This Day in History – 29 Adar II/March 31

29 Adar II

In 4956/1196, Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Rabbeinu Asher, a grandson of the Riva, was killed together with numerous other Jews due to a blood libel. Hy”d.

In 5559/1799, Napoleon captured the city of Yaffo (Jaffa).

In 5650/1890, Jews of Austria became obligated by law to belong to the government-established religious community in their town.


5626/1866, Harav Shlomo of Radomsk, zt”l, the Tiferes Shlomo

5647/1887, Harav Chaim Shmuel Birnbaum, zt”l, son-in-law of Harav Akiva Eiger and mechaber of Maaseh Choshev  

5702/1942, Harav Chaim Welfried of Lodz, zt”l



Harav Meir Vaknin, zt”l, Rav of Teveria and Rosh Yeshivas Meir Bas Ayin, Teveria

Harav Meir Vaknin was born in Teveria on 7 Adar 5645/1885. His father was Harav David Vaknin.

As a young boy, he was considered by the chachamim in Teveria a unique personality, perfect in Torah and kedushah. He learned in the yeshivah of Teveria under Harav Eliyahu Chaim Abulafia and Harav David Abou.

He married the daughter of Harav Menashe Chamui.

Rav Meir was appointed a member of the Sephardic beis din of the city. In 5670/1901, he was sent to Europe as a shaliach on behalf of the Teveria community. Later, in 5674/1914, he was appointed Rav of the Sephardic kehillah in Aram Tzova (Aleppo), Syria.

Rav Meir returned to Teveria in 5680/1920. He became Nasi of the Sephardic community there, and founded Yeshivas Meir Bas Ayin. He was also Chief Rabbi of Teveria.

Rav Meir was niftar on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 29 Adar, 5735/1975, at the age of 90. He was buried in Teveria.

Rav Meir authored She’eilos U’Teshuvos Vayomer Meir, a compilation of his responsa; and Zichron Meir, his drashos and chiddushei Torah.

He also left many manuscripts of drushim on the Torah that he delivered over 50 years.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


March 31

In 1814, Paris was occupied by a coalition of Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces; the surrender of the French capital forced the abdication of Emperor Napoleon.

In 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1949, Newfoundland (now called Newfoundland and Labrador) entered confederation as Canada’s 10th province.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing he would not seek re-election.