This Day In History 4 Cheshvan/October 24

In 5702/1941, Romanian soldiers massacred 26,000 Jews of Odessa.

In 5302/1541, Jews of Algiers were saved from being conquered by the Spanish army. To commemorate the event, Purim Edom is celebrated by Algerian Jews.

In 5704/1943, the Nazis liquidated the Riga ghetto.


Yahrtzeiten

5704/1943, Harav Shlomo Yitzchok, Rav of Tarnipol, zt”l, and Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Don Landau, Hy”d, the Strikover Rebbe. They were both killed in Treblinka al kiddush Hashem.

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

5728/1967, Harav Yaakov Halberstam, zt”l, Tchakava Rav

5743/1982, Harav Leib Gurwitz, Rosh Yeshivah of Gateshead Yeshiva and mechaber of Roshei Shearim


5704/1943, Harav Klonimus Kalman Shapiro, Hy”d, the Piaseczner Rebbe

The Piaseczner Rebbe, Harav Klonimus Kalman Shapira, zt”l, Hy”d, was born on 19 Iyar 5649/1889 to Harav Elimelech of Grodzisk, a descendant of the Kozhnitzer Maggid and the Noam Elimelech.

At the age of three he lost his father. When he was 16 years old he married the daughter of the Kozhnitzer Rebbe, Harav Yerachmiel Moshe, zy”a. When he had been married just four years his father-in-law passed away, so at 20 years of age he became Rebbe. Despite his youth, the chassidim, among them many elderly chassidim, accepted his leadership. He settled in the town of Piaseczne and became known as the Piaseczner Rebbe.

In the year 5683/1923, he opened a yeshivah in Piaseczne, fully dedicating himself to his talmidim.

His famous sefer Chovas Hatalmidim is written as if the Rebbe were addressing the talmid directly, face-to-face. His sefer Aish Kodesh, which was written during WWII was discovered after the Holocaust, beneath a home in the Warsaw Ghetto. In this sefer, he strengthened and inspired his readers with emunah and bitachon, encouraging them to serve Hashem faithfully even in the throes of torment and adversity.

In his last will, which was miraculously recovered after the war, together with Aish Kodesh and some of his other manuscripts, he wrote, “I beg and plead from every one of [Klal] Yisrael to learn from my sefarim, and it is certain that the merit of my holy ancestors … will stand by him and his entire household in this world and in the world to come…”

When war broke out in 5700/1939, Reb Leibel Bein, one of his close Chassidim, managed to procure two automobiles, one for the Rebbe and his family and one for his own family. When he suggested to the Rebbe that together they flee Warsaw, the Rebbe refused, telling him, “I cannot bring myself to abandon Polish Jewry.”

The Rebbe never lost sight of his purpose. He always demanded of himself no less than he did of others

“It is not only in good times that we must follow Hashem’s paths, rising ever higher,” the Rebbe insisted. “We must pursue this course even when suffering and darkness dominate our lives. When someone is surrounded by goodness, then serving Hashem with joy, love and enthusiasm is a simple matter. When he is suffering, however, he must make the most of that situation too, serving Hashem with a broken heart and with true outpouring of the soul.”

After the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Reb Leibel Bein related that the Rebbe was sent to Bodzin.

On 4 Cheshvan 5704/1943, the the Piaseczner Rebbe was killed al kiddush Hashem.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


Adapted from Edut by R. Lichtenstein


Oct. 24

In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent by Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., over a line built by the Western Union Telegraph Co.

In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was officially dedicated.

In 1939, DuPont began publicly selling its nylon stockings in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.