This Day in History – January 8/11 Teves

In 5408/1647, the Jews of Mezhibuzh were saved from a Cossack pogrom during Gezeiros Tach v’Tat, thanks to a Jew by the name of Mordechai, whose wife was Esther. Henceforth, it was established as “Purim Mezhibuzh.”


5626/1865 Harav Shlomo Zalman Ulman, zt”l, of Makava

5673/1912, Harav Yehoshua of Dzikov, zt”l, the Ateres Yeshuah

5738/1977, Harav Moshe Bergman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Rashbi

5612/1852, Harav Shlomo Eiger, Zt”l, Rav Of Posen, Mechaber of Gilyon Maharsha

Harav Shlomo Eiger, the second son of Harav Akiva Eiger, was born in 5545/1785 in Lisa.

Rav Akiva Eiger settled in Markisch Friedland after a fire that broke out in Lisa in 5551/1791. In his younger years, Rav Shlomo learned in his father’s famous yeshivah. He quickly became known as an ilui, one of the top talmidim in the yeshivah.

In 5561/1801, at the age of 16, Rav Shlomo married the daughter of Harav Yisrael Hirshzohn, the son of the nagid Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Warsaw.

In the home of his father-in-law, Rav Shlomo continued to excel in his learning. Later he began to help his father-in-law in his business.

Although he ran a business, Rav Shlomo dedicated most of his time to learning. He also wrote many halachic teshuvos.

When for business reasons he was forced to spend time with ministers and governors, he couldn’t wait to return to his learning and would continue exactly where he had left off. Rav Shlomo once explained that this was from a brachah his father had given him before his chuppah, that even if he would have to interrupt his learning, he should always be able to return to his learning without wasting time.

Rav Shlomo lived in Warsaw for 35 years and was very active in the local kehillah. He utilized his business connections for the good of the community.

In 5591/1830 there was an uprising in Poland against the Russian Czar and as a result of this, Rav Shlomo lost most of his fortune. He was forced to seek a rabbinic post to support his family, and became Rav in Kalisch, settling there in 5595/1835.

Rav Shlomo lived in Kalisch for five years, until after the petirah of his father, Rav Akiva, in 5598/1837 when he was asked by the kehillah of Posen to assume his father’s position as Rav.

In 5600/1839, Rav Shlomo was appointed Rav of Posen. The first thing he did was to re-establish his father’s yeshivah. He fought fiercely for Torah-true chinuch in the city.

He was niftar after a short illness on 11 Teves 5612/1851. He was 66 years old.

Rav Shlomo wrote the famous sefer Gilyon Maharsha al haShas, and She’eilos u’Teshuvos Rabi Shlomo Eiger. He also wrote Sefer haIkarim.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Jan. 8

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition.

In 1982, American Telephone and Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

In 1998, Ramzi Yousef, planner of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2004, A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed near Fallujah, Iraq, killing all nine soldiers aboard.

In 2008, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won New Hampshire’s 2008 Democratic primary, defeating Sen. Barack Obama.

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), was shot and critically wounded when a gunman opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed, 12 people were injured.

In 2010, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Dec. 25 and appeared in federal court in Detroit; the judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. Abdulmutallab eventually pleaded guilty and is serving a life prison term.