1740 - 1785 HAYIM SALOMON (Poland-America)
As a member of the Sons of Liberty, he was arrested and condemned to die. He escaped and joined the American Revolution as a patriot and financier. Salomon later died penniless and friendless.
1740 - 1804 (17 Tevet 5565) JACOB WOLF KRANZ OF DUBNO (the Dubno Maggid)
Scholar, preacher and author. He was renowned for his brilliant composition and use of homiletics. It is told that when the Vilna Gaon was very ill, he sent for the Dubno Maggid to read his interpretations and parables at his bedside. He settled in Vilna at the request of the Vilna Gaon. His parables on the Pentateuch were published in Ohel Yakov (Tent of Jacob).
1740 - 1809 (25 Tishrei 5770) LEVI YITZCHAK OF BERDICHEV (Russia)
A great Hasidic Rebbe, leader and scholar. He studied under Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezhirech, and became one of his close friends. Levi Yitzchak stressed the joy in serving God, emphasizing the idea of connecting to God through fervent prayer. He always accentuated the good and the positive that was in people. Levi Yitzchak composed Hasidic music and was immortalized by his vivaciously optimistic parables.
1740 NATURALIZATION ACT (North American Colonies)
Passed, making it possible for a Jew in any of Britain's American colonies to become naturalized. However, it was not always implemented (i.e. in Rhode Island). Between 1740 and the American Revolutionary War, around 200 Jews were naturalized, most of them in Jamaica, a British colony since 1670.
1740 February 3, CHARLES OF BOURBON ( Sicily/ Naples)
Son of Philip V, king of Spain, and considered to be the first Bourbon king of Naples, offered Jews the opportunity to resettle in the two Sicilies. In actuality the 20 families who arrived, lived under severe restrictions and were violently resented by the clergy-led local populace. Within 6 years only three families had remained, these were soon to be expelled (September 18, 1746).
1742 December 1, CZARINA ELIZABETH PETROVNA (Russia) (daughter of Catherine I and Peter the Great of Russia)
Expelled 35,000 Jews from parts of Russia. When advised of the financial loss she allegedly responded, "I do not want any benefit from the enemies of Christ."
1743 MENAHEM MAN AMELANDER
Published the most important and original historical work in Yiddish called She'erit Yisrael (The Remnants of Israel). It began with the destruction of the Second Temple in 72 CE and ended in 1740.
1743 - 1816 ABRAHAM ALEXANDER (USA)
Revolutionary officer and the first secretary general of the Masonic supreme council in Charleston. He married Ann Sarah Huguenin Irby, one of the first Jewish converts in the United States. Alexander served as a hazzan in the local congregation and even hand-wrote a high holiday prayer book. He also worked as an auditor for the United States customs service.
1743 February 23, - 1812 September 19, MAYER AMSCHEL ROTHSCHILD (Frankfurt. Germany)
Founder of the most famous Jewish banking and philanthropic dynasty. The Rothschild house influenced the economic and even political history of Europe for almost 200 years. As a young man, Rothschild met William Landgrave and joined his brokerage business in Hesse-Cassel. He slowly built his own banking business throughout Europe and left it to his five sons. He originally studied for the Rabbinate and remained religious until his death.
1743 August 27, TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)
Suleiman Pasha, governor of Damascus, laid siege to the city. The local Jews, led by Hayim Abulafia, defended the city for 83 days. At the lifting of the attack and the subsequent death of the Pasha (5 Elul), a holiday was declared.
C. 1744 - 1813 (27 Tishrei 5574) ARYE LEIB HELLER (Galicia)
Talmudic scholar and rabbi. Heller is known for three works which serve are keystones of pilpulistic learning and are still popular today: Ketzot Hachoshen, Avnei Miluim and the Shev Shmaitza.
1744 November 8, PRAGUE (Bohemia)
Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned.
They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked, this time with the help of Austrian and Hungarian soldiers.
1744 December 18, PRAGUE (Bohemia)
Empress Maria Theresa ordered the expulsion of all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due in part, to the protests of the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.
1745 - 1816 GERSHON MENDES SEIXAS (New York, USA)
Son of a Portuguese immigrant, he was the first native Jew to become a rabbi. At first he was a rabbi in New York and then he founded Mikve Israel congregation in Philadelphia. Seixas was a renowned patriot who left New York as the British approached rather than be under British rule. He participated in George Washington's inauguration.
1745 - 1815 (9 Av 5575) JACOB ISAAC HOROWITZ (Poland)
Hasidic leader, better known as HaChozeh MiLublin (the Seer of Lublin). He was a disciple of the Maggid of Mezerich and continued his studies under Elimelech of Lizhensk. The Chozeh believed that the tzadik should emphasize the practical needs of his Hasidim rather then only concentrating on their spiritual achievement. This led to a split in the community. His pseudonym was based on legends of his intuitiveness as well as healing.
1745 - 1813 (24 Tevet 5573) SHNEUR ZALMAN (Lyady/Liadi, Russia)
Founded an intellectualized form of Hasidism called Habad (Chabad). The name is derived from the initials Chachma (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Daat (knowledge). His intention was to bridge the gap between the Mitnagdim and the Hasidim, combining intellectualism and mysticism. His Lekutei Amarim (Collected Sayings) became known as the Tanya and is one of the important study texts of the Habad (Chabad) Hasidim.
1745 May 15, EMPRESS MARIA THERESA (Prague, Bohemia)
After many appeals and petitions, she revoked her decree banishing all Jews from Moravia and Bohemia, allowing Jews to live there for an unlimited time. Only the Jews in Prague itself were still under the order. They were soon permitted to return on a restricted basis.
1748 - 1820 (4 Tishrei 5581) ABRAHAM DANZIG (Vilna, Lithuania)
Condensed Caro's Shulchan Aruch into an everyday guide. The guide is divided into two sections; Chayei Adam (Life of Man), i.e. prayers and Sabbath based on the Orah Chaim and Chochmat Adam (Wisdom of Man), dealing with dietary laws based on the Yoreh Deah.
1749 HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA (Canada)
Was established as a port by the English. Within a year, it had a number of Jewish families and its own cemetery.
1749 (7 Sivan 5509) COUNT VALENTINE POTOCKI (Lithuania)
Was burned at the stake in Vilna. The Count, along with his friend Zeremba, had met an old Jew in a tavern and promised to convert if he could convince them of the pre-eminence of Judaism. Potocki converted and eventually settled in Vilna. Zeremba, hearing that his friend converted, did likewise and moved to Eretz Israel. Potocki's presence in Vilna became known and he was put on trial for heresy. He refused to recant and was burned at the stake. His ashes were collected and buried in Vilna. On his tomb is written "Abraham Ger Zedek" (a righteous proselyte). The Jews of Vilna would visit his grave and say Kaddish.
1749 - 1821 (14 Sivan 5581) HAYIM BEN ISAAC VOLOZHINER (Poland-Lithuania)
Rabbi and Jewish educator. As a student of both the Gaon of Vilna and Rabbi Aryeh Gunzberg, he brought all he had learned from them when establishing his renowned Volozhin Yeshiva (see 1802). Although a student of the Gaon of Vilna and a staunch Mitnagid, he refused to sign any ban against the Hasidim. He was a firm believer of Torah study for the sake of Torah study, believing it to be the best way to be in touch with God.
1749 MARIA THERESA (Austrian Empire)
Re-admitted the Jews to Prague in return for higher taxes.