This Day in History 15 Iyar/April 30

Shaar blatt of Harav Aryeh Leib Shapiro’s sefer on Maseches Sofrim.

15 Iyar

In 2448, the supply of matzos that the Jews had brought with them from Egypt was exhausted. When they complained to Moshe Rabbeinu that they had nothing to eat, Hashem notified them that He would rain down “lechem min haShamayim” to sustain them, alluding to manna, which began falling one day later.

In 5487/1727, Empress Catherine I of Russia expelled the Jews from the Ukraine.

In 5643/1883, anti-Jewish riots broke out in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.


Yahrtzeiten

5609/1849, Harav Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapiro, zt”l, the “saraf” of Moglanitza

5639/1879, Harav Baruch Rosenfeld, zt”l, Rav of Galov and a talmid of Harav Akiva Eiger, zt”l

5748/1988, Harav Dovid Moshe Shapiro, zt”l, the Gvodzitz–Sadigura Rebbe of Boro Park, mechaber of Duda’im Shel Moshe

5763/2003, Harav Tuvia Goldstein, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Emek Halachah


5521/1761

Harav Aryeh Leib Shapiro of Vilna, Zt”l, mechaber of Me’on Arayos and Nachalas Ariel

Harav Aryeh Leib Shapiro was born in 5461/1701. His father, Harav Yitzchak, zt”l, the mechaber of Elef Hamagen, was niftar on 25 Adar 5471/1711, in Lvov, when he was just nine years old. His mother raised him and encouraged him to strengthen himself and continue in his learning. She unfortunately also passed away before Rav Aryeh Leib married.

Rav Aryeh Leib traveled to learn in Lithuania. He married and settled in Vilna, where his father-in-law supported him.

At the age of 21, Rav Aryeh Leib undertook an innovative project: to compile a commentary on Maseches Sofrim — on the halachos of writing safrus — which was one of the least learned and most overlooked masechtos. He wrote two commentaries: Nachalas Ariel, based on pshat, and Maon Arayos, a commentary based on pilpul.

The Chida quotes these works in his Shem Hagedolim, and lavishes much praise on them.

Rav Aryeh Leib also served as Rav and Dayan in Vilna.

Rav Aryeh Leib was niftar on 15 Iyar, 5521/1761.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


April 30

Louisiana Purchase, 1803

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.

In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.

In 1939, the New York World’s Fair officially opened, with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.