This Day in History – 29 Tishrei/October 23

In 5211/1450, the Jews of Lower Bavaria were expelled.

In 5701/1940, this date was the deadline for Warsaw’s Jews to move into the ghetto.



3449/313 B.C.E., the Tanna Shimon Hatzaddik, the last of the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah

5566/1805, Harav Meir Derbarmdiger of Berditchev, zt”l, son of the Kedushas Levi

5601/1840, Harav Avraham Dovid, Rav of Butchach and mechaber of Daas Kedoshim

5645/1884, Harav Menachem Mendel Hager of Vizhnitz, zt”l, the Tzemach Tzaddik

5703/1942, Harav Yisrael Shapiro, the Grodzisker Rebbe, zt”l


5684/1923, Harav Shmuel Tzvi Danziger, the Tiferes Shmuel of Alexander, zt”l

Harav Shmuel Tzvi Danziger was born in Turchin in 5620/1860. His father was Harav Yechiel, the first Rebbe of Alexander. As a youth, Reb Shmuel Tzvi reached exalted levels in Torah learning and in avodas Hashem, although he skillfully concealed his great achievements, mingling with people as if he were one of them. His father said of him, “He is a nistar [unrecognized Gadol].”

After the petirah of his father in 5654/1894, when his older brother Harav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak, the Yismach Yisrael, was named Rebbe, Reb Shmuel Tzvi subordinated himself to him.

On 29 Teves, Erev Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5670/1910, the Yismach Yisrael was niftar. Since he had no children, the obvious choice for successor as Rebbe was his brother, Reb Shmuel Tzvi. As Rebbe, Reb Shmuel Tzvi began revealing his true strengths as leader and Torah giant; qualities that were in him all the years, just hidden from the public eye, now came into full use.

As Rebbe, the Tiferes Shmuel led his Chassidim as his father had, in the tradition of the Vorka dynasty. He bore in his heart the burdens of each Chassid; he was more concerned for them than he was for himself. His tearful davening was infused with his vast yiras Shamayim, and his powerful voice brought all who heard him to teshuvah.

The Tiferes Shmuel took the initiative to build a Chassidic yeshivah in Poland in prophetic response to the great needs that would arise in his time, when the haskalah movement would gain strength and World War I would destroy the stability of the Jewish communities.

During the Yamim Nora’im of 5684/1923, the Rebbe took ill and began to hint that his time was drawing near. On Tuesday, 29 Tishrei, Erev Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, he left this world, leaving his Chassidim bereft. The Rebbe was buried in Alexander the next day. No hespedim were said at his levayah, as he had requested, and no elaborate titles were written on his matzeivah.

The Tiferes Shmuel was succeeded by his son Harav Yitzchak Menachem, the Akeidas Yitzchak, Hy”d, who was martyred in Treblinka by the Nazis.

The Akeidas Yitzchak published his father’s work, Tiferes Shmuel, on the Torah.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Oct. 23

In 1707, the first Parliament of Great Britain, created by the Acts of Union between England and Scotland, held its first meeting.

In 1915, tens of thousands of women marched in New York City, demanding the right to vote.

In 1942, during World War II, Britain launched a major offensive against Axis forces at El Alamein in Egypt, resulting in an Allied victory.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf began, resulting in a major Allied victory against Japanese forces.

In 1954, West Germany was invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which it did the following year.

In 1956, a student-sparked revolt against Hungary’s Communist rule began; as the revolution spread, Soviet forces started entering the country, and the uprising was put down within weeks.

In 1983, 241 U.S. service members, most of them Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.

In 2002, gunmen seized a crowded Moscow theater, taking hundreds hostage and threatening to kill their captives unless the Russian army pulled out of Chechnya. (Three days later, special forces stormed the theater; 130 captives died, along with all 40 gunmen.)