This Day in History – 24 Shevat/February 3

In 5209/1449, “New Christians” (conversos), especially the wealthy, were attacked in Toledo during a revolt against taxation. Three hundred citizens banded together to defend themselves and, during one attack, a Christian was killed. In response, 22 conversos were murdered and numerous houses burnt. Hy”d.

In 5539/1779, the Duke of Stuttgart, Germany, decreed that no Jew should be deprived of the right of residence.



5420/1660, Harav Shaul Mortorah of Amsterdam, zt”l, mechaber of Givas Shaul

5490/1730, Harav Avraham Yechiel of Halberstadt, zt”l, mechaber of Nezer Hakodesh

5606/1846, Harav Shabtai Shaltiel, zt”l, Rav in Yerushalayim


5565/1805, Harav Shlomo Margulies, Rav of Zelitschek, zy”a

Harav Shlomo was born in 5493/1733. His father was Harav Yitzchak Dov, the Rav of Yaslovitz, the brother of the famed Meir Nesivim. His mother was a descendant of Harav Naftali Katz, the Semichas Chachamim, and he married the daughter of his uncle, Harav Avraham, Rav of Posen.

Harav Shlomo was a devoted talmid of the Baal Shem Tov; in his youth he spent an entire year in his court. Later he traveled to many tzaddikim who came to admire and cherish him.

Harav Shlomo was a great talmid chacham, and he lived a life of kedushah and taharah. He was asked to become Rav in the town of Zelitschek, and he served his community meticulously. Every Friday he would distribute funds to the needy of the town, and he tirelessly advanced peace and harmony between neighbors and friends of his kehillah.

Before he was niftar, he wrote in his will that he wished to be buried next to his mother in Yaslovitz. He also called the mayor of Zelitschek, requesting special permission for his family to take his coffin out of their town and promising the mayor that, in return, he would merit long life. The mayor complied, and lived past his 100th birthday.

Harav Shlomo was niftar in Zelitschek on 24 of Shevat, and was buried in Yaslovitz.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


Feb. 3

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first man-made object to make a soft landing on the moon.

In 1991, the rate for a first-class postage stamp rose to 29 cents.

In 1994, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.