This Day in History – 5 Iyar/May 5

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



5540/1780, Harav Moshe Zorach Eidelis of Prague, zt”l, mechaber of Ohr Layesharim

5559/1799, Harav Yeshayah Pik-Berlin of Breslau, zt”l, mechaber of Mesoras HaShas

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

5676/1916, Harav Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz of Yampoli, zt”l


5 Iyar 5671/1911

Harav Shmuel Gintzler, zt”l,
Rav of Oibervishe and mechaber of Meishiv Nefesh

Harav Shmuel Gintzler was born on 7 Cheshvan 5595/1835 in Ujhel, Hungary. His father was Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib, a talmid chacham and tzaddik.

At the age of six, he received a brachah from the Yismach Moshe, who lived in Ujhel, to develop into an outstanding talmid chacham and a leader of Klal Yisrael.

His father sent the young Shmuel to learn under his brother-in-law, Harav Avraham Yehudah Schwartz, the Kol Aryeh, Rav and Rosh Yeshivah in Mahd (until he was appointed Rav of Bergszas).

Reb Shmuel married the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Aryeh Kahana of Oibervishe, the son of Harav Shmuel Zanvil (son-in-law of Harav Yehudah Kahn, the older brother of the Ketzos Hachoshen and author of Kuntres HaSefeikos).

Reb Shmuel received semichah from a number of Gedolei Yisrael, among them Harav Yosef Shaul Natansohn. This semichah was given after Reb Shmuel spent a week at the home of Reb Yosef Shaul, where his assignment was to answer all the she’eilos that came in. Reb Shmuel also received semichah from the Minchas Chinuch.

After the years of support from his father-in-law were over, Reb Shmuel was appointed Rav of Oibervishe and its environs. He was noted for his fiery drashos.

A few months before his petirah, Reb Shmuel took ill. The community davened on his behalf, but the gezeirah was sealed; Reb Shmuel was niftar on 5 Iyar 5671/1911, at the age of 76.

Some of Reb Shmuel’s drashos and chiddushim on the Torah were published under the name Meishiv Nefesh.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


May 5

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

In 1862, Mexican troops defeated French occupying forces in the Battle of Puebla. (The Cinco de Mayo holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory.)

In 1942, wartime sugar rationing began in the United States.

In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state.

In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food.

In 1994, Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Bill Clinton, who considered the punishment too harsh.