This Day In History 22 Elul/September 13

Today is a Yom Tov cited in Megillas Taanis, commemorating the defeat of the Yevanim by Jews. The Jews had given the Greeks a three-day grace period in which they would be allowed to retreat, which they did not do. This ultimately led to their defeat.

In 5663/1903, the Jews of Homel, Russia, were massacred. Hy”d.

In 5699/1939, German forces occupied the Polish cities of Cracow, Radom, Lodz, Tarnow and Premisyl.

In 5701/1941, 9,000 Jews of Slonim, Russia, were murdered by the Nazis. Hy”d.


5187/1427, Rabbeinu Yaakov Segal Molen, the Maharil, zt”l

5663/1903, Harav Mordechai Dov of Hornsteipel, zy”a, mechaber of Ha’amek She’eilah.

5678/1918, Harav Avraham Moshe of Rospshe, zt”l.

5705/1945, Harav Baruch Bentzion Twersky, Zy”a, the Chernobyler-Loyever Rebbe

Harav Baruch Bentzion Twersky was born in 5635/1875 in Chernobyl. His father was Harav Mordechai Twersky, the Loyever Rebbe, zy”a.

When he came of age, Rav Baruch Bentzion married the daughter of Harav Eliezer Yungeleit, the Radviller Rebbe, zy”a.

After the petirah of their father on 14 Kislev 5606/1905, Rav Baruch Bentzion, along with his brothers, were named as new Rebbes. Rav Baruch Bentzion was Rebbe in Uman, initially.

During World War I, Rav Baruch Bentzion managed to flee Communist Russia, relocating to Poland. While in Poland, Chassidim in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, invited him to move there. The Rebbe brought with him his young grandson, Chaim — who had been orphaned of his mother shortly after birth. Since there was no proper cheder in Pittsburgh at the time, the Rebbe, who raised the boy as his own child, hired a melamed to teach him. The local authorities, however, did not recognize this arrangement.

One day, truant officers arrived at the Rebbe’s home, took the six-year-old boy and registered him in a local public school. Escorted by his gabbai, the Rebbe followed the officers from a distance and then waited outside the public school building until the truant officers had left. The Rebbe then sent the gabbai in to take the boy out of school, and they took him home. Fearful that the truant officers might return the next day, and determined not to allow his beloved grandson to be influenced even for a few minutes in the atmosphere of a public school, the Rebbe packed a few essentials and set out that very day for New York, which offered a choice of yeshivos and chadarim.

The abrupt and unexpected move to New York gave the Chernobyler Chassidim no time to make any preparations. Temporary lodgings were found for the Rebbe’s family, and arrangements were soon made for the Rebbe to re-establish his court in the Brownsville section; but on the first Shabbos, the Rebbe davened in one of the main shuls in the area.

After settling in New York, Rav Baruch Bentzion immediately registered his grandson in the nearby Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin. This grandson later became the Chernobyler Rav, zt”l.

Rav Baruch Bentzion was niftar in New York on 22 Elul, 5705/1945. He was buried in Wellwood Cemetery, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

September 13

In 1759, during the French and Indian War, the British defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham overlooking Quebec City.

In 1788, the Congress of the Confederation authorized the first national election, and declared New York City the temporary national capital.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British naval forces began bombarding Fort McHenry in Baltimore but were driven back by American defenders in a battle that lasted until the following morning.

In 1923, Miguel Primo de Rivera, the captain general of Catalonia, seized power in Spain.