This Day in History – 13 Tishrei/October 7


5598/1837, Harav Akiva Eiger, zt”l

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

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

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


5673/1912, Harav Chaim Berlin, zt”l, Rav of Moscow and Yerushalayim

Harav Chaim Berlin was born on 5 Shevat 5592/1832 in Volozhin. He was the son of Harav Naftali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin, known as the Netziv of Volozhin.

He learned under his father in his formative years.

In 5608/1847 he married and settled in Shklov, where he resided until 5625/1865.

In Adar 5625/1865, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Moscow. In 5642/1882, his wife passed away; two years later he remarried and settled in Biala, where he lived until his second wife passed away in 5649/1889.

Subsequently he returned to his home town, Volozhin, where he was the head of the beis din and also served as Rosh Yeshivah, alongside Harav Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk.

The yeshivah was forced to close in 5652/1892 and Reb Chaim moved to Kobrin, where he was appointed Rav.

Later he also served as Rav in Elizavetgrad until 5666/1906, when he left Russia and settled in Yerushalayim.

After the petirah of Harav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz Teomim, the Aderes, in 5665/1905, and due to the efforts of Harav Shmuel Salant, Reb Chaim Berlin was elected to join the Rabbinate of the Ashkenazi community as co-Chief Rabbi to assist Reb Shmuel. The two had been close friends early in their lives, corresponding frequently over the years.

Reb Shmuel Salant was niftar in 5669/1909; Reb Chaim Berlin then stood alone at the helm of the Rabbinate in Yerushalayim.

Reb Chaim Berlin was niftar on 12 Tishrei 5673/1912 and buried on Har Hazeisim.

The yeshivah now known as Yeshivah Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, established in Brooklyn, New York, in 1904, was renamed for Harav Chaim Berlin in 1914.

A collection of his letters and responsa was published as She’eilos U’Teshuvos Rav Chaim Berlin.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Oct. 7

In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution.

In 1858, the fifth debate between Illinois senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Galesburg.

In 1929, former Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall, one of the main figures of the Teapot Dome scandal, went on trial, charged with accepting a bribe from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny. (Fall was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. Doheny was acquitted at his own trial of offering the bribe Fall was convicted of taking.)

In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.

In 1985, Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro  in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers, who killed Jewish American tourist Leon Klinghoffer, surrendered two days after taking over the ship.)

In 1989, Hungary’s Communist Party renounced Marxism in favor of democratic socialism during a party congress in Budapest.

In 2001, the war in Afghanistan began as the U.S. and Britain launched air attacks against military targets and Osama bin Laden’s training camps.