This Day in History – 9 Cheshvan/October 22

3828/67 CE, the Jews defeated a major legion of the Roman army in Yerushalayim, just a few years before the second Churban. The day was celebrated as a Yom Tov.

In 5528/1867, a great earthquake shook Tzfas, killing hundreds.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5554/1793, Harav Avraham Moshe “Hagadol” of Pshevorsk, zt”l

5649/1888, Harav Shmuel of Gorlitz, zt”l

5740/1939, Harav Shimon Shkop, the Shaarei Yosher, zt”l

5742/1981, Harav Yehudah Horowitz, the Stutchiner Rebbe, zt”l


 

5088/1327, Rabbeinu Asher ben Yechiel, the Rosh, zt”l

The Rosh was born in western Germany approximately in the year 5010/1250. According to some Rishonim, his father, Harav Yechiel, was the son-in-law of the Raavan, Harav Eliezer ben Nosson, one of the Baalei Tosafos.

Initially the Rosh studied under his father, a well known talmid chacham. After his father was niftar, leaving him a young orphan, the Rosh learned under his older brother Harav Chaim, who is quoted by the Rosh numerous times in his works as “my teacher, my brother.” Later, the Rosh traveled to learn in Worms,  then briefly part of France, under one of the leading Gedolim of the generation, Rabbeinu Meir ben Rabbeinu Baruch, the Maharam MiRottenberg, with whom he became especially close.

In 5046/1286, King Rudolph I (Rudolph von Hapsburg) instituted new laws of persecution of the Jews. The Maharam MiRottenberg tried to flee Germany but he was captured and imprisoned. The Rosh tirelessly worked to raise a ransom for the release of his beloved rebbi, but the Maharam MiRottenberg refused it, for fear of encouraging the imprisonment of other leading Rabbanim.

Ultimately, the Maharam MiRottenberg was niftar in confinement, on 19 Iyar 5053/1293.

Due to the imprisonment of the Maharam, the Rosh assumed his position in Worms. However, in 5065/1305, he was forced to emigrate and finally settled in Toledo, Spain, where he was appointed Rav.

It was in Toledo that the Rosh established his first yeshivah with many talmidim flocking there to learn under him. Multitudes of she’eilos were sent to the Rosh from all over the world, because he was recognized as a leading halachic authority in his generation.

The Rosh strongly opposed secular studies, especially philosophy. In Teshuvos HaRosh, he writes, “Praise to Hashem that I have been able to learn and comprehend all my learning, all from Torah-true sources, just as well as my Spanish colleagues, without having to know and learn their ‘foreign’ knowledge.” His position against these topics was clearly defined when he stated that philosophy is based on critical research, and religion on tradition, the two being incapable of harmonization.

The Rosh desired to issue an outright decree against the study of non-Jewish learning. Together with his sons, he transplanted the Talmudic spirit from his native Germany to Spain, where it took root and turned the Spanish Jews from their scientific research to the learning of Gemara.

The Rosh is undoubtedly most famous for his work on the entire Shas. This work, like that of the Rif, was written according to the order of the Shas. It summarizes the halachos which can be deduced from each sugya, without going into the depth of the discussions; it quotes just the final conclusions. The Rosh’s style, although similar to the Rif, differs from the Rif in that he quotes other meforshim, such as Tosafos, the Rif and the Rambam. Within a short time, it became very popular, and has since been printed with almost every edition of Shas, under the title “Rabbeinu Asher,” abbreviated “Rosh.”

The Rosh’s son Harav Yaakov (the Baal HaTurim) compiled from the Rosh’s rulings Piskei HaRosh.

The Rosh was niftar on 9 Cheshvan 5088/1327, at the age of 78.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.


 

October 22

In 1979, the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment — a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.

In 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization was decertified by the federal government for its strike the previous August.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law sweeping tax-overhaul legislation.

In 1991, the European Community and the European Free Trade Association concluded a landmark accord to create a free trade zone of 19 nations by 1993.