This Day in History – 25 Av/August 6

The shaar blatt of Yeshuos Yaakov.

25 Av

In 5567/1807, many Jews of Copenhagen were killed when the British bombarded the city during the Anglo-Russian War that raged between 1807 and 1812, Hy”d.

In 5704/1944, the Amsterdam hideout which housed Anne Frank, Hy”d, was discovered by the Nazis.

Yahrtzeiten

5359/1599, Harav Yeshayahu Menachem of Cracow, zt”l, mechaber of Be’Urim Kabdu Es Hashem.

5591/1831, Harav Avraham Chaim Horowitz, Rebbe of Linsk, zy”a

5739/1979, Harav Shmuel Baruch Eliezrov, zt”l, mechaber of Dvar Shmuel

5754/1994, Harav Moshe Hager, Rebbe of Antiniya–Bnei Brak, zy”a


5599/1839

Harav Yaakov Meshulem Orenstein, zt”l, mechaber of Yeshuos Yaakov

The Yeshuos Yaakov was born about 5530/1770. His parents were Harav Mordechai Zev, zt”l, a noted mekubal and the Rav of Alesk, and his Rebbetzin, a”h, both descendants of the Chacham Tzvi.

Harav Mordechai was niftar when Yaakov Meshulem was still a bachur. Soon after being orphaned, Yaakov Meshulem got engaged to the granddaughter of the renowned Harav Naftali Tzvi of Yarislav, zt”l. After the chasunah he moved into his shver’s house. Under the influence of his father-in-law he continued to grow in Torah, and after a while talmidim assembled around him.

In 5561/1801, Harav Yaakov Meshulem was asked to fill the rabbinical vacancy in the city of Zalkava and its environs, replacing Harav Tzvi Hersh Meiseles, zt”l. In the introduction to Yeshuos Yaakov, Harav Yaakov Meshulem writes that its residents were bnei Torah and adhered strictly to mitzvos.

In 5580/1820, Harav Yaakov Meshulem became Rav in Lvov (Lemberg), where he disseminated Torah on a large scale, attracting many talmidim, and coming in contact with Gedolim.

Harav Yaakov Meshulem published Yeshuos Yaakov, a peirush on all four parts of Shulchan Aruch. In it Harav Yaakov Meshulem solves the most difficult problems in halachah, using his ability in pilpul and iyun. The Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zt”l, said that all the sefarim up to and including Yeshuos Yaakov were written with ruach hakodesh.

The Yeshuos Yaakov had an open home and an open heart for whoever was in need. He fought the Haskalah that threatened the existence of Torah-true Yiddishkeit in Europe. He was successful in that the movement did not take firm root during his lifetime.

The Yeshuos Yaakov had a son, Mordechai Zev, whom he cherished. In his sefarim he frequently quotes his son’s chiddushim. This son became deathly ill in his prime. During his illness the Yeshuos Yaakov davened intensely and did all in his power to invoke Heavenly mercy, but his son was tragically niftar on 17 Cheshvan 5597/1836.

Yaakov knew no peace as he lamented his beloved son, and close to three years later he himself was niftar and buried in Lvov.

The Yeshuos Yaakov was considered one of the leaders of his generation. The Chasam Sofer held the Yeshuos Yaakov in the highest esteem, and delivered a tearful hesped, which is printed in Drashos Chasam Sofer. (The date mentioned there determined 25 Av as the yahrtzeit; others seemed to have erred, asserting it was 21 Av.)

Yehi zichro baruch.


August 6

In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.

In 1962, Jamaica, formerly ruled by Britain, became an independent dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

In 1986, William J. Schroeder died after living 620 days with the Jarvik-7 artificial heart.