This Day in History –10 Nisan/March 30

In 2490/1271 B.C.E, Yehoshua led Bnei Yisrael across the Jordan River. As they approached the river with the Aron carried by the Kohanim, the river split for them. After the crossing, Yehoshua erected 12 monuments in Gilgal.

In 5703/1943, Hungarian Jews were forced to begin wearing the infamous yellow Star of David under Nazi occupation.


 

Yahrtzeiten

2489/1272 B.C.E., Miriam Haneviah, at the age of 126. At her petirah, the well from which Bnei Yisrael drank in the midbar dried up; but it was restored in the zechus of Moshe and Aharon. This well is located today in the Kineret (Maseches Shabbos, Daf 35). In Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 580:2 it states that today is a Taanis Tzaddikim in commemoration of her yahrtzeit.

5440/1680, Harav Shmuel Shmelke, Rav of Ostra’ah


 

5763/2003, Harav Shalom Mashash, zt”l, Sephardic Rav of Yerushalayim

Harav Mashash was born in Meknes, a large city of scholars and scribes in Morocco. His father, Hagaon Harav Maimon, zt”l, came from a long line of Rabbanim and Dayanim.

Even as a child, his talents and abilities stood out and the Moroccan Rabbanim called him “Holy From the Cradle.” He studied at the Keter Torah Yeshivah headed by his rebbi, Hagaon Harav Yitzhak Tzaban, zt”l. He was an outstanding student, known for his dedicated learning, his outstanding grasp of Torah and his unusual talents. He advanced in the yeshivah until he was appointed Rosh Yeshivah. In this position, which he held for many years, he developed many outstanding students, some of whom currently serve as Rabbanim and dayanim in Sephardic communities.

In Morocco, leaders of the Casablanca community took note of the outstanding young scholar and chose him to be Chief Rabbi and head of the beis din for Casablanca and all of Moroccan Jewry. Serving in this post for 35 years, he was an outstanding leader before whom all halachic problems from throughout Morocco were brought. He was well loved by both Moroccan Jews and gentiles, and he was close to Morocco’s King Hassan.

When a search was launched for a Sephardic Rav for Yerushalayim to serve with Rabbi Bezalel Zolti, the city’s Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, local leaders decided to ask Harav Mashash to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael to be both the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and head of the beis din. He agreed, and moved to Yerushalayim, where he lived until his petirah.

Harav Mashash published many sefarim including She’eilos U’teshuvos Shemesh U’magen, Mimizrach Shemesh, and Tevuos Hashemesh. He was a quick and erudite author whose writings deal with all facets of the Torah.

Despite his mastery, he was never quick to give out a psak but would spend days and nights reviewing relevant halachic rulings.

His davening was awe-inspiring. Those standing nearby saw him pronounce each word as if he were counting his money. Once, when he was asked about those who davened quickly, he said in amazement, “How can anyone daven Minchah without proper kavanah? It is something I’ve never done.”

Harav Mashash distanced himself from discord and politics, and made every effort to work well with Yerushalayim’s various communities.

His Torah activities continued until his petirah. In fact, it was in the last week of his life that he completed writing V’cham Hashemesh. He was niftar at age 95.

Yehi zichro baruch.


 

March 30

In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

In 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish.

In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union.

In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.

In 1945, during World War II, the Soviet Union invaded Austria with the goal of taking Vienna, which it accomplished two weeks later.