This Day In History 22 Av/August 14

A manuscript of Harav Moshe Kazis, zt”l.

22 Av

In 4261/501 C.E., a violent earthquake rocked Eretz Yisrael, destroying the city of Acco.

In 5248/1488, 16 Jews were burned to death in Toledo, Spain, Hy”d.


5058/1298, Rabbeinu Mordechai ben Hillel, the author of the Mordechai, Hy”d

5541/1781, Harav Meir Hagadol, Rebbe of Premishlan, zt”l

5709/1949, Harav Eliyahu Dushnitzer, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Lomza, Petach Tikvah


Harav Moshe Kazis, zt”l

Harav Moshe Kazis was born around 5310/1550 in Mantova. His father, Rav Shmuel, was one of Mantova’s foremost Rabbanim.

The Kazis family, through the generations, was known for its greatness in Torah. Rav Shmuel wrote numerous sefarim, and other Rabbanim with the name Kazis are mentioned in halachah sefarim. Rav Shmuel was niftar on 29 Elul, Erev Rosh Hashanah, 5333/1577.

Rav Moshe was a talmid of Harav Menachem Azariah, the Rama of Pano.

Those were years of harsh decrees against the Jews in general, and against the learning of Talmud in particular. On Rosh Hashanah 5314/1753, the non-Jews burned many sefarim and gemaras in Rome; later that year in all the other cities across Italy they burned copies of the Gemara.

The Gedolim of that era had to manage without gemaras to look into. Despite this, they continued to learn and write sefarim, many commenting that a ruling was based on memory or their understanding of a particular Gemara which was unfortunately not available.

Rav Moshe was among those who fought against this decree. He is mentioned in the group of Rabbanim who went to Rome in 5349/1589 to try to annul it. Alas, they didn’t succeed.

Rav Moshe was niftar on 22 Av 5377/1617 while still in middle of writing his chiddushim on Maseches Bava Metzia. At the end of the commentary it says, “Up to here is the commentary of Rav Moshe Kazis, zt”l, for he was requested to the Heavenly yeshivah on the night of 22 Av 5377, and the last halachah he learned was about returning the lost article of the king (see Bava Metzia 28).”

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

American troops in Peking in China on 14 August 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion.

August 14

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.

In 1900, international forces, including U.S. Marines, entered Beijing to put down the Boxer Rebellion, which was aimed at purging China of foreign influence.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Imperial Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.