This Day in History – 30 Cheshvan/November 12

The kever of Harav Tzvi Hersh.
The kever of Harav Tzvi Hersh.

American forces recaptured New York City from the British. This cleared the way for the return of Jews who had been forced to flee when the British captured New York City in 1776. Jewish leaders were in danger due to their public support of the American Revolution.



5533/1773, Harav Yissachar Dov Bernstein, zt”l, Rav of Hanover, Germany


5607/1846, Harav Tzvi Hersh of Rimanov, zt”l

Harav Tzvi Hersh was born in 5538/1778; his father was Reb Yehudah Leib Hakohen. Orphaned at the age of 10, he went to live with his uncle, who had him learn the trade of tailoring.

At about 15, the tzaddik Reb Avraham Moshe of Pshevorsk passed through the village where the youngster lived. The lad became attached to Reb Avraham Moshe and he decided to leave his trade and devote himself entirely to avodas Hashem.

After his family members rebuked him for leaving work, he decided to flee to the beis medrash of Reb Menachem Mendel Thurm of Rimanov, who at the time resided in Pristik. As soon as he arrived, he sat down to learn and for two years learned continuously while striving to attain ever-greater heights in avodas Hashem.

In time, he became the personal aide of Reb Menachem Mendel, the Rimanover Rebbe. In this way he fulfilled his desire to be close to him at all times.

Harav Tzvi Hersh suffered many afflictions, and his son-in-law once asked him why. The tzaddik replied that just as Avraham Avinu did not ask questions of Hashem, so, too, did he refrain from asking questions!

When the Yeshuos Yaakov of Kutna heard this, he commented that he, too, had lost his son and he could not be consoled until he heard this vort from Reb Tzvi Hersh.

When Reb Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz came to receive a brachah from his Rebbe before his petirah, Reb Mendel of Rimanov blessed him with his left hand. “Why with the left hand?” Reb Naftali inquired. “The right hand is saved for Reb Tzvi Hersh. The same way the Arizal descended to the world only for his talmid Rav Chaim Vital, so, too, did I descend to the world only for my talmid, Reb Tzvi Hersh.”

With these words Reb Mendel made it clear that he wanted his talmid Reb Tzvi Hersh to be his successor. Despite that, while Reb Naftali of Ropshitz was alive, Reb Tzvi Hersh did not want to lead.

In 5587/1827, after the histalkus of the Ropshitzer Rebbe, Reb Tzvi Hersh returned to Rimanov and founded his court, which drew multitudes of Chassidim.

During Sukkos of 5607/1846, Reb Tzvi Hersh hinted numerous times that the time of his petirah was drawing near. After Sukkos he set out on a journey to pay off all debts he had incurred while giving tzedakah. On the night of 30 Cheshvan he davened Maariv, after which he took leave of his Rebbetzin. After chatzos he recited birkas Shehakol, and with that, his lofty neshamah departed this world.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Nov. 12

In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.

In 1984, space shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared a wandering satellite in history’s first space salvage; the Palapa B2 satellite was secured in Discovery’s cargo bay for return to Earth.