This Day In History 20 Av/August 24

In 5318/1558, the first printed edition of the Zohar was published.

In 5643/1883, anti-Jewish riots erupted in Zola-Egerszeg, Hungary.


5623/1863, Harav Yaakov Dovid Biderman of Vishigrad, zt”l

5625/1865, Rav Eliezer of Azipalle, zt”l, youngest son of Rav Yehudah Tzvi of Stretin and grandson of Reb Uri of Strelisk, zy”a

5677/1917, Harav Aharon Twersky of Skver-Kiev, zt”l

5704/1944, Harav Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, zt”l, father of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, Rav of Yekaterinoslav (currently Dnepropetrovsk). He was arrested by the Stalinist regime and exiled to Kazakhstan, where he was niftar.

5536/1776, Harav Yosef Steinhart of Fuerth, zt”l, mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Zichron Yosef

Harav Yosef Steinhart, son of Rav Menachem, was born in 5460/1700. He was a talmid of Harav Yaakov Poprosh, the Shev Yaakov.

Rav Yosef became the son-in-law of Harav Leib Mochiach of Pressburg, the father of Harav Yeshayah Pik-Berlin. The wife of Rav Yosef, Kreindel, was known for her erudition, and her chiddushim and insights are quoted by both her husband and her brother in their respective sefarim.

Rav Yosef became Rav of Fuerth, where he founded a yeshivah and taught many hundreds of talmidim. Among the more famous is Harav Mordechai Banet, Rav of Nikolsburg.

The Chida visited Fuerth as a shaliach from Eretz Yisrael, and was extended much honor by Rav Yosef. It is related that at that season, fish was available in Fuerth markets only for exorbitant sums. In honor of their guest the Chida, Rav Yosef’s Rebbetzin went to much trouble to find fish lichvod Shabbos, paying 10 gold coins for the fish. When the Chida heard that she spent so much on the fish in his honor, he said that in his opinion this was a chillul Hashem.

On Shabbos morning, after davening, a large crowd gathered. The Rebbetzin served them a unique delicacy from the liver of the fish, but she did not serve it to the Chida. When he asked why, she answered, paraphrasing a maamar Chazal, “When there is a chillul Hashem, one does not give kaved (‘kavod’ is literally ‘honor,’ but using a play on words, she said ‘kaved’ — liver) to the Rav.”

Rav Yosef was niftar on 20 Av 5536/1776, at the age of 76.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Aug. 24

In 1821, the Treaty of Cordoba was signed, granting independence to Mexico from Spanish rule.

In 1912, Congress passed a measure creating the Alaska Territory.

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.