This Day In History 7 Iyar/May 3

In 3318/443 B.C.E., the chomah around Yerushalayim was dedicated. The day is cited in Megillas Taanis as a Yom Tov.

In 5058/1298, the notorious Rindfleisch massacres of thousands of Jews began at Rottingen, and spread across Southern Germany and Austria, destroying more than 150 Jewish communities in which thousands of Jews resided.


Yahrtzeiten

5379/1619, Harav Shlomo Efraim of Luntshitz, zt”l, mechaber of Kli Yakar and Olelos Efraim


5471/1711, Harav Yeshayah Yaakov of Alesk, Zt”l, Mechaber of V’Cherev Pifiyos

Harav Yeshayah Yaakov was born c. 5500/1750; his father was Harav Yehudah Leib, zy”a. He was a close talmid of Harav Chaim Sanzer, who was the head of the famous kloiz in Brody. There, Reb Yeshayah Yaakov delved into the depths of Torah, barely leaving the beis medrash, and would always ask questions of the other talmidei chachamim until he became very well versed not only in the revealed Torah, but in the hidden Torah, Toras Hakabbalah, as well.

His Rebbe, Harav Chaim Sanzer, held him in high esteem, and taught him as a father would a son. Harav Shalom Halevi of Kaminka, zy”a, once said that Harav Chaim Sanzer attested that his talmid Reb Yeshayah Yaakov was destined for greatness, saying that his mind could contain the minds of a thousand others.

Reb Yeshayah Yaakov served as Rav in the kehillos of Tshian, and in his later years in Alesk.

He wrote many sefarim of chiddushei Torah on all facets of the Torah, most notably on Kabbalah, with 32 volumes on Kabbalah extant. Harav Shalom of Kaminka bought these sefarim from Reb Yeshayah Yaakov, and over the years many of them have been brought to print.

Reb Yeshayah Yaakov’s most famous sefer is V’Cherev Pifiyos, which he first published in 5547/1787. It is a Kabbalistic work on the words of Krias Shema and the “intentions” behind them. It is divided into three parts: Kessem Zahav on the first parashah, Glilei Zahav on the second, and Amudei Sheish on the third.

The leading Gedolim of his era praised his sefarim greatly.

Beis Chochmah, his peirush on Shir Hashirim, was printed in 5658/1898, together with his peirush on Tehillim 107, which are both recited before Minchah on Erev Shabbos.

Among his other sefarim are Beis Malchus on Megillas Rus; Nesiv Chochmah on measurements used in the Gemara; Tapuchei Zahav and Chok Umishpat on the mitzvah of tekias shofar; Eretz Tov, on the holy names of Hashem in everything in this world; and Atzei Eden, his drushim on the Torah based on Kabbalah.

Reb Yeshayah Yaakov was niftar on 7 Iyar 5571/1811, and buried in Alesk.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


May 3

In 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania adopted a constitution.

In 1802, Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city.

In 1947, Japan’s postwar constitution took effect.

In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.