This Day in History – 12 Tishrei/September 25

In 2048/1714 B.C.E., this day was shlishi l’milah of Avraham Avinu, according to Pirkei d’Rabi Eliezer.

As we are taught in the beginning of Parashas Vayeira, Hashem took the sun out of its sheath, causing it to shine very intensely so that Avraham Avinu, who was recovering from his bris, would not be troubled with guests. When Hashem came to be mevaker choleh and saw how desperate Avraham Avinu was for guests, He sent three malachim in the form of humans. One of the malachim was Raphael, who healed Avraham Avinu; another brought Sarah Imeinu the good tidings that she would become the mother of Yitzchak within the year.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5615/1854, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Zhvil, zt”l


 

5537/1776, Harav Avraham Hamalach, zt”l

Son of the Maggid of Mezeritch, Reb Avraham was born in 5501/1741. The madreigos of the talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov are beyond our comprehension. Yet in that generation of great and holy masters, the “Malach” was known by this unique title because of his exceptional level of holiness. He had virtually no connection with the material world.

It is said that the Malach was once seen looking out of a window for hours, staring toward a hill in the distance. Asked by an arrogant man why he was doing so, he responded, “I am looking at how a lowly piece of earth can hold itself so high.”

The late Kopyczynitzer Rebbe, Reb Moshe Mordechai, zt”l, a descendant of the Malach, once told the following story, which he heard from his father:

The Malach was married to the daughter of Harav Feivish of Kremenitz, mechaber of Mishnas Chachamim. Reb Feivish was so devoted to his Torah studies that he did not attend his own daughter’s wedding for fear of the bitul Torah involved.

Later, however, when he heard of the greatness of his son-in-law’s father, the Great Maggid, he decided to pay him a visit. He arrived on a Friday afternoon, hoping to be invited to the home of his illustrious mechutan for the Shabbos meals. The Maggid, however, instructed his son the Malach to invite his father-in-law for the Friday-night seudah.

As the Malach entered the house with his father-in-law, Rav Feivish, he began singing Shalom Aleichem, welcoming the malachim who escort Yidden home from shul on Friday evening. As the Malach recited the words of Shalom Aleichem, his father-in-law suddenly fainted. After he was revived, the Malach turned to him and said, “You saw your malachim. If you had seen my malachim — if you had seen my malachim!…”

Chassidim understood this to mean that Rav Feivish had actually seen the malachim who escorted him home from shul. If he had seen the malachim who escorted his son-in-law home, it might not have been possible to revive him.

About half a year before his petirah, the Malach accepted the position of maggid in the kehillah of Chovastov. He did so because of the influence of the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl, but he rarely revealed himself to the public eye.

Many tzaddikim of the generation traveled to bask in the presence of the Malach. Among them were Harav Boruch of Mezhibuzh and the Meor Einayim of Chernobyl.

The Malach was niftar at a very young age, 36, leaving two sons, Harav Yisrael Chaim of Ludmir and Harav Shalom Shachna of Prohobich, who was the father of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

September 25

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.

In 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of the amendments became known as the Bill of Rights.

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a measure establishing Sequoia National Park.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton pulled open the door of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, as he welcomed nine black adults who’d faced hate-filled mobs as children 40 years earlier.