This Day in History – 5 Kislev/November 8

Tziyun of the Maharsha, zt”l.
Tziyun of the Maharsha, zt”l.

5 Kislev

5258/1497, the Jews were expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I. (The actual decree of expulsion was announced earlier, but the grace period ended on this date.)


5616/1855, Harav David Luria of Bichov, zt”l, the Chiddushei Haradal

5634/1873, Harav Asher Anshel Jungreis, zt”l, the Menuchas Asher

5646/1885, Harav Yaakov Yehudah of Nadrezin, zt”l

5659/1898, Harav Yonasan Aleshberg, zt”l, mechaber of Darchei Horaah

5700/1939, Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz, Rosh Yeshivas Kamenitz, zy”a



Harav Shmuel Eliezer Eidelis, zt”l, the Maharsha

Harav Shmuel Eliezer Eidelis, the Maharsha, was born in Cracow in 5315/1555. He was a descendant of Harav Yehudah Hechassid, Harav Akiva Hakohen Me’uban and Harav Yehudah Loewy, grandfather of the Maharal of Prague.

The Maharsha married the daughter of Harav Moshe Ashkenazi, mechaber of Zichron Moshe. After his marriage he learned in Posen for 20 years, with the generous support of his wealthy mother-in-law, the baalas chessed Maras Eidel.

When he turned 30, she established a yeshivah for him to head, supporting it in full and taking care of every bachur’s needs. In gratitude, the Maharsha took her name as his surname, Eidelis.

The Maharsha headed the yeshivah in Posen for 24 years, until his mother-in-law’s passing in 5365/1605. Then he was forced to accept a rabbinical post in Chelm, where he served for 10 years. From there he became Rav and Rosh Mesivta in Lublin, after which he served as Rav in Tiktin.

Shaar blatt of the Maharsha’s Chiddushei Aggados.
Shaar blatt of the Maharsha’s Chiddushei Aggados.

The Maharsha’s next and most prestigious position was as Rav of Ostra’a, a city with a great number of talmidei chachamim. There he set up a yeshivah that attracted thousands of talmidim.

In Ostra’a the Maharasha was seen as a Gadol Hador. He was the main speaker at the conventions of the Vaad Arbaah Aratzos, the governing body of the Jewish communities of Poland. In this capacity he promulgated takanos to improve religious life in Poland.

The Maharsha wrote Chiddushei Halachos and Chiddushei Aggados, fundamental texts for understanding pshat in the Gemara.

He was niftar on 5 Kislev 5392/1632.

Zechuso yagein aleinu.


November 8

In 1889, Montana became the 41st state.

In 1923, Adolf Hitler launched his first attempt at seizing power in Germany with a failed coup in Munich that came to be known as the “Beer-Hall Putsch.”

In 1932, New York Democratic Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover for the presidency.

In 1942, Operation Torch, resulting in an Allied victory, began during World War II as U.S. and British forces landed in French North Africa.

In 1950, during the Korean War, the first jet plane battle took place as U.S. Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down a North Korean MiG-15.

In 1960, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy defeated Vice President Richard M. Nixon for the presidency.

In 1980, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., announced that the U.S. space probe Voyager 1 had discovered a 15th moon orbiting the planet Saturn.

In 1987, 11 people were killed when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded as crowds gathered in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for a ceremony honoring Britain’s war dead.

In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush won the presidential election, defeating Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

In 1994, midterm elections resulted in Republicans winning a majority in the Senate while at the same time gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years.