This Day in History – 29 Iyar/June 3

29 Iyar

Today is Yom Kippur Kattan. Many recite Tefillas haShelah.

In 3830, the Romans completed the construction of banks around Yerushalayim in preparation for the final assault on the third wall surrounding the city.

In 5397/1637, Hakadosh Harav Avraham Ben Yitzchok and six other Jews were killed al kiddush Hashem in Cracow.

In 5575/1815, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated in the battle of Waterloo.

Yahrtzeiten

5445/1685, Harav Shmuel Heide, author of Zikukin Denura.


5702/1942

Harav Shmuel Shlomo Leiner, Rebbe of Radzin, Hy”d

Harav Shmuel Shlomo was born on 18 Shevat 5669/1909 to Harav Mordechai Yosef Elazar of Radzin, zy”a, the son of Harav Gershon Henoch of Radzin, zy”a, the Baal Hatecheiles.

Rav Shmuel Shlomo was renowned for his outstanding intellect and amazing memory. He grew up in an atmosphere of Torah and kedushah. At his father’s court of Radzin, located in Warsaw, he was greatly inspired to ever higher levels of ruchniyus by senior prominent Chassidim.

In 5688/1928, he married the daughter of Harav Yosef Kalish of Amshinov, zy”a, after which he moved to his father-in-law’s home. Barely a year later, his father was niftar, which led to Rav Shmuel Shlomo’s return to Warsaw. Initially he refused to lead the Chassidim, but upon the insistence of foremost Radziner Chassidim, he eventually agreed. In due time, he led thousands of Chassidim.

In 5695/1935, he returned his court to Radzin. The young Rebbe displayed a dynamic capacity for leadership, raising the Chassidus to new heights. The Rebbe established a yeshivah called Sod Yesharim, after his grandfather’s sefer. By the time WWII began, five additional branches existed in the Lublin area.

The Rebbe was an extraordinary masmid. A talmid of the yeshivah recalled that the Rebbe would learn all night long standing in the exact same position.

At the onset of the war, the Rebbe fled to the Voldova Ghetto, near Lublin. The Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim to flee the Nazis, and even to join the underground movements to save their lives. When the Nazis eventually learned of his presence, the Rebbe prepared to flee again by enclosing himself with a minyan to fast and daven for three consecutive days. As the Rebbe was about to storm the heavens with his prayers and evoke heavenly mercy, the notorious Nazi police broke into the room and grabbed him. When the Rebbe was being dragged away, he told his Chassidim, “Do not give up hope, continue your fast and prayer, flee to the woods, and the Alm-ghty will go with you and help you.”

The Rebbe was held captive for five days, after which he was freed through the tremendous efforts of some Chassidim.

A few days later, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the Nazi beasts dragged the Rebbe out to the cemetery, where they fatally shot him; he was buried a number of days later. His Rebbetzin and six children were killed during the Holocaust as well, Hashem yinkom damom.

(This account is based on Marbitzei Torah MeOlam Hachassidus. There are differing versions of the Rebbe’s final days.)


June 3

In 1935, the French liner Normandie set a record on its maiden voyage, arriving in New York after crossing the Atlantic in just four days.

In 1948, the 200-inch reflecting Hale Telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated.

In 1965, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to “walk” in space during the flight of Gemini 4.

In 1977, the United States and Cuba agreed to set up diplomatic interests sections in each other’s countries; Cuba also announced the immediate release of 10 Americans jailed on drug charges.

In 1989, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died. On the same day, Chinese army troops began their sweep of Beijing to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations.