This Day In History 13 Tishrei/October 3

The notes of a song by the Maharash.

In 2048/1714 B.C.E., when Avrohom Avinu was unable to find ten righteous people in whose merit Sedom could be saved, the cities of Sedom, Amora, Admah and Tzvoyim were totally destroyed by Hashem. Tzoar, a “younger” city with less of a history of evil, was saved, after Lot and his daughters insisted on finding refuge there.


5598/1837, Harav Akiva Eiger, zt”l

5645/1884, Harav Menachem Mendel Paneth, Rebbe of Dejh, zt”l, mechaber of Avnei Tzedek and Maaglei Tzedek

5667/1906, Harav Yisrael, Rebbe of Sadigura, zt”l

5643/1882, Harav Shmuel, the Maharash of Lubavitch, zt”l

Harav Shmuel Schneerson was born on 2 Iyar 5594/1834, the youngest son of Harav Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the Tzemach Tzedek. He was named after the water carrier of Polotsk, a lamed-vav tzaddik.

Rav Shmuel was renowned for his kedushah and his asceticism.

He was very close with his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, and would learn with him both nigleh and Chassidus.

His first wife, whom he married in 5608/1848, was his niece, the daughter of his brother, Rav Chaim Shneur Zalman. Unfortunately, she was niftar right after their marriage. His zivug sheini, whom he married in 5609/1849, was Rebbetzin Rivkah.

He became Rebbe in Lubavitch after the petirah of his father in 5626/1866.

In 5628/1868, Rav Shmuel journeyed to France to meet with community leaders. In 5629/1869, he established a fixed committee in St. Petersburg to supervise community affairs.

Rav Shmuel’s tradition, like that of all the Lubavitcher Rebbes, was to travel every so often to the kever of his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, in Lubavitch. None of his chassidim were allowed to join him on this excursion; only the gentile attendant who came to assist him with various needs.

The Chassidim were very curious to know how the Rebbe conducted himself at his father’s tziyun, and pressed the attendant for details. However, the attendant kept quiet and would not say a word.

Once some Chassidim gave him large amounts of wine to drink, and he got drunk. His mind was befuddled, and he finally opened up.

“When he enters the tziyun, he becomes so full of fright that his whole body trembles and shudders. I have never seen someone overcome with such terrible fright. The only thing I can compare it to is the reaction of chickens in a coop when a wolf comes in to prey on them for his dinner.”

All his life Rav Shmuel was ill, and tried to find a cure for his pains, but never succeeded. During the summer of 5642/1882, his ailment got worse.

He was niftar on 13 Tishrei, 5643/1882 at a young age, and was buried in Lubavitch, near his father’s kever.

Many of his sichos, divrei Torah and letters were published.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

October 3

In 1893, the motor-driven vacuum cleaner was patented by J.S. Thurman.

In 1906, W.T. Grant opened a 25-cent department store.

In 1929, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes officially changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1942, the Office of Economic Stabilization was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who also authorized controls on rent, wages, salaries and farm prices.

In 1990, the Berlin Wall was dismantled 11 months after the borders between East and West Germany were dissolved, ending 45 years of division between the two.