This Day in History – 6 Tammuz/June 23

In 5552/1792, the Jews of Ostroha were saved during the Russian-Polish war. The kehillah established this day as Purim Ostroha to commemorate the miracle.

In 5736/1976, 265 Jewish hostages were rescued from Palestinian and Ugandan terrorists at Entebbe.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5516/1756, Harav Yisrael Yaakov Algazi, zt”l

5546/1786, Harav Chaim de la Rosa, zt”l, mechaber of Toras Chacham

5686/1926, Harav Moshe Hager of Kossov, zt”l, mechaber of Leket Oni

5756/1996, Harav Yitzchak Chaim Krisnetzki, zt”l


 

5701/1941, Harav Aharon Levin, zt”l, Rav of Reisha

Born on 14 Cheshvan in Pshemishel, Galicia, Harav Aharon Levin was the son of Rav Nosson.

At the request of his grandfather, he was named Aharon after his mother’s brother, Harav Aharon Shmelkish, who was niftar at a young age.

Reb Aharon astounded all with his hasmadah, and his bar mitzvah drashah that he prepared by himself left people spellbound.

When the family moved to Rohatin where his father became Rav, he went to learn under his grandfather, the Beis Yitzchak, then Rav of Pshemishel.

At just 17, he began to deliver drashos at the main beis medrash of Lvov on a regular basis. Reb Aharon was renowned for his drashos.

In 5662/1902, Reb Aharon married the daughter of the nagid Harav Eliyahu Tzvi Friedman of Vielitshka. Shortly after his wedding he received semichah from Harav Chaim Aryeh Horowitz, Rav of Cracow, and Harav Binyamin Aryeh Weiss, Rav of Chernowitz.

Two years later, in 5664/1904, despite his youth, Reb Aharon was appointed Rav in Sambur, a city with over 10,000 residents. In 5667/1907 his grandfather, the Beis Yitzchak, was niftar. Reb Aharon, 27 at the time, was one of the maspidim at the huge levayah, and his emotional hesped affected everyone.

After his father’s petirah, Rav Aharon became Rav of Reisha, where he became involved in klal issues. He was appointed as an adviser to Kaiser Franz Josef of Austria — an extremely powerful position. In World War I many Jews fled to Austria; Rav Aharon used his influence to help them.

In Elul 5683/1923, the Knessiah Gedolah of Agudas Yisrael was held in Vienna, with Reb Aharon’s active participation. At its end, Reb Aharon was appointed nasi of the worldwide Agudas Yisrael movement and was chosen to represent religious Jewry and Agudas Yisrael in the Polish parliament, together with his close friend Harav Meir Shapiro of Lublin.

Before the outbreak of World War II, Rav Aharon, realizing what was coming, fled to Lvov and from there to the Polish-Lithuanian border, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt to cross. Caught by border police, he was held in what was once the home of the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, in Radin.

After a few days he was released. A few weeks later, an expert smuggler was sent to help him escape, but some communist Jews told local police about the plan. They pursued Reb Aharon and brought him back to Radin. Taken to court for his “crime,” he was found innocent.

Later Rav Aharon returned to Lvov. After Pesach 5700/1940, the Jews in eastern Galicia were deported by the Russians to Siberia.

His sons had reached Japan, and they arranged a Chilean passport for him that would have allowed him to escape. But alas, the Germans reached Lvov before the passport did.

On 6 Tammuz 5701/1941, the very day that the Nazis arrived in Lvov, they ruthlessly murdered Rav Aharon. Hy”d.


 

June 23

In 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Authority was established.

In 1947, the Senate joined the House in overriding President Harry S. Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act, designed to limit the power of organized labor.

In 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt.

In 1969, Warren E. Burger was sworn in as chief justice of the United States by the man he was succeeding, Earl Warren.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon and White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman discussed using the CIA to obstruct the FBI’s Watergate investigation. Revelation of the tape recording of this conversation sparked Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

In 1995, Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical pioneer who developed the first vaccine to halt the crippling rampage of polio, died in La Jolla, California, at age 80.