This Day In History 27 Av/August 31

5692\1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he wanted “all or nothing.”


5615/1855, Harav Avraham Mordechai Alter, zt”l

5702/1942, Harav Yehudah Fatiyah, zt”l, mechaber of Minchas Yehudah

5757/1997, Harav Shmuel Tzvi Hersh Horowitz, zt”l, (Reb Hershele) of Spinka

5408/1648, Harav Yehoshua Charif of Cracow, the Maginei Shlomo, zt”l

Harav Yehoshua Charif of Cracow was born in 5353/1593 (or 5337/1577) to Harav Yosef and Rebbetzin Hutzel, in Vilna. Their distinguished family traced its yichus to Rabbeinu Yosef Bechor Shor, one of the Baalei Tosafos.

From his earliest youth, Reb Yehoshua was renowned for his hasmadah and his sharp mind. He was taken as a chassan by Harav Shmuel of Brisk.

Initially, Reb Yehoshua learned in the yeshivah of Harav Shmuel, the Rav of Premisla. Later, he excelled in the yeshivos of the leading Gedolim: the Maharam of Lublin; Harav Yehoshua Falk, mechaber of the Sma, (under whom he learned together with Harav Meir, father of the Shach); and Harav Shmuel Zanvil, Rav of Neshauz.

In time, Reb Yehoshua opened his own yeshivah, where his greatness in Torah was evident. He served as Rav in the communities of Horodna, Tiktin, Premisla and Lvov (Lemberg).

Even earlier, Reb Yehoshua had acquired fame and prestige. After the petirah of Harav Nosson Nota Shapira of Cracow, mechaber of Megaleh Amukos, Reb Yehoshua was brought in to replace him as Rosh Yeshivah in Cracow. Later, after the petirah of Harav Yoel Sirkes (the Bach), Reb Yehoshua was appointed Rav of Cracow. He accepted this prestigious position while stipulating that he was not to receive a salary.

In Cracow, Reb Yehoshua started a yeshivah, whose famous talmidim included Harav Shabsi Hakohen (the Shach), Harav Gershon Ashkenazi (the Avodas Hagershuni), and Harav Menachem Mendel Auerbach (the Ateres Zekeinim).

The Maginei Shlomo was niftar on 27 Av, 5408/1648, in Cracow. He was buried on 28 Av, in Cracow, near the kever of the Bach.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Aug. 31

In 1957, the Federation of Malaya (Malaysia) gained independence from Britain. Malaysia established itself as a constitutional monarchy.

In 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to establish the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day strike.

In 1991, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan declared their independence.