This Day in History – 8 Tammuz/July 11

8 Tammuz

In 5327/1567, the Jews were expelled from Genoa, Italy.

In 5594/1834, Spanish Queen Maria Christina abolished the Spanish Inquisition, which had existed for 300 years.

In 5663/1903, a pogrom took place in Bialystok, Poland.

Yahrtzeiten

5550/1790, Harav Shaul, zt”l, Rav of Amsterdam and mechaber of Binyan Ariel

5608/1848, Harav Shimon Shlomo Gutterman, Rebbe of Savorn, zt”l

5638/1878, Harav Yechiel Chaim Halevi Epstein, zt”l, of Ozhorov

5639/1879, Harav Yosef Alter Hager, zt”l, Rebbe of Radovitz-Chaifa

5659/1899 Harav Eliyahu Mani, zt”l, Rav of Chevron and mechaber of Zichronos Eliyahu and others

5678/1918, Harav Mordechai Twersky of Kuzmir, zt”l

5696/1936, Harav Chaim Mordechai Yaakov Gottlieb, Rav of Mishkoltz, zt”l, mechaber of Yagel Yaakov


5637/1877

Harav Meir of Dzikov, the Imrei Noam, Zt”l

Harav Meir of Dzikov was born in 5579/1819; his father was Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, zy”a, son of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, zy”a. The young Meir merited to know his illustrious grandfather, the heilige Ropshitzer Rav.

Rav Meir was educated by his father and also by his uncle, Harav Asher Yeshaya of Ropshitz, zy”a, one of the Ropshitzer’s sons-in-law. He traveled regularly to Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Rimanov, zy”a, and the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zy”a.

In his youth, Rav Meir was already recognized as a Gadol baTorah, and corresponded with Gedolim like Harav Yosef Shaul Nathanson, zt”l.

In 5621/1861, Rav Eliezer was appointed Rav of Dzikov. After the petirah of his father, Rav Meir succeeded him.

During the Imrei Noam’s time, Gedolim differed over the issue of Jews moving to America, which was then a spiritual wasteland. The Imrei Noam supported those who wished to go, saying, “Even in America, there should resound the words Amen, Yehei Shmei Rabba…!”

He is known by the name of his sefer, Imrei Noam, a number of volumes on Torah, moadim and she’eilos u’teshuvos.

Before the Imrei Noam was niftar, he became extremely weak. His doctors advised him to travel to the health spa of Carlsbad, but Rav Meir did not agree; he preferred to remain at home in Dzikov. His children urged him to go.

Finally, the Dzikover Rebbe gave in to their pleas.

He arrived in Carlsbad in 5637/1877 on a Tuesday and the very next day he passed away. By the time his body was brought back to Dzikov for burial, it was already Friday.

The Ahavas Yisrael of Vizhnitz once came into the beis medrash on the yahrtzeit of his father-in-law, the Imrei Noam, and asked those present if they had learned mishnayos l’iluy nishmaso.

The Chassidim asked, “Does the Imrei Noam need our mishnayos?”

In answer, the Ahavas Yisrael related that the Imrei Noam had once entered the beis medrash on the yahrtzeit of Rav Naftali of Ropshitz and had asked the lomdim if they had learned mishnayos for Rav Naftali. When they too expressed surprise, the Imrei Noam explained, “When a person learns mishnayos for the soul of someone who does not need it, the merit of those mishnayos reverts to the learner.”

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


July 11

In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band.

In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. (Hamilton died the next day.)

In 1859, Big Ben, the great bell inside the famous London clock tower, chimed for the first time.

In 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began playing in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Fischer won after 21 games.)

In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.