This Day in History – 29 Av/August 30

29 Av

Yahrtzeiten

5591/1831, Harav Moshe of Zaloshen, zt”l, mechaber of Mishpat Tzedek

5617/1857, Harav Yosef Meir, Rebbe of Machnovka, zt”l

5671/1911, Harav Yisrael Shalom Yosef Heschel, zt”l, Rebbe of Mezhibuzh

5702/1942, Harav Menachem Mendel Alter, Hy”d, Rav of Paviniecz

5705/1945, Harav Avraham Dov, Rebbe of Rachmastrivka, zt”l

5742/1982, Harav Eliezer Zusha Portugal, the Skulener Rebbe, zt”l


5669/1909

Harav Shmuel Salant, Zt”l, Rav of Yerushalayim

Born on 2 Shevat 5576/1816 in Bialystok, then part of Russia, Harav Shmuel Salant, son of Rav Tzvi, displayed a phenomenal memory as a young child. At the age of eight he went to learn in Kaidan under Harav Tzemach Shapira, zt”l, a leading talmid chacham, where he was known as the “iluy of Kaidan.”

When he reached bar mitzvah age, Rav Shmuel returned to Kaidan, where his bar mitzvah was held together with his wedding.

In the summer of 5600/1840, Rav Shmuel moved with his family to Yerushalayim. They settled in a small two-room apartment with little air or light, in the Churvah courtyard. In this apartment Rav Shmuel lived for the rest of his life.

When Harav Meir Auerbach, Rav of Kalisch and mechaber of Imrei Binah, arrived in Yerushalayim in 5620/1860, Rav Shmuel appointed him Av Beis Din. Together they saw to all the needs of the Ashkenazic community. Rav Meir served until his petirah in 5638/1878.

Rav Shmuel founded a Talmud Torah with two classes, one for younger boys and one for bachurim, and a shechitah house for the Ashkenazi community.

Until then there was only Sephardi shechitah. A problem came up: what was to be done with the animals that were rendered treif. The Arabs ate only halal meat, but they were willing to take from the Sephardi shechitah because the Sephardim were also descendants of Avraham Avinu, thus their shechitah was allowed, while the Ashkenazim were not!

Rav Shmuel met with the leader of the Muslims in Yerushalayim, and proved that Ashkenazim were also descendants of Avraham. Jews do not intermarry, he said; yet we see weddings between Sephardim and Ashkenazim, showing that they are all related. The Kadi bowed to his logic, and the new shechitah was accepted with no further problems.

In 5648/1888, Rav Shmuel’s vision began to fail, and a few years later he became nearly blind. But this did not interfere with his extensive activities in communal affairs.

When he turned 80, however, he requested an assistant.

The position was filled by Harav Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim, zt”l, better known as the Aderes, a leading talmid chacham from Russia. He was greeted upon arrival in Eretz Yisrael and in Yerushalayim with a festive kabbalas panim.

The Aderes worked in tandem with Rav Shmuel leading Yerushalayim. Unfortunately, he was niftar in 5665/1905, just four years after his arrival in Yerushalayim, leaving Rav Shmuel alone again.

He encouraged people to move into new neighborhoods outside of the Old City walls; during his tenure the population of Yerushalayim grew from 5,000 to 30,000 Jews.

Rav Shmuel was niftar on 29 Av, 5669/1909 and buried on Har Hazeisim.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


August 30

In 1645, American Indians and the Dutch made a peace treaty at New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam later became known as New York.

In 1945, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.

In 1963, the “Hot Line” communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.

In 1967, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1997, Americans received word of the Paris car crash that killed Princess Diana. (Because of the time difference, it was August 31 where the crash occurred.)

In 2007, in a serious breach of nuclear security, a B-52 bomber armed with six nuclear warheads flew cross-country unnoticed; the Air Force later punished 70 people.