This Day in History – 3 Av/July 10

3 Av

In 5408/1648, Chmielnicki’s Cossacks murdered Harav Shimshon of Ostropolia, together with 300 community members, and massacred 10,000 Jews in Polnoa (today located in the Ukraine). Hy”d.

In 5641/1881, the mass immigration of Russian Jews to the United States began, following many pogroms throughout Russia.


5481/1721, Harav Shimshon Bachrach of Nicholsburg, zt”l, son of the Chavos Yair

5557/1797, Harav Shmuel Salir, zt”l, mechaber of Shem Mi’Shmuel

5582/1822, Harav Yaakov Landau, zt”l, son of the Noda B’Yehudah

5701/1941, Harav Yitzchak Twersky, zy”a, Rebbe of Skver-Boro Park

5733/1973, Harav Eliyahu Moshe Shisgal, zt”l, son-in-law of Harav Moshe Feinstein



Harav Shimshon of Ostropolia, Hy”d

Harav Shimshon was born c. 5360/1600. His father was Harav Pesach of the town Koritz, son-in-law of Harav Shimshon of Kremnitz (the brother of the Maharal). He learned Torah from his father, and from Harav Nassan Nota Kahane, Rav of Ostraha, whom he refers to as his primary Rebbi. He was fluent in all the hidden aspects of Torah, having studied Kabbalah from his youth.

He was known to have a malach known as a maggid, who taught him many secrets of the Torah.

Harav Shimshon served as a maggid meisharim in the kehillah of Ostropolia, and was known far and wide as a holy person. He was the recipient of many complicated she’eilos and was consulted about difficult problems. He would not answer those inquiring about the concealed portions of Torah, claiming responsibility to preserve its kedushah.

Before the horrible
massacres of Tach V’tat (5408–09/1648–49), led by the infamous Bogdan Chmielnicki, ym”s, Harav Shimshon told his community in fiery drashos that his malach revealed to him that grave gezeiros were in the offing; they must repent with intense fervor in order to avoid the consequences. He delivered this message in all the surrounding towns and cities, and the Jews repented with all their hearts.

But, unfortunately, the gezeirah was already “sealed,” and thousands upon thousands perished during those years. Hy”d.

As the Cossacks made their way into Ostropolia, Harav Shimshon and 300 community members went to shul, wearing tachrichim and taleisim, and began to daven with fervor. The resha’im arrived at the shul and murdered all the kedoshim who were inside, killing Harav Shimshon with a misah meshunah. Hy”d.

He was survived by his son, Harav Pesach, a grandfather of Harav Yaakov Shimshon of Shpitkiva, zt”l.

Many tzaddikim attested that the source of Harav Shimshon’s neshamah was Moshiach Ben Yosef, who, according to Chazal, is going to be killed.

Harav Shimshon authored Dan Yadin on Zohar, composed according to the teachings of the malach; but that sefer, among others of his, is not available to us today. In addition, he authored Likutei Shoshanim; and there are many divrei Torah attributed to him. There is also a famous letter, printed in machzorim, that many have the custom to recite on Erev Pesach.


July 10

In 1850, Millard Fillmore was sworn in as President of the United Stattes.

In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state.

In 1913, the highest recorded shade temperature was measured in Death Valley, Calif., at 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius). (Previously, the highest recorded shade temperature in the world, 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 58 Celsius, was said to have occurred in 1922 in present-day Libya, but the accuracy of that reading was disputed in 2012 by the World Meteorological Organization.)

In 1918, the Russian Federal Socialist Republic was formed.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate, and urged its ratification. (However, the Senate rejected it.)

In 1929, American paper currency was reduced in size as the government began issuing bills that were approximately 25 percent smaller.

In 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces began attacking southern England by air. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)

In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean War began at Kaesong.

In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent after three centuries of British colonial rule.

In 1980, hostage Richard I Queen was released after 250 days in captivity in Iran.

In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand, by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed.

Bowing to pressure from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would resume selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.

In 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic.

President George H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.