This Day in History – 15 Tammuz/July 18

15 Tammuz

In 3414, Ezra HaSofer left Bavel to go up to Yerushalayim. He left from the Euphrates River (Nehar Peras) and arrived in Yerushalayim 15 days later.

In 5598/1838, Druse Arabs attacked the Jews of Tzfas.


5503/1743, Harav Chaim Ben-Attar, the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh, zt”l

5545/1785, Harav Arye Leib Ginzburg of Metz, zt”l, mechaber of Shaagas Arye

5670/1910, Harav Elazar Weisblum of Reishe, zt”l, mechaber of Mishneh Lemelech.

5729/1969, Harav Dovid Moshe, Rebbe of Kretchnif-Rechovos, zy”a.


Harav Yaakov Moshe of Komarna, Zy”a

Harav Yaakov Moshe was born on 5 Tammuz 5621/1861. He was the son of Harav Eliezer Tzvi of Komarna, zy”a, and the grandson of Harav Yitzchak Eizik Yehuda Yechiel of Komarna, zy”a, mechaber of Heichal Habrachah. His mother was Rebbetzin Chana Sarah, a”h, daughter of the pious maggid Reb Yosef Scheiner of Turka, zt”l. Harav Yaakov Moshe was the disciple of Harav Avraham of Trisk, the Magen Avraham and the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zechusam yagen aleinu.

Harav Yaakov Moshe’s first marriage was to Rebbetzin Alta Esther Feigche, granddaughter of Reb Avraham Mordechai of Pintchov, zt”l. After her petirah, he married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Spinka, the Chakal Yitzchak, zy”a.

In 5659/1898 he succeeded his father.

Rav Yaakov Moshe was known throughout Galicia as Reb Yankel of Komarna, and throughout Poland as the Chozeh, the Seer, of Komarna.

The first year Rav Yaakov Moshe was Rebbe, a very large crowd came to Komarna for Rosh Hashanah. Afterward, no one could forget the tremendous kochos he invested in the tefillos. The Rebbe had led Shacharis and Mussaf, had read the Torah and had even personally blown the shofar on both days of Yom Tov.

The Rav of Katamon, Harav Yehoshua Deutsch, zt”l, tells of his father’s and uncle’s visit to Rav Yaakov Moshe during World War I. On their way to Harav Yissachar Dov of Belz, zy”a, they passed Debrecin, where Rav Yaakov Moshe was staying. Stopping in, they gave the Komarna Rebbe the kvitlach prepared for the Belzer Rebbe, but Rav Yaakov Moshe wouldn’t take them. “These kvitlach were not written for me.”

Only a few weeks before the Rebbe’s petirah, Reb Avraham Hutterer hosted him in Katowitz when the Rebbe stopped off there for eight days on his way to Vienna.

The Rebbe’s funeral took place on a very hot day in Tammuz. By the time the Rebbe’s son-in-law, the Rebbe of Munkach, zy”a, the Minchas Elazar, arrived, twenty-four hespedim had been delivered and the crowd was exhausted. Yet when he stood up and cried, “My holy father-in-law!” all of the people in attendance burst into fresh tears.

In his hesped, the Minchas Elazar confirmed his father-in-law’s incredible ruach hakodesh.

He wrote three sefarim: Machsheves Yaakov, Simchas Yaakov, and Yeshuas Yaakov.

The Komarna Rebbe left seven children; his oldest son, Harav Shalom, zy”a, succeeded him as Rebbe.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

July 18

In 1789, Robespierre, a deputy from Arras, France, decided to back the French Revolution.

In 1812, Great Britain signed the Treaty of Orebro, making peace with Russia and Sweden.

In 1872, the Ballot Act was passed in Great Britain, providing for secret election ballots.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Presidential Succession Act which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.

In 1986, the world got its first look at the wreckage of the RMS Titanic resting on the ocean floor as videotape of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, was released by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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