This Day in History – 18 Kislev/November 21

A road crew of U.S. Army engineers digging the road bed through the dense matted poplar trees, visible in the background. The construction of the Alaskan Highway, which began at Dawson Creek stretches through the Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska, went on night and day. (AP Photo/Grant MacDonald)
A road crew of U.S. Army engineers digging the road bed through the dense matted poplar trees, visible in the background. The construction of the Alaskan Highway, which began at Dawson Creek stretches through the Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska, went on night and day. (AP Photo/Grant MacDonald)

18 Kislev

In 5554/1793, the Jews of Strasbourg, France, were forbidden to circumcise their infants, to wear beards or to own Hebrew books.

In 5679/1918, Polish forces attacked the Jews of Lvov.

Yahrtzeiten

4998/1237, Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam, zt”l, mechaber of Hamaspik L’Ovdei Hashem

5497/1736, Harav Aryeh Leib Darshan of Posen, zt”l

5572/1811, Harav Baruch of Mezhibuzh, zt”l

5622/1861, Harav Yekusiel Shmuel Shmelke of Sassov, zt”l

5636/1875, Harav Yosef Yitzchak of Ovritch, zt”l, son of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch

5650/1889, Harav Mordechai Alishberg of Boisk, zt”l

5697/1936, Harav Chaim Tzvi Ehrenreich, zt”l, mechaber of Shu”t Kav Chaim and Ketzei Hamateh on Mateh Ephraim

5770/2009  Harav Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, zt”l, Bostoner Rebbe of Boston and Yerushalayim


 

5656/2005

Harav Tzvi Ze’ev Paley, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Knesses Yisrael Chevron

Harav Tzvi Ze’ev Hirsh Paley was born in 5671/1911 in Shklov, Lithuania. His father was Harav Avraham Noach Paley, one of the talmidim of the Alter of Slabodka. He moved to Eretz Yisrael with his parents at the age of 14.

The family settled in Chevron, where his father gave a regular mussar shiur in the famed Chevron yeshivah. During the 5689/1929 Arab riots, the Paley family was miraculously spared when an Arab hid them in a cellar under the house of Harav Yechezkel Sarna, zt”l, who was in Yerushalayim at the time. When the murderers came to the house, the Arab told them no one was there, and they moved on.

The few survivors of the pogrom moved to Yerushalayim, where they re-established Yeshivas Knesses Yisrael Chevron in the Geulah neighborhood. Harav Paley was one of the last surviving talmidim who had learned in the yeshivah in Chevron.

As a bachur he was very close to the Roshei Yeshivah Harav Isaac Sher, Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, the Alter of Slabodka, Harav Yechezkel Sarna, and the mashgiach, Harav Leib Chasman. He was particularly drawn to the mussar shmuessen given by Harav Elya Lopian and was considered Reb Elya’s talmid muvhak.

When Reb Elya moved on to the new yeshivah in Kfar Chassidim, Harav Paley traveled north once a week with his chavrusa, Harav Shalom Schwadron, to hear Reb Elya’s mussar shiur. Later he took his sons before they became bar mitzvah to get a brachah from Reb Elya.

For over 55 years Rav Paley served as mashgiach of the Chevron Yeshivah, teaching mussar to thousands of talmidim.

Harav Paley was totally devoted to his students, and his house was open to them at all times.

Harav Paley was famed as a baal tefillah, and for many years he was the shaliach tzibbur for Shacharis during the Yamim Nora’im.

The mashgiach also ran a one-man tzedakah operation. He distributed funds to thousands of families before Pesach, without their ever discovering who had helped them.

Harav Paley was niftar on 20 Kislev 5756/2005, at the age of 95. He was buried on Har Hazeisim near the kever of Harav Meir Chodosh.

Some of his shmuessen have been compiled and published as Nachalas Tzvi.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


November 21

In 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1861, Judah Benjamin, who had been acting Confederate Secretary of War, was formally named to the post.

In 1920, the Irish Republican Army killed 12 British intelligence officers and two auxiliary policemen in the Dublin area; British forces responded by raiding a soccer match, killing 14 civilians.

In 1922, Rebecca L. Felton of Georgia was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

In 1942, the Alaska Highway was formally opened.

In 1969, the Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, 55–45, the first such rejection since 1930.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon’s attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18½-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.

In 1974, bombs exploded at a pair of pubs in Birmingham, England, killing 21 people. (Six suspects were convicted of the attack, but the convictions of the so-called “Birmingham Six” were overturned in 1991.)

In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 5,000 mark for the first time, rising 40.46 points to end the day at 5,023.55.