This Day in History – 29 Adar I/March 9

In 5559/1799, Napoleon captured the city of Jaffa.



5626/1866, Harav Shlomo of Radomsk, zt”l

5746/1986, Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l


5636/1876, Harav Avraham Shaag, zt”l, Mechaber of Ohel Avraham

Harav Avraham Shaag (Zwebner) was born on 4 Iyar 5561/1801 in Freistat, Hungary. His father, Harav Yehoshua Leib Zwebner, was one of the outstanding students of the Noda B’Yehudah.

It is said that the family name originated from a remark made by the Noda B’Yehudah: “When words of Torah shoeg, roar, from Reb Yehoshua Leib’s mouth, the world quakes.” From then, he was known as Reb Leib Shaag, based on the passuk, “Aryeh shaag, mi lo yira — A lion has roared, who isn’t frightened?”

Reb Yehoshua Leib was niftar when his son Avraham was four years old. His wife asked Harav Yitzchak Frankel, Rav of Regensdorf, to supervise Avraham’s upbringing.

Recognizing Avraham’s brilliance, he taught the young boy himself. After the boy’s bar mitzvah, Rav Frankel enrolled him in the Chasam Sofer’s yeshivah in Pressburg.

Late one night, the Chasam Sofer and his son Harav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin (the Ksav Sofer) passed by Avraham’s sleeping quarters in the dormitory. At that late hour, Avraham was learning fervently, and his stirring Gemara niggun could clearly be heard outside. The Chasam Sofer stood outside the window together with his son, listening. The Chasam Sofer told his son, “That is how Torah should be learned.”

When Avraham turned 18, the Chasam Sofer made a shidduch for him with Leah, the orphaned daughter of Harav Avraham Halevi Spitz, the Rav of Prossitz, Moravia.

When he was 25, he assumed the position of Rav of the city of Shuttledorf, Czechoslovakia, where he served for 25 years. At 72, Reb Avraham Shaag decided to move to Eretz Yisrael. His closest talmid, Harav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, felt unable to part from his Rebbi.

On 9 Iyar, 5633/1873, they left Kobersdorf. Disembarking in Eretz Yisrael, Reb Avraham and Reb Yosef Chaim bent down and kissed the ground. The next morning they set out for Yerushalayim.

Reb Avraham lived in Yerushalayim for three years. The day before his petirah, Reb Avraham finished their learning by saying, “We will leave it here.” These words worried Reb Yosef Chaim, since Reb Avraham’s every word was measured.

The following morning, Shabbos, 29 Adar 5636/1876, Rav Avraham returned his soul to his Maker.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


March 9

In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of enacting New Deal legislation.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers began launching bomb attacks against Tokyo.

In 1990, Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as Surgeon General, becoming the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the position.