This Day in History – 26 Adar/March 8

26 Adar

In 5004/1244, the pope issued a bull ordering the burning of the Talmud.

In 5437/1677, the Jewish community of Newport, R.I., bought land for a cemetery.


5573/1813, Harav Eliezer Lipa of Chmelnik, zt”l, son of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, zy”a

5762/2002, Harav Avraham Chaim Brim of Yerushalayim, zt”l


27 Adar

5772/2012, Harav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Torah Ore

Harav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg was born on 27 Elul 5670/1910 in Ostrov, Poland. His parents were Reb Yaakov Yitzchak and Yuspa (Tumback) Scheinberg. He was born in his father’s absence, as his father had left his wife and firstborn son Avraham Nosson to go to America to avoid conscription into the Polish army.

Reb Yaakov Yitzchak had planned to work and send money back home, but he was fired from job after job because of his refusal to work on Shabbos.

Before long, he did not even have enough money to rent a room, and spent months sleeping on New York City’s East River Drive with a pillow, a blanket and an umbrella.

Meanwhile, his wife, who had moved in with her parents, also struggled to make ends meet, milking cows at dawn for Polish farmers. With the outbreak of World War I, the family members lost contact.

By the time young Chaim Pinchas was nine, his father had saved enough money to open his own tailor shop, and brought his wife and children to America. This was the first time he met his father.

Harav Chaim Pinchas learned in Yeshivas Rabbi Jacob Joseph (RJJ) until he was 14, when his future father-in-law, Harav Yaakov Yosef Herman, zt”l, encouraged him to transfer to Rav Yehudah Levenberg’s yeshivah, Beis Medrash L’Rabbanim, in New Haven, Connecticut, which taught no secular subjects. There, he excelled in his Torah studies, finishing Shas by the age of 16.

He later learned in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan, together with other American luminaries such as Harav Avigdor Miller, Harav Mordechai Gifter, and Harav Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, zecher tzaddikim livrachah. He heard shiurim from Harav Shlomo Polatchek, zt”l, known as the Meitchiter Iluy; Harav Moshe Soloveitchik, zt”l; and Harav Shimon Shkop, zt”l, who was visiting America at the time.

At 19, he became engaged to 17-year-old Basha (Bessie) Herman, a”h. Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz, zt”l, who was staying at the Herman home at the time, wrote the tena’im.

After their wedding, the young couple left for Mir, Poland, where Harav Scheinberg learned for five years with intense hasmadah, supported by his parents in America.

During their stay in Europe, Harav Scheinberg also traveled to Kamenitz, to Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz, zt”l, who gave him semichah.

They returned to America in 5695/1935, since their American citizenship would have expired after more than five years abroad.

In America, he served as Mashgiach of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens and later Brooklyn for 25 years, developing a warm and caring relationship with his talmidim, and also served as Rav of Congregation Bakesh Shalom Anshei Ostrov on the Lower East Side.

In 5720/1960, the Rosh Yeshivah opened Yeshivas Torah Ore in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The yeshivah started out with only six talmidim, but grew steadily. He treated his talmidim as his own children, even raising money to marry them off and paying their medical bills.

In 5725/1965, at the request of Harav Akiva Ehrenfeld, Rav of Mattersdorf, who was involved in the selling of apartments in the new Mattersdorf neighborhood, the Scheinbergs moved to Yerushalayim together with their married children, five other families, and 20 talmidim.

Harav Scheinberg also relocated Yeshivas Torah Ore to Mattersdorf.

The Rosh Yeshivah was famous for his stringency in wearing tefillin all day, as well as wearing many pairs of tzitzis. He woke up early every morning, even if he would not get to sleep before midnight, to daven with netz.

The Rosh Yeshivah put particular stress on learning halachah.

With his captivating smile and overflowing ahavas Yisrael, he was always ready to help another Yid. His was a central address for many across the world, and especially English-speaking families in Eretz Yisrael, who flocked to him for brachos and advice on all issues. He even installed a telephone in the bedroom so callers could reach him at any hour!

In 5770/2009, his Rebbetzin passed away after more than 80 years of marriage.

Rav Chaim Pinchas was niftar on 27 Adar 5772/2012, at the age of 101.

His many sefarim include the Tabaas Hachoshen on Choshen Mishpat and Ketzos; Igra Deshmatsa on Shev Shematsa; Milu’ei Even on Avnei Milu’im; Mishmeres Chaim on various topics; and Shiurei Rebbi Chaim Pinchas on seven masechtos; as well as sefarim in English.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


March 8

In 1854, U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry made his second landing in Japan.

In 1917, the U.S. Senate voted to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

In 1917, Russia’s “February Revolution” (so called because of the Old Style calendar used by Russians at the time) began with rioting and strikes in Petrograd; the result was the abdication of the Russian monarchy in favor of a provisional government.

In 1965, the United States landed its first combat troops in South Vietnam as 3,500 Marines were brought in to defend the U.S. air base at Da Nang.

In 1983, in a speech in Orlando, Fla., President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.”