisrael Weingott, Rav of Kalisch.

He married the daughter of Harav Eliezer Auerbach, Rav of Sampolna, and served as Rav in Sleshin, Poland.

In 5604/1844, Reb Yaakov Leib moved to Eretz Yisrael with his brother, Reb Nachum, settling in Yerushalayim. They learned Kabbalah first from Harav Yehudah HaKohen and, after he was niftar, from Harav Refael Yedidyah Abulafia, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Hamekubalim Beis El in Yerushalayim.

Reb Yaakov Leib was known for his prishus; he would stay in the beis medrash and learn straight through from Shabbos to Shabbos. The family sent him food to eat, but he distributed it to the poor.

He was appointed Rav and Dayan in Yerushalayim, and was in charge of Kollel Polin Batei Warsaw for many years.

Reb Yaakov Leib wrote Bayis L’Avos on Pirkei Avos, with chiddushim from other members of his family printed at the end. Interestingly, in his hakdamah, Reb Yaakov Leib writes that his brother Reb Nachum said of him that the source of his neshamah was from someone called Akiva.

Reb Yaakov Leib was niftar at an advanced age on 11 Elul 5649/1889.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Sept. 14

In 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defense of Fort McHenry” after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British bombardment during the War of 1812; the poem later became the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

In 1935, Secretary of State Hull apologized to the German ambassador for a judge’s insulting remarks about the Nazi swastika flag, and assured the German government these were not the views of the American government, who would respect a country’s sovereign right to choose a flag.

In 1951, the seedless watermelon was developed at Purdue University.