This Day in History – 13 Tammuz/June 26

13 Tammuz

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

In 5687/1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneeerson, zy”a, 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.

Yahrtzeiten

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 Hakohen Rappaport, zt”l, Rav of Lvov and mechaber of She’eilos Uteshuvos Rabbeinu Chaim Kohen and Zecher Chaim

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

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

5710/1950, Harav Dovid, Rebbe of Rachmastrivka, zy”a


5580/1820

Harav Mordechai of Kremenets, Zy”a

Harav Mordechai was the youngest of five sons of Harav Yechiel Mechel, zy”a, the Maggid of Zlotchov. His brothers were Harav Yosef of Yampoli, Harav Yitzchok of Radvill, Harav Moshe of Zhvill and Harav Binyomin Zev of Zhbariz, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

The Zlotchover Maggid likened his five sons to the five books of the Torah, making the youngest son the equal of sefer Devarim. Indeed, his father would refer to him as Mishneh Torah; and sometimes he would call him Mishneh Lamelech.

Few details are known about his life. According to some sources, he was the son-in-law of Harav Leibush Gurzitzker, zt”l, one of the greatest talmidim of the Zlotchover Maggid. But according to others, his wife was the daughter of Harav Eliezer Melamed of Kolbosov, zt”l.

Among Rav Mordechai’s greatest talmidim were Harav Meir of Premishlan, Harav Chaim of Chernowitz, the Beer Mayim Chaim and Harav Yeshayah Schorr of Yassi, author of Klil Tiferes, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

Rav Mordechai was known for his fiery and devout tefillos, in which he would totally immerse himself with intense dveikus in Hashem.

The famed gaon Harav Yosef Shaul Natanzohn, zt”l, the Sho’el U’meishiv, told a grandson of Harav Mordechai that he once happened to daven in the beis medrash of Rav Mordechai on Shabbos; and as he davened tefillas Nishmas, he was merited to see Rav Mordechai in total hispashtus hagashmiyus (divestiture of the physical). He said that he literally witnessed “Kol atzmosai tomarna Hashem mi chamocha (All my bones shall say, O Lord, who is like You),” as the Rebbe recited these words with intense kedushah.

The famed Harav Meir’l of Premishlan, a prime talmid of Rav Mordechai, attested that angels feared his word, and that he did not stop thinking about the Presence of Hashem for even a moment.

Rav Mordechai would often undertake fasts. His talmid Rav Meir’l of Premishlan asked him how he allowed himself to endanger his already weak body through additional afflictions.

Rav Mordechai replied: “And to eat is not a danger? One must in any case rely on the mercy of Hashem, and if so, Hashem can have mercy on one who fasts, too” (Chassidim Mesaprim).

Ten days before his passing, he wrote a detailed will containing many instructions for his children and descendants, including guidance in service to Hashem. Among other things he wrote, “The ordinary thing is that whatever is done should be with fear of Hashem, accompanied by humility and modesty.”

His sons were Harav Yitzchok of Granov, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Vishnovitz and Harav Yosef of Voltchisk. His sons-in-law were Harav Aharon of Karlin, the Beis Aharon, and according to some, Harav Yosef Dovid Landau Malik, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

Zechuso yagein aleinu


June 26

In 1900, a commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.

In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest, after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he delivered his famous speech expressing solidarity with the city’s residents, declaring: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).

In 1974, in Troy, Ohio, a Marsh supermarket installed the first bar code scanning equipment, made by IBM; and a product was scanned for the first time.