This Day in History – 13 Kislev/December 5

In 5522/1761, the Jews of Mogilev perished in a mass murder. Hy”d.


4260/499, Ravina, zt”l, the son of Rav Huna, zy”a, co-author of Talmud Bavli. After Ravina, no further additions were made to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savura’i. This date thus marks the point at which the Talmud was “closed,” and the end of the Tekufas HaAmora’im.

5338/1577, Harav Azaryah Min HaAdumim, zt”l, mechaber of Me’or Einayim

5636/1875, Harav Dov Ber of Levo, zt”l, son of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin

5651/1890, Harav Yisrael Aryeh of Premishlan, zt”l

5661/1900, Harav Dov Ber Livshitz, zt”l, Rav of Sardnik

5681/1920, Harav Yisrael Taub, the Divrei Yisrael of Modzhitz, zt”l

5694/1933, Harav Yisrael of Chortkov, zt”l

5702/1941, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Horodonka and his son Harav Baruch, Hy”d


5618/1857, Harav Shlomo Zalman Yosef Frankel of Vyelepol, zt”l

Harav Shlomo Zalman Yosef Frankel was born in 5564/1804. He was a talmid of his father. He journeyed to Harav Meir of Apta (the Ohr Lashamayim), Harav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz and, later, to the Ropshitzer Rebbe’s son-in-law, Harav Asher Yeshayah.

Harav Shimon of Yaroslav, one of the elder and foremost Rebbes of the generation, “anointed” Reb Shlomo Zalman as Rebbe.

Harav Meir of Premishlan publicized the greatness of Reb Shlomo Zalman and his mofsim,for which manytraveled to see him. Reb Shlomo Zalman considered doing these mofsim to be a kiddush Hashem, a way of demonstrating Hashem’s Presence and hashgachah pratis. He wanted to travel from place to place to make mofsim, but his health did not allow it.

He was close with Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin and the Sar Shalom of Belz.

In his last year, Reb Shlomo Zalman gave many clear hints that his end was near. He was niftar on 13 Kislev 5618/1857 in Cracow, at the age of 53; his kever is next to that of the Maor Vashemesh.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was survived by his son, Harav Avraham, who succeeded him as Rebbe in Vyelepol. His sons-in-law were Harav Nosson Nota Dov Lifschitz, a grandson of the Aryeh Dbei Ila’i; Harav Yitzchak Tzvi Hirsh Schiff, Rav in Vyelepol; and Harav Moshe Thurm, a grandson of Harav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Dec. 5

In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 1782, the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, New York; he was the first chief executive to be born after American independence.

In 1831, former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1848, President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.

In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.

In 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.

In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.

In 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union announced a bilateral space agreement on exchanging weather data from satellites, mapping Earth’s geomagnetic field and cooperating in the experimental relay of communications.

In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.

In 2013, Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died at age 95.