This Day in History – 24 Nisan/April 13

In 2449/1312 B.C.E., Bnei Yisrael paused at Marah after they crossed the Yam Suf. The Gemara in Sanhedrin 56b relates: In Marah, Hashem commanded the Jews to observe 10 mitzvos: the seven mitzvos of Bnei Noach, plus monetary laws, Shabbos, and kibbud av va’eim.

In 3412/349 B.C.E, Daniel saw a vision. The passuk says (Daniel 10:5-12): “On the shore of the Chidekel River, a man clothed in linen … his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches … was revealed to Daniel. [According to most meforshim, the man was Gavriel.] And the people (Chaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) did not see him … And the man comforted him: ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to fast before your G-d, your words have been heard.’” (See meforshim there for further explanation.)



5366/1606, Harav Moshe of Premishel, zt”l, mechaber of Mateh Moshe

5673/1913, Harav Yosef Friedman of Rimanov, zt”l

5755/1995, Reb Chaim Yitzchak Chaikin, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Aix-les-Bains, France


5677/1917, Harav Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz of Poltava, zt”l

Harav Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz was the son of Harav Dov, who was Rav of Schillel and Pontnitza. He was born in 5621/1861.

As a young boy, he was already known as the iluy of Wackshne.

He was the brother-in-law of Harav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz Teumim, the Aderes.

Rav Eliyahu Akiva was appointed Rav of Poltava. Renowned for his firm opinions and a flowing pen, Rav Eliyahu Akiva used his strong Torah hashkafos to fight all those who tried to raise a hand against the Torah-true way of life. His style was fierce and unafraid, and he was always ready and willing to defend the kodshei Yisrael that were constantly under attack.

Acting upon the deathbed request of his father, Rav Eliyahu Akiva refrained from entering into arguments to try to explain himself and the opinions he supported, even in cases where he was right; anyone who wanted his opinions could glean them from his articles in the weekly Jewish newspaper Hamodia and the periodical Hapeles.

Rav Eliyahu Akiva edited Hapeles for five years, and was the founding editor of Hamodia, in 5670/1910, holding that post for four years. He invested enormous efforts to ensure that these publications led the way with a clear-cut vision of what responsibilities faced European Jewry at the time and Klal Yisrael in general.

On Erev Pesach 5677/1917, during the baking of the matzos, Rav Eliyahu Akiva collapsed. He was niftar shortly afterwards, on 24 Nisan, at the age of 56.

Among his many sefarim and other works was his sefer Chessed Limeshicho, on Megillas Rus.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


April 13

In 1860, the Pony Express completed its inaugural run from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif., in 10 days.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.

In 1960, the U.S. Navy’s Transit 1B navigational satellite was successfully launched into orbit.

In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. The astronauts managed to return safely.

In 2006, confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui expressed no remorse for his role in the 9/11 attacks as he took the stand for the second time in his death-penalty trial in Alexandria, Va.

In 2010, world leaders concluded a 47-nation nuclear security conference in Washington, endorsing President Barack Obama’s call for securing all of the globe’s vulnerable nuclear materials within four years, but offering few specifics for achieving that goal.

In 2010, first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Haiti, the scene of a devastating earthquake three months earlier.

In 2011, with the crew of a U.S. spy plane safely back in the United States, American officials gave their detailed version of what happened when the plane collided with a Chinese fighter on April 1. The U.S. said its plane was struck by the jet; China maintained that the U.S. plane rammed the fighter.


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