This Day in History – 26 Av/August 2

(Top) The original Lincoln “wheat” penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent (Bottom) in 1909. (AP images)
(Top) The original Lincoln “wheat” penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent (Bottom) in 1909. (AP images)

26 Av

In 5569/1809, a group of 70 “perushim,” talmidim of the Vilna Gaon, arrived in Eretz Yisrael. The group, led by Harav Yisrael of Shklov, zt”l, experienced many hard times.

In 5680/1920, the Turkish government renounced its sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael and recognized the British Mandate.

In 5702/1942, 10,000 Jews were sent from the ghetto of Borislav, Ukraine, to Belsen, in the first mass deportation of Jews to the gas chambers. Hy”d.


5714/1954, Harav Meir Ashkenazy, zt”l, Rav of Shanghai

5732/1972, Harav Shlomo Chaim Friedman of Sadigura, zt”l

5739/1979, Harav Yoel Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l


Harav Noach Naftali of Kobrin, zt”l

Reb Noach Naftali, born in 5596/1836, was the son of Reb Yisrael Yaakov, who was the son of the famed Reb Moshe of Kobrin. He was the son-in-law of his uncle, Reb Baruch Chaim Levin (a son-in-law of Reb Moshe of Kobrin).

Following the petirah of his grandfather, Reb Moshe of Kobrin, on 29 Nisan 5618/1858, Reb Noach Naftali was appointed Rebbe by a group of his grandfather’s chassidim. (Most of the chassidim accepted Reb Avraham of Slonim as their Rebbe.)

Reb Noach Naftali was known as an outstanding talmid chacham. His appearance was regal.

On 26 Av 5649/1889, at the age of 63, Reb Noach Naftali was niftar in Komin while cutting the bread at his table.

His sons, Reb Dovid Shlomo of Kobrin and Reb Aharon Levi of Diamatshcve, succeeded him as Rebbe.

Many of Reb Noach Naftali’s divrei Torah were printed in the sefer of his grandfather, Amaros Tehoros, under the title Maamarim Tehorim

Zechuso yagen aleinu.



August 2

In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1862, the Ambulance Corps for the Army of the Potomac was created at the order of Maj. Gen. George McClellan during the Civil War.

In 1909, the original Lincoln “wheat” penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent.

In 1922, Alexander Graham Bell, generally regarded as the inventor of the telephone, died in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed; Kennedy led the survivors to nearby islands until they could be rescued.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox suffered light damage from North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. (Dean ended up serving four months.)

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)