This Day In History 3 Shvat/January 30

Shaar blatt of sefer Divrei Yecheskel.

3 Shevat

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

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


Yahrtzeiten

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

5464/1703, 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

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

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


5645/1885

Harav Yechezkel Shraga Frankel-Teumim, zt”l, Rav of Klasna-Vielitshke

Harav Yechezkel Shraga Frankel-Teumim was the son of Harav Yehoshua Heschel, son of Harav Baruch, the famous Baruch Taam. Reb Yehoshua Heschel lived in Komarna, and was known as an outstanding talmid chacham. He was a devoted Chassid of the Chozeh of Lublin. Reb Yehoshua Heschel was niftar on 4 Tammuz 5603/1843.

Reb Yechezkel Shraga was a talmid of his uncle, the Divrei Chaim, who cherished him. It is known that when the Divrei Chaim would say “my Chezkele,” he was referring to his nephew Reb Yechezkel Shraga.

He married the daughter of Harav Shmuel Rosner of Bardiov, settling in that town while continuing to learn and grow in Torah.

He was appointed Rav of Klasna-Vielitshke (near Cracow) — two separate cities located close to one another. Some members of the kehillah were upset at the appointment of the new Rav. Their late Rav had been an elderly and respected person, and had a large family who lived in the city. But they didn’t have the audacity to refuse the request of the Divrei Chaim. Rather, they came up with a scheme to ask the new Rav an intricate halachic she’eilah, with the hope that he wouldn’t know the answer.

The night before they planned to carry out their scheme, Reb Yechezkel Shraga had a dream in which his father appeared to him and told him that the next day he would be asked a complex she’eilah, and he should prepare the relevant halachos. He answered their she’eilah without hesitation.

They did not give up. They thought up another complicated she’eilah, and again he was able to answer without any problems. Seeing that Reb Yechezkel Shraga was able to answer fluently, they finally accepted him as their Rav.

Reb Yechezkel Shraga led the city with an iron fist. He did not allow any changes in the traditional Torah ways; he did not allow mingling with the non-Jews or copying the way they dressed. He was active in setting up many tzedakah funds, ensuring all poor people got what they needed.

On 3 Shevat 5645/1885, Reb Yechezkel Shraga was suddenly niftar.

His sefer, Divrei Yechezkel, on the Torah and halachah, was being prepared for publication, but unfortunately Reb Yechezkel Shraga did not live to complete the task. His son Reb Shimon Alter also wanted to print the sefer, but didn’t succeed. It was finally published by his son Harav Simchah Frankel-Teumim.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Jan. 30

In 1815, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in agreeing to purchase the personal book collection of former President Thomas Jefferson to replace volumes lost when the British burned the U.S. Capitol and its congressional library during the War of 1812.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.

In 1945, Adolf Hitler marked the 12th anniversary of his appointment as Germany’s chancellor with his last public speech in which he called on Germans to keep resisting until victory.

In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.