This Day In History 22 Kislev/December 22

22 Kislev

In 5118/1357, Charles IV issued letters of protection for the Jews of Strasbourg. Two years later, mobs burned 1,000 Jews, Hy”d, and forced many others to convert, R”l.

In 5383/1622, the king of Denmark invited Jews of Amsterdam to settle in Norway and enjoy religious freedom.


5447/1686, Harav Meshulam Mirels, zt”l, father-in-law of the Chacham Tzvi

5566/1805, Harav Pinchas of Ostroha, zt”l

5667/1906, Harav Yoel Ashkenazi of Zlotchov, zt”l

5690/1929, Harav Yechezkel Panet of Dezh, zt”l, the Knesses Yechezkel

5757/1996, Harav Shabsai Yudelevitz, zt”l, a maggid in Yerushalayim

5758/1997, Harav Shalom Shwadron, zt”l, Maggid of Yerushalayim


Harav Elazar Ashkenazi, zt”l, Mechaber of Maasei Hashem

Harav Eliezer Ashkenazi was born in Italy in 5273/1513. His father was Harav Eliyahu Harofei, son-in-law of Harav Yosef Kolon (mechaber of She’eilos U’Teshuvos Maharik).

As a youth, Rav Eliezer learned in the yeshivah of Harav Yosef Taitazak in Salonika. Rav Yosef (the “MahaRITaTS”) was a Talmudic authority and mekubal.

Some say that from there, Rav Eliezer moved to Yerushalayim or Tzfas.

Rav Eliezer was known as a leading Rav in his time, even in the generation of the Beis Yosef, the Rema and the Maharal, to name just a few. He served as Rav in a wide array of kehillos, across the spectrum.

He became Rav in Egypt in 5299/1539, probably in Fostat, where he was soon widely known for his learning and his wealth. Compelled by circumstances to leave Egypt, he went to Cyprus, remaining there for two years as Rav at Famagusta.

In 5324/1563, he left for Venice, returning to Cyprus some two years later.

Due to a machlokes with Harav Meir Padua, Rav Eliezer moved on to Cremona in northern Italy. There, he printed his first sefer, Yosef Lekach, on Megillas Esther, in 5336/1576. It was named for Don Yosef Nasi, the Jewish “duke” of Naxos.

Later he left Cremona and moved on to Poland, settling in Posen, where he was appointed Rav.

In 5344/1584, he moved to Cracow, where he was named Rav of Poland.

Rav Eliezer was niftar on 22 Kislev 5346/1585 and buried in Cracow.

His sefarim include Maasei Hashem, a commentary on the historical portions of the Tanach, written for the instruction of his son Rav Eliyahu; it contains a complete commentary on the Haggadah, which has frequently been published separately.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

Dec. 22

In 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.

In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)

In 1937, the first, center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River was opened to traffic. (The second tube opened in 1945; the third in 1957.)

In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe’s hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising.

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