This Day in History – 10 Elul/August 16

10 Elul

In 1656/2105 B.C.E., according to Rabi Eliezer, Noach opened the window of the teivah and dispatched a raven to determine if the floodwaters had begun to recede.

In 5444/1684, after surviving an attack, Jews of the ghetto in Buda (Hungary) declared the day a Purim.


5509/1749, Harav Menachem Nachum, zt”l, the father of Harav Chaim Sanzer of the Brodi Kloiz

5551/1791, Harav Pinchas Shapiro of Koritz, zt”l

5695/1935, Harav Gavriel Zev Margulies, zt”l

5707/1947, Harav Moshe Yehudah Leib Friedman of Peshkan, zt”l


10 Elul 5772/2012

Harav Elimelech Ashkenazi, zt”l, the Melbourner Rav

Harav Elimelech Ashkenazi was born in Budapest, Hungary. His father was Harav Alexander Chaim Ashkenazi, nasi of Yeshivas Ohr Torah in Stanislav and later one of the founders of the Satmar mosdos in Yerushalayim.

According to family members, he was born on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5677/1917, and was thus 95 at his petirah. Some sources indicate that he may have been older.

He spent his childhood years in Stanislav, basking in the presence of his paternal grandfather, Harav Itzikel of Alesk, zy”a. Harav Chaim Hager, the Antiniye Rebbe, whose court was also located in Stanislav, would farher Elimelech, and derive much enjoyment from listening to the young talmid chacham.

At the age of 15 he joined the famed Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, studying under Harav Meir Shapiro, zt”l, and learned together with, ybl”c, Hagaon Harav Shmuel Wosner, shlita, of Bnei Brak. The Rav, who was a powerful and eloquent speaker, would mention his Rebbe, Harav Meir Shapiro, in nearly every public address he gave. At the yeshivah, Reb Elimelech forged an exceptionally close relationship with the famed mekubal, Harav Shimon Zelichover, Hy”d.

He later learned in Ungvar, at the yeshivah led by Harav Avraham Yosef Greenwald, zt”l, the son of the Arugas Habosem.

The Rav, being a descendant of the Sar Shalom, the first Rebbe of Belz, had a close connection with the Belzer Rebbes. He was also very close to the Satmar Rebbe, Harav Yoel Teitelbaum, zy”a.

In 5700/1940, Reb Elimelech emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, and shortly thereafter he married the daughter of Harav Zalman Weber, zt”l, Rav of Frankfurt.

In Eretz Yisrael, he gave regular shiurim in the Satmar and Belzer batei medrash.

In 5717/1957 the Tchebiner Rav, zt”l, instructed Reb Elimelech to accept a position in rabbanus, and he subsequently became Rav in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After selflessly serving this kehillah with great devotion for 12 years, he accepted an offer to become Rav of Adass Yisrael in Melbourne, Australia.

Upon leaving Brazil, his son-in-law, Harav Meir Avraham Illowitz, succeeded him as Rav of Sao Paulo.

Reb Elimelech served as Rav in Melbourne for 18 years, leaving a powerful and enduring impact. In 5747/1987 he moved to Seagate in Brooklyn, where he served as Rav of Khal Chavas Daas.

He was niftar on 10 Elul, 5772/2012, at the age of 95, and his mittah was flown to Eretz Yisrael, where he was buried on Har Hazeisim, in Yerushalayim.

He merited to leave behind, ybl”c, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren who are continuing in his illustrious ways.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


President Abraham Lincoln's Union Blockade Proclamations (Proclamations 86)
President Abraham Lincoln’s Union Blockade Proclamations (Proclamations 86)

August 16

In 1777, American forces won the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued Proclamation 86, which prohibited the states of the Union from engaging in commercial trade with states in rebellion — i.e., the Confederacy.

In 1913, future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was born in Brest in present-day Belarus.

In 1956, Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.