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Yiftach made a vow to God, “If You will give the descendents of Moav into my grasp, I will offer as a sacrifice that which comes out of my house first when I return to my home in peace.”

Judges 11:30-31


June 18 in History

In 1815, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. According to one account, fifty-two French Jews lost their lives in the battle. This defeat marked a return of the reactionaries to power in Europe. The laws of emancipation that had benefited the Jews of Europe were rolled back. It would take many decades for the Jews of Europe to win them back.

June 19 in History

Today is the birthdate of comedian Moe Howard (1897), who gained fame as one of the Three Stooges.

6 Tammuz in History

Jewish hostages held by Arab terrorists at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, were rescued by Israeli commando units in 1976.

The operation rescued 102 out of 105 of the hostages. The event greatly bolstered the importance of the Jewish State, as this event showed that there was a modern state that was willing to extend itself to rescue Jews, no matter where they were.

In the operation, Jonathan Netanyahu, the unit’s leader and older brother to the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was killed. Jonathan is buried on Mount Herzl.

7 Tammuz in History

Today is the yahrzeit of Rav Gedalia Schorr (1911-1979). Born in the town of Istrik to Rav Avraham Schorr, a Rizhiner chasid, Rav Gedalyah moved to America with his family at the age of 10 and was one of the first students of Mesivta Torah Vodaas under Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz.

He joined the first group of the Daf Yomi (study of a page of Talmud daily) cycle when he was 12 years old, and started delivering shiur, lecture, on the Daf when he was 15. At Torah Vodaas, he studied with Rav Dovid Leibowitz, grandson of the Chafetz Chaim’s brother. When he was 20, he began giving shiur at the Mesivta. After he was married, he left for Europe to study under Rav Aharon Kotler at Kletsk. However, one year later, he was told by the American consul in Warsaw to return home because of the imminent danger. He worked closely with Agudas Yisrael’s rescue efforts during the war.

In 1946, he was appointed menahel ruchni, along with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, of Mesivta Torah Vodaas, a post he maintained for 33 years. In 1956, after the death of Rav Reuven Grozovsky, he also became Rosh Yeshiva of Beis Medrash Elyon, the post-graduate division of Torah Vodaas. His discourses have been collected in the sefer Ohr Gedalyahu.

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June 2010