This Day In History 6 Teves/January 4

5249/1488, the first edition of the Sefer Mitzvos Hagadol was published in Soncino, Italy.

5626/1865, the Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee.


5493/1732, Harav Yaakov Reisher, zt”l, mechaber of Chok Yaakov and Shevus Yaakov

5680/1919, Harav Chaim Shlomo of Koson, zt”l

5693/1933, Harav Alter Yisrael Shimon Perlow, zt”l, mechaber of Tiferes Ish

5715/1954, Harav Chaim Meidanik, zt”l, mechaber of Mazkeres Chaim and Hegyonei Chaim

5659/1898, Harav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam of Shinev, zt”l

Harav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, was born in Tarnograd, Poland, on 20 Shevat 5575/1815. His mother was Rebbetzin Rochel Feiga, daughter of Harav Baruch Teomim, the Baruch Taam.

The Divrei Yechezkel, as Reb Yechezkel Shraga came to be called due to the name of his sefer, traveled to many tzaddikim, particularly to Harav Tzvi Hirsch of Riminov, Harav Shalom of Belz, Harav Asher Yeshayah of Ropshitz, Harav Yissachar Ber of Radoshitz and Reb Meir of Premishlan, zechusam yagein aleinu. The Sar Shalom of Belz was his primary Rebbe, and the few points of minhag in which he diverged from his father were minhagim adopted from Reb Shalom.

During his lifetime, Reb Yechezkel Shraga was left a widower five times.

About 5590/1830, when he was 15, he married his first Rebbetzin, the daughter of Harav Aryeh Leibush Lipshitz, the Aryeh D’vei Ilayi. In 5599/1839, she was niftar and left him with two young orphans.

The following year, he married the daughter of Harav Mordechai Zilberstein, Rav of Holoshitz. She was niftar four years later, in 5604/1844.

Three years later, the Divrei Yechezkel married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Tzvi of Razla (Rozdil), upon whose petirah Reb Yechezkel Shraga became Rav of Rozdil and published his father-in-law’s sefarim, Amud HaTorah and Daas Kedoshim.

The Divrei Yechezkel lived in Rozdil for seven years. After his third wife passed away, the Belzer Rebbe proposed that he marry the daughter of Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Leshanov.

Two years later, in 5616/1856, the Divrei Yechezkel was appointed to the rabbanus of Shinev, a post he held for 11 years, until 5627/1867, when he was called upon to assume the rabbanus of Stropkov. It was in Stropkov that the Divrei Yechezkel began to receive Chassidim. There, unfortunately, his fourth Rebbetzin was niftar and he married the daughter of Harav Avraham Gewirtzman of Gorlitz.

Toward the end of 5629/1869, the Divrei Yechezkel spent over a year in Eretz Yisrael, returning to Europe at the beginning of 5631/1870. Five and a half years later, on 25 Nisan 5636/1876, his father was niftar and the Divrei Yechezkel moved to Sanz for the year. His final move, in 5641/1881, was back to Shinev, where he lived for another 18 years.

The Shineve Rav was niftar on 6 Teves 5659/1898 and was buried in Shinev.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Jan. 4

In 1717, France, Britain and Holland formed a Triple Alliance against Spain.

In 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, called for legislation to provide assistance for the jobless, elderly, impoverished children and the handicapped.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined the goals of his “Great Society.”

In 1995, the 104th Congress convened, the first entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era.