This Day in History – 21 Sivan/June 24

21 Sivan

In 2450, Miriam Haneviah was afflicted with tzaraas, according to Seder Olam, after speaking lashon hara about Moshe Rabbeinu. (Bamidbar 12:10)

In 5213/1453, the Muslim conqueror of Constantinople granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslims. This created a haven for many Jews who would be forced out of Spain during the Expulsion from Spain 39 years later.


Yahrtzeiten

5624/1864, Harav Elazar Horowitz of Vienna, zt”l, mechaber of Yad Elazar

5653/1893, Harav Shlomo, Rebbe of Munkacs, zy”a, the Shem Shlomo

5669/1909, Harav Arye Horowitz, Rav of Stanislav, zt”l

5681/1921, Harav Yehoshua Heschel Fried, zt”l, Rav of Kapish, Hungary

5704/1944, Harav Shimon Sofer, Rav of Erlau, the Hisorerus Teshuva, and his son Harav Moshe Sofer, Dayan of Erlau, Hy”d


5697/1937

Harav Dovid Menachem Babad of Tarnopol, Zt”l, the Chavatzeles Hasharon

Harav Dovid Menachem Munish was a 10th-generation descendant of the Rebbe Reb Heschel of Cracow, zt”l. His name Babad is an acronym of “ben av beis din.” The Babads served as Dayanim and Rabbanim in Tarnopol for 150 years.

Harav Dovid Menachem Munish was born in 5625/1865, shortly after his father, Harav Yehoshua Heschel of Podvolotchisk, zt”l, (near Tarnopol) was appointed to his first Rabbinical post in Strisov, a large Torah center. Rav Dovid Menachem Munish grew up under his father’s tutelage. When he went to Harav Dov Berish Rappaport of Rava, zt”l, for semichah, the Rav kept him for a week, during which time they discussed and resolved many wide-ranging questions in Shas.

Rav Dovid Menachem Munish married Rebbetzin Leah, daughter of Harav Yoel Moshe Segal Landau, zt”l, Rav of Yavrov (near Lvov), who supported them so that he might not be distracted from his studies.

For a while, Rav Dovid Menachem Munish wrote chiddushim, but after they were lost in a fire, he only responded to she’eilos in halachah and in learning. These were published in his sefer Chavatzeles Hasharon.

In 5654/1894, he was asked to succeed his late father-in-law in Yavrov, and he served there for 17 years.

At the end of 5669/1909, two years after the petirah of Harav Shimon Babad, son of the Minchas Chinuch, Tarnopol welcomed Harav Dovid Menachem Munish as their new Rav.

In time, the Tarnopoler Rav became head of the Agudas Harabbanim in Galicia, the chairman of the Rabbinical conventions held in Cracow and Lvov in 5685/1925 and in 5688/1928, and a member of the Rabbinical delegation to the Polish government in Warsaw in 5691/1931.

Yet, he saw his yeshivah as his crowning achievement.

In 5694/1934, he contracted a disease in his leg that caused his bones to be deteriorated. He traveled to the clinic in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he was treated for two years.

When he returned to Tarnopol he committed to continue his avodah, but his condition worsened steadily, and on Monday, 21 Sivan 5697/1937, he was niftar. He was buried in Tarnopol. Later, the community was destroyed by the Nazis. When a lone survivor, Mr. Ochs, came back, he discovered that of all the matzeivos in the cemetery, the only one still standing was that of the Chavatzeles Hasharon.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah


June 24

In 1497, the first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot spotted land, probably in present-day Canada.

In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.

In 1964, AT&T inaugurated commercial “Picturephone” service between New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (the service, however, never caught on).

In 1975, 113 people were killed when Eastern Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727 carrying 124 people, crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at Kennedy Airport.

In 1992, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.