This Day in History – 16 Kislev/November 19

The first draft of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The president delivered the address at the dedication of the Gettysburg, Pa., battlefield cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863. Lincoln gave the first draft to his secretary, John Hay, whose children presented it to the Library of Congress in 1916. It is written on one side of two sheets of paper in ink. Most of the concluding sentence is written in pencil. (AP Photo)
The first draft of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The president delivered the address at the dedication of the Gettysburg, Pa., battlefield cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863. Lincoln gave the first draft to his secretary, John Hay, whose children presented it to the Library of Congress in 1916. It is written on one side of two sheets of paper in ink. Most of the concluding sentence is written in pencil. (AP Photo)

16 Kislev

In 5564/1803, the Chayei Adam, though injured, was saved from a blast. He established the date as a Yom Tov for himself and his descendants.

In 5653/1892, Hermann Ahlwardt was elected to the German Reichstag, marking the beginning of political anti-Semitism in Germany.

Yahrtzeiten

5404/1643, Harav Yaakov of Lublin, zt”l, father of Reb Herschel of Cracow

5678/1917, Harav Menachem of Amshinov, zt”l

5760/1999, Harav Dovid Leib Schwartz, zt”l, “Der Heiliger Tzaddik” of Bnei Brak


 

5708/1947

Harav Shaul Yedidyah Elazar Taub of Modzhitz, zt”l, the Imrei Shaul

Harav Shaul Yedidyah Elazar Taub was born on Hoshana Rabbah, 21 Tishrei 5647/1886, in Osherov (in the Radom district of Poland). His father was Harav Yisrael, the Divrei Yisrael of Modzhitz.

Great in Torah, he was also talented in music like the rest of the Modzhitzer dynasty. As a composer, his niggunim were not the folk-style melodies of many of his predecessors but rather intricate, musically structured and quite lengthy. He thought in terms of instruments, and often suggested an accompaniment of strings, winds and horns to enhance his niggunim.

Reb Shaul Yedidyah married the daughter of Harav Avraham Eiger of Lublin. He remarried following her passing.

All his life his soul was drawn to Eretz Yisrael. He visited three times from Poland, and always planned to settle there.

After the petirah of his father on 13 Kislev 5681/1920, Reb Shaul Yedidyah was appointed Rebbe. He led his chassidim in Otwock, Poland, where he built his beis medrash.

With the outbreak of World War II, the Rebbe was one of those who fled to the Russian border. For Rosh Hashanah 5700/1939 the Rebbe was in Chelm, but later he escaped to Vilna, Lithuania. From there he rode through Russia to Japan.

Eventually, with the help of some Modzhitzer chassidim, he and some family members reached San Francisco, California. In 1940 they moved to Brooklyn, New York, where Reb Shaul Yedidyah Elazar helped rebuild Modzhitzer Chassidus.

His fourth and last trip to Eretz Yisrael was from the United States in 5708/1947; he went fully intending to settle there, but Hashem had other plans. He became very ill and was niftar on Shabbos Parashas Vayishlach, 16 Kislev 5708/1947. (This was the very day that the U.N. passed its partition plan for “Palestine.”)

The Rebbe was the last person buried on Har Hazeisim until after the Six-Day War. A matzeivah was first erected on his kever in 1967, 20 years after his petirah.

His divrei Torah have been collected and published as Imrei Shaul and Yisa Brachah.

He was succeeded by his oldest son, Harav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub. His other sons were Harav Yechezkel, Harav Yitzchak, Harav Yisrael, and Harav Dovid. He also had two daughters.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

November 19

In 1600, King Charles I of England was born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.

In 1794, the United States and Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which resolved some issues left over from the Revolutionary War.

In 1831, the 20th president of the United States, James Garfield, was born in Orange Township, Ohio.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

In 1919, the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 55 in favor, 39 against, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.

In 1942, during World War II, Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front.

In 1959, Ford Motor Co. announced it was halting production of the unpopular Edsel.

In 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made the second manned landing on the moon.

In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time as they began their summit in Geneva.

In 1997, the space shuttle Columbia zoomed into orbit on a two-week science mission.