Thanks to Phil Chernofsky of the OU/NCSY Israel Center for Including
This Material in His Remarkable Torah
Tidbits, based on the book Day by Day in Jewish History by Rabbi
Abraham P. Bloch z''l
This Day in Jewish
- The erection of the Mishkan was completed.
Moshe completed the consecration rites of Aaron and his sons. Aaron
performed the first sacrificial rites. Death of Nadav and Avihu, sons of
- King Hezekiah commenced the reconsecration of
- Cyrus was crowned "King of Babylonia and
King of all lands, "538 B.C.E. The crowning of King Cyrus made possible
the restoration of an autonomous Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael and the
rebuilding of the Beit
HaMikdash. Ezra, who was to restore the primacy of
religion in the life of the Jewish community, left Babylonia on the
anniversary of Cryus' coronation.
- The plot of Bigtan and Teresh to assassinate
Achashveirosh was discovered by Mordechai.
- Ezra and his followers left Bavel for
Jerusalem, 457 B.C.E.
- Moshe performed the first para aduma rite.
- Jews of Mayence, Germany, were massacred,
- King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a
decree expelling Jews from Spain, 1492.
- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Jerusalem,
- A decree expelling Jews form Spain and Sicily
was issued, 1492.
- In the Children's Action of 1944, Nazis raided
the Kovno ghetto and removed all children for execution. Anti-Jewish
persecutions were generally aimed at the people as a whole, regardless of
age. There were instances, however, where children were singled out as the
victims of a discriminating decree. Pharaoh's order to drown all male
infants was the earliest example of this type of legislation.
- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Dabrowa,
- A convoy of physicians, scientists, and
guards, totaling 75 people, was ambushed on the way to Mt. Scopus, 1948.
- Yehoshua sent scouts to survey Jericho and the
- Rehovot was attacked by Arabs, 1893.
- 2500 Jews of Lublin were massacred and the
rest of the Jews were deported, 1942.
- The town of Afula was founded, 1925.
- Jews of York, England, committed mass suicide
rejecting an invitation to submit to baptism, 1190.
- Hebrew University opened in Jerusalem, 1925.
- The feast of Achashveirosh, which lasted for
180 days, came to and end.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Eliyahu Shapira of Prague,
author of Eliyahu Rabba, 1712.
- First rabbinic opposition to Hasidism was
announced in Vilna, 1772. A cheirem, endorsed by the Vilna
Gaon, was published in 1777 and again in 1781.
- 57 Jews were killed in Bury St. Edmunds,
- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Seville, Spain,
1391. (The riots took place on Ash Wednesday and initiated a wave of
violence which spread rapidly over the Iberian Peninsula, claiming 50,000
victims before the year was up. A substantial number of Jews escaped with
their lives only at the cost of converting. This marked the emergence of
Marranos, said to number 200,000, in the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile.
They were to provide countless martyrs in the Old and New Worlds for
centuries to come.
- Jews of Vienna, Austria, were accused of
profaning the host. Many of those who refused to embrace Christianity were
burned at the stake, 1421.
- Yahrzeit of Miriam. The mobile well, which
supplied water to the Jews in the desert, dried up.
- The Jews, led by Yehoshua, crossed the Jordan
and erected 12 monuments at Gilgal. Tradition also puts Yehoshua's composing
of the second paragraph of Birkat haMazon.
- Brit Mila of the generation of the Wilderness
upon entering Eretz Yisrael.
- Yahrzeit of the Ramban, 1270.
- Yahrzeit of the SH'LA 51270. HaKadosh, 1630.
- Ezra and his followers departed from the River
Ahava on their way to Jerusalem, 457 B.C.E.
- Haman published decree calling for the
extermination of all the Jews of the Persian Empire. Esther ordered the
3-day fast for the Jews of Shushan
- Rav Ovadya Bartinuro arrived in Jerusalem,
- Yahrzeit of Rav Yoseph
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Lubavich,
the Zemach Zedek, 1866.
- Kayin and Hevel offer their sacrifices to G-d.
- Fast of the firstborns.
- The first Korban Pesach by the Jews in Egypt.
- Naomi and Ruth arrived in Beit
- Warsaw ghetto uprising broke out, 1943.
- Sara was brought to the house of
made a covenant with Avraham. The angels appeared to inform Avraham that a
son would be born to Sara. Birth of Yitzchak. Yitzchak summoned Eisav and
requested that he prepare a tasty meal for him and receive his blessing.
[This tradition was apparently based on the wording of Isaac's blessing:
"May G-d give you of the dew of heaven". The Talmud fixed Nisan 15
as the beginning of the harvest season and the end of the rainy season.
Thereafter rain is harmful but dew is beneficial.
- Moses saw the burning
- The Egyptian first-born were slain.
- First day of Pesach.
- The beginning
of the Exodus.
- The Assyrian army of Sancherev, which had threatened
Jerusalem, was destroyed.
- Yahrzeit of Job.
- Vashti was executed by order of Achashveirosh.
- Esther appeared before Achashveirosh to plead for the Jews.
- The defenders of Masada committed suicide, 73
- The last resistance to
the Roman conquest of Eretz Yisrael came to an end.
- An order to seize of all
Portuguese Jewish children, ages 4-14 for forced conversion, 1497.
- The Vilna
Gaon was born, 1720.
- Birth of Levi, third son of Yaakov.
- Jews had crossed the Jordan into Eretz Yisrael.
The Omer was offered for the first time by the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
- King Saul's seven sons were killed.
- Chizkiyahu HaMelech completed the rededication
of the Beit
- Haman was hanged. Mordecai was appointed chief
minister to replace Haman.
- The alleged murder of William of Norwich, led
to the first charge of ritual murder against Jews in the Middle Ages. The
timing of ritual libels with Pesach is no coincidence.
- Arabs killed and wounded many Jews in
- Solomon Etting, prominent businessman of
Lancaster, Pa., was the first native American Jew to receive a limited
authorization to function as a shohet, 1782. [The early American Jewish
community, though mainly traditional, was too small to train its own
religious functionaries and too distant to attract European scholars.]
- Par'o was informed that the Jews had escaped.
- A number of London Jews suffered martyrdom
following ritual charges, 1279.
- Purim of the Bomb was celebrated by the Jews
of Fossano, south of the Alps, to commemorate their escape from massacre,
- Par'o set out in pursuit of the Jews.
- Adolf Hitler made his first appearance on the
anniversary of the day on which the first anti-Semite in Jewish history set
out in pursuit of the Jewish people.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Menahem Zemba, HY"D. He
was killed in the Warsaw ghetto, 1943.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan, leader of
Mizrachi, scholar and author, 1949.
- Par'o and his pursing army caught up with the
Jews encamped at Pi-HaChirot by the sea.
- Yahrzeit of Rav Hai Gaon, the last of the
geonim of Pumpedita, 1038. [The death of Rav Hai Gaon brought to a close the
glorious epoch of Babylonian Jewry. For more than eight centuries Babylonia
was the center of Jewish culture and creative scholarship. Its leaders
provided the guidance and direction of Jewish religious development
throughout the world. After the decline of Babylonian Jewry, the center of
Jewish culture shifted in succeeding stages to North Africa, Germany,
France, Spain, Italy, the Turkish Empire, and Eastern Europe. The post-Nazi
period has witnessed the emergence of two new centers of Jewish learning -
Israel and the United States.]
- Jacob left Laban's home to return to Eretz
- Par'o's decree against Jewish male infants was
- Jews crossed the Red Sea. Moshe and the people
of Israel sang the Shira.
- Yehoshua began his march around Yericho. The
encirclement of Yericho, which led to its destruction within seven days,
constituted the first Jewish military action in ancient Eretz Yisrael.
- A fast-day was observed by the Jewish
community of Cologne in commemoration of anti-Jewish violence during the
Second Crusade, 1147.
- Haganah captured the strategic village of
- The Jews paused at Mara after their crossing
of the Red Sea. It was at Mara that the Jews spent their first Shabbat in
the desert. [According to the Talmud, Moshe received preliminary instruction
in Mara pertaining to a several of religious laws, in anticipation of the
giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Jews were enjoined for the first time to
observe the seven Noahide laws, to honor their parents, and to rest on the
Shabbat. A talmudic passage elsewhere implies that the Shabbat laws dated
from their arrival in the "wilderness of Sin" on Iyar 15.
- The Jews of the Exodus arrived at Elim, where
they discovered 12 springs. They remained there for 20 days.
- The traditional yahrzeit of Joshua.
- Designated Holocaust
Day, in commemoration of
the martyred six million Jews and the fighters of the ghettos, by a
resolution of the Knesset, 1951.
- Fall of Jericho.
- An Arab attack on Petach Tikva was repelled by
the Jewish settlers, 1936.
- 3 Jews killed and many wounded by Arabs in
Petach Tikva, 1921. Yahrzeit of Yitzchak Ben Avi, second president of
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Hayyim Vital, famous
- Eight Jews were martyred at Przemysl, Poland,
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Jacob Emden (Ya'vez),
scholar and controversial figure, author of Bet Yaakov, a standard
prayerbook, 1776. He was the son of Rabbi Zevi Ashkenazi. Their careers and
personalities were strikingly similar. Both were renowned scholars. Both
were short-tempered and controversial figures. Both waged relentless war
against the Shaabbatean heresy. The yahrzeits of both father and son is Rosh
- Jewish students were barred from German
This Day in Jewish