This Day in History – February 24/12 Adar

This date is mentioned as a Yom Tov in Megillas Taanis. The Roman Caesar Traianus caught Lulianus and Papus, two righteous brothers, in the city of Lod, and had them killed. The Gemara relates (Taanis 18) that when they were captured and brought before Caesar, he exclaimed: “If you are from the same nation of Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah, who were previously saved through a miracle, then a miracle is expected to occur for you, too!”

They responded, “We are not as righteous as they were, and you are not great enough for a miracle to happen through you. We will die because we deserve to be punished.” They were then killed al kiddush Hashem.

Immediately afterward, the emperor was killed by a legion of the Roman army and the rest of the Jewish communities were saved, which led to declaring this day as a Yom Tov. The Yom Tov was subsequently canceled because two other brothers, Shmayah and Achiyah, who were great men, were killed on this day.


Yahrtzeiten

5661/1901, Harav Menachem Mendel Eichenstein, zt”l, the Ziditchover Rebbe

5676/1916, Harav Mordechai Rotblatt, zt”l, of Slonim

5726/1966, Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, zt”l, the Sassover Rebbe

5765/2005, Harav Naftali Tzvi Halberstam, zt”l, the Bobover Rebbe


5697/1937, Harav Alter Eliezer Horowitz, Zy”a, The Beitcher Rebbe

Harav Alter Eliezer was born c. 5650/1890. His father was Harav Aharon, the Rav and Rebbe of Beitch (in Galicia), son of Harav Meir, the Imrei Noam of Dzikov, who in turn was the son of Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, son of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz, the Zera Kodesh, zechusam yagen aleinu.

His mother was Rebbetzin Tila, a”h, a daughter of Harav Chaim, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zy”a. His father named him after his great-grandfather, Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, and added the name Alter.

Rav Alter Eliezer married Rebbetzin Yuta, a”h, the daughter of Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Shapiro, zt”l, the Strizover Rebbe, who was the son-in-law of Harav Baruch of Gorlitz, zt”l, and also a descendant of the Bnei Yissaschar. Their sons were Harav Chaim Shlomo of Strizov, author of Darkei Noam, zy”a,and Harav Yisrael Yaakov Yokel of Volova, author of Heitiv Eitiv, zy”a.

After divorcing Rebbetzin Yuta, he married Rebbetzin Leah, a”h, with whom he had three daughters; two were killed al kiddush Hashem during the Holocaust. Hashem yikom damam.

During WWI, Rav Alter Eliezer’s saintly father was forced to flee Beitch, where he had served as Rav for many years and had attracted many Chassidim. He settled in Kashau, in present-day Ukraine, and continued leading the Beitcher Chassidim who flocked to him. After his petirah in 5687/1927, Harav Alter Eliezer became Beitcher Rebbe.

Harav Alter Eliezer led the Chassidim until his petirah at age 47, on 12 Adar 5697/ 1937, and was buried with great kavod in Kashau.

His son, Harav Chaim Shlomo, zy”a, served as Rav in the town of Zalisha, near Munkacs. After the Holocaust, he moved to America and founded the Strizover beis medrash. He was niftar in 5729/1969.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Feb. 24

In 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson by a vote of 126-47 following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.

In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.

In 1815, American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton, credited with building the first successful commercial steamboat, died in New York at 49.

In 1938, the first nylon bristle toothbrush, manufactured by DuPont under the name “Dr. West’s Miracle Toothbrush,” went on sale.

In 2008, Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel.