This Day in History – 13 Tammuz/June 30

In 5283/1523, the first printed edition of Sefer Hachinuch appeared.

In 5701/1941, wearing of the yellow star was decreed for all Jews in the Baltic States.



5444/1684, Harav Moshe Ravkash (Rivka’s), zt”l, mechaber of Be’er Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch. Others record his yahrtzeit as 9 Sivan.

5531/1771, Harav Chaim Hakohen Rappaport, zt”l, Rav of Lvov and mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Rabbeinu Chaim Kohen and Zecher Chaim

5535/1775, Harav Aryeh Leib Epstein, zt”l, mechaber of Hapardes

5685/1925, Harav Yoel Planer, zt”l, Rav of Uhel, Hungary

5710/1950, Harav Dovid of Rachmastrivka, zt”l


5580/1820, Harav Mordechai of Kremenets, zt”l

Harav Mordechai was the youngest of five sons of Harav Yechiel Mechel, the Maggid of Zlotchov. His brothers were Harav Yosef of Yampoli, Harav Yitzchak of Radvill, Harav Moshe of Zhvil, and Harav Binyamin Zev of Zhbariz. The Zlotchover Maggid likened his five sons to the five books of the Torah, making the youngest son the equal of sefer Devarim. Indeed, his father would refer to him as “Mishneh Torah,” and sometimes he would call him “Mishneh Lamelech.”

Few details are known about his life. According to some sources he was the son-in-law of Harav Leibush Gurzitzker, one of the greatest talmidim of the Zlotchover Maggid. But according to others his wife was the daughter of Harav Eliezer Melamed of Kolbosov.

Among Rav Mordechai’s greatest talmidim were Harav Meir of Premishlan; Harav Chaim of Chernowitz, the Be’er Mayim Chaim; and Harav Yeshayah Schorr of Yassi, author of Klil Tiferes.

Rav Mordechai was known for his fiery and devout tefillos, in which he would totally immerse himself with intense dveikus to Hashem.

The famed Gaon Harav Yosef Shaul Natanzohn, the Sho’el U’meishiv, told a grandson of Harav Mordechai that he once happened to daven in the beis medrash of Rav Mordechai on Shabbos, and as he davened tefillas Nishmas, he was zocheh to see Rav Mordechai in total hispashtus hagashmiyus. He said that he literally witnessed “Kol atzmosai tomarnah Hashem mi kamocha” as the Rebbe recited these words with intense kedushah.

The famed Harav Meir’l of Premishlan, a prime talmid of Rav Mordechai, attested that malachim feared his word and that he did not stop thinking about the Presence of Hashem for even a moment.

Rav Mordechai would often undertake fasts. His talmid Rav Meir’l of Premishlan asked him how he allowed himself to endanger his already weak body through additional afflictions. Rav Mordechai replied: “And to eat is not a danger? One must in any case rely on the mercy of Hashem, and if so, Hashem can have mercy on one who fasts, too.” (Chassidim Mesaprim)

Ten days before his passing he wrote a detailed will containing many instructions for his children and descendants, including guidance in serving Hashem. Among other things, he wrote, “The ordinary thing is that whatever is done should be with fear of Hashem, accompanied by humility and modesty.”

His sons were Harav Yitzchak of Granov, Harav Yechiel Mechel of Vishnovitz and Harav Yosef of Voltchisk. His sons-in-law were Harav Aharon of Karlin, the Beis Aharon, and, according to some, Harav Yosef Dovid Landau Malik.

Yehi zichro baruch.


June 30

In 1865, eight people, including Mary Surratt and Dr. Samuel Mudd, were convicted by a military commission of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Four defendants were executed; Mudd was sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned in 1869.

In 1908, the Tunguska Event took place in Russia as an asteroid exploded above Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”

In 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64–20.

In 1972, for the first time, a leap-second was added to Coordinated Universal Time to account for the slowing rotation of the Earth.

In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.