A Reader Provides A Piece In The Puzzle
A past commenter, Eli Dishon, e-mailed me a link to an eBay auction of the sefer Har Hashem, printed in 1791(5551) in Polonoye. This sefer contained an interesting notation about the son-in-law of the Degel Machaneh Ephraim that made me reconsider the timeline I put together on the Degel's life.
The title page states that the sefer was brought to the printing house by Rabbi Dovid son of Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel HaLevi Horowitz - son-in-law of the Rabbi of Sudilkov [the Degel], who presently resides in Medzhebuz.
I knew that the Degel moved to Sudilkov in 1780, and moved back to Medzhebuz before he passed away in 1800, but I had not considered that he left Sudilkov this early.
Although others have suggested that he only lived in Medzhebuz the last two or three years of his life, the notation in this sefer proves otherwise. Exactly when the Degel left Sudilkov has yet to be determined.
Timeline of the Life of the Degel Machaneh Ephraim
1748 / 5508 - Born in Medzhebuz
1752 / 5513 - Called "Ilui Gadol B'tachlis Halimud" at age 5 years-old by the Besht
1753 / 5513 - His brother Baruch is born
1760 / 5520 - The Baal Shem Tov passes away; the Degel is 12 year-old
1772 / 5532 - His father, Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi passes away
1780 / 5540 - Moves to Sudilkov at the age of 32
1782 / 5542 - Gives drash for Shabbos HaGadol in Sudilkov [noted Parshas Tzav]
1785 / 5545 - Gives bar mitzvah brocha to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov [1 Nisan]
1788 / 5548 - Leaves Sudilkov and settles in Medzhebuz
1791 / 5551 - The Degel resides in Medzhebuz
1800 / 5560 - Passes away in Medzhebuz at the age of 52 [17 Iyar]
1801 / 5561 - His sister Feiga passes away [19 Adar]
1810 / 5570 - His son Yaakov Yechiel prints Degel Machaneh Ephraim in Koretz
1811 / 5572 - His brother Baruch passes away [18 Kislev]
In an e-mail interchange, Dan Rabinowitz of Seforim wrote,
"There is some indication that it may have been printed in 1797 based upon a statement at the end of the book. However, that itself is questionable. As the date given at the end is Friday, 29 of Adar I 1797. That date is, however, impossible. First, 1797 was not a leap year. Second, the 29th never falls on a Friday. Consequently, some say there is an extra VAV in the dating (they use gematria for the date) and place it at 1791."