This Day in History – 5 Iyar/April 24

Yahrtzeiten

5540/1780, Harav Moshe Zorach Eidelitz of Prague, author of Ohr La’yeshorim

5559/1799, Harav Yeshayah Pik, author of the additional hagahos of Mesores Hashas, and author of She’eilas Shalom and other sefarim

5639/1879, Harav Meir Auerbach, Rav of Kalish and author of Imrei Binah


 

5676/1916, Harav Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz Of Yompoli, zy”a

Reb Eliezer Chaim was born in Av 5609/1849. His father was Harav Baruch of Yompoli (commonly known as Reb Boruch of Yass), who was a grandson of Harav Baruch of Mezhibuzh, zt”l.

Reb Baruch and his Rebbetzin were childless for many years. Once, he visited Harav Meir of Premishlan for Shavuos and Reb Meir’l, as he was known, honored him greatly and gave him a brachah for children. Reb Meir’l gave Reb Baruch a bottle of olive oil and a blanket, and told him that when his child would be born he should rinse him with the oil and wrap him in the blanket, promising the child longevity.

When Eliezer Chaim was only 13 his father was niftar, and he and his mother returned to her hometown of Yass, Romania. There he studied under Harav Menachem Nachum of Stefenesht (the son of Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin, zt”l) for five years.

Eventually, Reb Eliezer Chaim succeeded his father as Rebbe, and he would frequently travel around to his Chassidim, remaining in a town for several weeks, or even months, before continuing on to another location. While still in his 20s he visited Harav Chaim of Sanz, who recognized his greatness and spent a few hours with him. After that, despite his old age, Harav Chaim escorted him out of his house, declaring that his name, Eliezer Chaim, is the exact gematria of Dovid ben Yishai and that his neshamah is a nitzutz of Dovid Hamelech.

His grandson, Harav Dovid Yitzchak Eizik, the Skolya Rebbe, zt”l (son of Harav Baruch Pinchas, who was Rebbe in Skolya, Galicia, after his father moved to America), related that Reb Eliezer Chaim would say Tikkun Chatzos every night with a niggun that was handed down by the holy Baal Shem Tov. He would cry over the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash every night as if it had just happened.

When his Rebbetzin passed away in 5689/1889, he traveled to America and resided in New York. He was the first chassidishe Rebbe to do so.

After about a year, he returned to Europe until 5673/1913, when he again went to the United States. His goal was to continue on to Eretz Yisrael to join a son who lived there. However, World War I broke out and he was forced to remain where he was. In 5675/1915 he became ill, and was niftar in New York on 5 Iyar 5676/1916.

He was buried in Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens. Many visit his kever to daven for yeshuos.

His sefer, Siach Eliezer, was first published in 5633/1873; it was reprinted in 5657/1897 and in 5718/1958. In 5744/1984 it was reprinted once more, with the addition of Yeshuos Yisrael, which contains 18 stories about the Baal Shem Tov written by Reb Eliezer Chaim. It was reissued in 5764/2004.

Reb Eliezer Chaim was survived by his sons, Harav Baruch Pinchas of Skolya; Harav Shmuel Avraham of Mezhibuzh-Brownsville; and Harav Yisrael, who was niftar at a young age. His sons-in-law were Reb Yechiel Meir Salzstein and Reb Dov Ber Albert.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

April 24

In 1877, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

In 1898, the United States declared war on Spain.

In 1916, Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launched a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organize a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.

In 1926, the Treaty of Berlin was signed, in which Germany and the Soviet Union each pledged neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years.

In 1957, the Suez Canal was reopened following the introduction of UNEF peacekeepers to the region.

In 1965, civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic when Colonel Francisco Caamano overthrew the triumvirate that was in power since the coup d’etat against Juan Bosch.

In 1968, Mauritius became a member state of the United Nations.

In 1975, the Baader-Meinhof Gang took 13 hostages at the West German embassy in Stockholm.

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery.