This Day in History – 5 Av/August 1

Workers remove a school bus from the interstate 35W bridge collapse site in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007.  (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Workers remove a school bus from the interstate 35W bridge collapse site in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Yahrtzeiten

5332/1572, Harav Yitzchak Luria, zt”l, the Ari Hakadosh (5333/1573 according to others)

5419/1659, Harav Aharon, zt”l, Baal Ruach Hakodesh, Rav of Zlotchov

5510/1750, Harav Gedalyah Chiyun, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Beis E-l, Rebbe muvhak and father-in-law of the Rashash

5553/1793, Harav Chaim of Krasna, zt”l, talmid of the Baal Shem Tov

5567/1807, Harav Zev Lichtenstein, zt”l, Rav of Broistitz, author of Kedushas Yisrael

5571/1811, Harav Shimon Isserles, zt”l, Rav of Slutzk, son of the Rema

5659/1899, Harav Ezriel Hildesheimer, zt”l, Rav of Adas Yisrael, Berlin

5700/1940, Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzenski, zt”l, Rav of Vilna

5760/2000, Harav Binyomin Paler, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Mekor Chaim


 

5549/1789

Harav Meir Berabi, zt”l, Rav of Pressburg and author of Chiddushei Maharm Berabi

Harav Meir was born in 5485/1725 in Berabi, near Halberstadt in Germany. His parents were Harav Shaul and Rebbetzin Yentlichi.

At a young age, his father sent him to learn under Harav Tzvi Hirsh Charif, Rav of Halberstadt, who put immense efforts into this talmid.

From there, Reb Meir continued on to the yeshivah of Harav Yaakov Paprish, Rav of Frankfurt-am-Main. He stayed in this yeshivah for two years, advancing in Torah. After a two-year stay in Frankfurt, he returned to Halberstadt.

At the age of 13, in 5498/1738, Reb Meir married Rebbetzin Elkeli, the daughter of Harav Michel of Halberstadt. He dedicated himself solely to learning Torah, thanks to the support of his brother-in-law, Reb Nosson.

Even at this young age, Reb Meir was already known as an outstanding talmid chacham. Eventually, he was appointed Dayan in the city, and in 5517/1757, when Harav Moshe Brisk, the local Rav, was niftar, Reb Meir was asked to fill his place, which he did for the next six years, until 5523/1763.

In 5523/1763, Reb Meir was accepted as Rav in Hali, Germany, but this was for one year. Afterwards, Reb Meir became Rav of Pressburg, Hungary, a position he held for the next 25 years, until his passing in 5549/1789.

Reb Meir was zocheh to teach many talmidim in all the communities where he was Rav. Many of them went on to become leading Rabbanim and Gedolim.

Reb Meir was close with many of the generation’s Gedolim and frequently discussed with them she’eilos, most notably with the Noda B’Yehudah.

Reb Meir was known as a Rav who always sought peace and harmony in all the communities where he officiated. It is related that one year, on Yom Kippur night, the inhabitants of the city were waiting for Reb Meir to arrive in shul for davening. In the meantime, he was standing outside, trying to make peace between two long-time enemies, telling them that davening wouldn’t begin until they made peace; they heeded his words and Kol Nidrei commenced.

In 5549/1789, Reb Meir took ill. He was niftar on 5 Av 5549/1789, at the age of 64.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

August 1

In 1714, Britain’s Queen Anne died at age 49; she was succeeded by George I.

In 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.

In 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force.

In 1914, Germany declared war on Russia at the onset of World War I.

In 1943, rioting broke out in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood after a false rumor spread that a police officer had shot and killed a black U.S. Army soldier who in fact had only been wounded; six people were killed in the violence.

In 1944, an uprising broke out in Warsaw, Poland, against Nazi occupation; the revolt lasted two months before collapsing.

In 1957, the United States and Canada agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

In 2007, the eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people.