February 9, 2014

[1 Av]

  • Peaks of the tallest mountains emerged above the receding waters of the Flood.
  • Egypt was afflicted with Frog(s).
  • Yahrzeit of Aharon HaKohen. (This is the ONLY yahrzeit mentioned in the Torah. It is not recorded in Parshat Chukat, which tells of Aharon’s death, but rather in Mas’ei, when we bench Rosh Chodesh Av.)
  • Yahrzeit of Elazar b. Aharon HaKohen.
  • Ezra and his followers arrived in Yerushalayim, 457bce. (On the one hand, one can view this item as the positive “other side of the coin” of the tragedies that are associated with the “entrance of Av”. On the other hand, it was the relatively small percentage of the people that returned with Ezra that was the seed of the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash 500+ years later.)
  • Armed revolt at Treblinka, 1943. One of several similar outbreaks that were encouraged by the changing tide of the war against Germany.
  • The Exodus bearing illegal immigrants was seized by the British, 1947. The Exodus 1947 carried 4000 Jews. Its stirring defiance of the British navy and its ultimate forced return to Germany, was one of the most dramatic and heroic episodes of post-war Jewish history.

[2 Av]

  • Titus commenced battering the walls of the courtyard of the Beit HaMikdash, 70ce.
  • The Inquisition was established in Rome by Pope Clement IV, 1267.
  • Pope Gregory X banned blood-ritual charges against the Jews, 1274. This was neither the first nor the last time a pope tried to ban charges of ritual murder against the Jews. None were very successful.
  • Last execution of the Inquisition in Peru took place in 1806.
  • French police rounded up 30,000 Jews (including 4500 children) for deportation, 1942. Only 30 adults are known to have survived the round up.

[3 Av]

  • 10,000 Jews of Polannoe perished in the Chmielnicki massacres, 1648.
  • Beginning of the mass immigration of Russian Jews to the United States after the pogroms of 1881.

[4 Av]

  • Nechemia began to build a wall around Yerushalayim, 444bce.
  • Rashba proclaimed a ban on the study of metaphysics and philosophy by students under 30, 1305. The Cheirem was both famous and controversial.
  • Lublin concentration camp liberated by the Russian army, 1944.

[5 Av]

  • Pope Clement VI forbade forcible baptism of Jews, 1345 (another papal order that was not followed seriously).
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Tzfat, the Ari Z”l, 1572.
  • Anti-Jewish riots in Budapest, 1883, following the acquittal of Jews on ritual murder charges.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Israel Hildesheimer, 1899. He fought side by side with Rabbi S.R. Hirsch in defense of Orthodoxy.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, 1940.

[6 Av]

  • Spinoza was excommunicated by the Jewish community of Amsterdam, 1656.
  • The British House of Commons voted in favor of the emancipation of the Jews of England, 1833.
  • The House of Lords rejected the proposal until 1845.

[7 Av]

  • Nebuchadnetzar occupied the first Beit Hamikdash, 586BCE.
  • Jews of Valencia, Spain were massacred, 1391.
  • Goering officially ordered the planning and launching of the Nazi policy of mass executions of the Jews, 1941. Notice how many different attempted destruction of the Jews are associated with Tish’a b’Av.

[8 Av]

  • Jews of Frankfort, Germany were killed in the Black Death massacres, 1349.
  • Jewish community of Vienna was expelled, 1670.
  • The Jewish Agency for Palestine was founded, 1929.
  • Mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto was announced, 1942. Over 300,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps in the 53 days of this Nazi action.

[Tish’a b’Av]

  • The Meraglim returned to the people after 40 days of scouting out the land. The Generation of the Wilderness was condemned to die out in the course of 40 yrs. of wandering. Approx. 15,000 adult Jewish males died each year on Tish’a b’Av.
  • Both the first and the second Beit Hamikdash were destroyed.
  • The Romans plowed up the site of the Mikdash to establish a Roman colony there, 71CE.
  • The City of Betar, last independent outpost under Bar Kochba, fell to the Romans, 135.
  • King Edward I of England ordered the expulsion of all Jews, 1290.
  • The period of expulsion of the Jews from Spain began, 1492.
  • 3,000 Jews were killed in Konstantynow, in the Chmielnicki massacres, 1648.
  • The Jews of Hungary were emancipated, 1849.
  • Petach Tikvah was founded, 1878.
  • World War I began, 1914.

[10 (Menachem) Av]

  • Birth of Yissachar.
  • The first Beit HaMikdash was destroyed by fire that started the day before, 586bce.
  • Jews of France were arrested and ordered to leave the country, 1306. (They were readmitted nine years later.)
  • Hundreds of Jews of Catalonia (region of northeast Spain) were murdered, 1358.
  • Columbus set sail for the new world, 1492.
  • Jews of Rome were forced to move into a ghetto, 1555.

[11 Menachem Av]

  • Anti-Jewish riots in Arnstadt (Germany), 1264.
  • Anti-Jewish riots in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), 1360, many Jews were killed, the rest expelled.
  • Edict of expulsion of Bohemian Jews was revoked by Empress Maria Theresa, 1748.
  • The Common Council of New York City revoked the license of a non-Jewish butcher for affixing Jewish seals to non-kosher meat, 1796. This is the earliest act of legal intervention in protection of kashrut.
  • New York Penal Code (for example) forbids (under the laws of fraud) the use of Hebrew letters or Jewish symbols on butcher shops that sell non-kosher meat. Even if the shop does not claim that its meat is kosher, the use of a Menora or Magen David, or the word in Hebrew BASAR, is deemed as an attempt to defraud. Now for the update: Brooklyn federal judge, Nina Gershon, ruled that New York’s kosher-food statutes are unconstitutional. The case she ruled on was that of a butcher shop under Conservative supervision that was sanctioned for not labeling chickens “soaked and salted”. The butcher claimed that he was complying with the rabbi’s rules and that the state’s kosher laws were discriminatory (meaning Orthodox).
  • The judge’s decision is being appealed. Note that in many countries where anti-Sh’chita bills have been passed, it has been through the efforts of non-Jews with an anti-Jewish agenda. This time, July 2000, it was a Jewish judge acting on a complaint from a Jewish butcher.
  • Arab forces blew up the Latrun pumping station, 1948, cutting of Jerusalem’s water supply.

[12 Menachem Av]

  • The famous disputation between the Ramban and Pablo Christiani began, 1263. King Jayme of Aragon hosted the debate, guaranteed the Ramban freedom to say what he pleased, and rewarded the Ramban with 300 gold coins for his “most admirable defense of a wrong position”.
  • 38 Jews were burned at the stake in Berlin, 1510.
  • The Russian gov’t removed the ban on Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals, 1918.
  • Russian army liberated the city of Kovno, 1944.

[13 Menachem Av]

  • Jews of Wurzburg were massacred, 1298.
  • Yahrzeit of Sir Moses Montifiore, 1885.

[14 Menachem Av]

  • Arabs took control of Eretz Yisrael from the Byzantines, 636.
  • Pope Nicholas III requires compulsory attendance of Jews at conversion sermons, 1278.
  • 407 Jews of Zhitomir (western Ukraine) were killed by the Nazis, 1941. 10,000 Jews of Minsk were killed by the Nazis, 1942.
  • [15 Menachem Av]


  • The power of the Almohads, a fanatic anti-Jewish Muslim sect in Spain, was broken in battle, 1212.
  • Jews of Great Poland were authorized to elect a Chief Rabbi, 1541.
  • Jews of Cochin, India received a large shipment of Judaica, including Sifrei Torah from Amsterdam, 1686. The day was celebrated as an annual holiday.
  • Baron Lionel de Rothschild became the first Jew in the British Parliament, 1858, after a new version of the oath of office was agreed upon, without reference to Christianity.
  • Tiferet Bachurim, a secret religious youth center was opened in the Kovno ghetto, 1942.
  • [16 Menachem Av]
  • The British government ordered the removal of all illegal immigrants to E. Yisrael to Cyprus, 1946.

[17 Menachem Av]

  • 120 Jewish families arrived in Buenos Aires, 1889, “giving birth” to the modern Argentinean Jewish community. (The community today numbers between 250,000 and 300,000 Jews, maybe as many as 200,000 in Buenos Aires.)
  • Arabs attacked Jews throughout Eretz Yisrael, among whom were students of the Yeshiva in Hebron, 1929.

[18 Menachem Av]

  • The Ner Maaravi (the western lamp of the Menora in the Beit HaMikdash) was extinguished during the reign of King Achaz. The date was observed as a fast day.Tradition is that the Western Lamp never went out. It was used to light the other lamps that were rekindled each evening. The Ner Tamid of our shuls is based on the Ner Maaravi of the Menora. (Rabbi Bloch z”l points out the extra significance in this occurring during the time of Achaz. He had removed the Copper Mizbei’ach from the Beit HaMikdash and replaced it with one modeled after an Assyrian altar. This was not only a desecration, but it removed the source of fire used to relight the Menora if the Ner Maaravi ever went out.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Kuli, author of Me’Am Lo’ez, 1732.

[19 Menachem Av]

  • 200 Jews were killed in the massacre of Beziers (A city of southern France, an ancient Gallic fortress), 1209.
  • Jews of Mitchenick, Poland were expelled by Russian authorities, 1914. (This was the first of a long series of expulsions that uprooted many Polish and Lithuanian Jewish communities.)
  • Bar Ilan University was founded, 1955.

[20 Menachem Av]

  • First printed edition of the Zohar, 1558. This lead to an explosion of interest in the study of Kabala.
  • Anti-Jewish riots in Zola-Egerszeg, Hungary, 1883.

[21 Menachem Av]

  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk, 1918.
  • Hitler’s power became absolute, 1934, when he became head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. (This kind of item would usually be noted under the secular date and not the Jewish date. It is mentioned here to call your attention to the fact that the month of Av is involved.)

[22 Menachem Av]

  • A violent earthquake rocked E. Yisrael; the city of Acco was completely destroyed, 501.
  • 16 Jews were burned to death in Toledo, Spain, 1488.

[23 Menachem Av]

  • Pogrom in Zhitomir, Russia, 1905, cost many Jewish lives plus the life of a Russian student who tried to help the Jews.

[24 Menachem Av]

  • The Chashmona’im replaced the Hellenic code with a Jewish one. The day was celebrated as a holiday.
  • Chmielnicki, Cossack leader with 300,000 Jews lives on this hands, died, 1675.

[25 Menachem Av]

  • Jews expelled from France are invited back by King Louis IX.
  • Yahrzeit of Yeshayahu Menachem b. Yitzchak of Cracow, 1599. He was the originator of the Heter Iska.
  • Many Jews of Copenhagen were killed when the British bombed the city in 1807.
  • The Amsterdam hideout of Anne Frank was discovered by the Nazis, 1944.

[26 Menachem Av]

  • A group of 70 followers of the Vilna Gaon arrived in Eretz Yisrael, 1809.
  • The Turkish government renounced its sovereignty over E. Yisrael and recognized the British Mandate, 1920.
  • 10,000 Jews were sent from Borislav ghetto to Belsen, 1942, in the first mass deportation of Jews to the gas chambers.

[27 Menachem Av]

  • Queen Bona Sforza of Poland confirmed upon the Jews the same rights that the Jews of Lithuania had been granted, 1533.
  • S.A. Bierfield was lynched by the KKK in Franklin, Tennessee, 1868, the first such incident involving a Jew.

[28 Menachem Av]

  • Moshe Rabeinu descended Har Sinai for the second (of three) 40-day period.
  • The Council of Four Countries, the autonomous governing body of Polish Jewry, met for the last time, 1762.
  • Yahrzeit of the NETZIV, HaRav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, author of Haamek Davar, 1893.

[29 Menachem Av]

  • Moshe Rabeinu cut a new pair of Luchot in preparation for G-d’s writing the Aseret HaDevarim again. (according to one opinion).
  • Jews of Holland were emancipated, 1796.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shmuel Salant, chief rabbi and leader of the Ashkenazi community of J’lem, 1909.

[30 Menachem Av]

  • Moshe Rabeinu ascended Har Sinai for the third time, to receive the Second Luchot and G-d’s forgiveness for the People.
  • Yahrzeit of Yitzchak Sadeh, “father” of the Palmach, 1952.