This Day in History – 1 Cheshvan/October 14

In 2936/826 B.C.E., the building of the First Beis Hamikdash was completed. The Chanukas Habayis did not take place until the eighth of Tishrei, almost one year later.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5638/1877, Harav Yissachar Dov Ber, the Avodas Yissachar of Velbroz, zy”a


 

5750/1989, Harav Yisrael Shapira, the Bluzhever Rebbe, zt”l

The Bluzhever Rebbe was born in the year 5650/1889. His father, Harav Yehoshua Shapira was known as the Keren Yeshuah.

Reb Yisrael had an especially close relationship with his illustrious zeide, the Tzvi L’Tzaddik of Bluzhev. Because of this, the Bluzhever Rebbe was chosen to edit his manuscripts. While doing so he added his own footnotes, revealing his vast Torah knowledge. In fact, he received semichah at 13!

After marriage, the future Bluzhever Rebbe lived in Zhabne, in the home of his father-in-law. Eight years after his father’s petirah, the Rebbe assumed leadership in the city of Istrik, attracting Chassidim from all over Poland, including those who had followed his father, the Keren Yeshuah, and his grandfather.

The Bluzhever Rebbe miraculously survived the Holocaust. Dozens of inspiring stories are told of his experiences in the concentration camps, including the time he lit Chanukah lecht in ­Bergen Belsen, and when he led the tefillos of Yom Kippur in the death camp of Janowska.

During Pesach in Bergen Belsen, he refused to eat chametz. One woman, a widow, had the foresight to sell her rations, including those of her two small children, to a gentile before Pesach, and redeemed it after Yom Tov. She was extremely touched upon hearing that the Rebbe had risked his life by not eating chametz, and sent him the precious bread she had redeemed.

After the war, a shidduch was suggested to the Rebbe as a zivug sheini. Only after they were married was it discovered that it was his new wife who had saved her future husband’s life by sending him the bread in Bergen Belsen. The Rebbe adopted her two sons, treating them as his own.

The Bluzhever Rebbe was niftar at the age of 100 on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5750/1989 and was brought to kevurah on Har Hazeisim.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

October 14

In 1066, Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.

In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel committed suicide rather than face trial and execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.

In 1947, Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier as he flew an experimental rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy suggested the idea of a Peace Corps in an address at the University of Michigan.