This Day in History – 1 Kislev/November 4

"USA, Give Back the American Shah Soon" proclaims a poster on the gates of the American Embassy in Tehran. Students stormed the embassy and held the staff hostage against the deportation of the former Shah of Iran from the United States.  (AP Photo)
“USA, Give Back the American Shah Soon” proclaims a poster on the gates of the American Embassy in Tehran. Students stormed the embassy and held the staff hostage against the deportation of the former Shah of Iran from the United States. (AP Photo)


5202/1441, Harav Efraim Alankava, zt”l, Rav of Telmisan, Algeria, mechaber of Shaar Kevod Hashem

5312/1551, Harav Trivash of Mantova, zt”l

5319/1558, Harav Shalom Shachna, Rav of Lublin, zt”l

5472/1711, Harav Moshe Chaifetz, zt”l, mechaber of Meleches Shabbos

5614/1853, Harav Avraham Eiger of Posen, zt”l

5653/1892, Harav Chaim Nosson Dembitzer, zt”l, mechaber of Klilas Yofi

5665/1904, Harav Moshe Hager of Radovitz, zt”l, mechaber of Vayikach Moshe

5672/1911, Harav Yitzchak Levitan, zt”l, a chacham in Aram Tzova (Aleppo)

5697/1936, Harav Yisrael Ungar of Zavna, zt”l



Harav Yosef Shmuel of Cracow, zt”l, the Mesores HaShas

Harav Shmuel (the name Yosef was added later) was born in Kremnitz. His father, Harav Tzvi Hirsch, was his main Torah teacher.

Reb Shmuel settled in Cracow after marrying the daughter of Reb Chaim Yeshayah the blacksmith, who generously supported him.

The Gedolim in Cracow at that time, among them the Maginei Shlomo and the Tosfos Yom Tov, realized the greatness of Reb Shmuel and appointed him to the city’s beis din.

When Harav Yeshayah Horowitz, grandson of the Shelah Hakadosh, was appointed Rav in Posen, the kehillah of Frankfurt sent a delegation to Cracow to ask Reb Shmuel to be their new Rav. He refused, and the delegation left Cracow heavyhearted.

Soon after they left the city, Reb Shmuel became deathly ill. Doctors could find neither cause nor cure for his disease. Many tefillos were said on his behalf, and the name Yosef was added to his name.

At that time, Reb Shmuel promised that if he overcame the illness, he would accept the position of Rav in Frankfurt, since he understood his refusal to be the reason for his illness.

As soon as he was healthy enough, he moved to Frankfurt and assumed the Rabbanus. This was in Tammuz 5450/1690.

In Frankfurt, Reb Shmuel established a yeshivah and taught hundreds of talmidim, many of whom became Gedolei Yisrael. Reb Shmuel elevated the prestige of the Torah and those who toiled in it in Frankfurt.

His soft and gracious ways were his trademark, and his care for orphans and poor families was legendary.

Reb Shmuel was niftar on 1 Kislev 5464/1703, after serving as Rav in Frankfurt for 14 years (and in Cracow for the previous 26 years).

Reb Shmuel was survived by one son, Harav Aryeh Leib, Rav in Mattersdorf and two sons-in-law: Harav Aharon and Harav Pinchas Auerbach, the mechaber of Halachah Berurah on Orach Chaim.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

November 4

In 1862, inventor Richard J. Gatling received a U.S. patent for his rapid-fire Gatling gun.

In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine.

In 1922, the entrance to King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in Egypt.

In 1924, Nellie T. Ross of Wyoming was elected the nation’s first female governor to serve out the remaining term of her late husband, William B. Ross.

In 1939, the United States modified its neutrality stance in World War II, allowing “cash and carry” purchases of arms by belligerents, a policy favoring Britain and France.

In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.

In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

The highly secretive National Security Agency came into existence.

In 1979, the Iran hostage crisis began as militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants; for some, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Jimmy Carter by a strong margin.

In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California. In attendance were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon — the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.

In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated minutes after attending a festive peace rally.