This Day in History – 1 Av/July 8

Shaar blatt of sefer Meged Eretz.
Shaar blatt of sefer Meged Eretz.

1 Av

In 1657/2104 B.C.E., the mountaintops became visible, during the Mabul, according to Rabi Eliezer.

3414/347 B.C.E., Ezra Hasofer and his followers arrived in Yerushalayim.

In 5703/1943, the mostly Jewish captives in Treblinka initiated a revolt.

In 5707/1947, a British ship seized the S.S. Exodus, which was carrying 4,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors to Eretz Yisrael, and forced it to return to Germany.


2489/1272 B.C.E., Aharon Hakohen, zt”l, the only yahrtzeit mentioned in the Torah

5383/1623, Harav Eliezer Isserlish, zt”l, brother of the Rema

5460/1700, Harav Yosef, zt”l, Rav of Dubna, mechaber of Yesod Yosef

5491/1731, Harav Yisrael Avraham Zev of Chevron, zt”l, mechaber of Orim Gedolim

5502/1742, Harav Asher Ginzburg, zt”l, Rav of Wallerstein, son of the Shaagas Aryeh

5643/1883, Harav Shmuel Ehrenfeld, zt”l, the Chasam Sofer

5723/1963, Harav Yaakov Moshe Shurkin, zt”l, Rosh Mesivta of Mesivta Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin

5760/2000, Harav Shlomo Halberstam of Bobov, zt”l



Harav Aharon Halberstam, zt”l, Rav of Sanz, son of the Divrei Chaim

Harav Aharon Halberstam was born in 5586/1826, in Rudnick. His father was Harav Chaim, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.

He was a talmid of his father, and would also travel to the courts of other leading Rebbes, among them Harav Tzvi Hirsh of Rimanov, Harav David of Tolna, the Sar Shalom of Belz and Harav Avraham of Trisk.

Reb Aharon married the daughter of the naggid Reb Yaakov Weinberger of Dukla.

In 5617/1857, Reb Aharon was appointed Rav in the city of Sanz.

Following his father’s petirah (25 Nisan 5636/1876), Reb Aharon was the only son who was not appointed Rebbe. He refused to accept the chassidim who came to his house.

During his tenure as Rav, Reb Aharon applied a cherem against one of the residents of the city, who refused to accept the ruling of his beis din. This incident led to Reb Aharon being imprisoned for six weeks.

Reb Aharon wrote down many chiddushei Torah, but shortly before his passing, he burned all his manuscripts.

After taking ill, Reb Aharon traveled to Vienna to meet with doctors. He was niftar as he made his way home, on Rosh Chodesh Av 5663/1903, at age 77. He was buried in the ohel with his father, in Sanz.

Reb Aharon’s sons were Harav Shmuel Shmelke; Harav Shalom, who served as Rav in Pikli and Sanz; and Harav Aryeh Leibish of Sanz-Gribov. His son-in-law was Harav Moshe Halberstam of Bardiov.

Some of his divrei Torah were published in Meged Eretz, by Harav Aharon Halberstam of Biale-Bilitz (a great-nephew) and in other sefarim as well.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


July 8

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.

In 1853, an expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.

In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was first published.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France.

In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman ended up firing MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower began a visit to Canada, where he conferred with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and addressed the Canadian Parliament.

In 1972, the Nixon administration announced a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets were also engaged in secretly buying subsidized American grain, resulting in what critics dubbed “The Great Grain Robbery.”)

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford announced he would seek a second term of office.

In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.