- The Flood’s waters began to recede.
- Bnei Yisrael arrived in the wilderness of Sinai.
- Korach and his followers vanished into the depth of the earth.
- Massacre of the Jews of Worms during the First Crusade, 1096.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov, leader of the aliya of the followers of the Vilna Gaon, 1839.
- Renewed fighting broke out on the Israeli-Syrian frontier; Israel reached the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, 1967.
- Moshe Rabeinu ascended Mt. Sinai.
- Crusaders massacred the Jewish community of Neuss, Prussia, 1096.
- Israel captured Queneitra, Syria, and smashed the well-fortified Syrian positions in the mountains facing the Galil.
- Moshe returned to Mt. Sinai to report the public declaration of the Jewish people, affirming their desire to accept the Torah.
- Beginning of Sh’loshet Y’mei Hagbala, the three days of preparation, during which the Jews were to purify themselves and abstain from uncleanliness.
- Crusaders massacred the Jews of Mayence, 1096.
- Vespasian captured Jericho and killed its inhabitants 68C.E.
- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Warsaw, 1790.
- Colonel David Marcus, the American Jewish defender of Jerusalem, was killed at Abu Ghosh six hours before a cease-fire was to go into effect, 1948.
- Moshe wrote the first part of the Torah, from B’reishit until Ma’amad Har Sinai.
- Over 500 Jews were forcibly baptized in Clermont-Ferrand, France, 576.
- The Pope issued an order calling on all Christian princes to send back to Spain the Jews who had fled from the Inquisition, 1481.
- Bogdan Chmielnicki’s anti-Polish warfare, which resulted in the massacre of more than 300,000 Jews, broke out, 1648.
- Reuven found mandrakes (duda’im) in the field.
- Moshe built a Mizbei’ach and erected 12 monuments at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
- Rabbi Judah b. Dama, one of the Ten Martyrs, was executed by the Romans.
- The brothers Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lemberg, famous for their piety and scholarship, were tortured and executed on charges of influencing the apostate Jan Filipowicz to return to Judaism, 1728.
- Expulsion of Jews from Warsaw and its environs, 1784.
- Bnei Yisrael received the Torah
- Agudat Yisrael was founded, in Poland, 1912.
- Jews of Ethiopia observed Shavuot on the 12th of Sivan, 50 days after Pesach. They did not interpret “from the day after Shabbat” as the Tzadokim did, but rather as traditional Judaism did. Except that they considered Shabbat to refer to the whole holiday of Pesach (or the last day of Yom Tov). It puts their Shavuot on the last day of our “fill in days” for Shavuot. Assumedly, when the Ethiopian Jews came to Israel, they readjusted their calendar.
- 30 Jews of Posing, Hungary, were charged with blood-ritual and burned, 1529.
- First attack on the Jewish community of Frankfort on the Main. The Jewish Quarter was destroyed and most of the Jews were massacred, 1241.
- Germany’s emperor rescinded an order to burn all Hebrew books found in Cologne and Frankfort, 1510.
- Auto-da-fe claimed the lives of 24 Jews in Barcelona, 1588.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, 1821.
- Traditional date for the birth of Yehuda.
- The Crusaders laid siege to Yerushalayim, 1099.
- King of Poland denied the Jews of Vilna the right to deal in non-Jewish books, 1664. (On this kind of entry, don’t just read the fact – ponder the possible motives.)
- Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon to destroy PLO bases, 1982.
- The beginning of a substantial Jewish settlement in Massachusetts, 1716.
- French (Vichy) planes bombed Tel Aviv, 1941.
- No’ach’s Ark rested on Mt. Ararat.
- Chashmona’im captured and settled Migdal Tzur. The date was observed as a holiday.
- The city of Acco was captured by Muslims, 1291, bringing to an end the Christian domination of Eretz Yisrael.
- The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (parent organization of the Israel Center) was founded, 1898.
- The Nazis in control of France ordered Jews to wear a yellow star with the word “Juif” on it, 1942.
- Spain passed a law granting Jews and Protestants the right of public worship, including permission to mark their places of worship and advertise their religious services. This was the first such law since Ferdinand and Isabella proclaimed Catholicism as Spain’s only religion. This law was passed in – guess the year – 1967. (Not 1697; 1967!)
- The first Jewish hospital in America – Jews’ Hospital of New York – admitted its first patient, 1855. (The Jews of Berlin had a small hospital in the 16th century. Jews of Rome had their own hospital in the 17th century. Russian Jews had 112 hospitals prior to World War I. On the other hand, when the Jews of Bucharest petitioned the government for permission to build a hospital – this, following the death of a Jew who was denied admission into the city hospital – the petition was denied.)
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever, 1898. One of the founders and leaders of Religious Zionism in Russia, and the Mizrachi movement, he was also instrumental in the establishment of Ekron and Rehovot.
- 34 Jewish men and 17 Jewish women were burned at the stake in Blois France, 1171, as a result of the first ritual-murder trial in Europe. Rabbeinu Tam declared a fast day to mark the event. The day was confirmed as a fast day centuries later, in Poland, following the murder of 6000 Jews of Niemirov during the Chmielnicki massacres, 1648. Many Siddurim have Slichot for Kaf Sivan.
- Although Yom Yerushalayim is 28 Iyar, 20 Sivan marks the day that Israel annexed the Old City and officially untied all of Jerusalem, 1967.
- Mentioned by some sources as the day Miriam was afflicted with Tzoraat (others say the 22nd or the 23rd), as we read about in this week’s sedra. (It is noteworthy when an event mentioned in the Torah is read approx. at the same time that it occurred.)
- Muslim conqueror of Constantinople granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslims, 1453. This provided a haven for many Jews who fled Spain 39 years later.
- Harvard created a professorship of Hebrew and Oriental languages, 1765.
- The Pope ordered the Jews of Carpentras, France to wear distinctive yellow hats, 1525.
- King Yerovam stopped the Jews of the northern kingdom from bringing Bikurim to Yerushalayim.
- Mordechai issued a royal decree calling upon the Jews of the kingdom to defend themselves against attack. (This is the oldest record of an organized Jewish self-defense in the Diaspora.)
- Fast day of the Jewish community of Pesaro, Italy, to mark the murder of Jews following retreat of Napoleon’s army, 1798.
- Yahrzeit of R. Moshe b. Shlomo HaKohen, a German Tosefist, 1198.
- Geviha b. Pesisa, Jewish delegate, won the debate against the Samaritans in the presence of Alexander the Great.
- Rabban Shimon b. Gamliel, Rabbi Yishma’el b. Elisha, Rabbi Chanina Segan HaKohanim were martyred by the Romans (they were among the Asara Harugei Malchut).
- Massacre of the Jews of Erfurt, Germany, 1221.
- Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yitzchak b. Chaim, head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, 1849.
- End of Miriam’s confinement in the Midbar.
- The Romans stormed the Samaritan stronghold on Har Gerizim and killed 11,600 people, 67ce.
- Rabbi Chanina b. T’radyon, one of Asara Harugei Malchut, was burned at the stake. Rabbi Akiva was imprisoned. 132ce.
- Second expulsion of Jews from France, 1322.
- Purim of Florence, celebrating escape from massacre, 1790.
- Memorial day for Lithuanian Jewry.
- Bnei Yisra’el arrived in Midbar Paran.
- Slobodka Yeshiva closed its doors, 1941.
- Moshe sent the Meraglim to survey Eretz Yisrael. (Of which Jews in Chutz LaAretz read on the day before – this year).
- Follow the contrast: Chovevei Tzion was founded in America, 1897. Six years later, same date, Russia banned all Zionist meetings, 1903.
- Germany occupied Kovno and Vilna, 1941.
- Residence tax on Hungarian Jews was abolished, 1846.
- Numerous Jews were killed in a pogrom at Jassy, Rumania, 1941.