This Day in History – 11 Kislev/November 14

Harav Tzvi Hersch Friedman, zt”l
Harav Tzvi Hersch Friedman, zt”l

11 Kislev

In 5703/1942, 7,000 Jews of Minsk were executed by the Nazis. Hy”d.


5495/1734, Harav Yehoshua Katz, Rav in Cracow, zt”l

5523/1762, Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Halevi of Pressburg, zt”l, mechaber of Imrei Ravreve

5546/1785, Harav Simchah of Dessau, zt”l

5622/1861, Harav Yechiel, zt”l, Rav of Sovalk, mechaber of Amudei Ohr

5734/1973, Harav Hershel Friedman of Munkacs, Rosh Yeshivah of Nachlas Tzvi,  mechaber of Chemdas Tzvi


11 Kislev 5734/1973

Harav Herschel Friedman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Nachlas Tzvi of Munkacs

Harav Tzvi Hersch Friedman, zt”l, was born in Beregsazs, Hungary in 5655/1895. Following his marriage, he moved to the nearby city of Munkacs.

In the early 1930s, Harav Tzvi Hersch founded Yeshivas Nachlas Tzvi for young bachurim, which prepared them to learn in the famed Munkatcher Yeshivah, headed at the time by the Minchas Elazar. Reb Herschel’s main focus was to teach the talmidim how to learn a blatt Gemara on their own and to understand each sugya. However, he also put strong emphasis on middos tovos and yiras Shamayim.

Many of Reb Herschel’s chiddushim on sugyos haShas were lost during the Holocaust. However, upon arriving in America after World War II, Reb Herschel was determined to save at least some of his divrei Torah from being forgotten. He wanted to have the opportunity to instill Torah and yiras Shamayim into the next generation, and was indeed successful in publishing his new chiddushim al haTorah in his sefer Chemdas Tzvi.

For many years he would give a daily shiur in the Shomer Shabbos shul of Boro Park. This shiur was established for baalei batim who had the fire of Torah burning within them; they called themselves “Chevrah Lomdei Torah B’rabbim.” In three hours they would cover a blatt Gemara, Chumash/Rashi, Midrash and Shulchan Aruch.

Reb Herschel was also known for the unique niggunim that he composed. They have inspired many people, including Gedolei Yisrael. It is told that the Satmar Rebbe, zy”a, would particularly enjoy singing Reb Herschel’s niggunim, and that for many years he would sing one of them for the naanu’im on Sukkos. Reb Herschel’s niggunim are still sung today at many Rebbishe tischen.

Reb Herschel was niftar on 11 Kislev 5734/1973.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


Eugene B. Ely flying his pusher airplane from USS Birmingham, in Hampton Roads, Va.
Eugene B. Ely flying his pusher airplane from USS Birmingham, in Hampton Roads, Va.

November 14

In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave the go-ahead for Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s plan to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond; the resulting Battle of Fredericksburg proved a disaster for the Union.

In 1881, Charles J. Guiteau went on trial for assassinating President James A. Garfield. (Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.)

In 1889, inspired by Jules Verne, New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) set out to travel around the world in fewer than 80 days. She made the trip in 72 days.

In 1910, Eugene B. Ely became the first aviator to take off from a ship as his Curtiss pusher rolled off a sloping platform on the deck of the scout cruiser USS Birmingham off Hampton Roads, Va.

In 1940, during World War II, German planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry.

In 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.

In 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,000 level for the first time, ending the day at 1,003.16.

In 1986, the Securities and Exchange Commission imposed a $100 million penalty against inside-trader Ivan F. Boesky and barred him from working again in the securities industry.

In 1997, a jury in Fairfax, Va., decided that Pakistani national Aimal Khan Kasi should get the death penalty for gunning down two CIA employees outside agency headquarters.