This Day in History – November 11/24 Cheshvan

In 5701/1940, the SS Patria, with 1,900 desperate immigrants aboard, blew up and sank in Haifa port. Two hundred Jews drowned.


Yahrtzeiten

5404/1643, Harav Avraham Azulai, zt”l, mechaber of the Chessed L’Avraham

5524/1763, Harav Gedalya, Dayan of Zalkava, zt”l

5625/1864, Harav Chaim Yosef Brukstein of Pistin, zt”l

5663/1902, Harav Dovid Twersky, Rebbe of Makarov, zt”l

5668/1907, Harav Hillel Moshe Meshil Gelbstein, zt”l

5748/1987, Harav Rafael Dovid Auerbach, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Shaar Hashamayim


5710/1949, Harav Gedalyah Moshe of Zhvill, zt”l

Harav Gedalyah Moshe Goldman was the son of Harav Shlomo (Reb Shlomke), Rebbe of Zhvill, zy”a. Born on 26 Iyar 5647/1887, he was named Gedalyah after his maternal grandfather Harav Gedalyah, Rebbe of Linitz, zy”a. and Moshe after his paternal grandfather Harav Moshe of Zhvill, zy”a, founder of the dynasty.

He married the daughter of Harav Dovid Shlomo (grandson of Harav Moshe Kobriner). He lived near his father-in-law for several years, devoting himself solely to learning and receiving semichah from many of the Gedolei Hador, among them Harav Chaim of Brisk.

Like his forefathers he loved all Yidden, and excelled in his devotion to the public.

In 5669/1909, when he was just twenty, a delegation of the community in Zhvill asked him to be their Rav.

When the Soviets rose to power, Reb Gedalyah Moshe was sentenced to eight years in a Soviet prison camp in Siberia for “leading a group to undermine the government and spying on behalf of the enemy.”

One Shabbos Rav Gedalia Moshe was summoned by the commandant who told him to sign some papers after which he would be released. Since it was Shabbos Rav Gedalia Moshe refused. “Fine, you will stay here eight more years,” taunted the commandant.

The commandant then summoned Rav Chaim Shaul Bruk, a well-known Lubavitcher rav, who was also interned there, to sign for his release. He too refused whereupon Rav Gedalia Moshe said, “Give me the papers. I shall sign for him,” to the commandant’s bewilderment. He explained, “I’m strong, and can tolerate the conditions here. Reb Chaim Shaul is weaker and remaining here is dangerous to his health. Therefore, for him I will sign.”

In the next several days both were released from the prison.

After, his release Rav Gedalia Moshe was appointed Rav in a city near Moscow.

In 5697/1937, Rav Gedalyah Moshe managed to flee to Eretz Yisrael, where he lived simply in Yerushalayim.

After his father’s petirah in 5705/1945, Rav Gedalyah Moshe accepted the mantle of leadership as Zhviller Rebbe but served for only four and a half years. Crushed by the travails of his people, he was niftar on 24 Cheshvan, 5710/1949.

Rav Gedalyah Moshe was buried in a small cemetery in Sheikh Badar. The location of his kever was not known by many for a long time, but in recent years it has become a makom tefillah. The tziyun is renowned for the segulah of davening there consecutively on Monday, Thursday and Monday.

Rav Gedalyah Moshe’s son Harav Mordechai succeeded him as Rebbe.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Nov. 11

In 1620, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a “body politick.”

In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state.

In 1918, fighting in World War I ended as the Allies and Germany signed an armistice in the Forest of Compiegne.

In 1921, the remains of an unidentified American service member were interred in a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

In 1942, during World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

In 1965, Rhodesia proclaimed its independence from Britain.

In 1966, Gemini 12 blasted off on a four-day mission with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. aboard; it was the tenth and final flight of NASA’s Gemini program.

In 1972, the U.S. Army turned over its base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War.