This Day in History – 26 Tammuz/July 29

26 Tammuz

In 5519/1759, the Baal Shem Tov and Harav Chaim Hakohen Rappaport of Lemberg, commanded by that city’s bishop, debated the heretical Frankists. By winning the debate, they prevented the Talmud from being burned. A Yom Tov is celebrated in some Chassidic courts to commemorate this event.

Yahrtzeiten

5399/1639, Harav Aharon Berachia of Modina, author of Maavar Yabok.

5638/1878, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Prushnitz.

5701/1941, Harav Sinai Halberstam, Zhmigroder Rebbe, Hy”d.


5762/2002

Harav Nachman Bulman, Zt”l

Harav Nachman Bulman was born to Rav Meir and Ettel, Gerrer Chassidim who immigrated to America from Europe. They received a brachah from the Imrei Emes of Ger, and on 22 Teves 5685/1925, Rav Nachman was born.

Nachman was one of the few American boys to receive a yeshivah education in those days. In his youth he basked in Gerrer Chassidus. Later he became a devoted follower of the Modzitzer Rebbe, Harav Shaul Yedidya Taub, zy”a.

Rav Bulman had offers to serve in the most prestigious shuls in America. But many American shuls did not have mechitzos that reached his non-compromising standards. So he and his Rebbetzin, Shaindel, moved to the tiny community of Danville, Virginia, whose shul had an upstairs women’s gallery.

But when Rosh Hashanah arrived, Rav Nachman was horrified to discover that instead of the women using the gallery, the congregants had erected a women’s section downstairs with a mechitzah much lower than halachically. In response to Rav Nachman’s demand, a better, makeshift mechitzah was set up. In protest, some women refused to enter the building and remained outside on the shul steps.

After the Torah reading, Rav Bulman rose and told the mispallelim, “This is probably the last time I’ll be davening with you,” he said, “but before I leave I want you all to understand the meaning of a shul and its sanctity.” He proceeded to deliver a fiery drashah on the subject.

From 5717-22/1957-62 he was the head of the Adath Yeshurun Synagogue in Newport News, Virginia. A nuclear research base was located not far from Newport News, in the town of Eustis. Young servicemen from the base were often his Shabbos guests and many of them became shomrei mitzvos through his influence. Often, his guests would arrive at untimely hours, but he would always be available for them.

Rav Bulman’s next position was in the West Bronx where he served from 5722-27/1962-67. He helped found The Jewish Observer and wrote many of its articles under various pseudonyms.

In 5735/1975 the Bulmans settled in the Sanhedria section of Yerushalayim. Shortly thereafter, Rav Bulman became the mashgiach of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, where he taught and inspired countless people.

One of Rav Bulman’s most cherished dreams was to lead a community that would serve as a magnet for American olim. In 5739/1979, he founded the Torah community of Kiryat Nachliel in Migdal Ha’emek. Later he moved to Neve Yaakov, in northeast Yerushalayim, where he founded the Nachliel beis medrash.

Rav Nachman was niftar on 26 Tammuz.

Yehi zichro baruch.


July 29

In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford became the first U.S. president to visit Auschwitz.

In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.

In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Boston.