This Day in History – 18 Adar/March 9

Harav Yisrael Elimelech Moskowitz, zt”l, the Zhabriver Rebbe.
Harav Yisrael Elimelech Moskowitz, zt”l, the Zhabriver Rebbe.

18 Adar

In 5561/1801, David Emmanuel, the first Jewish governor in the United States, was sworn in as governor of Georgia.

In 5568/1808, Napoleon I issued a decree suspending for a decade the emancipation of Jews in the French-occupied European countries.


5554/1794, Harav Alexander Ziskind of Horodna, zt”l, the Yesod V’shoresh Ha’avodah

5630/1870, Harav Chanoch Henoch of Alexander, zt”l

5687/1927, Harav Avraham of Kerestir, zt”l

5706/1946, Harav Nachum Mordechai of Tchortkov, zt”l

5734/1974, Harav Yechezkel Levenstein, zt”l, the Mashgiach of Ponevezh


Harav Yisrael Elimelech Moskowitz, zt”l, The Zhabriver Rebbe

Harav Yisrael Elimelech Moskowitz was born in 5640/1880.

His father, Harav Meir, Rebbe of Zhabriv, was the son of Harav Yechiel Michel, the Galiner Rebbe; and a grandson of Harav Yechiel Michel, the Zlotchover Maggid, and Rebbetzin Frimet Rechil, daughter of Harav Meir of Premishlan. The family were also descendants of Rashi.

Rav Yisrael Elimelech’s mother was Rebbetzin Sheindel, daughter of Harav Yisrael Elimelech Ungar of Zhavna, a scion of the Dombrova dynasty and descendant of the Chozeh of Lublin, the Kozhnitzer Maggid and the Rebbe Reb Elimelech, among other tzaddikim.

Rav Yisrael Elimelech, the first son of Rav Meir, was named for his mother’s father.

Rav Yisrael Elimelech married Rebbetzin Miriam, the daughter of Harav Shalom Hakohen Yolles of Sambour. In 5668/1908, he was appointed Rav in Turka.

During World War I his father, Harav Meir, fled Zhabriv, which was near the Russian border, for Turka, in the Carpathian Mountains region.

From there they went on together to Hungary, where they settled in Kirali-Helmitz. During the war, all of Rav Yisrael Elimelech’s Torah writings were burnt.

A few years after his father’s petirah in Kirali-Helmitz in 5675/1914, Rav Yisrael Elimelech moved on to America, where he settled in the Bronx, New York, and was known as the Zhabriver Rebbe of America.

He wrote Ner Yisrael on the Torah and Yamim Tovim, explaining in the hakdamah that he named the sefer after his father — ner has the same gematria as Meir.

Rav Yisrael Elimelech was niftar on 18 Adar II, 5714/1954, at the age of 74. He was buried in New York.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Location of the kever:

Wellwood Cemetery

Wellwood Avenue

Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735

(South Avenue, Section 52, Agudas HaAdmorim)

March 9

In 1661, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the chief minister of France, died, leaving King Louis XIV in full control.

In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of enacting New Deal legislation.

In 1977, about a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)

In 1990, Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as surgeon general, becoming the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the job.