This Day in History

The kevarim of Harav Shmuel Eliyahu and Harav Shaul Yedidya of Modzitz on Har Hazeisim

4 Iyar

In 4925/1165, the Rambam and his family left Fez, North Africa, for Eretz Yisrael. The Rambam observed this day as a fast day, commemorating his miraculous survival from a storm that hit the sea on 10 Iyar, a few days after he set sail.


Yahrtzeiten

5458/1698, Harav Yaakov Sassportes, zt”l, mechaber of Shailos U’teshuvos Oholei Yaakov

5652/1892, Harav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik of Brisk zt”l, mechaber of Beis Halevi


5744/1984

Harav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub, the Imrei Aish of Modzitz, Zy”a

The third Modzitzer Rebbe, Harav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub, zy”a, was born on 4 Adar 5665/1905 in Lublin, Poland, to Harav Shaul Yedidya of Modzitz, the Imrei Shaul, zy”a. His mother, Rebbetzin Kayla Nechama, a”h, was a daughter of Harav Avraham Eiger, the Shevet Meyehudah, zt”l.

In his youth, Shaul Yedidya excelled in all aspects of Torah.

At the age of 13, he went to live with his grandfather, Harav Yisrael, zy”a, the Divrei Yisrael of Modzitz, where he delved into Torah and grew in avodas Hashem. After his grandfather’s petirah he moved back to his parents and in 5686/1926 he married Rivkah Zlata, the daughter of Reb Moshe Chaim Kohn, a prominent Warsaw nagid.

In 5690/1930 he received semichah from Warsaw’s leading Rabbanim, and at a young age became a posek.

In the year 5695/1935, Reb Shmuel Eliyahu arrived in Eretz Yisrael for a visit together with his father, Rav Shaul, for whom this was the third trip. They landed Erev Lag BaOmer and the next day went up to Meron to participate in the festivities of the day. It left a tremendous impression on him.

On Tishah B’Av they went to the Kosel. This too, left a profound impression. The entire visit so impressed him that when it was time to return to Poland he said that he would like to remain. His father agreed, and within a year Rav Shmuel Eliyahu brought over his Rebbetzin and his son, Reb Yisrael Dan. The young family settled in Tel-Aviv where Rav Shmuel Eliyahu founded the Modzitzer shtiebel.

Rav Shaul Yedidya, miraculously escaped the Holocaust via Vilna, and eventually arrived in America. There he remained until 5607/1947, when he finally emigrated to Eretz Yisrael. He was niftar a short time later.

The Rebbe composed hundreds of holy niggunim, as did the prior Rebbes.

As the shliach tzibbur on Rosh Hashanah he composed 12 new niggunim every year to enhance the tefillos. His davening was full of heart and raised the spirits of his Chassidim.

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu was unassuming and selfless.

He served as a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah and founded the Yeshivah Imrei Shaul in his father’s memory. His divrei Torah are found in the sefer Imrei Aish. After suffering from various ailments for a number of years, on 4 Iyar he was niftar. He was buried on Har Hazeisim next to his father. He was succeeded by his son Rav Yisrael Dan, zy”a.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


April 19

In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a revolt against Nazi forces. The uprising continued until it was crushed by the Nazis on May 16.

In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”