This Day In History 23 Sivan/June 29

23 Sivan

In 3404/357 B.C.E., Mordechai drafted a royal decree giving the Jews license to defend themselves and kill all who would rise up to kill them, and dispatched it to all 127 provinces of Achashverosh’s empire. He thereby annulled Haman’s decree. (Megillas Esther 8:9)

In 5558/1798, numerous Jews were murdered in ­Pesaro, Italy, following the retreat of Napoleon’s army. The community observed a fast to mark the event.


5285/1525, Harav Avraham Mintz of Padwa

5626/1866, Harav Yehudah Assad, Rav of Serdeheli, author of Yehudah Yaaleh and the responsa She’eilos U’teshuvos Maharya

5640/1880, Harav Yehoshua Heller, author of Chosen Yehoshua and Divrei Yehoshua

5659/1899, Harav Hillel Milikovski of Salant, a talmid of Harav Yisrael of Salant


Harav Yaakov Pollack, the Baal Hachilukim, zy”a

Harav Yaakov was born in Poland. His father was Harav Yitzchak Halevi. His surname, Pollack, is derived from the fact that he was a Polish native. In his youth he left home and traveled to Nuremburg, Germany, where he studied under Harav Yaakov Margulies.

After spending time in Germany, he traveled to Prague, the capital of Bohemia, where he eventually married the daughter of Harav Moshe Fishelis. Although his father-in-law was niftar prior to their chasunah, his mother-in-law supported the couple graciously, which enabled Rav Yaakov to devote himself completely to Torah.

In time, Rav Yaakov established a yeshivah and founded a beis din, and before long talmidim streamed to his yeshivah. He also became known as a prominent posek, and many referred their she’eilos to him. He led the yeshivah with the son of his rebbi Harav Yaakov Margulies.

Rav Yaakov was forced to flee to Poland, and settled in Cracow. At that time, Poland was barren of Torah and yeshivos, but persecution from local gentiles was rampant. Rav Yaakov initiated a Torah revolution in Poland that lasted virtually up to World War II. He founded a yeshivah in Cracow that drew multitudes of talmidim, and he served as Rosh Yeshivah there for 30 years.

The remainder of his life is shrouded in mystery.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

June 29

In 1767, Britain approved the Townshend Revenue Act, which imposed import duties on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper and tea shipped to the American colonies. (Colonists bitterly protested, prompting Parliament to repeal the duties — except for tea.)

In 1880, France annexed Tahiti, which became a French colony on December 30, 1880.

In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Mir space station linked in orbit, beginning a historic five-day voyage as a single ship.