In 5587/1826, Harav Dov Ber of Lubavitch, was released from prison. The date of his release is celebrated by Lubavitcher Chassidim as a “festival of liberation.”
In 5702/1941, 27,000 Jews of the Riga ghetto were taken for execution by the Nazis. Hy”d.
5503/1742, Harav Aryeh Leib Berlin, zt”l, the Mochiach of Berlin
5681/1920, Harav Pinchas Menachem Elazar of Piltz, zt”l, the Sifsei Tzaddik
5687/1926, Harav Refael Dabosh of Libya, zt”l, Rosh Beis Din in Tripoli
5703/1942, Harav Menachem Nachum of Husyatin-Lemberg, zt”l
5714/1953, Harav Issar Zalman Meltzer, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Eitz Chaim-Yerushalayim and mechaber of Even HaEzel
Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, Zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah Of Slabodka and Chevron
Harav Moshe Mordechai Epstein was born in the town of Bakst, in the Vilna district of Lithuania, on 20 Adar, 5626/1866. His father was Harav Tzvi Chaim Epstein, zt”l, and his mother was Baila Chana, a”h. His father, who served as Rav of Bakst, had been affectionately referred to during his days in Yeshivas Volozhin as the “Black Iluy,” perhaps due to his jet-black hair and beard.
A child prodigy, Rav Moshe Mordechai began learning in Volozhin at the age of 16 under Harav Chaim Soloveitchik, zt”l, Rav of Brisk. There he met his future brother-in-law, Harav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l.
After his marriage, Rav Moshe Mordechai moved to his wife’s hometown, Kovno, and was joined there two years later by Rav Isser Zalman.
In Kovno, the two studied under Harav Yitzchak Blazer, zt”l (Rav Itzele Peterburger), one of the leading baalei mussar, one of Harav Yisrael Salanter’s foremost talmidim.
In 5654/1894, the brothers-in-law started teaching in the famed Slabodka yeshivah, not far from Kovno. In 5657/1897, the Alter of Slabodka, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, invited Rav Moshe Mordechai to become the Rosh Yeshivah.
Rav Moshe Mordechai accepted, while Rav Isser Zalman moved to the town of Slutsk to lead the Ridvaz’s yeshivah there. The Slabodka yeshivah flourished under the joint leadership of the Alter and Rav Moshe Mordechai.
In 5684/1924, Rav Moshe Mordechai, the Alter, and most talmidei hayeshivah relocated to Chevron.
The yeshivah thrived for five years in Chevron as it had in Europe. But in Av 5689/1929, Arab mobs, incited by the anti-Semitic mufti of Yerushalayim, swarmed into the yeshivah, killing 68 people and wounding many more. Hashem yinkom damam.
In the aftermath, the British authorities evacuated the rest of the Jewish community. The yeshivah relocated to the Geulah section of Yerushalayim; in 5735/1975 it moved to its current location in Givat Mordechai.
Rav Moshe Mordechai was the mechaber of Levush Mordechai, which contains his chiddushim on Shas.
He was niftar on 10 Kislev 5694/1933 at the age of 68.
Zecher tzaddik livrachah.
In 1789, Americans observed a day of thanksgiving set aside by President George Washington to mark the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.
In 1883, former slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Mich.
In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea.
In 1992, the British government announced that Queen Elizabeth II had volunteered to start paying taxes on her personal income and would take her children off the public payroll.
In 2000, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified George W. Bush the winner over Al Gore in the state’s presidential balloting by a 537-vote margin.
In 2008, teams of heavily armed Pakistani terrorists attacked several sites in Mumbai, India, leaving at least 166 people, including Lubavitch Chassidim Rabbi and Mrs. Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, Hy”d, dead, in a rampage lasting some 60 hours.