This Day in History – 5 Tammuz/June 13

5 Tammuz

In 3328/433 B.C.E., Yehoyachin, King of Yehudah, was exiled by Nevuchadnetzar (Melachim 2:24, Daniel 1, Divrei Hayamim 2:36). Among those exiled with him were thousands of Jews from Yerushalayim, including “hecharash v’hamasger,” the outstanding talmidei chachamim and leaders of the generation, who “deafened” and “shut the mouths” of anyone trying to argue with them in Torah.

In 3333/428 B.C.E., Yechezkel Hanavi received a nevuah at the river of Chebar about the Maaseh Merkavah. That perek is read as the haftarah on Shavuos.

In 5408/1648, during the pogroms of tach v’tat led by Chmielnicki, ym”s, the city of Vilna was burnt down; many Jews from Vilna and its environs were killed al kiddush Hashem. Hy”d.

In 5489/1729, Harav Yom Tov Lipman Heller, the Tosfos Yom Tov, was informed of his arrest on libelous charges that his famed Torah works were defamatory of the prevailing religion. The plot was initiated by rich members of the kehillah in Prague who resented the Rav asking them to bear the brunt of the taxes placed on the Jewish community. He was imprisoned on 17 Tammuz, and released on 28 Av. On 1 Adar 5404/1644 he became Rav of Cracow, a day marked as a Yom Tov by his descendants. However, today, 5 Tammuz, the day he was informed of his impending imprisonment, marks a fast day for his descendants.

In 5528/1768, during the Haidamack uprising against the Russian government, approximately 50,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in the city of Uman and the surrounding area. Hy”d.


5575/1815, Harav Yosef Kotenplan, zt”l, mechaber of Batei Nefesh

5605/1845, Harav Yisrael Verbrom, zt”l, of Stashov

5675/1915, Harav Betzalel Yehoshua, zt”l, of Gelina



Harav Alter Ezriel Meir Eiger of Lublin, zt”l

Harav Alter Ezriel Meir Eiger was a son of Harav Avraham of Lublin, the Shevet Yehudah, who was the son of the first Lubliner Rebbe, Harav Yehudah Leib (Leibeleh) Eiger, zy”a, grandson of Harav Akiva Eiger, zt”l, and a close talmid of Harav Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Izhbitz, zy”a.

He was born on 25 Shevat 5633/1873. Reb Ezriel Meir was raised in the court of his holy grandfather the Toras Emes, who hired special melamdim for his gifted grandson.

At a young age he became engaged to the daughter of Harav Chaim Roke’ach, a descendant of the Maaseh Roke’ach. After his chasunah he sat al hatorah v’al ha’avodah and spent part of his time with his father-in-law and part of his time at his grandfather’s — and later, father’s — court.

After a number of years Reb Ezriel Meir began an iron works business. He was very successful, and after a while he became very wealthy. His prosperity and success in no way had any impact on his holy avodah; on the contrary, he was totally immersed in his davening and learning and gave away huge sums of money to tzedakah.

After his father, the Shevet Yehudah, was niftar, on 22 Teves 5674/1914, the brothers Reb Shlomo and Reb Ezriel Meir refused to take on the mantle of leadership.

Reb Shlomo returned home to his hometown of Krushnik and would not hear of becoming Rebbe. His younger brother Reb Ezriel Meir, however, eventually bowed to the will of the chassidim, and took over his father’s beis medrash in Lublin. Reb Shlomo, too, eventually, began leading his own court in Krushnik.

During World War I, Reb Shlomo fled from Krushnik to Lublin, where he reestablished his Chassidus in his father’s beis medrash, while Reb Ezriel Meir moved to another section of the city. Reb Ezriel Meir relocated several times, to Pilov, Warsaw, and Otwock, and later he returned to Lublin again.

In 5673/1913 he and his brother founded a Lubliner yeshivah with the name Ahavas Torah. The yeshivah was a vibrant makom Torah for close to 10 years, where the Lubliner bachurim absorbed Torah and Chassidus from the holy Rebbes.

Reb Ezriel Meir was known as a lamdan and posek. He published a few booklets on halachic matters. Amongst these kuntresim, the better-known ones include Hatza’as Takanah Nechutzah
and Takanas Rabbim. Later, Reb Ezriel Meir published two volumes of Shevet Yehudah, divrei Torah of his father on sefer Bereishis and sefer Shemos, with his footnotes.

In Elul 5699/1939, the Germans attacked Lublin and thousands were killed and wounded during the battle. The Eiger family suffered direly under the hands of the Nazis, y”s. They moved from Lublin to Warsaw at the onset of the War. Reb Ezriel Meir took ill due to the harsh conditions.

Reb Ezriel Meir was niftar in Warsaw on 5 Tammuz, 5701/1941 and was buried there.

His son, Harav Shlomo Elazar, Hy”d, became Rebbe after Reb Ezriel Meir’s petirah. He led for a short time, until he was murdered, together with millions of other Jews, al kiddush Hashem.

The Lublin dynasty was continued after the War, in Eretz Yisrael, by his grandson Harav Avraham Eiger, zy”a, of Bnei Brak, and is carried on by his son Harav Shlomo Eliyahu, shlita.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


June 13

In 1842, Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to ride on a train, traveling from Slough Railway Station to Paddington in 25 minutes.

In 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned in Lake Starnberg.

In 1942, the first of two four-man Nazi sabotage teams arrived in the United States during World War II. (The eight were arrested after one of them went to U.S. authorities; six of the saboteurs were executed.)

In 1944, Germany began launching flying-bomb attacks against Britain during World War II.

In 1957, the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America in 1620, arrived at Plymouth, Mass., after a nearly two-month journey from England.

In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that criminal suspects had to be informed of their constitutional right to consult with an attorney and to remain silent.

In 1971, The New York Times began publishing excerpts of the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 that had been leaked to the paper by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg.

In 1981, a scare occurred during a parade in London when a teenager fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1983, the U.S. space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, became the first spacecraft to leave the solar system as it crossed the orbit of Neptune.

In 1993, Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party chose Defense Minister Kim Campbell to succeed Brian Mulroney as prime minister; she was the first woman to hold the post.

In 1996, the 81-day-old Freemen standoff ended as 16 remaining members of the anti-government group surrendered to the FBI and left their Montana ranch.