This Day in History – 17 Kislev/November 20

Kever of Harav Shlomo Heiman, zt"l, at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens, in close proximity to other Gedolei Yisrael. (Y. Gesser)
Kever of Harav Shlomo Heiman, zt”l, at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens, in close proximity to other Gedolei Yisrael. (Y. Gesser)

17 Kislev

In 3414/348 B.C.E., Ezra HaSofer and his followers fasted and davened to Hashem after their arrival in Eretz Yisrael, due to the intermarriage which was rampant in Eretz Yisrael at that time. The Jews were prompted to do teshuvah, and rectified the situation.

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

In 5141/1380, many Jewish moneylenders were killed as nobles rioted in Paris after Charles VI ascended the throne and said he wouldn’t expel the Jews. The murderers hoped to relieve themselves of debts.

In 5357/1596, the first Jewish author in North America and his mother were burned to death in Mexico City by the Inquisition.

In 5609/1848, the Jews of Nassau, Germany, were granted legal equality.

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 Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum of Rachov, zt”l

Harav Eliezer Zev Rosenbaum was the son of Harav Yitzchak of Rachov, a scion of the Nadvorna dynasty.

He was born in Rachov in 5689/1929.

When he was still a young child, his melamed — seeing his amazing potential — called him “Rosh Yeshivah.”

At 15 he went through the horrors of World War II, losing his entire family except one sister.

He himself had a close escape from death; as he was being taken out to be shot, along with 500 other Jews, he managed to run away.

Following the end of the War, Reb Eliezer Zev remained in Europe for another year and then reached Eretz Yisrael.

He married the daughter of his cousin Harav Chaim Mordechai of Nadvorna.

At the instruction of Harav Aharon of Belz, zy”a, in 5711/1951 Reb Eliezer Zev began to lead Rachover Chassidus, initially in Ramle and later in Ramat Gan.

Reb Eliezer Zev was renowned for his avodah in tefillah and for his acts of chessed.

He was niftar on 18 Kislev 5759/1998, at the age of 70, and was succeeded by his son Harav Yechiel Meir Rosenbaum, shlita, the Rachover Rebbe.

Another son is Harav Yitzchak Rosenbaum.

His sons-in-law are Harav Shlomo Kahana of Spinka; Harav Yehudah Rosenbaum, Linsker Rebbe; Harav Gedaliah Moshe Roth, son of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, shlita; and Harav Yitzchak Eizik Kahana, son of Harav Moshe Nachman of Spinka.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


November 20

In 1620, Peregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay; he was the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.

In 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass.

In 1945, 22 out of 24 indicted Nazi officials went on trial (one in absentia) before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

In 1947, Britain’s future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1959, the United Nations issued its Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy held a news conference in which he announced the end of the naval quarantine of Cuba imposed during the missile crisis, and the signing of an executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal housing facilities.

In 1967, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.

In 1969, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out.

A group of American Indian activists began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain’s General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

In 2000, lawyers for Al Gore and George W. Bush battled before the Florida Supreme Court over whether the presidential election recount should be allowed to continue.