In 5043/1283, the Maharam of Rottenberg 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
5657/1897, 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 of Kerem B’Yavneh
5757/1997, Harav Dovid Mann, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Beis Hillel
5767/2007, Harav Avraham Blumenkrantz, zt”l, Rav, rebbi and publisher of The Laws of Pesach (updated annually)
Harav Leib Sarah’s, Zt”l
Born 17 Tammuz 5490/1730 in Rawani, Harav Leib was the son of Harav Yosef, one of the lamed-vav tzaddikim of the generation.
Reb Leib Sarah’s, as he was known (after his mother), was held in high esteem by the Baal Shem Tov.
He spent his life wandering from place to place to raise money for pidyon shevuyim — ransoming imprisoned Jews.
In his wide-ranging travels, he uncovered “lost souls.” The most famous of these was a young shepherd whom he found singing. He convinced the boy to go to the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg; later, he became a Rebbe himself — Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Kaliv.
Many of Reb Leib’s talmidim were also tzaddikim nistarim, among them Harav Yitzchak of Lvov (Lemberg) and Harav Ezriel Palitzker.
Harav Leib Sarah’s was niftar on 4 Adar II 5551/1791, at the age of 61.
Zechuso yagen aleinu.
In 1836, the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.
In 1939, the Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect. (Georgia and Connecticut soon followed.)
In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics.
In 1989, representatives from the 12 European Community nations agreed to ban all production of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), the synthetic compounds blamed for destroying the Earth’s ozone layer, by the end of the 20th century.