This Day In History 23 Shevat/February 8

Shaar blatt of Brachah U’Tehillah on
sefer Tehillim.

Today is a Taanis Tzaddikim commemorating the war that Bnei Yisrael waged against shevet Binyamin, after the incident of pilegesh begiv’ah (Shoftim 19-21). Forty- thousand men of shevet Binyamin were killed in that war, which nearly wiped out the shevet.

According to some opinions, today also commemorates the infamous “pesel Michah” as described in Shoftim 17-18.

In 5057/1297, the Jews of Silesia, then an independent country (it was divided after WWI between Poland, Germany and Austria) were ordered to wear a special cap in public to identify them as Jews.

In 5098/1338, the Ralbag completed his Peirush al HaTorah.

In 5701/1941, the first transport of Polish Jews to concentration camps left Plotsk, Poland.

Polish Jews were barred by the Nazis from using public transportation.


5654/1894, Harav Yehoshua, Rebbe of Belz, zt”l

5694/1934, Harav Moshe Kliers, Rav of Teveria, zt”l

5690/1930, Harav Yitzchak Bokovza, Zt”l, Rav in Tripoli, Libya

Harav Yitzchak Bokovza was born in Adar 5613/1853 in Gaves. His father, Rav Gavriel, was a respected inhabitant of the city, and his mother, Esther, was renowned for her chessed and tzedakah work. It is related that the collector for the tzedakah fund of Rabi Meir Baal Haness would stay in their home, and one night the Tanna Rabi Meir Baal Haness appeared to her in a dream and informed her that she would have a son who would be great in yirah and chochmah.

When this son was born, she handled him with extra kedushah and taharah. From the age of three or four months, she would only give him something to eat after she partook of the food herself, making a brachah on it, so that his eating would be covered by her brachah.

In his youth, Yitzchak learned under Harav Avraham Alush, zt”l, who was Dayan of Gaves.

When his father traveled to Tunisia, he took Yitzchak with him. There he learned under Harav Moshe Zamour, zt”l, and Harav David Jaoui, zt”l.

Rav Yitzchak served as Rav in his hometown of Gaves. He was also a melamed and a shochet. Later he was appointed Dayan in Muchnin, where he served for 18 years.

Following that, he was again asked by the community of Gaves to serve as their Rav, a post he held for the next five years.

Later, he was asked by the community of Tripoli to serve as their Rav, where he served until his petirah.

Rav Yitzchak was niftar on Erev Shabbos, 23 Shevat, 5690/1930. He was buried in Tripoli.

Rav Yitzchak wrote numerous sefarim: Lev Yamim on the klalim in Shas; Beisa D’Rabbanan; Ginzei Brachah on the Zohar; Lev Hamelech on Megillas Esther; Tovas Tochachos on Mishlei; Brachah U’Tehillah; Chai Yoducha on Tehillim; Beis Halachmi, his halachic responsa; Bris Yitzchak on Maseches Makkos; Korban Avi Lechem on the Torah; Mivtzar Yitzchak on Shas; and Lechem Lefi Hataf.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

Feb. 8

In 1861, the Confederate States of America was formed.

In 1861, a Cheyenne delegation and some Arapaho leaders accepted a new settlement (Treaty of Fort Wise) with the U.S. Federal government. The deal ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square-mile reservation and annuity payments.

In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War began, with Japan attacking Russian forces in Manchuria.

In 1971, the Nasdaq stock-market index began.