This Day in History – 15 Sivan/June 2

In 4859/1099, the accursed Crusaders laid siege to Yerushalayim. As they conquered the city, the Crusaders massacred almost the entire population of the city, including its Jews. The reign of the Christians lasted until 4947/1187. When it ended, it prompted additional Crusades.

In 5687/1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, zy”a, was arrested by agents of the Soviet secret police for disseminating Torah throughout the Soviet Empire. The Rebbe was held and tortured in prison and then sent to Kastroma, a prison camp, until his ultimate release on 12 Tammuz, achieved by the intense hishtadlus of Chassidim. Two years later, the Rebbe fled Russia and traveled to America. When World War II broke out, he was in Warsaw. He was saved and returned to America, where he rebuilt Lubavitcher Chassidus.


 

Yahrtzeiten

2314/1447 B.C.E., Yehudah, son of Yaakov Avinu. His birthday is on this date as well. He was born in 2195/1566 BCE.

5445/1685, Harav Yitzchak of Posen, zt”l, the Rebbe of the Magen Avraham and mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Be’er Yitzchak


 

5704/1944, Harav Dovid Dov Meisels of Uhel, the Binyan Dovid, Hy”d

Harav Dovid Dov was born in 5635/1875 in the town of Lask, near Lodz, Poland. His father was Harav Mordechai Zev, the son of Harav Dovid Dov, Rav of Lask.

The young Dovid Dov, named after his illustrious grandfather, was endowed with unique talents and a sharp mind. As a young bachur, he became known for his intense hasmadah as well as for his Torah knowledge, and at the relatively young age of 17 he was already engaging seasoned talmidei chachamim in intricate Torah discussions.

When Rav Dovid Dov’s father, Rav Mordechai, moved to Tarna in Galicia, he went to take leave of his Rebbe, the Sfas Emes, who told him to take special care of his son because he saw in him a budding Gadol.

Rav Dovid Dov received semichah from Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, the Kedushas Yom Tov of Sighet, and from the Darchei Teshuvah of Munkacs.

He married the daughter of Harav Moshe Yosef Teitelbaum, the son of Harav Yekusiel Yehudah, the Yetev Lev of Satmar.

In 5658/1898 he was appointed a Dayan in Uhel (Satoraljaujhely, on the northern Hungarian-southern Slovakian border), where his father-in-law served as Rav. There, he founded a yeshivah.

After his father-in-law’s petirah he became Rav of the city. He used his speaking talents to inspire his fellow Yidden.

In the spring of 5704/1944 the entire kehillah was forced into a ghetto. Harav Dovid Dov kept his regular learning schedule even during those trying times.

Subsequently, the ghetto was evacuated and the Yidden were sent to Auschwitz. The Rav, Rebbetzin, and many of his offspring were killed al kiddush Hashem on 15 Sivan 5704/1944. Hashem yinkom damam.

He was survived by four sons — the Ujvarer Rav, the Sorvusher Rav, the Vietzener Rav and the Uheler Rav. After the war they all immigrated to America, where they served as Rabbanim and had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who follow in their ways.

His chiddushim were published in Binyan Dovid on Sefer Bereishis (5692/1932) and She’eilos U’teshuvos Binyan Dovid (5702/1942).

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

June 2

In 1924, Congress passed a measure that was then signed by President Calvin Coolidge guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territorial limits.

In 1966, the U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1975, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller said his commission had found no widespread pattern of illegal activities at the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1995, a U.S. Air Force F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb surface-to-air missile while on a NATO air patrol in northern Bosnia; the pilot, Capt. Scott F. O’Grady, was rescued by U.S. Marines.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. (McVeigh was executed in June 2001.)