This Day in History – 27 Cheshvan/November 20

In 1657/2105 B.C.E., “the earth dried” (Bereishis 8:14), completing the 365-day extent of the Mabul; on this day Hashem commanded Noach to come out of the teivah and repopulate, settle and civilize the earth.

A Yom Tov is cited in Megillas Taanis due to the return of the use of soless for Menachos. This was Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakkai’s defeat of the Tzedoki tradition of bringing animals as korban minchah.



5270/1509, Harav Yaakov Chaviv, zt”l, mechaber of Ein Yaakov

5457/1696, Harav Dovid, zt”l, Rav of Lida, Magentza and Amsterdam, mechaber of Ir Dovid, Ir Miklat and Sharvit Hazahav

5586/1825, Harav Refael Ashkenazi of Izmir, zt”l, mechaber of Mareh Einayim

5603/1842, Harav Shmuel Hayashish, zt”l, Rav of London

5609/1845, Harav Meir Binyamin Menachem Dunin, zt”l, mechaber of Be’er Hasadeh

5677/1916, Harav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna, zt”l

5701/1940, Harav Dovid Friedman, Hy”d, the Rebbe of Ployesht

5757/1996, Harav Shmuel Halevi Ashlag, zt”l

5759/1998, Harav Yaakov Leizer, zt”l, Pshevorsker Rebbe of Antwerp


5677/1916, Harav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna, zt”l

Also known as the Medzibuzh-Warsaw Rebbe, Harav Moshe Mordechai was born in Medzibuzh in 5633/1873. According to a family tradition, Harav Moshe Mordechai was born on the seventh day of Adar, the day of the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu. His bris was on Purim, and so he was given the name Moshe Mordechai. According to another tradition, he was named after Harav Moshe of Berditchev, the father-in-law of the Ruzhiner, and Harav Mordechai of Chernobyl.

When he was eight years old his father was niftar; he was raised by his stepfather, the first Rebbe of Chortkov, who was also his great-uncle. In 5650 (1890) he married the daughter of Harav Yaakov Perlow, the first Novominsker Rebbe.  For the next 10 years he lived at the  home of his father-in-law. In 1902, upon the passing of his father-in-law, he founded his own court in the town of Pelzovizna, a suburb of Warsaw. Two years later, he decided to move to Maronowka Street in Warsaw, where he was known as the Pelzovizna Rebbe.

Yechiel Hoffer, whose father was the Rebbe’s gabbai, would later recall: “The Rebbe would take the 18-groschen donations from the poor the way he took golden imperials from the rich.”

He would fall in front of the aron kodesh, pull the paroches aside, open the doors, weeping and wailing, he would grab the Torah scrolls, begging mercy for a desperately ill family member who was on the verge of leaving this world.

Harav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna’s oldest daughter married Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Kopyczynitz.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Nov. 20

In 1620, Peregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay; he was the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1910, the Mexican Revolution of 1910 had its beginnings under the Plan of San Luis Potosi issued by Francisco I. Madero.

In 1947, Britain’s future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1959, the United Nations issued its Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy held a news conference in which he announced the end of the naval quarantine of Cuba imposed during the missile crisis, and the signing of an executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal housing facilities.

In 1967, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.

In 1969, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phaseout.

In 1969, a group of American Indian activists began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain’s General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

In 1992, fire seriously damaged Windsor Castle.