This Day in History – 19 Adar/March 1

19 Adar

In 5700/1940, the Arab restriction of the sale of land to Jews in Eretz Yisrael took effect.

In 5709/1949, the Jewish army captured Ein Gedi and the war of 1948 was brought to an end.


5640/1880, Harav Yaakov Shamshon of Kossov, zt”l

5680/1920, Harav Yehudah Greenwald of Satmar, zt”l

5688/1928, Harav Meir Yechiel of Ostrovtze, zt”l

5692/1932, Harav Shmuel Engel of Radomishel, zt”l, mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Maharash (Adar I)

5692/1932, Harav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, zt”l (Adar II)

5699/1939, Harav Emanuel Weltfried of Pabienetz-Lodz, zt”l

5753/1993, Harav Yitzchak Kalisch, zt”l, Amshinover Rebbe of America

5763/2003, Harav Yaakov Chaim Yoffen, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Beis Yosef Novaradok


20 Adar 5772/2012

The Yeshuos Moshe of Vizhnitz, Harav Moshe Yehoshua Hager, zy”a

Harav Moshe Yehoshua Hager was born on 13 Sivan 5676/1916, in Vilchovitz, Romania. His father was the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, and his mother, Rebbetzin Margalis, was a daughter of Harav Ze’ev of Rachmastrivka.

Although this was the Imrei Chaim’s first son and there were many great ancestors after whom to name the newborn child, the Ahavas Yisrael of Vizhnitz, his grandfather, advised that he be named Moshe Yehoshua, after the first two leaders of Klal Yisrael, explaining that “the child has the neshamah of a Jewish leader.”

The Rebbe grew up in the home of the Ahavas Yisrael in Grosswardein, Hungary, and staunchly followed in his ways.

The Ahavas Yisrael was extremely fond of his young grandchild, telling one of his Chassidim: “I am not totally lost — as long as I see that I love my Moshe, I know that my heart is still attracted to the good …”

In the Grosswardein Talmud Torah, the young Moshe Yehoshua refrained from playing with his friends, choosing to devote all of his time to learning.

Already in his early years, the Rebbe gained fame for his exceptional hasmadah, learning until the wee hours of the morning and, at least once a week, on Thursday nights, learning Torah all night.

In Grosswardein he learned with leading talmidei chachamim, including Harav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss, the Minchas Yitzchak, zt”l, who later taught the Rebbe shimush in halachah.

Later, the Rebbe traveled to Vizhnitz to learn in the yeshivah of his uncle, the Damesek Eliezer of Vizhnitz. At the age of 20 he received semichah from the leading Rabbanim of Hungary, who applauded his wide knowledge and understanding in all halachos.

After the petirah of the Ahavas Yisrael, the Imrei Chaim, who was Rav in Vilchovitz, moved to Grosswardein to assume his father’s post, and the 20-year-old Harav Moshe Yehoshua was appointed Rav in Vilchovitz.

In 5702/1942, the Rebbe married Rebbetzin Leah Esther, the daughter of Harav Menachem Mendel of Dezh. After her passing, the Rebbe married, tblc”t, Rebbetzin Sheindel, the daughter of Harav Yehoshua Segal Deutsch, zt”l, Rav of Katamon.

In Adar 5704/1944, when the Nazis invaded Hungary, the Rebbe fled to Grosswardein, to be together with his father. The Jews of Grosswardein hid in bunkers, and those who could fled to Romania.

From Romania, the Rebbe and his family made their way to Eretz Yisrael, arriving before Shabbos Mevorchim Elul 5704/1944.

His uncle, the Damesek Eliezer, appointed him Rosh Yeshivah in the new Vizhnitz Yeshivah in Tel Aviv.

Most of the bachurim were survivors who needed special care. The Damesek Eliezer, recognizing the Rebbe’s unique expertise in chinuch, placed in his hands the responsibility of meeting all the needs of the bachurim.

In 5707/1947, after the Imrei Chaim arrived in Eretz Yisrael and established the Vizhnitz neighborhood in Bnei Brak, Harav Moshe Yehoshua was appointed Rav of the neighborhood, in addition to heading the yeshivah and delivering shiurim.

On 9 Nissan 5732/1972, his father the Imrei Chaim was niftar and Harav Moshe Yehoshua was crowned Rebbe.

The Rebbe was niftar on 20 Adar 5772/2012, at the age of 95. He is survived by his Rebbetzin; his two sons, Vizhnitzer Rebbes in Bnei Brak, shlita; and four sons-in-law: the Skverer Rebbe, shlita; the Belzer Rebbe, shlita; the Satmar Rebbe, shlita; and Harav Menachem Ernster, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Vizhnitz.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


March 1

In 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded by Portuguese knight Estacio de Sa.

In 1790, President George Washington signed a measure authorizing the first U.S. Census.

In 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state.

In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act creating Yellowstone National Park.

In 1932, Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the family home near Hopewell, N.J.

In 1943, wartime rationing of processed foods under a point system began in the U.S.

In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five congressmen.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

In 1971, a bomb went off inside a men’s room at the U.S. Capitol; the radical group Weather Underground claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn blast.

In 1981, Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland; he died 65 days later.