This Day in History – 24 Adar/March 6

24 Adar

In 4907/1147, the Jews of Wurtzburg were massacred by the Crusaders, Hy”d.

In 5211/1451, the pope issued a bull banning all social contact between Christians and Jews.

In 5263/1503, the Jews of Lithuania were granted permission to return to the country after an eight-year exile.

In 5577/1817, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the Blood Libel — the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Pesach — to be false. (Nevertheless, nearly 100 years later, the accusation was officially leveled against Mendel Beilis in Kiev.)

In 5646/1886, the first organized Arab assault on a Jewish settlement, Petach Tikva, took place.

In 5678/1918, Jews of Gluchor were massacred by a Ukrainian mob.

In 5699/1939, German troops marched into Prague.

In 5704/1944, Germany occupied Hungary.

Yahrtzeiten

5285/1525, Harav Yitzchak Eizek Margulies of Prague, zt”l

5521/1761, Harav Betzalel Yair Danziger of Lodz, zt”l

5604/1844, Harav Binyamin Diskin of Horodna and Vilna, zt”l

5664/1904, Harav Yitzchak of Alesk, zt”l

5687/1927, Harav Shlomo Elyashev, zt”l, mechaber of Leshem Shevo V’achlamah

5700/1940, Harav Yitzchak of Stutchin, zt”l

5736/1976, Harav Yehoshua Menachem Ehrenberg, zt”l, mechaber of Teshuvos Devar Yehoshua


 

5701/1941

Harav Chaim Asher Finkler of Radoshitz, zy”a

Harav Chaim Asher Finkler was the son of Harav Eliezer David of Radoshitz and the son-in-law of his uncle, Harav Meir Menachem of Pietrikov. Harav Eliezer David and Harav Menachem were both sons of Harav Hillel of Radoshitz, who was the son of Harav Yitzchak, Rav of Radoshitz. Harav Yitzchak was the son-in-law of Harav Yissachar Ber, the Saba Kaddisha of Radoshitz.

Reb Chaim Asher was actively involved in the upkeep of his father’s court, and after Reb Eliezer David was niftar, on 22 Adar 5687/1927, Reb Chaim Asher was appointed Rebbe.

In 5693/1933, Reb Chaim Asher was appointed Rav of the nearby city Volshtzve. Upon the request of the chassidim in Radoshitz, Reb Chaim Asher would visit them frequently, as they felt that the city in which his forefathers had lived and held court should not be deserted.

Like his father, Reb Chaim Asher lived a life of kedushah and taharah. He was known for his many fasts and other ascetic practices. Reb Chaim Asher would immerse himself in the mikveh dozens of times a day, for added kedushah.

Reb Chaim Asher was an outstanding masmid. He did not sleep in a bed, only near his sefer, and even that for no more than two hours each day. He was totally dedicated to Torah learning; at midnight he already began his new day of learning by giving a shiur to his talmidim.

Reb Chaim Asher was given semichah by Harav Yoav Yehoshua Weingarten of Kintzk, the Chelkas Yoav. He corresponded with some of the generation’s leading Gedolim, among them the Avnei Nezer, the Maharasham of Brezhan and others. He also headed two yeshivos, in Radoshitz and in Lodz.

Reb Chaim Asher was renowned for his amazing memory and his clarity in learning. Many Rebbes would send their chassidim to him for yeshuos, for he was also regarded as a  baal mofes.

A baal tefillah, Reb Chaim Asher was known for his powerful and emotional voice during davening. He would lead all the tefillos on Yom Kippur.

At the outbreak of World War II, Reb Chaim Asher was in Lodz, where a large group of his chassidim lived. With great difficulty, he was transferred to Radoshitz and from there to Kielce. In the ghetto in Kielce, Reb Chaim Asher suffered from diabetes and was niftar there on 24 Adar 5701/1941. He was zocheh to be buried in kever Yisrael.

His son Harav Yaakov perished in the Holocaust, Hy”d.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

March 6

In 1836, the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen and could not sue for his freedom in federal court.

In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, wounded in an attempt on then-President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt’s life the previous month, died at a Miami hospital.

In 1933, a national bank holiday declared by President Roosevelt aimed at calming panicked depositors went into effect. (The holiday was supposed to last four days, but was extended until it was gradually lifted starting March 13.)

In 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin during World War II.

In 1953, Georgy Malenkov was named premier of the Soviet Union a day after the death of Josef Stalin.

In 1967, the daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva, appeared at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and declared her intention to defect to the West.

In 1970, a bomb being built inside a Greenwich Village townhouse by the radical Weathermen accidentally went off, destroying the house and killing three group members.

In 1988, the board of trustees at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a liberal arts college for the deaf, selected Elisabeth Zinser, a hearing woman, to be school president. (Outraged students shut down the campus, forcing selection of a deaf president, I. King Jordan, instead.)