This Day In History 21 Tamuz/July 27

In 5404/1644, Don Lope de Vera y Alarcon, a Spanish nobleman who became a ger tzeddek known as Yehudah the Believer, was killed by the Inquisition. Hy”d.

In 5702/1942, the internees of the Bendin (Poland) ghetto started an uprising.


5541/1781, Harav Shlomo Chelma, zt”l, mechaber of Mirkeves Hamishneh

5693/1933, Rav Avraham Mattisyahu of Shtefenesht, zt”l

5721/1961, Harav Levi Yitzchak Leifer, zt”l, the ­Nadvorna-Arad Rebbe of Haifa

5396/1636, Harav Eliyahu Baal Shem, Zt”l

In 5261/1501, there lived in Cracow a Jew by the name of Reb Yosef Yozpa. Close to 50 years old at the time, he was widely respected as a tzaddik; although he called no attention to his exalted ways, he used all his spare time for Torah. Reb Yosef had never married and lived by himself.

Some years later, a Jew from Cracow was killed, leaving a widow. Reb Yosef went to the local beis din and informed them that he was willing to marry this widow, should she agree.

Immediately, the beis din invited the woman to appear before them. Before they had a chance to tell her anything, she broke down in tears. She explained that lately she had seen her father in her dreams, telling her that she was to marry Reb Yosef Yozpa. Amazed, the beis din informed her that this was the precise reason they had called her in — to ask her opinion on this very matter. The couple was duly married. Within a year they were blessed with a son, whom they named Eliyahu after Eliyahu Hanavi.

Two weeks before Eliyahu’s bar mitzvah, Reb Yosef informed his wife that he would be niftar shortly. He asked her not to mourn his passing too much. He also asked that she allow their son to progress on his own, without interfering.

Reb Yosef then called in the heads of the local kehillah and asked them to tend to the needs of his wife and son. Then he blessed his wife and son, and was niftar.

A few weeks after Eliyahu’s bar ­mitzvah, he informed his mother that he would be leaving Cracow in search of a place to learn.

Forty years later, he arrived in Vermeiza (Worms), Germany, in 5368/1608, accompanied by his wife, (after he had married off his son and two daughters).

Among his works are Rinas Dodim, Michlal Yofi, and Aderes Eliyahu. Reb Eliyahu was niftar on 21 Tammuz 5396/1636, at the age of 81.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

July 27

In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.

In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finished laying out the first successful underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe (a previous cable in 1858 burned out after only a few weeks’ use).

In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.