This Day in History – 1 Elul/August 27

Shaar blatt of Sefer Mitzvos Katan
Shaar blatt of Sefer Mitzvos Katan

Today is Rosh Hashanah for maasros (according to the Tanna Kama in the first Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah).

In 2408/1353 B.C.E., Chaggai Hanavi received his first prophecy, telling Zerubavel to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash.

In 4598/838 C.E., an army led by Shmuel Hanagid destroyed the army of Abu Abbas. This day was observed as a Yom Tov by Shmuel Hanagid and his descendants.

In 5151/1391, the Jews of Palma, Spain, were massacred, H”yd.

In 5160/1400, anti-Jewish riots claimed 77 lives in Prague, Hy”d.



5061/1301, Harav Dovid Hanagid, zt”l, grandson of the Rambam

5452/1692, Harav Shmuel Shmelke Horowitz of Tarna, zt”l

5454/1694, Harav Shmuel Abuhav, zt”l, mechaber of Dvar Shmuel

5528/1768, Harav Shaulof Lublin, zt”l, the father-in-law of the Meir Nesivim

5644/1884, Harav Chanoch Dov of Alesk, zt”l, mechaber of Lev Same’ach

5673/1913, Harav Pinchas Halevi Bilitzer, zt”l, the Szerencze Rav

5698/1938, Harav Menachem Mendel Landau of Slodovitz, zt”l

5743/1983, Harav Yaakov Arye Neiman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ohr Yisrael, Petach Tikva


5582/1822 Harav Yehoshua Zeitlin of Shklov, zt”l

Harav Yehoshua Zeitlin was born in 5502/1742 in Charson.

He was the talmid of the Vilna Gaon and of Harav Aryeh Leib Ginsburg, the Shaagas Aryeh.

Reb Yehoshua was a gaon who was regularly asked by other Gedolim for his opinion in matters of halachah.

He wrote the commentary Amudei Golah on Sefer Mitzvos Katan, better known as the Smak. He also published a compilation of his halachic responsa.

Besides his greatness in Torah, Reb Yehoshua was also wealthy. He was an influential adviser to the king. He supported many of his talmidim from his own pocket.

Among his famous talmidim are Harav Menachem Mendel Leffin, the mechaber of Cheshbon HaNefesh; Harav Binyamin Rivlin, mechaber of Gevi’i Gvia HaKesef; and Harav Baruch of Shklov.

Reb Yehoshua was niftar on 1 Elul, the second day of Rosh Chodesh 5582/1822, at the age of 80.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


Swordfish (SSN-579) breaks for the water with flags and bunting flying, August 27, 1957, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. (U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen &
Swordfish (SSN-579) breaks for the water with flags and bunting flying, August 27, 1957, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. (U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen &

August 27

In 1776, the Battle of Long Island began during the Revolutionary War as British troops attacked American forces, who ended up being forced to retreat two days later.

In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa erupted with a series of cataclysmic explosions; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

In 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas.

In 1939, the first turbojet-powered aircraft, the Heinkel He 178, went on its first full-fledged test flight over Germany.

In 1957, the USS Swordfish, the second Skate Class nuclear submarine, was launched from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.

In 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

In 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson accepted his party’s nomination for a term in his own right, telling the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, “Let us join together in giving every American the fullest life which he can hope for.”

In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten and three other people, including his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas, were killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

In 1989, the first U.S. commercial satellite rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida — a Delta booster carrying a British communications satellite, the Marcopolo 1.

In 2008, Barack Obama was nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention in Denver.