This Day in History – 16 Elul/September 16

16 Elul

In 5700/1940, the Nazis issued a decree forbidding non-Jews to work for Jews.

In 5705/1945, Jewish immigrants who had been exiled to Mauritius by the British as “illegals” were admitted into Eretz Yisrael.

Yahrtzeiten

5472/1712, Harav Avraham Naftali Tzvi of Vermeiza, zt”l.

5728/1968, Harav Masoud Yonah Edre’ei, known as the tzaddik of Rosh Pina, zt”l.


5761/2001

Harav Avraham Avigdor Nachum Landau, the Strikover Rebbe, Zy”a

Harav Avraham was born 11 Shevat 5677/1917, in Kinov, in the Ostrovtze region of Poland. His father was Harav Yaakov Yitzchok Dan, Hy”d, son of Harav Elimelech Menachem Mendel of Strikov, zy”a. Rav Avraham, as he was called, was a child prodigy who studied under some of the greatest Polish talmidei chachamim.

Following his bar mitzvah, he entered Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin and became one of the prime students of Harav Meir Shapiro, the Kaziglover Rav and Harav Shimon of Zelichov, zecher tzaddikim livrachah. There, he grew in stature in Torah, avodah and middos.

In Kislev 5700/1940, obeying his father’s orders, Rav Avraham fled Warsaw for Vilna. Of his whole family, he and a sister survived the war, while their parents and eight of their siblings perished, Hy”d. He eventually arrived in Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. He used to say that everything written in Eichah about the slaughter and suffering of Yidden happened in World War II.

In Yerushalayim he grew close to the Brisker Rav, Harav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, zt”l.

After his marriage to the daughter of Harav Meir Wydislavski, he found an apartment near that of the Tchebiner Rav, to whom he was also close.

It took many years for Rav Avraham to be able to undertake the rebuilding of Strikover Chassidus. When the time came, he moved to Tel Aviv and built a beis medrash, but did not establish a court. Instead, he founded an elite kollel.

In 5744/1984 he moved to Bnei Brak, where he re-established his beis medrash and founded Yeshivas Strikov.

The Strikover Rebbe’s humility was extraordinary; he simply could not bear any kavod at all. He never had a meshamesh — he opened his front door himself and answered his own telephone. For most of his life, he wore a regular suit instead of the usual garb of a Rebbe so as not to stand out.

When he moved to Bnei Brak, he would often be seen helping children cross the street, and would even cross back several times if he noticed more children who needed help.

The Strikover Rebbe was niftar on 16 Elul 5761/2001.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Sept. 16

In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”

In 1910, Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y., made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

In 1994, two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery went on the first untethered spacewalk in 10 years.

In 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was “no question” Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks.