This Day in History – 6 Nisan/March 26

In 2449/1312 B.C.E., the nasi of Shevet Gad, Elyasaf ben Deu’eil, brought his korban.


Yahrtzeiten

5357/1597, Harav Shmuel Yehudah Mintz, zt”l, the Maharishak

5393/1633, Harav Meir Schiff, zt”l, the Maharam Schiff. According to other opinions, his petirah was on 20 Adar 5401/1641.

5504/1744, Harav Chaim Abulafia of Teveria, zt”l

5622/1862, Harav Shmuel Yechiel of Butchan, zt”l

5707/1947, Harav Aharon Roth, zt”l, the Shomrei Emunim


5688/1928

Harav Meir Don Plotzky, zt”l, the Kli Chemdah

Harav Meir Don was born in Kutna in 5626/1866. His father was Reb Chaim Yitzchak Plotzky.

At the age of three the child fell ill, and Reb Chaim Yitzchak traveled to his Rebbe, Rav Chanoch Henoch of Alexander, who simply told him that his son would “grow to become a Gadol b’Yisrael.” He had a complete recovery.

Reb Chaim Yitzchak eked out a living by working as a clerk for a Jewish timber magnate, but he and his family were continually on the move between various forests. They hired an expert melamed to accompany them wherever they went, to teach their young son Torah. He and his wife were extremely dedicated to maintaining this melamed, to the extent that when times got tough, his wife willingly sold all her jewelry.

Reb Meir Don married at the age of 15. He spent the next 10 years in Dvohrt with his in-laws, who lavishly supplied his every need, even providing him with a huge library of sefarim.

In 5651/1891, when the Rav of Dvohrt was niftar, Rav Meir Don took over his post. His love for emes and din was revealed.

During World War I, when Dvohrt was beset by all the troubles and suffering of war, Rav Meir Don was offered the prestigious rabbanus of the huge industrial town of Lodz, but he turned it down.

About this time, Rav Meir Don was voted chairman of the Agudas Rabbanim of Poland, which was a precursor to Agudas Yisrael. He enthusiastically encouraged every Rav to join its ranks.

In 5683/1923, the Gerrer Rebbe asked Rav Meir Don to accompany the Chofetz Chaim from Radin to the first Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna. Reb Meir Don readily agreed.

At the Knessiah Gedolah, Rav Meir Don was elected a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.

Rav Meir Don regarded trials and tribulations as a springboard to reach even loftier heights in avodas Hashem.

Three of his children passed away after they were married, leaving him with the responsibility of raising their orphans. He often arrived at his shiurim with eyes red from weeping. But he accepted all of his suffering with ahavah.

When he was 60 years old, Rav Meir Don left rabbanus to become Rosh Yeshivah of a large yeshivah in Warsaw known as the Mesivta. He taught Hilchos Kiddush Hashem in the Mesivta for close to six months. But in the winter of 5688/1928 he contracted an incurable disease.

Shortly before his petirah, he asked his son to tell him a dvar Torah. Rav Meir Don listened without uttering a word, but a while later he told his son where almost everything he had touched upon was discussed in his sefer, Kli Chemdah.

On 6 Nisan 5688/1928, at the age of 62, Rav Meir Don was called to the Yeshivah shel Maalah.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

March 26

In 1812, an earthquake devastated Caracas, Venezuela, causing an estimated 26,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1934, Britain enacted a Road Traffic Act re-imposing a 30-mile-per-hour speed limit in “built-up areas” and requiring driving tests for new motorists.

In 1945, during World War II, the Pacific island of Iwo Jima was fully secured by U.S. forces following a final, desperate attack by Japanese soldiers.

In 1958, the U.S. Army launched America’s third successful satellite, Explorer 3.

In 1979, a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter at the White House.