Iyar

February 9, 2014

[1 Iyar]

  • Egypt was afflicted by the first biblical plague.
  • An Israelite gathered wood on Shabbat in the Midbar. This marked the first public violation of Shabbat.
  • Moshe was ordered, in the second year of the exodus, to take a census of the Jewish people.
  • The foundation of the Second Temple was laid, 537 B.C.E.

[2 Iyar]

  • Shlomo HaMelech began the construction of the Beit HaMikdash.
  • The Supreme Council of the Peace Conference recognized the Balfour Declaration and proclaimed Eretz Yisrael a mandated territory under British administration, 1920.
  • The British army liberated the Belsen camp and its 40,000 inmates, 1945.

[3 Iyar]

  • Portuguese Marranos who had reverted to Judaism were burned in Ancona, Italy by order of the Pope, 1556. The atrocity of Ancona led the famous Dona Gracia of the House of Nasi to spearhead a boycott against the port of Ancona as a countermeasure to the Pope’s repressive policies. This marked the first Jewish effort, since the beginning of the Diaspora, at a far-reaching, concerted drive by the free Jewish communities of the world to hit back at their enemies.
  • The establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria was prohibited, 1857.
  • Mordecai Anielewicz, commander-in-chief of the uprising in the ghetto of Warsaw, was killed in action, 1943.
  • Bet-She’an was captured by the Hagana, 1948.

[4 Iyar]

  • Solomon ibn Gabirol was born in Malaga, Spain, 1021.
  • Rambam and his family left North Africa for Eretz Yisrael, 1165. He designated the anniversary of this departure a private day of fast and prayer.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveichik, head of Yeshivah of Volozhin, author of responsa Bet ha-Levi, 1892.

[5 Iyar]

  • A decree issued prohibiting the import by Russian Jews of books in any language, 1800.
  • Joseph Rivlin laid the cornerstone of the first private home to be erected outside the wall of Jerusalem marking the beginning of the modern Yishuv, 1869.
  • Israel was proclaimed an independent state, 1948. The first legislative act of the provisional government of the State of Israel provided for the repeal of the British White Paper of 1939, which had restricted Jewish immigration and the acquisition of land in Eretz Yisrael. The Haftara on the Sabbath following the promulgation of the law of unrestricted Jewish immigration into Israel was the ninth chapter of Amos. “And I will return the captivity of my people Israel. And they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them…and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, says G-d.”

[6 Iyar]

  • Many Jews of Cordova, Spain, were massacred by the soldiers of Suleiman ibn Al-Hakim, 1013.
  • Special privileges and immunities were granted to the Jews of Burgos, Spain, 1295.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Levi b. Gershom (Ralbag, a.k.a. Gersonides), philosopher and exegete, author of a popular commentary on the Pentateuch, 1344.
  • British mandate over Eretz Yisrael went into effect, 1920. This date became known as San Remo Day.
  • The British mandate over Eretz Yisrael came to an end, 1948, exactly 28 years after it began.
  • The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon invaded Israel, 1948
  • The Arab Legion captured Neveh Ya’ akov, the last Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem, 1948.

[7 Iyar]

  • The new walls built by Nechemya around Jerusalem were dedicated, 443 B.C.E. This date was observed as a holiday in ancient times. A little over 500 years later, the Jews surrendered the wall, on the same day, to the Romans.
  • The Rindfleisch massacres of Jews began at Rottingen, Germany and spread through more than 150 Jewish communities, 1298.

[8 Iyar]

  • Jews of Speyer were massacred in the First Crusade, 1096.
  • Venice became the first city in the world where the term ghetto was associated with the Jewish quarter, when the Jews were compelled, in 1516, to move into a restricted area. The area was formerly the site of a foundry which manufactured weapons for the government of Venice. The Italian term for “foundry” is geto. The first official document which uses the word ghetto to describe an area restricted to the residence of Jews exclusively was a papal edict from 1562.
  • Many Jews perished in anti-Jewish riots in Lemberg (Lwow), 1667. The anniversary was proclaimed a fast-day.
  • Napoleon was defeated in his Near Eastern campaign at Acre, Eretz Yisrael, 1799. Israel captured Acre, 1948.

[9 Iyar]

  • End of a three-monthUherine II of Russia, 1764, opened the way for limited settlement of Jews in Riga.

[10 Iyar]

  • The ark of the covenant was captured by the Philistines. Chofni and Pinchas, sons of Eli HaCohen were killed by the Philistines. Eli, Kohen Gadol, died.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Isaac Alfasi (RIF), 1103.
  • A storm at sea threatened the ship aboard which Rambam and his family had sailed for Eretz Yisrael after their escape from North Africa. Rambam set aside this date as an annual private fast-day, 1165.
  • Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Shpola and Ananyev, Russia, 1881.

[11 Iyar]

  • Purim of Angora, a private communal Purim.
  • The first printed edition of Mishnayot with Rambam’s commentary was published in Naples, 1492.
  • 1,500 Hebrew books and manuscripts were seized in Frankfort, Germany, 1510.
  • The Judenordnung provided for the abolition of discriminatory laws enacted against the Jews of Galicia, Austria, 1789.
  • Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Wasilkow and Konotop, Russia, 1881.
  • The Israeli air force went into action for the first time in Israel’s War of Independence, 1948.
  • The Syrian army, which had advanced to Deganya, was halted and repulsed, 1948. The defeat of the Syrians was Israel’s first significant victory in the War of Independence. It came on the anniversary of the end of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

[12 Iyar]

  • Roman legions under Titus breached the middle wall of Jerusalem, 70 C.E. A counter-attack by the Jews restored the wall to their command.
  • The Pope refused to grant permission to the Jews of Cordova, Spain, to build a new synagogue, 1250.
  • The Pope granted liberal privileges to the Jews of Rome, 1402.
  • Tel Aviv was sacked by the Arabs, 1917.

[13 Iyar]

  • The Church in Vienna ordered distinctive garb for Jews, 1267. Jews were expelled from Berne, 1427. Expulsions of Jews continued throughout the 15th century. The U.N. Security Council ordered a cease-fire in the Israeli-Arab war, 1948. Nasser repudiated the cease-fire between Egypt and Israel, 1969.

[14 Iyar]

  • Pesach Sheni (a.k.a. Pesach Katan).
  • The Jewish community of Bisenz, Austria, was massacred, 1605.
  • Thousands of books written by Jewish and liberal non-Jewish authors were publicly burned by the Nazis, 1933.
  • Ramat Rachel was repossessed by Israel, 1948. The battle for Jewish control of the Jordan Valley was successfully concluded on the same day.
  • Yad Mordecai was captured by the Arabs, 1948.
  • Adolf Eichmann, key to the implementation of the “final solution”, was captured in Buenos Aires, 1960. He was in charge of the of all Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary, ’44, when he transported 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.

[15 Iyar]

  • Israelites reached the desert of Tzin and ran out of the matza they had taken along with them.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Ba’al HaNes is annually observed by Jews of Tiberias.
  • Empress Catherine I of Russia expelled all Jews from the Ukraine, 1727.
  • Anti-Jewish riots in Rostov on the Don, Russia, 1883.
  • Mussolini was executed by Italian partisans, 1945.

[16 Iyar]

  • The Roman legion under Florus plundered Jerusalem and killed 3600 Jews, 66 C.E.
  • Titus recaptured the middle wall of Jerusalem and razed it, 70 C.E.
  • Anti-Jewish riots in Algeria, 1897.
  • Construction began on the first 100 houses to be built in Ahuzat Bayit (to be know later as Tel Aviv), 1909.
  • The Nuremburg anti-Jewish laws went into effect in Hungary, 1939.
  • The U.S. 7th Army liberated the Dachau concentration camp, 1945.

[17 Iyar]

  • Beginning of the biblical flood according to Rabbi Yehoshua, whose opinion is that “the second month” always refers to Iyar. Rabbi Eliezer says that pre-Nationhood references to the second month are Cheshvan.
  • The Roman garrison, on its way to seize the Temple, was attacked by Jewish defense forces and compelled to retreat, 66 C.E.
  • Jews of England were thrown into prison on charges of coining, 1278.
  • The Nazis interned 3600 Jews of Russian origin, 1941.

[18 Iyar]

  • Lag ba’Omer.
  • Traditional Yahrzeit of Rabbi Simon b. Yohai.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moses Isserles (the Rama), 1572.
  • The Jewish community of Ettingen, Germany, set this day aside as a day of thanksgiving for their escape from blood-ritual charges, 1690.
  • TZAHA”L (IDF) was established, 1948.
  • The Arabs blew up the Hurva shul, 1948.
  • The first degrees of Doctor of Medicine were awarded to 62 graduates of the Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School, 1952.

[19 Iyar]

  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg (Maharam), 1293.
  • Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, committed suicide, 1945.

[20 Iyar]

  • Jews left the vicinity of Mt. Sinai in the second year of the exodus, after almost a year there.
  • Jews of Troyes, France, were condemned to the stake by the Inquisition on charges of ritual murder, 1288.
  • Jews of Venice were denied the right to practice law, 1637. A community of Jewish slaves, captured over a period of two centuries and held for ransom by the Knights of St. John on the island of Malta, was officially dissolved, 1800.
  • The Rothschild-Hadassah University Hospital and Medical Center was opened on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, 1939.
  • The Nazis decreed the execution of all pregnant Jewish women in the ghetto of Kovno, 1942.
  • Sedeh Boker was founded on an ancient Nabatean site never before inhabited by Jews.

[21 Iyar]

  • Jewish agricultural settlement, Alliance, founded in New Jersey, 1882.
  • Karl Frank, Nazi protector of Bohemia-Moravia, executed, 1946.

[22 Iyar]

  • The first “real” Shabbat for Bnei Yisrael. It was violated by some Jews who had gone out to collect manna.
  • All Hebrew books found in the Papal States were confiscated, 1731.
  • Rumanian government granted citizenship to all native-born Jews, 1919.
  • Nazi deportation of Jews from greater Hungary to the extermination camps began, 1944.

[23 Iyar]

  • Bnei Yisrael arrived at R’fidim.
  • Moshe Rabeinu struck the rock to provide water for the people.
  • Shimon HaChashmona’i drove the Syrians and their allies, the Hellenized Jews, out of the Citadel, their last stronghold in Jerusalem, in 142 B.C.E. The date was observed as a holiday in ancient times.
  • Amman, capital of Jordan, was bombed by Israel’s air force, 1948.
  • The Arab states and Israel agreed to a cease-fire, 1948. By the time of the first truce, Israel had already scored substantial victories over the Syrian and Egyptian armies, though greatly outnumbered by the enemy. The Torah portion of that week includes the following p’sukim: “And I will bring peace in the Land… and you shall chase your enemies… and five of you shall chase a hundred…” (Vayikra 26:6-8)

[24 Iyar]

  • Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated, 1945. It had housed 225,000 inmates in the course of its existence. Of this total, 200,000 were killed.
  • Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, 1945.
  • An Israeli attack on Egyptian positions at Ashdod marked the turning point in the war between Israel and Egypt, 1948. The battle forced Egypt to change its military strategy. It gave up its plans to attack Tel Aviv and made the isolation of the Negev from the rest of Israel its prime objective.

[25 Iyar]

  • King Edward I of England ordered the cessation of persecution of Jews of Bordeaux, France, 1275.
  • 1200 Jews of Toledo, Spain, were killed by army troops, 1355.

[26 Iyar]

  • Yahrzeit of Saadiah Gaon, head of the talmudic academy of Sura, author of Emunot ve-Deot, the first philosophical presentation of Judaism, 942.
  • Hundreds of Jews were massacred in Brussels, Belgium, 1370.
  • Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moses Hayyim Luzatto, author of Mesilat Yesharim, 1747.
  • War broke out between Israel and the Arab nations, 1967. The important Egyptian base at El-Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, was captured by the Israeli army on the same day.

[27 Iyar]

  • Demetrius II gave to the Jews of Eretz Yisrael the crown money which he had annually levied. He thus recognized the independence of Judea under Shimon HaChashmona’i, 143 bce
  • Theresienstadt was liberated, 1945.
  • Israeli army captured Yavneh, 1948.
  • The Israeli army captured the city of Gaza, 1967.
  • The Jordanian-held cities of Latrun and Qalqilya were also captured on the same day.
  • U.N. Security Council unanimously ordered a cease-fire in the Middle East War, 1967.

[28 Iyar]

  • The Traditional yahrzeit of Shmuel HaNavi. (Some say it is the 29th of Iyar.) Maimonides observed this day as a private festival in honor of his discovery of the ancient Torah scroll written by Ben Asher.
  • The Turkish government authorized the return of the Jews who had been expelled from Jaffa and Tel Aviv, 1917.
  • Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem uniting the city for the first time since the establishment of the State, 1967.
  • Hostilities between Israel and Jordan came to an end upon their acceptance of the cease-fire demanded by the Security Council of the U.N.

[29 Iyar]

  • The Romans completed construction of banks around Jerusalem in preparation for the final assault on the third wall, 70 C.E.
  • Jews of Sicily were forbidden to display any funeral decorations in public, 1393.
  • Marranos of Segovia, Spain, were massacred, 1474.
  • Rabbi Abraham b. Isaac and six other Jews were martyred in Cracow, 1637.
  • Israel, Egypt, and Syria accepted the cease-fire ordered by the Security Council, 1967.