February 9, 2014

[February 1]

  • First time a rabbi gave the invocation at a session of the U.S. Congress, 1860.
  • The Palestine Post building in Jerusalem was bombed, 1948, resulting in the loss of many lives.
  • Khomeini takes over Iran, 1979.

[February 2]

  • The surrender of the German army in Stalingrad, 1943, marked a significant turning point in World War II.

[February 3]

  • King of Sicily invited the Jews to return, 1740.
  • Russian gov’t ordered the closing of the yeshiva in Volozhin, 1892.

[February 4]

  • Oliver Cromwell granted the right of residence in England to a Jew (one Luis Carvajal), 1657. (Some historians say that this is the earliest official British act of tolerance in favor of the Jews. [One wonders if this is supposed to be a source of pride.] They continue to explain that the attitude of tolerance explains Jewish settlement in the British colonies of America and other places in the British Empire.)
  • Jewish physicians of Galicia granted permission to treat Christian patients, 1782.
  • Israel exported copper ore from the King Solomon mines, 1959, first time since ancient times.

[February 5]

  • Jews of Sicily ordered to attend conversive sermons, 1428.
  • Egyptian parliament ended boycott against Israel, 1980.

[February 6]

  • A religious disputation between Jews and Apostate by order of Benedict XIII, 1413.
  • The first auto-da-fe by the Spanish Inquisition, 1481, Seville, Spain.

[February 7]

  • Inquisition established in South America, 1569.
  • First armed struggle between Jews and Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, 1943.

[February 8]

  • France extended financial support to Jewish religious institutions on par with Christian institutions, 1831.

[February 9]

  • The French Sanhedrin convened by Napoleon, 1807.
  • Nazis provoked the first anti-Jewish riots in Amsterdam, 1941; the attackers were driven off by the Jews.
  • The Technion in Haifa opened, 1925.

[February 10]

  • Jews were granted right of residence in Stuttgart, Germany, 1779. (As bad as all the bad things that happened to the Jewish people were, one often considers some of the good things also bad – PC)
  • First ship to break the British blockade of Palestine, 1934. (Worldwide publicity of “illegal” immigration of Jews to Israel was an important factor in England’s ultimate decision to give up the mandate.)

[February 11]

  • Russia broke diplomatic relations with Israel, 1953.
  • Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland were massacred, 1349.

[February 12]

  • Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin born on the same day, 1809.[February 13]
  • Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the public reading of the Greek translation to Parshat Hashavuah on Shabbat morning and prohibited Rabbis from giving drashot on the Torah portion, 553.

[February 14]

  • The Knesset opened its first session, 1949.
  • Jews of Rome had been subjected to a humiliating medieval practice of running a race in the Roman carnivals, scantily clad, amid insults and blows. This practice of “Black Monday” (the day of the weekly carnival) ended in 1667.
  • 2000 Jews were burned in Strasbourg,1349.

[February 15]

  • Mikveh Yisrael home of the first Jewish agricultural school in Palestine, was founded, 1870.

[February 16]

  • Jews miraculously escaped violent earthquake in Italy, 1570.
  • First organized Arab attack, on Tirat Tzvi, 1948.
  • First shul in Madrid for 425 years was dedicated, 1917.
  • Jews of Sweden were emancipated, 1870.

[February 17]

  • Chaim Weizmann was elected first president of Israel. (First Jew to carry the title NASI in over 1500 years.)

[February 24]

  • The Struma with 769 illegal Jewish immigrants was torpedoed by a Nazi submarine, 1942.

[February 25]

  • Pope banned all social contact between Jews and Christians, 1451. This was because of the fear of Christians being attracted to Judaism. A Christian who converted to Judaism and the Jews who helped him were usually subject to the death penalty in most Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries. [Amazing that with the Church’s attitude towards Judaism, and with the contempt that Jews were held in, that there should be such a fear of “Jewish missionizing”.]
  • Renoir’s b.d. 1841.

[February 26]

  • Crusader massacre of the Jews of Wurtzburg, 1147.
  • Jews of the Papal States (except for Rome and Ancona) were expelled by the pope, 1569.
  • Maryland removed the requirement of a Christian oath for public office, and substituted a declaration of belief in reward and punishment and the World to Come. 1825.
  • Levi Eshkol died, 1969.

[February 27]

  • Jews of Austria expelled, 1670.
  • First Maccabia games in Israel, 1932.
  • Egypt and Israel exchanged ambassadors, 1980

[February 28]

  • Rumania excluded Jews from public service (and the tobacco trade), 1887.
  • MacDonald White Paper, 1940, included restriction of sale of Arab land to Jews in Eretz Yisrael. This document nearly voided the Balfour Declaration

[February 29]

  • An earthquake in Agadir, Morocco killed 5000 people, including hundreds of Jews, 1960.