This Day in History – April 21/27 Nissan

27 Nisan

In 5703/1943, 13,000 Jews of Amsterdam were deported to Sobibor and Auschwitz. The deportation lasted until 30 Av of that year.


Yahrtzeiten

5565/1805, Harav Yichya Tzalach of Taimon, zt”l, mechaber of Eitz Chaim and Pe’ulas Hatzedek

5567/1807, Harav Yitzchak Ashkenazi, zt”l, mechaber of Taharas Hakodesh

5579/1819, Harav Yehudah Kahana, zt”l, mechaber of Kuntres Hasefeikos

5703/1943, Harav Tzvi Aryeh Frommer, Hy”d, the Koziglover Rav

5729/1969, Harav Yeshayah Asher Zelig Margulies, zt”l, a mekubal of Yerushalayim and mechaber of Kumi V’roni and many other sefarim

5740/1980, Harav Levi Yitzchak Greenwald, zt”l, the Tzehlemer Rav, who is buried in Long Island


Harav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, Rav of Kehillas Bais Yisrael in Flatbush

Harav Avigdor Miller was born in 5669/1909 in Baltimore, Maryland.

His diligence was evident even as a youngster. As a teenager he journeyed to New York to attended Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanon, where he progressed tremendously in Torah.

During the 1920s, Hagaon Harav Isaac Scher, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of the Slobodka Yeshiva, came to America to raise funds for his yeshivah, when he returned to Slobodka, the young Avigdor Miller joined him.

In his six years in Slobodka, he absorbed the unique Slobodka derech in mussar.

While in Slobodka, one of its leading products, Harav Yaakov Moshe Lessin, zt”l, took him as a husband for his daughter, Chana Ettil. Harav Miller’s two oldest children were born in Slobodka. But in the 1930s, when it looked like war was inevitable, the Miller family moved to America, where Rav Miller became Rav in Chelsea, Mass.

After close to a decade, for the sake of their own children’s chinuch the Millers moved to New York. Harav Yitzchak Hutner, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, invited him to become the menahel ruchani of his yeshivah, a position he held for 20 years.

He became Rav of the Young Israel of Rugby, where he inspired baale battim towards tremendous Torah growth. He was one of the first to record his shiurim, so they could be widely distributed. As his thousands of hashkafa tapes spread worldwide, Jews from all sectors of the community became his talmidim. Additonally, his sefarim such as Rejoice, O Youth, Behold A People and Sing, You Righteous articulated many aspects of Torah ideology in English for the first time.

His books on Jewish history clearly demonstrated how world events had been orchestrated by Hashem for the sake of the Jewish people.

Harav Miller was niftar at the age of 92, and he was mourned by all of Klal Yisrael.

His son, Harav Shmuel recounted part of his will at the levaya:

“Do not cry much over me because Hashem has done kindness with me all my days. He saved me … I was never sick and He gave me a pleasant old age. My wife … always did kindness for me and I was satiated with happiness … from my sons and daughters and sons-in-law and grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I merited to know. All are shlomei emunei Yisrael.

“I also had great joy from … my kehilla. I recognize and thank them for all my days of success. Hodu LaHashem al tuvo hagadol — give thanks to Hashem for His great kindness!”

Zecher tzaddik livrachah


April 21

In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.

In 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.

In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn.

In 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the “Red Baron,” was killed in action during World War I.

In 1960, Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro.

In 1995, the FBI arrested former soldier Timothy McVeigh at an Oklahoma jail where he’d spent two days on minor traffic and weapons charges; he was charged in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier.