This Day in History – 5 Tishrei/September 29

In 3884/123 C.E., the Tanna Rabi Akiva was arrested by the Romans. He was subsequently tortured and killed al kiddush Hashem on Yom Kippur. The story of his killing, along with the other nine Harugei Malchus, is related in the stirring piyut, Eleh Ezkerah, recited during the Yom Kippur davening.

A taanis tzaddikim was established to commemorate this event, as well as the killing of 20 other Jews at that time.(Shulchan Aruch 180:2)



2327/1435 B.C.E., Naftali, zt”l, the son of Yaakov Avinu. He was born on this date as well, in 2196/1566 B.C.E.

5406/1645, Harav Naftali Katz of Lublin, zt”l.

5668/1907, Harav Mordechai Schneerson of Vitebsk, zt”l.

5752/1991, Harav Baruch Shalom Ashlag, zt”l, mechaber of Birkas Shalom.


5592/1831, Harav Eliezer Brish, zt”l, Rav of Kutna

Harav Eliezer Brish was born c. 5534/1774 in Lisa. His father was Harav Moshe Yaakov.

The city of Lisa was known in those years as a fortress of Torah. It was renowned for its famed geonim, who became Rabbanim and Dayanim in many kehillos.

The Rav and Rosh Yeshivah at that time was Harav Teveli, who taught thousands of bachurim in his yeshivah. Among them was Reb Eliezer.

In 5552/1792, Reb Eliezer married the daughter of Rav Yehudah from Lisa. After his marriage, Reb Eliezer founded his own yeshivah, and in a short time he was asked to become the maggid and darshan of the kehillah.

Many kehillos asked him to serve as their Rav. Reb Eliezer, in his humility and his love for his home town, ignored these tempting offers.

Years later, in 5579/1819, when the kehillah of Kutna was seeking a new Rav, they agreed to support him and his family and to fully support a yeshivah as well. It was difficult for Reb Eliezer to leave his home town for good; it was also difficult for the members of the kehillah, who felt very close to him. But he made the decision to move on.

In Kutna, Reb Eliezer was a strong leader. He also headed a large yeshivah, where he delivered deep shiurim on many sugyos. His derech halimud was to write down all the difficulties he found with the sugya and then delve into its depths, answering all the questions.

After serving as Rav there for nearly 12 years, Reb Eliezer was niftar in Kutna on 5 Tishrei 5592/1831.

Some of his drashos and hespedim were published under the name Pe’ulas Tzaddik.

His son-in-law was Harav Shmuel Brish — a nephew — who was Rav in Iniava.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Sept. 29

In 1829, London’s reorganized police force, which became known as Scotland Yard, went on duty.

In 1862, Prussia’s newly appointed minister-president, Otto von Bismarck, declared the issue of German unification would be decided “not through speeches and majority decisions” but by “iron and blood (Eisen und Blut).”

In 1910, the National Urban League, which had its beginnings as The Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, was established in New York.

In 1938, British, French, German and Italian leaders concluded the Munich Agreement, which was aimed at appeasing Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.

In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice aboard the British ship HMS Nelson off Malta.

In 1982, Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with deadly cyanide claimed the first of seven victims in the Chicago area. (To date, the case remains unsolved.)

In 1999, The Associated Press reported on the killing of hundreds of South Korean refugees by U.S. soldiers in the early days of the Korean War, beneath a bridge at a hamlet called No Gun Ri. (In 2001, after its own investigation, the U.S. Army affirmed that killings had occurred, but said they were not deliberate.)

In 2005, John G. Roberts Jr. was sworn in as the nation’s 17th chief justice after winning Senate confirmation.