This Day in History – 5 Nisan/April 13

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



5585/1825, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, zt”l, the Apter Rav

5662/1902, Harav Shneur Zalman of Lublin, author of Toras Chessed

5670/1910, Harav Malkiel Tzvi of Lomza, author of Divrei Malkiel


5684/1924, Harav Tzvi Elimelech Shapiro Of Bluzhov, zy”a

Harav Tzvi Elimelech, known as the Tzvi laTzaddik, was born in 5601/1841. His father was Harav Dovid of Dinov, the Tzemach Dovid, who was the son of Harav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, better known as the Bnei Yissaschar.

From his youth he was known for his exceptional sharpness, and he was erudite in all aspects of the Torah. His father occasionally took him along when he traveled to Harav Chaim of Sanz; he was close to him in his later years as well.

Reb Tzvi Elimelech married the daughter of Harav Moshe of Razvadov, who was the son of Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, who in turn was the son of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz. After his chasunah, he moved into his father-in-law’s home, where he continued to reach ever-greater madreigos.

First Reb Tzvi Elimelech was appointed Rav in Ribetitch, and later in Bluzhov, located in southeastern Galicia, where he eventually established his court after the petirah of his father in 5634/1874. In addition to his greatness in Torah, he was venerated in the world of Chassidus. His heartfelt tefillos and his avodas Hakodesh were awe-inspiring, including waking at chatzos every night to mourn the ­Churban and serving his Creator every minute with great diligence.

Thousands flocked to him for advice and counsel. Among his prominent talmidim was Harav Aharon Roth, zt”l, author of Shomrei Emunim.

During WWI, Reb Tzvi Elimelech fled to Budapest. After the war he returned to Galicia; in 5680/1920 he reached Premiszyl. During that era, he stood as a beacon guiding his flock.

Eventually he returned to Reisha, where he was niftar in 5684/1924. His Torah thoughts were published in Tzvi laTzaddik, a sefer that contains responsa and chiddushim al haTorah.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


April 13

In 1912, the Royal Flying Corps, a predecessor of Britain’s Royal Air Force, was created.

In 1965, 16-year-old Lawrence Wallace Bradford, Jr. was appointed by New York Republican Jacob Javits to be the first black page of the U.S. Senate.

In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city’s century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River.