This Day in History – 4 Tishrei/September 17


5508/1747, Harav Tzvi Hirsch Halberstadt, the Kos Hayeshuos, zt”l

5581/1820, Harav Avraham Danzig, mechaber of Chayei Adam and Chachmas Adam, zt”l


5608/1847, Harav Yitzchak Aryeh, the Baal Shem of Michelstadt, zt”l

Harav Yitzchak Aryeh, known as Reb Zekel Leib, was born in 5527/1767 in Michelstadt, Germany. His father was Harav ­Matisyahu. The family traced their lineage from Harav Eliyahu Baal Shem, stretching all the way back to Dovid Hamelech.

From his earliest youth, Reb Yitzchak Aryeh reached exalted madreigos through self-deprivation.

At the age of 15, he went to learn under the auspices of Harav Nosson Hakohen Adler, one of the greatest Rabbanim in his time.

By the time he was 18, Reb Yitzchak Aryeh was fluent in chochmas haKabbalah. He continued learning under Reb Nosson Adler until 5549/1789, when he married, returned to his hometown and founded a yeshivah.

Hundreds of talmidim thronged to his yeshivah. Reb Yitzchak Aryeh took care of all their needs with care and warmth.

Due to persecution by kehillah members who opposed his ways, as well as his frequent forays into chochmas hanistar, he was not accepted as Rav in Michelstadt. In fact, once they even had him thrown into jail. As these events detracted from his ability to continue his rigorous avodas Hashem, he moved to Mannheim, where he remained for a short while.

In 5582/1822, Reb Yitzchak Aryeh moved back to Michelstadt, where he was finally accepted as Rav of the city and its surrounding environs.

He was known as a baal mofes, performing many wondrous miracles in order to help Yidden. People flocked to him from all over the continent. Gedolim such as the Chiddushei Harim and the Chassam Sofer told their petitioners to seek his brachah.

Reb Yitzchak Aryeh suffered much during his lifetime. He lost his Rebbetzin at a young age and a number of his children died in his lifetime. As mentioned above, he suffered persecution and his home burned down with his entire collection of precious sefarim and unpublished manuscripts.

What remained of his writings was gathered and published by Machon Yerushalayim in The Baal Shem of Michelstadt.

Reb Yitzchak Aryeh was niftar on the night of Motzoei Tzom Gedaliah, and is buried in the beis hachaim in Worms.

Yehi zichro baruch.


September 17

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers launched Operation Market Garden, landing behind German lines in the Netherlands. (After initial success, the Allies were beaten back by the Germans.)