This Day In History 27 Iyar/May 23

Harav Eliezer Zev of Kretchinef, Hy”d

In 5705/1945, the Theresienstadt (Terezín, Czech Republic) concentration camp was liberated. Of the approximately 144,000 Jews who were sent to Theresienstadt, 25 percent died, mostly because of the appalling conditions (hunger, disease, and a typhus epidemic at the very end of war). About 88,000 were sent from there to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. When the war ended, a mere 19,000 had survived.


5660/1900, Harav Shlomo Zalman of Kopust, zt”l, mechaber of Magen Avos

5736/1976, Harav Yerachmiel Yehudah Meir Kalish of Amshinov, zt”l

5375/1615, Harav Avraham Shmuel Bachrach, zt”l, Rav of Vermeiza (Worms)

5704/1944, Harav Eliezer Zev of Kretchinef, Hy”d

Harav Eliezer Zev was the son of Harav Meir Rosenbaum of Kretchinef, a scion of the famed Nadvorna-Premishlan dynasty.

Eliezer Zev married the daughter of Harav Nissen, Rav of Hosakov.

As was the custom among the Rebbes of the Nadvorna dynasty, Reb Eliezer Zev established his own court during the lifetime of his father. At the age of sixteen, he already opened his own beis medrash. At first he held court in Kretchinef; later he moved to Sighet.

Many of the generation’s leaders sang the praises of the young Reb Eliezer Zev. Reb Eliezer Zev was famous for his infinite ahavas Yisrael. His hachnassas orchim was famous.

His tefillos were intense; even an ordinary weekday tefillah was an immense exertion as he rose above his physical surroundings and was totally involved in dveikus to Hashem.

The shaar blatt of Raza D’Shabbos.

His divrei Torah were published in Raza D’Shabbos and Arbaah Arazim.

Rav Eliezer Zev was killed on 27 Iyar, 5704/1944 in Auschwitz. Hashem yinkom damo.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

C. Everett Koop (AP Photo/William G. Ingram, File)

May 23

In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution.

In 1915, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary during World War I.

In 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, an action which helped precipitate war between Israel and its Arab neighbors the following month.

In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers.