This Day in History – 3 Cheshvan/October 12

3 Cheshvan

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


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

5621/1860, Harav Eliezer Horowitz, Rebbe of Dzikov, zt”l

5627/1866, Harav Yehuda Leib, Rebbe of Kopust, zt”l

5644/1883, Harav Eliyahu Horoshovsky, zt”l, Rav of Drohobich, mechaber of Pnei Eliyahu and Ezor Eliyahu.

5683/1922, Harav Yoav Yehoshua, zt”l, Rav of Kintzk, the Chelkas Yoav

5700/1939, Harav Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern, the Sokolover Rebbe, zt”l

5703/1942, Harav Yisrael Hager, Rebbe of Radowitz-America, zt”l

5704/1943, Harav Shabsi Sheftel Weill, zt”l, Rav of Simani, Hungary

5774/2013, Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l


Harav Yosef Zundel of Salant, Zt”l

Harav Yosef Zundel was born on the first day of Rosh Hashanah 5546/1785 in Salantai, Lithuania, near Zamut.

His father was Harav Binyamin Beinush, the shochet in Salant and a descendant of Harav Feivush Ashkenazi, zt”l, Rav of Vilna, as well as a talmid of the Maharam of Lublin.

As a young man, Rav Yosef Zundel studied under the Vilna Gaon’s main talmidim, in particular Harav Chaim of Volozhin, zt”l.

Following Rav Chaim Volozhiner’s petirah in 5681/1821, Rav Zundel made frequent trips to learn under Harav Akiva Eiger.

Rav Zundel and his wife, Rochel Rivkah, had three children, two daughters and a son named Aryeh Leib.

Rav Zundel refused to accept a rabbinical position. He ran a small business that produced only a meager living, spending much of his time immersed in Torah and mussar.

Rav Zundel’s most famous talmid was Harav Yisrael Salanter, founder of the mussar movement.

Circa 1838-39, Rav Zundel and his family relocated to Eretz Yisrael.

The Ashkenazic community in Yerushalayim at that time was governed and supported by the Kollel Vilna, with headquarters in Amsterdam. The committee was headed by a wealthy Dutch Jewish banker, Reb Avraham Zvi Hirsch Lehren. He requested that Rav Zundel serve as the first official Rav of the Ashkenazic community.

Rav Zundel agreed on the condition that he would not be paid a salary for his services, in line with his lifelong policy to support himself without benefiting from Torah. Since he had always shunned all positions of honor, he stipulated that as soon as a suitable replacement was found, he would relinquish his position.

Rav Zundel founded the Ashkenazic beis din. With time, both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities recognized Reb Zundel’s stature and brought him their halachic questions .

In 5601/1841, when Rav Zundel’s son-in-law, Harav Shmuel Salant, zt”l, arrived in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Zundel asked him to join the beis din. Eventually, Rav Zundel appointed Rav Shmuel head of the beis din, a position he held for almost 70 years, until his passing in 5669/1909.

Rav Zundel was instrumental in founding Yeshivas Etz Chaim, the Bikur Cholim Hospital and the Chevrah Kaddisha Society.

Reb Zundel and his son-in-law, Rav Shmuel, worked together tirelessly for the community. In 5620/1860 they founded the Rabi Meir Baal Haness tzedakah organization, which became a lifeline for poor families.

Rav Yosef Zundel was niftar on 3 Cheshvan 5626/1866 and was buried on Har Hazeisim.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Oct. 12

In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.

In 1915, former President Theodore Roosevelt criticized the concept of “hyphenated Americanism,” referring to U.S. citizens who identified themselves by dual nationalities.

In 1920, construction of the Holland Tunnel began. It opened on November 13, 1927. The tunnel links Jersey City, N.J. and New York City, N.Y.

In 1960, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute.

In 1973, President Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Online Copyright Bill.