This Day in History – 28 Elul/September 23

The fourth day of Creation; Hashem affixed the sun, moon and stars in the sky.

In 5468/1708, Peter the Great ordered 13 of his soldiers who had participated in anti-Jewish riots to be hanged.

In 5609/1849, the first shul was established in South Africa.

In 5661/1901, the village of Gedera, Eretz Yisrael, was attacked by Arabs.



2882/879 B.C.E., Shaul Hamelech and his three sons, who were killed in the war of Gilboa.

5334/1574, Harav Saadyah, zt”l, father-in-law of Harav Chaim Vital.


5714/1954, Harav Chaim Yehuda Leib Auerbach, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah Of Yeshivas Shaar Hashamayim

Harav Chaim Leib was born in 5647/1887 and grew up in Yerushalayim. At the age of 18 he received semichah from Harav Chaim Berlin of Yerushalayim. In 5667/1907 he married the daughter of Harav Shlomo Zalman Porush, one of the foremost askanim of Yerushalayim.

Reb Chaim Leib’s thirst for Torah was unquenchable. Even during his sheva brachos he learned all night with his brother-in-law Reb Akiva Porush. He became a devoted talmid of Harav Shimon Lider-Horowitz, learning Toras Hanistar from him.

One night he dreamed that the Arizal came to him and complained that few Yidden learned his Torah, which has the power to redeem the Shechinah from galus. As soon as he awoke he went straight to his rebbi, Rav Shimon, who, it turned out, had had that same dream. So rebbi and talmid immediately set out to open a yeshivah for Toras Ha’Ari, which they called Yeshivas Shaar Hashamayim. Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Sept. 23

In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle off Yorkshire, England; however, the seriously damaged Bon Homme Richard sank two days later.

In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British.

In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.

In 1957, nine black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.

In 1973, former Argentine president Juan Peron won a landslide election victory that returned him to power.

In 1981, the Reagan administration announced plans for what became known as Radio Marti.

In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter apparently burned up as it attempted to go into orbit around the Red Planet.