This Day In History 14 Tamuz/July 20

A Yom Tov is cited in Megillas Taanis, as a result of the destruction of the book of laws of the ­Tzedokim, which countered the true mesorah of Torah Sheb’al Peh.

In 5058/1298, 250 Jews were killed in Rothenburg, Germany. Hy”d.

In 5161/1401, 30 Jews of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, were burned at the stake because of a blood libel. Hy”d.


5399/1639, Harav Yosef of Trani, zt”l, the Maharit

5747/1987, Harav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Ner Yisrael, Baltimore

5479/1719, Harav Shmuel Shatin, zt”l, the Maharsheshach

Harav Shmuel Hakohen Shatin was the son of Harav Yosef, Rav of Darmstadt. He was born in 5404/1644 in Shatin, Hesse, in Germany. The family descended from Harav Aharon Hakohen of Lunel in Provence, France.

After the petirah of his father, Rav Shmuel served as Rav of Darmstadt. Later, he moved to Frankfurt, where he served as Rosh Yeshivah until his petirah.

Rav Shmuel writes in his introduction to Kos Hayeshuos that he was a Rosh Yeshivah for 22 years and taught thousands of talmidim, many of whom became Roshei Yeshivah and Rabbanim.

Rav Shmuel called his work on ShasChiddushei Maharsheshach”, an acronym for his name. He thought he would print his chiddushim on both Seder Nashim and Seder Nezikin, but not having funds for both, he printed only those on Seder NezikinKos Hayeshuos (based on the Gemara that Seder Nezikin is yeshuos).

Gedolim praised his clear elucidation of the pshat in Gemara. The Avnei Nezer writes in his introduction to Eglei Tal that the Kotzker Rebbe (his father-in-law) told him to learn from the derech halimud of the Maharsha and the Maharsheshach.

With many of his talmidim he also learned Kabbalah, besides the regular sedarim.

In 5471/1711 a fire destroyed his home and his manuscripts.

Harav Shmuel was niftar on Shabbos Parashas Balak, 14 Tammuz 5479/1719. He was 73. He was buried in Frankfurt.

Harav Shmuel’s son was Harav Moshe. His sons-in-law were Harav Aryeh Leib, Rav in Mattersdorf; and Harav Moshe Sofer, the grandfather of the Chasam Sofer.

The Rebbe Reb Henoch of Aleksander was also a descendant of Harav Shmuel.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

July 20

In 1871, British Columbia entered the Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1917, the World War I draft lottery went into operation.

In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion only wounded the Nazi leader.

In 1954, the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into northern and southern entities.

In 1976, America’s Viking 1 robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.