This Day in History – 9 Elul/September 9

9 Elul

In 5027/1267, the Ramban arrived in Yerushalayim after being forced to flee his native Spain. He revived the Jewish community there soon after his arrival.

In 5151/1391, Jews of Gerona, Spain, were massacred, Hy”d.

In 5698/1938, Jewish teachers and students were barred from all Italian schools.


Yahrtzeiten

2195, Dan, the son of Yaakov Avinu. He was also born on this day, in 2320.

5567/1807, Harav Yissachar Dov Kremer of Vilna, zt”l, brother of the Vilna Gaon

5620/1860, Harav Shimon Zarchi, zt”l, mechaber of She’eilos U’Teshuvos Nachlas Shimon

5694/1934, Harav Aharon Menachem Mendel Gutterman, zy”a, Radziminer Rebbe.

5718/1958, Harav Yonasan Steif, zt”l, Rav of Budapest and the Viener Rav in America, mechaber of Chadashim Gam Yeshanim.

5728/1968, Harav Yitzchak Friedman, zy”a, Husyatiner Rebbe.

5736/1976, Harav Nachum Mordechai Perlow, zy”a, Novominsker Rebbe.


5660/1900

Harav Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin, the Pri Tzaddik, Zy”a

Harav Tzadok Hakohen Rabinowitz was born on 22 Shevat 5583/February 3, 1823, to Harav Yaakov, the Rav of Kreisburg, Latvia, and Rebbetzin Yuta, who was a descendant of the Shelah Hakadosh.

From his earliest years, people predicted that he was destined for greatness. At 12, he was already answering she’eilos in halachah. At his bar mitzvah he delivered an intricate pilpul, astounding all his hearers.

At 15, he became a son-in-law of a wealthy wine merchant, in whose home he continued to serve Hashem with growing fervor. In 5600/1840, when he was 17, he completed Shas, as he mentioned in a letter. He wrote a number of sefarim in those years: Otzar Hamelech on Rambam, Meishiv Hataanah on ibur hashanah and Sefer Hazichronos.

His success brought down upon him the fury of some of the townspeople, who disseminated vicious, unfounded rumors about his household. Unfortunately, Harav Tzadok was forced to leave the home of his father-in-law and seek a heter meah rabbanim.

Due to this sad reality, he had to travel extensively and thus met many Rabbanim and Admorim. He was drawn closer to Chassidus and eventually became a close talmid of Harav Mordechai Yosef Leiner, the Beis Yaakov of Ishbitze, zy”a.

After the petirah of Harav Mordechai Yosef in 5614/1854, many Chassidim went to his son, while others chose Harav Yehudah Leib Eiger, zy”a, of Lublin as their Rebbe. Harav Tzadok became a devoted follower of Reb Leibele, traveling to him in Lublin. During that period Harav Tzadok lived in seclusion, devoting himself entirely to avodas Hashem.

In 5648/1888, after the petirah of Reb Leibele, Harav Tzadok was chosen by many Chassidim as their Rebbe.

At one point Harav Tzadok was offered the rabbanus of Lublin, but he refused it. He devoted his life to writing his sefarim and serving Hashem.

Harav Tzadok eventually remarried and raised his Rebbetzin’s children. He eschewed all worldly pleasures, conducting himself with humility and kedushah. He would barely eat; in fact, he only ate at the daily siyum that he conducted. He did not accept any money from Chassidim except for that given to him at a pidyon haben, which was rightfully his by Torah law since he was a kohen.

Harav Tzadok led his Chassidim for nearly 13 years. In 5660/1900 he became considerably weakened. As he never had any children of his own, he asked his stepchildren to print his sefarim. He was niftar on 9 Elul and was buried in the ohel of his beloved Rebbe, Harav Yehudah Leib of Lublin.

Among the many sefarim he was mechaber are Pri Tzaddik, Tzidkas Hatzaddik, Resisei Laylah and Takanas Hashavin. In his sefarim he records many chiddushim that were revealed to him in dreams.

Many of his manuscripts remained unpublished. Harav Tzadok’s sefarim are a precious legacy to Yidden from all walks of life who seek closeness to Hashem, since in them he covers the gamut of revealed and hidden aspects of the Torah.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Sept. 9

In 1776, the 2nd Continental Congress made the term “United States” official.

In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.

In 1943, Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War II.

In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was declared.