This Day in History – 16 Adar II/March 18

Shaar blatt of Divrei Rosh.
Shaar blatt of Divrei Rosh.

16 Adar

In 3390/371 B.C.E., King Koresh of Persia granted the Jews permission to rebuild the Second Beis Hamikdash. This day was therefore declared a Yom Tov, as cited in Megillas Taanis.

In 3802/42, King Agrippa I began the reconstruction of the chomah of Yerushalayim.

In 4178/418, a decree that Jews were to be excluded from public offices in the Roman Empire went into effect.

In 5416/1656, the Jews of New Amsterdam (later known as New York) were forbidden to erect a shul.

In 5608/1848, the pillars of the ghetto of Ferrara, Italy, were destroyed by the professors and students of the Athenaeum.

In 5657/1897, Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan, the first yeshivah in the United States, was incorporated.



5643/1883, Harav Elazar Menachem of Lelov, zt”l

5651/1891, Harav Menachem Katz of Prustitz, zt”l, Rav of Tzehlim

5671/1911, Harav Naftali Reiter, zt”l, Rav of Congregation Mogen Avraham Anshei Dukler

5756/1996, Harav Pinchas Menachem Alter, zt”l, the Pnei Menachem of Ger



Harav Shalom Charif Ulman, zt”l, Rav of Lakenbach

Harav Shalom Ulman was born in Fiorda on 16 Adar 5515/1755. His father, Harav Yisrael Isser, was the mechutan of Harav Yosef Steinhart, Rav of Fiorda.

Reb Shalom learned in the yeshivah of Harav Steinhart, and from there he went on to the yeshivah of Harav Pinchas Horowitz (the Hafla’ah) in Frankfurt. He was later appointed a Rosh Yeshivah there. He also learned in the yeshivah of Harav Nosson Adler in Frankfurt. He was esteemed in shittas hapilpul.

He corresponded with some of the generation’s leading Gedolim, among them Harav Aryeh Leib Ginzburg, the Shaagas Aryeh.

Reb Shalom married the daughter of Harav Refael Reiss, Rav of Edingen in Switzerland. In 5544/1784 he was appointed Rav of Ansbach, and in 5552/1792 Rav of Stampfen; he became Rav of Nad-Attad in 5559/1799, and 10 years later, in 5569/1809, Rav of Lakenbach. Harav Mordechai Bannet, Rav of Nikolsburg, would send many of his excellent talmidim to learn under Reb Shalom in Lakenbach.

Famed in the Torah world for his sharp mind and thorough knowledge of both nigleh and nistar, Reb Shalom was aptly called Reb Shalom Charif.

Reb Shalom wrote many sefarim, but only his Divrei Rosh on the Torah and Shas was published.

Towards the end of his life, Reb Shalom said that he knew when he was going to be niftar. In his later years he barely spoke at all.

Four weeks before his petirah, in a letter to his son, Reb Shalom signed off saying that he was writing briefly, as he was preparing for his judgment. On 16 Adar 5585/1825, 70 years to the day since he was born, Reb Shalom was niftar.

Reb Shalom had two well-known sons. Harav Avraham succeeded his father as Rav of Lakenbach and wrote She’eilos U’teshuvos Beis Avraham; and Harav Shlomo Zalman was Rav of Makava and mechaber of Yerios Shlomo.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


March 18

In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.

In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.

In 1913, King George I of Greece was assassinated in Thessaloniki.

In 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized his country’s petroleum reserves and took control of foreign-owned oil facilities.

In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany’s war against France and Britain.

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.)

In 1962, France and Algerian rebels signed the Evian Accords, a cease-fire agreement that took effect the next day, ending the Algerian War.

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gideon v. Wainwright, ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.

In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.

In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their 5-month-old embargo against the United States that had been sparked by American support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

In 1990, thieves made off with 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (the crime remains unsolved).