This Day in History – 28 Av/August 29

28 Av

In 5522/1762, the Vaad Arba Aratzos (Council of Four Countries), the sovereign governing body of Polish Jewry, met for the last time in Piltz.

Yahrtzeiten

5609/1849, Harav Yosef Dovid of Alik, zt”l

5653/1893, Harav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, zt”l, the Netziv, Rosh Yeshivah of Volozhin

5685/1925, Harav Avraham Chaim Ades, zt”l, founder of Yeshivas Rechovos Hanahar in Yerushalayim


2001/5761

Harav Avraham Yaakov Hakohen Pam, Rosh Yeshivah Of Torah Vodaath, Zt”l

Harav Avraham Yaakov Hakohen Pam was born in Tammuz 5673 to Harav Meir, a noted talmid chacham, who was a former talmid of Slabodka and Radin. It was, therefore, in a Torah-steeped home that Rav Pam’s unique personality was fashioned.

Young Avraham Yaakov constantly sought to grow in Torah and ruchniyus, and his diligence, refinement and purity of thought were evident even in his youth.

As a child, he studied in Kovna. His family later moved to America, where his father was appointed R”M in Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin. Thirteen-year-old Avraham Yaakov began studying in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath.

After his marriage to Rebbetzin Sara, he was asked to serve as R”M in the yeshivah ketanah of Torah Vodaath, and later he went on to become Rosh Yeshivah of the yeshivah gedolah. For more than 60 years he delivered shiurim and mussar shmuessen, making a tremendous, lifelong impact on his talmidim.

His profound, weekly shiurim in parashas hashavua in Torah Vodaath were well attended. These shiurim provided the contents of his sefer Atara Lamelech, with particular stress on middos tovos.

His appearance at various assemblages and conventions of Agudath Israel and organizations had a tremendous impact. His speeches were accepted with great reverence in all Torah-true circles. He spoke calmly, with measured, well-chosen words that penetrated the hearts of his listeners.

Along with his leadership in many of the struggles facing Torah Jewry in the United States, he was very concerned about the problems of Torah Jewry in Eretz Yisrael. He founded the Shuvu organization for the chinuch of Russian children in Eretz Yisrael.

At one Agudah convention he delivered a stirring speech, making all aware of the urgent need to provide for the spiritual needs of these children. Then and there, he set up a special committee for rescue activities, and in that manner Shuvu was born. He was its loyal patron until his final day.

Two months before he was niftar, his health began to deteriorate. Despite his difficult condition, weeks before his passing he participated in the annual parlor meeting of Shuvu, setting out for the meeting by ambulance, on a stretcher. There, he spoke for five minutes about the tremendous importance of providing Jewish children with a Jewish education. At that, his final public appearance, he conveyed the message that every Jew, under all circumstances, is obligated to do his maximum for the sake of the chinuch of Jewish children.

He was niftar on Thursday night, 28 Av, and was buried at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens, N.Y.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Aug. 29

In 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began operations at the United States Treasury.

In 1944, 15,000 American troops of the 28th Infantry Division marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris as the French capital continued to celebrate its liberation from the Nazis.

In 1957, the Senate gave final congressional approval to a Civil Rights Act after South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat, ended a filibuster that had lasted 24 hours.

In 1965, Gemini 5, carrying astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles “Pete” Conrad, splashed down in the Atlantic after 8 days in space.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near Buras, Louisiana, bringing floods that devastated New Orleans. More than 1,800 people in the region died.