This Day in History – 5 Tammuz/June 22

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.


 

Yahrtzeiten

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 Galina


 

5701/1941, 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.

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

At a young age he was engaged to the daughter of Harav Chaim Rokeach. After the chasunah he sat al hatorah v’al ha’avodah. After a number of years Reb Ezriel Meir went into the iron-working business. He was successful, eventually becoming very wealthy. His wealth, however, had no 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 the Shevet Yehudah was niftar on 22 Teves 5674/1914, Reb Shlomo, the older brother, would not hear of becoming a Rebbe. Reb Ezriel Meir eventually consented to the will of the Chassidim and succeeded his father in Lublin.

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

In 5673/1913, he and his brother founded a Lubliner Yeshivah by the name of Ahavas Torah. The yeshivah was a vibrant makom Torah for almost 10 years.

Reb Ezriel Meir was known as a lamdan and a posek. He published a few booklets on halachic matters; the better-known ones were Hatzaas Takanah Nechutzah and Takanas Rabbim. In Takanas Rabbim, Reb Ezriel Meir introduces the idea of writing an annual heter iska for businessmen, which would alleviate the aveirah of Jews taking interest from one another in business. In his hakdamah he writes that since he himself was a businessman before taking up the leadership of Chassidim, he knows how hard it is to be careful in these matters. He sent this sefer to many of the leading Gedolim, all of whom praised it highly.

In 5692/1932, Reb Ezriel Meir published Shevet Yehudah, divrei Torah of his father on sefer Bereishis, adding his footnotes which highlight his amazing knowledge. In 5698/1938, he published the second volume of Shevet Yehudah, on sefer Shemos, again with his footnotes.

In Elul 5699/1939, the Germans attacked Lublin and thousands were killed and wounded during the battle. The Eiger family suffered severely at the hands of the Nazis. They moved from Lublin to Warsaw at the onset of the war. Reb Ezriel Meir took ill due to the harsh conditions and was niftar on 5 Tammuz, 5701/1941 and buried in Warsaw.

His son Harav Shlomo Elazar, Hy”d, became Rebbe for a very short time, after Reb Ezriel Meir’s petirah, until he was killed along with many of his Chassidim, together with millions of other Jews al Kiddush Hashem.

Hashem yinkom damam.


 

June 22

In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers aboard the Discovery; their fate remains unknown.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for a second time as Emperor of the French.

In 1870, the United States Department of Justice was created.

In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the “GI Bill of Rights.”

In 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory.

In 1977, John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up.