This Day in History – 22 Shevat/February 11

In 3801/41 C.E., Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula was killed; this voided his decree to profane the Beis Hamikdash with sculptures of idols. The day is mentioned in Megillas Taanis as a Yom Tov.

In 5701/1941, the Nazis raided the Jewish community of Amsterdam and detained 429 young Jews for deportation.


5753/1993, Harav Yehuda Zev Segal, Rosh Yeshivah of Manchester, zy”a

Harav Yehuda Zev was born in London on 17 Sivan 5670/ 1910. He had to attend a  secular school, but his father, learned Torah with him at every available opportunity. His unique personality was apparent from a young age, and growing up in such a remarkable home immeasurably enhanced his devotion to Torah and middos.

At the age of 20 he traveled to Mir, and was soon known as one of its outstanding talmidim. He was very close to the famed Mashgiach of Mir, Harav Yechezkel Levenstein, zt”l, whom he referred to as mori v’rabi, while in turn Harav Yechezkel would often say, ­“Yehuda Zev is my son!”

In 5694/ 1934, Harav Segal married Rebbetzin Yocheved, the youngest daughter of Harav Shlomo Zalman Cohen, a prominent Gerrer Chassid from Gateshead.

During World War II  Reb Yehuda Zev worked tirelessly to ensure that as many Yidden as possible obtained British visas.

The strength of the kesher he had with his talmidim as Rosh Yeshivah was unusual, reflecting his warm and caring nature. His main goal was the success of each talmid, no matter what it took. He also demanded from his talmidim a high level of kedushah and shemirah, among which was included shemiras halashon.

He is famous for initiating the Shemiras Halashon Luach, which divides the sefer Chofetz Chaim into daily segments to enable people to complete the entire sefer once a year. This began when Reb Yehuda Zev was still in Mir, where he became very active in promoting shemiras halashon. He personally studied mishnayos for the neshamah of the Chofetz Chaim every day, calling this shiur “his passport to Gan Eden,” and asked that the calendars be buried next to him. He would advise people who sought his brachos to learn this daily shiur, and there are countless miracles that occurred for those who heeded this advice.

Reb Yehuda Zev was niftar Friday night, 22 Shevat 5753/1993.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Feb. 11

In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting law favoring his Democratic-Republican Party — giving rise to the term “gerrymandering.”t

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson began in Tennessee. (Union forces led by Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant captured the fort five days later.)

In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement, in which Stalin agreed to declare war against Imperial Japan following Nazi Germany’s capitulation.