This Day in History – March 27/2 Nisan

In 2449, Moshe Rabbeinu carried out the commandment of parah adumah for the first time.

In 5252/1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed the decree expelling Jews from Spain. It was ultimately carried out on Tisha b’Av of that year.


Yahrtzeiten

5035/1275, Rabbeinu Baruch, zt”l, the father of the Maharam of Rottenberg

5680/1920, Harav Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, zt”l, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe

5728/1968


Harav Yaakov Yosef Twersky, the Skverer Rebbe, Zy”a

Harav Yaakov Yosef Twersky was born in Skver on 15 Tammuz 5659/1899. His father, Harav Dovid, zy”a, was the Skverer Rebbe, and his mother, Tzippora, a”h, was the daughter of Harav Elyakim Getzel of Ostro, zy”a.

In the summer of 5679/1919, because of the pogroms in the Ukraine that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, the family moved to Kiev. A few months later, on 15 Kislev, Rav Dovid was niftar, and the following fall, Rav Yaakov Yosef left Russia with his mother and family for Kishinev, Bessarabia (Moldova).

Four years later, on 2 Adar 5685/1925, Reb Yaakov Yosef married the daughter of Harav Pinchas Twerski of Ostilla, Hy”d, and moved to Belz, where he was supported by Rav Pinchas’ father-in-law, Harav Yissachar Dov, the Belzer Rebbe, zy”a.

After the Belzer Rebbe’s petirah, Rav Yaakov Yosef moved to Ostilla, to his father-in-law’s home. The townspeople tried to appoint Rav Yaakov Yosef Rav of Ostilla, but he refused to accept it.

After two years in Ostilla he was forced to return to Romania, where he acceded to the request of the Skverer Chassidim of Kolorash that he lead them as Rebbe. He led the Chassidim in Kolorash until his home burned down in 5694/1934, after which he moved temporarily to Yass, Romania. While in Yass he was extremely vigilant with the chinuch of his children, and would often spend hours upon hours with his daughters in order that they not be influenced from the street.

Rav Yaakov Yosef suffered terribly during the war, particularly during the Nazi attack that devastated his town. Afterward, in the winter of 5605/1945, he moved to Bucharest, from which he planned to leave Europe. Three years later he traveled to America, stopping in Budapest, Prague, Antwerp and London before arriving in the United States on 29 Adar I.

He first established his court in Boro Park, then in Williamsburg, and finally in New Square, a Chassidic village near Monsey, N.Y., that he founded with great mesirus nefesh. On 4 Nissan 5717/1957, he moved to New Square, which quickly became a center of Torah and Chassidus. Many would flock to his humble home in New Square to be inspired, and seek his counsel and brachos.

Rav Yaakov Yosef was niftar on 2 Nisan 5728/1968 and was buried in the beis hachaim of New Square. He was succeeded by his son, the current Skverer Rebbe, shlita.


March 27

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.

In 1945, during World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower told reporters in Paris that German defenses on the Western Front had been broken.

In 1964, Alaska was hit by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake (the strongest on record in North America) and tsunamis that together claimed about 130 lives.

In 1975, construction began on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which was completed two years later.

In 2006, Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified at his federal trial that he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.