This Day in History – 15 Cheshvan/November 13

in 2979, Yeravam Ben Nevat ascended to Beis-El in a pilgrimage that he invented, a month after Sukkos. Ido Hanavi warned that his altar would be destroyed, and so it was.

in 5699/1938, Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany devastated Jewish shuls and property. two hundred and ninety shuls were burned, seven thousand and five hundred Jewish shops were vandalized, and about thirty thousand Jews were arrested, some to be deported and never heard from again.


Yahrtzeiten

3596, Mattisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol, zt”l, father of the Chashmona’im

5562/1801, Harav Elozor Kalir, zt”l, Rav of Kelen, mechaber of Ohr Chodosh

5597/1836, Harav Leib Baal Hayisurim, zt”l, at whose burial place in Tzefas people daven for yeshuos.

5642/1881, Harav Shmuel Frenkel of Dorog, the ‘Imrei Shefer’

5714/1953, Harav Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, zt”l, the Chazon Ish

5719/1958, Harav Shlomo of Chortkov, zt”l, mechaber of ‘Divrei Shlomo’


5514/1753, Harav Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz of Tchortkov, zt”l

Harav Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz was the son of Harav Meir of Tiktin. The Rav of Tchortkov, he was known as one of the Gedolei Torah of his generation, and respected by all segments of the community.

It is related that Rav Tzvi Hirsh suddenly became blind; after regaining his sight, he completed the entire Shas. To celebrate this simchah he made a large seudas mitzvah, asking the local butcher to prepare him a large quantity of meat for the purpose. As it happened, on the day of the seudah the butcher was called by the local governor and asked to hold the best cuts of meat for him. The butcher went to Rav Tzvi Hirsh and asked what he should do, to which Rav Tzvi Hirsh replied that he need not fear any consequences resulting from his refusal.

The governor summoned Rav Tzvi Hirsh and asked why he was hosting a festive meal on that day, to which Rav Tzvi Hirsh replied that he had lived through a miracle, and now he had completed the entire Shas as well, causing a double simchah.

The governor told Rav Tzvi Hirsh that he would test him to see if he is a real tzaddik or not: On his estate were two large dogs. He would put the Rav in a room together with them; if the Rav would come out alive, this would show that he is a tzaddik. As soon as Rav Tzvi Hirsh walked into the room the dogs ran away, fell into a hole and were killed.

Rav Tzvi Hirsh had three sons, all Gedolim: Rav Nachum, Harav Shmelke of Nikolsburg, and Rav Pinchas, Rav of Frankfurt and author of the Hafla’ah and Panim Yafos, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

Rav Tzvi Hirsh was niftar on 15 Cheshvan 5514/1753.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Nov. 13

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In 2014, the European Space Agency published the first images taken from the surface of a comet; the photos sent back to Earth showed a rocky surface, with one of the lander’s three feet in the corner of the frame.