This Day In History 27 Tammuz/July 21

In 5082/1322, France expelled all Jews for the third time.

In 5498/1738, two Jews, including a Russian naval officer who had converted to Judaism (having been influenced and/or taught by the other Jew), were burned at the stake in St. Petersburg. Hy”d.


5608/1848, Harav Nachum Tarbitch, zt”l, mechaber of Kovetz al HaRambam

5739/1979, Harav Shmuel Rozovski, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ponevez

5767/2007, Harav Mordechai Twersky, the Skverer Rebbe of Flatbush, zt”l


Harav Yitzchak Charif of Sambur, zt”l, mechaber of Pnei Yitzchak

Harav Yitzchak Charif was the son of Harav Moshe of Dregatchin, the mechaber of Maggid Mishneh on the Mishnas Chassidim.

Harav Yitzchak was known as a Gadol in both nigleh and nistar. Many of the generation’s tzaddikim held him in the highest esteem.

Harav Yitzchak was respected and admired by the kehillah for his fatherly love and dedication to their needs. Despite his lofty level of Torah and kedushah, Reb Yitzchak was involved in all that was happening in the city, and drew the people closer to Torah.

Many kehillos wanted Harav Yitzchak as their Rav. Following the petirah of Harav Meir Berabi, the Pressburg kehillah sought to appoint Harav Yitzchak as their Rav. So as not to delay his decision, they sent a ksav rabbanus right away to the home of the rosh hakahal of Sambur.

Upon receiving the letter, the rosh hakahal decided not to show it to Harav Yitzchak, fearing he would leave the city. When the kehillah of Pressburg didn’t receive a response from Harav Yitzchak, they sent another letter — again to the rosh hakahal — and again he didn’t pass it on.

When they realized that Harav Yitzchak was not responding, the Pressburg kehillah sent a letter to Harav Meshulam Igra, and in their letter they related the whole issue, that they sent Reb Yitzchak two letters, and since he ignored them, they were now offering Harav Igra the rabbanus.

Harav Meshulam Igra was tempted to accept the prestigious rabbanus of Pressburg, but upon hearing that Reb Yitzchak had declined, he wanted to discuss the matter with him and hear his opinion. He traveled to Sambur to meet with Harav Yitzchak. Upon his arrival in Sambur, Harav Yitzchak arranged for a lavish seudah to be held in honor of the guest, with the leaders of the kehillah attending as well.

During the seudah, Harav Meshulam asked Harav Yitzchak why he didn’t accept the rabbanus of Pressburg. Harav Yitzchak looked up in amazement and said that he had never received such an offer!

The rosh hakahal stood up and confessed that he was the one who had received — and hidden — the letters, explaining that he did not want Harav Yitzchak to leave the city.

Reb Yitzchak ruled that the rabbanus rightfully belonged to Harav Meshulam Igra, for he was the one to receive the ksav rabbanus.

Harav Yitzchak wrote She’eilos U’teshuvos Pnei Yitzchak and Ha’elef Lecha Shlomo on Shas.

He was niftar on 27 Tammuz 5593/1833.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

July 21

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration (later the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

In 1955, during a summit in Geneva, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented his “open skies” proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other’s military facilities and allow aerial reconnaissance. (The Soviets rejected the proposal.)

In 1961, Capt. Virgil “Gus” Grissom became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.

In 1997, the USS Constitution, which defended the U.S. during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years, leaving its temporary anchorage at Marblehead, Massachusetts, for a one-hour voyage marking its 200th anniversary.