This Day in History – 8 Av/July 15

8 Av

In 2448/1313 B.C.E., the meraglim returned from their 40-day mission to Eretz Yisrael. Even as they praised the land’s fertility, they terrified Bnei Yisrael with tales of mighty giant warriors dwelling there, and asserted that the land was unconquerable.

In 5109/1349, Jews of Frankfurt, Germany, were killed in the Black Death massacres, Hy”d.

In 5430/1670, the Jewish community of Vienna was expelled.

In 5702/1942, the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto was announced, with over 300,000 Jews taken to death camps in the 53 days of this Nazi action.


5625/1865, Harav Shmuel Shmelke Toibish, zt”l, Rav of Yas (Jassi), mechaber of Chayei Olam, Milchamos Hashem and Mitzvas Chalitzah

5638/1878, Harav Yehudah Halevi of Ragoza, zt”l, founder of the Jewish yishuv in Yaffo

5658/1898, Harav Shmuel Luvtzar, zt”l, mechaber of Olas Shmuel

5658/1898, Harav Simchah Zissel Ziv, zt”l, the Alter of Kelm

5674/1914, Harav Shimon Agasi, zt”l, mechaber of Shem MiShimon

5738/1978, Harav Chanoch Henich Dov Zilberfarb, zt”l, the Koidenover Rebbe



Harav Shlomo Zalman Levi, zt”l, Rav of Zlotchov

Harav Shlomo Zalman Levi was the oldest son of Harav Avraham Levi.

He was named for his father’s father, Harav Shlomo Zalman, who was niftar when Reb Avraham was still young. His brothers were Harav Nachum of Shadik (Shadika), who later lived in Yerushalayim; Harav Asher Lemel of Galin; Harav Yaakov Yehudah of Sleshin; and Harav Yisrael.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was born in Warsaw during the time that his father learned there with Harav Shlomo Zalman Lifshitz, the Chemdas Shlomo. Later, Reb Avraham returned to his native Posen.

Reb Shlomo Zalman married the daughter of Harav Chaim Nachum Margulies, the son-in-law of Harav Ephraim Segal, Rav of Kviel.

His zivug sheini was the daughter of Harav Binyamin Wolf Traube, Rav of Kalish.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was appointed Rav in Zlotchov, near Kalish.

An outstanding masmid, he also secretly did many acts of tzedakah and chessed.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was considered to have ruach hakodesh.

It is related that one time, during his shiur in his yeshivah in Zlotchov, a group of six doves landed on the window of the beis medrash; one flew away.

Reb Shlomo Zalman instructed the talmidim to continue to learn on their own, while he himself set out to gather his brothers and travel to the home of their sister in Kletshev who had passed away.

They arrived just in time for the kevurah.

When asked how he had known, Reb Shlomo Zalman replied that the six doves on the window corresponded to his family, five brothers and one sister, and when one bird flew away, he understood that his sister had been niftar.

Another time, after a shiur, Reb Shlomo Zalman instructed one of the bachurim to recite Kaddish.

Then he told the bachur to return home, and the bachur found that his mother had passed away.

When asked how he knew, Reb Shlomo Zalman replied that his eyes saw further than the eyes of  other people.

Reb Shlomo Zalman was niftar on 8 Av 5591/1831, during a cholera outbreak.

Reb Shlomo Zalman left manuscripts of chiddushim on many masechtos, but they were not printed.

Some of his chiddushim are quoted in other sefarim.

Reb Shlomo Zalman had one son-in-law: Harav Michoel Dov Weingott, Rav in Loivitch and mechaber of Agudas Ezov Midbari.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


July 15

In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.

Manitoba entered confederation as the fifth Canadian province.

In 1913, Augustus Bacon (D-Ga.) became the first person elected to the U.S. Senate under the terms of the recently ratified 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for popular election of senators.

In 1916, Boeing Co., originally known as Pacific Aero Products Co., was founded in Seattle.

In 1932, President Herbert Hoover announced he was slashing his own salary by 20 percent, from $75,000 to $60,000 a year; he also cut Cabinet members’ salaries by 15 percent, from $15,000 to $12,750 a year.

In 1943, the Diligenti Quintuplets — three girls and two boys — were born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman was nominated for another term of office by
the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1964, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona was nominated for president by
the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon delivered a broadcast address in which he announced that he had accepted an invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter delivered his “malaise” speech in which he lamented what he called a “crisis of confidence” in America.

In 1983, eight people were killed when a suitcase bomb planted by Armenian extremists exploded at the Turkish Airlines counter at Orly Airport in Paris.

In 1992, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention in New York.

In 2010, after 85 days, BP stopped the flow of oil from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico using a 75-ton cap lowered onto the wellhead earlier in the week.