c 1436 BCE-  On the seventh day after they began marching around Jericho, the cities' walls crumbled and it was conquered.


April 27, 1881- A tavern dispute in Elisabethgrad, Russia on blood libels spawned massive pogroms against the Jews (in which soldiers often joined) in Odessa and Kiev. In all, over a hundred and sixty riots occurred in southern Russia. Ignatyev, the Minister of the Interior, insisted that the Jews caused the pogroms. General Drenbien refused to endanger his troops by sending them in "for a few Jews".


April 15, 1912- The RMS Titanic sank after crashing into an iceberg in the North Atlantic. The Titanic was the largest passenger and most luxurious steamship in the world at the time, accommodating over 2,000 passengers. Promoters bragged that it was "the ship that even G-d couldn't sink." The sinking resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, ranking it as one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history, and by far the most famous.

Many wealthy Jewish magnates drowned in this tragedy. Here is a unique Jewish angle: As the ship began to sink, and passengers struggled for one of the few spots in a lifeboat, Leah Aks carried her baby Frank to the deck, trying to get on line to be rescued. In the pandemonium, one man grabbed Leah’s baby and threw him overboard into a lifeboat. Leah was hysterical at having lost her precious baby, but she also managed to get into a lifeboat and was saved. Two days later, she saw a woman holding a child -- her baby Frank! An argument ensued and the other woman refused to give up the baby, claiming it as her own. Leah said, "I can prove this is my child -- he is circumcised." (In Europe at that time only Jewish children were circumcised.) Baby Frank was duly reunited with his mother – and he lived till 1991.


April 29, 1938- Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Vilna, Poland.


May 3, 1943- Jews from Eretz Yisrael bound for Malta died when their ship was sunk by a German plane.


April 11, 1945- U.S. forces liberated Buchenwald with its 20,000 inmates.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Sh'lishi, 13 Iyar, 5784

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


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