This Day In History 21 Cheshvan/November 22

Shaar blatt of Magen David.
Shaar blatt of Magen David.

In 5699/1938, following Kristallnacht, Jewish children were expelled from German schools and universities.


Yahrtzeiten

5605/1844, Harav Yissachar Ber of Podheitz, zt”l

5642/1881, Harav Elazar Hakohen of Poltusk, zt”l

5673/1912, Harav Moshe of Shichelnik, zt”l

5749/1988, Harav Betzalel Stern, zt”l


5334/1573, Rabbeinu David ben Zimra, zt”l, The Radbaz

Rabbeinu David ben Zimra, the Radbaz, was born in 5240/1480. (Others say he was born in 5230/1470.) He was a talmid of Rabbeinu Yosef of Saragosa, and a chaver of the Mahari Korkos. He arrived as a child with his father in Tzfas after the Spanish expulsion.

In 5274/1514 he immigrated to Egypt, where the living conditions at that time were better than in Eretz Yisrael, and joined the yeshivah of the naggid Rabi Yitzchak Hakohen Sholal. There he was accepted as part of the beis din, and began his career as a marbitz Torah. For over 40 years he taught many talmidim, among them great luminaries such as Harav Betzalel Ashkenazi (the Shittah Mekubetzes) and the Ari Hakadosh, among others.

Subsequently, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Egypt. His income, however, came through business, from which he became quite wealthy.

The period in which he was Rav was a period of relative peace and tranquility, and his yeshivah thrived. The Radbaz instituted many takanos in the community, which he led with wisdom and compassion.

After many years, he returned to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Yerushalayim. However, due to his vast wealth, the Arabs demanded heavy taxes from him, so he was forced to move to Tzfas. He was accepted with open arms by that exalted community, especially by the Beis Yosef, who bestowed great honor upon him.

The Radbaz’s holiness was extraordinary. In Shem Hagedolim, the Chida cites elder Rabbanim of Yerushalayim who attested that the Radbaz experienced giluy Eliyahu.

As one of the elder Torah luminaries in Tzfas, he was asked to lead the esteemed kehillah, which he did until his petirah. He was niftar on 21 Cheshvan and was buried in Tzfas (the exact location of his kever is unknown; it is believed to be in the me’arah of the Alshich).

The Radbaz was a marbitz Torah on a grand scale. He wrote over 3,000 teshuvos (including 70 “Teshuvos min Hashamayim” that he said had been transmitted to him from On High, which were collected in Sifrei Radbaz); his piskei halachah are underlying foundations of halachah to this day. His additional sefarim include Yekar Tiferes, Keser Malchus, Metzudas David and two sifrei Kabbalah, Michtav LeDavid, and Magen David.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Nov. 22

In 1890, French president Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille, France.

In 1914, the First Battle of Ypres during World War I ended with an Allied victory against Germany.

In 1935, a flying boat, the China Clipper, took off from Alameda, California, carrying more than 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans-Pacific airmail flight.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was shot to death during a motorcade in Dallas; Texas Gov. John B. Connally, riding in the same car as Kennedy, was seriously wounded; suspected gunman Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested.

In 1975, Juan Carlos was proclaimed king of Spain.