This Day in History – January 13/29 Teves

According to Rabi Yehuda, today marks the end of choref (winter season).

In 5374/1614, a ta’anis tzibbur was declared in Vermeiza (Worms), Germany, marking the return of the Jews who had earlier been expelled

In 5414/1654), Recife, Brazil was conquered by Portugal, putting an end to the flourishing Jewish community there.

In 5555/1795), Purim Burgel was established in Tripoli, commemorating the downfall of the Burgel Pasha.


Yahrtzeiten

5562/1802, Harav Alexander Margulies, Rav of Satanov, zt”l

5650/1890, Harav Nosson Adler of London, zt”l, the Nesinah LaGer

5658/1898, Harav Moshe Yehoshua Leib Diskin, Rav of Brisk-Yerushalayim, zt”l

5670/1910, Harav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak, Rebbe of Alexander, zt”l, the Yismach Yisrael

5757/1997, Harav Asher Anshel Kraus, Rebbe of Ratzfert, zt”l

5749/1989, Harav Meir Chodosh, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Chevron

5766/2006, Harav Yitzchok Kaduri, zt”l


5670/1910, Harav Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak Danzinger, the Yismach Yisrael of Alexander, Zy”a

Born in 5613/1853 to the first Rebbe of Alexander (Poland), Harav Yechiel Danzinger, zy”a, he was named after the Vorka Rebbe, Harav Yisrael Yitzchak, zy”a, who was known as Rav Yitzchak of Vorka. He married the daughter of Harav Dov Ber Chetchik of Poltosk. At the tender age of 7, his father already took him along to Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka, zy”a, for Shavuos.

After the Vorka Rebbe’s passing, Reb Yisrael’s father took him to Harav Yaakov Arye of Radzimin, zy”a, who foretold Reb Yisrael Yitzchok’s greatness, and to Harav Beirush of Biala, zy”a. After the Biala Rebbe’s passing, his father became Alexander Rebbe and led the chassidim.

He reached a very high level in Torah and avodah while yet a child.

After his father’s passing on 14 Shevat 5654/1894, the Yismach Yisrael was chosen as Rebbe by the chassidim. He initially refused vehemently but eventually acceded to them. In his humility, he refused to admit any claim to the position except yerushas avos. He refused to take money from his chassidim; he lived on the salary that he received as Rav of Alexander.

The Yismach Yisrael was renowned for his ahavas Yisrael and for his wisdom. His advice was sought by thousands from all over Poland, and in his later years he was receiving chassidim most of the day.

Once, a man came to him for a yeshuah in parnassah. The Rebbe knew that he kept his store open on Shabbos, and therefore his parnassah did not have blessing. The Rebbe told the man, “I can give you a brachah on condition that you will take me in as a partner in the business.” The person happily agreed. Then the Rebbe exclaimed, “Good! Now my portion of the partnership will be for Shabbos, and therefore the store shall remain closed.” The man was caught off guard, but of course agreed.

The Yismach Yisrael passed away on Erev Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5670 (1910) at the age of 57 and was buried in Alexander.

Sadly, he did not merit having any children; his brother, the Tiferes Shmuel, succeeded him.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


Jan. 13

In 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, while en route to settle in present-day Georgia.

In 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. The number of stripes was later reduced to the original 13.

In 1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,” was published in Paris.

In 1941, a new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship.