c 1476 BCE- The Jews arrived in Refidim - 38 days after their exodus from Egypt. Refidim was desert land and waterless, the people grumbled that they and their flocks were in danger of dying of thirst. G-d commanded Moses to take the elders of the people to a rock which he was to hit with his staff. Moses struck the rock and from the dry stone, a well sprang forth to provide water for the people in the desert (Exodus 17:6). This became the Well of Miriam that miraculously accompanied the Jews for the next 40 years.


c 142 BCE- Shimon Hachashmonai expelled the Bnei Chakra (the Syrians and their allies, the Hellenized Jews) from Jerusalem. The Chakra ([Greek] akra – fortress) was the fortress of Jerusalem and in it was gathered the Greek garrison. Even when Judah Maccabee captured Jerusalem he was unable to capture the Akra and its occupiers exerted a constant threat against the inhabitants of the city. Only in the days of Shimon Hachashmonai [Simon the Hasmonean] was the Akra captured. The date was observed as a Yom Tov, as mentioned in Megillat Taanit.


1096- The Crusaders attacked the Jewish community of Worms (Vermeize). Almost the entire community hid in the home of a nobleman. Since they perished al kiddush Hashem [for the holiness of G-d], even though their actual demise took place on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, this date is considered the beginning of their slaughter.

The community observed a taanit in memory of the victims and the Shabbat between the two dates was called Shvartze Shabbat – Black Shabbat. During that Shabbat, the minhagim of Shabbat Chazon were adopted.

Simcha HaKohen of Worms was slain by Crusaders in a church for stabbing the bishop’s nephew after he had pretended to submit to baptism.


May 7, 1915- Nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.


May 26, 1916- The Zion Mule Corps, formed of hundreds of Russian and Syrian Jewish refugees from Palestine who had fled from or been expelled by the Turks to Alexandria, was disbanded a year after being formed.


May 16, 1944- The first of over 180,000 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz.


June 1, 1948- Amman, capital of Jordan, was bombed by Israel’s air force.


June 1, 1948-  The Arab states and Israel agreed to its first truce. By then, Israel had already scored substantial victories over the Syrian and Egyptian armies, though greatly outnumbered by the enemy.


May 15, 1974- Arab terrorists murder 26 people (22 of them children) at a school in Maalot.


Torah Portion




or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Sheni, 24 Adar I, 5784

Monday, March 04, 2024


Learn more about this date in history.