This Day in History – 5 Iyar/May 10

Shaar blatt of sefer Siach Eliezer.

Yahrtzeiten

5540/1780, Harav Moshe Zorach Eidelitz of Prague, author of Ohr La’yeshorim.

5559/1799, Harav Yeshaya Pik, author of the additional hagahos of Mesores Hashas, and author of She’eilas Shalom and other sefarim.

5639/1879, Harav Meir Auerbach, Rav of Kalish and author of Imrei Bina.


5676/1916

Harav Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz, Rebbe of Yompoli, Zy”a

Rav Eliezer Chaim was born in Av 5609/1849 to Harav Baruch of Yompoli (Rav Boruch of Yass), who was a grandson of Harav Baruch of Mezhbuzh, zy”a.

Reb Baruch and his Rebbetzin were childless for many years. Once, he visited Harav Meir of Premishlan, zy”a, for Shavuos. Reb Meir’l gave him a brachah for children, a bottle of olive oil and a blanket, and told him that when his child would be born he should rinse him with the oil and wrap him in the blanket, promising the child longevity.

When Eliezer Chaim was only 13, his father was niftar, and he and his mother returned to her hometown of Yass, Romania. There he studied under Harav Menachem Nachum of Stefenesht, zy”a (the son of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin, zy”a) for five years.

After Rav Eliezer Chaim succeeded his father as Rebbe, he would travel around to his chassidim. While still in his 20s, he once passed through Sanz where he tried to hide his identity. However, Harav Chaim, the Rebbe of Sanz, zy”a, recognized his greatness and spent a few hours with him. Rav Chaim declared that his name, Eliezer Chaim, is the same gematria as Dovid ben Yishai and that his neshamah is a nitzutz of Dovid Hamelech.

His grandson, Harav Dovid Yitzchok Eizik, the Skolya Rebbe, zy”a (son of Harav Baruch Pinchas, who was Rebbe in Skolya, Galicia), related that Rav Eliezer Chaim would say Tikkun Chatzos nightly with a niggun from the Baal Shem Tov.

When his Rebbetzin was niftar in 5649/1889, he traveled to America and resided in New York. He was the first chassidishe Rebbe to do so.

After about a year, he returned to Europe until 5673/1913, when he returned to the United States. His goal was to continue on to Eretz Yisrael with a son living in America. However, World War I broke out and he was forced to remain. In 5675/1915 he became ill, and was niftar on 5 Iyar 5676/1916.

He was buried in Mount Judah Cemetery in Cypress Hills, Queens. Many people still come to his kever to daven for yeshuos.

His sefer, Siach Eliezer, was first published in 5633/1873 and has been reprinted a few times. In 5744/1984 it was issued with the addition of Yeshuos Yisrael, which contains 18 stories about the Baal Shem Tov written by the Rebbe. It was republished in recent years.

Rav Eliezer Chaim was survived by his sons, Harav Baruch Pinchas of Skolya; Harav Shmuel Avraham of Mezhibuzh-Brownsville; and Harav Yisrael, who was niftar young. His sons-in-law were Reb Yechiel Meir Salzstein and Reb Dov Ber Albert.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


May 10

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.