This Day in History – 8 Shevat/January 9

8 Shevat

In 2516/1245 B.C.E., the last of the Zekeinim, who continued the chain of the Mesorah, were niftar. Today is a taanis tzaddikim commemorating that event. (According to some, this took place on 5 Shevat. See Shulchan Aruch 580:2 and commentaries. According to other opinions, this occurred 17 years later in 2533/1228 B.C.E. See Shabbos 105b and Seder Hadoros under Yehoshua.)

In 5108/1348, Jews of Colmar, France, were arrested in response to a libelous accusation that they had poisoned a well. They were burned al kiddush Hashem several months later.

In 5729/1969, nine Jews were publicly executed al kiddush Hashem in Damascus, Syria.


5574/1814, Harav Tzvi of Butchatch, zt”l, mechaber of Neta Shaashuim

5633/1873, Harav Shmuel of Shinev, zt”l, mechaber of Ramasayim Tzofim

5738/1978, Harav Yosef Meir Kahana, zt”l, the Spinka Rebbe of Yerushalayim



Harav Yitzchak Teib of Tunis, zt”l, the Erech HaShulchan

Harav Yitzchak Teib was born c. 5513/1753. At a young age, he was orphaned of his father, Rav Binyamin. He was then brought up by his mother, who dedicated herself to his chinuch and proper upbringing. Unfortunately, she also passed away when he was still young, leaving Yitzchak bereft of both parents.

He received his main Torah education and derech halimud from Harav Yosef Zarka, whom he considered his rebbi muvhak.

As a bachur, Rav Yitzchak devoted himself to learning in isolation, keeping himself out of the limelight. One time, when he was learning in the main shul, one of the rich members of the community saw him learning and, upon realizing the great potential of this young bachur, he undertook to fully support him.

When the Rav of Tunis, Harav Shlomo Alfasi, noted the excellence of Rav Yitzchak, he appointed him to serve as a Dayan on the city’s beis din.

Rav Yitzchak served as Rav in Tunis for nearly 40 years, and in 5578/1812, he was appointed Av Beis Din.

Rav Yitzchak was blind in one eye, but he did not allow this to affect his outstanding hasmadah.

He is best known for the Erech HaShulchan, his six-volume work on Shulchan Aruch. Rav Yitzchak also wrote Vavei Ha’amudim, on the Yere’im; Chukas HaPesach, on hilchos Pesach; Sefer Hazikaron, on Shas; Vayizra Yitzchak, his chiddushim on the Torah; and Shittah Shleimah, on Bava Metzia.

In 5589/1829, Rav Yitzchak’s eldest son, Rav Yosef, was niftar. Rav Yitzchak took his passing very much to heart and fell ill; he was niftar shortly thereafter, on 8 Shevat 5590/1830.

Rav Yitzchak was buried in the Alkadimah cemetery in Tunis. In 5720/1960, the cemetery was dug up and the remains were all reinterred in the Burgel cemetery.

Yehi zichro baruch.


January 9

In 1719, France declared war on Spain.

In 1792, Russia ended war with Turkey by Treaty of Jassy.

In 1945, U.S. forces invaded Luzon in Philippines in World War II.

In 1951, United Nations headquarters opened in New York.

In 1962, the Soviet Union and Cuba signed a trade pact.

In 1964, anti-U.S. rioting broke out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three U.S. soldiers.

In 1965, an estimated 500 people suspected of being rebels were executed by Congo government forces in Stanleyville in six weeks since the city was retaken.

In 1970, France agreed to sell Mirage military jets to the revolutionary regime in Libya.

In 1977, Palestinian nationalist Abou Daoud, suspected of having planned attacks on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, was arrested in Paris by French intelligence agents.

In 1978, the Islamic revolution erupted in Iran.

In 1987, the White House released a memorandum prepared for U.S. President Ronald Reagan in January 1986 that showed a definite link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 1991, U.S. defense officials adopted a set of press rules for the impending war in the Persian Gulf that was criticized as bordering on censorship.

In 1992, Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed their own state.

In 1994, gunmen attacked a delegation including African National Congress chairman Cyril Ramaphosa in a township in South Africa, killing a photographer.

In 1996, Chechen rebels demanding an end to the war in their breakaway republic seized a hospital and at least 2,000 hostages in Kizlyar, Dagestan, and battled Russian troops in the town’s streets. At least 40 people died.

In 1997, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated a pumping station designed to send Nile River waters west from Nasser Lake to create a second river valley for Egypt’s growing population.

In 2000, an investigation into leaks in Switzerland’s vaunted bank secrecy turned up 13 people in eight countries who illegally received data on other people’s Swiss bank accounts.

In 2002, Hamid Karzai, head of the interim Afghan government, announced a plan to disarm Afghan citizens and create a national army.

In 2003, weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei told the U.N. Security Council they had not uncovered any “smoking gun” evidence proving that Iraq possessed or sought to develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.