This Day in History – 29 Teves/January 1

29 Teves

In 5374/1613, a taanis tzibbur was declared in Vermeiza (Worms), marking the return of the Jews who had previously been expelled.

In 5414/1654, Recife, Brazil, was conquered by Portugal, ending the legal existence of the flourishing Jewish community there.

In 5553/1793, Purim Burgel was established in Tripoli, commemorating the downfall of the Burgel Pasha.


5562/1802, Harav Alexander Margules of Stanov, zt”l

5650/1890, Harav Nosson Adler of London, zt”l, the Nesina LaGer

5658/1898, Harav Moshe Yehoshua Leib Diskin of Brisk-Yerushalayim, zt”l

5670/1910, Harav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak of Alexander, zt”l, the Yismach Yisrael

5679/1919, Harav Eliyahu Moshe Peniel, zt”l, Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel

5749/1989, Harav Meir Halevi Chodosh, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Chevron, Ateres Yisrael and Ohr Elchonon


29 Teves 5757/1997

Harav Asher Anshel Krausz, zy”a, the Ratzferter Rebbe

Harav Asher Anshel Krausz was born in Ratzfert, Hungary, on 6 Tishrei 5687/1926. His father, Harav Shmuel Dovid, later served as Rav of Udvari (niftar 5696/1935); his mother, Rebbetzin Breindel, was a daughter of Harav Yisrael Dov Stein of Ratzfert. When the Satmar Rebbe came to Ratzfert he would stay in the home of Harav Yisrael Dov Stein; when the Belzer Rav came to Ratzfert, he bought an aliyah for Harav Stein because he had the great zechus of hosting the Satmar Rebbe.

As a bachur, Reb Asher Anshel learned under the Levush Mordechai, Harav Mordechai Winkler. When he was still a bachur he delivered brilliant drashos in the large shul in Ratzfert.

Reb Asher Anshel married the daughter of Harav Menachem Yosef Heimlich of Mishkoltz, the author of Sheloshah Sefarim Niftachim on maseches Shabbos.

When World War II reached Hungary, Reb Asher Anshel experienced many of the travails that befell the Yidden across Europe. He succeeded in getting on the famous Kastner transport, which was diverted from Auschwitz and taken instead to Switzerland.

After the War, Reb Asher Anshel served as Rav in Linz, Austria, and did much to help refugees there. Later, Reb Asher Anshel moved to Argentina to be Rav of Khal Anshei Ungarin in Buenos Aires.

After several years, Reb Asher Anshel moved on to New York, settling in Williamsburg, where he founded the Ratzferter beis medrash and served as Ratzferter Rebbe.

Reb Asher Anshel wrote Birur Halachah, a sefer to strengthen shemiras Shabbos, in which he decries the use of sefarim that were printed through chillul Shabbos. He also published Yalkut Haro’im, a collection of several more obscure Midrashim.

Reb Asher Anshel lived simply, shunning luxuries. He was known for his sterling middos and kindness; every member of his shul was treated with fatherly love.

Reb Asher Anshel was niftar on 29 Teves 5757/1997, at the age of 70. He was buried in the beis hachaim in Deans, New Jersey.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


January 1

In 1785, The Daily Universal Register — which later became the Times of London — published its first issue.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be “forever free.”

In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.

In 1913, the U.S. Parcel Post system went into operation.

In 1939, the technology company Hewlett-Packard was founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto, Calif.

In 1942, 26 countries, including the United States, signed the Declaration of the United Nations, pledging “not to make a separate armistice or peace” with members of the Axis.

In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.

In 1972, Kurt Waldheim became secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.

In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.