This Day in History – 22 Adar/March 4

Kever of Harav Eliezer Dovid Finkler of Radoshitz, zt”l.
Kever of Harav Eliezer Dovid Finkler of Radoshitz, zt”l.

22 Adar

In 5109/1349, the Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland, were massacred al kiddush Hashem.

In 5190/1430, a miracle happened in the kehillah of Rome. When the authorities decreed that every Jew must either convert or be killed, an earthquake rocked the city and the decree was annulled.

In 5693/1933, the infamous Dachau concentration camp was established in Germany. The camp, one of the first established by the Nazis, was originally designated as a prison camp for political criminals of the Nazi party.

After Kristallnacht, the number of Jews imprisoned there kept growing until over 200,000 victims passed through its gates, most of whom perished. The Nazis built a gas chamber in Dachau, but it was never used. This concentration camp was liberated in April of 1945 by the U.S. Army.

In 5708/1948, 16 Jewish soldiers were lynched by an Arab mob; six of them were brutally beaten to death. Hy”d.

In 5757/1997, seven Jewish students were killed on the border with Jordan. Hy”d.


5489/1729, Harav Eliyahu of Izmir, zt”l, mechaber of Shevet Mussar

5662/1902, Harav Yaakov of Novominsk, zt”l

5668/1908, Harav Yechiel Mechel Epstein, zt”l, the Aruch Hashulchan

5703/1943, Harav Avraham Dovber Kahana-Shapiro of Kovno, zt”l

5718/1958, Harav Reuven Grozovsky, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah Torah Vodaath

5763/2003, Harav Yisrael Moshe Dushinsky, zt”l, Gaava”d of the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim



Harav Eliezer Dovid Finkler of Radoshitz, zt”l

Harav Eliezer Dovid Finkler was the son of Harav Hillel of Radoshitz, who was the son of Harav Yitzchak, who was in turn the son-in-law of Harav Yissachar Ber, the Saba Kaddisha of Radoshitz.

Following the petirah of his father on 23 Teves 5661/1901, Reb Eliezer Dovid was appointed Rebbe in Radoshitz.

Reb Eliezer Dovid was known as a tzaddik who led an ascetic lifestyle. He undertook many fasts. He would eat frugally, and even when he ate, he ingested only the barest minimum.

Reb Eliezer Dovid would spend many long hours davening, standing up all the while.

He was famously known for his mofsim. At times, he would only answer requests after immersing in the mikveh; some days he would immerse himself dozens of times. He would also demand that those who came to request his brachos would first tovel. He could tell who had been in the mikveh and who hadn’t.

Thousands of petitioners flocked to his court, and many stories are related of the miracles that he worked.

Reb Eliezer Dovid spoke with his chassidim in Lashon Hakodesh, and on Shabbos he would only converse in that language.

In his later years, Reb Eliezer Dovid was blind. But despite not being physically able to see them, he would recognize anyone who had been before in Radoshitz.

Reb Eliezer Dovid was niftar on 22 Adar I 5687/1927, in Lodz. Following his petirah, the communities of both Lodz and Radoshitz put forward their claim to have Reb Eliezer Dovid buried within their boundaries. Both wanted the zechus of the tzaddik in their city. The city of Radoshitz claimed that he had lived there all his life, while Lodz claimed that Reb Eliezer Dovid was niftar there, and should be buried there. A din Torah ruled that he should be buried in Lodz.

Reb Eliezer Dovid was succeeded as Rebbe in Radoshitz by his son Harav Chaim Asher. His other son was Harav Yisrael Yosef, who was appointed Rav of Radoshitz. Reb Eliezer Dovid’s son-in-law was Harav Elimelech Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowitz of Sochdenyov.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


March 4

In 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)

In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

In 1813, President James Madison was inaugurated for a second term of office.

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States.

The U.S. Government Printing Office began operation.

The Confederate States of America adopted as its flag the original version of the Stars and Bars.

In 1863, the Idaho Territory was created.

In 1913, just before leaving office, President William Howard Taft signed legislation replacing the Department of Commerce and Labor with separate Departments of Commerce and Labor.

The “Buffalo nickel” officially went into circulation.

Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as the 28th president of the United States, succeeding President William Howard Taft.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America’s 32nd president.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had “deteriorated” into an arms-for-hostages deal.