This Day in History – 5 Iyar/April 20

5 Iyar

In 5560/1800, a decree was issued prohibiting Russian Jews from importing books.


5540/1780, Harav Moshe Zorach Eidelitz of Prague, zt”l, mechaber of Ohr La’yesharim

5559/1799, Harav Yeshayah Pik-Berlin of Breslau, zt”l, the mechaber of Mesores Hashas

5638/1878, Harav Meir Auerbach, the Imrei Binah, zt”l

5676/1916, Harav Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz, Rebbe of Yampole, zy”a


Harav Shmuel Shmelke Gintzler, Zt”l, mechaber Of Meishiv Nefesh

Harav Shmuel Shmelke Gintzler was born in 5598/1838, in Ujhel. His father was Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib.

As a child, young Shmuel Shmelke was already noted for his memory and learning abilities.

He learned in the yeshivah of his brother-in-law Harav Avraham Yehudah Hakohen Schwartz, zt”l, the Kol Aryeh (who had married his sister). He delved into Shas and poskim, and was noted for his hasmadah.

Rav Shmuel Shmelke married the daughter of the naggid Reb Yitzchak Aryeh Kahana of Oibervishe, who was the son-in-law of Harav Yehudah Kahana, zt”l, the Kuntres Hasfeikos. After his wedding, Rav Shmuel Shmelke lived near his father-in-law and devoted himself to Torah.

He received semichah from Harav Yosef Shaul Natanzon, zt”l, the Shoel U’meishiv; Harav Yosef Babad, zt”l, the Minchas Chinuch; and from Harav Shmuel Shmelke Klein, zt”l, the Tzror Hachaim.

At the age of 18, Rav Shmuel Shmelke was appointed Rav in Oibervishe, where he served as Rav until his petirah.

He wrote chiddushim on the Torah and Shas, and She’eilos U’teshuvos. His sefer Meishiv Nefesh contain his thoughts on the Chumash.

Rav Shmuel Shmelke was niftar on 5 Iyar 5671/1911.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah

April 20

France declared war on Austria, in the Battle of Valmy.

In 1792, France declared war on Austria, marking the start of the French Revolutionary War.

In 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister of Canada.

In 1972, Apollo 16’s lunar module, carrying astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke Jr., landed on the moon.

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Wooley v. Maynard, ruled 6-3 that car owners could refuse to display state mottoes on license plates, such as New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die.”

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