This Day in History – December 4/6 Kislev

In 5382/1621, the Shelah Hakadosh arrived in Eretz Yisrael. After he arrived he first visited Tzfas, and then went to Yerushalayim, where he served as Rav and Rosh Yeshivah of the Ashkenazic community for many years.

In 5446/1685, Jews were barred from settling in Stockholm, Sweden.


Yahrtzeiten

5630/1869, Harav Menachem Ash, zt”l, Rav of Ungvar

5718/1957, Harav Chaim Michoel Ber Weissmandel, zt”l, Nitra Rav

5755/1994, Harav Yechezkel Shraga Lipshitz-Halberstam, zt”l, the Stropkover Rebbe, mechaber of Divrei Yechzkel Shraga

5759/1998, Harav Chaim Shmuel Lopian, zt”l, mechaber of Ravcha Shmaatsa


5712/1951, Harav Yaakov Moshe Charlap, Zt”l, Rav of Shaarei Chessed

Harav Yaakov Moshe was born in 5643/1883 in Yerushalayim to Harav Zevulun Charlap, zt”l, a Dayan in the beis din of Harav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, zt”l. He studied in the famous Eitz Chaim cheder, and under the tutelage of his father as well. Rav Yehoshua Leib was mekarev him, foreseeing that he would become great.

In 5658/1898, when he was but 15 years old, his father and his Rebbi, Rav Yehoshua Leib, were both niftar, leaving him doubly orphaned. He wrote at that time, “It seemed as if the world has gone dark for me…”

In 5668/1908 the neighborhood of Shaarei Chessed was founded as a suburb of Yerushalayim, and Rav Yaakov Moshe, despite being only 25 years old, became its Rav. His home became a center of Torah and avodah, where members of the community constantly gathered.

On Shabbosos and Yamim Tovim the Rav’s house was packed, especially on the night of Shvi’i shel Pesach when the Rav would sit in his white kapota and recite the Shirah.

For many years he gave a shiur in Yeshiva Etz Chaim. Eventually, Rav Yaakov Moshe was asked to become Rav of Rechavia, a newer area in Yerushalayim. He sought to transfer the Torah atmosphere of Shaarei Chessed to Rechavia, despite it being a more diverse and modern neighborhood.

He joined many Rabbanim on missions to strengthen Yiddishkeit in the yishuvim that dotted the country, and was successful in many cases.

In his old age he founded Kollel Beis Zevul, named for his father. He was niftar on 6 Kislev and buried on Har Hazeisim.

Rav Yaakov Moshe was a prolific writer who published multitudes of articles and maamarim. His teshuvos are published in the 10-volume She’eilos uTeshuvos Beis Zevul. He also authored Mei Marom, Tzvi Latzadik, and Igros Larav.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Dec. 4

In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard on a two-week mission. While Gemini 7 was in orbit, its sister ship, Gemini 6A, was launched on Dec. 15 on a one-day mission; the two spacecraft were able to rendezvous within a foot of each other.

In 2000, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory over Al Gore in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.