This Day in History – 27 Nisan/May 5

A letter in the handwriting of Reb Aryeh Tzvi.
A letter in the handwriting of Reb Aryeh Tzvi.


5729/1969, Harav Yeshayah Asher Zelig Margules, zt”l, a mechaber of many sefarim, one of which is Kumi V’roni

5740/1980, Harav Levi Yitzchak Greenwald, zt”l, the Tzehlemer Rav

5761/2001, Harav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, Rav of Kehillas Bais Yisrael in Flatbush

5703/1943, Harav Tzvi Aryeh Frumer, Hy”d, the Kozhiglover Rav

Rav Aryeh Tzvi was born in 5644/1884 in Tcheldasz, a small shtetl in the vicinity of Bendin, Poland, to Reb Chanoch Hendel and Rebbetzin Miriam Kayla.

Reb Chanoch Hendel took pride in his great lineage; he was a descendant of Harav Dov Berish of Ushpitzin, a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin, who in turn was a descendant of the Maginei Shlomo of Cracow.

Reb Aryeh Tzvi was orphaned of his mother at a very young age. With four children to care for, Reb Chanoch Hendel remarried. Since there was no local cheder for the young Aryeh Tzvi, he traveled to Velbrom where he stayed with an uncle, learning with great diligence.

At the age of 12, Aryeh Tzvi left his uncle’s home and traveled to Amstov, where there was a yeshivah.

In his quest for shleimus, he turned to the great court of Sochatchov, led by Harav Avraham, the Avnei Nezer. Within a short time, the Sochatchover Rebbe realized his talmid’s great capabilities.

When Reb Aryeh Tzvi turned 18 he married Esther, the daughter of Reb Yehudah Shraga Schweitzer of Milovitz. After his wedding, Reb Aryeh Tzvi moved in with his in-laws.

In 5670/1910 his revered Rebbe was niftar and was succeeded by his son, the Shem miShmuel. The Shem miShmuel decided to appoint the 26-year-old Reb Aryeh Tzvi to run the yeshivah while he focused on leading the Chassidim. Reb Aryeh Tzvi left his in-laws’ home and assumed the position of Rosh Yeshivah. He revealed profound abilities in both teaching and leadership, and talmidim arrived from all over Poland.

With the outbreak of World War I, the yeshivah ceased to exist, and Reb Aryeh Tzvi was forced to seek a new parnassah.

When his uncle, Harav Yitzchak Gotenstein, zt”l, Rav of Kozhiglov, was niftar, Reb Aryeh Tzvi was offered the post.

After a number of years in Kozhiglov, Reb Aryeh Tzvi moved to Z’eveirtze, where he was supported by the Sochatchover shtiebel.

Eventually he moved to Sosnowitz, where he continued to teach talmidim, and where he was appointed a member of the Vaad Harabbanim. Then he was contacted by Harav Meir Shapiro, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, to serve as a Rosh Yeshivah in his newly founded makom Torah. At first Reb Aryeh Tzvi refused, but after the tragic petirah of Rav Meir Shapiro he was asked again to assume the mantle of leadership, which he accepted.

In 5673/1913 he published his first sefer, Siach Hasadeh; and in 5799/1939, right before World War II, he published She’eilos U’teshuvos Eretz Tzvi.

With the outbreak of World War II, Reb Aryeh Tzvi and his family fled to Warsaw, from where he was transferred to Maidanek and killed al kiddush Hashem on 27 Nisan 5703/1943. Hashem yinkom damo.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

May 5

In 1866, the town of Waterloo, New York, observed a day honoring the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. (Although a proclamation signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 recognizes this observance as the first Memorial Day, the claim is disputed by other communities who say they were the first to create a holiday commemorating America’s war dead.)

In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

In 1994, Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Bill Clinton.