This Day In History 29 Kislev/December 29

Harav Baruch Hager of Vishiva

29 Kislev

The fifth day of Chanukah.

In 5257 /1496, Manuel I ordered the expulsion of the Jews of Portugal.


Yahrtzeiten

5440/1679, Harav Aharon Shimon Shapiro of Prague, zt”l

5458/1697, Harav Chizkiyahu da Silva, zt”l, the Pri Chadash

5627/1866, Harav Tzvi Mordechai of Plavna, zt”l

5666/1905, Harav Shlomo of Vilna, zt”l, the Cheshek Shlomo

5705/1944, Harav Baruch Hager of Vishiva, zt”l


5705/1944

Harav Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu Finkler of Radoshitz, zt”l

Harav Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu Finkler was born in Radoshitz on 19 Adar 5652/1892. His father was Harav Meir Menachem of Radoshitz-Piotrikov.

In his youth, he was a talmid of his brother-in-law Harav Yaakov Horowitz, a descendant of the Ropshitzer dynasty. He was already noted for his outstanding abilities and middos at a young age.

Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was taken as a chassan by Harav Menachem Dovid Taub of Kuzmir. After his marriage, living near his father-in-law in a small village near Warsaw, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu became close with some of Warsaw’s leading Rabbanim and Torah personalities, including Harav Menachem Ziemba, Hy”d, and Harav Nosson Spiegelglas.

In 5672/1912, when Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was 20 years old, his father was niftar; Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was asked to succeed him as Rebbe in Piotrikov. With much hesitation he undertook this position. Within a very short time he became a leading Rebbe, and the number of Chassidim who traveled to his court grew from day to day.

In keeping with the minhag of the Radoshitzer Rebbes, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu would tovel in the mikveh numerous times a day. His Shacharis was very lengthy, at times lasting until the early afternoon hours. He slept very little, dedicating his nights to Torah and avodas Hashem.

On the Yamim Tovim, when Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu would daven at the amud, the beis medrash and the surrounding streets were full of people who came to listen to his sweet and soothing voice.

When the Nazis entered Poland, Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu went into hiding in a bunker in Piotrikov. Many others also used this bunker. When it was discovered and Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was taken to the camps, he continued to be mekadesh Shem Shamayim, refusing to allow even a morsel of non-kosher food into his mouth.

He spent time in a number of camps, among them Buchenwald and Shliven. Thanks to the intervention of one of the prisoners, he was transferred from Shliven back to Buchenwald, where the conditions were somewhat easier. From there Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu was transferred to Felsenberg, where he was niftar of starvation on 29 Kislev, the fifth day of Chanukah, 5705/1944.

His only son, Reb Hillel, was niftar just before liberation, on 27 Nisan 5705/1945.

Reb Yitzchak Shmuel Eliyahu’s two daughters managed to survive the War. His daughter Sarah married Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Eichenstein of Ziditchov, zt”l, and his daughter Malkah married Rabbi Yechiel Granatstein, z”l, a writer at Hamodia.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Dec. 29

In 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.

In 1934, Japan formally renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany dropped incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as “The Second Great Fire of London.”

In 1996, guerrilla and government leaders in Guatemala signed an accord ending 36 years of civil conflict.

North Korea issued an unprecedented apology for sending a spy submarine into South Korean waters.