This Day in History – 29 Shevat/January 30

29 Shevat

In 5700/1940, the Lodz Ghetto was established. The first major ghetto of the Nazi era, it was located in the “Balut,” the poorest and most densely populated area of the city, and contained over 200,000 Jews.

The ghetto was enclosed, like a huge prison, and the residents had absolutely no contact with anyone in the outside world. Food was scarce and a great number of Yidden died of hunger, R”l. At the end of 1944 the ghetto was liquidated and its surviving inhabitants were sent to Auschwitz. Hashem yinkom damam.


5578/1818, Harav Aryeh of Brodi and Podheitz, zt”l, mechaber of Lev Aryeh

5646/1886, Harav Yissachar Berish Rubin of Dolina, zt”l

5669/1909, Harav Chaim Meir of Pintchov, zt”l

5685/1925, Harav Yitzchak Yerucham Diskin, zt”l, son of Harav Yehoshua Leib Diskin and founder of Yerushalayim’s Diskin Orphanage.

5687/1927, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, the Alter of Slabodka

5739/1979, Harav Mordechai of Zhvill, zt”l



Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum of Sighet, zt”l, the Kedushas Yom Tov

Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum was born in Stropkov on 6 Sivan 5596/1836. His father was Harav Yekusiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, the Yetev Lev of Sighet, grandson of the Yismach Moshe. The Kedushas Yom Tov’s maternal lineage can be traced back to the Toldos Adam.

One year at the Seder, when the Kedushas Yom Tov was a small boy, he accidentally extinguished one of the Yom Tov candles. His mother gasped in shock, but his father, the Yetev Lev, reassured her, “Er vet untzinden sheine licht — He will yet light beautiful candles.” Indeed, the Sigheter Rav lit up the whole world with his holiness.

In his youth, the Kedushas Yom Tov was a devoted talmid of the Divrei Chaim. Not a day passed in which he did not make reference to his Rebbe, and for many years he spent every single Shabbos in Sanz. He was very beloved by his Rebbe; the Divrei Chaim would often call him “mein Lipa’le.”

After the Divrei Chaim’s petirah, the Kedushas Yom Tov would repeat stories about his Rebbe every day for a year, each time describing some aspect of his Rebbe’s greatness, saintliness and piety, but never once mentioning the many nissim he had performed.

In his first marriage, he was the son-in-law of Harav Menashe of Ropshitz, a descendant of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz. After many childless years, the couple divorced and Reb Chananyah Yom Tov married his cousin, the daughter of Harav Yoel Ashkenazi of Zlotchov, son of Harav Moshe Dovid of Toltchova.

Sadly, he did not have children in his second marriage either, and he repeatedly petitioned his Rebbe, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, for a brachah. Finally, after many futile attempts, Reb Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa’s older brother, Harav Moshe Yosef of Ujhely, managed to secure a written brachah for him that stated, “We are hoping for offspring blessed by Hashem.” After that the Kedushas Yom Tov was blessed with the birth of two sons and two daughters.

In 5624/1864, at the age of 28, Reb Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa was appointed Rav of Tetch, a position he held for 19 years. In 5643/1883, he succeeded his father as Rav of Sighet, where he remained until his petirah on 29 Shevat 5664/1904.

While he was Rav in Sighet, many followers traveled to him and their number continually grew. He was always in the forefront in fighting milchemes Hashem, and he fiercely opposed any movement that veered even slightly from the traditional derech of avodas Hashem. In those days in Hungary, when the Zionists and socialists had started to make inroads into the holy Jewish nation, this was especially important.

Although he was a kana’i when it came to opposing the slightest change in minhagei Yisrael, he was known to say that a Yid accomplishes more when he dances on Simchas Torah than through the many tefillos of the Yamim Nora’im.

The Kedushas Yom Tov’s two sons were Harav Chaim Tzvi, zt”l, the Atzei Chaim, who succeeded him as Rav of Sighet, and Harav Yoel, the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l. The Kedushas Yom Tov is buried in Sighet. His divrei Torah on the parshiyos and Yamim Tovim are printed in Kedushas Yom Tov.

When the Satmar Rav, zy”a, described his holy father, the Kedushas Yom Tov, to his nephew and successor, the previous Satmar Rav, zy”a, he said that on Shabbos the Kedushas Yom Tov would burn with a holy fire. The kedushah of Shabbos was so strong in their home that even the stones glowed with it. He added that he had spent Shabbosos with many tzaddikim and kedoshim, but nowhere had he felt kedushas Shabbos as he did with his father.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


January 30

In 1781, the U.S. Articles of the Confederation, a forerunner of the Constitution, were adopted by Maryland, the last of the original 13 colonies to do so.

In 1902, Britain signed a treaty with Japan providing for the independence of China and Korea.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany.

In 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist in New Delhi, India.

In 1957, the United Nations called on South Africa to reconsider its apartheid policy.

In 1968, the Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnam.

In 1979, white Rhodesians approved a new constitution to eventually give blacks control of the nation, now known as Zimbabwe.

The civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was living in exile in France, to return.

In 1991, Iraqi forces attacked Allied positions in Saudi Arabia near the Kuwaiti border, holding the abandoned coastal city of Khafji for a time. Eleven U.S. marines were killed, seven by “friendly fire.”