This Day in History – 7 Adar/February 26

7 Adar

Today is a Taanis Tzaddikim commemorating the petirah of Moshe Rabbeinu, zy”a. It is customary for the chevrah kaddisha to fast on 7 Adar.

Moshe Rabbeinu was born on 7 Adar 2369/1394 B.C.E. and was niftar at the age of 120 in 2489/1274 B.C.E. He was buried by Hashem on Har Nevo, but, as recorded in the Torah, the location of his grave is unknown.

In 5000/1240, the French authorities confiscated all the printed copies of the Gemara.

In 5241/1481, the first burning of Jews at the stake (the infamous auto-da-fe) was held by the Inquisition.

In 5384/1624, in the city of Lunchitz, numerous Jews were killed al kiddush Hashem. The Rav of the city, Harav Shlomo Chaver, zt”l, composed a special kinah commemorating this tragic event.


5581/1821, Harav Yitzchak Eizik of Kalev, zt”l

5695/1935, Harav Menachem Mendel Landau of Zabeirtze, zt”l

5725/1965, Harav Tzvi Kinstlicher, zt”l, mechaber of She’eilos U’teshuvos Be’er Tzvi


Harav Shlomo Efraim of Lunchitz, zt”l, the Kli Yakar

The Kli Yakar, who was born in the year 5310/1550 in Lenczyk (Lunchitz), Poland, was a talmid of the Maharshal and the mechaber of Yam Shel Shlomo.

Initially he settled in Yaroslav, where he authored his work Olelos Efraim, which includes drushim for Yamim Tovim and for simchos. All of the numerous citations and quotations from the Talmud, midrashim and commentaries that appear in that work were written down from memory, as he noted in the introduction, because he had no sefarim in Yaroslav.

Subsequently he settled in Lvov, where he was constantly asked to deliver drashos. A spellbinding orator, he inspired his listeners with his fiery sermons and drew many people closer to Hashem.

In 5361/1601, he contracted a severe illness and the name Shlomo was added to his original name, Efraim. After he recovered, he vowed to author a chibbur on the Torah, which became the famous, the fundamental sefer Kli Yakar.

In 5364/1604, Reb Shlomo Efraim was appointed a Dayan of Prague. He sat on the beis din of that city with the Shelah HaKadosh, who was Rav at the time. Many prominent talmidim flocked to him. Famous among them is Rav Yom Tov Lipman Heller, the Tosfos Yom Tov.

In 5367/1607 a plague broke out in Prague, forcing him to flee the city. While in exile he authored yet another chibbur, Amudei Sheish, which contains mussar discourses on the six pillars: Torah, avodah, gemilus chassadim, din, emes and shalom.

Among the Kli Yakar’s other works are Ir Gibborim, Rivevos Efraim, Sifsei Da’as and Orach Lechaim.

He also composed Selichos to be recited on the second day of Adar, the anniversary of a pogrom that occurred in Prague on that day in 5371/1611.

He was succeeded by his son, and by the many talmidim who continued his legacy.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Feb. 26

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba and headed back to France in a bid to regain power.

In 1904, the United States and Panama proclaimed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to undertake efforts to build a ship canal across the Panama isthmus.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional act establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

In 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.

In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.

In 1962, after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, astronaut John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, “Exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run.”

In 1987, the Tower Commission, which had probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.