This Day in History – 14 Cheshvan/November 12

The crash site of American Airlines Flight 587 in the residential neighborhood of Belle Harbor, Queens. (NOAA)

14 Cheshvan

In 5380/1619, Jews of Prague miraculously escaped destruction during the Thirty Years’ War. This day was accepted as a fast day, with a festive meal in the evening to commemorate the miracle.

In 5703/1942, Norway’s Jewish men were deported to Auschwitz.


5300/1539, Harav Yehudah Lowy, zt”l, of Prague, grandfather of the Maharal

5693/1932, Harav Aharon Weiss of Benedkwits, zt”l, the Midrash Aharon


Harav Avraham Elimelech Perlow Of Karlin, Hy”d

Harav Avraham Elimelech Perlow, Hy”d, was born on 4 Elul 5651/1891. His father was Rav Yisrael, zy”a, the “Yenukah” of Stolin.

In Adar 5672/1912 he married his cousin (on his mother’s side), a daughter of Harav Mordechai Yosef, son of Harav Dovid of Zlotipol of the Chernobyler dynasty.

After his father’s petirah in 5682/1922, Rav Avraham Elimelech was prevailed upon to succeed him as Rebbe. He settled in Karlin and most of his father’s Chassidim traveled to him, while the rest stayed with his brother, Harav Moshe, zy”a, in Stolin.

In 5689/1929 Rav Avraham Elimelech founded a yeshivah in Luninetz where Harav Shach, zt”l, served as Rosh Yeshivah for a time.

Rav Avraham Elimelech had a profound attachment to Eretz Yisrael, which he visited four times. During his last visit in 1939, his Chassidim in Yerushalayim begged him to stay. He was well aware of the dangers facing Europe — in fact, the primary reason for his trip was to daven at the mekomos hakedoshim about the situation there. Nonetheless, he insisted on returning to Europe to share the fate of his family and Chassidim.

When the opportunity arose to flee to Vilna, during the brief period in which it was free, the Rebbe refused and remained in Karlin with his community.

Tragically, his life and the lives of his Rebbetzin and two sons were brutally cut short. The Rebbe was killed al kiddush Hashem, apparently by local Ukrainian peasants. The actual date is not known; today’s date was chosen as a yom zikaron.

A collection of his chiddushim was published in Kuntres Pri Elimelech, printed in Yalkut Divrei Aharon and in Birkas Aharon.

Nov. 12

In 1815, pioneering American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York.

In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.

In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York’s JFK Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.

In 2009, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. He was later convicted and sentenced to death.