1862 RABBI ZEVI HIRSH KALISHER (Poland)
Published an appeal for the establishment of agricultural colonies in Eretz Israel in a pamphlet called Drishat Zion (Seeking Zion).
1943 January 14, RABBI MENACHEM ZEMBA (Warsaw, Poland)
One of the leading Rabbis called on the Jews of Warsaw to revolt, "we must resist the enemy on all fronts". He also warned that "we are prohibited by Jewish law from betraying others...". Zemba was killed (19 Nissan) a few days after the revolt began. He had refused the offerof Catholic priests to help him and flee with another two rabbis, believing that he must remain until the end with his fellow Jews. Zemba had published over 20 manuscripts, many others were destroyed in the ghetto.
1945 January 17, RAOUL WALLENBERG (Hungary)
The Swedish diplomat disappeared in Budapest two days after it was liberated. Eyewitnesses last saw him in the company of two Russian soldiers. Wallenberg was instrumental in saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis. The Russians claim that he died in a Russian prison on July 17, 1947. There are many witnesses who claim they saw him in prison years later.
986 R' NISSIM OF KAIRUAN (Tunisia)
Inquired of R' Sherira Gaon (906-1006) as to the history of the Talmud and how it was composed. R' Sherira's reply to R' Nissim, known as Iggeret Rav Sherira Ga'on, is the foremost source of our knowledge of the history of talmudic times and the growth and compilation of the Mishna-Talmud.
330 RABBA BAR NACHMANI DIED (Babylon)
Rabba was forced to flee to a forest after being accused by Shapur II’s ministers that his biannual gatherings (Kalah) were only created to avoid a poll tax. He was later found in the undergrowth, dead. Although extremely poor, Rabba had been appointed to head the academy of Pumbedita after Judah Bar Ezekiel’s (the founder of the academy) death. A position he held for twenty-one years. He endeavored to reconcile contradictions in the
Mishna and was known for beginning his lectures with a quip.
1160 RABBENU TAM (France)
In the shadow of the Second Crusade, Rabbenu Tam called the first Rabbinical Council in Troyes to affirm religious laws. Some of the Council's decisions were: No Jew could summon another to a civil court without his consent, and no person could apply to civil authorities for help to receive an appointed position in the Jewish community.
1830 Rabbi Aaron Levy arrives in Australia
Rabbi Levy was sent by Rabbi Solomon Hershel chief rabbi of London, to help attain a get (divorce) from a male convict sent to Australia. He brought the first sefer torah (Torah scroll) and siddurim (prayer books). During his four month stay, he helped establish guidelines for religious practice and services. Until his arrival, there being few Jewish women, all children of mixed marriages had been considered Jewish, by agreement this was to end within two years.
1942 July 20, RABBI ALEXANDER ZUSHA FRIEDMAN (Frydman) (Warsaw, Poland)
A leader in Agudat Israel, called on the people not to oppose the Germans with force. "God will not permit his people to be destroyed. We must wait and a miracle will certainly occur." Agudat Israel, like many groups in the Judenrat, were afraid that any "violent" opposition would mean the liquidation of the ghetto.
1710 - 1772 (19 Kislev 5532) RABBI DOV BER (the Maggid) OF MEZHIRECH (Poland)
The Besht's most brilliant disciple, he provided his teachings with a firmer foundation. He was the first of the Hasidic Rebbes who held court and gave personal advice. People began to feel that the importance of the Rebbe had more to do with his family background than with his scholarship. Sons were thus able to inherit both the title and the Hasidim (followers) of their fathers. (see 1766)
1028 RABBI ELIEZER BEN ISAAC (the Great) (Mayence, Germany)
Took over the Academy of Mayence after the death of Rabbenu Gershom. Hundreds of students flocked to his school, many of whom became the leaders of the next generation. Two of them, Isaac ben Judah of Mayence and Isaac ben Eliezer Halevi of Worms, were Rashi's teachers. R' Eliezer and his colleague Jacob ben Yakar headed the Yeshiva. He is also the author of Orchot Chayim.
1878 March 12, RABBI ELIJAH ABRAHAM ROSENBLIT (San Francisco, USA)
In a letter to the chief rabbi of the ottoman Empire Moses Halevi, he offered to sell the Sultan a miraculous gun ”at the lowest possible price”. The gun (according to Rosenblit) could shoot 3000 rounds per minute could be used to defeat the “evil” Russians. Although it did reach its destination, it is unknown if the sultan ever received the letter. In any case the war had ended with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire before the letter was even written.
1713 - 1793 (17 5553) RABBI EZEKIEL LANDAU (Prague, Bohemia)
Brilliant talmudist and halachic authority. Landau was also unusual in that he endorsed the idea of learning math and science, and supported the traditionalist element within the Haskalah Movement. Landau helped to establish the first Jewish school in Prague. His Magnum Opus is called the Nodeh B'Yehuda, which is still very popular today. It contains eight hundred and fifty-five responsa divided into two volumes.
120 (18 Sivan 3880) RABBI GAMLIEL II
This day marks the Yartzeit of Rabbi Gamliel II. Rabbi Gamliel was the successor to Rabbi Johanan Ben Zakai who had set up the talmudic academy in Yavneh after the war against Rome. Gamliel helped establish a new spiritual leadership and designing the foundation for survival in the Diaspora. He played a key role in keeping the peace between the Jewish community and Rome.
1277 RABBI ISAAC BEN JOSEPH (Corbial)
Published his Sefer Hamitzvot Hakatan, an abridgement of his father-in-law's work. He was known as the Semak. His father-in-law, R. Jehiel bar Yosef de Paris (Baal Hachotam) feared that the Torah was being forgotten by the masses so he set out all the Halachic and customs applicable in his day in clear and concise language for easy use.
1185 RABBI ISAAC BEN SAMUEL (The Elder, aka the Ri) (France)
Dampierre, France. A nephew of both Rabbenu Tam and the Rashbam and a great-grandson of Rashi. He was appointed head of the school at Rumerau after the death of Rabbenu Tam, where 60 of the most renowned scholars studied. The Ri became one of the greatest Tosafists, renowned for his commentary on the Rif. He ruled that since the penalty for emigration was confiscation of property, no Jew had the right to buy confiscated goods. If such goods were purchased, they had to be returned to their owner.
1943 April 29, RABBI ISRAEL GOLDSTEIN (USA)
Of the Synagogue Council of America was quoted in the New York Times: "The job of the Bermuda Conference was apparently not to rescue victims of Nazi terror but to rescue our State Department and the British Foreign Office. Victims are not being rescued because the democracies don't want them."
1888 RABBI JACOB JOSEPH (1840-1902) (Lithuania-USA)
A leading student of Rabbi Israel Salanter, was invited to head the New York Orthodox Jewish Community. He served as the first and only chief Rabbi of New York City. Although he made strong inroads in improving Kashrut (dietary regulation) supervision, he was unsuccessful in instituting one Rabbinical authority to oversee it all.
1215 - 1293 (19 Iyar 5053) RABBI MEIR BEN BARUCH OF ROTHENBURG (Maharam) (Germany)
The last of the Tosafists, he was the leading rabbi in Germany. Convinced that there was no future in Germany, he agreed to lead a large contingent of families to Eretz Israel. While waiting for the other families, he was seized by the Bishop of Basel. The emperor ordered him held in prison as a lesson to any of "his Jews" who might want to leave Germany (thereby causing him a financial loss). He refused to be ransomed, saying that to do so would serve as an impetus for further extortions. He died in a prison near Colmar, and his body was held there until it was ransomed some years later (see 1307).
1307 (4 Adar 5067) RABBI MEIR OF ROTHENBERG (Germany)
Was allowed to be buried. He had died in prison more then 10 years earlier, and was finally allowed to be buried after being ransomed by Alexander b. Salomo Wimpfen for a large sum of money. He was buried in Worms. (See 1215)
1249 - 1315 RABBI MENAHEM BEN SOLOMON MEIRI (France)
A noted Provencial Talmudist. His most famous work was entitled Bais Habehria, a commentary on three of the sections of the Talmud; Moed, Nashim and Nezikin as well as a few other tractates. An original thinker, he used the Jerusalem Talmud to clarify parts of the Babylonian Talmud, as well as using all available commentaries. He also wrote a commentary on Proverbs and Psalms, and a work on the laws of writing a Sefer Torah called Kiryat Sefer.
1943 April, RABBI MICHAEL DOV WEISSMANDEL (Slovakia)
An Orthodox Rabbi, together with Gisi Fleischmann, leader of the Women's International Zionist Organization and head of the Aliya section of the officially established Jewish Centre in Slovakia, helped organize (through bribes to Slovak officials) a slow down of the number of people being deported and to find false "Aryan" papers for many of them. After the Slovak revolt, Rabbi Weismandel succeeded in jumping from a train while Gisi Fleischman as a result of her work was shot as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz at the request of Eichmann's deputy Rolf Gunther.
1885 RABBI MOSES GASTNER (Romania)
One of the foremost authorities on Romanian literature and folklore, he was exiled to England after he protested Romanian anti-Jewish policies.
1619 - 1720 (10 Shvat 5470) RABBI SHALOM SHABAZI (Elshabizi) (Yemen)
Poet, talmudist, and community leader. Shabazi was born in Southern Yemen where he worked as a weaver. Shabazi is most famous as a poet, with almost half the poems in the Yemenite diwan being his. Approximately 550 of his poems and hymns are still in existence, written in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic. Although he lived in poverty, he was recognized as a spiritual leader and an astute politician, especially during the expulsion of the Jews from Saana in 1679. The local ruler captured his daughter, Shima, but she preferred death to being forced to live with him.
1942 October 9, RACIAL LAWS (Libya)
A decree was issued by the Italian government, enforcing Italian racial laws in Libya,
1946 April, RAID ON RAILWAY STATION AND BRIDGES (Ashdod, Eretz Israel)
In the largest operation planned by the
Irgun, 100 members commanded by Dov Cohen (Shimshon) blew up railway tracks in the south of the country. Thirty-one people were arrested in the Bat Yam dunes, among them some of the best Irgun commanders, and one was killed.
1147 May 8, RAMERUPT (Rameru, France)
Encouraged by Peter the Hermit, a mob attacked the Jews on the second day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Rabbenu Tam was one of the mob's victims. After being stabbed five times (to match the five wounds of Jesus) he was saved by a passing knight. His house was ransacked, however, and a Torah scroll destroyed.
716 RAMLE (Eretz Israel)
Was founded by Caliph Suleiman to be the administrative capital of the
country. Many Babylonian and Persian Jews settled there. Ramle was the only
town established by Arabs in Eretz Israel.
969 RAMLE (Eretz Israel)
The Fatimid Caliph al-Aziz defeated the Turkish princes, signaling the beginning of Fatimid rule over Eretz Israel (until 1099). The Fatimids (part of the minority Shi'ite sect) traced their ancestry to Fatima, Mohammed's daughter. They believed that the Caliphs should be direct decedents of Mohammed. In general they were tolerant of other religions and appointed Jews and Christians to positions of importance.
1944 July 9, RAOUL WALLENBERG (Hungary)
Arrived in Budapest to join Per Anger, secretary of the Swedish legation in Budapest, at the Swedish Embassy at the request of the Swedish government and the War Refugee Board. Anger had already begun to use temporary passports but Wallenberg had the idea of a Schutzpass (protective pass) which was more effective. Charles "Carl" Lutz, consul for Switzerland, joined in with him. Wallenberg helped set up soup kitchens, and medical care facilities. They would often go to the trains using threats and even bribery to get Jews off the trains. Wallenberg managed to issue around 15,000 protective passes.
1519 February 21, RATISBON (Regensburg, Germany)
Upon the death of Maximillian, the Jewish community of approximately 800 (one of the oldest in Germany), was expelled. The synagogue was destroyed and a chapel built in its place. About 5,000 gravestones were taken the Jewish cemetery and used for building.
279 RAV AMI AND RAV ASSI (Eretz Israel)
Headed the academy of Tiberias at a time when the center of Torah authority was being transferred from Eretz Israel to Babylon. The Judean Amoraim subordinated themselves to their Babylonian colleagues.
352 - 427 RAV ASHI (Babylon)
First to compile the Babylonian Talmud. He did this orally since it was still considered unlawful to write it down. He renovated the academy at Sura, whose prestige had declined since the death of Rava in 352. Rav Ashi re-established its authority, and served as its head for nearly fifty-two years.
212 - 297 RAV HUNA (Babylon)
Succeeded Rav as Resh Metivta (director of the academy) at Sura and served for 40 years. He was instrumental in declaring intellectual independence from Eretz Israel. Successful yet modest, he was a philanthropist in all spheres of Jewish life. In addition to serving as the Resh Metivta, who was the spiritual and intellectual ruler, he was also the Exilarch (Greek for "Prince of Captivity" - Resh Galuta, who usually could trace his liniage from King David through Zerubavel). He was received by the Court and was responsible as Chief Justice for criminal and civil matters, including the appointment of judges, police and civil administrators.
470 RAV HUNA V EXILARCH EXECUTED (Persia)
King Firuz (Pheroces/Peroz) (r. 457-484) added to the edicts of Jezdegerd II (see 455), by closing synagogues and study houses. He ordered the Exilarch Mar Huna (Mar Zutra's son) executed after he insisted that Jews had a right to defend themselves and their religion. A number of other Jewish scholars were also put to death. . His daughter and a number of his close entourage escaped to Arabia.
757 - 761 RAV JUDAH (Yehudai) GAON OF SURA (Babylon)
Also known as Judah the blind. He was one of the leading presenters of the liturgy, or Shliach Tzibbur, and favored the new practice of professional cantorship (hazzanut). He recommended that an ABA (ternary) musical format be used , so that beginning and end of each piece be similar, with some variance in the middle. He also introduced the chanting of Kol Nidre into the synagogue. Yehudai wrote the first work on traditional law since the completion of the Talmud, called Halachot Ketuot and probably Halachot Pesukot as well.He was a vociferous proponent of the acceptance of the Babylonian Talmud rather than the Jerusalem Talmud as the basis for all halacha.
519 RAVENNA (Italy)
After the local synagogues were burned down by the local populace, Theodoric the Ostrogoth ordered the town to rebuild them at its own expense.
1939 May 15, RAVENSBRUCK (Germany)
A women's concentration camp was opened near Mecklenburg. The camp originally took in political prisoners and Gypsies and eventually resistance fighters and Jews. Many of the prisoners were used for "medical" experiments. The camp was active until April 1944 when the Red Cross negotiated the release of the survivors. Of the 132,000 women who were sent to Ravensbruck 92,000 died.
1781 - 1869 REBECCA GRATZ (USA)
Educator and philanthropist. Born to religious parents she remained an observant Jew all of her life. She became active in philanthropic affairs at an early age. Gratz founded or help found such institutions as the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children of Reduced Circumstances in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society and a Hebrew Sunday school for which she didn’t charge a fee. She is purported to be the prototype of Sir Walter Scott's Rebecca in Ivanhoe.
1558 September 22, RECANATI (Italy)
Under the protection of Pope Paul IV, Joseph (Paul) Moro, a baptized Jew, entered a synagogue on the Day of Atonement. Holding a crucifix, he tried to preach a conversion sermon. The congregation evicted him and a near massacre occurred. Eventually the entire Jewish population was expelled.
587 RECARED OF SPAIN
Adopted Catholicism. Jews were banned from slave ownership, intermarriage and positions of authority. Recared also decreed that children of mixed marriages must be raised as Christians.
1642 RECIFE, PERNAMBUCO (Brazil)
First Jewish colony where Jews were allowed to live openly as Jews in the New World.
1920 RED ARMY (Russia)
Founded by Leon Trotsky, pushed all counter-revolutionary forces out of Russia.
1825 January 16, REFORMED SOCIETY OF ISRAELITES (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)
Was founded by forty seven members of the Kahal Kodesh Beth Elohim synagogue after their petition to institute "reform" was rejected. This marked the beginning of Reform Judaism in North America. The movement received further support with the immigration of German Jews, including reform leaders, to the United States after the revolution of 1848 The Charleston community was one of the largest and wealthiest in North America at that time.
1947 September 8, REFUGEE SHIP EXODUS TURNED BACK (Germany)
To Hamburg and its cargo of 4,500 Holocaust survivors was removed by force in front of the hundreds of reporters and photographers. All this attracted world attention and condemnation of the British. This act, more than any other, helped force international public opinion against British policy.
1020 REGENSBURG (Ratisbon) (Bavaria, Germany)
The oldest Jewish quarter in Germany was established.
1512 REGENSBURG (RATISBON) (Germany)
The Jewish community was expelled after rival princes could not agree on who should receive the Jewish taxes.
981 REGENSBURG (RATISBON) (Germany)
An important trading center on the Danube River, it already had an important Jewish community located next to the Abby of Saint Emmeran. The settlement probably began there a century before.
1944 July 18, REGENT MIKLOS HORTHY (Hungary)
Offered the Red Cross to allow all children under ten with valid visas as well as anyone who had a British Palestine certificate to leave the country. Despite American pressure, the British stalled, refusing to commit themselves until August 17. By the time the arrangements were made it was too late and the Germans sealed the borders.
1418 May 18, REGIONAL CONFERENCE (Flori, Italy)
Representatives from the Jewish communities of central and northern Italy met to discuss raising funds for self-defense as well as instituting sumptuary regulations so as "not to show off in the presence of Gentiles." It is plausible that the issuing of these sumptuary regulations, influenced Pope Martin V to issue a protective Bull the following year.
1576 - 1586 REIGN OF STEPHAN BATORY (Poland)
The Hungarian Duke became King after marrying Anna Jagiellon the new queen of Poland . During his reign he forbade any charges of ritual murder against the Jews denouncing them as calumniae. In addition he protected what he believed to be the legitimate rights of the Jews. With his death and the strengthening of Jesuit influence the position of Polish Jews became precarious.
1801 - 1825 REIGN OF ALEXANDER I (Russia)
Though at first a liberal, he rapidly changed his perspective. However, he envisioned the eventual emancipation for the Jews and their absorption into Russian "Christian" culture and life.
1881 March 14, REIGN OF ALEXANDER III (Russia)
Devoted to medievalism, he urged the return to a Russian civilization. Alexander III attacked and persecuted liberals and revolutionaries alike. He did not though revert to reestablishing serfdom or canceling many of the judicial reforms. The most influential person during his reign was Pobestonostov, his financier and procurator of the Holy Synod, who earned the title "the Second Torquemada". The newspapers in Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa began a campaign against the Jews. The outcome of the anti-Jewish pogroms, which were to continue almost unabated until 1905, sparked the mass emigration of Jews from Russia and its environs to the West.
840 - 877 REIGN OF CHARLES THE BALD (Carolingian Empire) (823-877)
He and his Carolingian successors refused (until 987) to agree with the anti-Jewish decrees of Amulo, successor to Agobard, the Archbishop of Lyon. Charles was the son of Louis I the Pious and Judith of Bavaria - and the grandson of Charlemagne. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 875.
1855 - 1881 REIGN OF CZAR ALEXANDER II OF RUSSIA
Alexander became Czar after his father's death during the Crimean war. Although by no means a liberal, the disaster of the war and comparisons with the West prompted him to make certain changes which included revoking serfdom, establishing local councils (Zemstovs) and reforming the legal system in 1864). Alexander's rise to the throne gave hope to the Jewish population after the harsh policies of Nicholas I. Although he refused to do away with the Pale, he did abolish the forced abduction of Jews into the army and allowed Jewish merchants (for the first time) to temporarily live in Moscow.
1825 - 1855 REIGN OF CZAR NICHOLAS I, BROTHER OF ALEXANDER (1796-1889) (Russia)
Made nervous by liberal developments in neighboring countries, he isolated Russia and banned Western ideas and liberalism. Half of the twelve thousand anti-Jewish laws passed between 1649-1881 originated during his reign. As an officer Nicholas had written in his diary that the Jews were "leeches who attach themselves to the populace and suck its blood."
1272 - 1307 REIGN OF EDWARD I OF ENGLAND
Considered Jews to be a monetary asset, taxing them and confiscating their property without any concern for the depletion and impoverishment of the community. A "good crusading prince", he was also an imperialist and a builder. He was determined to rid his kingdom of anti-Christian practices such as usury.
1558 - 1603 REIGN OF ELIZABETH I (England)
Under her rule, the first Marranos were unofficially allowed to enter England as Christians.
1848 - 1916 REIGN OF FRANZ JOSEPH I OF HAPSBURG (1830-1916) (Austria)
Considered to be one of the most enlightened monarchs of the 19th century. During his rule he cancelled many of the restrictions against the Jews and made them full citizens of the state in 1867. During the Mortara Case (1858) he tried in vain to bring about the release of the Jewish child. Franz Joseph was highly appreciated by the Jewish community, to the degree that anti-Semites referred to him as the "Judenkaiser."
1152 - 1190 REIGN OF FREDERICK BARBAROSSA (Germany)
Holy Roman Emperor. The papacy and the emperor vied for power during his reign. Barbarossa viewed the Jews of his realm as both a duty to protect and a financial resource. The protection he afforded them brought new knowledge and skills from the Middle East into Europe.
1100 - 1135 REIGN OF HENRY I (England)
Henry I granted a charter to Jews which allowed freer settlement, seeing it as a way to increase revenues.
1462 - 1505 REIGN OF IVAN THE III (The GREAT) (Russia)
The Grand Duke of Muscovy. He was responsible for breaking the Tartars' 240 year hold on Russia. He also laid the basis for a unified Russia.
1852 - 1870 REIGN OF NAPOLEON III OF FRANCE
Charles Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was a tyrant who also tried to grant liberal reforms. Though elected to the presidency, he also established himself as a dictator. During the Mortara Case (1858), he joined the protest against the actions of the Church.
1796 - 1801 REIGN OF PAUL I OF RUSSIA
Due to the partitioning of Poland, he inherited most of the Jews in Eastern Europe. With the help of the nobility, Paul I initiated an investigation into the "problem" of the Jews. According to one of the proposals, Jews should be forced to accept family names, abandon distinctive dress, send all children to public schools after age 12, and be forbidden to participate in city government. The Jewish population of White Russia was to be evenly distributed within White Russia, with the rest transferred to other areas.
1682 - 1725 REIGN OF PETER I THE GREAT (Russia)
Although by no means a lover of Jews, he tried to enlighten Russian policies and make them on a par with those of Western Europe.
1180 - 1223 REIGN OF PHILIP AUGUSTUS (France)
Nurtured on anti-Semitism and blood libels, he became the king at age 25. Encouraged by the Hermit of Vincennes, he decided to use the Jews for his own purposes. Badly in need of money both for his own use and to acquire new estates so he could gain greater control over his barons, he first impoverished the few wealthy Jews and then cancelled all Christian debts to Jews for a percentage. This way of generating quick revenue was known as "totbrief". It was widely used.
1285 April 4, - 1314 REIGN OF PHILIP IV PHILIP THE FAIR (France)
(The Fair - referring to color, not to temperament). The grandson of Saint Louis. His policy regarding the Jews was to use them solely for his financial benefit.
1273 - 1291 REIGN OF RUDOLPH OF HAPSBURG
Torn between his need for funds and pressure from the Church, he adopted a policy of accepting gifts for favors. Rudolph reconfirmed the Old Jewish Charters in Austria and Rutushion and forbade forcible baptism. However, he banned the public appearance of Jews during Holy Week and did little to stop attacks on Jews in Bavaria, Franconia and the Rhineland (1283-87).
1566 - 1574 REIGN OF SELIM II "The Magnificent" (Ottoman Empire)
Selim had been supported by the Jews in his claim to the throne. As a result, many Jews received important positions in his government, including Don Joseph Nasi who was appointed Duke of Naxos. Selim II also allowed Marranos fleeing Portugal to settle in Turkey.
610 - 620 REIGN OF SESBUT (Visigothic Spain)
Liberator of much of Byzantine Spain. He prohibited Judaism after many of his anti-Jewish edicts were ignored. Those not baptized fled, but returned under his successor, Swintilla. This was the first incidence where a prohibition of Judaism affected an entire Christian country.
1506 - 1548 REIGN OF SIGISMUND I. JAGIELLON (Yaghello) ( Lithiuania / Poland)
Sigismund I, aka Sigismund the Old (1467-1548), succeeded his brother Alexander and was considered a liberal ruler granting rights and privileges to the Jews of Lithuania. His attitude to the Jews in Poland especially in the larger cities, was tainted by the pressure from Christian merchants and the magistracy which resented any competition from Jewish merchants.
1135 - 1154 REIGN OF STEPHEN (England)
During his reign there was intermittent civil war between Matilda (Maud), daughter of Henry I, and her cousin Stephen, grandson of the William the Conqueror. In the end, Matilda's son succeeded in becoming King Henry II. The Jews suffered more than the Christians during the war. Stephen indulged in one of the common practices of kings: freeing Christians from the debts owed to Jews in return for the payment of part of the debt to the king. However, he also protected them from the
379 - 395 REIGN OF THEODOSIUS I (Roman emperor)
A general of Spanish origin, and the son of another general, was chosen to replace Valens who had been killed fighting the Visigoths. He refused to condemn Judaism believing that it was a legitimate religion. Theodosius prohibited the destruction of synagogues by zealot Christians.
1939 September 21, REINHARD HEYDRICH (Germany)
Invited 15 people (including Eichmann) to a conference to determine policy regarding the Jews and the Einsatzgruppen (special action groups). Their resolution (although it didn't go into details) made use of the words "First steps in the Final Solution". Heydrich ordered the segregation of all Jews into ghettos and the formation of local Jewish councils (Judenrats). The Judenrat was in Heydrich's words" made fully responsible for the exact and punctual implementation of all instructions released or yet to be released." These councils or Judenrats were designed to force the Jews to be part of the system of their own destruction by letting them think that they could save some Jews by agreeing to forget about some of the rest. Some people considered the Judenrat as collaborators and others viewed them as continuing pre-war communal work. There were 128 Judenrats in Nazi occupied Poland (or what was known as the General Government). Some heads of the Judenrats cooperated with the Nazis hoping to save the remainder. Others (about 40 of them) preferred to commit suicide rather than turn over Jews for deportation.
1901 RELIEF SOCIETY FOR GERMAN JEWS (Hilsvereinder Deutschen Juden) (Germany)
Was founded. It was designed to help Eastern European Jews immigrate to Germany.
1887 - 1976 RENE SAMUEL CASSIN (France)
French jurist and Nobel Laureate. Cassin served as a legal advisor to the League of Nations and served with General Charles de Gaulle during World War II. With the founding of the United Nations Cassin was the chief architect of the Declaration of Human Rights and served as president of the European court of Human Rights. His work earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. Cassin was also active in helping rebuild the Jewish communities in France and North Africa after the war.
1943 November 9, RESCUE RESOLUTION (USA)
Introduced in Congress. This resolution recommended that the president create a commission to "save the surviving Jewish people of Europe from extinction". The resolution, together with a strong press campaign led by William Randolph Hearst and a massive campaign by the Emergency Committee organized by Bergson, forced Sol Bloom to publicly come out for the resolution even though he did his best, together with Breckinridge Long to kill it behind the scenes. Bloom, serving as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, had been hostile to every action of the Bergson group, stemming from their condemnation of the Bermuda conference.
1942 August 25, RESISTANCE IN THE SARNY GHETTO (Ukraine)
Was organized after being informed that deportations would soon begin. On the day of the revolt, the Judenrat ordered the organizers to cease all activities, claiming that resistance would be harmful since they would only be deported for work camps. Most of the inhabitants allowed themselves to be convinced, and the revolt was postponed. Between August 27-29, most of the 14,000 Jews were murdered. Only a few succeeded in escaping to the forest.
1933 July 26, REVOCATION AND ANULLMENT LAW (Germany)
Was passed, providing the Nazis with a "legal" tool to revoke the naturalization of Eastern European Jews living in the Reich.
1943 August 2, REVOLT IN TREBLINKA (Poland)
Led by a small group of prisoners using primitive weapons and pistols, inmates at Treblinka attacked the guards and burned down the barracks. Between 300 and 500 prisoners escaped, although most of them were either captured or turned over by Polish peasants. Though the revolt did not stop all activities, the German government decided to liquidate the camp by October.
1762 March 11, RHODE ISLAND (North American Colonies)
Although considered more liberal than other states, and despite the fact that a few Jews had previously been granted citizenship, the court refused to grant it to Aaron Lopez and Isaac Eliezer, stating that "no person who is not of the Christian religion can be admitted free to this colony". Lopez was granted citizenship by Massachusetts and the sentence "upon the true faith of a Christian" was excluded from the oath. Lopez was probably the first Jew to be granted citizenship in Massachusetts.
1923 - 2004 RICHARD AVEDON (USA)
Commercial and fashion photographer. His portraits of celebrities portrayed a different and original spin using unconventional lights and unusual backgrounds.
1902 - 1979 RICHARD ROGERS (USA)
Musical Composer. Rogers first teemed up as a student with Lorenz Hart with whom he wrote many musicals including Babes in Arms and Pal Joey. After Hart's death Rogers became partners with Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960). Their collaborations included Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
1189 September 3, RICHARD THE LIONHEARTED (England)
Was crowned at Westminster. During Richard's coronation (from which Jews and women, seen as possible sorcerers, were banned), Baldwin, the archbishop of Canterbury, convinced Richard not to accept presents from Jewish dignitaries but to turn them out of the palace. The crowds took this to mean that the king favored persecution of the Jews; a pogrom against the Jews in London took place the same day and the following day. Richard was reluctant to begin his reign by overtly protecting the Jews and therefore did not punish the rioters too severely - which encouraged more riots. The rioting soon spread to such commercial centers as Norwich, (Kings) Lynn, Stamford, Lincoln, Bury St Edmunds, and York, as well as to smaller communities throughout the land. In London, 30 Jews were killed including Rabbi Jacob of Orleans, a pupil of Rabbenu Tam.
1850 RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) (Germany)
Published his first anti-Semitic article Das Judentum in der Musik. The composer attacked the Jews, denying the existence of Jewish cultural creativity. He accused all Jews of being money hungry and condemned them as the "demon causing mankind's downfall" (Untergang). Wagner proposed that they be either assimilated or removed from cultural life. He was a strong supporter of political anti-Semitism. Wagner's daughter married the English/French anti-Semite, Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
1893 RICHARD WOLFINSTEIN (Germany)
A chemist, he discovered hydrogen peroxide.
1941 December 7 - 9, RIGA (Russia)
Within two days 80% of the Jews living in the ghetto (25,000 people) were shot including the famous historian Simon Dubnow. On December 8, at age 81, Dubnow was shot by a former student of his, now a Gestapo officer.
His dying message to fellow Jews was: "Yidn, shreibt un farshreibt!" ("Jews, write and record!").
1919 October 11, RIOTS ( Przemysl, Poland)
Broke out and the Jewish militia was disbanded after a rumor spread that Jews were machine gunning Poles. Rumors, no matter how absurd, served as a catalyst for a pogrom.
1348 November 22, RIOTS REACHED BAVARIA AND SWABIA (Germany)
Jews in eighty towns including Augsberg, Munich and Wurzburg were attacked.
C. 1200 RISE OF KABBALAH (Jewish Philosophical Mysticism)
As persecutions increased in the wake of the crusades, people began searching for a deeper meaning of existence to help them understand the harshness of life around them. One of the basic beliefs of Kabbalah is that in addition to leading a righteous life, one may also contemplate mystic traditions which can bring one closer to God. There are two kinds of Kabbalah: theoretical, which is more speculative and epistemological; and practical, which is more mystical and magical, using amulets and the various names of God.
1898 RISHON LEZION (Eretz Israel)
The first Hebrew speaking kindergarten opened.
1882 July 31, RISHON LEZION - THE FIRST ALIYAH(Eretz Israel)
Was founded by a group of 10 families. Later that year, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, in response to the Russian pogroms and a plea by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever, agreed to help the new Moshava. The settlement marked the beginning of the first Aliyah (going up) to Eretz Israel, and the beginning of Rothschild's deep involvement with settlement activities.The first Aliyah which lasted until 1904 came in three waves 1882-1884 comprising of Romanian and Russian Jews, 1890-91 from Russia and 1900-1903 from Russia and Eastern Europe. Most of the immigrants came due to harsh persecution and pogroms, economic disasters, the influence of the Hovevei Zion and the fact that there was in place a mass emigration movement throughout eastern Europe - although mostly to the United States. Around 30-40,000 Jews arrived during these periods bringing the Jewish population to 55,000.
1891 April 1, Ritual murder accusation (Corfu)
Rubina Sarda the local Jewish tailor's 8 year old daughter, was found dead. Her father Vita was immediately accused of the crime by the local constable. Others, including police, spread a rumor that the girl was not Jewish but really a Christian by the name of Maria Desylla, and was killed for ritual purposes. The local Greek orthodox leader or metropolite refused to intervene and “disappeared” until the incident was over. Despite a declaration by her teacher, confirmed by the French consul at Corfu, that she was Jewish the local Jewish community was attacked with violence spreading to other parts of Greece. Approximately 5 of the 7,000 Jews of Corfu fled by boat with their property confiscated by locals. Some were thrown overboard. None of the perpetrators were punished.
1267 July 15, (20 Tamuz 5027) RITUAL MURDER ACCUSATION (Pforzheim, Baden, Germany)
A seven-year-old girl was found dead in the river. A local woman ‘admitted’ to selling the child for ritual purposes to the Jews. During the riots R. Samuel ben Yakar ha-Levi, R. Isaac ben Eliezer, and R. Abraham ben Gershom committed suicide to escape the throng. The Jews did not return for over 200 years.
1639 April 20, RITUAL MURDER ACCUSATION IN LENCHITZA ( Poland)
A young boy was found murdered and although the suspicion rested on a local vagabond Foma, two Jewish elders, Meyer and Lazar were arrested and tortured. Despite the protests of the local town governor (Starosta), and the lack of any confessions or proof, they were quartered with their bodies hung near the main road. The local Bernardine monks took the remains of the boy and proclaimed him a martyr, encouraging pilgrimages and donations to their church.
1235 December 28, RITUAL MURDER CHARGE (Fulda, Germany)
Resulted in a massacre of 32 Jews. The following year, Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen established an investigation at Hagenau to confirm or disprove the charges. After hearing various experts, including Jewish converts to Christianity, he declared that since Jews are prohibited from eating animal blood, they would surely be banned from using human blood. He forbade anyone to accuse Jews of ritual murder", Privilegium e sententia in favorem iudaeorum . Pope Innocent IV also condemned the accusations as unfounded.
1921 ROBERT LAMBELIN (France)
Translated the "Protocols" directly from the Russian. It ran through sixteen editions in one year.
1904 April 22, - 1967 ROBERT OPPENHEIMER(USA)
Physicist and educator. Oppenheimer became director of the atom bomb project known as the Manhattan Project in 1943.
1815 - 1865 ROBERT REMAK (Posen, Poland)
One of the founders of modern neurology. He introduced the use of electricity in the treatment of neurological disorders.
1525 - 1594 RODRIGO LOPEZ (Portugal-England)
A Marrano physician. He supposedly arrived in England as Francis Drake's prisoner of war. He rose in importance to become Queen Elizabeth's physician (1586). He was accused by other members of the court, including the Earl of Essex, and the Portugese pretender Dom Antonio,of being a Spanish spy who was trying to poison the Queen, and arrested, but the Queen refused to carry out the death sentence. On June 7, 1594, she finally consented and he was hanged. He was vilified as being a "Jew" throughout his trial.
400 - 600 ROMAN EMPIRE
Was broken up by German tribes - the Huns, Vandals and Goths. The Papacy was established.
A. C. Cuza, Octavian Goga, and Corneliu Codreanu (head of the Facist Iron Guard), joined in an anti-Semitic demonstration with 280,000 people and the blessings of the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch Miron Cristea.
King Carol, though previously a supporter of the National Peasants Party (led by Julius Maniu) which fought against anti-Semitism, appointed Octavian Goga to form a government. Goga was a former leader in the fascist Iron Guard. His government lasted only seven weeks.
1938 January 21, ROMANIA
Jewish citizenship was revoked. Miron Cristea - patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and successor to Goga - declared: "The Jews are sucking the marrow from the bones of the nation."
1943 February 13, ROMANIA
Offered to "sell" 72,000 Jews and permit them to be transferred to Eretz Israel on ships flying a Vatican flag for a price of $130 a person. Although Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau brought this offer to the attention of the President Roosevelt , it was shuffled back to Sumner Wells at the State Department who decided without checking on the facts that the proposal "was without foundation."
943 ROMANUS I (Greece)
Forced Jews to convert. Many emigrated to Kahzaria.
Was sacked by Alaric, king of the Visigoths. The treasures of the Second Temple fell into his hands. What remained was taken to Carthage by the Vandals (455).
The Vandals plundered Rome for two weeks. Many of the Temple vessels were taken to Carthage.
1007 ROME (Italy)
The talmudic academy was founded under Jacob Gaon and the three leaders of the community: Moses Ha Nasi, Abraham, and Shabbtai. Jacob Gaon was succeeded by Rabbi Jechiel and then by his son R' Nathan (see 1035) author of the Aruch. R' Nathan traced his family back to the scholars who were brought to Rome by Titus in 73 CE.
1530 ROME (Italy)
After a long siege, the Republican government was finally disposed and Jews were allowed to return.
1554 September 4, ROME (Italy)
Cornelio da Montalcino - a Franciscian Friar who converted to Judaism - was burned alive.
1583 February 19, ROME (Italy)
Three Portuguese Marranos from Ferrara were burned in Rome's Campo dei Fiori at the command of Pope Gregory XIII. One of them, Joseph Saralbo, proudly proclaimed that he had helped 800 Marranos return to Judaism. According to reports, he asked the Jews of Rome not to mourn for him stating "I am on my way to meet immortality."
1625 October 23, ROME (Italy)
Roman Jews were forbidden by Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) to erect gravestones.
1639 March 27, ROME (Italy)
A child was forcibly baptized after his father jokingly remarked that he would not mind if the Pope acted as godfather. As a result, two of his children were taken, one a baby, and were carried in a ceremony by the Pope. The Jews rioted and were violently crushed.
1793 (1 Shvat 5553) ROME (Italy)
A tragedy was narrowly averted in the Jewish ghetto after a mob set fire to the ghetto gates. The riot was partially in reaction to the liberalism of the French Revolution and partly in response to a Jewish protest after two Jewish orphans were forcibly baptized. Only a fortunate downpour which put out the fire prevented the ghetto from catching fire. The day was celebrated as holiday by Roman Jews.
1798 February 15, ROME (Italy)
After the occupation of Rome by General Berthier, the local republicans dethroned the Pope and Jews removed the yellow badge. Two days later, a tree of freedom was planted in front of the synagogue.
1870 September 20, ROME (Italy)
After the defeat of Napoleon, Victor Emanuel seized the Capital, breaking the power of the Papal State. On October 13 the Jews were proclaimed free while the Roman ghetto, one of the oldest and cruelest ghettos in Europe, was torn down and soon abolished. This was the last ghetto system to fall. It had lasted three hundred and fifteen years.
1527 May 16, ROME WAS SACKED (Italy)
By troops of Charles V in his fight against the League of Cognac which consisted of France, England, Pope Clement VII, Venice, and Florence. Although Jews suffered with the rest of the population, their lot would soon worsen under the Counter-Reformation.
1871 March 5, - 1919 ROSA LUXEMBURG (Poland - Germany)
Marxist revolutionary, socialist leader and economist. During WWI she was the leader of German pacifists and was arrested numerous times. After the war she helped found the Spartakusbund, which later became the Communist Party. During the uprising of 1919, she was arrested together with Karl Liebknecht and shot while being taken to prison.
1879 - 1933 ROSE PASTOR STOKES (Wieslander) ( Poland-USA)
Socialist writer and co-founder of the Communist Party in the USA. Rose Stokes was active in various strikes including the shirtwaist workers' strike. She was also one of the early leaders of the birth control movement.
1882 December 12, ROSH PINA (Eretz Israel)
Was founded by 130 Romanian Jews. Ironically they arrived on a ship to Beirut named the Titus.. The settlement was originally founded by residents of Safed in 1878 who had named it Gei Oni ("Valley of My Strength) but was abandoned after less then two years.
1944 March, ROSWELL McCLELLAND (Switzerland)
Was assigned to run the War Refugee Board in Switzerland. McClelland had lived in occupied France working for the American Friends Service Committee and had vast experience dealing with these issues. With the financial backing of the Joint, he succeeded in producing thousands of false identity cards, work permits and birth certificates, as well as shipping emergency aid to those who hid Jews in their homes or in convents.
1605 ROTTERDAM, HAARLEM (Holland)
Jews were granted a liberal charter. In Haarlem the charter was conditional on fifty families arriving in Haarlem so the community was not established at that time. The liberal charter served as a basis for Jewish settlement throughout much of Holland (see 1619).
1298 April 20, ROTTINGEN (Germany)
Rindfleish accused the local Jews of profaning the host. He then incited the Burgher and local populace to join in the killing. Twenty-one Jews were murdered.
1336 July 29, ROTTINGEN (Germany)
Led by John Zimberlin, a self proclaimed prophet, a group of peasants known as the Armleder (for their leather straps worn on their arms)or Judenschlaeger ("Jew-killers") attacked Jewish communities in Franconia and the Alsace region. They also destroyed Jewish communities in Bohemia, Moravia and elsewhere along the Rhine. Roughly 1500 Jews were murdered. Eventually, when the Armleder began to attack non-Jews, they were opposed by local Lords.
1096 ROUEN (Normandy, France)
Massacre of Jews under the rule of one of William the Conqueror's sons. As a consequence, more Jews decided to move to England.
1872 RUDOLF MOSSE (Germany)
Founded one of the great Berlin Dailies, the Berliner Tagblatt to which many Jews contributed their talents, i.e. Wolff and Bernard.
1860 - 1935 RUFUS ISAACS, FIRST MARQUESS OF READING (England)
The grand-nephew of Daniel Mendoza. He achieved unprecedented honor (for a Jew) in England. Starting as a lawyer rather late in life, he was soon renowned for his abilities and was later appointed Lord Chief Judge, as well as Attorney General and Queens Council. Although not active in Jewish affairs, he stated in 1915, "The Jews ought to have a place" and a government of their own."
1184 RUMERAU (France)
Elchanan, the son of the Ri and a noted (if young) Tosafist, was murdered for refusing to convert. The school in Rumerau had been the center of Tosafist learning since the days of Rabbenu Jacob Tam. Many scholars fled after Elchanan's death.
1655 August 8, RUSSIA
The Russians took Vilna. As part of the peace settlement between Chmielniki and Czar Alexis, the east bank of the Dnieper became part of the kingdom of Moscow. The Jews of Vilna were once again subject to expulsion and murder.
The Pale was further narrowed, displacing approximately 150,000 Jews. Sir Moses Montefiore traveled to Moscow in an unsuccessful attempt to intercede.
1881 - 1914 RUSSIA
Mass emigration. Each year more then 50,000 Jews left Russia. By the beginning of World War I 2,500,000 Russian Jews had left. Some years the numbers reached well over 100,000.
Jews were not allowed to practice law without a special permit.
1903 - 1907 RUSSIA
During these 4 years, 500,000 Jews fled Russia, with 90% of them going to the United States.
1906 March 9, RUSSIA
Founding of the Jewish Socialists Workers Party (a break off from Poale Zion) known as the Sejmists. It based itself on the ideology of Chaim Zhitlowsky and was comprised of liberal socialists and constitutionalists. The Sejmists were far less radical than the Bund in regard to Marxist philosophy. They believed in Jewish Autonomy in the Diaspora and considered themselves part of the international socialist movement. In 1909 it reunited with Poale Zion.
The fourth Duma was convened. Although a suggestion not to allow Jews to serve in the army was not accepted, it was decided that no Jew, converted Jew, or children of converted Jews were allowed to become officers in the Army.
During the entire war, Yiddish was declared an illegal language, and wounded veterans were immediately shipped back to the Pale. Although around 500,000 Jews served in the army, they were branded by the government as cowards, traitors and spies.
1915 July 5, RUSSIA
Hebrew and Yiddish publications were banned.
Under Brusilov, returned to its offensive along the Polish and Galician borders. The Jews in those areas were accused of siding with the Germans.
1917 November 7, RUSSIA
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky ousted Kerensky and took over the government.
1918 - 1935 RUSSIA
eighteen million copies.
1919 August 30, RUSSIA
The Jewish Commissariat Yevsektsiya proclaims Hebrew a "reactionary language". As such, the teaching of Hebrew was prohibited in all educational institutions and books in Hebrew were removed from libraries.
1924 September 22, RUSSIA
Chjekists (secret police) rounded up all known Zionists. Over thirty thousand were arrested and the Zionist organization was forced to move underground.
1938 December, RUSSIA
By this time Yiddish was spoken by less than one quarter of the Russian Jews.
1825 January 13, RUSSIA
Prior to his death, Alexander I expelled all the Jews from Mohilev and Vitebsk.
1917 March 17, RUSSIA
The provisional government abolishes all restrictions against the Jews.
1939 September 17, RUSSIA
Invaded Poland. Within ten days the Polish army surrendered. Tens of thousands of Jews fled from teh German zone to the Soviet zone.
1880 RUSSIA - ORT (Russian initials for Obstchestuo Resemes lenovo Truda)
The Society for the Encouragement of Handicraft was established by Baron Horace de Guenzburg. Its goal was to organize vocational programs for poor Jews throughout the world.
1917 December 15, RUSSIA CONCLUDED AN ARMISTICE
With the Central Powers. 350,000 Jews served in the Russian army and an estimated 70,000 of them were killed during the war.
1914 August, RUSSIA UNDER BRUSILOV AND RUZSK
Carried the offensive into Eastern Prussia and Austrian Galicia. Jews were caught between both armies. Russia repeatedly attacked the Austrian army and although they could not proceed they managed to hold on to Galicia until 1917, The Austrians were forced into setting up refugee camps in Austria and Hungary.
1917 February, RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
Broke out in Petrograd. After three years of ruinous war the old regime collapsed. By March, a provisional government under Alexander Kerensky was set up. During the ensuing revolution the Jews were caught in the middle. Much of the conflict centered around the south and west, where over 3 million Jews lived. It is estimated that over 2000 pogroms took place, especially in the Ukraine, leading to the death of 100,000-200,000 Jews within the next 3 years.
1904 - 1905 RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR
The Russian government accused the Jews of helping the Japanese and starting the war to help their "Kinsmen by race". Thirty thousand Jewish soldiers and 3000 Jewish doctors fought for the Russians. Two "orders of the day" recognized Jewish heroism; One on November 29 honoring Joseph Trumpeldor the other on July 25 1905 honoring Lazar Lichmaker both of whom coincidently fought without an arm