This Day in History – 25 Nisan/May 3

United States Capitol building in spring, Washington DC
United States Capitol building in spring, Washington DC

In 5693/1933, shechitah was banned in Germany by the Nazi government.

In 5698/1938, an embargo went into effect on the properties of Austrian Jews.



5598/1838, Harav Dan of Radvil, zt”l

5636/1876, Harav Chaim Halberstam, zt”l, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz

5659/1899, Harav Moshe Ulman, zt”l, mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Yerios Shlomo

5740/1980, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Weinberg, zt”l, the Tel Aviv-Slonimer Rebbe


5340/1580, Harav Moshe di Trani, zt”l, the Mabit

The Mabit was the son of Harav Yosef of Trani (the elder), a descendant of the famous family named after the Italian city of Trani, whose forebear was Harav Yeshayah Hazaken diTrani. The Mabit was born in 5265/1505 in Salonika, Greece.

The Mabit’s father was known as the “Baal Tosafos,” for his ability to reach the point of view of Tosafos though his own reasoning.

The Mabit was a talmid of his uncle, Harav Aharon diTrani, and after ascending to Eretz Yisrael he learned in the yeshivah of the Mahari Beirav, the Baal Hasemichah.

At the age of 20 he was appointed a Dayan in the city of Tzfas, where he constantly engaged the Beis Yosef in halachic discussions. They would often disagree on halachah, and conduct heated debates about various fine points. But as Chazal tell us, “Es vahev besufah,” from arguing in Torah one only gains more ahavah towards a fellow Jew; they were actually on quite good terms.

The Mabit conducted extensive correspondence with contemporary Torah greats. Among them were the Shittah Mekubetzes, the Mahari Kurkus, the Ri Abuhav, the Radbaz and the Alshich Hakadosh.

He served the kehillah in Tzfas for a total of 45 years, ever-vigilant to strengthen kvod haTorah and Yiddishkeit, as he dedicated every waking moment to limud haTorah and avodas Hashem.

He selflessly devoted himself to the Sephardic community of Tzfas, caring for their physical and spiritual needs and leading the kehillah with great strength.

When he was niftar, his son, Rav Yosef, later called the Maharit, was only 12 years old. Rav Yosef developed into a great talmid chacham, and it was he who published his father’s many writings. He published She’eilos U’teshuvos Mabit, which contains 841 teshuvos; Kiryas Sefer, a biur on Rambam; Beis Elokim, mussar and derashos; and a peirush on Perek Shirah.

In the hakdamah to one of these sefarim Rav Yosef wrote the following: “At one point I gave a large cache of manuscripts to someone to transfer it. The person died in the middle of his mission, and only through a miracle was I able to find the manuscripts.”

The Mabit was niftar on 25 Nisan 5340/1580, five years after the Beis Yosef’s petirah.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


May 3

In 1765, the first school of medicine in the American colonies, the Medical School of the College of Philadelphia (now the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania), was founded.

In 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland -Lithuania adopted a constitution.

In 1802, Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied forces recaptured Rangoon (Yangon) from the Japanese.