This Day in History – 2 Elul/September 2

2 Elul

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

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.

Yahrtzeiten

5168/1408, Rabbeinu Yitzchok Bar Sheises, the Rivash, zt”l.

5604/1844, Harav Yosef of Ostila, zy”a, son of Harav Mordechai of Neshchiz

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

5706/1946, Harav Eliezer Hager, zy”a, the Damesek Eliezer of Vizhnitz


5754/1994

Harav Meir Yisrael Isser HaKohen Friedman, the Krenitzer Rav, Zt”l, mechaber Of Shai Lamorah, and Imrei Yisrael

Harav Meir Yisrael Isser Hakohen Friedman was born in 5660/1900 to Harav Bentzion, zt”l, the Dayan of Dubeck, Poland.

Rav Meir Yisrael Isser developed a close relationship with the Tzvi Latzaddik, zy”a, who showed great fondness for him.

Rav Meir Yisrael Isser married the daughter of Harav Avraham Eber Peterfreund, a pious man and the shochet u’bodek of the resort town of Krenitz.

Many tzaddikim and Gedolim of the previous generation would frequent Krenitz. Rav Meir Yisrael Isser would listen to their wise words and watch their avodas Hashem and hasmadah in learning.

As war began to rage in Eastern Europe, Rav Meir Yisrael Isser lost his wife and two of his sons in an epidemic, R”l. He escaped to Pshemish, where he stayed for a while.

Toward the end of the war, he escaped to Tashkent, a town in Uzbekistan, where he met with the Machnovka Rebbe, zy”a.

Rav Meir Yisrael Isser wrote piyutim and shirim at that time which expressed the hope of redemption and salvation, of the end of Galus Hashechinah and the return of Klal Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael.

After the war, he stayed for a while in Prague where, as one of the leading Dayanim to have survived, he participated in the difficult cases of heter agunos.

In America, Rav Meir Yisrael Isser settled in Crown Heights, where he remarried. A modest, reserved man, he dedicated his time to Torah and tefillah. He opened Beis Medrash Shaarei Chaim in Crown Heights, which is still open today.

His last years were spent in Boro Park at the home of his grandson Reb Shmiel Kurtz. There, many chashuvim came to visit him to hear stories of the Gedolim he had spent time with long ago in Krenitz. Among them was Harav Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe, zy”a, who revered him greatly; and, ybl”c, the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, shlita; Harav Leibish Leizer, the Pshevorsker Rebbe, shlita; Harav Eliyahu Ber Wachtfogel, shlita, Rosh Yeshivah, South Fallsburg, and many more. They would listen with great interest, for Rav Meir Yisrael Isser had experienced these events firsthand and was a trustworthy source.

Rav Meir Yisroel Isser was niftar on 2 Elul 5754/1994.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah


Sept. 2

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Defense Education Act, which provided aid to public and private education to promote learning in such fields as math and science.

In 1969, the first automatic teller machine (ATM) to utilize magnetic-striped cards was opened to the public at Chemical Bank in New York. (Called a “Docuteller,” it was developed by Donald C. Wetzel.)

In 2003, a federal appeals court in San Francisco threw out more than 100 death sentences in Arizona, Montana and Idaho because the inmates had been sent to death row by judges instead of juries.

In 2004, President George W. Bush pledged “a safer world and a more hopeful America” as he accepted his party’s nomination for a second term at the Republican National Convention in New York.