This Day in History – April 23/29 Nissan

29 Nisan

In 5681/1921, three Jews were killed and many were wounded by an Arab mob in Petach Tikva.


Yahrtzeiten

5589/1829 Harav Yehuda Meir Shapiro of Shipitivka, son of Harav Pinchos of Koritz.

5618/1858 Harav Moshe of Kobrin


5739/1979

Harav Mordechai Shalom Yosef Of Sadigura, Zy”a, the Knesses Mordechai

Harav Mordechai Shalom Yosef was born on 17 Kislev 5656/1895 in Sadigura to Harav Aharon, zy”a, the Kedushas Aharon of Sadigura and son of Rav Yisrael, zy”a, the Ohr Yisrael of Sadigura, and Rebbetzin Sara Sheindel Roiza, a”h, daughter of Harav Shalom Yosef, zy”a, son of the Alter Rebbe of Husyatin, zy”a.

Rav Mordechai Shalom Yosef learned under his father in his early years.

When he was 12, the young Mordechai Shalom Yosef was spending untold hours learning, determined to finish all of Shas twice before becoming bar mitzvah.

He became engaged simultaneously to Mirel Mira, daughter of Harav Yisrael Shalom Yosef of Mezhibuz. The chasunah took place five years later. Both the chassan and the kallah were orphaned of their fathers in the interim; because of that, many Chassidim attended the wedding.

From when he became the Sadigura Rebbe after his wedding, he led his flock with wisdom, kindness and nobility. However, this idyllic period lasted only two years, until the outbreak of World War I, when the Rebbe was forced to flee to Vienna. He opened his home to all, and upon the conclusion of the war took an active part in the reconstruction of authentic Jewish life.

As soon as travel became possible after WWI, the Rebbe began making circuits throughout Poland and Galicia to visit the kevarim of his fathers and to attend to his Chassidim.

In 5683/1923 he decided to open a yeshivah gedolah in Pshemishl, in addition to the yeshivah ketanah, naming it Yeshivas Meshivas Nafesh. In time the yeshivah opened a branch in the town of Yosepov-Lubalsky. Finally, in 5694/1934, the Rebbe moved to Pshemishl himself, his last stop in the Diaspora before moving to Eretz Yisrael.

Throughout the years, the Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim to settle in Eretz Yisrael. A few months before the outbreak of World War II the Rebbe made a second trip to Eretz Yisrael, during which he was urged to stay by his uncle, Harav Yisrael of Husyatin, zy”a, who had settled there a few years earlier.

Rav Mordechai Shalom Yosef agreed, and miraculously was able to bring his entire family over at the last moment before the outbreak of war. He settled in Tel Aviv and founded a beis medrash.

The Rebbe suffered poor health in his later years, but continued his avodas hakodesh until his petirah on 29 Nisan 5739/1979. During his last evening he recited vidui and the krias Shema of the Ari. In the morning he arose, washed his hands, recited Asher Yatzar, asked for some water to say Shehakol, lay down and returned his soul to his Creator.

The Rebbe was buried in the Nachalas Yitzchak cemetery in Tel Aviv.

Yehi zichro baruch.


April 23

In 1789, President-elect Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke Negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version.

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who’d confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and then insisted he’d been framed, died at a Nashville hospital at age 70.

In 2004, President Bush eased Reagan-era sanctions against Libya in return for Muammar Gadhafi’s giving up weapons of mass destruction.