This Day in History – 17 Elul/August 28

Shaar blatt of sefer Binyan Dovid.

17 Elul

Today is a Yom Tov cited in Megillas Taanis, commemorating the removal of the Romans who instituted burdensome taxes on the Jews.

In 5699/1939, Germany attacked Poland, marking the outbreak of the Second World War that claimed more than six million Jewish lives, Hy”d.

In 1656, (according to Rabi Eliezer), Noach opened the window of the teivah and dispatched the dove. “But the dove found no resting place for the sole of its foot” and returned to the ark.


5412/1652, Harav Nosson Nota Shapiro, zt”l, the maggid of Lublin.

5560/1800, Harav Yosef Yoska, zt”l, mechaber of Yesod Yosef.

5689/1929, Harav Yakov Kopel Reich, Rav of Budapest, zt”l


Harav Dovid Dov Ber Taub, Zt”l, Rav of Dabrizinsk, Mechaber of Binyan Dovid

Harav Dovid Dov Ber Taub was the son of Rav Binyamin Zev. He was born about 5587/1827.

When he was still a young boy, he was known for his dedication to learning and yiras Shamayim. It is related that when he was just nine years old, Harav Yitzchak of Vorka, zy”a, paid a visit to Zaloshin. The young Dovid, wishing to see the Rebbe’s holy countenance during davening (the Vorka Rebbe would cover his head with his tallis), crawled under the table and peeked up through the tallis to see the Rebbe’s face. He related that he also saw the Rebbe’s limbs knocking against each other, in awe of Hashem.

Rav Dovid Dov married the daughter of Harav Meir, son-in-law of Harav Moshe of Zaloshin, zt”l, the Mishpat Tzedek.

Initially, not wanting to be supported for learning Torah, he tried his hand at business. But seemingly it wasn’t meant to be; he was asked to serve on the beis din in Zaloshin, as the city was short one of the three Dayanim required for a beis din.

In 5615/1855, Rav Dovid Dov was appointed Rav in Shadek.

Later, in 5620/1860, he became Rav in Neustadt, where he led the kehillah and also headed a large yeshivah.

In 5635/1875, Rav Dovid Dov was appointed Rav in Dabrizinsk, on the border between Poland and Germany. Here too he founded a yeshivah, which attracted many bachurim.

Rav Dovid Dov was a Chassid of the first Vorka Rebbe, and after his petirah, of his son Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka, zy”a.

Following the petirah of Harav Menachem Mendel, Rav Dovid Dov traveled to Harav Dov Berish of Biala, zy”a, and after his petirah, he traveled to Harav Yechiel, zy”a, the Alter Rebbe of Aleksander.

Chiddushei Torah of Rav Dovid Dov on many masechtos of Shas and Shulchan Aruch were published as Binyan Dovid. Many of his manuscripts were burned, however, which greatly distressed him.

Rav Dovid Dov was niftar on 17 Elul 5659/1899 and buried in Dabrizinsk.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

August 28

In 1609, English sea explorer Henry Hudson and his ship, the Half Moon, reached present-day Delaware Bay.

In 1862, the Second Battle of Bull Run (also known as Second Manassas) began in Prince William County, Virginia, during the Civil War; the result was a Confederate victory.

In 1916, Italy declared war on Germany during World War I.

In 1941, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S., Kichisaburo Nomura, presented a note to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from Japan’s prime minister, Prince Fumimaro Konoye, expressing a desire for improved relations.