This Day in History – 17 Elul/September 17

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 .


5512/1752, Harav Nosson Nota Shapiro, zt”l, the maggid of Lublin.

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

5689/1929, Harav Yaakov Koppel 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, born about 5587/1827, was the son of Rav Binyamin Zev.

When he was still a young boy, he became known for his dedication to learning and his yiras Shamayim.

It is told that when he was just 9 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 the 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 willing 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 as Rav in the city of 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 Menchem 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 Rav Dovid Dov.

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

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Sept. 17

Soviet military parade in Lwów, Poland, 1939

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1862, more than 3,600 men were killed in the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.

In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.

In 2011, a demonstration calling itself Occupy Wall Street began in New York, prompting similar protests around the U.S. and the world.

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