This Day in History – 2 Adar/February 7

This famous image shows McCandless using the MMU during the STS-41-B mission
in 1984.

2 Adar

In 4313/553 the Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered that under his jurisdiction, instead of reading the Torah on Shabbos, the Greek translation must be read. He also prohibited Rabbanim from teaching Torah.

In 5442/1682, anti-Jewish riots erupted in the city of Cracow, Poland.

In 5702/1942, the Nazis confiscated all sifrei Torah and other sefarim that belonged to the inhabitants of the Kovno ghetto.

In 5703/1943, the Jews of Salonika, Greece, were transported to Nazi extermination camps. Of the 50,000 Jews who lived in Salonika, only 1,200 survived the Holocaust. Hashem yinkom damam.

In 5720/1960, hundreds of Jews were among the thousands of victims who perished in a devastating earthquake that struck Agadir, Morocco.


5502/1742, Harav Meir Paprish, mechaber of Ohr Tzadikim, Hy”d

5562/1802, Harav Yom Tov Algazi, zt”l, the Maharit Algazi

5701/1941, Harav Yaakov Yechezkiya Grunwald, zt”l, Rebbe of Pupa, the Vayaged Yaakov

5724/1964, Harav Avraham Kalmanowitz, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Mir, America

5737/1977, Harav Yisrael Alter, zt”l, the Beis Yisrael of Gur

5739/1979, Harav Moshe Schwab, zt”l, Mashgiach of Gateshead Yeshivah

5741/1981, Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Brisk, Yerushalayim, son of the Brisker Rav


Harav Aharon Aryeh Leib, Rebbe of Premishlan, Zy”a

Harav Aharon Aryeh Leib was the son of Harav Meir Hagadol of Premishlan, who was a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov, zy”a.

Rav Aharon Leib was a talmid muvhak of Harav Yechiel Michel, the Zlotchover Maggid, zy”a.

Following the petirah of the Zlotchover Maggid, in 5541/1781, Rav Aharon Leib led his own Chassidic court. But he still traveled from time to time to Harav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, zy”a. He also visited the Rebbe Harav Elimelech of Lizhensk, zy”a, who held him in high esteem.

Rav Aharon Leib was renowned for his vast humility, of which many stories are related. He was also known for his avodas hatefillah; he davened with great enthusiasm.

In the beginning of 5573/1812, a leap year (i. e., it had two Adars), Rav Aharon Leib was heard to say a few times, “Di Aderen shtechin mir — the veins are pricking me,” using the word Adar and its plural as a hint of what was to come. When Rav Aharon Leib was niftar on 2 Adar Sheini of that year, his meaning became clear.

Rav Aharon Leib’s divrei Torah, written under the name Meir Yair, were never published, as per his instructions.

Rav Aharon Leib was survived by his sons: Harav Yitzchak of Kalusch; Harav Dov Ber of Brezhin; Harav Meir of Premishlan; and Harav Yechiel Michel of Komarna. His son-in-law was Harav Shlomo Redlich, the father of Harav Avraham Chaim of Mikolaev, zechusam yagen aleinu.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Feb. 7

In 1817, America’s first public gas street lamp was lighted in Baltimore at the corner of Market and Lemmon Streets, now East Baltimore and Holliday Streets.

In 1943, the government announced that wartime rationing of shoes made of leather would go into effect in two days, limiting consumers to buying three pairs per person per year. Rationing was lifted in October 1945.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba.

In 1971, women in Switzerland gained the right to vote through a national referendum, 12 years after a previous attempt failed.

In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered spacewalk, which lasted nearly six hours.