This Day in History – August 26/6 Elul

In 5700/1940, Italian planes bombed Tel Aviv, killing 117, Hy”d.


5414/1654, Harav Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller, the Tosfos Yom Tov, zt”l

5580/1820, Harav Shabsi, zt”l, Rav of Orla and mechaber of Sheves Achim

5591/1831, Harav Moshe, zt”l, mechaber of Maharam Mintz

5643/1883, Harav Yekusiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, zt”l, the Yetev Lev of Sighet

5729/1969, Harav Yechezkel Sarna, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron

5760/2000, Harav Meir Zvi Ehrentreu, Zt”l, Rosh Kollel, Manchester Yeshiva

Harav Meir Tzvi Hakohen Ehrentreu was the son of Harav Yisrael Ehrentreu. He was born in Frankfurt in 5690/1930.

In time, he went to England and learned under Harav Moshe Schneider, zt”l, in London and later in the Gateshead Yeshiva. He became known for his outstanding hasmadah, unique character traits and depth in learning.

He married the daughter of Harav Yehudah Zev Segal, zt”l, the Manchester Rosh Yeshivah. After his marriage he began to serve as a Maggid Shiur in the Manchester Yeshiva and had a strong influence on his talmidim.

His talmidim regarded him as the transmitter of the legacy of his illustrious father-in-law, Harav Segal, whose sole purpose was to direct them along the paths of Torah and mussar.

Friendly and approachable, he was beloved by everyone. He was thoroughly proficient in Shas, Midrash, Rishonim, Acharonim and sifrei Shu”t, meforshei haTorah and drashos. Rav Meir Zvi was also known for his greatness in Halachah.

An aura of excitement pervaded his shiurim, when in addition to the standard meforshim he added tidbits from the Avnei Nezer, Sdei Chemed, Oneg Yom Tov, Chiddushei Harim and countless other sefarim.

Frequently he would quote from the introduction or a footnote in a sefer. He repeated with relish divrei Torah from Gedolim he had met, and his delight in a chiddush was palpable.

As widely acclaimed as he was for his knowledge of Torah, Rav Meir Zvi was equally well known for his tzidkus, his exceptional middos and his humility. He honored everyone and shunned honor for himself.

When his father-in-law, the Rosh Yeshivah, was niftar, many people turned to Reb Meir Zvi for counsel.

When asked for a brachah he would respond humbly, as though he didn’t understand why he was being asked.

In the last decade or so of his life, Rav Meir Zvi suffered severe ill health, in particular a number of debilitating strokes that significantly affected his ability to learn and teach at the same exalted level as before. Only on rare occasions did one see brief flashes of his earlier brilliance.

However, there were indications that internally Reb Meir Zvi still retained much, if not all, of what he had previously known.

Rav Meir Zvi was niftar on 6 Elul 5760/2000.

He left his devoted Rebbetzin, sons, daughters and sons-in-law and grandchildren, all talmidei chachamim and yirei Shamayim. He also left numerous talmidim who were inspired by him to grow in Torah, yiras Shamayim and middos tovos.

He was buried in the Manchester cemetery beside his father-in-law, Harav Yehudah Zev Segal.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Aug. 26

In 55 B.C.E, Roman forces under Julius Caesar invaded Britain, with only limited success.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing American women’s right to vote, was certified in effect by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.

In 1944, French Gen. Charles de Gaulle braved the threat of German snipers as he led a victory march in Paris, which had just been liberated by the Allies from Nazi occupation.

In 1957, the Soviet Union announced it had successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In 1958, Alaskans went to the polls to overwhelmingly vote in favor of statehood.

In 1972, the summer Olympic games opened in Munich, West Germany.

In 1974, Charles Lindbergh — the first man to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic — died at his home in Hawaii at age 72.

In 2004, the nation’s supply of vaccine for the impending flu season took a big hit when Chiron Corp. announced it had found tainted doses in its factory, and would hold up shipment of about 50 million shots.