This Day in History – 3 Shevat/January 9

In 4762/1002, Jews attending a levayah were attacked in Fostat, Egypt.

In 5693/1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany.


5351/1591, Harav Yosef Katz, zt”l, mechaber of She’eiris Yosef

5464/1704, Harav Yosef Rakover, zt”l, Rav of Eibeshetz, mechaber of Mirkeves Hamishnah

5583/1823, Harav Pinchas of Plotzk, zt”l, talmid of the Gra and mechaber of Maggid Tzedek

5666/1906, Harav Yosef Kalisch, Rebbe of Amshinov, zt”l

5625/1865, Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Silberberg, Zt”l, the Zayis Raanan

Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Silberberg was born in Lonchitz, Poland, in 5554/1794. He was the son of Harav Binyamin Beinish, son-in-law of Harav Zev Wolf Auerbach, zt”l, Rav of Lonchitz. Harav Zev Wolf was a son-in-law of Harav Chaim Kra of Lonchitz, son of Harav Yitzchak Zelig, Rav of Hanover, a scion of the Maharal of Prague, the Beis Yosef, and the Tanna Rabi Nechunia ben Hakaneh, zecher tzaddikim livrachah. Their lineage could be traced back to Dovid Hamelech.

The genius of Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib was evident in his youth and his abilities led him to great heights in Torah. When he was 13, his father took him to a nearby city and hired a private melamed for him (despite being himself in financial trouble) so that his son would be able to learn with someone at his level.

He married Masha, the daughter of Harav Leibish Charif, zt”l, Dayan in his native Lonchitz.

He served as Rav in the cities of Kwal, Sheps, Dobri, Lask and Kutna. He emphasized teaching Torah and halachah to talmidim.

His most famous Rabbinic post was in Kutna; after his tenure there he became known as the Kutna Rav.

In 5616/1856, Rav Moshe Yehudah Leib moved to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Yerushalayim.

In those years, there were no talmudei Torah or yeshivos; each father learned with his children, or hired a melamed to do so. Harav Shmuel Salant, zt”l, Rav of Yerushalayim, had started a year earlier looking for ways to strengthen the chinuch of the younger generation, opening the famed Yeshivas Eitz Chaim together with Harav Yeshaya Brodki, zt”l, son-in-law of Harav Yisrael of Shklov, zt”l and leader of the Perushim in Yerushalayim. Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib dedicated himself to disseminating Torah, refusing to be paid for teaching Torah.

Rav Moshe Yehudah Leib wrote Zayis Raanan, containing many of his she’eilos, teshuvos and chiddushim in many facets of the Torah.

Rav Moshe Yehudah Leib also wrote Tiferes Yerushalayim, which is printed in the back of Mishnayos. In it he answers many questions that Harav Akiva Eiger, zt”l, left unanswered in his commentary on Mishnayos.

Some of his famed talmidim include Harav Shmuel Zanvil Klapfish, Rav in Warsaw; Harav Moshe Perlmutter of Lodz; and Harav Eliezer Lipman (Litmanovich), zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

His son was Harav Avraham Binyamin, father of Harav Chaim Yaakov Naftali Silberberg, zt”l, a famous Rav in pre-war Warsaw; his son-in-law was Harav Yisrael Yaakov Halevi, zt”l, Rav in Plonsk.

Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib was niftar on 3 Shevat, 5625/1865, and was buried in Yerushalayim.

Yehi zichro baruch.

Jan. 9

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warned of the threat of Communist imperialism.

In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 2014, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired one of his top aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, and apologized repeatedly for his staff’s “stupid” behavior, insisting that he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams as part of a political vendetta against a Democratic mayor.

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