This Day in History – 26 Tammuz/July 9

President Harry S. Truman

26 Tammuz

In 4947/1187, Saladin’s Muslim army defeated the Crusader army led by Guy De Ludignan, the “King of Yerushalayim,” at Horns of Hittin, a site near the Kinneret in the Galil.

This defeat was the beginning of the end of the Crusader kingdom.

In 5519/1759, the Baal Shem Tov and Harav Chaim Hakohen Rappaport of Lemberg, by order of 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, particularly by the Ruzhiner dynasty.

In 5701/1941, the Jews of Upina, Lithuania, were executed by the Nazis. Hy”d.

Yahrtzeiten

5399/1639, Harav Aharon Berachia of Modina, zt”l, mechaber of Maavar Yabok

5638/1878, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Pruzhnitz, zt”l

5688/1928, Harav Aryeh Leib Broide, Rav of Lvov, zt”l

5762/2002, Harav Nachman Bulman, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach


5701/1941

Harav Sinai Halberstam Of Zhemigrad, Hy”d

Harav Sinai Halberstam was born in 5630/1870 in Rudnick.

At a young age Reb Sinai married the daughter of Harav Naftali Horowitz of Melitz, zy”a.

Rav Sinai was known for his chessed. As a newlywed still living with his in-laws in Melitz, his Rebbetzin noticed that some of his garments were missing. Rav Sinai had been given 18 undershirts, and now he had only 10. He explained that he had given some shirts to a person at the mikveh who had only one tattered undershirt to his name.

Rav Sinai was appointed Rav of Koloshitz after his wedding. He served there briefly until the elderly Rav of Zhemigrad was niftar, leaving his position to “a grandson of the Divrei Chaim.” When the post was offered to Rav Sinai in 5664/1904, he accepted the rabbanus of Zhemigrad, and faithfully led the town for over 30 years. He was renowned as a darshan and composer of niggunim, and for caring for the poor with mesirus nefesh. He rose every night at chatzos to learn Kabbalah until the morning.

When he became ill later in his life, he moved to Cracow for treatment. Later, the Nazis overran Poland, and he fled to Lemberg, Galicia.

The Soviets exiled Rav Sinai and his family to Siberia on a dangerously overcrowded train, in which the prisoners were confined for weeks. He did not survive the trip. Niftar on 26 Tammuz 5701/1941, he was buried in the forests of Omsk. Clean, white fabric was miraculously procured for use as tachrichim; and the family was able to erect a matzeivah on his kever in the forest.

Sons of his who perished in the Holocaust were Harav Chaim Yehudah, Rav in Oshpitzin; Harav Avraham Abish of Satmar; Harav Dovid of Radomsk; Harav Aharon of Zitomir; Harav Yechezkel of Rudnick; and Harav Baruch of Zokilkov. His son-in-law was Harav Baruch of Sanz-Gribov. Hashem yinkom damam.

Offspring who survived the war were Harav Yaakov of Tchakava-Yerushalayim, Harav Yisrael of Zhemigrad-New York, and Harav Aryeh Leibish of Zhemigrad-Bnei Brak, and his son-in-law Harav Yaakov Moskowitz of Shotz-Haifa.

Zechusom yagein aleinu.


July 9

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s troops in New York.

In 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.

In 1872, the doughnut cutter was patented by John F. Blondel.

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman asked Congress to formally end the state of war between the United States and Germany. (An official end to the state of war was declared in October 1951.)