This Day in History – August 19/29 Av

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Yahrtzeiten

5591/1831, Harav Moshe of Zaloshen, zt”l, mechaber of Mishpat Tzedek

5669/1909, Harav Shmuel Salant, zt”l, Rav of Yerushalayim

5671/1911, Harav Yisrael Shalom Yosef Heschel, zt”l, Rebbe of Mezhibuzh

5702/1942, Harav Menachem Mendel Alter, Hy”d, Rav of Pavianicz

5705/1945, Harav Avraham Dov, zt”l, Rebbe of Rachmistrivka

5742/1982, Harav Eliezer Zusha Portugal, zt”l, the Skulener Rebbe


5617/1857, Harav Yosef Meir of Machnovka, Zy”a

Harav Yosef Meir Twersky was born on 29 Av 5647/1860 in Skver. He was the son of Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, zy”a, Rebbe of Skver.

Rav Yosef Meir married Basya Rivkah Twersky and was the son-in-law of Harav Menachem Nachum of Loyev, of the Chernobyl dynasty.

After the petirah of his father in 5246/1886, Rav Yosef Meir was appointed Rebbe in the village of Machnovka in Ukraine.

His court attracted many thousands of Chassidim, and his influence was tremendous. Rav Yosef Meir was revered by his generation; many tzaddikim said that he was worthy of being among the talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov.

Rav Yosef Meir was known as a baki in sifrei Kabbalah. He undertook fasts and other self-inflictions.

During World War I many Yidden found refuge in his beis medrash, despite the mesirus nefesh this demanded of him.

Rav Yosef Meir was niftar on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul 5617/1857 in Machnovka. He was 57.

His son Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, zy”a, succeeded him as Rebbe; he later moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he rebuilt the Machnovka court in Bnei Brak.

Rav Yosef Meir’s sons-in-law were Harav Dovid Leib Twersky; Harav Nachum Twersky of Zlotipoli, the son of Rav Dovid of Skver; and Harav Yehoshua Rokeach of Yaroslav.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Aug. 19

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat arrived in Albany, two days after leaving New York City.

In 1848, the New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.

In 1909, the first automobile races were run at the just-opened Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner of the first event was auto engineer Louis Schwitzer, who drove a Stoddard-Dayton touring car twice around the 2.5-mile track at an average speed of 57.4 mph.

In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.

In 1960, a tribunal in Moscow convicted American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage. (Although sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Powers was returned to the United States in 1962 as part of a prisoner exchange.)

In 2004, Google began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, ending the day up $15.34 at $100.34.