This Day in History – 4 Teves/December 26

French anti-terrorist units storm a hijacked Air France Airbus A300 at the Marseille airport to rescue passengers and crew being held by terrorists on December 26, 1994.  (AP Photo)
French anti-terrorist units storm a hijacked Air France Airbus A300 at the Marseille airport to rescue passengers and crew being held by terrorists on December 26, 1994. (AP Photo)

Yahrtzeiten

5490/1729, Harav Moshe Zev Bialystok, zt”l, mechaber of Mar’os HaTzovos

5633/1872, Harav Eizel Charif of Slonim, zt”l

5651/1890, Harav Gershon Henoch Leiner of Radzin, zt”l, the Baal HaTecheles

5722/1961, Harav Shalom Rokeach, zt”l, Rav of Skohl

5756/1995, Harav Mordechai Pinchos Teitz, zt”l, Rav of Elizabeth, NJ


 

5693/1933, Harav Chaim Shaul Dweck, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas HaMekubalim of Yerushalayim and mechaber of Eifah Sheleimah

Harav Chaim Shaul Hakohen Dweck, zt”l, was born in Aleppo, Syria, on 14 Cheshvan 5618/1858. His father, Rav Eliyahu, was the Rav of Aleppo and mechaber of Emes Me’Eretz.

Chaim Shaul learned under Harav Mordechai Abadi, a Dayan in Aleppo. In his formative years, young Chaim Shaul already displayed a phenomenal memory.

A talmid chacham and a leading mekubal, Rav Chaim Shaul wrote a commentary on Eitz Chaim by Harav Chaim Vital, which he called Eifah Sheleimah.

In 5647/1887, before he reached the age of 30, Rav Chaim Shaul was appointed Rav of Aleppo.

At 32, Rav Chaim Shaul delivered a fiery drashah regarding tznius. When he saw that the people were not acting in accordance with his requests, he spoke again the next Shabbos, adding that if they would not strengthen tznius, the town would be punished. That Motzoei Shabbos, Rav Chaim Shaul left Syria and moved to Eretz Yisrael.

A few weeks later a fire broke out and devoured most of the city’s homes.

When Rav Chaim Shaul was only 46 years old he lost his eyesight. For the last 30 years of his life he continued to learn Torah, mainly from memory and with the help of his talmidim. Rav Chaim Shaul even served as the baal tefillah in the minyan of the mekubalim, despite his blindness.

Many talmidei chachamim and leading mekubalim were among the talmidim of Rav Chaim Shaul. Some of the more famous ones were Harav Yom Tov Yedid Halevi; Harav Salman Eliyahu, who replaced Rav Chaim Shaul as Rosh Yeshivas HaMekubalim; Harav Yaakov Chaim Sofer, mechaber of Kaf HaChaim; Harav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rav of Yerushalayim; and Harav Asher Zelig Margulies.

Rav Chaim Shaul was niftar on 4 Teves 5693/1933.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


 

Dec. 26

In 1799, former President George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

In 1994, French commandos stormed a hijacked Air France jetliner on the ground in Marseille, killing four Algerian hijackers and freeing 170 hostages.

In 2004, more than 230,000 people, mostly in southern Asia, were killed by a 100-foot-high tsunami triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean.

In 2006, former President Gerald R. Ford died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93.