This Day in History – 29 Shevat/February 8

The signature of the Kedushas Yom Tov.
The signature of the Kedushas Yom Tov.

In 5700/1940, the Lodz Ghetto was established. It was the first major ghetto established by the Nazis. Lodz had a population of over 200,000 Jews; the ghetto was in Balut, the poorest and most crowded part of the city. It was closed in like a huge prison, and the residents had absolutely no contact with the outside world. With food scarce, many thousands of Yidden died of hunger. At the end of 5704/1944 the ghetto was evacuated; its inhabitants were sent to Auschwitz. Hashem yinkom damam.



5578/1818, Harav Aryeh of Brodi and Podheitz, zt”l, author of Lev Aryeh

5646/1886, Harav Yissachar Berish Rubin of Dolina, zt”l


5664/1904, Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, the Kedushas Yom Tov of Sighet, zy”a

Harav Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum was born in Stropkov on 6 Sivan 5596/1836. His father was the Yetev Lev, Rav of Sighet, Harav Yekusiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, who, in turn, was a grandson of the Yismach Moshe.

One year at the Seder, when the Kedushas Yom Tov was a small boy, he accidentally extinguished one of the Yom Tov candles. His mother gasped in shock, but his father, the Yetev Lev, reassured her, “Er vet untzinden sheine licht — he will yet light beautiful candles.” Indeed, the Sigheter Rav lit up the world with his holiness.

In his youth, the Kedushas Yom Tov was a devoted talmid of the Divrei Chaim. No day would pass without him referring to his Rebbe, and for many years he spent Shabbos in Sanz.

In his first marriage he was the son-in-law of Harav Menashe of Ropshitz, a descendant of Harav Naftali of Ropshitz. After many childless years, the couple divorced and Reb Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa then married his cousin, the daughter of Harav Yoel Ashkenazi of Zlotchov, son of Harav Mordechai Dovid of Toltchova.

Sadly, he did not have children from his second zivug either, and he repeatedly petitioned his Rebbe, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, for a brachah. Finally, after many futile attempts, Reb Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa’s older brother, Harav Moshe Yosef of Ujhely, managed to secure a written brachah for his younger brother, that stated, “We are hoping for offspring blessed by Hashem.”

In fact his offspring included Harav Chaim Hirsch of Sighet and Harav Yoel of Satmar, zecher tzaddikim livrachah.

In 5624/1864, at the age of 28, Reb Chananya Yom Tov Lipa was appointed Rav of Teitch, a post he maintained for 19 years. In 5643/1883, he succeeded his father as Rav of Sighet, Hungary, where he remained until his petirah on 29 Shevat 5664/1904.

While he was Rav in Sighet, he was always in the forefront fighting “Hashem’s fight,” and he fiercely opposed any movement that veered even slightly from the traditional derech of avodas Hashem.

Although he was a kana’i when it came to opposing the slightest change in minhagei Yisrael, he was known to say that a Yid accomplishes more when he dances on Simchas Torah than through the many tefillos of the Yamim Nora’im.

He is buried in Sighet. His divrei Torah on the parshiyos and Yamim Tovim are printed in the sefer Kedushas Yom Tov.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


Feb. 8

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1966, during the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson and South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky concluded their meetings in Hawaii by issuing the “Declaration of Honolulu,” which asserted the resolve of their countries to defeat the Communists.

In 1996, in a ceremony at the Library of Congress, President Bill Clinton signed legislation revamping the telecommunications industry, saying it would “bring the future to our doorstep.”