This Day in History – 9 Cheshvan/November 7

9 Cheshvan

3828, the Jews defeated a major legion of the Roman army in Yerushalayim, just a few years before the second Churban. The day was celebrated as a Yom Tov.

In 5528/1867, a great earthquake shook Tzfas, killing hundreds.

Yahrtzeiten

5554/1793, Harav Avraham Moshe “Hagadol” of Pshevorsk, zt”l

5649/1888, Harav Shmuel of Gorlitz, zt”l

5700/1939, Harav Shimon Shkop, the Shaarei Yosher, zt”l

5742/1981, Harav Yehudah Horowitz, the Stutchiner Rebbe, zt”l


5088/1327

Rabbeinu Asher ben Yechiel, The Rosh, Zt”l

The Rosh was born in western Germany in about 5010/1250. According to some Rishonim, his father, Harav Yechiel, was the son-in-law of the Raavan, Harav Eliezer ben Nosson, one of the Baalei Tosafos.

Initially the Rosh studied under his father, a well known talmid chacham. After his father was niftar, leaving him a young orphan, the Rosh learned under his older brother Harav Chaim, who is quoted by the Rosh numerous times in his works as “my teacher, my brother.”

Later the Rosh traveled to learn in Worms, France, under one of the leading Gedolim of the generation, Rabbeinu Meir ben Rabbeinu Baruch, the Maharam MiRottenberg, with whom he became especially close.

In 5046/1286, when King Rudolph I (Rudolph von Hapsburg) instituted laws to persecute the Jews, the Maharam MiRottenberg tried to flee Germany but was captured and imprisoned. The Rosh tirelessly worked to raise a ransom for the release of his beloved Rebbi, but the Maharam MiRottenberg refused it, for fear of encouraging the imprisonment of other leading Rabbanim.

Ultimately, the Maharam MiRottenberg was niftar in confinement, on 19 Iyar 5053/1293.

Due to the imprisonment of the Maharam MiRottenberg, the Rosh assumed his position in Worms. He was, however, forced to emigrate. After leaving Germany, he first settled in southern France. The Rosh finally settled in Toledo, Spain, in 5065/1305, where he was appointed Rav upon the recommendation of the Rashba, who resided there.

In Toledo, the Rosh established his first yeshivah, with many talmidim flocking there to learn under him. She’eilos were sent to him from all over the world.

The Rosh was strongly opposed to, and fought against, secular knowledge, especially philosophy. His position against these topics was clearly defined when he stated that philosophy is based on critical research, and religion on tradition, the two being incapable of harmonization.

The Rosh is undoubtedly most famous for his work on the entire Shas. It summarizes the halachos in each sugya, without going into the depth of the discussions; it quotes just the final conclusions.

The Rosh’s style, although quite like the Rif, differs from the Rif in that he quotes other meforshim, such as Tosafos, the Rif and the Rambam. It has been printed with almost every edition of the Shas, under the title “Rabbeinu Asher,” abbreviated “Rosh.”

The Rosh had eight sons and two daughters.

The Rosh was niftar on 9 Cheshvan 5088/1327 at the age of 78. (According to some opinions, he was niftar in 5081/1320.)

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Nov. 7

In 1917, Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution took place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in office.

In 1967, Carl Stokes was elected the first black mayor of a major city — Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon was re-elected in a landslide over George McGovern.

In 2013, shares of Twitter went on sale to the public for the first time; by the closing bell, it was valued at $31 billion.

In 2009, the House of Representatives passed, 220-215, the Affordable Care Act, a massive revision of the health insurance system.