This Day in History – December 3/5 Kislev

5258/1497, the Jews were expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I. The actual decree of expulsion was announced earlier, but the grace period ended on this day


Yahrtzeits

5616/1855, Harav David Luria of Bichov, zt”l, the Chiddushei Haradal

5646/1885, Harav Yaakov Yehuda Tennenbaum, zt”l, Rebbe of Nadrezin

5659/1898, Harav Yonasan Aleishberg, zt”l, mechaber of Darchei Hora’a

5700/1939 Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Kamenitz


5634/1873, Harav Asher Anshel Halevi Jungreis, Zt”l, the Menuchas Asher of Czenger

Harav Asher Anshel Halevi Jungreis, the Menuchas Asher of Czenger, was born in Secze, Hungary, into a family of Rabbinic aristocracy. He was a talmid of the Maharam Ash. His phenomenal growth in Torah in his youth enabled him to develop into a Gadol baTorah. At the age of 28 he became Mara d’Asra of the city of Czenger.

During his early years in Czenger he suffered from poverty. Somehow, though, he nevertheless managed to find funds to support numerous widows and to marry off orphans. He also sent large sums for the poor of Eretz Yisrael. After his death, a receipt for the unbelievable amount of 25,000 gold coins was found in his possession. In appreciation, the people of Yerushalayim sent Rav Jungreis a fine garment of the type worn in their city. The Rav made a point of wearing it continually, and it can be seen in the famous photo of the Czenger Rav.

When the Czenger Rav was 36 years old, his reputation had already spread throughout Hungary and beyond. People streamed to him from all over to receive his blessings and advice, and everyone knew that whoever followed the tzadik’s advice would have success. He was particularly known for his segulos and blessings that healed the sick and aided the needy.

Among the many tzaddikim who expressed their highest regards for Harav Asher Anshel Jungreis was Harav Meir of Premishlan. He sent the Czenger Rav an invaluable gift: a handwritten siddur prepared by a truly G-d-fearing sofer. The Menuchas Asher treasured this gift and made it his practice to daven specifically from this siddur. It remains in the possession of his descendants to this day,.

On the night of 5 Kislev 5634/1873, Rav Asher Anshel finished davening Maariv and sat down to deliver a Gemara shiur. Later that night the Czenger Rav lay down in his bed and passed away in his sleep. He had led his flock for over 40 years.

His kever in Czenger has been known as a makom tefillah where one’s tefillos are accepted.

In addition to his seminal work, Menuchas Asher, Rav Jungreis’s history is recorded in Niflaos Asher and Toldos Anshei Mofes. His legacy has been carried on by his many descendants, who for many doros have provided direction and leadership to Yidden as Rabbanim and manhigim. (Over 80 of his descendants who were killed during the Holocaust, Hy”d, were leading Rabbanim and teachers in Hungary.)

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


Dec. 3

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

In 1967, a surgical team in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the donor organ.

In 1999, Tori Murden of the United States became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone as she arrived at the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, 81 days after leaving the Canary Islands near the coast of Africa.

In 2018, after a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived at the asteroid Bennu, some 76 million miles from Earth. The goal was to grab gravel samples in 2020 for return to Earth in 2023.