This Day In History 30 Tishrei/November 1

An image of the original Vizhnitz shul in the town of Vyzhnitza
An image of the original Vizhnitz shul in the town of Vyzhnitza

In 5031/1270, the seventh and last of the Crusades came to an end.


Yahrtzeiten

5616/1855, Harav Tzvi Hirsh, zt”l, the Maharatz Chiyus, Rav of Zolkov

5677/1916, Harav Yitzchak Meir Hazenpertz, zt”l, mechaber of Ohr Yakar on the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh


5703/1942, Harav Chaim Hager of Kossov, Hy”d

Harav Chaim Hager was the son of Harav Moshe of Kossov, a descendant of the Toras Chaim of Kossov, founder of the Kossov-Vizhnitz dynasty.

Reb Chaim learned under his maternal grandfather, Harav Avraham Menachem Steinberg, Rav of Brod, who gave him semichah in 5680/1920. He married the daughter of Harav Meshulam Feivish Wahrman of Yassi.

Following the petirah of his father on 6 Tammuz 5685/1925, Reb Chaim became Rebbe in Kossov. Among his famous Chassidim was Harav Dovid Sperber, the Brashover Rav and author of Afarkaste D’anya.

In 5695/1935, Reb Chaim visited Eretz Yisrael and returned enthusiastic about moving there. However, his Chassidim begged the Rebbe to stay on in chutz laAretz.

When World War II broke out, Reb Chaim moved to the ghetto in Kolomaya. His Rebbetzin and daughter (who was a kallah at the time) were killed in the ghetto in 5702/1942. Later that year, the Chassidim worked on an escape plan for the Rebbe to flee through Hungary. They asked him to return to Kossov, and from there he was to escape.

Just after his arrival, the Nazis held an Aktion in Kossov, but Reb Chaim, who was hiding in a bunker waiting to escape, wasn’t found. After a while, when the Hungarians who were supposed to help him cross the border hadn’t come yet, Reb Chaim asked to leave and return to Kolomaya. A few days later, they did come to Kossov — but Reb Chaim was no longer there.

The Yidden, who had paid a fortune to these Hungarians, asked them to wait a few days until they could bring Reb Chaim back. The guides refused, but said they would return on September 12.

Two days before that date, a group of Chassidim set off to Kolomaya to bring the Rebbe to Kossov. But the Rebbe refused to travel, as it was Shabbos. They agreed to meet at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Alas, it was not to be. On Motzoei Shabbos, the Nazis conducted a thorough Aktion in Kolomaya, and took the Rebbe and his family to Lelov.

The Rebbe couldn’t tolerate the horrendous conditions — the heat and the lack of air or water. He was niftar on 30 Tishrei, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, 5703/1942. All his sons were killed in the war. Hashem yikom damam.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Nov. 1

In 1478, the Spanish Inquisition was established.

In 1765, the Stamp Act, passed by the British Parliament, went into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists.

In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations.

In 1936, in a speech in Milan, Italy, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his country and Nazi Germany as an “axis” running between Rome and Berlin.

In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.