This Day In History 24 Av/August 16

According to Megillas Taanis, on this day the Chashmona’im reinstated the rule of Jewish civil law, replacing the Hellenic secular law, and declared a Yom Tov. According to the Gemara, however, (Bava Basra 115) this took place on 24 Teves.


5501/1741, Harav Aharon of Terbeli, zt”l, mechaber of Machneh Aharon

5588/1828, Harav Ephraim Zalman Margulies, zt”l, Rav of Brod, mechaber of Beis Ephraim, Mateh Ephraim, Shaarei Ephraim, etc.

5699/1939, Harav Shalom Halperin, the first Vasloier Rebbe, Zy”a

Harav Shalom Halperin was born on Tu BiShvat 5616/1856 in Sadigura, to Harav Dovid, son-in-law of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin.

As a young child, Rav Shalom was known for his extraordinary mind and character, remarkable hasmadah and the energy he invested in his learning and avodas Hashem. Most of his waking hours were spent delving deep into Shas and Poskim; he had a considerable reputation as a talmid chacham.

When Rav Shalom turned 17, he married his cousin Chanah Sarah, the daughter of the first Bohusher Rebbe, Harav Yitzchak.

After his chasunah he stayed in Bohush learning without interruption. When Rav Shalom was nearing 40, the Bohusher Rebbe decided that it was time for his son-in-law to emerge and begin to lead his own court.

To this end, the Bohusher Rebbe sent him to the town of Radukan, Romania. The Yidden of the town rejoiced at having Rav Shalom in their midst and opened a large beis medrash for him.

For more than 13 years Rav Shalom lived in Radukan. In 1909 a school was opened by the maskilim of the area.

Reb Shalom warned the community leaders that if the school were not shut down immediately he would move out of Radukan. His words were not heeded, so when he was invited by his Chassidim in nearby Vasloi to move to their town, he left Radukan.

In Vasloi, a large court and beis medrash were built. Although many had flocked to Rav Shalom before, in Vasloi even more came.

Despite his fierce opposition to anything that was deemed a threat to Torah-true Yiddishkeit, he led his flock like a faithful shepherd. Every broken heart was sure to find consolation. Even those who had strayed from the path of Yiddishkeit would be given his care and attention.

On his last Shabbos, he made Kiddush in the beis medrash as every week. The following Friday, 24 Av 5699/1939, Rav Shalom’s holy neshamah ascended to its Maker. He was buried in Vasloi.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

August 16

In 1777, American forces won the Battle of Bennington in what was considered a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1842, in New York City, the U.S. government took over operations of the City Dispatch Post. This was the first congressionally authorized local postage delivery.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.