This Day in History – 13 Tammuz/July 16

13 Tammuz

In 5283/1523, the first printed edition of Sefer Hachinuch appeared.

In 5687/1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, zt”l, was freed from the exile imposed upon him after his arrest and imprisonment for his efforts in strengthening Torah and Judaism.

In 5701/1941, wearing of the yellow star was decreed for all Jews in the Baltic States.

In 5702/1942, Minsk (Russia) was captured by the Germans, trapping about 40,000 Jews in the city.

The German army commanded by Rommel, ym”s, reached El Alamein, a town in northern Egypt, placing Eretz Yisrael in grave danger. B’chasdei Hashem, after the Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael held massive tefillah rallies, the Germans retreated under constant attack by the Allied forces.


5444/1684, Harav Moshe Ravkash (Rivka’s), zt”l, mechaber of Be’er Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch. Others record his yahrtzeit as 9 Sivan.

5531/1771, Harav Chaim Rappaport, zt”l, Rav of Lvov and mechaber of She’eilos u’Teshuvos Rabbeinu Chaim Kohen and Zecher Chaim

5535/1775, Harav Aryeh Leib Epstein, zt”l, mechaber of Hapardes

5580/1820, Harav Mordechai of Kremnitz, zt”l

5685/1925, Harav Yoel Planer, zt”l, Rav of Uhel, Hungary

5710/1950, Harav Dovid, Rebbe of Rachmastrivka, zt”l


Harav Yitzchak Leib Sofer, Zt”l, Of Drohovitch

Harav Yitzchak Leib Sofer, born 24 Elul 5608/1848, was the son of Harav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, zt”l, the Ksav Sofer, son of the Chasam Sofer, zt”l. He learned in the famed yeshivah of his father.

In 5628/1868 he married the daughter of the nagid Reb Dovid Lindenbaum from Drohovitch.

For a few years after his marriage he continued to learn in his father’s yeshivah, where he was one of the leading talmidei chachamim. Later he moved to Drohovitch, the city of his father-in-law.

Rav Yitzchak Leib was wealthy, and he utilized his wealth for the good of his brethren.

In 5647/1887, following the petirah of his uncle Harav Shimon Sofer, zt”l, Rav of Krakow, Rav Yitzchak Leib was appointed Rav in his place.

All his life he worked to raise the honor and prestige of the Torah and those who learn it, at the same time waging a war against those who sought to uproot traditional Yiddishkeit.

In 5651/1891, when Harav Yitzchak Aharon Ittinger, zt”l, Rav of Lvov, was niftar, Rav Yitzchak Leib was appointed to the prestigious post of Nasi of Eretz Yisrael in Poland.

Rav Yitzchak Leib was known for his open house. He was always available to help his brethren, most notably those who were most in need, orphans and widows.

His son Harav Avraham Chaim Dovid, zt”l, succeeded him as Rav. He also left two sons-in-law: Harav Akiva Sofer, zt”l, Rav of Pressburg (son of Harav Simcha Bunim Sofer, zt”l, the Shevet Sofer), and Harav Avraham Freidiger, zt”l, Rosh Hakahal in Budapest.

He wrote two sefarim: Shem MiShimon, his hesped for his uncle Harav Shimon Sofer, and Sofer Mahir, a collection of his chiddushim on Shas.

Rav Yitzchak Leib was niftar on 13 Tammuz 5667/1907 at the age of 58.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

July 16

In 1790, a site along the Potomac River was designated the permanent seat of the United States government; the area became Washington, D.C.

In 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo (ahl-ah-moh-GOHR’-doh), New Mexico; the same day, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left Mare (mar-AY’) Island Naval Shipyard in California on a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the Marianas.

In 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.

In 2002, the Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for the deaths of “noncombatants” over 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

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