This Day in History – 7 Cheshvan/October 16

7 Cheshvan

5639/1878, Jews began to prepare the ground at Petach Tikva for a new settlement.

5702/1941, 10,000 Jews of the Kovno ghetto were taken out for execution. The Nazis murdered them all during that day and the next. Hy”d.

In 5704/1943, Jewish children below the age of 12 were taken from Shavl, Lithuania, and executed. Hy”d.


5360/1599, Harav Avraham Meisles, zt”l, mechutan of the Rema

5562/1801, Harav Shimon Deutsch, Rav of Dobormil, zt”l, mechaber of Nachlas Shimon

5608/1847, Harav Yehuda Tzvi, Rav of Rozdol, zt”l, mechaber of Daas Kedoshim

5626/1865, Harav Nosson Dovid Rabinowitz, Rebbe of Shidlovtza, zt”l

5631/1870, Harav Tzvi Hersh of Tomoshov, zt”l, talmid of Harav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk

5666/1905, Harav Yehoshua Schwartzberg, zt”l, Rav of Zarik, and mechaber of sefer Divrei Yehoshua

5666/1905, Harav Yerachmiel Tzvi, Rebbe of Biala-Shedlitz, zt”l

5675/1914, Harav Dovid, Rebbe of Sevorn, zt”l

5693/1932, Harav Yehuda Meir Shapira of Lublin, zt”l

5734/1973, Harav Yisrael Weltz, zt”l, Rav of Budapest and mechaber of Teshuvos Divrei Yisrael


Harav Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch, Zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Telshe

Harav Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch was born in 5609/1849; his father was Harav Mordechai.

At a young age, Rav Yosef Leib learned in the Talmud Torah of Kelm. There, he learned under Harav Eliezer Gordon, zt”l, who invested great efforts into his growth.

When Rav Yosef Leib came of age, Reb Leizer took him as a son-in-law for his eldest daughter, Chasya. His marriage took place in 5641/1881, and three years later he moved to Telshe together with his father-in-law.

He helped shape the character of the Telshe Yeshivah that his father-in-law, Reb Leizer, had begun to build. Already in those early years, his unusual talent as an educator shone forth as he spent much time educating his young children. Indeed, all his children bore his indelible imprint and possessed a nobility passed on to them by their father.

Rav Yosef Leib’s father-in-law appointed him a Maggid Shiur in the yeshivah. In 5670/1910, while on a fundraising trip in London, England, Reb Leizer had a sudden heart attack and passed away. Rav Yosef Leib succeeded his father-in-law as Rav of Telshe and Rosh Yeshivah.

Under his leadership, Telshe became not only a yeshivah but a molder of men and hashkafos in the unique Telsher derech that Rav Yosef Leib had helped fashion. He was a living example of iron self-control and discipline. Everything he did was done with foresight; every word he spoke was measured.

Rav Yosef Leib delivered talks, which he called shiurei daas. These were not mussar shmuessen in the conventional sense; rather, they were shiurim in daas hashkafah, geared toward practical implementation of the lofty concepts espoused.

Under Rav Yosef Leib’s influence the prestige of yeshivah students was raised in the eyes of the world.

Rav Yosef Leib founded an entire network of educational institutions, including a mechinah (a preparatory yeshivah for younger talmidim), a Kollel Harabbanim and Beis Hamedrash Lemoros Yavne, a women’s teachers seminary.

Reb Yosef Leib was niftar on 7 Cheshvan 5790/1929 at the age of 80.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Oct. 16

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.

In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their “long march” lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.

In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.

In 1995, a vast throng of black men gathered in Washington, D.C. for the “Million Man March” led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

In 2001, 12 Senate offices were closed as hundreds of staffers underwent anthrax tests.