This Day In History 3 Cheshvan/November 4

In 5051/1290, 16,000 English Jews were expelled from England in the final expulsion by King Edward I.


5611/1850, Harav Yisrael Friedman, the Ruzhiner Rebbe, zt”l

5626/1865, Harav Yosef Zundel of Salant and Yerushalayim, zt”l

5703/1942, Harav Yisrael Hager, the Radowitzer Rebbe, zt”l

5774/2013, Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l

5621/1860, Harav Eliezer Horowitz Of Dzikov, zt”l

Harav Eliezer Horowitz, born c. 5550/1790 in the city of Duckla, was the third son of the famed Rebbe Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, zy”a. Like his father, Reb Eliezer had a sense of humor and a sharp wit. It is related that as a child, he was once reprimanded by his father for some naughty act.

“But what can I do if my yetzer hara entices me?” the child asked.

“Learn from your yetzer hara,” the father replied. “Look how faithfully he performs his task.”

“True,” said the child, “but the yetzer hara has no yetzer hara to distract him!”

Reb Eliezer married the daughter of the nagid Reb Yechiel Michel Rosenfeld. For a time he was fully supported by his father-in-law, enabling him to continue to grow in Torah and avodas Hashem. The support came to an end when his father-in-law lost his fortune. Left with no source of income, Reb Eliezer tried his hand at various jobs and for a time was also a wine merchant.

When the Rabbanus of Dzikov (Tarnobrzeg), Galicia, was offered to Reb Eliezer, he initially humbly refused, but acquiesced after many requests.

He became famous and thousands flocked to his court in Dzikov. Reb Eliezer insisted that his Chassidim not only be righteous, but learn Torah as well.

In the year 5619/1859, a rumor spread that Moshiach would be coming the following year, 5620; many found hints to this in pesukim. This was taken so seriously that some people stopped working, for Moshiach would be coming the next year in any case… Sensing that if the Geulah would not actually happen, the emunah of these Yidden might be weakened, or the maskilim would use the situation to their advantage, Reb Eliezer decided to play down the rumor.

Thus, during Sukkos 5620, Reb Eliezer stood up in his sukkah and declared: “I believe in the coming of Moshiach, and I await his coming daily — but I swear that he will not come during this year, 5620!” All who heard this were shocked, but later understood the deeper intent of Reb Eliezer’s words. Many Gedolim praised him for his brave and courageous statement.

On Rosh Hashanah 5621/1860, Reb Eliezer delivered divrei Torah about petiras tzaddikim, which were received with much distress and pain. On Motzoei Yom Kippur, Reb Eliezer held his beard and said, “Now I look like Reb Yisrael Ruzhiner.” These words were later understood when Reb Eliezer was niftar on 3 Cheshvan — the yahrtzeit of the Ruzhiner.

Before his petirah, Reb Eliezer asked for a drink of water from the same glass his father had used before his petirah. He made the brachah of Shehakol, and with it his neshamah returned to its Maker.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Nov. 4

In 1939, the United States modified its neutrality stance in World War II, allowing “cash and carry” purchases of arms by belligerents, a policy favoring Britain and France.

In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.

In 1956, Soviet troops moved in to crush the Hungarian Revolution.

In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California. In attendance were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon — the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.