This Day in History – 4 Adar 1/February 4

4 Adar I

In 5043/1283, the Maharam of Rothenburg was imprisoned in the Ensisheim fortress and held for a huge ransom, but he forbade the Jewish community to pay it.

Even after the Maharam’s petirah in 5053/1293, his body was not released for burial until it was ransomed, 14 years later, by Alexander ben Shlomo (Susskind) Wimpen, who was subsequently laid to rest at his side in the beis hachaim in Worms.

In 5558/1798, the Jews of Rome were declared free citizens by the French army.


4266/506, the Amora Rav Achai bar Rav Huna, zt”l

5627/1867, Harav Chaim Yosef Gottlieb, zt”l, Rav of Stropkov and mechaber of Tiv Gittin V’Kiddushin

5557/1897, Harav Shraga Tzvi Tenenbaum, zt”l, mechaber of Neta Sorek

5670/1910, Harav Eliezer Gordon, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Telshe (Adar I)

5675/1915, Harav Dovid Friedman of Pinsk, zt”l, mechaber of Piskei Halachos (Adar I)

5754/1994, Harav Yaakov Goldwicht, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Kerem B’Yavneh

5757/1997, Harav Dovid Mann, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Beis Hillel



Harav Shraga Tzvi Tennenbaum, zt”l, Rav of Tshate and mechaber of Neta Sorek (Adar I)

Harav Shraga Tzvi Tennenbaum was born on 1 Iyar 5586/1826, in Sendra, Hungary. His father, Harav Ze’ev, was the first Rav in Sendra.

In his formative years he learned under the tutelage of his father, together with his younger brother Harav Yaakov (later Rav in Potnack). The brothers grew very close to each other and in their sefarim quote each other often.

Reb Shraga Tzvi married the daughter of Harav Avraham Yaakov Rose, who was the first Rav of Kashua.

In 5608/1848, when his father, Rav Ze’ev, was appointed Rav of Werfelet, the community of Sendra asked Reb Shraga Tzvi — the son of their former Rav — to replace his father. He served as Rav for the next 26 years.

In 5634/1874, Reb Shraga Tzvi was appointed Rav in Meza-Tshate, where he served as Rav until his petirah.

Reb Shraga Tzvi was renowned for his greatness in Torah. His unique derech halimud attracted bachurim to his yeshivah. He would not delve in pilpul, but rather sought the truth and depth in each sugya.

In the beginning of the winter of 5657/1896–7, his brother Yaakov became sick and was niftar on 28 Kislev of that year. Reb Shraga Tzvi took his brother’s passing very much to heart. Several months later, on Shabbos Parashas Terumah, 4 Adar I, he himself passed away.

His drashos and chiddushim were named Neta Sorek. Three volumes were published: drashos on the Torah, chiddushim on the Shas, and his responsa.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


February 4

In 1585, France’s King Henry III refused sovereignty of the Netherlands.

In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies — the United States of America.

In 1789, George Washington was elected president of the United States.

In 1887, the Interstate Commerce Commission was established to regulate the transport of passengers and goods across state lines by land and water.

In 1899, Filipinos staged a revolt against the United States because independence was not granted.

In 1922, Japan agreed to restore Shantung to China.

In 1938, Adolf Hitler assumed the office of German war minister and named Joachim von Ribbentrop foreign minister.

In 1945, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.

In 1948, Ceylon — now Sri Lanka — became a self-governing dominion in the British Commonwealth.

In 1969, China’s representative in the Netherlands, Liao Ho-Shu, arrived in the United States and requested political asylum.

In 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered all federal agencies to stop polluting the air and water.

In 1972, Britain and nine other nations recognized East Pakistan as the independent nation of Bangladesh.

In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, California, by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

In 1990, terrorists ambushed a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Egypt, killing nine people and wounding 20.

In 1991, Iraqi forces overran one Syrian position and fired artillery at another as they occupied territory in northeastern Saudi Arabia.

In 1992, rebel troops attempted to overthrow Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez. The coup leader, Hugo Chavez, won the presidential elections in 1997.

In 1993, Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi of Zaire — now Congo — came out of hiding to call for international military intervention to force President Mobutu Sese Seko to surrender power.

In 1994, mortar shells killed nine people waiting in line for food in Sarajevo.

In 1995, Chechen rebels shot down the first Russian jet fighter of the war, downing an Su-25 with anti-aircraft guns near Grozny.

In 1997, in Israel’s worst-ever military air accident, 73 soldiers died when two CH-53 Sikorsky transport helicopters ferrying elite troops to Lebanon collided in heavy fog and rain.

In 1998, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors in Afghanistan’s remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people.

In 2000, despite international opposition, Austria’s president swore in a new government that included right wingers loyal to Joerg Haider — a man known for praising aspects of the Nazi era.