This Day in History – 16 Elul/August 31

In 5700/1940, the Nazis issued a decree forbidding non-Jews to work for Jews.

In 5701/1941, the entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania, was massacred by the Nazis. Hy”d.

In 5705/1945, Jewish immigrants who had previously been exiled to Mauritius by the British as “illegals” were admitted to Eretz Yisrael.



5472/1712, Harav Avraham Naftali Tzvi of Vermeiza (Worms), zt”l

5615/1855, Harav Tzvi Dishkis of Opotshna, zt”l

5761/2001, Harav Avraham Avigdor Nachum Landau, the Strikover Rebbe, zt”l


5728/1968, Harav Masoud Yonah Edre’i, zt”l, the Tzaddik of Rosh Pina

Harav Masoud Yonah Edre’i was born in 5674/1914 in Deganah, Morocco.

As a young bachur he moved to Marrakesh, where he learned in the local yeshivah and was known for his hasmadah and intense learning.

He received semichah quickly, and served as a Rav, mohel and sofer.

He was actively involved in the dissemination of Torah and was known as a Rav to whom people could pour out their hearts, and who would give both brachos and practical help.

Rav Masoud delved into the works of Kabbalah at a young age, and became known as a poel yeshuos.

In 5710/1950, Rav Masoud moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he settled in Rosh Pina.

He was highly respected there and across the entire country. He was the mechaber of Sfas Emes, a compilation of chiddushim and remazim on the Torah and Nach, and drashos on a wide array of topics.

Rav Masoud was niftar on 16 Elul 5728/1968 at the age of 54. He was buried on Har Hamenuchos in Yerushalayim.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


August 31

In 1962, the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago became independent of British colonial rule.

In 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to establish the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day-old strike.