This Day in History – 17 Elul/September 1

The shaar blatt of Binyan Dovid.
The shaar blatt of Binyan Dovid.

Today is a Yom Tov cited in Megillas Taanis, commemorating the removal of the Romans, who instituted burdensome taxes on the Jews.

In 5699/1939, Germany attacked Poland, marking the outbreak of the Second World War that claimed more than six million Jewish lives, Hy”d.

In 1656/2105 B.C.E. (according to Rabi Eliezer), Noach opened the window of the teivah and dispatched the dove. “But the dove found no resting place for the sole of its foot” and returned to the ark.



5412/1752, Harav Nosson Nota Shapiro, zt”l, the maggid of Lublin

5560/1800, Harav Yosef Yoska, zt”l, mechaber of Yesod Yosef

5689/1929, Harav Yaakov Koppel Reich, zt”l, Rav of Budapest


5659/1899, Harav Dovid Dov Ber Taub, zt”l, Rav of Dabrizinsk, mechaber of Binyan Dovid

Harav Dovid Dov Ber Taub, born c. 5587/1827, was the son of Rav Binyamin Zev.

When he was still a young boy, he became known for his dedication to learning and his yiras Shamayim.

It is told that when he was just nine years old, Harav Yitzchak of Vorka paid a visit to Zaloshin. The young Dovid, wishing to see the Rebbe’s holy countenance during the davening (the Vorka Rebbe would cover his head with his tallis), crawled under the table and peeked up through the tallis to see the Rebbe’s face. He related that he also saw the Rebbe’s limbs knocking against each other, in awe of Hashem.

Reb Dovid Dov married the daughter of Harav Meir, son-in-law of Harav Moshe of Zaloshin, the Mishpat Tzedek.

Unwilling to be supported for learning Torah, he first tried his hand at business. But seemingly it wasn’t meant to be; he was asked to serve on the beis din in Zaloshin, as the city was short one of the three Dayanim required for a beis din.

In 5615/1855, Reb Dovid Dov was appointed Rav in Shadek.

Later, in 5620/1860, he became Rav in Neustadt, where he led the kehillah and also headed a large yeshivah.

In 5635/1875, Reb Dovid Dov was appointed as Rav in the city of Dabrizinsk, on the border between Poland and Germany. There, too, he founded a yeshivah, which attracted many bachurim.

Reb Dovid Dov was a Chassid of the first Vorka Rebbe, and after his petirah, of his son, Harav Menachem Mendel of Vorka. Following the petirah of Harav Menachem Mendel, Reb Dovid Dov traveled to Harav Dov Berish of Biala, and after his petirah he traveled to Harav Yechiel, the Alter Rebbe of Aleksander.

Chiddushei Torah of Reb Dovid Dov on many masechtos of Shas and Shulchan Aruch were published as Binyan Dovid. Many of his manuscripts were burned, however, which greatly distressed Reb Dovid Dov.

Reb Dovid Dov was niftar on 17 Elul 5659/1899 and buried in Dabrizinsk.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


September 1

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)

In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan entered Confederation as the eighth and ninth provinces of Canada.

In 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

In 1945, Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was September 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)

In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.

In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Muammar Gadhafi to power.

In 1985, a U.S.-French expedition located the wreckage of the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean roughly 400 miles off Newfoundland.