This Day In History 20 Adar/March 7

In 5376/1616, Vincent Fettmilch, a powerful Jew-hater in Frankfurt, Germany, was summoned by the Emperor to trial for his role in persecuting the Jews. Fettmilch, head of the bakers’ guild in Frankfurt, was sentenced to death and executed; the Jews of Frankfurt celebrated a Purim in commemoration of that event.

During that era, Frankfurt was a glorious kehillah, numbering over 3,000 Jews. The evil Fettmilch battled the Yidden and tried to pass legislation to expel them. After an unsuccessful attempt, he incited a mob that attacked the community mercilessly.


5393/1633, Harav Meir Schiff, zt”l, the Maharam Shiff

5401/1641, Harav Yoel Sirkis, zt”l, the Bach

5695/1935, Harav Shlomo Hakohen Aharonsohn of Tel Aviv, zt”l

5698/1938, Harav Moshe Landinski, zt”l, Rosh Mesivta in Yeshivas Radin

5765/2005, Harav Rafael Blum, zt”l, Kashauer Rav

5772/2012, The Yeshuos Moshe of Vizhnitz, Harav Moshe Yehoshua Hager, Zy”a

Harav Moshe Yehoshua Hager was born on 13 Sivan, 5676/1916, in Vilchovitz, Romania. His father was the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, zy”a, and his mother, Rebbetzin Margalis, a”h, was a daughter of Harav Ze’ev of Rachmastrivka, zy”a.

The Rebbe grew up in the home of his grandfather, the Ahavas Yisrael, zy”a, in Grosswardein, Hungary, and staunchly followed in his ways.

The Ahavas Yisrael was extremely fond of his young grandchild. In the Grosswardein Talmud Torah, the young Moshe Yehoshua refrained from playing with his friends, choosing to devote all of his time to learning.

Already in his early years, he learned with hasmadah, until the wee hours of the morning.

Later, the Rebbe traveled to Vizhnitz to learn in the yeshivah of his uncle, the Damesek Eliezer, zy”a. He then received semichah from the leading Rabbanim of Hungary.

After the petirah of the Ahavas Yisrael, the Imrei Chaim, who was then Rav in Vilchovitz, moved to Grosswardein to assume his father’s post, and the relatively young Moshe Yehoshua was appointed Rav in Vilchovitz.

In 5702/1942, the Rebbe married Rebbetzin Leah Esther, the daughter of Harav Menachem Mendel, zy”a, Rebbe of Dezh.

In Adar 5704/1944, when the Nazis invaded Hungary, the Rebbe fled to Grosswardein, to be together with his father. From Romania, the Rebbe and his family traveled to Eretz Yisrael, arriving before Elul 5704/1944.

In 5707/1947, after the Imrei Chaim arrived in Eretz Yisrael and established the Vizhnitz neighborhood in Bnei Brak, Harav Moshe Yehoshua was appointed Rav of the neighborhood, in addition to heading the yeshivah and delivering daily shiurim.

On 9 Nisan 5732/1972, his father, the Imrei Chaim, was niftar and Harav Moshe Yehoshua succeeded his father as Rebbe in Eretz Yisrael.

Under the Rebbe’s leadership, Vizhnitz blossomed and expanded in Eretz Yisrael, with the establishment of many Torah mosdos.

Towards the end of his life, the Rebbe became very weak, yet despite his illness and frailty he continued to receive Chassidim and bestow brachos.

The Rebbe was niftar on 20 Adar, 5772/2012. He was buried next to his father in the Vizhnitzer ohel in the Zichron Meir cemetery in Bnei Brak.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

March 7

In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.

In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.

In 1918, Japanese corporation Panasonic had its beginnings in Osaka as Kōnosuke Matsushita founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.

In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required two-thirds of senators present.

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