This Day in History – 5 Tamuz/July 8

5 Tammuz

In 3328, Yehoyachin, King of Yehudah, was exiled by Nevuchadnetzar (Melachim 2:24, Daniel 1, Divrei Hayamim 2:36). Exiled with him were thousands of Jews from Yerushalayim, including “hecharash v’hamasger,” the outstanding talmidei chachamim and leaders of the generation.

In 3333, Yechezkel Hanavi received a nevuah at the river of Chebar about Maaseh Merkavah. That perek is read as the haftarah on Shavuos.

In 5408/1648, during the pogroms of tach v’tat led by Chmielnicki, the city of Vilna was burnt down; many Jews from Vilna and its environs were killed al kiddush Hashem, Hy”d.

In 5489/1729, Harav Yom Tov Lipman Heller, zt”l, the Tosfos Yom Tov, was informed of his arrest on libelous charges that his famed Torah works were defamatory of the prevailing religion. The plot was initiated by rich members of the kehillah in Prague who resented the Rav asking them to bear the brunt of the taxes placed on the Jewish community. He was imprisoned on 17 Tammuz and released on 28 Av. On 1 Adar 5404/1644 he became Rav of Cracow, a day marked as a Yom Tov by his descendants. However, today, 5 Tammuz, the day he was informed of his impending imprisonment, marks a fast day for his descendants.

In 5528/1768, during the Haidamack uprising against the Russian government, approximately 50,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in the city of Uman and the surrounding area, Hy”d.


Yahrtzeiten

5575/1815, Harav Yosef Kotenplan, zt”l, mechaber of Batei Nefesh

5675/1915, Harav Betzalel Yehoshua, zt”l, of Gelina

5701/1941, Harav Alter Ezriel Meir Eiger of Lublin, zt”l


5605/1845

Harav Yisrael Verbrom, Zt”l, Rebbe of Stashov

Harav Yisrael was the son of Harav Meir Halevi of Apta, zy”a, the Ohr Lashamayim.

His father, Rav Meir, succeeded to the rabbanus in Apta, Poland, after the Ohev Yisrael, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, zy”a, moved to Jassy, Romania. The Ohr Lashamayim led one of the largest flocks of chassidim at the time, drawing from all over from Poland and Galicia, and was known for his great kedushah that profoundly affected the chassidic landscape of Poland. Rav Meir was also known for neginah, which with he achieved closeness to Hashem.

Rav Meir was survived by his sons Harav Pinchas and Harav Yisrael. [Many chassidim chose Harav Yissochor Dov, the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz, as their Rebbe.]

Rav Yisrael was widely known as a kadosh v’tahor, eschewing all worldly pleasures for avodas Hashem.

During the lifetime of his father he moved to Stashov, where his father’s brother Harav Mordechai resided. After the petirah of his father, the Ohr Lashamayim, he led a sizable flock in Stashov, while his brother remained in their father’s hometown of Apta.

Rav Yisrael, like his father, embodied dveikus in Hashem. He opened the hearts of his fellow Jews through his powerful niggunim of dveikus. He was also an extraordinary baal tefillah as his father was; his heartfelt tefillos would cause every heart to yearn for the Creator.

His son Harav Yaakov Yitzchok of Yavunitch, zy”a, son-in-law of Harav Menashe of Ropshitz, zy”a, succeeded him.

Yehi zichro baruch.


July 8

In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of the United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman ended up sacking MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)

In 1972, the Nixon administration announced a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets were also engaged in secretly buying subsidized American grain, resulting in what critics dubbed “The Great Grain Robbery.”)

In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.

In 2011, former first lady Betty Ford died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93.