This Day in History – 7 Elul/August 13

Shaar blatt of Sefer Toras Chessed.
Shaar blatt of Sefer Toras Chessed.

7 Elul

In 2450/1311 B.C.E., the meraglim died in the midbar. They suffered a plague, sickened and were niftar on 7 Elul. A taanis tzaddikim was established for this date, which commemorates the fact that they did not merit acceptance of their teshuvah.

In 3802/42 C.E., Agrippa I dedicated the wall around Yerushalayim. The day is mentioned as a Yom Tov in Megillas Taanis.

In 5608/1848, the Jews of Hanover, Germany, were granted civil equality.


5637/1877, Harav Mordechai of Ostilla, zt”l

5731/1971, Harav Reuven Margulies, zt”l, mechaber of Margalios Hayam and many other sefarim

5739/1979, Harav Aryeh Leib Lopian, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Gateshead, England



Harav Chisdai Perachyah of Salonika, zt”l, mechaber of Toras Chessed

Harav Chisdai Hakohen Perachyah, the son of Rav Shmuel, was born c. 5365/1605. He was a talmid of Harav Chaim Shabsi, mechaber of She’eilos U’Teshuvos Maharchash.

Harav Chisdai was one of the leading Rabbanim of Salonika. A posek, he wrote chiddushim on Choshen Mishpat and She’eilos U’Teshuvos Toras Chessed (the word chessed is a play on his name, Chisdai), as well as on some masechtos of Shas. Other works of Harav Chisdai were never published.

Among his well-known talmidim were Harav Aharon Hakohen Perachyah and Harav Yaakov Di Bitton.

After the petirah of Harav Menachem Shulam in 5431/1671, Harav Chisdai was appointed Chief Rabbi of Salonika, a position he held until his petirah on 7 Elul 5438/1678.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.


August 13

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.

In 1624, King Louis XIII of France appointed Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.

In 1792, French revolutionaries imprisoned the royal family.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time, in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

1913, British metallurgist Harry Brearley developed an alloy that came to be known as “stainless steel.” (Although Brearley is often credited as the “inventor” of stainless steel, he was hardly alone in working to create steel that resisted corrosion.)

In 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was again elected Speaker of Turkey’s Grand Assembly.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1.

The Central African Republic became totally independent of French rule.

In 1961, East Germany sealed off the border between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors and began building a wall that would stand for the next 28 years.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

In 1989, searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane that had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Rep. Mickey Leland (D-Texas) and 14 other people. There were no survivors.