This Day in History – 2 Teves/December 24

In 3400/362 B.C.E., “AndEsther was taken to King Achashverosh, to his palace … He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in Vashti’s stead” (Esther 2:16–17).


5513/1752, Harav Yaakov ibn Tzur of Fez, Morocco, zt”l, mechaber of Mishpat U’Tzedakah B’Yaakov

5547/1786, Harav Mordechai Zev Orenstein, zt”l, Rav of Lvov


5649/1888, Harav Yaakov Tzvi Rabinowitz of Porisov, zt”l

Harav Yaakov Tzvi Rabinowitz was the oldest son of Harav Yehoshua Asher Rabinowitz, Rav of Zelichov and later of Porisov. His mother was Rebbetzin Latzia, daughter of Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa.

Harav Yaakov Tzvi married the daughter of Harav Shlomo Menachem Heilprin of Pintchov, son of Harav Menachem of Pramisla.

He traveled to various tzaddikim, including the Sabba Kaddisha of Radoshitz, who was his rebbi muvhak.

After the petirah of his father on 25 Iyar 5622/1862, he became Rebbe.

Thousands soon assembled for his leadership and guidance. Reb Yaakov Tzvi still refused to lead, instead traveling to Harav Nosson Dovid of Shidlovtza for Rosh Hashanah, but Harav Nosson Dovid sent him home and forced him to become a Rebbe.

He was a pillar of hora’ah. He was also knowledgeable in Toras hanistar, and an ascetic. His brachos were known to bear fruit. A close Chassid of Rav Yaakov Tzvi, Harav Yisrael Yeshayah Pirowitz, recorded the Rebbe’s divrei Torah and later published them as Atarah L’Rosh Tzaddik. Other divrei Torah were incorporated in sefarim by relatives: Imrei Yehoshua, by his son; Nehar Shalom, by his brother and son-in-law; and Zechusa D’Avraham, by his brother Harav Avraham of Porisov.

Reb Yaakov Tzvi had one son, Harav Uri Yehoshua Elchanan Asher Ashkenazi (he changed the family name from Rabinowitz to Ashkenazi), who replaced his father as Rebbe in Porisov.

Of his 12 sons-in-law, many were Rabbanim in various towns.

Niftar on 2 Teves 5649/1888, he was buried in Porisov.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Dec. 24

In 1814, the U.S. and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 following ratification by both the British Parliament and the U.S. Senate.

In 1851, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe as part of Operation Overlord.

In 1974, Cyclone Tracy began battering the Australian city of Darwin, resulting in widespread damage and causing 65 deaths.

In 1994, terrorists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 at Algiers airport; three passengers were slain during the siege. All four hijackers were killed by French commandos in Marseille two days later.