This Day in History – 16 Sivan/June 3

In 5476/1716, the first substantial Jewish settlement in Massachusetts was established.

In 5701/1941, Vichy-French planes bombed Tel Aviv, killing 21 Jews.



5704/1944, Harav Yosef Kanowitz, son-in-law of the Ridbaz and author of She’eilos ­U’teshuvos Divrei Yosef. He was niftar in America, where he lived in his later years, and reburied in Eretz Yisrael in 5706/1946.

5704/1944, Harav Shalom Eliezer of Ratzfort, Hy”d, son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz

5762/2002, Harav Ephraim Eisenberg, R”M Yeshivas Ner Yisrael of Baltimore, son-in-law of Harav Mordechai Gifter


5628/1868, Harav Menachem Mendel Kalish of Vorka, zy”a

Harav Mendel of Vorka (Warka, Poland) was born in 5579/1819 in the town of Zurik. His father was Harav Yitzchak, “the Alter Rebbe” of Vorka. As an infant, Rav Yitzchak would rock him to sleep and declare, “I am rocking the Rambam!”

He later married the daughter of a prominent gvir. She would sell tobacco to support him, while he remained totally dedicated to avodas Hashem. His hishtadlus was helping her on market day.

The petirah of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka on acharon shel Pesach 5608/1848 left the Chassidim of Vorka bereft. The vast majority of Vorka Chassidim begged Reb Mendel to lead them.

Reb Mendel initially refused, but at the behest of the Kotzker Rebbe, Harav Menachem Mendel, with whom he was very close, he accepted the mantle of leadership.

The Rebbe spoke very little, and was commonly referred to as “Der shtiller Rebbe — the quiet Rebbe.” The Rebbe’s words were like priceless gems, and each of them was analyzed and interpreted to fathom its true meaning.

During Pesach of 5648/1888, the Rebbe was stricken with a serious illness. After Shavuos, the Rebbe was taken to Warsaw for treatment where he was niftar on Shabbos, 16 Sivan. His neshamah ascended to the Heavens as the baal korei read “Vayehi binsoa ha’aron.” He is buried in the Warsaw cemetery in the Vorka ohel.His divrei Torah were collected from various sources and published in Beis Yitzchak, together with divrei Torah of his father and brother.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


June 3

In 1621, the Dutch West India Co. received its charter for a trade monopoly in parts of the Americas and Africa.

In 1948, the 200-inch reflecting Hale Telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated.

In 1983, Gordon Kahl, a militant tax protester wanted in the slayings of two U.S. marshals in North Dakota, was killed in a gun battle with law-enforcement officials near Smithville, Arkansas.

In 1989, Chinese army troops began their sweep of Beijing to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations.