This Day in History – 8 Av/August 4

Created by Congress on August 4, 1790, at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the “Revenue Marine,” it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States.
Created by Congress on August 4, 1790, at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the “Revenue Marine,” it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States.

In 2448/1313 B.C.E., the meraglim returned from their 40-day mission to Eretz Yisrael. Even as they praised the Land’s fertility, they terrified Bnei Yisrael with tales of mighty giant warriors dwelling there, and asserted that the land was unconquerable.

In 5109/1349, Jews of Frankfurt, Germany, were killed in the Black Death massacres. Hy”d.

In 5430/1670, the Jewish community of Vienna was expelled.

In 5702/1942, the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto was announced, with over 300,000 Jews taken to death camps in the 53 days of this Nazi action.



5625/1865, Harav Shmuel Shmelke Toibish, zt”l, Rav of Yas (Jassi), mechaber of Chayei Olam, Milchamos Hashem and Mitzvas Chalitzah

5638/1878, Harav Yehudah Halevi of Ragoza, zt”l, founder of the Jewish yishuv in Yaffo

5658/1898, Harav Shmuel Luvtzar, zt”l, mechaber of Olas Shmuel

5658/1898, Harav Simchah Zissel Ziv, zt”l, the Alter of Kelm

5674/1914, Harav Shimon Agasi, zt”l, mechaber of Shem MiShimon

5738/1978, Harav Chanoch Henich Dov Zilberfarb, zt”l, the Koidenover Rebbe



Harav Shlomo Zalman Levi, zt”l, Rav of Zlotchov

Harav Shlomo Zalman Levi was the oldest son of Harav Avraham Levi. He was named for his father’s father, Harav Shlomo Zalman, who was niftar when Reb Avraham was still young. His brothers were Harav Nachum of Shadik (Shadika), who later lived in Yerushalayim; Harav Asher Lemel of Galin; Harav Yaakov Yehudah of Sleshin; and Harav Yisrael.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was born in Warsaw during the time that his father learned there with Harav Shlomo Zalman Lifshitz, the Chemdas Shlomo. Later, Reb Avraham returned to his native Posen.

Reb Shlomo Zalman married the daughter of Harav Chaim Nachum Margulies, the son-in-law of Harav Ephraim Segal, Rav of Kviel. His zivug sheini was the daughter of Harav Binyamin Wolf Traube, Rav of Kalish.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was appointed Rav in Zlotchov, near Kalish.

An outstanding masmid, he also secretly did many acts of tzedakah and chessed.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was considered to have ruach hakodesh. It is related that one time, during his shiur in his yeshivah in Zlotchov, a group of six doves landed on the window of the beis medrash; one flew away. Reb Shlomo Zalman instructed the talmidim to continue to learn on their own, while he himself set out to gather his brothers and travel to the home of their sister in Kletshev who had passed away. They arrived just in time for the kevurah. When asked how he had known, Reb Shlomo Zalman replied that the six doves on the window corresponded to his family — five brothers and one sister — and when one bird flew away, he understood that his sister had passed on.

Another time, after a shiur, Reb Shlomo Zalman instructed one of the bachurim to recite Kaddish. Then he told the bachur to return home, and the bachur found that his mother had passed away. When asked how he knew, Reb Shlomo Zalman replied that his eyes saw further than the eyes of other people.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was niftar on 8 Av 5591/1831, during a cholera outbreak.

Reb Shlomo Zalman left manuscripts of chiddushim on many masechtos, but they were not printed. Some of his chiddushim are quoted in other sefarim.

Reb Shlomo Zalman had one son-in-law, Harav Michoel Dov Weingott, Rav in Loivitch and mechaber of Agudas Ezov Midbari.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


August 4

In 1735, a jury found John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal not guilty of committing seditious libel against the colonial governor of New York, William Cosby.

In 1790, the Coast Guard had its beginnings as the Revenue Cutter Service.

In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.

In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany for invading Belgium; the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the mushrooming world conflict.

In 1916, the United States reached agreement with Denmark to purchase the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.

In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.

In 1972, Arthur Bremer was convicted and sentenced in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to 63 years in prison for his attempt on the life of Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace. (The sentence was later reduced to 53 years; Bremer was released in 2007.)

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.

In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission voted to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required media stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.