This Day In History – 14 Sivan/May 28

Letterhead on stationery of the Makarov-Winnipeg Rebbe, Zy”a.

14 Sivan

In 5270/1510, Germany’s emperor rescinded an order to burn all the sefarim found in Cologne and Frankfurt.

In 5348/1588, 24 Jews were burned at the stake al kiddush Hashem at an auto-da-fe, Hy”d.

Yahrtzeiten

5510/1750, Harav Uren of Pintchov, who was hung al kiddush Hashem in Brodi, Hy”d

5568/1808, Harav Leib, zt”l, brother of the Vilna Gaon

5581/1821, Harav Chaim of Volozhin, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Volozhin, mechaber of Nefesh Hachaim

5745/1985, Harav Moshe Horowitz, zt”l, the Bostoner Rebbe of New York

5759/1999, Harav Nissim Yagen, zt”l, founder of Arachim and the Kehillas Yaakov Kollel


5707/1947

Harav Shmuel Abba Twersky, the Makarov-Winnipeg Rebbe, Zy”a

Harav Shmuel Abba was the son of Harav Moshe Mordechai, the Makarov-Berditchover Rebbe, zy”a, who in turn was the son of Harav Yaakov Yitzchak of Makarov, the son of Harav Mordechai, the Maggid of Chernobyl, zechusam yagein aleinu.

Rav Shmuel Abba’s mother, Rebbetzin Chava, a”h, was the daughter of Harav Yehoshua of Belz, zt”l.

Rav Shmuel Abba grew up under the holy influence of his forebears and became a great talmid chacham and tzaddik. He married his first cousin, the daughter of Harav Dovid of Makarov, who was a very influential leader of Ukrainian Jewry before its unfortunate destruction.

In 5680/1920, upon the petirah of his father, Rav Shmuel Abba succeeded him in Berditchov, but the good days he experienced there did not last long. The Bolsheviks were ascending to power and causing havoc and destruction, forcing the Rebbe to relocate to Riga, Latvia. In 5687/1927 the Rebbe moved to faraway Winnipeg, Canada, where at the time there was a sizable Jewish presence, including a notable kehillah of Makarover Chassidim who had fled to Canada from Russia.

In Winnipeg he was welcomed with great honor, and the Chassidim helped him establish a beis medrash. The Rebbe had great influence and multitudes of Jews flocked to him for guidance and brachos. The Rebbe was renowned as a baal mofes and brought yeshuos to many.

In 5690/1930 Rebbetzin Rikel joined her esteemed husband and arrived in Canada, but because of the terrible suffering she had endured at the hands of the Bolshevik butchers, she was suddenly niftar soon after her arrival in Winnipeg. She was buried with great honor in an ohel in the Shaarei Tzedek cemetery.

Strengthening himself after this personal blow, the Rebbe continued his avodas hakodesh. In 5707/1947, he became ill. His many Chassidim and admirers were mispallel for his recovery, but the heavenly gates were closed and he was niftar on 14 Sivan 5707/1947. He was buried in the Shaarei Tzedek cemetery near his Rebbetzin by a broken and shattered kehillah.

In recent years, thanks to tremendous efforts by Rabbi Yonah Landau, Yoshev Rosh of Vaad Hanesiah Lekivrei Tzaddikim B’Artzos Habris, the kever of the Rebbe was rediscovered. Many Yidden have traveled to the kever in recent times, and many report yeshuos from their tefillos.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


May 28

In 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a “state of absolute unpreparedness,” improperly tested safety equipment and an “indifference to danger” as some of the causes of an “unnecessary tragedy.”

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Also, Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain. Also, in Nazi Germany, Volkswagen was founded by the German Labour Front.

In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust, a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow’s Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)