This Day in History – 25 Teves/January 16

Harav Yosef Rosen, zt”l
Harav Yosef Rosen, zt”l

In 5072/1311, anti-Jewish riots erupted in various parts of Austria.

In 5319/1559, the first edition of Chovos Ha’levavos was published in Italy.

In 5478/1717, Frankfurt’s Jewish streets and shuls were burnt down and many Jewish valuables were destroyed or confiscated. This date was declared a public fast day in Frankfurt.



5598/1838, Harav Moshe Tzvi of Savran, zt”l

5645/1885, Harav Yosef Rosen, zt”l, of Telshe-Slonim

5688/1928, Harav Eliyahu Meir Feivelsohn of Ekaterinoslav, zt”l

5742/1982, Harav Shlomo Mazuz, zt”l, mechaber of Sho’eil U’meishiv, Kerem Shlomo and Cheshek Shlomo


Shaar blatt of Poras Yosef.
Shaar blatt of Poras Yosef.

5645/1885, Harav Yosef Rosen, zt”l, Rav of Telshe and Slonim

Harav Yosef Rosen was the son of Harav Yitzchak. He was one of the leading Torah authorities and poskim in Lithuania in his time.

Rav Yosef was appointed Rav in Telshe, and later Rav of Slonim.

He wrote the sefer Edus BiYehosef, a compilation of his responsa on Yoreh De’ah, while Rav in Telshe. Later, during his tenure as Rav in Slonim, he wrote another sefer, Poras Yosef, his responsa on Choshen Mishpat.

Rav Yosef chose Harav Yitzchak Yaakov Reines of Lidah, author of Edus L’Yaakov, as his son-in-law. It is related in the sefer Hizaharu Bichvod Chavreichem that once Rav Yosef visited Ponevezh together with Rav Yitzchak Yaakov. They were honored visitors of Harav Moshe Yitzchak Segal, the Mara D’Asra, who greeted them together with the tovei ha’ir and the leading talmidei chachamim of the city. They began with a Torah discussion. Rav Yosef raised a difficult question. Rav Moshe Yitzchak answered, opening an entire debate over the question, but the question remained unanswered in the end.

As they were leaving to the home of their host, Rav Yitzchak Yaakov turned to his father-in-law and asked him, “What has the Rav done?”

Rav Yosef asked him, “Regarding what?” To this, Rav Yitzchak Yaakov replied, “The Rav asked a question of the local Rav, in the presence of the talmidei chachamim of the city, and the result was that the Rav couldn’t answer it…”

“Oy,” exclaimed Rav Yosef in fright, “with that I have embarrassed him publicly…” As he was speaking, he fell in a faint.

Rav Yosef was niftar on 25 Teves 5645/1885.

Yehi zichro baruch.


Jan. 16

In 1547, Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as “Ivan the Terrible”) was crowned Czar.

In 1920, Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America’s first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America’s first black astronaut.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight. On board was Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.