This Day in History – 5 Nisan/April 10

In 2449, the Nasi of Shevet Shimon, Shelumiel ben Tzurishadai, brought his korban.

In 5561/1801, the community of Karentan, France, was miraculously saved from a blood libel.

In 5693/1933, the official Nazi boycott of German Jewish merchants began, as mentioned in the history column of April 1, which that year coincided with 5 Nisan.

In 5702/1942, 2,500 Jews of Lublin were killed al kiddush Hashem and the rest were deported.


Yahrtzeiten

5662/1902, Harav Shneur Zalman, Rav of Lublin, zt”l, mechaber of Toras Chessed

5670/1910, Harav Malkiel Tzvi of Lomaz, zt”l, mechaber of Divrei Malkiel

5684/1924, Harav Tzvi Elimelech Shapiro, zt”l, the Tzvi Latzaddik of Bluzhov

5750/1990, Harav Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Hanegev.


5585/1825, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, Zt”l, the Ohev Yisrael of Apta

Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Apta was born in 5508/1748 in Zhemigrod to Harav Shmuel, who descended from an esteemed lineage of Rabbanim and Gedolei Yisrael.

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel was brought to the Rebbe Harav Elimelech of Lizhensk, zy”a, by Harav Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, zy”a, and Harav Moshe Leib of Sassov, zy”a. He became one of the Noam Elimelech’s prime talmidim and was one of the four who inherited his spiritual virtues: the Chozeh of Lublin, zy”a, who received Reb Elimelech’s vision; the Maggid of Kozhnitz, zy”a, who received his heart; Reb Mendele of Riminov, zy”a, who received his ruchniyus intelligence; and the Apta Rav, who received his power of speech.

While in his early thirties, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel became Rav in Kolbosov. There, he began to lead Chassidim, after the petirah of Rav Elimelech in 5546/1786.

In 5560/1800, he prepared to move to Apta. The townsfolk were very unhappy with this decision and asked for an explanation. “I am moving, b’ezras Hashem, but this I promise you: I will always be known as the Apta Rav, and not as the Rav of any other locality.”

He moved to Yassi, and four years later he became Rav in Mezibuzh, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Once, upon arriving at a certain town, the Apta Rav was met by an uneasy welcoming committee. There were two people who could host him, and they were unsure who was more suitable. One gvir was a lamdan, but he was excessively haughty, while the other gvir was a baal chessed, but people had complaints about him.

The Ohev Yisrael chose the unpopular baal chessed. “Are you sure?” the committee asked.

“Yes. Hakadosh Baruch Hu does not dwell with the haughty, and if there is no room for Hashem Yisborach in a person’s house, there is surely no room for a lowly person such as me.”

The Apta Rav lived to the age of 77 and was considered the elder tzaddik of his generation.

The day before his petirah, Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel walked through his house, taking leave of every object. He kissed each sefer and took leave of all his talmidim. He was niftar on 5 Nisan 5585/1825.

Yehi zichro baruch.


April 10

In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a day after surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, said farewell to his men, praising them for their “unsurpassed courage and fortitude.”

In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.

In 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

In 1932, German President Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, with Adolf Hitler coming in second.

In 1998, the Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bloody attacks.

In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash in Russia that also claimed the lives of his wife and top Polish political, military and church officials.