This Day In History 11 Nisan/March 27

In 2449/1312 B.C.E., the Nasi of Shevet Asher, Pagi’eil ben Ochron, brought his korban.


5390/1630, Harav Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz, the Shela Hakadosh, zt”l

5599/1839, Harav Shlomo Zalman Lipshitz, the Chemdas Shlomo, zt”l

5030/1270, Rabbeinu Moshe ben Nachman, The Ramban, Zt”l

Rabbeinu Moshe ben Nachman was born in 4954/1194 in Gerondi, Spain.

He is commonly known as the Ramban (Rabbeinu Moshe ben Nachman). He was the grandson of Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Reuven of Barcelona, zt”l.

His Rebbe Muvhak was Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakkar, zt”l. He also learned under many of the Gedolim of his generation, including Rabbeinu Nassan ben Meir, zt”l, and Rabbeinu Yeshayah Habavli, zt”l.

The Ramban also studied medicine, which he practiced as a means of livelihood.

At the age of just sixteen, he began to write his sefarim. In Milchamos Hashem, he defended the Rif’s decisions against the criticisms of the Baal Hamaor, Rabbeinu Zerachiah Halevi, zt”l.

Many talmidim flocked to learn under the Ramban. Some of his famous talmidim include Rabbeinu Shlomo ben Aderes, the Rashba; Rabbeinu Yonah; Rabbeinu Aharon Halevi, the Ra’ah, zecher tzaddikim livrachah, and many others.

The Ramban was called upon to publicly defend the Torah because of the meshumad Pablo Christiani, who demanded that the king order the Ramban to take part in a public disputation. This was just another plot of his to try to make the Jews abandon their religion and convert.

The Ramban asked the king that complete freedom of speech should be granted. For four days he debated with Pablo Christiani in the presence of the king, the court and many churchmen.

The debate concluded in a complete victory for the Jews. The Ramban was dismissed by the king with a gift of 300 gold pieces as a mark of respect.

The Dominicans nevertheless claimed victory, so the Ramban felt it was incumbent on him to publish the debates. Pablo selected passages that he construed as blasphemies against Christianity. A formal complaint against the work and its author was lodged with the king.

The Ramban left Aragon and sojourned for close to three years somewhere in Castile or in southern France. In 5027/1267, he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael.

In Yerushalayim he established a shul in the Old City. Then, there were only two Jewish inhabitants of the city — two brothers. But by Rosh Hashanah, just three weeks later, they davened in Yerushalayim with a minyan.

The works of the Ramban include his peirush on Chumash: Milchamos Hashem, defending the Rif against the criticism of Rabbeinu Zerachiah; Sefer Hazechus, defending the Rif against the criticism of the Raavad; Hasagos on the Rambam, printed on the margin of the Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos and works on halachah.

His halachic works include Mishpetei Hacherem, the laws concerning excommunication; Hilchos Bedikah, on the examination of the lungs of slaughtered animals; and Toras Ha’adam, on the halachos of aveilus, including Shaar Hagemul.

He also wrote Igeres Hamussar, addressed to his son; and Igeres Hachemdah, a letter addressed to the French Rabbanim in defense of the Rambam.

The Ramban was niftar on 11 Nisan 5030/1270.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

March 27

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.

In 1794, Congress approved “An Act to provide a Naval Armament” of six armed ships.

In 1884, the first telephone line between Boston and New York was inaugurated.

In 1933, Japan officially withdrew from the League of Nations.

In 1942, during World War II, Congress granted American servicemen free first-class mailing privileges.

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