This Day In History 11 Tammuz/July 5

In 5534/1774, the Jews of Algiers escaped an attack by the Spanish Army. A Purim of Tammuz was established to mark the nes.

In 5687/1927, a major earthquake struck Yerushalayim. The Kaf Hachaim notes (576:26) that, despite widespread destruction, miraculously, no Jews were hurt.


5345/1585, Harav Yitzchak Chayus, zt”l, mechaber of Api Rav’reve

5591/1831, Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Ziditchov, zy”a

5601/1841, Harav Avraham Damesek, zt”l, mechaber of Avnei Kodesh

5701/1941, Harav Elchanan Bunim Wasserman, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Baranovitch, Hy”d

5754/1994, Harav Shmuel Shmelke Pinter, zt”l, the Bukovsker Rav

Harav Shmuel Shmelke Pinter was born in 5679/1919 in Vienna, Austria. His father was Harav Chaim Pinter, the Rav of Bukovska (Bukowsko), Galicia.

As a young boy, Shmelke learned with his father. At age 11, he left home and went to learn under his older brother, Harav Avraham. Later, Reb Shmelke returned to Vienna and learned under Harav Tzvi Schmerler, zt”l. He also learned for some time under the Tzehlemer Rav, zt”l.

In 5698/1938, after the Anschluss, Reb Shmelke left Austria and moved to London. A few months later, Reb Shmelke brought his father to London as well; Harav Chaim, zt”l, was niftar a short time later.

In London, Reb Shmelke married Gittel, the daughter of Harav Yisrael Aryeh Margulies, the Premishlaner/London Rebbe, zy”a.

After settling in London, Reb Shmelke was appointed Rosh Yeshivah in Yeshivas Merkaz HaTorah, where many war refugees learned. Later, he went on to teach in Yeshivas Chayei Olam.

In 5700/1940, Reb Shmelke was asked to serve as principal in the Yesodei HaTorah schools after the Voidoslaver Rav, zt”l, moved to America. Reb Shmelke was later named president of the school. He ran the Yesodei HaTorah schools for over 50 years.

Reb Shmelke laid the foundations for the flourishing London Torah community that exists today. It is not an exaggeration to say that Yesodei HaTorah is the mother of all of London’s Torah institutions.

Reb Shmelke also served as Rav of Beis Hamedrash Kahal Yeshuos Chaim, Bukovska, in Stamford Hill. It was known as a haven for all Yidden.

Reb Shmelke did his utmost to help both individuals and the community. He understood that helping a Jew could mean saving many future generations, and acted accordingly. Along with his easy smile, he always had a good word for any broken soul.

During his last few months, even though he suffered greatly, Reb Shmelke continued his avodas hakodesh with tremendous simchas hachaim. In 5754/1994, his condition took a turn for the worse. A few days before his petirah, Reb Shmelke called in his family, blessed them all and instructed them to part from him through simchah.

On 11 Tammuz 5754/1994, Reb Shmelke returned his neshamah to its Maker.

Reb Shmelke was buried in the Adas Yisrael cemetery in Enfield, near the kevarim of the Shotzer Rebbe, zy”a, and Harav Yidele Horowitz of Dzikov, zy”a.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

July 5

In 1811, Venezuela became the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.

In 1865, the Secret Service Division of the U.S. Treasury Department was founded in Washington, D.C., with the mission of suppressing counterfeit currency.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act.

In 1940, during World War II, Britain and the Vichy government in France broke off diplomatic relations.

In 1991, a worldwide financial scandal erupted as regulators in eight countries shut down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.