This Day in History – 8 Elul/September 3

The Martian surface is shown in an image taken by the Viking 1 lander in August 1976.  (AP Photo/NASA)
The Martian surface is shown in an image taken by the Viking 1 lander in August 1976. (AP Photo/NASA)

In 3828/68 C.E. (or 3830/70 C.E.), Jewish resistance to Roman forces during the time of the second Beis Hamikdash came to an end with the fall of the walls of the upper city of Yerushalayim.

In 5109/1349, Jews were killed in Worms on charges that they brought about the Black Plague, which wiped out thousands upon thousands in Europe. A taanis tzibbur in the kehillah of Worms commemorated the victims of this libel. Hy”d.



5373/1613, Harav Dovid Ganz, zt”l, mechaber of Tzemach Dovid

5677/1917, HaravMoshe Sofer, zt”l, Rav of Tisafirer

5694/1934, Harav Alter Elyakim Shapira, zt”l, Rav of Chernowitz and mechaber of Shem MiShimon


8 Elul 5559/1799, Harav Avraham Shimshon of Rashkov, zy”a

Harav Avraham Shimshon Hakohen was the only son of Harav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoa, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef.

Reb Avraham Shimshon moved to Eretz Yisrael, but in 5502/1742 he returned to chutz laAretz and was appointed Rav in Rashkov. (This was the city where his father had served as Rav before moving to Polnoa.)

Several years later, in 5520/1760, Reb Avraham Shimshon returned to Eretz Yisrael. He first lived in Teveria, and later settled in Tzfas.

According to some sources, the Baal Shem Tov and Harav Pinchas of Koritz participated in the wedding of Reb Avraham Shimshon, and the Baal Shem Tov said during the wedding that he saw that Reb Avraham Shimshon would move to Eretz Yisrael. According to another source, Reb Avraham Shimshon moved to Eretz Yisrael while still a bachur.

Among Reb Avraham Shimshon’s manuscripts is a siddur based on the nusach of the Arizal. There are also some divrei Torah from the Baal Shem Tov and from Reb Avraham Shimshon’s father — the Toldos — not printed anywhere else.

Reb Avraham Shimshon was niftar on 8 Elul 5559/1799 and buried in Teveria. He did not have any children.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


September 3

In 1189, England’s King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1658, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, died in London; he was succeeded by his son, Richard.

In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.

In 1868, the Japanese city of Edo was renamed Tokyo.

In 1923, the United States and Mexico resumed diplomatic relations.

In 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio address, Britain’s King George VI said, “With G-d’s help, we shall prevail.” The same day, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner SS Athenia some 250 miles off the Irish coast, killing more than 100 out of the 1,400 or so people on board.

In 1944, British forces liberated Brussels during World War II.

In 1976, America’s Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet’s surface.

In 1994, China and Russia proclaimed an end to any lingering hostilities, pledging they would no longer target nuclear missiles or use force against each other.