In 1657/2105 B.C.E., “the earth dried up” (Bereishis 8:14), effectively ending the Mabul after 365 days. On this day Hashem commanded Noach to come out of the teivah and repopulate, settle and cultivate the earth.
5270/1509, Harav Yaakov Chaviv, zt”l, mechaber of Ein Yaakov
5457/1696, Harav Dovid, zt”l, Rav of Lida, Magentza and Amsterdam, mechaber of Ir Dovid, Ir Miklat and Sharvit Hazahav
5677/1916, Harav Moshe Mordechai of Pelzovizna, zt”l
5759/1998, Harav Yaakov Leizer, zt”l, Pshevorsker Rebbe of Antwerp
Reb Yankele, as he was affectionately known, was born on the sixth of Teves 5766/1906. His parents, Reb Dovid and Pessel Tirtza of Vashlisk in Galicia, perished together with their daughters in a forest near Dukla during the Holocaust. Hy”d.
Reb Yankele studied with his father, and as a youngster knew hundreds of blatt Gemara by heart, a result of keeping learning sedarim that often lasted for nine consecutive hours. As a teen, he learned together with the Klausenburger Rebbe, zt”l, in the yeshivah of Reb Tevele Zehman of Dukla, who later conferred semichah upon him.
He was appointed Rav of Yashlisk in 5691/1931. In 5695/1935 he married the daughter of the tzaddik Reb Moshe Yitzchak (Itzikel) Gevirtzman, the Rebbe of Pshevorsk, and moved to Pshevorsk. He greatly admired his father-in-law and did not leave his side until Reb Itzikel’s petirah on Yom Kippur 5737/1976.
After the war they arrived in Paris, after which they moved to Antwerp, where Reb Itzikel opened a beis medrash in 5717/1957.
After Reb Itzikel’s petirah, Reb Yankele was requested by the Chassidim to take his father-in-law’s place as Pshevorsker Rebbe. As is customary among the descendants of the Noam Elimelech, he was stringent about leading the melaveh malkah tisch.
The melaveh malkahs, during which he related sippurei tzaddikim and divrei Torah, went on for several hours every Motzoei Shabbos. Many of these accounts have been printed in the sefer Yud Gimel Oros.
His Chumash-Rashi shiurim, in which he would deliver beautiful divrei Torah on the weekly sidrah, were very popular, and many are available on tape.
Although he was a Rebbe of hundreds of Chassidim and was respected worldwide, he never deviated even slightly from his humble and simple ways. He respected the lowliest Jews, comforting them with warm words and helping with their needs.
Reb Yankele was careful to avoid disputes.
His gemilus chassadim and tzedakah were legendary. He collected funds and supported the needy and downtrodden with incomparable humility.
Seven years before his petirah he fell ill; he was niftar on 27 Cheshvan 5759/1998.
Zechuso yagen aleinu.
In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom that became known as “Kristallnacht.”
In 1965, the great Northeast blackout began as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours left 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.
In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.
In 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.