This Day In History 17 Elul/September 8

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

In 1656/2105 B.C.E., according to Rabi Eliezer, on this date 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.

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


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

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

5659/1899, Harav Dovid Dov Taub, zt”l, Rav of Dabrizinsk, mechaber of Binyan Dovid.

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

5590/1830, Harav Yosef, Rebbe of Ostillah, zt”l.

Harav Yosef was the son of Harav Mordechai of Neshchiz, zy”a. He was born in 5623/1763 and named for his maternal grandfather, Harav Yosef Katzenelenbogen, Rav of Leshnov.

He married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Meir Shapira of Shpitovka, zt”l, the son of Harav Pinchas of Koritz., zt”l.

Reb Yosef was appointed Rav in Ostilla in his father’s lifetime. After the petirah of his father on 8 Nisan 5560/1800, he became Rebbe in Ostilla.

Reb Yosef often went to the court of the Chozeh in Lublin. The Chozeh held him in high esteem, calling him “the Urim Vetumim.”

Reb Yosef was famous as a baal mofes. Many traveled to his court for his wondrous yeshuos.

During his tenure as Rebbe, the city of Ostilla became famous when his daughter married the son of Harav Don of Radvill, a son-in-law of the Ohev Yisrael of Apta in that town. This wedding, known as the Ostilla chasunah, was attended by hundreds of Rebbes.

While Reb Yosef was in Ostroha, for the wedding of his son, 18 Elul 5590/1830, he was suddenly niftar, and was honored with a large levayah. He was buried in Ostroha.

When the family returned home to Ostilla they found his tzavaah, in which he explicitly wrote that he would like a small levayah.

Reb Yosef’s sons were Harav Pinchas of Ostilla; Harav Mordechai of Ostilla; Harav Levi Yitzchak of Stephin; and Harav Baruch of Kosnitin. His sons-in-law were Harav Levi Yitzchak of Kamin; and Harav Aharon Tzintz, Rav of Turbin.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

A copy of “The Pledge of Allegiance” as it appeared in The Youth’s Companion, Sept 1892.

September 8

In 1664, the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who then renamed it New York.

In 1892, an early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in The Youth’s Companion. It went: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.

In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.

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