This Day in History – 11 Iyar/April 30

In 5270/1510, 1,500 sefarim and manuscripts were seized in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 5708/1948, the Syrian army, which had advanced to Deganya, was miraculously halted and repulsed.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5592/1832, Harav Yitzchak of Radvill, zt”l, son of Harav Yechiel Mechel, the Zlotochover Maggid

5604/1844, Harav Yehudah Tzvi Brandwein of Stretin, zt”l


 

5587/1827, Harav Naftali Tzvi Horowitz Of Ropshitz, zy”a

On the day that the Baal Shem Tov was nistalek, the first day of Shavuos 5520/1760, a son was born to Reb Menachem Mendel of Linsk and Rebbetzin Baila, daughter of Harav Yitzchak Horowitz, known as Reb Itzikel Hamburger. He was named Naftali Tzvi. Reb Naftali studied in the yeshivah of his uncle, Reb Meshulam Igra. Young Naftali completed the entire Shas still before his bar mitzvah.

To don tefillin for the first time, his father took him to Harav Yechiel Mechel of Zlotchov. Later, Reb Naftali would relate that as Reb Yechiel Mechel fitted the tefillin to his head, he connected him to a higher spiritual world from which he never detached himself.

Reb Naftali married the daughter of Harav Velvel Stoker, a prominent nagid in Brod.

When Reb Naftali was about 20 years old, he was inspired to travel to Lizhensk to visit the holy Rebbe Reb Elimelech. Reb Elimelech, however, would not receive him, stating that he was not interested in talmidim with yichus. Reb Elimelech relented only after intense pleading by Reb Naftali, who quickly became the Rebbe Reb Elimelech’s dedicated disciple.

After the Rebbe Reb Elimelech’s petirah, he mainly followed three Gedolim: the Chozeh of Lublin, the Maggid of Kozhnitz and Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov.

Eventually, with the consent of Reb Mendel of Rimanov, Reb Naftali became the Rav of Ropshitz in Galicia. After the petirah of his father, he succeeded him and became Rav in Linsk, but when the kehillah of Ropshitz insisted that he return, he returned there while remaining the Rav of Linsk and the surrounding villages as well. Eventually, his son Harav Avraham Chaim became Rav in Linsk.

After the petirah of his Rebbes (all three were niftar in a little over a year, in the years 5574-5/1813-4), many Chassidim traveled to Ropshitz and chose Reb Naftali as their Rebbe. Ropshitz turned into a focal point for thousands of Chassidim of the entire Galician countryside, then under Austrian rule.

The Rebbe was known for his profound wisdom and humility.

Ropshitz Chassidus was known for its meticulous adherence to minhagim, heartfelt tefillos and captivating niggunim — stirring melodies that engendered heartfelt dveikus to Hashem. During the Napoleonic wars, many tzaddikim, including Reb Mendel of Rimanov, strongly supported Napoleon. But Reb Naftali, as well as the Baal Hatanya, were strongly opposed to him, sensing that victory for Napoleon would introduce changes that would threaten the Jewish community’s way of life.

Reb Naftali was on his way to see a doctor when he became very ill and passed away. Years earlier he once mentioned that he wished to be buried in Lancut, Galicia. When Reb Naftali was niftar on 11 Iyar 5587/1827, he was buried there.

His sons were Harav Avraham Chaim of Linsk, Harav Yaakov of Melitz and Harav Eliezer of Dzikov, and his son-in-law was Reb Asher Yeshayah of Ropshitz. Rav Naftali’s writings were published as Zera Kodesh, Ayalah Shluchah and Imrei Shefer. The sefer called Ohel Naftali is dedicated to the genealogy of this great tzaddik.


 

April 30

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.

In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.

In 1939, the New York World’s Fair officially opened with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to communist forces.

In 1988, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama’s military ruler.

In 1990, hostage Frank Reed was released by his captives in Lebanon; he was the second American to be released in eight days.