This Day in History – 2 Tammuz/June 30

2 Tammuz

In 4856/1096, the Crusaders arrived in the city of Weltzk, assembled all the Jews in the city and sent them to their deaths. Hy”d.


 

Yahrtzeiten

2310/1451 B.C.E., according to most opinions, Yosef Hatzaddik. He was also born on this date, in 2200/1561 B.C.E. According to other opinions, he was niftar on 27 Tammuz.

5525/1765, Harav Nachman of Horodenka, zt”l

5625/1865, Harav Mordechai Zev Itinga, zt”l, mechaber of Meforshei Hayam

5678/1918, Harav Eliezer Nisan of Dzikov, zt”l


 

2 Tammuz 5649/1889

Harav Avraham Twersky, zt”l, the Trisker Maggid

Harav Avraham, the Trisker Maggid, was one of eight sons of Reb Mordechai, the Chernobyler  Maggid. He was born in 5566/1806. He married Rebbetzin Rikel, the daughter of Harav Yaakov Aryeh of Kavla, son of Harav Mordechai of Neshchiz.

After the petirah of his father in 5597/1837, the Maggid moved to Trisk, in the Wohlin region, close to the Ukrainian-Polish border.

His fame spread as one of the kedoshei elyon, and thousands flocked to his home for guidance and brachos. Many Rebbes and Rabbanim traveled to him, among them Reb Yaakov Yitzchak of Biala and Reb Yaakov Tzvi of Porisov.

The Rebbe himself sponsored the food and lodgings for all who came to his court, even when this involved financial difficulties. The Rebbe likened this hanhagah to bringing korbanos, because after the churban beis hamikdash, the Gemara states, a person’s “table” is compared to a mizbei’ach that is mechaper.

In his later years, his brother Reb Dovid’l of Tolna attested about him that he could not discuss worldly matters due to his concentration on spiritual issues.

The Trisker Maggid, unlike some of the other Rebbes of the Chernobyler dynasty, said many divrei Torah. When he delivered divrei Torah he was visibly detached from his surroundings; it seemed as if he was in a higher world. He would speak in a fiery manner in a loud voice. Once, after saying his divrei Torah, he turned to his son, Reb Mordechai of Kuzmir, and asked him if he, the Maggid, had yet spoken that day!

The Maggid once suffered from an eye ailment that forced him to travel to Cracow. On Shabbos there, when many gathered at his tisch, he declared, “If Hashem wanted to, He could have healed my eyes at home, in Trisk, so there must be a reason why I am here in Cracow. The Hashgachah has brought me here to be mechazek Yidden!” From there he continued delivering fiery divrei Torah.

The Maggid waged war against Czar Alexander II of Russia, whose anti-Semitic decrees threatened the ruchniyus of Klal Yisrael. The Rebbe openly spoke against him and would interpret pesukim as though they were meant as messages to or about the Czar. After Sukkos 5641/1881, the Rebbe spoke of the Czar’s imminent death; indeed, in a short time the Czar was killed.

His sefer, Magen Avraham, was published in his lifetime, when he was elderly and too weak to say divrei Torah. As he wrote in the hakdamah, “From the day I knew you all, I was able to be mashpia on you with my divrei Torah, and my words served as a chizuk to many and a source of teshuvah … And now, with Hashem’s help, I came to the age of over 80 and I cannot raise my voice, therefore I print this sefer…”  The Trisker Maggid finished his foreword by writing, “I pray for Klal Yisrael, and for all the people who will buy this sefer, that things should be good for them all their days.”

 Yehi zichro baruch.


 

June 30

In 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin walked back and forth on a tightrope above the gorge of Niagara Falls as thousands of spectators watched.

In 1908, the Tunguska Event took place in Russia as an asteroid exploded above Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.

In 1912, Canada’s deadliest tornado on record occurred as a cyclone struck Regina, the provincial capital of Saskatchewan, killing 28 people.

In 1921, President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late Edward Douglass White.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in Germany in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”

In 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64–20.

In 1972, for the first time, a leap-second was added to Coordinated Universal Time to account for the slowing rotation of the Earth.

In 1984, John Turner was sworn in as Canada’s 17th prime minister, succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau. (However, Turner held the post for less than three months.)

In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.