This Day in History – 2 Elul/August 28

Matzeivah of Harav Elazar Hopstein
Matzeivah of Harav Elazar Hopstein

In 5081/1321, 160 Jews in France were burned to death on trumped-up charges of well-poisoning, Hy”d.

In 5207/1447, the Jews of Poland and Lithuania
were granted a Charter of Rights.

In 5315/1555, the pope ordered the confiscation and burning of all copies of the Talmud.

In 5315/1555, the first printing of the Shulchan Aruch took place near Tzfas in Eretz Yisrael.

In 5556/1796, the Jews of Bologna, Italy, were granted equal civil rights.



5168/1408, Rabbeinu Yitzchak bar Sheises, the Rivash, zt”l

5604/1844, Harav Yosef of Ostila, zt”l, son of Harav Mordechai of Neshchiz

5702/1942, Harav Avraham Yaakov Friedman of Boyan-Lvov, Hy”d

5706/1946, Harav Eliezer Hager, zt”l, the Damesek Eliezer of Vizhnitz

5754/1994, Harav Meir Yisroel Isser Hakohen Friedman, the Krenitzer Rav, zt”l, mechaber of  Shai Lamorah and Imrei Yisrael

5726/1966, Harav Yisrael Elazar Hopstein of Kozhnitz, zt”l

Harav Yisrael Elazar Hopstein was the son of Harav Yerachmiel Moshe of Kozhnitz. He was born in Elul 5658/1898, and was a sixth-generation descendant of the Maggid of Kozhnitz.He was named Yisrael after the Maggid.

Harav Yisrael Elazar learned under Harav Meir Yechiel of Ostrovtza, and was given semichah by him as well.

Reb Yisrael Elazar married the daughter of Harav Mordechai Yosef Twersky of Zlatipola.

After the petirah of his father, on 13 Elul 5669/1909, Reb Yisrael Elazar was appointed Rebbe.

In 5684/1924, with a desire to help settle Eretz Yisrael, Reb Yisrael Elazar headed a group of Chassidim who bought properties in Eretz Yisrael. Reb Yisrael Elazar himself traveled to Eretz Yisrael, with a group of Chassidim, where they founded the city Kfar Chassidim, together with the Chassidim of the Yablona Rebbe.

Reb Yisrael Elazar was forced to leave Eretz Yisrael for health reasons. He was appointed Rav of the community in Paris. When the Nazisoccupied Paris, Reb Yisrael Elazar was taken away as he tried to flee. He was transferred to Nice, and from there he managed to escape to America in 5701/1941.

In America, Reb Yisrael Elazar rebuilt the Kozhnitzer Chassidus. Unfortunately, all the sefarim and precious items he had inherited from his forebears were lost in the war.

In 5726/1966, Reb Yisrael Elazar decided to return to Eretz Yisrael and even managed to found a beis medrash for the Kozhnitzer Chassidim there. Until then, they davened in an apartment.

Upon returning to America to take care of some details, Reb Yisrael Elazar was suddenly niftar, on 2 Elul 5726/1966, at the age of 68. His mittah was flown to Eretz Yisrael, where he was buried in the Sanhedria beis olam in Yerushalayim.

Reb Yisrael Elazar’s divrei Torah were published in the sefer Avodas Elazar.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. (AP Photo/File)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. (AP Photo/File)

August 28

In 1609, English sea explorer Henry Hudson and his ship, the Half Moon, reached present-day Delaware Bay.

In 1862, the Second Battle of Bull Run (also known as Second Manassas) began in Prince William County, Virginia, during the Civil War; the result was a Confederate victory.

In 1922, the first-ever radio commercial aired on station WEAF in New York City; the 10-minute advertisement was for the Queensboro Realty Co., which had paid a fee of $100.

In 1944, during World War II, German forces in Toulon and Marseille, France, surrendered to Allied troops.

In 1945, the Allies began occupying Japan at the end of World War II.

In 1963, more than 200,000 people listened as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

In 1964, two days of race-related rioting erupted in North Philadelphia over a false rumor that white police officers had beaten a black woman to death.

In 1968, police and anti-war demonstrators clashed in the streets of Chicago as the Democratic National Convention nominated Hubert H. Humphrey for president.

In 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept to the Republican presidential nomination at a storm-delayed national convention in Tampa, Florida.