This Day in History – 14 Av/August 15

14 Av

In 4396/636, Arabs wrested control of Eretz Yisrael from the Byzantines.

In 5701/1941, 407 Jews of Zhitomir (western Ukraine) were killed by the Nazis. Hy”d.

In 5702/1942, Nazis massacred 10,000 Jews in Minsk. Hy”d.

Yahrtzeiten

5109/1349, Harav Shlomo of Toledo, zt”l, grandson of the Rosh

5731/1971, Harav Yosef Naftali Stern, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Pressburg, Yerushalayim

5752/1992, Harav Yitzchak Friedman, zt”l, the Bohusher Rebbe


5634/1874

Harav Tzvi Hersh Friedman of Liska, Author of Ach Pri Tevuah, Zy”a

Harav Tzvi Hersh of Liska, zy”a, known throughout the olam haChassidus as Reb Hershele Liska, was born in Iyar 5550/1790 in Ujhely, Hungary. His father, Harav Aharon, was a tzaddik nistar who was niftar when Tzvi Hersh was a mere 8 years old. His mother, Rebbetzin Sarah, a”h, was an exceptional tzaddekes.

Harav Tzvi Hersh studied in the yeshivah of Harav Hersh Charif, zt”l, the Rav of Bonyhad and mechaber of the sefer Tiv Gitten. He was a chavrusa and lifelong friend of Harav Shlomo Ganzfried, zt”l, author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.

Upon returning to Ujhely, Reb Tzvi Hersh studied under Harav Moshe Teitelbaum, zy”a, author of the Yismach Moshe. His chavrusa was the latter’s grandson, the future founder of the Sigheter dynasty, Harav Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, zy”a, author of the sefer Yetev Lev. The Ach Pri Tevuah was considered a talmid muvhak of the Yismach Moshe, and accepted all his minhagim.

He was also very close to the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zy”a, who began his haskamah on Ach Pri Tevuah with the words, “It has been a short while since the aron Elokim was taken from us, my friend Harav Hagaon Hatzadik, b’tzina kedushah … and I have no doubt that everyone will acquire the sefer, who saw his exulted holiness and purity and will bring this holy manuscript to their home.” Such was the esteem in which the Divrei Chaim held Rav Tzvi Hersh.

Rav Tzvi Hersh established his court in Liska (Olaszliska), Hungary. He was revered for his extraordinary piety, vast Torah scholarship, and enormous wisdom. During his reign as the Rav of the town of Liska, Chassidus flourished and his leadership inspired the its growth throughout Hungary. Thousands of Yidden streamed to him for guidance, brachos and spiritual chizuk.

Rav Tzvi Hersh often traveled to other cities. His chochmah was legendary, only coupled with his ability to convey his wishes b’darchei noam.

One such story illustrates his derech: The Ach Pri Tevuah once spent Shabbos in Chust, the hometown of the famous Gaon the Maharam Schick. On Erev Shabbos, the Maharam Schick honored Rav Tzvi Hersh with leading Minchah. The Liska Rav found himself in a dilemma. As it is known, it is the minhag of Chassidim to recite Hodu before Minchah. Yet, in the Maharam Schick’s shul, which followed Nusach Ashkenaz, Hodu was not recited.

He approached the Maharam Schick with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Chuster Rav, it is known that Shabbos has a higher level of sanctity than Yom Tov. Shabbos comes weekly while Yom Tov comes only at certain times throughout the year. Yet when Shabbos and Yom Tov coincide, the nusach of Yom Tov takes precedence over Shabbos’.

So it is with us as well. You, Chuster Rav, are in the category of Shabbos; you are here every week. I, on the other hand, am in the category of Yom Tov. I am a guest. So I respectfully request of you to allow me to say Hodu.” The Chuster Rav graciously replied, “Liska Rav, so be it, say Hodu.”

Rav Tzvi Hirsh passed away on 14 Av 5634, and was interred in Liska where thousands daven at his kever until this day. This year is his 145th yahrtzeit. His sefarim on Chassidic thought include Ach Pri Tevuah on the Torah, and Hayashar Vehatov, containing drashos for the Yamim Tovim and chiddushim on Shas.

Because all his sons had passed away in his lifetime, Rav Tzvi Hirsh was succeeded by his son-in-law, Rav Chaim Friedlander, zy”a, who became the second Liska Rebbe.

Zechuso yagein aleinu


August 15

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.

In 1945, in a pre-recorded radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.