This Day in History – 17 Kislev/December 9

In 5110/1349, the Jews of Ausburg, Germany, were massacred. Hy”d.

In 5141/1380, many Jews were killed during anti-Jewish riots in Paris. Hy”d.

In 5658/1897, anti-Jewish violence erupted in Bucharest, Romania.



5327/1566, Harav Dovid Teveli of Volna, zt”l, son-in-law of the Maharshal

5408/1647, Harav Shlomo Shapiro, Hy”d, a son of the Megaleh Amukos, was killed al kiddush Hashem during Gezeiros Tach v’Tat.

5413/1652, Harav Dovid of Podheitz, Hy”d, was burned al kiddush Hashem.

5680/1919, Harav Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, zt”l, the Alter of Novardok


5705/1944, Harav Shlomo Heiman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Torah Vodaath

Harav Shlomo Heiman was born in Paritsh, Minsk (White Russia) in 5652/1892. His father was Harav Michel Heiman. When he was 12 years old he went to Kamenitz to learn under Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, with whom he was very close.

In 5678/1918, Reb Shlomo married the daughter of Rav Yochanon Rudensky of Volozhin.

After his marriage, Reb Baruch Ber asked Reb Shlomo to be a maggid shiur in the Kamenitz yeshivah Beis Yitzchak, which was fleeing from Slabodka to Krementchug. It was at this time that Reb Shlomo developed the reputation of being one of Lithuania’s most outstanding talmidei chachamim.

After World War I, Reb Shlomo began to deliver shiurim in Yeshivas Ohel Torah of Baranovitch, under Harav Elchanan Wasserman. In 5688/1928, at the request of Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky of Vilna, Reb Shlomo became the Rosh Yeshivah of Ramailles Yeshivah in Vilna, a position he held until 5695/1935.

In 5695/1935, Reb Shlomo was invited by Harav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz to head Mesivta Torah Vodaath in America. With the approval of Reb Chaim Ozer, Reb Shlomo accepted this position and, in that way, hashgachah spared him from personally experiencing the horrors of the Shoah in Europe.

During the years of Reb Shlomo’s tenure at Torah Vodaath the yeshivah experienced significant growth and expansion.

Reb Shlomo gave shiurim for 10 years in Torah Vodaath, and did not leave the “tent of Torah” until a few short days before his passing. He merited teaching hundreds of talmidim, many of whom went on to become leading Torah personalities in America. His refined personality was a beacon of light and a living example to all his talmidim.

He was niftar on 17 Kislev 5705/1944 at the age of 52 and laid to rest at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens. To this day people visit his kever to be mispallel.

Two volumes were printed after his petirah based on some of his published work and his notes, as well as notes of his talmidim, under the name Chiddushei Rebbi Shlomo.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Dec. 9

In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)

In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.

In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.

In 1984, the five-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.

In 1987, the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the Yehudah and Shomron, triggering a strong Israeli response.

In 2004, President George W. Bush ruled out raising taxes to finance a Social Security overhaul.

In 2009, five young American Muslims were arrested in Pakistan over possible links to terrorism.

In 2009, Iran claimed that a newly-built U.N. station to detect nuclear explosions was built near its border to give the West a post to spy on the country.

In 2013, North Korea announced it had sacked leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, long considered the country’s No. 2 power, for leading a “dissolute and depraved life.”(Jang was reportedly executed three days later).