This Day in History – 8 Iyar/April 27

The Pnei Menachem, zy”a, leaving the kever of Harav Yerachmiel in the ohel in Peshischa.
The Pnei Menachem, zy”a, leaving the kever of Harav Yerachmiel in the ohel in Peshischa.

In 4856/1096, the Jews of Speyer, Germany, were massacred (on Shabbos) during the First Crusade. Hy”d.

In 5276/1516, the first ghetto for Jews was established in Venice.

In 5427/1667, mass anti-Jewish riots erupted in Lemberg.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5424/1664, Harav Shimon, Rav of Lvov, and Harav Mordechai and Harav Shlomo, the sons of the Taz, zecher tzaddikim livrachah, along with many other prominent Rabbanim and parnassim, were killed al kiddush Hashem in Lvov. Hy”d. (See further in the sefer Melitzei Aish.)

5608/1848, Harav Chaim Avraham Gaghin, zt”l, Rishon LeTzion of Yerushalayim, author of Chukei Chaim and Minchah Tehorah

5628/1868, Harav Mordechai Michael Yaffa, zt”l, Rav of Zadon, talmid of Harav Akiva Eiger

5703/1943, Harav Moshe Mordechai of Trisk was killed al kiddush Hashem during the Holocaust. Hy”d.


 

5591/1831, Harav Yerachmiel Rabinowitz of Peshischa, zt”l

Harav Yerachmiel was born in 5544/1784. His father was Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Yehudi Hakadosh of Peshischa.

For 13 years during his father’s lifetime he occupied himself as a watchmaker, a profession in which he was an expert. In this way he concealed his spiritual greatness from the eyes of the public. He conducted himself in an extremely humble manner, to such an extent that his father’s Chassidim did not have an inkling of his greatness.

He was very diligent in honoring his holy father, the Yehudi Hakadosh, who was known for his extraordinary mesirus nefesh for avodas Hashem. Once his father requested that he bring a burning coal so he could light his pipe. Reb Yerachmiel tossed the coal back and forth between his hands until he placed it into the pipe. It was later revealed that in order to be mekayem kibbud av with his own hands he had severely burnt himself. This story was retold by his brother, Harav Nechemiah of Bichov.

Harav Chaim Meir of Mogilnetze, zt”l, likened the 13 years that Reb Yerachmiel spent as a watchmaker to the 13 years Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son spent hiding in the me’arah, totally detached from the mundane concerns of this world.

After his father’s petirah on Sukkos of 5574/1813, most of his father’s Chassidim followed the leadership of his prime talmid, the Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa. Nevertheless, a group of Chassidim chose to become loyal to Reb Yerachmiel, and they devoted themselves wholeheartedly to their Rebbe. Reb Yerachmiel initially refused, but eventually the Chassidim prevailed.

The Rebbe Reb Bunim and Reb Yerachmiel lived in the same city and had great respect and deference for each other. Reb Yerachmiel attested that the Rebbe Reb Bunim had been “the apple of his father’s eye.”

Reb Yerachmiel is buried in the ohel that also shelters his father and the Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa, in the town of Peshischa, Poland.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


 

April 27

In 1777, the only land battle in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Ridgefield, took place, resulting in a limited British victory.

In 1865, in America’s worst maritime disaster, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.

In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he’d destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.

In 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon was remembered at an outdoor funeral service attended by all five of his successors at the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, California.