This Day in History – 22 Adar II/March 29

22 Adar II

In 5693/1933, the infamous Dachau concentration camp was established in Germany. The camp, one of the first established by the Nazis, was originally designated as a prison camp for political criminals. After Kristallnacht, the number of Jews imprisoned there kept growing until over 200,000 victims passed through its gates, most of whom perished. The Nazis built a gas chamber in Dachau, but it was never used. This concentration camp was liberated in April of 1945 by the U.S. army.

Yahrtzeiten

5489/1729, Harav Eliyahu of Izmir, zt”l, mechaber of Shevet Mussar

5763/2003, Harav Yisrael Moshe Dushinsky, zt”l, Gaavad of the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim


5718/1958

Harav Reuven Grozovsky, Zt”l Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshiva Torah Vodaath

Harav Reuven Grozovsky (known as Reuven Minsker) was born in 5656/1896. His father, Harav Shamshon, zt”l, was the leading Dayan of Minsk, Belarus.

He learned in Yeshivah Knesses Yisrael in Slabodka under Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein and Harav Nosson Zvi Finkel (the Alter of Slabodka), zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

When still young, Rav Reuven began his lifelong campaign to save bnei Torah from the ideas of Zionism, Socialism, Marxism and other systems of belief that were devastating to the yeshivos, and destructive to the spiritual essence of the ben Torah.

As a student in Slabodka, he recruited a number of bnei Torah from his hometown of Minsk to join him. One such recruit was Yankel Dolinover. Yankel was better known as Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l. Another of Rav Reuven’s charges in Slabodka was the iluy Arke Sislovtser. Arke became well-known as Harav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Beth Medrash Govoha.

In 5679/1919, Rav Reuven became the son-in-law of Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l. He moved with him from the Vilna suburb of Lukishuk, where Rav Baruch Ber had maintained his yeshivah, to Kamenitz, where the yeshivah they led flourished until World War II. Rav Reuven eventually became the Rosh Yeshivah.

During World War II, Rav Reuven escaped the Holocaust with a group of his talmidim, landing on the West Coast of the United States in Seattle, Washington.

From there he went on to New York, where he joined Harav Aharon Kotler and Harav Avraham Kalmanowitz, zt”l, in the lobbying and fundraising efforts of the Vaad Hatzalah, aimed at saving Jews from the Nazis.

After the petirah of Harav Shlomo Heiman, zt”l, Rav Reuven was asked by Harav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, zt”l, to head Yeshivah Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, New York. He was simultaneously Rosh Yeshivah of Beis Medrash Elyon in Monsey.

Six years before his passing, Rav Reuven suffered a stroke that impaired him physically. Nonetheless, he remained mentally alert and was able to learn until his petirah on 22 Adar 5718/1958.

His shiurim were published under the name Chiddushei Reb Reuven. A selection of his shmuessen, Baayos HaZman, was also published.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


March 29

In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1867, Britain’s Parliament passed, and Queen Victoria signed, the British North America Act creating the Dominion of Canada, which came into being the following July.

In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began, limiting consumers to store purchases of an average of about two pounds a week for beef, lamb and mutton using a coupon system. (The Associated Press noted, “From the customer viewpoint, the unrationed oasis of food will be the restaurant or other public eating place.”)

In 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1974, eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on federal charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The charges were later dismissed.)

In 2017, Britain filed for divorce from the European Union as Prime Minister Theresa May sent a six-page letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk.