This Day in History – 8 Tammuz/June 25

In 5327/1567, the Jews were expelled from Genoa, Italy.

In 5594/1834, Spanish Queen Maria Christina abolished the Spanish Inquisition, which had existed for 300 years.

In 5663/1903, a pogrom took place in Bialystok, Poland.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5550/1790, Harav Shaul, zt”l, Rav of Amsterdam, author of Binyan Ariel

5608/1848, Harav Shimon Shlomo Gitterman, zt”l, of Savorn

5637/1877, Harav Meir of Dzikov, zt”l, author of Imrei Noam

5638/1878, Harav Yechiel Chaim Halevi, zt”l, of Ozhorov

5639/1879, Harav Yosef Alter Hager, zt”l, of Radovitz-Haifa

5659/1899, Harav Eliyahu Mani, zt”l, Rav of Chevron, author of Zichronos Eliyahu

5696/1936, Harav Chaim Mordechai Yaakov Gottlieb, zt”l, of Mishkoltz, author of Yagel Yakov


 

5678/1918, Harav Mordechai Twersky of Kuzmir, zt”l

Harav Mordechai of Kuzmir, born in 5600/1840, was the son of Harav Avraham of Trisk, the Trisker Maggid, who was the son of Harav Mordechai, the Maggid of Chernobyl.

In 5619/1859, Rav Mordechai married Rebbetzin Chana, the daughter of Harav Asher of Stolin. After his chasunah he remained in Karlin, where he was supported by his Rebbetzin’s grandfather, Reb Aharon of Karlin.

Reb Mordechai’s Rebbetzin approached her father-in-law, the Trisker Maggid, numerous times, asking him to daven on her behalf that she should be blessed with a child, to which he agreed. As time passed and she still was not blessed with a child, she approached her father-in-law again. However, the holy Maggid then said to her: “The truth of the matter is that if your husband wanted you to be blessed with a child, you would have already been blessed; but on second thought, with a husband as great as yours, why do you need children? Is he not as good as 10 children?” And she never had children …

After his father’s petirah, Reb Mordechai accepted the cloak of leadership, and the majority of his father’s Chassidim flocked to him. When Reb Mordechai had to flee from Vlodovoki to Galicia, his Chassidim in Warsaw tried to use their connections to enable their Rebbe to return to Russia. Upon hearing what the Chassidim were attempting to do, the Rebbe insisted on remaining in Galicia. He explained: “I do not want to live in Russia at this time, due to the fact that I wish to remove the present czar from power. While residing in Russia, I do not have the power to curse Russia’s leader.” And so it happened: Shortly thereafter, Alexander III died, and his son Nicholas II (the last Russian monarch), succeeded him.

Many different Polish communities sent delegations to the Rebbe, inviting him to settle in their respective communities. The Rebbe chose the city of Kuzmir, in the province of Lublin, as his new hometown.

On the day of his petirah (Thursday, 8 Tammuz), he hired a wagon driver to drive him and his gabbai to the mikveh, which was situated at the edge of the town. Upon exiting the mikveh, he said: “Ich bin in gantzin rein — I am completely purified.”

When he arrived home, he told his gabbai, “I have not yet recited the brachah of Shehecheyanu on cherries this season.” The gabbai brought cherries to the Rebbe’s room, upon which the Rebbe recited the brachah of Shehecheyanu. Reb Mordechai then remained seated and appeared to be engrossed in holy thought. Suddenly, he groaned and fell back into his chair in a faint. Physicians were summoned, but the Rebbe had already returned his pure neshamah to its Creator.

Many of Reb Mordechai’s divrei Torah are recorded in Sefer Maamar Mordechai (Kielce 5679/1919).

Zechuso yagen alenu.


 

June 25

In 1788, Virginia ratified the U.S. Constitution.

In 1876, Lt. Col. George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was enacted.

In 1943, Congress passed, over President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veto, the Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act, which allowed the federal government to seize and operate privately owned war plants facing labor strikes.

In 1950, war broke out in Korea as forces from the communist North invaded the South.

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that recitation of a state-sponsored prayer in New York State public schools was unconstitutional.