This Day in History – 26 Sivan/June 24

The Mogelnitza ohel in Warsaw.
The Mogelnitza ohel in Warsaw.

In 5408/1648, during the pogroms of Tach V’Tat, the Jews of Alik were saved. The Taz established the custom that the community should fast half a day and recite special Selichos composed for the occasion; after chatzos all were to celebrate with a festive meal, akin to Purim.


The Tanna Rabi Yosi ben Kisma, zy”a

According to some opinions, the Tanna Rabi Yonasan ben Uziel, zy”a, who is buried in Amuka

5413/1653, Harav Eizek Reb Yekel’s, zt”l, who built the famous shul in Cracow that is named after him

5559/1799, Harav Pesach of Cracow, who was killed al kiddush Hashem, Hy”d

5704/1944, Harav Yehoshua Buksbaum, Hy”d, the Galanta Rav

5756/1996, Harav Simchah Kessler, zt”l, Rav of Kiryat Sefer



Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Mogelnitza, zt”l

Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Shapiro was born in 5586/1826. He was the youngest son of Reb Chaim Meir Yechiel, the Saraf of Mogelnitza, zy”a, and a great-grandson of the Kozhnitzer Maggid, zy”a.

Reb Chaim Meir named his son after the Apter Rav, zy”a, who became his Rebbe following the petirah of his grandfather, the Kozhnitzer Maggid, and his other Rebbes, the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa, zy”a, and Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin, zy”a. (They were all niftar over a two-year period, 5574–5/1814–5.) The Apter Rav instructed Reb Chaim Meir to be a manhig. This came about some years later, in 5588/1828, when Reb Chaim Meir became Rebbe of Kozhnitz and of Mogelnitza.

Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel was a son-in-law of Harav Yisrael Yitzchak Baron, son and successor of Harav Yissachar Ber of Radoshitz, zy”a.

On 15 Iyar, 5609/1849, his father Reb Chaim Meir was niftar. Reb Chaim Meir had five sons. His older sons opened their own courts in other cities: the more famous ones were Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, Rebbe in Blendov, and Harav Elimelech, Rebbe in Grodzinsk. Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel became Rebbe in Mogelnitza.

Although the youngest son, Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, was nevertheless niftar before all his brothers. On 26 Sivan 5638/1878, at the age of 52, he left this world.

He was buried in the Mogelnitza ohel in the Warsaw cemetery, but although the cemetery has been rehabilitated in recent years, his matzeivah has not been found.

Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel was succeeded by his son Harav Aviezri Zelig (named after his paternal great-grandfather, the father of his grandfather Reb Chaim Meir).

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the Picturephone never took hold.
Introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the Picturephone never took hold.

June 24

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.

In 1908, the 22nd and 24th presidents of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 71.

In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.

In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.

In 1964, AT&T inaugurated commercial “Picturephone” service between New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., as Lady Bird Johnson, wife of the president, called Dr. Elizabeth A. Wood of Bell Laboratories in New York. (Requiring the use of video booths, with a 3-minute call from Washington to New York costing $16, and a $27 charge for a 3-minute call between New York and Chicago, Picturephone never caught on.)

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger, carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride, coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1993, David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist, was seriously injured by a mail bomb sent from the “Unabomber,” Theodore Kaczynski.