By Hershel Rosenbluh for Anash.org
On Tisha B’Av, 5689/1929, the Frierdiker Rebbe stayed in Yerushalayim.
In fact, once he returned from Chevron he spent the next six nights in Yerushalayim.
Wednesday 8 Av was dedicated to yechidus, specifically the bochurim of Yeshivas Toras Emes.
That day the Frierdiker Rebbe woke up very early, and after finishing davening and his daily shiurim at eight am, he was brought a telegram from his Rebbetzin and children. At 11:00 am he was visited by his uncle, Reb Moshe Horenstein, son-in-law of the Rebbe Maharash. Reb Moshe spent a few minutes with the Rebbe and went on his way.
One notable visitor that day was Rav Yisroel Voldarsky, who came to discuss setting up a new Vaad for mikvaos in Eretz Yisroel. He spent an hour and a half with the Rebbe. After taking a break for lunch, the Frierdiker Rebbe continued seeing people until five o’clock. At six o’clock the Rebbe ate the Seudah Hamafsekes and sent a short telegram home, informing them of his trip to the holy places in the Galil, Kever Rochel, and Chevron, and that he was doing well, B”H.
At 8:00 pm a minyan for Maariv and Eicha took place in the Frierdiker Rebbe’s hotel. The Rebbe himself sat in a side room and listened to the reading. He later wrote how pained he was that he was staying in a non-frum neighborhood, where the local yidden didn’t conduct themselves as Jews should.
The next morning, Tisha B’Av after Chatzos, the Frierdiker Rebbe left the hotel and went up to Har Hazeisim. There he visited the resting places of Zecharia HaNavi, Rabi Chaim Ibn Atar, author of the Or HaChaim, Rabi Chizkiya Da Silva, the author of the Pri Chadash, the cave of Shimon Hatzadik, the cave of the Sanhedrin and others.
Avrohom Erlichman was a talmid in Toras Emes at that time. In his diary, he writes about the Frierdiker Rebbe’s visit to Har HaZeisim on Tisha B’Av. He describes how the path to the Or HaChaim’s tziyun was full of thorns and how they got stuck in the Frierdiker Rebbe’s clothing. The mashpia Reb Alter Simchovitch would bend down and remove the thorns from the Rebbe’s clothing.
Another tomim who was along for the visit to Har HaZesim was the mashpia and oved Reb Nissen Horowitz, who years later would often speak with great joy and excitement about how he merited to hold the umbrella on the trip, protecting the Frierdiker Rebbe from the hot sun while spending several hours on Har HaZeisim.
After returning back to the hotel the Frierdiker Rebbe met with his uncle Reb Moshe Horenstein for about an hour. At 7:30 pm (67 minutes after the shkiah, according to Google…) the Frierdiker Rebbe davened Maariv.