This Day in History – 24 Adar 1/February 24

24 Adar I

In 4907/1147, the Jews of Wurtzburg were massacred by the Crusaders. Hy”d.

In 5211/1451, the Pope issued a “bull” (edict) banning all socializing between Christians and Jews.

In 5263/1503, the Jews of Lithuania were granted permission to return to the country after an eight-year exile.

In 5577/1817, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the blood libel — the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Pesach — to be false. (Nevertheless, nearly 100 years later, the accusation was officially leveled against Mendel Beilis in Kiev.)

In 5646/1886, the first organized Arab assault on a Jewish settlement took place when Petach Tikva was attacked.

In 5678/1918, Jews of Gluchor were massacred by a Ukrainian mob.

In 5699/1939, German troops marched into Prague.

In 5704/1944, Germany occupied Hungary.

Yahrtzeiten

5285/1525, Harav Yitzchak Eizek Margulies of Prague, zt”l

5521/1761, Harav Betzalel Ya’ir Danziger of Lodz, zt”l

5604/1844, Harav Binyamin Diskin of Horodna and Vilna, zt”l

5664/1904, Harav Yitzchak of Alesk, zt”l

5687/1927, Harav Shlomo Elyashiv, zt”l, mechaber of Leshem Shevo V’achlamah

5700/1940, Harav Yitzchak of Stutchin, zt”l

5736/1976, Harav Yehoshua Menachem Ehrenberg, zt”l, mechaber of Teshuvos Devar Yehoshua (Adar I)


 

5701/1941

Harav Chaim Asher Finkler of Radoshitz, zt”l

Harav Chaim Asher Finkler was the son of Harav Eliezer Dovid of Radoshitz and the son-in-law of his uncle, Harav Meir Menachem of Pietrikov, both of whom were sons of Harav Hillel of Radoshitz (the son of Harav Yitzchak, Rav of Radoshitz, and a son-in-law of Harav Yissachar Ber, the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz).

Reb Chaim Asher was actively involved in running his father’s court, so it was natural that after Reb Eliezer Dovid was niftar, on 22 Adar 5687/1927, Reb Chaim Asher became Rebbe.

In 5693/1933, Reb Chaim Asher was chosen to be the Rav of the nearby city Volshtzve. At the request of the chassidim in Radoshitz, though, Reb Chaim Asher went back to visit them frequently, as they felt that the city where his forefathers lived and held court should not be deserted by him.

Like his father, Reb Chaim Asher lived a life of kedushah and taharah. He was known for his many fasts and other ascetic practices. Reb Chaim Asher would tovel in the mikveh dozens of times a day, for added kedushah.

Reb Chaim Asher was an outstanding masmid. He never slept in a bed, only near his sefer, and even that for no more than two hours each day. He was totally dedicated to Torah learning; at midnight he already began his new day of learning, giving a shiur to his talmidim.

Reb Chaim Asher was given semichah by Harav Yoav Yehoshua Weingarten of Kintzk, the Chelkas Yoav. He corresponded with the Gedolim of the generation, among them the Avnei Nezer and the Maharasham of Brezhan. He also headed two yeshivos, in Radoshitz and in Lodz.

Reb Chaim Asher was renowned for his amazing memory and clarity in learning.

Since Reb Chaim Asher was known as a baal mofes, many other Rebbes would send their chassidim to him for yeshuos.

Reb Chaim Asher was a powerful and emotional baal tefillah. He would lead all the tefillos on Yom Kippur.

At the outbreak of World War II Reb Chaim Asher was in Lodz, where a large group of his chassidim lived. With great difficulty, he was transferred to Radoshitz and from there to Kielce. In the ghetto in Kielce, Reb Chaim Asher, suffering from diabetes, was niftar on 24 Adar 5701/1941. Despite the difficulties, he was zocheh to be brought to kever Yisrael.

His son Harav Yaakov perished in the Holocaust. Hy”d.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

February 24

In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.

In 1821, Mexican rebels proclaimed the Plan de Iguala, their declaration of independence from Spain.

In 1864, according to the National Park Service, the first Union prisoners arrived at the Confederates’ Andersonville prison camp in Georgia. During its 14 months of existence, the overcrowded camp ended up holding some 45,000 men, more than four times its intended capacity; nearly 13,000 prisoners perished from disease, starvation or exposure.

In 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.

In 1912, the American Jewish women’s organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.

In 1920, the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.

In 1938, the first nylon bristle toothbrush, manufactured by DuPont under the name “Dr. West’s Miracle Toothbrush,” went on sale. (Previously, toothbrush bristles were made from animal hair.)

In 1989, a state funeral was held in Japan for Emperor Hirohito, who had died the month before at age 87.