This Day in History 12 Iyar/April 27

German soldiers in Athens, 1941.

12 Iyar

In 3830/70 C.E., Roman legions under Titus breached the middle wall of Yerushalayim; a counter-attack by the Jews restored the wall to their command.

In 5162/1402, the Pope granted certain privileges to the Jews of Rome.


Yahrtzeiten

5668/1908, the Mekubal Harav Masud Abuchatzeira, zt”l, father of the Baba Sali

5669/1909, Harav Yehudah Tzvi Eichenstein of Dolina, zt”l


5515/1755

Harav Zorach Eidelis of Prague, Zt”l

Harav Zorach was orphaned as a child and raised in the home of Harav Yonasan Eibshitz, zt”l. Rav Yonasan treated him like a beloved son. Realizing the lad’s genius, Rav Yonasan taught him and nurtured him.

In time, Rav Zorach became a dayan and darshan in Prague, the capital of Bohemia. His arrival heralded major growth of Torah in Prague, as many talmidim from all over the continent came to learn from him.

When the Noda BiYehudah, Harav Yechezkel Landau, zt”l, was ordained Rav of the city, for some reason Rav Zorach did not sign the official letter of Rabbanus. The Noda BiYehudah said, “Until Rav Zorach signs the document, the whole Rabbanus in worthless to me.” Rav Zorach did sign it, and they maintained a close friendship through the years.

Rav Zorach was mechaber of a number of sefarim, among them Ohr LaYesharim, Beirurei Hamiddos and Meleches Machsheves.

It was his minhag never to accept gifts. Since Rav Zorach was wealthy, the tax collector, whose name was Reb Yisrael, asked him for a large sum as his annual obligation. When the times changed and Rav Zorach’s wheel of fortune turned downward, Reb Yisrael continued to request the usual sum from Rav Zorach.

Rav Zorach did not object and kept paying, until at one point he simply could not raise the money he owed. When the tax collector realized the unfair tax burden Rav Zorach had assumed, he wished to repay the Rav, and sent him a huge container of golden coins. As was his custom, the Rav did not accept the “gift.” The tax collector insisted, threatening that he would not cancel the current tax bill until the Rav allowed him to right a wrong that he had inadvertently perpetrated.

Without a choice, Rav Zorach acceded, but during his lifetime the box remained untouched. In his will, Rav Zorach instructed his children to return the box to Reb Yisrael the tax collector!

Rav Zorach was niftar on 12 Iyar 5515/1755, (according to another opinion, it was 5 Iyar.)

Zecher Tzaddik Livrachah.


April 27

In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.

In 1950, Britain formally recognized the state of Israel.

In 1967, Canada’s International and Universal Exhibition, also known as “Expo 67,” began a six-month run as it was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into Britain’s House of Commons.