August

February 9, 2014

[August 1]

  • World War I broke out, 1914.
  • The Russian army liberated Kovno in 1944.
  • First reliable report of the Nazi plan to murder all the Jews reached the West, 1942. The U.S. State Department suppressed the report for several weeks, until it had otherwise been received by Jews in New York.

[August 2]

  • The period of the expulsion from Spain began, 1492 (it was Tish’a b’Av).
  • Hitler assumed the powers of head of state and commander-in- chief of the armies, making him an absolute dictator, 1934.
  • Jews were ordered expelled from Hungarian Ruthenia, 1941 (it too was Tish’a b’Av).
  • A handful of Jewish survivors of the Kovno ghetto – including Rabbi Efrayim Oshri, author of Responsa from the Holocaust – emerged from hiding, 1944.

[August 3]

  • Columbus set sail for the New World, 1492. There is an entry in Columbus’ diary noting the expulsion of Jews from Spain right before he set sail.
  • Follow this one; these really gets you – The emperor of Bohemia, in 1797, ordered that Jews who volunteered for army service should be allowed to marry outside the restricted quota of marriage of Jews. Think about that one!
  • Oil pipeline from Eilat to Haifa was completed, 1958.

[August 3]

  • Columbus set sail for the New World, 1492. There is an entry in Columbus’ diary noting the expulsion of Jews from Spain right before he set sail.
  • Follow this one; these really gets you – The emperor of Bohemia, in 1797, ordered that Jews who volunteered for army service should be allowed to marry outside the restricted quota of marriage of Jews. Think about that one!
  • Oil pipeline from Eilat to Haifa was completed, 1958.

[August 4]

  • Pope Nicholas III ordered required attendance of Jews to hear sermons on conversion, 1278.
  • First printed edition of the Zohar, 1558. This popularized the study of Kabbala, mysticism and messianism.
  • First train with Jews from Belgium to Auschwitz, 1942.

[August 5]

  • Anti-Jewish riots in Arnstadt, Germany, 1264.
  • Massacre of the Jews of Barcelona, Spain, 1391.

[August 6]

  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi David ben Avraham Maimuni HaNagid, grandson of the Rambam, 1301.

[August 7]

  • Cease fire between Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon on the one hand and Israel on the other, 1970.
  • 407 Jews of Zhitomir, Russia were executed by the Nazis, 1941.
  • Bar Ilan University was founded, 1955.

[August 8]

  • Jews of Great Poland were authorized by King Sigisnund to elect a chief Rabbi, 1541.
  • A group of 70 people led by the followers of the Vilna Gaon arrived in Eretz Yisrael, 1809.

[August 9]

  • 10,000 Jews were sent from the Borislave ghetto to the Belsen death camp, 1942, in the first mass deportation to the gas chambers.

[August 10]

  • The Turkish government renounced its sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael and recognized the British mandate, 1920.
  • Massacre of the Jews Gerona, Spain, 1391.

[August 11]

  • The British Aliens Act, which reflected anti-Jewish bias, became a law, 1905.
  • Joop Westerweel, Dutch poet and educator was executed by the Nazis, 1944, for helping Jews escape.

[August 12]

  • Moshav Magdi’el (now part of Hod Hasharon) was founded, 1924.
  • Nazis began systematic murder of the Jews of Dvinsk, Latvia, 1941.
  • 24 of the foremost Yiddish writers of Russia were executed by the Soviet Government, 1952.

[August 13]

  • 17 Jews were burned at the stake in Silesia (now Poland and/or Czech Republic), 1453.
  • Jews of Great Poland are granted limited self-government, 1551.

[August 14]

  • Jewish Agency for Palestine founded, 1929.
  • 120 Jewish families arrived in Buenos Aires, 1889, giving birth to the modern Argentinean Jewish community.
  • Archbishop of Lvov provided hiding places for Jewish children and Sifrei Torah, 1942.

[August 15]

  • S.A. Bierfield was lynched by the K.K.K. in Franklin Tenn., 1868, first such incident involving a Jew.
  • Albert Bettelhein, journalist and author, convicted by a Georgia jury of murder, was lynched by an anti-Semitic mob, 1915.

[August 16]

  • Bialystok ghetto uprising, 1943.
  • Bogdan Chemlnicki (with the blood of over 300,000 Jews on his hands) died, 1675.

[August 17]

  • The Council of 4 Countries (semi-autonomous congress of Polish Jewry) met for the last time, 1762. It functioned for almost 200 years before the Polish government ordered its dissolution.
  • Now watch this one: Jews of Budapest, Hungary, received permission from the government, 1787, to conduct religious services in private homes provided no rabbi officiated.
  • The pope prohibited Jews from admitting Christians into shuls, 1592.

[August 18]

  • 500 Jews were taken by the Nazis from the Kovno ghetto to be killed, 1941.
  • Queen of Poland granted the Jews of Pinsk all the rights already granted to the Jews of Lithuania – 1533.

[August 19]

  • First printing of Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim, 1555 (in Eretz Yisrael). Imagine how inaccessible texts for Jewish life and learning were before the advent of printing.
  • One of the earliest recorded instances of Christian censorship of Jewish writings, 1263, ordered by King James I of Aragon. (And to think we liked him so much from his role in the Disputation.)

[August 20]

  • Sh’chita was banned in Switzerland, 1893. (The ban is still in place and the Jewish community gets its meat from several different countries.)
  • A riotous mob attacked the ghetto of Buda (that’s the half of Budapest that is on the right bank of the Danube, which was joined with Pest on the left bank in 1873), 1684. In gratitude to G-d for being spared serious injury, the Jews celebrated Buda Purim on the 10th of Elul.

[August 21]

  • Italy banned Jews from teaching in public and high-schools, 1938.
  • England allowed Jews to hold the ancient and important office of Sheriff, 1835.
  • 160 Jews of Chinon, France were burned to death on charges of well-poisoning, 1321.
  • The execution by the Jewish authorities of an informer led to the repeal of Jewish jurisdiction in criminal cases in Castile, 1379.

[August 22]

  • Jews of Brno (now a city in the Czech Republic; then a free imperial city of Moravia) were expelled by King Ladislaus, 1454.
  • Jacob Barsimson, the first known Jew to settle in North America, arrived in New Amsterdam, 1654. (Shmulke Bernstein’s had not yet opened.)

[August 23]

  • Anti-Jewish riots in Bransk, Poland, 1938.
  • Jews from America, England, and Eretz Yisrael volunteered for the Royal Fusiliers, 1917, although they formed Jewish units, they were not designated as such nor were they allowed to wear Jewish insignias. (But most did anyway.)

[August 24]

  • Jews of Palma were massacred, 1391.
  • Jews of Cologne, Germany set fire to their homes and perished in the flames, 1349, to escape forced baptism.
  • Operation Magic Carpet, which brought 45,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel, was concluded, 1950.

[August 25]

  • Illegal Jewish immigrants who had been exiled by the British to the Island of Mauritius were admitted into E. Yisrael, 1945.

[August 26]

  • Get this one – the Nazis passed a law, 1938, requiring all Jews to take the names Israel and Sara. Apparently, this was Goebbels way of mocking the Jews, since both names contain the word SAR, a person of power.
  • 7,000 stateless Jews in the Vichy Free Zone of France were rounded up, 1942.
  • Nazis closed all shuls and schools in the Kovno ghetto, 1942.
  • The forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion were serialized in a Russian publication, 1903. This document has been a favorite among anti-Semites since then.

[August 27]

  • The Jewish community of Posvol, Lithuania was massacred by the Nazis, 1941.

[August 28]

  • A Jewish agricultural colony was established in New Jersey, 1891. This was one of several attempts at Jewish settlement in the Americas. The failure of most of these projects confirmed the view that Jews needed a historical and religious link to the soil upon which they would work in order for them to succeed.
  • Peter Stuyvesant barred Jews from military service, 1655.

[August 29]

  • Chaim Weizmann informed the prime minister of England, 1939, that the Jews of E. Yisrael would stand by Great Britain and fight on the side of the democracies during World War II.
  • T’hilim with Kimchi’s commentary was published for the first time in Bologna, Italy, 1477.
  • The discovery of the body of a Christian child led to the ritual accusations and hanging of many prominent Jews of England, 1255.

[August 30]

  • The Jewish community of Neutitschlin, Moravia was expelled, 1563.
  • The first Knesset building was dedicated in Jerusalem, 1966.

[August 31]

  • Secular date of Rav Kook’s passing, 1935.
  • Massacre of the Jews of Kiev, 1919.
  • Hitler issued Directive no.1, 1939 ordering the attack on Poland to begin at dawn the following day.