This Day in History – 26 Iyar/May 26

Shaar blatt of sefer Eishei Yisrael.
Shaar blatt of sefer Eishei Yisrael.

26 Iyar

In 5130/1370, hundreds of Jews were massacred in Brussels, Belgium, Hy”d.

In 5705/1945, the Nazis finally surrendered to the Allies, and the war that left millions dead, including six million Jews, Hy”d, was over.

In 5726/1967, the Six-Day War broke out. The nations of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria attacked Eretz Yisrael.


 

Yahrtzeiten

4702/942 C.E., Rabbeinu Saadiah Gaon, zt”l

5507/1747, Harav Moshe Chaim Luzzato, zt”l, mechaber of Mesillas Yesharim, Derech Hashem and more.

5611/1851, Harav Yitzchak of Volozhin, zt”l, the son of Harav Chaim of Volozhin

5705/1945, Harav Shlomo Goldman of Zhvil, zt”l


 

26 Iyar 5648/1888

Harav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub of Zvahllin, zt”l

Harav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub was the son of Harav Yechezkel of Kuzmir, the founder of the Modzhitzer dynasty. Harav Shmuel Eliyahu was born in 5579/1819.

From his youth, Reb Shmuel Eliyahu was outstanding in his Torah scholarship and his musical abilities. He was called menagen mafli pla’os, a wondrous musical talent. When he davened before the amud in his father’s beis medrash, the walls shook. Chassidim then said that they experienced the meaning of “and the entire nation saw the sounds” [a description in the Torah to describe Mattan Torah].

To the dismay of the chassidim, he didn’t continue for long to daven before the amud. Precisely because he understood the value of niggun, he refrained from singing. Even so, he composed many niggunim, especially for Shabbos and Yom Tov, that were known throughout Poland and attracted many chassidim.

Upon the petirah of his father, Reb Yechezkel, his son Reb Shmuel Eliyahu was called upon to lead the chassidim. At the time, Reb Shmuel Eliyahu lived in Zvahllin, Poland.

Reb Shmuel Eliyahu was the first of the Polish Rebbes to concentrate his creative powers on neginah. With his awesome memory, he was able to remember everything he composed.

His attitude towards neginah was as if the singer were standing in the Beis Hamikdash, and the Leviim were accompanying him in the shirah v’zimrah.

Reb Shmuel Eliyahu was niftar on 26 Iyar, 5648/1888, leaving behind five sons: Harav Moshe Aharon, who succeeded him in Zvahllin; Harav Yisrael of Modzhitz; Harav Yaakov of Radom; Harav Ovadiah, and Harav Chaim Binyamin.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, assisted by Richard F. Pedersen (R) shows the Security Council at U.N. Headquarters a listening device which he said the Soviet authorities planted in the office of U.S. Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson in Moscow, May 26, 1960.   (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, assisted by Richard F. Pedersen (R) shows the Security Council at U.N. Headquarters a listening device which he said the Soviet authorities planted in the office of U.S. Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson in Moscow, May 26, 1960. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)

May 26

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the Montana Territory.

In 1868, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal on the remaining charges.

In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was established by Congress.

In 1940, the evacuation of more than 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.

In 1942, the U.S. War Department formally established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).

In 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors.

In 1960, U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge accused the Soviets of hiding a microphone inside a wood carving of the Great Seal of the United States that had been presented to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow. (The U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)

In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.