This Day in History – 15 Cheshvan/October 28

In 5699/1938, Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany devastated shuls and property. About 30,000 Jews were arrested, 290 shuls were burned, and 7,500 Jewish shops were vandalized.


 

Yahrtzeiten

3596/165 B.C.E., ­Mattisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol, father of the Chashmona’im

5562/1801, Harav Elazar Kalir, zt”l, Rav of Kelen and mechaber of Ohr Chadash

5597/1836, Harav Leib Baal Hayesurim, zt”l, at whose burial place in Tzefas people daven for yeshuos, according to his ­havtachah


 

5714/1953, Harav Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, zt”l, the Chazon Ish

Harav Avraham Yeshayah Karelitz, known as the Chazon Ish, was born in 5639/1879 in Kosova, Lithuania, near Grodno. His father was Harav Shemaryahu Yosef, the Rav of the town.

The Chazon Ish’s four brothers were Gedolei Torah, and his five sisters all married Gedolei Torah; among his brothers-in-law were Harav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the Steipler Gaon) and Harav Shmuel Greineman.

In 5666/1906 the Chazon Ish married Rebbetzin Batya, the daughter of Harav Mordechai Bay of Kaidan, near Kovno, but only after she agreed that he could study Torah undisturbed his whole life.

When his first works were published in 5671/1911 under the name Chazon Ish, no one knew who their author was except Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, to whom the Chazon Ish was very close, and whom he would visit often to debate Torah issues.

In 5692/1932 Harav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld was niftar, and the Rabbanim of Yerushalayim invited Rav Chaim Ozer to succeed him. Instead, Rav Chaim Ozer recommended the Chazon Ish, thus revealing the secret of his gadlus.

As a candidate for the position, the Chazon Ish accepted a British Mandate immigration certificate; but he never intended to assume the post. As soon as he arrived in Eretz Yisrael in 5693/1933 he settled in Bnei Brak, which grew under his influence into the Torah center it is today.

The Chazon Ish, albeit not having any official position, stood at the forefront of Torah Jewry, waging its battles on all fronts.

Yehi zichro baruch.


 

Oct. 28

In 1776, the Battle of White Plains was fought during the Revolutionary War, resulting in a limited British victory.

In 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.

In 1940, Italy invaded Greece during World War II.

In 1962, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev informed the United States that he had ordered the dismantling of missile bases in Cuba; in return, the U.S. secretly agreed to remove nuclear missiles from U.S. installations in Turkey.