This Day in History – 5 Adar II/March 7

5 Adar II

5561/1801, Harav Yosef of Posen, zt”l, son-in-law of the Noda B’Yehudah

5583/1823, Harav Ze’ev Volf of Ostraha, zt”l

5624/1864, Harav Shmuel Abba Shapira of Slavita, zt”l

5628/1868, Harav Yeshayah Muskat, zt”l, the Harei Besamim

5635/1875, Harav Avraham Landau of Tchechonov, zt”l (Adar II)

5645/1885, Harav Yechezkel Yalzon, zt”l, Rav of Altona

5731/1971, Harav Mordechai Shlomo Friedman of Boyan, zt”l



Harav Avraham Bing, zt”l, Rav of Wurtzburg

Harav Avraham Halevi ben Rav Enosh Bing was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, in 5512/1752. From his earliest youth, he was constantly seen learning in the beis medrash. He received semichah from Harav Nosson Adler, whom he considered his rebbi muvhak. He thus belonged to the group of those who allowed no innovations in religious matters, even in externals. As the Chasam Sofer, who was also a talmid of Rav Nosson Adler, said, “Chadash assur min haTorah.”

From 5529/1769 until 5538/1778, Rav Avraham served as Rav in the town of Offenbach. Later, he was Dayan in Frankfurt, and from 5556/1796 to 5574/1814, Rav of the town Heidingsfeld, near Wurzburg, Bavaria.

In 1813 he was able to overturn a 250-year-old decree banning Jews from settling in Wurzburg proper, and in 1814 he assumed the rabbinate of the city, where he also served as Rosh Yeshivah of a large yeshivah.

Rav Avraham was an opponent of the Reform movement and declared it to be the duty of every religious Jew to refuse to go to their temples.

Several of his more famous talmidim include Harav Yaakov Ettlinger, mechaber of Aruch LaNer; Harav Nosson Adler (nephew of his Rebbe, Harav Nosson Adler), Rav of London and mechaber of Nesinah LaGer, an explanation on Targum Unkelos; Harav Yitzchak Bernays, Rav in Hamburg and teacher of Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch and Harav Azriel Hildesheimer; Harav Yitzchak Dov (Seligman Baer) Bamberger, Rav of Wurzburg; and Harav Avraham Yosef Rice, Rav in Baltimore, Maryland. Thus he was very influential in Orthodox Jewry in Germany in the 19th century.

It is related about Rav Avraham that two of his sons married two sisters. Upon returning home from the wedding of his second son, he fell off his wagon and broke his hand. He explained that this was due to the tzavaah of Rabbeinu Yehudah Hechassid, who wrote that two brothers shouldn’t marry two sisters.

Rav Avraham was niftar in Wurzburg on 5 Adar 5601/1841, having resigned from the rabbinate two years earlier.

Of the manuscripts which he left at his petirah, the glosses on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim have been printed posthumously, bearing the title Zichron Avraham.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


March 7

In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.

In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.

In 1912, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen arrived in Hobart, Australia, where he dispatched telegrams announcing his success in leading the first expedition to the South Pole the previous December.

In 1926, the first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge.

In 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was violently broken up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., by state troopers and a sheriff’s posse in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required two-thirds of senators present.

In 1994, the U.S. Navy issued its first permanent orders assigning women to regular duty on a combat ship — in this case, the USS Eisenhower.