This Day in History – 5 Shevat/January 6

5 Shevat

In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, on this day (70 days before Pesach), barley would be planted so it would be ready for the korban Omer.

In 2516/1245 B.C.E., the last of the Zekeinim, who continued the unbroken chain of the mesorah, were niftar. This date is a Taanis Tzaddikim commemorating that event. (According to another opinion, this actually took place on 8 Shevat. See Shulchan Aruch 580:2 and commentaries. Still others say it occurred 17 years later, in 2531/1230 B.C.E. See Shabbos 105b and Seder Hadoros under “Yehoshua.”)

In 5500/1740, the Jews of Sicily and Naples, previously expelled, were invited to return by Emperor Charles Bourbon.

In 5652/1892, the Russian government forced the yeshivah of Volozhin to close.


5619/1859, Harav Chaim David Chazzan, zt”l, the Rishon Letzion

5634/1874, Harav Shalom Shachna Yelin, zt”l, Rav of Bielsk and mechaber of Yefeh Einayim

5665/1905, Harav Yehudah Leib Alter, zt”l, the Sfas Emes of Gur



Harav Shlomo Auerbach, zt”l, Rav of Luntschitz

Harav Shlomo Auerbach was the son of Harav Meir Auerbach, the Imrei Binah, son of Harav Yitzchak Eizik, mechaber of Divrei Chaim on the Shulchan Aruch.

Reb Shlomo married the daughter of Harav Moshe Yehoshua Baharir.

His first rabbinic post was in Iniva. In 5633/1873 he was appointed Rav of Luntschitz, where he served for the next three decades until his petirah.

He wrote Divrei Shlomo, which was printed in the back of his father’s Imrei Binah, and Imrei Shlomo, printed in the back of Drashos Imrei Binah. He left other works in manuscript form.

Reb Shlomo was niftar on 5 Shevat 5665/1905.

His sons were Harav Menachem Nosson Nota, Rav in the Mazkeres Moshe neighborhood, Yerushalayim; and Harav Eliezer, Rav in Luntschitz.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


January 6

In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella rode victoriously into Granada after their armies defeated Boabdil, the last Muslim ruler of Spain, completing the Christian reconquest of Spain.

In 1810, Turkey agreed to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and Kuban with the enactment of the Treaty of Constantinople.

In 1838, Samuel Morse first publicly demonstrated his telegraph, in Morristown, New Jersey.

In 1839, British forces captured Aden, Yemen.

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

In 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt defined the American goal of “Four Freedoms” — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

In 1942,  the Pan American Airways Pacific Clipper arrived in New York after making the first round-the-world trip by a commercial airplane.

In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

In 1963, Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi launched his “white revolution,” which included redistributing land to peasants and giving women the vote.

In 1972, Washington indicated that a U.S. naval task force dispatched during the recent war between India and Pakistan marked the start of regular American naval operations in the Indian Ocean.

In 1990, Polish Communist leaders voted to disband their party and form a new leftist party under a different name.

In 1999, rebels fought their way into the capital of Sierra Leone, past a Nigerian-led intervention force, and burned government buildings.

In 2000, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Beit Lechem.

In 2001, the Palestinians opposed drafting a “declaration of principles” that would be based on U.S. President Bill Clinton’s peace proposals, saying they “will not accept any kind of pressure” that would short-circuit their [“]legitimate rights.[”]

In 2002, U.S. Special Forces and allied Afghan fighters returned empty-handed from a four-day manhunt aimed at extracting Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar from his alleged mountain hideout in southern Afghanistan.

In 2003, the Tamil Tigers rebel group and the Sri Lankan government held a round of peace talks, making modest progress toward reconciliation after a 19-year-old civil war, but reaching no significant breakthroughs.