This Day in History – 8 Elul/August 14

8 Elul

In 3828/68 C.E. (or 3830/70 C.E.), Jewish resistance to Roman forces during the time of the second Bais Hamikdash came to an end with the fall of the walls of the upper city of Yerushalayim.

In 5109/1349, Jews were killed in Worms on charges that they had brought about the Black Plague, which wiped out thousands upon thousands in Europe. A taanis tzibbur in the kehillah of Worms commemorated the victims of this libel. Hy”d.


5373/1613, Harav Dovid Ganz, zt”l, mechaber of Tzemach Dovid

5677/1917, Harav Moshe Sofer, zt”l, Rav of Tisafirer

5696/1936, Harav Alter Elyakim Shapira, zt”l, Rav of Tchernowitz and mechaber of Shem MiShimon


8 Elul 5559/1799

Harav Avraham Shimshon of Rashkov, zy”a

Harav Avraham Shimshon Hakohen was the only son of Harav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoa, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef.

Reb Avraham Shimshon moved to Eretz Yisrael, but in 5502/1742 he returned to chutz la’Aretz and was appointed Rav in Rashkov. This was the city where his father had served as Rav before moving to Polnoa.

Several years later, in 5520/1760, Reb Avraham Shimshon went back to Eretz Yisrael. He lived first in Teveria, later settling in Tzfas. According to some sources, the Baal Shem Tov and Harav Pinchas of Koritz participated in the wedding of Reb Avraham Shimshon, and the Baal Shem Tov said during the wedding that he saw that Reb Avraham Shimshon will move to Eretz Yisrael. Another source says that Reb Avraham Shimshon moved to Eretz Yisrael while still a bachur.

Among Reb Avraham Shimshon’s manuscripts is a siddur he wrote based on the nusach of the Arizal. There are also some divrei Torah of the Baal Shem Tov and of his father, the Toldos, not published elsewhere.

Reb Avraham Shimshon was niftar on 8 Elul 5559/1799 and buried in Teveria.

He did not have any children.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


August 14

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.

In 1908, a race riot erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire; at least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of principles that renounced aggression.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.

In 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, 88, died in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1962, robbers held up a U.S. mail truck in Plymouth, Mass., making off with more than $1.5 million; the loot was never recovered.

In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In 1973, U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.

In 1997, an unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.