This Day in History – 1 Adar 1/February 10

In 5600/1840, in Syria, a priest vanished and the Jewish community was blamed, prompting the imprisonment of the city’s Rav, Harav Yaakov Entebi, the seven community elders, and a number of young children. Only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened on their behalf were they freed.



4954/1194, Rabbeinu Avraham ibn Ezra, zt”l

5422/1662, Harav Shabsai Hakohen, the Shach, zt”l


5503/1743, Harav Refael Emanuel Chai Riki, zt”l, The Mishnas Chassidim

Harav Rephael Emanuel Chai was born in Ferrara, Italy. His parents were Harav Avraham and Rebbetzin Miriam.

After his father’s passing, his mother’s brother, Harav Yedidyah, supported the family. Following his uncle’s petirah, Rav Emanuel became a melamed in Gorizia, Italy, for two years.

He later met and married his wife, Miriam, in Florence. He accepted a position as Rav in the kehillah of Trieste. There, he wrote his first sefer, Hon Ashir on Mishnayos.

Rav Emanuel returned to Gorizia as a melamed for another two years, then he traveled to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Tzfas.

An epidemic broke out in 5480/1720, forcing him to return to Europe. On his way to Italy he, his wife and their two sons were captured by pirates. They were to be sold as slaves, but through the intervention of Rav Shlomo Kalfon, they were released. His belongings were ransacked; only his sefer Hon Ashir was left, which he hurriedly published.

Rav Emanuel settled in Livorno, Italy, for three years. During this time he wrote the famous Kabbalah sefer Mishnas Chassidim and is known by the name of this sefer.

Eventually Rav Emanuel decided to return to Eretz Yisrael. There, Rav Emanuel was chosen to serve as a Rosh Yeshivah, but soon had to travel to Italy to raise funds for the yeshivah.

In winter 5503/1743, Rav Emanuel headed back to Eretz Yisrael. On the second day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, he was attacked by robbers who killed him and stole all the money.

The Jews of Modena arranged to transfer Rav Emanuel’s body for proper burial; on 7 Adar, his body, still whole, was buried in Ginten, Italy.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Feb. 10

In 1763, Britain, Spain and France signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War in North America).

In 1936, Nazi Germany’s Reichstag passed a law vesting the Gestapo secret police with absolute authority exempt from any legal review.

In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov lost the first game of a match in Philadelphia against an IBM computer dubbed “Deep Blue.” Kasparov ended up winning the match, four games to two; he was defeated by Deep Blue in a rematch the following year.