This Day in History – 27 Tishrei/October 21

A plaque at the site where the beis hachaim of Ramerupt is believed to have stood.
A plaque at the site where the beis hachaim of Ramerupt is believed to have stood.

In 3415/344 B.C.E., the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah weakened the yetzer hara of arayos after three days of prayer (Yoma 69).

In 5331/1570, the wealthy Jewish community of Venice was sacked and impoverished.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5740/1979, Harav Shraga Shmuel Shnitzler of Bekesh-Tchaba, zt”l


 

4949/1188, Rabbeinu Yitzchak — R”I Hazaken, zt”l

One of the greatest of the Baalei Tosafos, R”I of Danfir (as he was known), is very often quoted in their commentary to the Gemara. He was the son of Rabbeinu Shmuel, son of Rabbeinu Simchah of Vitri, who was a talmid of Rashi. His mother was Miriam, a sister of Rashbam and Rabbeinu Tam, all of whom were the children of Rabbeinu Meir, son-in-law of Rashi Hakadosh.

Rabbeinu Yitzchak’s wife was the daughter of Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Rabbeinu Yom Tov. (According to another opinion, he was married to the daughter of Riva”m.)

He was a disciple of his uncle, Rabbeinu Tam, and succeeded to his post in Romrog (Ramerupt), from where he disseminated Torah to Klal Yisrael. Most of the Baalei Tosafos were his talmidim.

Sixty Torah scholars studied in his presence. Each had mastered a specific masechta; learning together, they clarified numerous difficult concepts throughout Shas.

Rabbeinu Yitzchak davened at great length, and was always the last to leave shul. For Yom Kippur he would fast two days, due to sfeika d’yoma (the reason that we in galus observe two days of each Yom Tov).

Among his students were the Rosh of Shantz; Ritzv”a; his son Rabbeinu Elchanan; and Rabbeinu Baruch, the Baal HaTerumah, who moved to Eretz Yisrael.

Rabbeinu Yitzchak was buried in Ramerupt, Germany. Through the efforts of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Gabbai, an ohel was recently constructed at the site believed to be the beis hachaim of many of the Baalei Tosafos, including R”I.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

Oct. 21

In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, was dedicated in Boston’s harbor.

In 1805, a British fleet commanded by Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson, however, was killed.

In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

In 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville, France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen.

In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time.

In 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in New York.

In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.

In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 47 Israeli crew members were lost.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Both nominees were confirmed.)

In 1986, pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon abducted American Edward Tracy. (He was released in August 1991.)

In 1991, American hostage Jesse Turner was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon after nearly five years in captivity.