This Day in History – 1 Nisan/March 12

1 Nisan

The first of Nisan is Rosh Hashanah for melachim and regalim (Rosh Hashanah 2). It is a taanis tzaddikim commemorating the tragic petirah of Nadav and Avihu, as mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 180:2).

This is also the first day one may recite the Birkas Ha’ilanos (as mentioned in Brachos 43b).

The Gemara in Shabbos (87b) enumerates “ten crowns” with which this day was adorned.

In 1/3760 B.C.E., Adam and Chavah were created, according to Rabi Yehoshua.

In 1656/2105 B.C.E., according to Rabi Yehoshua, the earth was dried out after the Mabul.

In 2449/1312 B.C.E., Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharon in the land of Egypt instructing them regarding the Jewish calendar: “This month shall be for you the head of months, the first of the months of the year” (Shemos 12:1–2). This was the first mitzvah given to Bnei Yisrael. On that occasion Hashem also commanded them regarding the korban Pesach and the various other observances of the Yom Tov.

In 2450/1311 B.C.E., the Mishkan was completed and Aharon Hakohen performed the service of the korbanos for the first time. In honor of the dedication of the Mishkan, the nasi of each of the 12 tribes brought a korban, each one on his appointed day. On this date it was the turn of Nachshon ben Aminadav, nasi of the tribe of Yehudah.

In 3346/415 B.C.E., Yechezkel Hanavi received a nevuah about the end of the kingdom of Bavel. (See Yechezkel 29.)

In 3406/355 B.C.E., Bigsan and Teresh’s plot to assassinate Achashveirosh was uncovered by Mordechai Hatzaddik.

In 3413/348 B.C.E., Ezra Hasofer and his followers left Bavel for Yerushalayim.


2450/1311 B.C.E., Nadav and Avihu, two sons of Aharon Hakohen. “And the sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu … died before Hashem.” (Vayikra 10:1)

5499/1739, Harav Yeshayah Basson, zt”l, mechaber of Lachmei Todah

5559/1799, Harav Moshe of Vitebsk-Teveria, zt”l

According to some, this is also the yahrtzeit of Harav Shmuel Kelen, zt”l, the Machatzis Hashekel. According to another opinion, his yahrtzeit is on 28 Adar.

5646/1886, Harav Menachem Nachum of Skver-Shpikov, zt”l

5652/1892, Harav Elimelech Shapiro of Grodzisk, zt”l

5688/1928, Harav Moshe Yosef Hoffman, zt”l, the Dayan of Pupa and mechaber of Mei B’eir Mayim Chaim



Harav Yosef Hochgelerenter, zt”l, Rav of Zamoshtz and mechaber of Mishnas Chachamim

Harav Yosef Hochgelerenter was born in 5500/1740. He was the son of Harav Yaakov Yitzchak, the Rav of Zamoshtz, who was the son of Harav Moshe Chaim, Rav of Lvov. Due to his greatness in Torah and his renowned sharp mind, he was also known as Reb Yosef Charif.

When he was 17, his chiddushim were already being published in the Zera Aharon.

At the age of 18, Harav Yosef was appointed to his first rabbinic post in Yompala, and in 5532/1772, after the petirah of his father, he was asked to replace him as Rav in Zamoshtz.

There, Reb Yosef served as Rav for no remuneration. His wealthy father-in-law supported him, and under the circumstances he felt it would be wrong to burden the communal coffers. Although he was unwilling to accept money from the community, Reb Yosef would still take the customary meat that the shochtim brought to the Rav each week. He explained that in case a Rav without financial backing would be appointed there in the future, he wanted to ensure that the shochtim would still be in the habit of bringing meat to the Rav.

During his tenure as Rav in Zamoshtz, the Maggid in the city was Harav Yaakov Krantz, later to become famous as the Dubno Maggid.

Reb Yosef taught many talmidim; Harav Shlomo Kluger of Brodie is among the more famous ones. Reb Shlomo attested that the years he learned under Reb Yosef were the best years of his life.

Reb Yosef was niftar on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 5566/1806, at the age of 66. Before his passing, upon realizing that his end was near, Reb Yosef began reciting Tehillim. When he reached the passuk, “V’sam derech ar’enu b’yeisha Elokim — and who orders his way, I will show him Hashem’s salvation” (Tehillim 50:23), his neshamah returned to its Maker.

Among his many writings, the sefer Mishnas Chachamim was printed. In includes four sefarim: Yavin Shmuah, pilpulim in the words of the Rishonim and Acharonim; Tzafnas Panei’ach, halachos from Reb Yosef;
Maalos Hamiddos; and Chut Hameshulash, chiddushim on the Shas.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


March 12

In 1664, England’s King Charles II granted an area of land in present-day North America known as New Netherland to his brother James, the Duke of York.

In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to the rank of general-in-chief of the Union armies in the Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio addresses that came to be known as “fireside chats.”

In 1938, the Anschluss merging Austria with Nazi Germany took place as German forces crossed the border between the two countries.

In 1993, A three-day blizzard that came to be known as “The Storm of the Century” began inundating the eastern third of the U.S.

A series of bombings in Mumbai, India, killed 257 people.